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Weekend Wheels: New Toyota crossover bets on link to world’s most popular car

Base price range, including destination: $23,660 Mpg range: 31/33, front-wheel drive; 29/32, all-wheel Seating: 5 Manufactured: Huntsville, Ala. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety: Top safety pick with good ratings in all crash tests; www.iihs.org JDPower.com rating: Not yet rated, 0-69 indicates fair, 70-80 average, 81-90 great, 91-100 best Website: www.toyota.com Competitors: Chevrolet Trailblazer, Fiat 500X, Ford EcoSport, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Kia Sportage and….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsAug 6th, 2022

Futures Flat Ahead Of ECB And Barrage Of Bank Earnings With $2.1 Trillion In Options Expiring

Futures Flat Ahead Of ECB And Barrage Of Bank Earnings With $2.1 Trillion In Options Expiring US index were flat on Thursday, reversing earlier gains sparked by hopes of imminent easing in China, as investors turned their attention to the ECB which is set to maintain its speedier withdrawal of stimulus, data on retail sales and unemployment claims, and a barrage of earnings from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, and all of this happening as $2.1 trillion in options are set to expire (since tomorrow is a holiday). At 7;00am ET, S&P futures were unchanged at 4440, Nasdaq futures were down 0.1% and Europe’s Stoxx 600 rose 0.2%. Asian stocks rose after China again indicated looser monetary policy is on the way. Treasuries extended gains as investors dialed back aggressive bets on Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes. The yen bounced from a two-decade low against the dollar. The greenback slipped after snapping its longest winning streak since 2020. Oil fell. Twitter shares soared after Elon Musk offered to buy the whole company for $54.20. Delta Air Lines gained 0.9% in premarket trading, extending this week’s rally after it had its price projection raised at JPMorgan and Barclays. However the biggest mover in the premarket was Twitter which soared as much as 18%, and was last trading at $51 following a hostile offer by Elon Musk; Tesla shares fell. While elevated and sticky inflation “remains a key risk for investors,” there are signs that price growth will ease in the rest of the year, according to Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “In our base case, this should allow central banks to slow the pace of monetary tightening and tone down hawkish rhetoric,” he said. “That in turn should lower the threat of an economic hard landing.” China is expected to cut a key policy interest rate for the second time this year on Friday and reduce the reserve requirement ratio soon. South Korea raised its key interest rate and Singapore further tightened policy, spurring advances in their currencies. “We have actually turned cautiously optimistic on the Chinese equity market in April already,” Stefanie Holtze-Jen, Asia-Pacific chief investment officer at Deutsche Bank AG in Singapore, said on Bloomberg Television. “We perceived the communication from the government as the line in the sand.” “We’re still being cautious” about equities, Michael Vogelzang, chief investment officer at CAPTRUST, said on Bloomberg Television. “We think there’s still a lot more that can go wrong than probably can go right.” The latest developments over the war in Ukraine included a European Union warning for member states that President Vladimir Putin’s demand that “unfriendly countries” effectively pay for Russian gas in rubles would violate sanctions. The U.S. will expand the scope of weapons it’s providing to Ukraine in a new $800 million package of military assistance. In Europe, gains for travel and consumer companies outweighed declines in the telecommunications and energy industries, leading the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up 0.1% and Stoxx 50 up 0.3%. CAC 40 outperforms, adding 0.4%, FTSE 100 lags, dropping 0.2%. Atlantia jumped 4.9% in Milan after the Benetton family and Blackstone offered to buy out the Italian highway operator for 23 euros per share. Ericsson dropped 5.6% in Stockholm after its earnings missed estimates. Here are some of Europe's most notable movers: Wizz Air shares jump as much as 8.9% after it said it sees its 4Q operating result ahead of guidance provided at 3Q. Concorde says the low-cost carrier’s expectation to fly 30%-40% more compared with 2019 capacity in the next two quarters is “encouraging.” Holcim shares rise as much as 4.3%, most since March 29, following a Bloomberg report that the group is considering the sale of assets in India. Atlantia shares rise as much as 5.8% after Italy’s Benetton family and Blackstone have made a EU19b bid to buy out the infrastructure group, it follows Bloomberg News last week’s report that the firm was circled by potential suitors. Hermes shares advance as much as 4.6% after publishing 1Q sales that one analyst described as “spectacular.” Peers are also up with Richemont rose as much as +3% Ericsson shares fall as much as 9.2% after reporting adjusted operating profit that undershot average analyst estimates by 25%. While the first-quarter revenue came ahead of expectations, a “clear miss” on profits together with multiple new headwinds to margins may keep investors on the sidelines, according to Barclays. VW shares decline as much as 2.3% after the car-maker reported preliminary figures that Jefferies says are “overall negative.” UPM shares decline as much as 5.1% on Friday after the Finnish company said it has not been able to come to new collective labor agreements with the Paperworkers’ Union. Ashmore shares sink as much as 9.2%, the most since April 2020, after the emerging markets-focused asset manager reported 3Q net outflows of $3.7b, which analysts say were worse than consensus expectations. European bonds fell and the euro advanced as attention turns to the ECB, which is set to maintain its speedier withdrawal of stimulus. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks headed for a two-day gain amid growing expectations that China’s central bank will ease policy to support growth in the region’s biggest economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.8% as all sectors rose, with shares in mainland China leading the regionon hopes that the People’s Bank of China will cut its key policy rate soon. A 50-basis point, broad-based reduction in the reserve requirement ratio could also be confirmed as early as Friday, injecting 1.2 trillion yuan ($188 billion) of liquidity into the economy, Citigroup said. While an RRR cut “will help in terms of stabilizing expectations, it could be just an expedient measure as the economy urgently calls for more easing,” wrote Huatai Securities analysts including Yi Huan in a note. Asia’s cyclical and defensive shares climbed with SoftBank Group hauling up the gauge, as Mizuho Securities said the technology giant may sell some of its assets to improve its finances.  Japan’s main gauges were also among the top performers in Asia, rising for a second day, driven by advances in technology shares. Electronics makers were the biggest boost to the Topix, which gained 1%. Fast Retailing and Tokyo Electron were the largest contributors to a 1.2% rise in the Nikkei 225.  The Kospi index ended the day little changed after the Bank of Korea raised its seven-day repurchase rate by a quarter percentage point. China’s growth outlook has been a key pressure point for Asian shares as the country maintains its Covid Zero strategy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is down about 10% in 2022, extending last year’s underperformance versus the S&P 500. “China’s dynamic zero-Covid policy could ravage the Chinese economy if lockdowns continue,” Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis, wrote in a note. “Beyond the reduced demand for imports from China, an even more immediate effect is inflation given the world’s dependence on China’s production of intermediate goods.” In rates, yields are lower by as much as 2bp in 3- to 5-year sector, steepening 5s30s spread by about that much with long-end yields little changed; 10-year, lower by ~1bp at around 2.69%, outperforms bunds and gilts in the sector by 5bp-6bp. Treasuries were slightly richer across front-end and belly of the curve, steepening most curve spreads and outperforming European core rates ahead of ECB policy decision at 7:45am ET and President Christine Lagarde’s press conference. Focal points of U.S. session include retail sales data and three Fed speakers. Sifma has recommended a 2pm close ahead of Friday’s U.S. market holiday.   German curve bear-steepens with yields up 2.5-3bps across the back end. Peripheral spreads widen to Germany with 10y BTP/Bund widening 2.9bps to 242.3bps. Cash USTs bull-steepen with the curve seeing ~2bps of riching from the 5y point out. U.K. curve bear-steepens with 30y yields rising over 3bps. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index headed for a second day of losses, falling 0.1%. and the dollar fell against most of its Group-of 10 peers. CHF and AUD are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, SEK and NZD outperform. The euro rose above $1.09 while yields on Bunds and Italian bonds advanced as money markets increased ECB rate hike bets ahead of the monetary policy decision.  Sweden’s krona strengthened against all of its G-10 peers and the nation’s sovereign bonds slumped, led by the front-end of the curve. Markets rushed to price in faster Riksbank tightening after its target measure, CPIF, rose to 6.1% on an annual basis in March. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected underlying prices to rise by 5.6%. The Australian dollar declined versus its New Zealand counterpart as the economy added fewer jobs than expected last month. Yen snapped a nine-day losing streak as U.S. yields continued to fall and players prepared for the long Easter weekend. Japanese government bonds followed Treasuries higher. BOJ Deputy Governor Masazumi Wakatabe said that it’s desirable for foreign exchange rates to reflect economic fundamentals and move in a stable manner. In commodities, crude futures decline. WTI trades within Wednesday’s range, falling 0.7% to trade around $103. Brent falls 0.7% to $108. Most base metals trade in the red; LME zinc falls 1.1%, underperforming peers. LME aluminum outperforms, adding 1.1%. Gold weakens to around $1,972. The commodity-fueled jump in costs exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to ripple across the global economy and color market sentiment. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said inflation and the conflict were creating “significant” challenges. The firm was among the first of the big U.S. banks to report earnings. Looking to the day ahead, the main highlight will be the ECB’s latest policy decision. We’ll also hear from the Fed’s Williams, Mester and Harker. Data releases include US retail sales for March, the weekly initial jobless claims, and the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for April. Lastly, earnings releases are again financials heavy, with Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth Group showcasing. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 4,437.75 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 457.19 MXAP up 0.6% to 175.12 MXAPJ up 0.4% to 580.08 Nikkei up 1.2% to 27,172.00 Topix up 1.0% to 1,908.05 Hang Seng Index up 0.7% to 21,518.08 Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 3,225.64 Sensex down 0.4% to 58,338.93 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,523.43 Kospi little changed at 2,716.71 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.78% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0906 Brent Futures down 0.7% to $108.07/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,975.23 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.17% to 99.71 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Jumbo-sized interest rate hikes from Canada to New Zealand are boosting market confidence that central banks are on track to tame inflation, putting bonds back in investors’ focus Russian authorities are considering a step-by-step approach to rolling back the harsh capital controls imposed to stabilize markets after the invasion of Ukraine. Discussions this week focused on options that included extending the deadline for exporters to carry out mandatory conversions of their overseas earnings into rubles and lowering below 80% the share of foreign proceeds that companies are obliged to sell in the market, according to people informed on the matter Russia threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in and around the Baltic Sea region if Finland and Sweden join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as tensions fueled by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine spread Singapore’s central bank further tightened monetary settings and raised its inflation forecast, sending the currency higher as it seeks to fight cost pressures that threaten the recovery from the pandemic Chinese President Xi Jinping says his government will stick to its zero-tolerance approach to Covid even as public anger simmers in Shanghai and economic costs mount Copper and aluminum rose on signs China will loosen monetary policy to revive its virus-wracked economy, while zinc dipped but remained near the highest close since 2006 amid a global supply crunch A More detailed breakdown of global news from Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mostly positive after the gains on Wall St where risk appetite was supported by lower yields, although some bourses lagged on policy tightening. ASX 200 traded higher but with gains capped by cautiousness in the top-weighted financials sector after Bank of Queensland's shares failed to benefit post-earnings. Nikkei 225 outperformed and reclaimed the 27,000 level with Japan's ruling coalition parties unveiling their draft relief proposals. Fast Retailing (9983 JT) 6-month (JPY): Net Profit 146.84bln, +38.7%; Operating Profit 189.3bln, +12.7%; Pretax Profit 212.6bln, +24%; Sees FY net income at 190bln (prev. guidance 175bln). KOSPI and Straits Times Index lagged after the BoK unexpectedly hiked rates by 25bps points and the MAS tightened FX-based policy, respectively. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were kept afloat with speculation rife that the PBoC will lower rates tomorrow via an MLF rate cut, while Citi also sees the possibility for a RRR cut on Friday to free up around CNY 1.2tln cash. Top Asian News Chinese Stocks Advance as Key Rate Cut Seen as Soon as Friday TSMC Raises Sales Outlook Despite Fears Around Global Demand Sri Lanka Seeking Up to $4 Billion as IMF Talks Set to Start Uniqlo Owner Gets Serious About Conquering North American Market European bourses are firmer, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%, but off best levels as sentiment was hit on commentary from Russia's  Medvedev and as we await key bank earnings. Sectors in Europe are contained and are not exhibiting any pronounced theme thus far. US futures remain within narrow parameters at this point in time awaiting updates from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley before Retail Sales rounds off the week's key data; NQ +0.1%. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk, on April 13th, offered to purchase all of the outstanding Twitter (TWTR) shares for USD 54.20/shr (vs prior close of USD 45.85); said it was his final offer. TWTR +13% in the pre-market. TSMC (2330 TW) Q1 (TWD): Revenue 491bln (prev. 362bln), Net Profit 202.7bln (exp. 184.7bln), Gross Margin 55.6%. Expects chip demand to continue in the long term, believes capacity will remain tight this year and expects another strong year. Working to address supply chain challenges with tool suppliers. Top European News ArcelorMittal Buys $1 Billion Voestalpine Plant in Texas VW Sees Profit Surge on $3.8 Billion Hedging Boost Valneva’s Covid Vaccine Gets U.K. Clearance After Rocky Ride Macron’s Lead Grows in French Election Polling Average FX: DXY almost full point down from midweek y-t-d peak as US Treasury yields continue to recede ahead of packed pre-Easter agenda index hovering above 95.500 vs 100.520 high. Kiwi rebounds after RBNZ letdown with tailwinds from AUD/NZD cross in wake of weaker than forecast Aussie jobs data, NZD/USD back on 0.6800 handle, AUD/USD straddling 0.7450. Euro takes advantage of Greenback retreat awaiting words of wisdom from ECB President Lagarde following policy announcement that is not expected to reveal changes; EUR/USD above 1.0900 vs close shave with 2022 low (1.0806) yesterday. Swedish Crown aloft as more consensus and Riksbank target topping inflation prints prompt earlier rate hike calls, EUR/SEK pivots 10.3000. Korean Won and Singapore Dollar boosted by shock BoK hike and MAS tightening, but Chinese Yuan backs off amidst growing speculation about PBoC easing possibly as soon as tomorrow. Fixed income: Eurozone bonds extend retreat from recovery peaks and underperformance ahead of the ECB. Bunds nearer 155.00 after rebound to just shy of 156.00, Gilts sub-119.00 vs 119.65 Liffe high and 10 year T-note closer to 120-19+ overnight bottom than 121-05+ top. US Treasuries down in sympathy with Gilts and curve a tad steeper after so-so long bond auction. Debt also defensive pre-long Easter weekend and busy line up of US data, including IJC and retail sales. Commodities: WTI and Brent are pressured and in relatively proximity to the session's troughs of USD 102.50/bbl and USD 107.01/bbl. Newsflow remains focused on Ukraine-Russia, particularly Medvedev's commentary, and the COVID situation in China as other cities are on edge re. Shanghai. Libyan National Unity Government adopted a plan to develop the oil sector to raise output to 1.4mln bpd, according to Reuters. Chinese refiners are seen cutting April's crude throughput by 900k BPD, around 6% of the 2021 average, via Reuters citing sources/analysts; expected to export 2mln/T of refined fuel in April, counter to earlier China plan to halt exports. Spot gold/silver are pressured and have lost the brief upside derived from earlier geopolitical developments, yellow metal at lows of USD 1967/oz. US Event Calendar 08:30: April Initial Jobless Claims, est. 170,000, prior 166,000 Continuing Claims, est. 1.5m, prior 1.52m 08:30: March Import Price Index YoY, est. 11.9%, prior 10.9%; MoM, est. 2.3%, prior 1.4% March Export Price Index YoY, est. 16.2%, prior 16.6%; MoM, est. 2.2%, prior 3.0% 08:30: March Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.3% March Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 0.2% March Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.1%, prior -1.2% 10:00: Feb. Business Inventories, est. 1.3%, prior 1.1% 10:00: April U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 59.0, prior 59.4; Current Conditions, est. 67.0, prior 67.2 Expectations, est. 53.6, prior 54.3 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.5%, prior 5.4%;  5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 3.0% DB concludes the overnight wrap The EMR will be joining much of the market on holiday and will be back on Tuesday. A happy, restful long weekend to our loyal readers, and cheers to whatever it is you may be celebrating. Ahead of the holiday, the yield curve rose on the third day straight, with 2s10s having risen +42.5bps since its nadir at the start of the month. Global sovereign yields modestly fell, while US equities outperformed their European counterparts. The ECB meets today, where our economists are not expecting a change in tune. Starting with Ukraine, the US announced another round of aid, which will include heavy weaponry. Meanwhile, Finland has started the process to obtain NATO membership, and Swedish media report Sweden is considering the same. This, following President Biden labelling Russia’s excursions into Ukraine a genocide, the lack of negotiation progress, and the collective bracing for a renewed assault in the east, has cast a gloomy pall over the conflict. The International Energy Agency elsewhere warned that the disruption to Russian oil supply has yet to bind, with upwards of 3m bbls/day coming offline starting in May. The combined effect was to send Brent crude oil futures higher, which gained +4.14% yesterday to $108.78bbl, their highest level in two weeks following a +10.5% gain over the last two days. Sovereign yields had a subdued day by the standards of recent volatility, with yields falling across most jurisdictions and tenors. 10yr Treasuries were down -2.3bps, outpaced by the -5.7bp decline in 2yr yields that led to a further steepening of the curve. Most of the declines came in the New York morning, when reports of large block futures trades were relentlessly hitting the tapes. In Europe, 10yr bund, OAT, and BTP yields were -2.4bps, -3.5bps, and -3.4bps lower ahead of today’s ECB meeting, respectively. Both ECB meetings so far this year have surprised on the hawkish side of expectations, which comes as inflation has continued to accelerate to the fastest since the single currency’s formation, at +7.5% in March. Today, however, our economists preview (link here) that they’re not expecting much change to the ECB’s message. Instead, they believe with the new staff forecasts in June, the ECB will announce that APP purchases will end in July, ahead of liftoff in September. Equities were mixed in Europe, with the DAX falling -0.34%, while the STOXX 600 and CAC managed marginal gains of +0.03% and +0.07%, respectively. Farther from the conflict, the S&P 500 outperformed, climbing +1.12%, with mega-cap shares leading the way on falling discount rates, as the FANG+ climbed +2.06%. The S&P outperformance came amidst mixed results from some bellwether US financials, with JPM missing analyst earnings expectations while Blackrock sales came below expectations. In their release, JPM noted that they were increasing reserves to account for increased recession probabilities and to account for exposures to the war, two themes likely to suffuse earnings releases this season. In other central bank news, the Bank of Canada rose rates by +50bps to 1.00%, as was expected, and announced that their bond purchases would stop on April 25, a decision that contained some intrigue. The 50bp hike was the largest since 2000; Canada is no outlier in fighting multi-decade high inflation. The BoC said interest rates would need to rise further, as there was growing risk of higher inflation expectations becoming entrenched, a primal fear for any central banker. How much further? President Macklem suggested rates may need to surpass neutral if inflation doesn’t moderate, and the BoC happened to revise their neutral rate 25bps higher to a range between 2% and 3%. They also revised higher their inflation and GDP forecasts for 2022, revising down their 2023 growth forecast to 3.2%, which is nevertheless still above trend growth. US producer prices grew at a much faster rate than analysts were expecting, with final demand growing +11.2% year-on-year, versus expectations of +10.6%, while the core measure grew at +9.2%. Interesting enough, the elements of PPI that feed into core PCE were among those that printed to the soft side. Combined with the CPI data from the day before, our economists are expecting core PCE in March to grow at +0.25% Asian equity markets are following US stocks higher this morning, with most indices in the green, augmented by China signalling a potential impending RRR cut. US equity futures are pointing to a steady start today, with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.07%) and Nasdaq 100 (+0.16%) both a smidge higher. Brent crude futures are -0.61% down to $108.12/bbl. 10yr Treasury yields have declined -2.7bps to 2.67%, with the 2yr yields edging -2.9bps lower to 2.32%. The Bank of Korea got in on the global tightening overnight, lifting its base rate by +25bps to 1.5%, its highest since August 2019 and making it the fourth rate increase since August 2021. The increase came even without the formal appointment of a new governor Rhee Chang-yong, who is expected to begin his four-year term from April 19. With 10 days left until the French Presidential election, polls show a consistent lead for President Macron. His lead over Marine Le Pen expanded in 3 of the 4 polls released yesterday, yet still reflect a smaller expected margin of victory than his previous triumph. The spread of French 10yr yields over bunds narrowed to close beneath 50bps for the first time in over a week. Aside from the US PPI data, the other main release yesterday were the UK inflation numbers, where the year-on-year measure for headline CPI rose to +7.0% (vs. +6.7% expected). That’s the 6th consecutive month that the reading has surpassed the consensus expectation, whilst core CPI also surprised to the upside at +5.7% (vs. +5.3% expected). In turn, investors moved to raise the probability of a 50bp hike in May from the Bank of England to 28%, the highest in a couple of weeks. Our UK economist also put out an update after the report (link here) move above 9% year-on-year in the April data next month. To the day ahead now, the main highlight will be the ECB’s latest policy decision. We’ll also hear from the Fed’s Williams, Mester and Harker. Data releases include US retail sales for March, the weekly initial jobless claims, and the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for April. Lastly, earnings releases are again financials heavy, with Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth Group showcasing. Tyler Durden Thu, 04/14/2022 - 07:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 14th, 2022

Futures, Yields And Oil All Rise On Last Day Of Turbulent Week

Futures, Yields And Oil All Rise On Last Day Of Turbulent Week After several extremely volatile days, US equity futures are ending the week in the green (for now) with European equities snapping two days of declines sparked by the Federal Reserve’s plan for aggressive monetary-policy tightening, and Asian stocks trading higher. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures trimmed earlier gains to trade 0.3% higher as traders weighed the latest developments about the war in Ukraine. Contracts on U.S. stock benchmarks trim earlier gains as traders weigh developments about the war in Ukraine.Nasdaq 100 futures flat; S&P 500 futures +0.1%; Dow Jones futures +0.2%. The dollar rose for a 7th consecutive week and US Treasuries sold off across the curve; gold and bitcoin were flat. Oil was steady after three days of losses stoked by plans to release millions of barrels of crude from strategic reserves and China’s demand-sapping virus outbreak. Markets had a subdued session yesterday after sinking more than 4% in the previous two days as hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve sent Treasury yields surging. Among notable premarket moves, Robinhood slid 3% after Goldman Sachs, not too long ago the lead underwriter on the company's IPO, cut their rating on the stock to sell, saying softening retail engagement levels and profitability concerns will likely limit any outperformance. Some other notable premarket movers: Alcoa (AA US) is 1.2% lower as Credit Suisse analyst Curt Woodworth trims his recommendation to neutral as he views LME aluminum prices near peak levels. Quidel (QDEL US) gained in extended trading Thursday after it posted preliminary revenue for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. CrowdStrike (CRWD US) advanced 4.1%. Analysts responded positively after management set a framework to reach $5 billion in annual recurring revenue (ARR) by 2026, during the cybersecurity company’s investor briefing. WD-40 (WDFC US) is poised to gain after producing a “solid” beat in the second quarter, Jefferies said, adding that an increased market share and new product launches would support volume growth of 3% in 2022. Kura Sushi (KRUS US) shares rose in postmarket trading after the restaurant chain reported a year-over-year jump in quarterly sales. ACM Research (ACMR US) edged lower in extended trading Thursday after saying in a release its first quarter revenue would be “significantly below” expectations, but reiterated full-year revenue guidance for 2022. U.S. stocks are on course to snap a three-week winning streak with investors shedding risk assets following indications from the Fed of a faster-than-expected pace of tightening in monetary policy. Concerns are also growing about the impact of high inflation and slowing economic growth on corporate earnings. The two-year Treasury yield rose five basis points and the 10-year yield climbed one point, reversing some of the curve steepening seen in the wake of the Fed minutes Wednesday, which outlined plans to pare the central bank’s balance sheet by more than $1 trillion a year alongside interest-rate hikes. Global equities are nursing losses for the week as markets grapple with the Fed’s campaign against elevated price pressures, Russia’s grinding war in Ukraine and China’s Covid travails. The lockdown in Shanghai -- which recorded more than 21,000 new daily virus cases -- has become one of President Xi Jinping’s biggest challenges. Expectations are growing that China will take steps to support its economy. “Stocks have had a little bit of a harder time this week digesting the fact that interest rates are going to be higher” amid a major shift in expectations around monetary policy, Anthony Saglimbene, global market strategist at Ameriprise Financial Inc., said on Bloomberg Television. Still, U.S. equities saw a second straight week of inflows at $1.5 billion, with large-cap and growth stocks outperforming small-cap and value sectors, according to Bank of America strategists. Marija Veitmane, a senior strategist at State Street Global Markets, also said stocks still appeared to be the safest option. “Cash gives you nothing with 7% inflation, bonds just had one of the worse quarters in history, and then if you look at stocks, we still have decent earnings outlook, and to me the biggest attraction is really strong balance sheets,” she said on Bloomberg TV. In the latest news out of Ukraine, dozens were killed Friday morning as Russian troops allegedly bombed civilians waiting at a train station to be evacuated from the Donetsk region. Meanwhile, U.S. officials warned that the war may last for weeks, months or even years, as Kyiv’s foreign minister pleaded for urgent military assistance. Here are the latest Ukraine war developments: Ukraine intends to establish up to 10 humanitarian corridors on Friday, those leaving Mariupol will need to use private vehicles. Ukrainian advisor Podolyak says negotiations with Russia continue online constantly, but the mood changed after Bucha events, via Reuters. Kremlin says it does not understand EU concerns about European countries paying for Russian gas in RUB, adds Commission President von der Leyen probably needs more information. On planned EU ban of Russian coal, says coal is in high demand. Special operation in Ukraine could be completed in the foreseeable future, given aims are being achieved and work is being carried out by peace negotiators and the military. EU ready to release EUR 500mln for arms to Ukraine, according to AFP citing EU chief. Russia says it has destroyed a training centre for foreign mercenaries within Ukraine, was located north of Odesa, via Tass. Japan's Industry Ministry plans to reduce Russian coal imports gradually while looking for alternative suppliers, according to Reuters. Ukraine PM says they have large stocks of grain, cereals and vegetable oil. Are able to provide themselves with food; this year's harvest will be 20% less YY. Ukraine gas grid warns that Russian actions could impact gas flows to Europe, via Reuters. On Thursday, St Louis Fed president James Bullard said he prefers boosting the policy rate to 3%-3.25% in the second half of 2022. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and his Atlanta counterpart Raphael Bostic said they favor raising rates to neutral while monitoring the economy’s performance. The steepening in the Treasury yield curve contrasts with the flattening and inversions that have vexed markets this year. The two-year rate topped the 10-year last week for the first time since 2019, a possible warning of recession. “We’re seeing a tactical re-steepening right now but the curve is going to continue to flatten,” Kelsey Berro, fixed income portfolio manager at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “That’s because the Fed has told us, we’d like to get to neutral expeditiously. On top of that, they may need to tighten beyond neutral. Front-end yields can still go higher.” In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 rallies over 1.8% before stalling while the Stoxx 600 index climbed 1.2% but drifted off best levels as investors took advantage of beaten-down stock valuations with energy, banks and autos the strongest-performing sectors. Banks outperformed as Banco BPM SpA surged after Credit Agricole SA bought a 9.2% stake in the Italian lender. An Asia-Pacific share index eked out a small increase.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Scout24 shares rise as much as 17%, the most intraday since December 2018, after a report that Hellman & Friedman, EQT and Permira have discussed taking the firm private. Banco BPM shares rise as much as 17% after Credit Agricole bought a 9.2% stake in the Italian lender, with Bank of America saying the deal is a reminder that real value should be based on fundamentals. Sodexo shares jump as much as 7.4%, their biggest single-day gain in a month, after RBC Capital Markets upgrades the French caterer to outperform from sector perform. K+S gains as much as 10% after JPMorgan double-upgraded the shares to overweight from underweight, seeing a very positive environment for fertilizers amid supply disruptions and high energy prices. Atlantia shares rise as much as 4.5% following a report in a Italian newspaper that the Benetton family and Blackstone may start their takeover offer for Atlantia at more than EU22 per share. Saab rise as much as 5% as SEB upgrades the shares to buy from hold on the Swedish defense firm’s sales potential in the coming decade in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Moncler shares rise as much as 4.2% after Barclays upgrades the Italian luxury company to overweight, citing an “attractive” defensive profile in the current environment. Genmab fall as much as 10%, the most since September 2020, after saying a tribunal decided in favor of Janssen Biotech over two issues surrounding the cancer drug daratumumab (Darzalex). Ahead of this weekend's French election, Macron's lead is shrinking: the current President led his rivals in the April 10 election with 26.2% support, down from 27.2% a day earlier, according to a polling average calculated by Bloomberg on April 8. Macron was 3.5 percentage points ahead of second-placed Marine Le Pen, down from 4.1 points. Asian stocks edged higher on Friday, poised to snap three days of declines as traders assessed the prospect of policy easing by Beijing.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index erased early losses of as much as 0.4% to climb 0.2%. Chinese property and infrastructure-related stocks surged on hopes for fiscal as well as monetary easing as the government seeks to prop up growth.   For the week, the Asian benchmark was down 2% as investors turned cautious on risk assets after latest comments from the Federal Reserve suggested aggressive tightening lies ahead. Tech shares were hit hard in particular, with the MSCI Asia-Pacific Information Technology Index losing 4% this week, on track for its worst performance since end-January. “There appears to be speculation that monetary easing by the PBOC might be imminent,” said Kazutaka Kubo, senior economist at Okasan Securities. There are also expectations that once lockdowns are over, the economy could be supported by pent-up demand, he added.  Chinese authorities have repeatedly vowed to support the economy and markets in thet past few weeks, as rising Covid-19 infections and lockdowns darken the outlook for growth. The pledges have spurred bets that some form of monetary easing may come soon.  Movements in most national benchmarks in the region were modest on Friday, gaining less than 1%. Stocks in the Philippines and Indonesia outperformed, while Singapore shares fell.  Indian stocks gained after the Reserve Bank of India kept borrowing costs at a record low, while India’s 10-year bond yield hit 7% - the highest since 2019 - as the nation’s central bank boosted an inflation forecast. The central bank also announced the start of policy normalization as the pandemic’s impact fades. The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.7% to 59,447.18 in Mumbai to complete a second week of gains, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index rose 0.8%. Gauges of small- and mid-sized companies gained 1% and 0.9%, respectively. The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy panel held the benchmark rate at 4%, in line with predictions of all 36 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the central bank will start focusing on withdrawal of banking liquidity accommodation to target inflation but such a move would be “multi-year” and carried out without disrupting the markets. “Equity markets will like the RBI’s continued focus on growth and its commitment to an accommodative stance,” said Abhay Agarwal, a fund manager at Mumbai-based Piper Serica Advisors Pvt.  The RBI’s commentary means adequate flow of liquidity will continue and immediate beneficiaries will be consumers who are borrowing to purchase real estate and autos, he added. All but one of 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of power companies. Reliance Industries Ltd. was a key gainer on the Sensex, which saw 22 of its 30 components advance. The RBI has comforted markets by refraining from being aggressive, unlike its global peers, and by ensuring that the liquidity withdrawal will be gradual, Yesha Shah, head of equity research at Samco Securities wrote in a note.  “On the growth front, one can assume that the central bank expects private investment to ramp up now that capacity utilization has improved further,” she said, adding the policy lays the framework for a possible rate increase in coming reviews. Australian stocks advanced - the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to close at 7,478.00 - supported by materials and industrial stocks. GrainCorp shares surged to a record high, after the firm upgraded its FY22 earnings guidance as high levels of rain in Australia lay a path for a bumper crop.  Platinum Asset plunged to an all-time low after the company reported net outflows of A$222 million in March. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed at 12,066.27. In rates, Treasuries fell across the curve, with the front-end of the Treasuries curve pressured lower, flattening 2s10s spread by ~5bp as 2-year yields trade more than 7bp cheaper on the day at ~2.54%. S&P 500 futures near top of Thursday’s range, following bigger advance for European stocks after three straight declines. Yields across long-end of the curve are little changed on the day, as flattening extends out to 5s30s spread which is tighter by ~4bp; 10-year yields around 2.683%, cheaper by 2.5bp vs Thursday close; bunds and gilts outperform by 1bp-2bp in the sector. Bunds reversed opening gains, adding to a three-day run of declines; French debt underperformed bunds ahead of presidential elections beginning Sunday. The German curve bull-flattens, richening 2bps across the back end. Peripheral spreads widen to core with Italy underperforming. In FX, Bloomberg dollar index advanced a seventh consecutive day and neared the strongest level since July 2020 as the greenback advanced against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the Norwegian krone. The euro pared losses after touching a one-month low against the dollar in early London trading. The pound fell to the lowest in more than three weeks as bets for aggressive policy tightening by the Federal Reserve boost the dollar. Gilts rose across the curve as U.S. Treasury yields stabilized following the recent selloff. The Australian and New Zealand dollars were the worst-performing G-10 currencies; Australia’s yield curve steepened following a similar move in Treasuries on Thursday. Most Japanese government bonds rose, thanks to support from the central bank’s regular purchase operations. The yen briefly reversed early an Asia session loss after an ex-BOJ official said there’s likelihood of a policy shift as soon as this summer. Bitcoin is contained and unable to derive traction either way from the broader risk tone. Strike payment platform launches Shopify (SHOP) integration, which allows merchants to accept Bitcoin (BTC), according to Bloomberg. In commodities, crude futures trade within Thursday’s range; WTI holds above $96, Brent stalls near $102. Spot gold holds steady near $1,930/oz. Most base metals trade well: LME zinc and lead outperforming, tin lags. To the day ahead now. Central bank speakers include the ECB’s de Cos, Centeno, Panetta, Stournaras, Makhlouf and Herodotou. Italian retail sales for February and Canadian employment for March round out this week’s data. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 4,517.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.4% to 461.27 MXAP up 0.2% to 176.33 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 584.66 Nikkei up 0.4% to 26,985.80 Topix up 0.2% to 1,896.79 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 21,872.01 Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,251.85 Sensex up 0.9% to 59,558.63 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,477.99 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,700.39 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $101.76/bbl Gold spot down 0.0% to $1,931.38 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.14% to 99.89 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.68% Euro down 0.1% to $1.0865 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The Bank of Russia delivered a surprise cut in its key interest rate Friday, reversing some of the steep increase it made after the invasion of Ukraine as the ruble recovered. The central bank lowered the rate to 17% from 20% and said further cuts could be made at upcoming meetings if conditions permit EU countries agreed to ban coal imports from Russia, the first time the bloc’s sanctions have targeted Moscow’s crucial energy revenues. Japan is also looking to curb imports, in what could be a shift in policy from one of the world’s largest energy buyers The EU is aiming to lock in progress on trade and technology disputes with the U.S. during President Joe Biden’s first term amid concerns that any gains could otherwise be easily reversed The relationship between Australia’s equities and currency has become the closest in a decade as commodity prices surge. The 180-day correlation between the country’s stock benchmark and the Australian dollar has climbed to the highest level since late 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The strengthened ties come as rallies in materials from oil to iron ore have boosted both the nation’s equities and the Aussie The ECB will look past threats to economic growth from the war in Ukraine, ending asset purchases in the summer and setting the stage for a first interest-rate increase in more than a decade in December, according to a survey of economists Junk bond sales across Europe are experiencing their longest drought in more than 10 years, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the prospect of rising interest rates neuter risk appetite A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk: Asia-Pacific stocks were choppy and eventually conformed to a mixed picture; some weakness was seen shortly after the Chinese cash open. ASX 200 bucked the trend and was propped up by its energy and gold names. Nikkei 225 was choppy and moved in tandem with action in USD/JPY whilst the KOSPI was weighed on by its chip and telecoms sectors. Hang Seng remained pressured by losses across its large constituents - Alibaba and JD.com. Shanghai Comp swung between gains and losses but overall remained supported by reports from China's Securities Journal which noted of a potential PBoC RRR in Q2. Top Asian News Hong Kong Tycoons Heed China, Endorse John Lee to lead City Chinese Tech Stocks Fall as Tencent Shuts Game Streaming Site Abu Dhabi’s IHC Invests $2 Billion in Billionaire Adani’s Empire ADDX Rolls Out Private Market Services for Wealth Managers European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.5%, bouncing in a morning of quiet newsflow with the broader tone modestly risk-on. Albeit, benchmarks are still negative on the week and some way from earlier WTD peaks; unsurprisingly, sectors are all in the green with defensive-bias names lagging. Stateside, futures are similarly in the green, ES +0.2%, though magnitudes are more contained ahead of a limited US schedule to round off the week. Top European News U.S. Sanctions Russian Miner Producing 30% of World’s Diamonds Atlantia Gains After Reports of Offer Price Above EU22/Share Generali CEO Says He Won’t Change Plan Challenged by Investors Baader Downgrades Six Chemical Firms, Citing Ukraine War In FX: DXY touches 100.000 as US Treasury yields continue to soar and curve steepen, but unable to break barrier. Kiwi underperforms awaiting NZIER Q1 survey, while Aussie holds up better after hawkish warning in RBA FSR; NZD/USD around 0.6950, AUD/USD nearer 0.7460. Yen sub-124.00 as Japanese export supply is absorbed, Euro supported by bids circa 1.0850 and Sterling treading water above 1.3000. Rouble relatively resilient in the face of 300 bp CBR rate reduction as it remains above pre-conflict highs. Fixed income: Choppy trade in bonds approaching the end of another very bearish week. Bunds and Gilts nurse losses mostly above par around 157.00 and 120.00 handles vs fresh cycle lows of 156.40 and 119.83. US Treasuries most seeing red, but curve less steep in correction after hawkish FOMC minutes and Fed commentary, via Brainard and Bullard especially Central Banks: RBA Financial Stability Review: important that borrowers are prepared for an increase interest rates; global asset markets are vulnerable to larger-than-expected rate increases, via Reuters. RBI leave rates unchanged as expected, retains "accommodative" stance as expected; will focus on withdrawing accommodation going forward. RBI is to restore LAF corridor to 50bps and floor to be constituted by SDF, according to Reuters. CBRT April survey sees Turkish End-Year CPI at 46.44% (prev. 40.47%) CNB Minutes (March): Dedek and Michl voted in the minority for stable rates. Board assessed risks and uncertainties of winter forecast as being markedly inflationary, particularly in short-term CBR cuts its Key Rate to 17.00% (prev. 20.00%) as of April 11th; holds open the prospect of further key rate reduction at its upcoming meetings. In commodities, WTI and Brent are bolstered amid broader sentiment, though crude/geopolitical specific developments have been limited In-fitting with equities, the benchmarks are negative on the week and some way shy of best levels as such. New York will suspend the state gas tax from June 1st to December 31st, according to Reuters. Barclays raises oil forecasts by USD 7-8/bb assuming no material disruption in Russian supplies beyond Q2 2022, according to Reuters. Spot gold is marginally firmer, but, remains drawn to USD 1930/oz after marginally eclipsing the level overnight; base metals bid in-line with sentiment. US Event Calendar 10:00: Feb. Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, est. 0.8%, prior 4.0% 10:00: Feb. Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 2.1%, prior 2.1% DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap Yesterday’s ECB minutes reinforced what we learned from the March FOMC minutes and soon-to-be Vice Chair Brainard earlier this week – there are no doves in fox holes – by casting doubt on the likelihood of inflation returning to target this year. We also heard from St. Louis Fed President Bullard, the hawk leading the charge, who called for a fed funds rates above 3% this year. That would beckon a faster pace of hikes along with more aggregate tightening. Regional Presidents Bostic and Evans, non-voters each, meanwhile, want to get rates to neutral. The tighter path of global policy continued to drive sovereign yields higher and equity indices lower. Market-implied ECB policy rates by the end of the year increased +6.0bps to +62.3bps, the highest level this cycle. Sovereign yields rose to multi-year highs of their own, with those on 10yr bund (+3.4bps), OATs (+4.4bps) and BTPs (+3.5bps) moving higher, with 10yr breakevens falling in Germany (-1.9bps) and France (-0.7bps) for the first time in five days, while Italian breakevens were essentially flat (+0.2bps). Meanwhile, fed funds futures by end-2022 staged a slight retreat, falling -1.2bps to 2.50%, albeit +10bps higher than a week ago. While the probability of a +50bp hike in May remained steady at 85.4%. 2yr yields fell in line, declining -1.2bps, while 10yr Treasuries gained +6.0bps, leaving the curve at +19.2bps. If you’re up on the yield curve discourse, you’ll know the Fed discounts the signal coming from 2s10s, instead preferring shorter-dated measures of the yield curve, which wound up flattening yesterday. Yesterday’s yield curve steepening should not be viewed in a vacuum. The 2s10s curve has taken a 58.3bp round trip over the last two weeks, falling from +23.1bps two weeks ago, to -8.0bps last Friday, to +19.2bps at yesterday’s close. The fundamental outlook hasn’t changed dramatically over that time span. Instead, this likely reflects the elevated rates volatility environment we currently sit in. This, all before QT has even begun. Real Treasury yields continue to march higher in the back end, with 10yr real yields gaining +5.3bps to -0.19%, their highest level since March 2020, having gained +25.1bps this week alone, and +91.3bps YTD. Despite higher rates and more restrictive language, the S&P 500 ended the day +0.43% higher, after losing -2.21% the previous two sessions. The S&P 500 is now -5.58% YTD following the massive repricing of Fed expectations, while the Bloomberg Financial Conditions index is just a hair tighter than the post-2010 average. Monetary policy may need to adjust tighter yet to engineer the demand slowdown commensurate with a return of inflation to target. European equities were modestly lower, with the STOXX 600 slipping -0.21% and the DAX down -0.52%. The CAC (-0.57%) underperformed the STOXX 600 for the seventh consecutive session, on the back of growing Presidential election jitters. Polls between President Macron and his closest rival, Marine Le Pen, tightened. In particular, one poll (caveat emptor) from Atlas actually put Le Pen marginally ahead of Macron in a head-to-head runoff for the first time, by 50.5%-49.5%. The news immediately saw the French 10yr spread over bund yields widen in response, ending the day at 54.2bps, its widest since March 2020. While one poll a race does not make, it’s worth noting the broader poll narrowing over the last month. That has seen Macron’s lead in the first round over Le Pen go from 30%-17% a month ago (according to Politico’s average), to just 27%-22% now. In the second round, polls are likewise pointing to a tight contest, with Macron ahead of Le Pen by 52-48% (Ifop) and 53%-47% (Ipsos). For those looking for more details on the presidential race, DB’s Marc de-Muizon put out a guide yesterday (link here), where he looks at the current state of play in the election, the main aspects of both Macron and Le Pen’s programmes, as well as some potential challenges for both candidates. Back to the US, in a rare show of bi-partisanship, the Senate voted 100-0 to discontinue normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus and to ban Russian oil imports. Brent crude prices fell below $100/bbl for the first time since mid-March intraday, ultimately falling -0.48% to close at $100.58/bbl. The EU also moved to include a Russian coal embargo in its fifth round of sanctions. The opprobrium was global, with the UN General Assembly voting to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council following its human rights violations, the first such suspension since Libya in 2011. On the ground, the Kremlin admitted to enduring heavy troop losses, and while the locus of the war still seems set to shift eastward, Ukrainian commanders have their guard up for a renewed assault on Kyiv. Elsewhere, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the Supreme Court. It’s expected the Senate will now turn to approving President Biden’s nominations for the Fed Board of Governors later this month, which will still have one empty seat following Sarah Bloom Raskin withdrawing her nomination. Asian equity markets this morning aren’t matching Wall Street’s resilience from yesterday. The Hang Seng (-0.57%) is leading the moves lower with the Nikkei (-0.08%), Kospi (-0.10%), Shanghai Composite (-0.06%) and CSI (-0.10%) all slightly on the wrong foot. Along with tighter global monetary policy, China’s Covid outbreak is worsening and dragging on sentiment. US stock futures are unperturbed, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures virtually unchanged. Meanwhile, the aforementioned rates volatility continues to rear its head, with the curve snapping back flatter as we go to press, with 2yr Treasuries +4.2bps higher and the 10yr a bit softer at -0.5bps. Oil prices are extending their decline this morning with Brent futures (-0.74%) sliding below $100/bbl. On the data side, Japan’s current account swung back to surplus in February to +¥1.6 trillion, following a -¥1.2 trillion deficit in January - the second-biggest deficit on record. The main release yesterday came from the US weekly initial jobless claims, which fell to their lowest level since 1968, with just 166k initial claims in the week through April 2 (vs. 200k expected). In addition, the previous week was revised down to 171k from 202k, which left the smoother 4-week moving average at 170k, the lowest ever in the entire data series going back to 1967. Euro Area retail sales grew by +0.3% in February (vs. +0.5% expected), and German industrial production grew by +0.2% that same month, in line with expectations. To the day ahead now. Central bank speakers include the ECB’s de Cos, Centeno, Panetta, Stournaras, Makhlouf and Herodotou. Italian retail sales for February and Canadian employment for March round out this week’s data. Tyler Durden Fri, 04/08/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 8th, 2022

Futures, Yields Rise On Ceasefire Hopes As Ukraine-Russia Talks Resume

Futures, Yields Rise On Ceasefire Hopes As Ukraine-Russia Talks Resume Following yesterday's surge in stocks following an FT report that Russia has eased on its Ukraine demands and the Russian ceasefire document no longer contains any discussion of three of Russia’s initial core demands - “denazification”, “demilitarisation”, and legal protection for the Russian language in Ukraine - overnight futures have extended their "feel good" rise as peace negotiations which resumed on Tuesday in Turkey between Russia and Ukraine stoked a rally in global equities, and hit session highs after Ukrainian negotiator Podoliak noted that a ceasefire is being discussed with Russia adding a press conference is to be expected later. Ukraine is striving for a cease-fire agreement in talks with Russian negotiators that started Tuesday in Turkey, setting a “minimum” goal of an improvement in the humanitarian situation. Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.6% while S&P 500 futures gained 0.5% and Dow futures 0.4%. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index also advanced, with auto and consumer stocks outperforming. Oil fluctuated as investors weighed the impact of China’s mobility curbs against a Covid resurgence on demand; the dollar dropped. Treasuries bear flattened, outperforming bunds and gilts as haven demand continues to be unwound; the 10Y TSY yield rose to 2.50%. Apple headed higher in premarket trading and was set for its longest winning streak since 2003, in which the iPhone maker has added about $407 billion in market capitalization. A revival in the so-called meme stock rally also set GameStop on course for its 11th straight day of gains as retail traders bid up OTM calls sparking yet another gamma squeeze and proving that the market remains hopelessly broken. Here are some other notable premarket mvoers: Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) shares drop 7.2% after the dining and entertainment venue operator reported earnings per share for the fourth quarter that missed the average analyst estimate. While analysts pointed to the impact of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus on the company’s fourth-quarter, they saw reassuring signs in the firm’s margins and recent improvements. Progenity (PROG US) falls 20% in U.S. premarket trading after the firm late on Monday reported a wider annual loss for 2021 than expected. Small biotech and pharma companies rally in U.S. premarket trading, rebounding from this year’s declines, as investor appetite for riskier assets and so-called meme stocks grows. Brooklyn Immunotherapeutics (BTX US) +8.7%, Alaunos Therapeutics (TCRT US) +6.5%. CVS Health (CVS US) shares drop 1.7% in U.S. premarket trading after Deutsche Bank downgrades the pharmacy health care provider to hold from buy amid rising risks. U.S. stocks have rebounded in March as the Federal Reserve issued an upbeat outlook on economic growth, with investors also looking past surging inflation and a historic rout in Treasuries. Paradoxically, technology-heavy stocks, which tend to sell off when interest rates are rising, have in fact outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 as traders focused instead on differentiating between profitable and unprofitable firms.  Even more paradoxically as a new cold war rages, the Nasdaq 100 is on track for its biggest monthly gain since October 2021. "The resilience of global stocks given the cocktail of risks facing the global economy is truly impressive, but this stoicism is likely to face continuing tests as the impact of mounting prices and the actions of central banks continue to feed through, not to mention the ongoing geopolitical concerns,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell Ltd., said in emailed comments. Meanwhile, government bond yields rose, with bets on aggressive U.S. monetary tightening hurting shorter maturity Treasuries. Inversions along the curve, where some short-term rates exceed longer tenor yields, point to concerns about a looming economic downturn as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates to quell high inflation. Hopes of a cease-fire in Ukraine-Russia talks also bolstered European equities. The Stoxx 600 jumped 1.3%, with automakers, consumer products and services and technology shares leading gains. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Carlsberg shares advance as much as 4.5% as analysts welcomed the brewer’s decision to exit Russia, with Credit Suisse seeing potential for a re-rating for a stock battered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Adyen shares gain as much as 6% after JPMorgan said the company could boost its outlook for long-term margin to more than 70% from 65%, placing the firm on “positive catalyst watch.” Currys Plc shares rise as much as 12% following a so-called uncooked mention in a Betaville blog post regarding potential takeover interest in the electrical goods retailer. Euromoney shares climb as much as 4.9% after Investec raises its recommendation to buy from hold, citing a disconnect between the share price and the media firm’s operational performance. Schibsted shares rise as much as 6.6%, the most since March 16, after its largest shareholder, Blommenholm Industrier, buys 1 million Class A shares at NOK222.5 each. Nordex shares rise as much as 8.3% after the wind-turbine maker’s new FY22 guidance is ahead of expectations, Jefferies says; wind power peers Vestas and Orsted gain, too. Barclays falls as much as 5.7% in London following news that an unnamed investor sold about 575m shares at a discount. Stock is also downgraded to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan. Maersk, Kuehne + Nagel and Hapag-Lloyd all drop after Deutsche Bank downgrades several logistics and container stocks due to the indirect consequences of the war in Ukraine. Sanofi shares fall as much as 2.5% after the firm provided a new sales forecast for its drug Dupixent, with both Morgan Stanley and Citi noting guidance is slightly behind expectations. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced after a three-day loss, as a decline in oil prices eased concerns over corporate earnings and Chinese tech stocks extended gains into a second day. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7% with Tencent, Toyota Motor, and Alibaba among the biggest contributors to the advance. Apart from Hong Kong, where gains in tech and health names drove gauges higher, equities in Japan and Australia outperformed, with the former benefiting from a weaker yen and the latter rising ahead of a budget release after markets closed. Investors are waiting to see how the cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine proceed, while assessing the repercussions to businesses from the lockdown in Shanghai. The risk of Chinese firms, especially those in the property sector, facing trading halts is weighing on sentiment as a key earnings deadline looms.  Oil Extends Losses on China Demand Concerns Ahead of OPEC+ Meet “A V-shaped recovery in stock markets looks difficult,” said Kim Kyung Hwan, a strategist at Hana Financial Investment in Seoul.  “The worst is behind in terms of investor sentiment, but issues like Covid lockdowns and the war in Ukraine aren’t resolved, traders are just getting used to them.” Despite Tuesday’s gain, the benchmark Asian measure is poised for a third straight monthly loss. It’s also lagging behind the S&P 500 index in recent performance Japanese equities rose, powered by exporters after the yen plunged by the most since March 2020 against the U.S. dollar on the Bank of Japan’s easing measures. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which rose 0.9%. Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 1.1% gain in the Nikkei 225. The yen was slightly higher after weakening 1.5% against the greenback on Monday. “Makers of export-related products like automobiles should rise with the BOJ’s continuous bond-purchase operations expected to continue weakening the yen,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a strategist at Nomura Asset Management. The drop in oil prices is a “relief” for Japan as an importer, and growth stocks should benefit from the slowing rise in long-term U.S. interest rates, he added Indian stocks rose as a drop in crude prices along with prospects of more cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine supported buying sentiment. The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.6% to 57,943.65, in Mumbai, a second day of gains, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index also advanced by a similar magnitude. Housing Development Finance Corp. advanced 3.1% and was the biggest boost to the Sensex, which had 20 of the 30 shares trading higher.   Fifteen of 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a gauge of healthcare stocks. Price of Brent crude, a major import for India, hovered around $113 a barrel, down about 6% this week.  Lower oil is supporting gains across economies as a lockdown in parts of China after a resurgence in Covid cases raised possibilities of lower demand, Mitul Shah, head of research at Reliance Securities, wrote in a note. “The Russia-Ukraine conflict and inflationary pressures continue to keep the market wavered,” he said.    In rates, Treasuries extended bear-flattening move with yields cheaper by ~5bp across front-end of the curve, following wider losses for bunds and gilts in early European session. U.S. 10-year yields around 2.49%, higher by ~3bp on the day with bunds and gilts trading cheaper by 6bp and 4bp in the sector; Treasury curve-flattening persists with 2s10s spread tighter by 4.5bp as front-end continues to underperform. The week's auction cycle concludes with $47b 7-year note sale at 1pm ET, following Monday double supply of 2- and 5-year notes; WI 7-year around 2.60% is above auction stops since 2019 and ~69.5bp cheaper than February’s stop-out. IG dollar issuance slate includes two 3Y SOFR deals; two deals priced $4b Monday, and early calls for April are for around $100b of issuance. In Europe, fixed income trades heavy in the risk-on environment. Bund and Treasury curves bear-flatten with U.S. 5s30s remaining inverted and 2s10s flattening a further ~5bps near 7bps. Germany’s 2y yield trades ~3bps shy of a 0% yield. Gilts bear-steepen, cheapening 7-8bps across the back end. Peripheral spreads tighten modestly. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot drops 0.3%, CHF is the weakest in G-10 sending EUR/CHF 0.6% higher on to a 1.03-handle. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index hovered as the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers; Scandinavian currencies were the best performers while the Swiss franc and the pound were the worst. The yen inched up after posting is biggest drop in over a year Monday; the currency may be heading for its worst monthly performance versus the dollar since November 2016, yet trading in the options space is much more balanced. Super-long Japanese government bonds dropped while benchmark 10-year notes were supported by the central bank’s purchase operations; The Bank of Japan offered to buy an unlimited amount of 5- to 10-year government notes for a second time on Tuesday Cable gave up an early advance to fall to an almost two-week low; gilts fell. London’s Metropolitan Police are set to issue at least 20 fines to government officials close to the prime minister who broke U.K. lockdown rules, although this tranche of fines is unlikely to touch Prime Minister Boris Johnson Australia’s three-year bonds dropped after retail sales beat economists’ estimates, with the gap over 10-year notes narrowing to the least since March 2020 In commodities, crude futures hold in the green, recouping Asia’s weakness. WTI regains a $106-handle, Brent trades near $113. Spot gold extends losses, dropping ~$13 before stalling near $1,910/oz. Base metals trade poorly with LME nickel underperforming Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the FHFA house price index for January, the Case-Shiller home price index for January, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for March, and the JOLTS job openings for February. Over in Europe there’s also French consumer confidence for March, Germany’s GfK consumer confidence reading for April and UK mortgage approvals for February. Lastly, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 4,590.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 459.14 MXAP up 0.7% to 179.73 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 586.67 Nikkei up 1.1% to 28,252.42 Topix up 0.9% to 1,991.66 Hang Seng Index up 1.1% to 21,927.63 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,203.94 Sensex up 0.2% to 57,724.92 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,464.26 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,741.07 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.63% Euro little changed at $1.0995 Brent Futures up 1.3% to $113.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,916.02 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 99.04 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the U.S. and its allies will tighten the sanction screws on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, singling out industries integral to Moscow’s war effort As NATO allies discuss the terms of any potential peace deal to be struck between Russia and Ukraine, signs of strategic splits are emerging from within their ranks Policymakers in Japan on Tuesday sought to balance a commitment to ultra-loose monetary policy in a world of rising interest rates without letting the yen tumble further toward a 20-year low Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki highlighted the need to check if a weaker yen is harming the economy, as he indicated heightened government concern over the currency’s recent slide The additional increase in energy prices resulting from the war in Ukraine pushed inflation significantly higher in March, European Central Bank Governing Council member Pablo Hernandez De Cos says Key OPEC members said oil prices would be even more volatile if not for the group’s strategy and that the U.S. must trust what it’s doing, as calls from major importers for higher production grow Russia has made a $102 million interest payment as the world’s biggest energy exporter continues to service its foreign bonds despite financial isolation after the invasion of Ukraine North Korea looks set to detonate its first nuclear bomb in more than four years, as the U.S.’s sanctions disputes with Russia and China make further United Nations penalties against the country unlikely More detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia Pac stocks traded mostly higher following the gains in the US where growth stocks spearheaded a recovery and with a decline in oil prices conducive for risk. ASX 200 was led by strength in tech and consumer stocks heading into the Budget announcement. Nikkei 225 gained with Japan to compile economic measures by the end of next month. Hang Seng and traded mixed with the mainland index faltering amid the ongoing lockdown inShanghai Comp. Shanghai and despite the announcement of supportive measures by the local government. Top Asian News Australia’s Budget Pitches Cash to Key Voters Ahead of Election Samsung to Offer More Credit in India to Boost Smartphone Sales Modern Land Joins List of Earnings Delays: Evergrande Update Iron Ore Edges Lower in China as Virus Controls Dent Demand European bourses, Euro Stoxx 50 +2.2%, are firmer across the board in a continuation of the APAC/US handover as Russian-Ukraine talks begin. Upside that has been exacerbated by remarks from both Ukraine and Russian officials. US futures are firmer across the board, ES +0.4%, though magnitudes more contained with Fed speak and supply ahead Top European News U.K. Consumer Credit Surges at Strongest Pace in Five Years U.K. Faces Crypto Exodus as Firms Sound Off Before FCA Deadline European Banks Could Earn $6.6 Billion a Year Greening Economy Inflation Rose Sharply in March on Energy Shock: ECB’s de Cos Commodities: Crude benchmarks have experienced an erosion of earlier upside amid multiple, but generally constructive, updates from Ukraine and Russia. Specifically, Ukrainian negotiator Podoliak noted that a ceasefire is being discussed with Russia adding a press conference is to be expected later. Albeit, the morning's action has not been sufficient to spark a test of the overnight parameters for WTI and Brent. Spot are pressured once more, generally speaking in-fitting with other havens, exacerbated by thegold/silver aforementioned risk-on move. In FX, Euro elevated as EGB yields ramp up again and hopes rise regarding a Russia-Ukraine peace resolution, EUR /USD above 1.1000 and a series of decent option expiries stretching between 1.0950 and the round number. Buck caught amidst buoyant risk sentiment and hawkish Fed vibe, DXY sub-99.000 after narrowly missing test of 2022 peak on Monday. Yen maintains recovery momentum amidst more MoF verbal intervention and demand for month/fy end, USD /JPY under 124.00 vs 125.00+ peak yesterday. Franc flounders as SNB ponders direct repo indexing to main policy rate, USD/CHF around 0.9360 and EUR /CHF over 1.0300. US Event Calendar 09:00: Jan. S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.50%, prior 1.46% 09:00: Jan. FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.2%, prior 1.2% 10:00: March Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 145.1 10:00: March Conf. Board Expectations, prior 87.5 10:00: Feb. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 11m, prior 11.3m 10:00: March Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 107.0, prior 110.5 Central Bank Speakers 09:00: Fed’s Williams Makes Opening Remarks at Bank Culture... 10:45: Fed’s Harker Discusses Economic Outlook 21:30: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Economic Leadership DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A mixed medical report from the Reid family today. I have a nerve root block injection and a diagnostic test on my back tomorrow to battle my sciatica. I managed to stretch for an hour before attempting to play golf on Saturday thinking there was no hope. Miraculously it must have helped me get round but I then suffered for the rest of the weekend as I seized up as soon as I stopped. I told my wife I should have just carried on playing. She despaired at me. On the more positive side my 6-yr old Maisie had her latest 3-4 month scan yesterday. Regular readers will remember she's been in a wheelchair since November after an operation to help her battle a rare hip disorder called Perthes. There are no guarantees as to the long-term outcome with Perthes but the latest scan was encouraging and suggested that while her hip ball is fragmenting (disintegrating), it's not collapsing and getting out of shape largely due to no weight bearing. That suggests a decent chance that when it regrows (assuming it does) it will regrow relatively normally. The nightmare is if the hip ball gets squashed as it disintegrates. She'll still need to keep the weight off for most of the rest of the year but there's hope that by the end of it she can come out of her wheelchair and start the rehab towards a manageable hip. There are some horror stories with this disease in terms of pain and constant discomfort through the entirety of childhood so fingers crossed it's going in the right direction due to her discipline in spite of missing out on all the running about that she's desperate to do. Also helping is that she continues to swim 3-4 times a week and is remarkably good now. This has been the one blessing that's come out of a year and a half where we tried to get her problem diagnosed and then treated. Fingers crossed that the next scan in July will continue to move her in the right direction. Bond markets continued to be as volatile as my back yesterday with big swings in yields but with the front end sell-off being durable. This helped push a number of yield curves ever closer to inversion, meaning we have multiple recessionary signals starting or continuing to flash. The one we always look most closely at is the 2s10s curve, which has inverted prior to every one of the last 10 US recessions. Yesterday this flattened by -7.3bps to 12.5bps and this morning it’s currently just above 6bps with more flattening plus a new on the run 2yr note to blame. Could we invert today? Regardless it's likely to happen soon. A key factor behind this curve flattening has been monetary policy expectations, and over the last 24 hours we’ve seen investors continue to ratchet up their bets on how much tightening we’re likely to see this year. By the close yesterday, Fed Funds futures were pricing in a further 211bps of tightening by the end of 2022, on top of the 25bps a couple of weeks back, which if realised would be the largest move tighter in a calendar year since 1994, back when the Fed raised the target range for the Federal Funds by 250bps. On top of that, it’s clear that investors are also reappraising what the terminal rate is likely to be, and at one point yesterday investors were pricing in a move above 3% by the second half of 2023. We’re not talking much about the terminal rate at the moment, but as we move deeper into the hiking cycle, that’s likely to grab increasing attention, since the destination will have big implications for a wide variety of financial assets. Whilst the all-important 2s10s curve is still (just about) in positive territory, increasing numbers of curves have been inverting across different maturities, with the 3s30s curve becoming the latest to do so around the time we went to press yesterday, eventually closing down -10.4bps at -2.9bps. Similarly, the 3s10s that had already inverted went even deeper into inversion territory to close at -11.5bps, which is the most inverted it's been since 2006. The 5s30s was another to invert yesterday, falling as low as -7.1bps at one point before it steepened to close at -0.9bps. Clearly they are all a bit flatter this morning. If you’re interested in reading more on the yield curve, DB’s US economics team put out a piece last Friday (link here) looking at the value of these various measures for predicting recessions. The Fed have played down the usefulness of the 2s10s curve, and have argued that the Fed forward spread (18-month forward, 3-month yield minus the spot 3-month yield) is more valuable when it comes to explaining recessions risks over the next 12 months. But our economists find that traditional curve slope metrics like the 2s10s provide useful information over a longer horizon, like the next 2 years, and they point out that the 2s10s slope is consistent with a probability greater than 60% of a recession at some point over the next 2 years. Even with the latest round of flattening though, the truth is that the trend has been nearly all one-way for basically a year now. In fact, it was a year ago tomorrow that the slope of the 2s10s curve saw its intraday peak for this cycle, when it hit 162bps. Yesterday’s flattening also coincided with a healthy dose of Treasury volatility. 2yr yields ultimately wound up +5.8bps higher at 2.33%, after trading as much as +13.8bps higher during London trading. 10yr yields fell -1.5bps to 2.46%, but were as much as +8.0bps higher during London trading, and -6.1bps lower during the New York morning. This pushed the MOVE index of Treasury volatility +4.0pts higher to 129.3, just below levels realised in early March. In spite of all the volatility, equities were mostly positive yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+0.71%) staging a steady second half rally to start another week off in the green. The decline in longer-dated yields from their early London peak helped spur tech outperformance, with the NASDAQ gaining +1.31%. Europe also started the week on the front foot, with the STOXX 600 (+0.14%) advancing, alongside the DAX (+0.78%) and the CAC 40 (+0.54%). There were pockets of relative weakness however, with the small-cap Russell 2000 in the US closing flat. Energy stocks were left behind in the otherwise broad rally on both sides of the Atlantic given the large decline in oil discussed below, with the S&P 500 energy sector down -2.56% and the STOXX 600 energy sector down -2.10%. Indeed, Oil prices did fall back yesterday, with Brent crude down -6.77% to $112.48/bbl, but that reflected the lockdown in Shanghai and the prospect of a further release from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve rather than more positive developments out of Ukraine. It's down another -0.8% this morning. On the other hand European natural gas (+1.26%) rose to €102.55/MWh, which occurred as German Economy minister Habeck said that the G7 had rejected the proposal from President Putin that natural gas contracts be paid in Rubles, with Habeck saying it was a “one-sided and clear breach of contracts”. Back to sovereign bonds, and there were some major moves in European sovereign bonds as well as the US yesterday, with yields on 10yr bunds moving to a fresh high above 0.6% after the open before modestly retreating -0.6bps to 0.58%. That pattern was common across core European sovereigns, with yields on 10yr gilts (-7.9bps) and OATs (-1.2bps) eventually also moving lower following their increases that morning. Similarly to the US, this has come as investor conviction has grown about the chances of tighter ECB policy in the coming months, with 48bps of hikes priced by year-end. Nevertheless, there’s still a wide policy divergence between the Fed’s and the ECB’s trajectory, and we saw this in the widening spread between 2yr US and Germany yields, which closed at 246.1bps yesterday, the most since September 2019. Asian equity markets are trading higher outside of China this morning with the Nikkei (+0.60%), Hang Seng (+0.40%) and Kospi (+0.31%) up. Stocks in mainland China are wavering with the Shanghai Composite (-0.44%) and CSI (-0.11%) both trading in negative territory as I type. Meanwhile, contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.04%) are fractionally higher while Nasdaq futures are down -0.11%. Early morning data showed that Japan’s industrial output rebounded +0.5% m/m in February after January’s contraction of -0.8%. Separately, Japan’s jobless rate inched down to 2.7% in February from 2.8% in January while the jobs-to-applicants ratio improved to 1.21 in February from 1.20 in the prior month. Elsewhere, Australia reported retail sales for February, advancing +1.8% m/m and beating market expectations for a +0.9% gain. It followed a downwardly revised +1.6% m/m increase in January. The Japanese Yen weakened to its lowest level against the US Dollar since 2015, depreciating -1.48% to 123.86 per dollar, and at one point surpassing 125 per dollar. It's moved nearly 8% in four weeks - a substantial move historically. The latest move came as the Bank of Japan announced they would purchase 10yr JGBs in unlimited quantities over three sessions today, tomorrow and the day after, which followed their move above 0.25% at one point, which we haven’t seen since 2016. The Yen is trading at 123.31 as we go to press so a continued reversal from the close and the lows yesterday morning. Elsewhere today, there’s set to be another round of in-person talks taking place in Turkey between Russia and Ukraine as the war continues into its second month. Investors have grasped at positive headlines in recent weeks and more sensitive assets such as energy prices have reacted accordingly, but the reality has been few signs of concrete progress towards any ceasefire, even if there has been a moderation in some of the demands from either side as to any potential settlement. Finally on Europe, we’re now just 12 days away from the first round of the French presidential election, and there are signs the race is tightening up slightly as the official campaign period began yesterday. Politico’s polling average puts President Macron in the lead still, but his 1st round polling has dipped to 28%, having been at 30% a couple of weeks earlier following the bounce he saw after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Behind him is Marine Le Pen on 19%, who he also faced in the second round back in 2017, and her average is up from 18% a couple of weeks earlier. The far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also gaining, now in 3rd place with 14% (up from 12% a couple of weeks ago), but he’s still 5 points behind Le Pen, and only the top 2 candidates go through to the run-off two weeks later. Behind them are also the far-right Eric Zemmour (11%), as well as the conservative Valérie Pécresse (11%). To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the FHFA house price index for January, the Case-Shiller home price index for January, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence indicator for March, and the JOLTS job openings for February. Over in Europe there’s also French consumer confidence for March, Germany’s GfK consumer confidence reading for April and UK mortgage approvals for February. Lastly, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker. Tyler Durden Tue, 03/29/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 29th, 2022

The Evolution Of Credit & The Growing Fiat Money Crisis

The Evolution Of Credit & The Growing Fiat Money Crisis Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, After fifty-one years from the end of the Bretton Woods Agreement, the system of fiat currencies appears to be moving towards a crisis point for the US dollar as the international currency. The battle over global energy, commodity, and grain supplies is the continuation of an intensifying financial war between the dollar and the renminbi and rouble. It is becoming clear that the scale of an emerging industrial revolution in Asia is in stark contrast with Western decline, a population ratio of 87 to 13. The dollar’s role as the sole reserve currency is not suited for this reality. Commentators speculate that the current system’s failings require a global reset. They think in terms of it being organised by governments, when the governments’ global currency system is failing. Beholden to Keynesian macroeconomics, the common understanding of money and credit is lacking as well. This article puts money, currency, and credit, and their relationships in context. It points out that the credit in an economy is far greater than officially recorded by money supply figures and it explains how relatively small amounts of gold coin can stabilise an entire credit system. It is the only lasting solution to the growing fiat money crisis, and it is within the power of at least some central banks to implement gold coin standards by mobilising their reserves. Evolution or revolution? There are big changes afoot in the world’s financial and currency system. Fiat currencies have been completely detached from gold for fifty-one years from the ending of the Bretton Woods Agreement and since then they have been loosely tied to the King Rat of currencies, the dollar. Measured by money, which is and always has been only gold, King Rat has lost over 98% of its relative purchasing power in that time. From the Nixon Shock, when the Bretton Woods agreement was suspended temporarily, US Government debt has increased from $413 bn to about $30 trillion — that’s a multiple of 73 times. And given the US Government’s mandated and other commitments, it shows no signs of stabilising. This extraordinary debasement has so far been relatively orderly because the rest of the world has accepted the dollar’s hegemonic status. Triffin’s dilemma has allowed the US to run economically destructive policies without undermining the currency catastrophically. Naturally, that has led to the US Government’s complacent belief that not only will the dollar endure, but it can continue to be used for America’s own strategic benefits. But the emergence of rival superpowers in Asia has begun to challenge this status, and the consequence has been a financial cold war, a geopolitical jostling for position, particularly between the dollar and China’s renminbi, which has increased its influence in global financial affairs since the Lehman crisis in 2008. Wars are only understood by the public when they are physical in form. The financial and credit machinations between currency-issuing power blocs passes it by. But as with all wars, there ends up a winner and a loser. And since the global commodity powerhouse that is Russia got involved in recent weeks, America has continued its policy of using its currency status to penalise the Russians as if it was punishing a minor state for questioning its hegemonic status. The consequence is the financial cold war has become very hot and is now a commodity battle as well. Bringing commodities into the conflict is ripe with unintended consequences. Depending how the Russians respond to US-led sanctions, which they have yet to do, matters could escalate. In the West we have comforted ourselves with the belief that the Russian economy is on its uppers and Putin will have to either quickly yield to sanctions pressures, or face ejection by his own people in a coup. But that is a one-sided view. Even if it has a grain of truth, it ignores the consequences of Putin’s military failures on the ground in Ukraine so far, and his likely desperation to hit back with the one non-nuclear weapon at his disposal: Russia’s commodity exports. He may take the view that the West is damaging itself and little or no further action is required. And surely, the fact that China has stockpiled most of the world’s grain resources gives Russia added power as a marginal supplier. Putin can afford to not restrict food and fertiliser exports, blaming on American policy the starvation that will almost certainly be suffered by all non-combatant nations. He could cripple the West’s technology industries by banning or restricting exports of rare metals which are of little concern to headline writers in the popular press. He might exploit the one big loophole left in the sanctions regime by supplying China with whatever raw materials and energy it needs at discounted prices. And China could compound the problem for the West by restricting its exports of strategic commodities claiming they are needed for its own manufacturing requirements. While everyone focuses on what is seen, it is what is not seen that is ignored. Commodities are the visible manifestation of a trade war, while payments for them are not. Yet it is the flow of credit on the payment side where the battle for hegemonic status is fought. The Americans and their epigones in Europe have tried to shut down payments for Russian trade through the supposedly independent SWIFT system. And even the Bank for International Settlements, which by dealing with both Nazi Germany and the Allies retained its neutrality in the Second World War, is siding with the West today. But step back for a moment to look at how broadly based the West’s position is in a global context, because that will be a factor in whether the dollar’s hegemony will survive this conflict. We see America, the EU, Japan, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand on one side. In population terms that’s roughly 335, 447, 120, 65, 38, 26 and 5 million people respectively, totalling 1,036 million, only 13% of the world population. This point was made meaningfully by the Saudis who now want to talk with Putin rather than Biden. As long ago as 2014, this writer was informed by a director of a major Swiss refinery that Arab customers were sending LBMA 400-ounce bars for recasting into Chinese four-nine one kilo bars. The real money saw this coming at least eight years ago. Even if the US’s external policies do not end up undermining the dollar’s global status, it is becoming clear that the King Rat of currencies is under an existential threat. And the Fed, which is responsible for domestic monetary policies, in conjunction with the Biden administration is undermining it from the inside as well by trying to manage a failing US economy by accelerating its debasement. A betting man would therefore be unlikely to put money on a favourable dollar outcome. Whether the dollar suffers a crisis or merely an accelerated decline, just as Nixon changed the world’s monetary order in 1971 it will change again. That the current situation is unsatisfactory is widely recognised by multiple commentators, even in America, calling for a financial and currency reset. And it is assumpted that the US Government and its central bank should come up with a plan. There are two major problems with the notion that somehow the deck chair attendant can save the ship from sinking by rearranging the sun loungers. The first error is insisting that money is the preserve of only the state and is not to be decided by those who use it. It was the underlying fallacy of Georg Knapp’s State Theory of Money published in 1905. That ended with Germany printing money to arm itself in the hope that it would win: it didn’t and Germany ended up destroying its papiermark. The second error is that almost no one understands money itself, as evidenced by the whole financial establishment, from the governments down to junior fund managers, thinking that their currencies are money. Commentators calling for a reset are themselves in the dark. Events will deal with the fallacies behind the State Theory of Money and whether it will turn out to be an evolution or revolution. But at least we can have a stab at explaining what money is for a modern audience, so that the requirements and conditions of a new currency system to succeed can be better understood. What is money for? The pre-Keynesian classical economic explanation of money’s role was set out in Say’s Law, otherwise known as the law of markets. Jean-Baptiste Say was a French economist, who in his Treatise on Political Economy published in 1803 wrote that, “A product is no sooner created than it, from that instant, affords a market for other products to the full extent of its own value.” And “Each of us can only purchase the productions of others with his own productions — and so the value we can buy is equal to the value we can produce. The more men can produce the more they will purchase.” Money or credit is the post-barter link between production and consumption facilitating the exchange between the two. What to produce and what is needed in exchange is a matter for those involved in individual transactions. And the medium of exchange used is a decision for each of the parties. They will tend to use a medium which is convenient and widely accepted by others. Say’s Law was incorrectly redefined and trashed by Keynes to “…that the aggregate demand price of output as a whole is equal to the aggregate supply price for all volumes of output is equivalent to the proposition that there is no obstacle to full employment.” This has subsequently been shortened to “supply creates its own demand”. Keynes’s elision of the truth was leading to (or was it to justify?) his erroneous invention of mathematical macroeconomics. It is simply untrue. All Say was pointing out is we divide our labour as the most efficient means of production for driving improvements in the human condition. That cannot be argued with, even by blinkered Keynesians. Money, or more correctly credit has two roles in this division of labour. The first is as the medium for investment in production, because things must be made before they can be sold and there are expenses in the form of presale payments that must be made. And the second is to act as the commonly accepted intermediary between the sale of products to their buyers. Instead of opining that supply creates its own demand, if we say instead that people make things so they can buy the products and services they don’t make for themselves, it is so obviously true that Keynes and his self-serving theories don’t have a leg to stand on. And importantly, full employment has nothing to do with it. The money involved is always credit. Even the act of lending gold coins to an entrepreneur to make something is credit because it is to be repaid. If gold coins are the payment medium between production and consumption, they are the temporary storage of production before it is spent. In this very narrow sense, they represent the credit of production which will be spent. The principal quality of gold, which when it is at rest is undeniably money, is that it has no counterparty risk and is to be parted with last. The point is that money in circulation is a subsection of wider credit and is the very narrowest of definitions of circulating media. But even under a gold standard, it is hardly ever used in transactions and rarely circulates. This is partly due to a Gresham’s Law effect, where it is only exchanged for inferior forms of credit as a last resort, and partly because it is less convenient than transferring banknotes or making book entries across bank ledgers. By far the most common forms of circulating media are credit in the form of banknotes issued by a central bank, and transferable credit owed by banks to depositors. But in our estimate of a practical replacement of the current fiat currency-based system, we must also acknowledge that credit is far broader than that recorded as circulating by means of the banking system. We are increasingly aware of the term, “shadow banks” most of which are pass-through channels of credit rather than credit creators. But doubtless, there is expanded credit in circulation originating from shadow banks, the equivalent of officially recorded bank credit, which is not captured in the money supply statistics. But there are also wider forms of credit in any economy. Defining credit To further our understanding of credit, we must define the fundamental concept of credit: Credit is anything which is of no direct use, but which is taken in exchange for something else, in the belief or confidence that we have the right to exchange it away again. It is the right to a future payment, not necessarily in money or currency. It is not the transfer of something, but it is a right to a future payment. Consequently, the most common form of credit is an agreement between two parties which has nothing to do with bank credit per se. Bank credit is merely the most obvious and recorded subset of the entire quantity of credit in an economy. And the whole world of derivatives, futures, forwards, and options, are also credit for an action in time, additional to bank credit. Global M3 money supply is said to be $40 trillion equivalent, about 3% of investments, derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, all of which are forms of credit: rights and promises to future payments in credit or currency. And this is in addition to private credit agreements between individuals and other individuals, and between businesses and individuals, which are extremely common. The commonly stated position among sound money advocates of the Austrian school is that bank credit should be replaced by custodial deposit-taking banks and separate arrangers of finance. But given the broad definition of credit in the real world, eliminating bank credit appears untenable when individuals are free to offer multiple amounts of credit and the vast bulk of credit creation is outside the banking system. Consider the case of a bookie accepting wagers for a horse race. Ahead of the event, he takes on obligations many times the capital in his business, in return for which he is paid in banknotes or drawings on bank credit by his betting customers. When the race is over, he keeps the losers’ stakes and is liable for payments to holders of the winning bets. He has debts to the winners which are only extinguished when the winners collect. While there are differences in procedures and of the risks involved, in principal there is little difference between a bookie’s business and that of a commercial bank; they are both dealers in credit. Arguably, the bookie has the sounder business model. The restriction imposed on an individual providing credit to others is his potential liability if it is called upon. The unfairness in the current system is not that bank credit is permitted, but that is permitted with limited liability. Surely, the solution is to ensure that all providers of credit are responsible for the risks involved. Licenced banks and their shareholders should face unlimited liability. It is even conceivable that listed capital in an overleveraged bank might trade at negative values if shareholders face a risk of unlimited calls on their wealth. That should promote responsibility in bank lending. It will not eliminate the cycle of bank credit expansion and contraction, but it will certainly lessen its disruptive impact. Variations in the purchasing power of a medium of exchange A proper consideration of credit, the all-embracing term for mediums of exchange to include future promises, shows that government statistics for money supply are a diminishingly small part of overall credit in an economy. We must take this fact into account when considering changes in the official quantity of money on the purchasing power of units of the medium of exchange (that is credit in the form of circulating banknotes and commercial bank credit — M1, M2, M3 etc.). A downturn in economic activity must be considered in the broader sense. If, for example, I say to my neighbour that if he arranges it, I will cover half the cost of fencing the boundary between our properties, I have offered him credit upon which he can proceed to contract a fencing supplier and installer. However, if in the interim my circumstances have changed and I cannot deliver on my promise, the credit agreement with my neighbour is withdrawn and the fence might not be installed. A father might promise his son an allowance while he attends university. That is a credit agreement with periodic drawdowns lasting the course. Later, the father might promise help in buying a property for his son to live in. These are promises, whose values are particular and precarious. And they will be valid only so long as they can be afforded. If there is a general change in economic conditions for the worse, it is almost certainly driven more by the withdrawal of unrecorded credit agreements between individuals and small businesses such as corner shops, and not directly due to bank credit contraction. An appreciation of these facts and of changes in human behaviour which cannot be recorded statistically explains much about the lack of correlation between measures of credit (i.e., broad money supply) and prices. The equation of exchange (MV=PQ) does not even capture a decent fraction of the relationship between the quantity of credit in an economy and prices. Our understanding of the wider credit scene goes some way to resolving a mystery that has bedevilled monetary economists ever since David Ricardo first proposed the relationship over two centuries ago. In theory, an increase in the quantity of measurable credit (that is currency in the banking system) leads to a proportionate increase in prices. Even allowing for statistical legerdemain, that is patently not true, as Figure 1 illustrates. Figure 1 shows that over the last sixty years, the broadest measure of US dollar money supply has increased by nearly seventy times, while prices have increased about nine. The equation of exchange explains it by persuading us that each unit of currency circulates less so that the increase in the money quantity somehow leads to less of an effect on prices. This interpretation is consistent with Keynes’s denial of Say’s Law. The Law tells us that we all make profits and/or earn salaries, which in the time-space of a year means we can only spend and save once. That is an unvarying velocity of unity. Instead, the mathematical economists have introduced a variable, V, which simply balances an equation which should not exist. That is not to say that credit expansion does not affect the purchasing power of a currency. Logic corroborates it. But an understanding of the true extent of credit in an economy confirms that the sum of currency and recorded bank credit is just a small part of the story – only one eighth as indicated by the divergence between M3 and consumer prices — all else being equal. It brings us to the other driving force in the credit/price relationship, which is the public acceptability of the currency. Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist, who lived through the Austrian inflation in the post-WW1 years and whose advice the Austrian government was reluctant to accept, observed that variations in public confidence in the currency can have a profound effect on its purchasing power. Famously, Mises described a crack-up boom as evidence that the public had finally abandoned all faith in the government’s currency and disposed of all of it in return for goods, needed or not. It leads to the sensible conclusion that irrespective of changes in the circulating quantity, the purchasing power is fully dependent on the public’s faith in the currency. Destroy that, and the currency becomes valueless as a medium of exchange. If confidence is maintained, it follows that the price effects of a currency debasement may be minimised. This brings us to gold coin. If the state backs its currency with sufficient gold which the public is free to obtain on demand from the issuer of the currency, then the currency takes on the characteristics of gold as money. We should not need to justify this established and ancient role for gold, or silver for that matter, to the current generations of Keynesians brainwashed into thinking it’s just old hat. Though they rarely admit it, central bankers fully committed to their fiat currencies still retain gold reserves in the knowledge that they are no one’s liability; that is to say, true money while their currencies are simply credit. Given what we now know about the extent of credit beyond the banking system and the role of public confidence in the currency when it is a credible gold substitute, we can see why a moderate expansion of the currency need not undermine its purchasing power proportionately. While the cycle of bank credit expansion and contraction leads to the boom-and-bust conditions described by Von Mises and Hayek in their Austrian business cycle theory, the effects on prices under a gold standard do not appear to have been enough to destabilise a currency’s purchasing power. Figure 2 illustrates the point. Admittedly there are several factors at work. While the increase in the quantity of currency in circulation was generally restricted by the gold coin standard, the bank credit cycle of expansion and contraction led to periodic bank failures. Then as now, the quantity of bank credit relative to bank notes was eight or ten times, and so long as the note-issuing bank remained at arm’s length from the tribulations of commercial bank credit the overall price effects were contained. Britain abandoned the gold standard in 1914, and just as the abandonment of the silver standard in the 1790s led to an increase in the general price level, a dramatic increase occurred during the First World War. This was due to deficit spending by the state driving up material costs at a time when imported factors of supply were limited by the destruction of merchant shipping. The end of the war restored the supply/demand balance and saw a reduction in military spending. Prices fell and then stabilised. A gold bullion standard at the pre-war rate of exchange was re-established in 1925, only to be abandoned in 1931. The Second World War and subsequent lack of any anchor to the currency led to an inexorable rise in prices before America abandoned the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971. And since then, the sterling price of gold has risen even further from £14.58 when the Agreement ceased to £1,470 today. Measured in true money the currency has lost over 99% of its purchasing power over the last fifty-one years. Both logic and the empirical evidence point to the same conclusion: price stability can only be achieved under a working gold coin standard, whereby ordinary people can, should they so wish, exchange banknotes for coin on demand. Despite making up most of the circulating medium, fluctuations in bank credit then have less of an effect on prices, for the reasons stated above. Can cryptocurrencies replace gold? The reason gold is relatively stable in purchasing power terms is that through history, above ground stocks have expanded at similar rates to population growth. A very gradual increase in gold’s purchasing power comes from manufacturing, technological, and competitive production factors. In other words, the price stability clearly demonstrated in Figure 2 above between 1820—1914 is evolutionary. Whether cryptocurrencies or central bank digital currencies might have a stabilising role for prices in future is highly contentious. We can readily dismiss yet another version of state-issued currencies as being a worse form of credit than failing fiat currencies. The aim behind them is communistic, to enable the state to allocate credit resources wherever and to whomsoever its political class may desire. It is with the intention of reducing the vagaries of human action on the state’s intended outcome. Just as every replacement currency for failing fiat in the past has failed, if CBDCs are introduced they will fail as well. It is unnecessary to comment further. Cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, are seen by a small minority of enthusiasts as the money of the future, being outside the state’s printing presses. But as observed above, in reality, sound money is augmented by fluctuating quantities of credit in far larger quantities. So long as sound money provides price stability, circulating credit inherits those characteristics. Bitcoin, the leading claimant to being future money, lacks both world-wide acceptance and the flexibility required for long-term stability and therefore economic calculation. Imagine an entrepreneur planning to invest in production, a project which from the drawing-board to final sales takes several years. His nineteenth century forebears had a reasonable idea of final prices, so could calculate costs, sales values, and therefore the interest cost of the capital deployed over the whole project to leave him with a profit. No such certainty exists with bitcoin because final prices cannot be assumed. Furthermore, central banks do not have bitcoin as part of their reserves, and by embarking on plans for their own CBDCs have signalled that they will not have anything to do with it. But in most cases central banks or their government treasury ministries possess gold bullion, which as a last resort they can deploy to stabilise a failing currency. While there will undoubtedly be future benefits from their underlying technologies, it is impossible to see how cryptocurrencies can have a practical role in backing wider credit. Conclusion The evolution of fiat dollars which dates from the abandonment of the Bretton Woods Agreement is coming to an inevitable conclusion: fiat currencies come and go and only gold goes on forever. Whoever wins the financial battle now raging with increasing intensity over commodity prices, the US dollar as the King Rat of fiat currencies is losing its assumed superiority over the renminbi, and possibly the rouble if the Russians can stabilise it. The old-world population backing the dollar is heavily outnumbered by the newly industrialising Eurasia as well as its commodity and raw material suppliers in Africa and South America. Not mentioned in this article is the Federal Reserve Board’s commitment to sacrifice the dollar to support financial values — that ground has been well covered in earlier Goldmoney articles. But it is a repetition of John Law’s policies in 1720 France, now underway to stop the global financial bubble from imploding. And just as the Mississippi Company continued after 1720 when the French livre collapsed entirely that year, we see the same dynamics in play for the entire fiat currency system today. John Law’s policies of credit stimulation for the French economy were remarkably like those of modern Keynesians. This time, the expansion of money supply on a global basis has been on an unprecedented scale, encouraged by the subdued effect on prices measured by government-compiled consumer price indices. Undoubtedly, much of the lack of price inflation is down to statistical method, but from Figure 1 we have seen that over the last sixty years the quantity of currency and credit captured by US dollar M3 has grown about seven and a half times more rapidly than prices. We have concluded that this disparity is partly due to not all credit in the economy being captured in the monetary statistics. Understanding the relationship between money which is only physical gold coin, currency which is bank notes and credit which includes bank credit, shadow bank credit, derivatives, and personal guarantees, is vital to understanding what is required to replace the fiat-currency system. It also explains why a relatively small base of exchangeable gold coin in relation to the overall credit in an economy is sufficient to guarantee price stability. Tyler Durden Sat, 03/19/2022 - 18:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMar 19th, 2022

51 gifts for teens that they won"t toss away in their closet, from a popular hair dryer to a tie-dye kit

The best gifts for teens are ones they'll actually want to use, like tech gadgets, beauty products, and cool accessories. Here are 51 unique gifts. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.One of the best gifts for teens is a portable, waterproof speaker they can bring with them on trips with friends.Amazon It's never easy to shop for a teenager, especially if their tastes change frequently. We rounded up 51 gifts to make it easier to find the perfect gadget, game, or accessory.  Browse all of Insider Reviews' gift guides for more great gift ideas. Being a teenager is tough, but trying to buy a gift for one is even harder: They can be picky and fickle when it comes to what products they want. Sometimes, the best way to show a teen that you care is just to listen, and sometimes it's a thoughtful gift to show them you see them.To make the gift search easier, we curated 51 gifts ranging from a card game to a smartwatch to a quick-drying hair towel at various price points to ensure as many options as possible.If you are still unsure of what to get (and you can't ask them directly) try consulting their friends. Either way, a smart general rule of thumb is to make sure your gift is returnable. The 51 best gifts for teens: A tie dye kit they can use for a fun at-home activityTargetTulip 37pc One Step Tie Dye Kit, available at Target, $9.99They can revitalize white clothes and spend a few hours having fun doing something creative, whether solo or with family or friends.This one-step hair dryer brushElana Rubin/InsiderRevlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush, available at Target, $54.99Who doesn't love a one-step tool that feels luxurious? This popular round brush acts as a hairdryer while they brush, giving their hair volume without much finesse or time. You can find a full review of the Revlon One-Step here. An Apple AirTag to keep track of their belongingsLisa Eadicicco/InsiderApple AirTag, available at Target, $29.99The teenager in your life can attach this tag to their backpack, wallet, keys, or any other easily lost item and find it easily with the Find My app whenever they've misplaced it. Using the app, they can opt for the tag to play a sound until they've found their keys sandwiched between couch cushions or their wallet in the pantry.A board game that feels like a video gameAmazonCephalofair Games Gloomhaven Multi-Award-Winning Strategy Boxed Board Game, available at Amazon, $111.47This collaborative board game (good for one to up to four players) is sort of like Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering, and other cult-favorite fantasy adventure games that forces its players to contend with monsters and mercenaries, explore a new world, and discover treasure and fame. Players make tactical decisions, and the game unfolds in reaction to their choices. Disposable cameras to help them stay in the momentAmazonFujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, available at Amazon, $69.04Funsaver One Time Use Film Camera (2-pack), available at Amazon, $45.30Disposable cameras are popular right now, partly because of the nostalgic aesthetic of a polaroid and partly because of their simplicity. Spending so much time immersed in technology — and combatting the temptation to retake and edit photos in real-time — keep us from staying present.Disposable film cameras or polaroids help preserve memories without adding to their screen time. Plus, they give them cute photos to decorate their room with!Glossier's fan-favorite productsGlossierBoy Brow + Balm Dotcom + Futuredew Pack, available at Glossier, $42No-makeup makeup is in right now and, if your teen is into beauty products, they may appreciate a gift from Glossier, which is the "natural and glowy" brand Olivia Rodrigo says she wears in her Vogue beauty diary.We'd recommend a gift card or a pack like the Boy Brow + Balm Dotcom + Futuredew pack, which covers three of its fan-favorite products.A great bookAmazon"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11Books are an incredible gift if your teen is a reader. It can translate into hours of enjoyment at a minimum and, at its best, a favorite story that follows them well into adulthood.Plus, if you've read the book, it can also mean great conversations about it or movie adaptations to watch together. It's also a gift where money doesn't really matter; you can find a great read for $20 and spending more won't make much difference.Some book suggestions:"All the Bright Places," a popular YA book on TikTok"Scythe," a bestselling dystopian YA book similar to "The Hunger Games"The best young adult books, according to a teenagerThe best young adult romance booksThe best young people's literature of 2021 according to the National Book AwardsThe best books we read in our 20sAn eco-conscious tie-dye beanieFree The EarthFeel the Earth Breathe Tie Dye Beanie, available at Free People, from $40These unisex tie-dye beanies come in cool colors and with a unique plant logo. (To date, the Parks Project has reportedly contributed over $2,000,000 to help fund vital projects in national parks around the US).Ribbed beanies are big right now, à la the popular Carhartt beanie. If they've got that staple covered, the Parks Project also has tube socks. A splashproof, portable Bluetooth speaker perfect for outdoor tripsAmazonUltimate Ears Wonderboom 2, available at Amazon, $98This rugged, compact speaker can go with them anywhere. It's waterproof, has an "outdoor boost" button specifically for listening outside, is "drop-proof," and boasts a 13-hour battery life.A plush toy that they can heat upUrban OutfittersSmoko Mini Toasty Heatable Plushie, available at Urban Outfitters, $18Whenever they need some cozy comfort, they can heat up this cute animal-shaped heating pad for a snuggle.A portable phone chargerAmazonElecjet Powerpie Portable Charger, available at Amazon, $54.99This handheld charger can charge up your teen's smartphone or various devices like an iPad or small laptop so they can stay in touch, turn their paper in on time, or just never have to stress about 5% battery life.Sheet masks to go with a Netflix marathonAmazonTONYMOLY I'm Real Sheet Masks, available at Amazon, $26There are few things my 15-year-old sister loves more than oversized hoodies, Boba, and an endless supply of sheet masks. Grab a pack, throw them on, and make a night out of it with your teen's favorite candy and TV show.A pair of trendy, easy-to-use AirPodsAppleApple AirPods Pro with Charging Case, available at Target, $199.99If you're after the title of their favorite relative of the year, here's a good place to start. AirPods are both easy to use and functional as well as trendy. A Boba-shaped AirPods Pro caseUrban OutfittersSmoko Boba Tea AirPods Pro Case, available at Urban Outfitters, $18As I mentioned, part of my 15-year-old sister's ideal trifecta is Boba. You can pick up a cute, fun case no matter what their interest is — Baby Yoda, gaming, Boba, or whatever else. A Bluetooth water bottle speakerGrommetBluetooth Water Bottle Speakers, available at Grommet, $39.95This Bluetooth water bottle speaker offers a boost of hydration and fun for everyone. The water-resistant speaker resides at the top, ensuring greater sound quality that lasts 6-10 hours. It's the perfect accessory for them to bring to every hang-out session. A slim leather walletAmazonBellroy Slim Sleeve Leather Wallet, available at Amazon and Bellroy, $79This thin wallet is a subtle nudge toward minimalism, something many teens appreciate. The Bellroy Slim Sleeve wallet offers room for up to eight cards and a pocket to stash cash. It comes in a variety of colors and features environmentally certified leather.An eco-friendly phone casePelaPela Phone Case, available at Amazon and Pela, from $38.95Pela offers a wide variety of biodegradable cases for iPhone and Android, all made from plant-based polymers. Pela cases are rugged enough to offer drop protection, and if a phone has both a Pela case and screen protector but still cracks, Pela will cover the bill to get it fixed.A comfortable and sustainable Patagonia pullover they'll wear all the timePatagoniaLightweight Synchilla Snap-T Pullover, Men, available at Patagonia, $119Patagonia Women's Better Sweater 1/4-Zip Fleece, available at Patagonia, $119A Patagonia sweater is a particularly good gift for teens who are interested in sustainability. The company has been turning plastic bottles into polyester for its clothing since 1993 and continues to do so today.Its Snap-T pullover is the unofficial uniform of the cozy adventurer. It and the Better Sweater are long-held favorites, and both are comfortable classics that they'll no doubt come to rely on heavily during colder weather.Not sold on the Patagonia option? They may also appreciate the Acadia Recycled Polar Trail Fleece from the environmentally-conscious Parks Project.A gift card for stylish new glassesWarby ParkerGift Card, available at Warby Parker, from $50Teens are a notoriously picky bunch, so you can never go wrong with a gift card. If they're in the market for new glasses or sunglasses, we recommend Warby Parker because of its versatility, size flexibility, and free at-home try-on program. An Amazon Echo Dot for hands-free calls, alarms, music, updates on the weather, and moreAmazonEcho Dot (4th gen), available at Best Buy, $34.99The Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason — it's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (weather updates, recipes, music, news) without any of the bulk. A smartphone-sized travel photo printerTargetHP Sprocket 200 Photo Printer, available at Amazon and B&H Photo, $79.99This tiny, compact device prints photos with sticker backing on ZINK film with Zero Ink technology. It connects to devices via Bluetooth, and multiple devices can connect at once (personalized LED lights indicate who's currently printing). String lights with clips for photosAmazon/Business InsiderPhoto Clip LED String Lights, available at Target, $10Perfect for creating the archetypal teen room that's most often seen in Netflix movies and old Taylor Swift music videos, the photo clip string lights combine warm light and Polaroids (or other memorabilia). A trendy Champion sweatshirtUrban OutfittersChampion Reverse Weave Fleece Crew Neck Sweatshirt, available at Urban Outfitters, $54Like Fila, Champion is a brand that's had a resurgence as of late. If you want to get them something they'll end up wearing all the time, this is a good candidate. A great video game"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD" / Nintendo"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD", available at Amazon, from $49.94If they're really into video games, all other gifts may pale in comparison to a really good new one. Check out "Hades," "NBA 2K22," and "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD."A vinyl record membershipVinyl Me, PleaseGift Membership, 3 months, available at Vinyl Me, Please, $119There's no greater joy than adding to a record collection or playing a new album for the first time. Your recipient gets to choose from three different types of tracks each month and will also receive extra goodies in each package. They'll also get one bonus record as part of the three-month gift membership. A gentle facial cleansing device that removes 98.5% of dirt and makeupFOREOLuna 3 Facial Cleansing Device, Men, available at Foreo, $199Luna 3 Facial Cleansing Device, Women, available at Foreo, $199FOREO's cult-favorite Luna 3 cleansing device gently and effectively cleans with thin, antimicrobial silicone touch-points, and it removes 98.5% of dirt and makeup residue without irritating the skin. Plus, it's 100% waterproof and the battery life lasts for a few months per charge.This newest generation also offers an array of massages to tighten the skin for a youthful look. Find a full review on the previous generation Luna 2 from a female reporter and a male reporter here.Comfortable lounge pants that look put-togetherMeUndiesThe Lounge Pant, Men, available at MeUndies, $68The Lounge Pant, Women, available at MeUndies $68MeUndies is a popular LA startup that makes some of the most comfortable underwear we've ever tried. Their lounge pants, however, are the real hidden gem — perfect for lounging around on weekend mornings or heading to the dining hall when they get to college (yep, they'll last that long) while still looking sleek.A subscription to a famous book club that sends them great hardcovers each monthBook of the Month/Instagram3-Month Gift Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If your teen is a bookworm, Book of the Month is an especially cool gift. It's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time (like "Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple).If you gift them a subscription, they'll receive a hardcover book delivered once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If they're really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here).An Apple Watch that combines their smartphone with a fitness trackerAmazonApple Watch SE GPS, 40mm, available at Apple, from $279If you have a little extra to spend on your teen, consider getting them a smartwatch. The Apple Watch SE is like a smartphone, fitness tracker, and music player all in one. Just like on their phone, they can customize the watch to show their favorite apps to pick, including social media.A cute iPhone caseSociety6Coffee Reading iPhone Case, available at Society6, $22This fun iPhone case is funny and unique, and most of their friends probably won't have the exact same one. Reusable strawsAmazonHiware Reusable Silicone Straws (10-pack), available at Amazon, $6.99Help teens do their part to keep single-use plastics out of trash bins, landfills, and the ocean by giving them this pack of reusable silicone drinking straws. They come in various colors and include a few cleaning brushes as well.A set of velvet retro-inspired scrunchiesAmazon/Business InsiderHair Scrunchie Variety Pack, available at Target, $6.99Another trendy gift is as many scrunchies as you can carry. This pack comes with 12 options in enough colors to work with virtually any outfit or mood. A multicolor mini cinema light boxUrban OutfittersMulticolor Cinema Light Box, available at Uncommon Goods, from $20These trendy lightboxes are inspired by cinema marquees, and they come with 100 letters and symbols for personal messages. This one also has color-changing LED lights for further customization.Fun and useful PopSockets for the back of their phoneAmazon/Business InsiderPopGrips, available at PopSockets and Amazon, from $10PopSockets have become their own cultural phenomenon in recent years, and they're surprisingly useful. Get your teen one for their own phone or tablet, and depending on their age, you may find it's the gift they're most excited about. It doesn't hurt that there's free domestic shipping on orders over $20, or that you can actually design your own.A waterproof e-reader with a no-glare screenAmazonAll-New Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite is its thinnest, lightest version. It also has double the storage, a built-in light that adjusts to accommodate reading indoors or outdoors, and is waterproof for reading anywhere, including the beach or bath. Plus, a single battery charge lasts weeks rather than hours.Cool backpacks from a popular startup with a charitable missionSTATE Bags/FacebookState bags and accessories, from $15State bags are increasingly popular thanks to their versatile, laid-back aesthetic and characteristically bright nylon colorways. They're also known as #GiveBackPack(s), because for every State bag purchased, State hand-delivers a backpack — packed with essential tools for success — to a local child in need. The Lorimer and Bedford are two of the company's best sellers.A three-month subscription of beauty productsBirchBox3-Month Subscription, available at BirchBox, $45Teens are usually among the most interested in the latest and greatest beauty or grooming products — but may lack the funds to try all the full-sized versions. Birchbox sends samples of new and beloved products once a month, so they can test out new finds and discover products they may want to buy a full size of in the future. (It's also just fun to get an ongoing gift.)Personalized NikesNikeCustomizable Nikes, available at Nike, from $120Nike makes great stuff, but it's nice to get the benefits of a great shoe without forsaking what makes something unique. You can customize a pair of Nikes for them, or give them a gift card so they can get creative making something one-of-a-kind on their own.A great Alexa-enabled speaker they can control by voiceSonosSonos One Smart Speaker, available at Sonos, from $219The new Sonos One smart speaker fills any room with clear, rich sound, and they can use Alexa to play and control their music without ever lifting a finger. Find a full review here.A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50%Aquis/Business InsiderAquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Amazon and Sephora, from $20.99Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries. If they've ever complained about frizzy hair, this and a silk pillowcase are thoughtful gifts they'll actually use. A Disney+ subscription for access to classic movies and moreDisney PlusDisney+ Gift Subscription Service, available at Disney, $79.99/yearDisney Plus is the new Disney-centric streaming service. The platform includes Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. You can gift a whole year of access for $80, which is something their entire family can benefit from.If you'd rather test Disney Plus out before buying, you can sign up for a free weeklong trial.A suitcase with an ejectable battery that can charge their devices on the goAwayThe Carry-On, available at Away, from $225Travel startup Away makes a great carry-on thanks to an ejectable battery that can charge devices seamlessly on the go, 360-degree wheels, and a lightweight build that travels easily. In other words, it takes a lot of the angst out of travel and may make family trips far more enjoyable and stress-free.Durable sunglasses that look good, tooAmazonSmith Optics Lowdown2, available at Backcountry, $129Who better to make a pair of durable, performance-based sunglasses than the company known for innovating the ski goggle? The Lowdown2 features bio-based materials for the frame, ChromaPop lens technology which creates high contrast and vibrant colors, and an anti-reflective smudge-resistant coating.Plus, the brand offers peace of mind with free shipping, 30-day returns, and a lifetime warranty.Comfortable, high-quality sheets that come in lots of colors and patternsBrooklinenLuxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen and Amazon, from $240We think Brooklinen makes the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds. It's perfect for lazy Saturday mornings or the rare occasion sleeping in is encouraged.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in 15 colors and patterns that range from classic to fun, and you can mix and match them to suit their preferences. Grab a gift card (delivered digitally) if you want to give them more freedom.Fidget ballsSpeksSpeks 2.5mm magnet balls, available at Speks, $34.95Made from rare earth magnets, these tiny balls can be molded into an infinite number of shapes and designs. The size of Speks balls makes them ideal for teens to keep with them for those unpredictable moments of nervousness that fill those teenage years.A pack of smart plugs so they can control devices from a distanceAmazon/Business InsiderTP-Link KIT WiFi Smart Plug, 2-Pack, available at Amazon, $35.99Whether they're wondering if they turned off their hot iron or just don't want to get up to turn off the TV, a smart plug lets them control devices from a distance. You can connect to them using any smart device.A Time-Turner clock that actually spinsHarry PotterHarry Potter Time-Turner Clock, available at Pottery Barn, $79It may not be able to take them back in time or help them be in two places at once, but this Time-Turner clock will help them stay on top of their schedule. It even has a functional hourglass on the back so they can time their study breaks. A toothbrush with a timerAmazonOral-B Pro 1000 Electric Toothbrush, available at Amazon, $39.97Rigorous dental hygiene isn't usually on the top of the list of things teens care about, which is all the more reason a rechargeable toothbrush with a timer is a fantastic gift. This rechargeable brush breaks up 300% more plaque on the gum line than traditional brushing and lets them know when two minutes have passed.Compact hand sanitizer sprayTouchlandTouchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9It's in the car, the house, and their pocket these days, but many hand sanitizers can smell a little like household cleaner. Touchland comes in scents like Vanilla Cinnamon and Forrest Berry, or keep it simple and choose unscented.The compact sanitizer features 67% alcohol for killing germs but balances it with soothing aloe vera and essential oils to hydrate the skin. A lottery card that donates to charitiesLottoLove/Business InsiderLottoLove Card, available at LottoLove, from $5When you gift this lottery card, you're actually giving the gift of charity. When you "win big," you're winning a charitable prize that gets donated to nonprofits in one of four categories: Clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. To date, LottoLove and its partners have impacted lives in over 70 countries.Gift cards for concert tickets, food, and clothesChipotleYou can't go wrong with money for their favorite things, especially for teens who are often relying upon part-time jobs to fund their frequent Chipotle meals and concert trips with friends. Check out more gift card ideas here.Everything: Visa Gift Card / Amazon Gift CardCoffee and food: Starbucks Gift Card / Chipotle Gift CardEntertainment and live events: Netflix Gift Card / Xbox Gift Card / Hulu Gift Card / StubHub gift cardMusic: Spotify Gift CardSheets: Brooklinen Gift CardGroceries and food: Whole Foods Gift Card / Chipotle Gift CardClothes: Nordstrom Gift Card / Everlane Gift CardTech: Best Buy Gift CardRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

The 56 best last-minute gifts for college students, from portable photo printers to the comfiest sheets

The best gifts for college students are practical and fun. Here are 56 gift ideas from a recent college graduate. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Staples The best gifts for college students are practical, fun, and time-saving. I'm a current college student, and I put together this list of 50+ gift options any student would appreciate. Need more gift ideas? Check out our gift guides for toddlers, teens, and pretty much everyone. As a college student, there are just a few things we want: clear skin, job security, and to have some fun. Some gifts can help with this. Others can't, but they're still nice to have for how much they make our lives easier.College students today are in a unique position in life between (probably) getting little sleep, taking classes while working, and taking care of themselves throughout everything. This is especially important to keep in mind when thinking about gifts.One thing this list assumes is that the student you're thinking about already has basics like a shower caddy, lanyard for their student ID, and laundry basket that can hold several weeks of dirty clothes at time. Instead, this list is full of gifts that'll be like the cherry on top to whatever they already have.Check out all 56 gifts for college students:A more modern card game for nights in and partiesAmazonWhat Do You Meme?, available at Amazon, $29.99College students today are of the meme generation, so this game will be highly appreciated. This set includes 75 of the funniest memes plus 360 caption cards to make the wonkiest combinations for a game during study breaks or chill wine nights.One of the easiest ways to find your favorite fragranceScentbirdScentbird 6-month subscription, available from Scentbird, $84Finding a fragrance that speaks to you is an unspoken step in finding your style. But buying a bunch of different scents can take a long time and cost a lot. Scentbirds is a perfume and cologne discovery subscription that helps you find your favorite perfumes by sending monthly options based on your preferences.A sunrise alarm clock for a gentle wakeup, no phones involvedSuzy Hernandez/InsiderHatch Restore, available on Amazon, $129.99Using your phone as an alarm clock makes it a lot easier to start scrolling on your phone first thing in the morning, which isn't the healthiest habit. A sunrise alarm clock can help your student have a much better start to their day than immediately checking emails or scrolling on Instagram. The Hatch Restore is a great sunrise alarm option with a ton of special features, and the iHome Zenergy Dream Mini ($69.99) is the best option on a budget.One of the nicest, most classic notebooks everMoleskineMoleskine Classic Notebook, available on Amazon, $20.34Moleskine journals have a history of belonging to creatives and being the place where great ideas and art begin. If the student you're thinking of is a writer, for example, a Moleskine journal is a perfect gift to let them know you support them. These are also stellar for note-taking.An air fryer for the snack loverAmazonThe Philips Premium TurboStar Air Fryer, available at Walmart, $249.35Air fryers have been all the buzz for how they can turn just about anything into a warm, crispy delight. Plus, they save a ton of time, which every college student can appreciate. The Philips Premium TurboStar Air Fryer is one of the best air fryers on the market today.There's some controversy about how good air fryers actually are, so you can also think about gifting a toaster oven.A good wallet to hold their cards, cash, and keep their student ID handyVera BradleyMicrofiber Zip ID Wallet, available at Vera Bradley, $10Vera Bradley's Zip ID Wallet is a great option for students who have to frequently show or swipe their student ID but don't need an overstuffed bifold. The O-ring is a convenient and sturdy place to hold all their keys. It also makes it easy to clip the wallet into their other bags like a purse or backpack.A steady supply of healthier (and still very tasty) snacksThrive Market1-Year Membership + $25 Shopping Credit, available at Thrive Market, $64.95College students live off good food and snacks. Gifting a subscription to Thrive Market means access to healthier snacks, which leads to feeling more energized and better studying.A long-lasting backpack that'll look good on campus, in the airport, and at job interviewsHerschelLittle America Backpack, available at Herschel, $109.99Typical backpacks work great for class, but what about everything that happens outside of class? Having a sturdy backpack that's well-suited for traveling and job interviews helps a ton. Herschel's Little America ($109.99) is a great option because it's versatile, sturdy, and stylish. Similarly, the Dagne Dover backpack ($200) is specifically designed for a woman's body and is made to store everything you need and go anywhere you go. productsIf the student is a total tote person and doesn't touch backpacks, the Longchamp Le Pliage Shoulder Bag ($155) is a staple for students and young workers alike.An aroma diffuser to set the moodGrove CollaborativeGrove Collaborative Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser, $39.95An aroma diffuser delivers calming, in-home aromatherapy and is a great fragrance option for dorms where candles usually aren't allowed. This one from Grove Collaborative diffuses essential oils for up to five hours at a time, has LED light options, and elegantly blends into any room thanks to its minimalistic ceramic design.A weighted blanket that'll change the way you sleepTranquilityTranquility Weighted Blanket, available at Target, $49Every college student ever has needed better sleep. Weighted blankets apply a calming pressure on you, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up more rested. The great thing about Tranquility's weighted blanket is how perfectly-sized it is to move from bed to couch, how it's sized to fit a standard dorm twin XL bed, and how easily washable it is.A foolproof planner to keep everything in orderDay DesignerWeekly Planner, available on Day Designer, $59A planner keeps them organized between all their assignments, exams, events, and so much more. Day Designer makes luxurious planners that students love. Planners come in daily or weekly options which each have space for all your checklists and schedules plus extra pages for goal setting, future planning, and notes.The most comfortable socks college students can ownBombasWomen's Ankle Sock 4-Pack, available at Bombas, $47.50Men's Ankle Sock 4-Pack, available at Bombas, $47.50Bombas makes the best socks on the market. They benefit from upgrades like a supportive honeycomb stitch, blister tabs built into ankle-height styles, and a Y-stitched heel and "invisitoe" that minimizes annoying bumps. Even if it seems like socks aren't an exciting gift, comfort is pretty much always a hit in college. Plus, for every pair purchased, Bombas donates a specially designed sock to someone in need.A cult-favorite tumbler to keep their drinks just the right temperature for hoursHydro FlaskHydro Flask 40 oz.Water Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, from $37.46This HydroFlask will keep cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours with the lid on, perfect for when they need coffee for a long night studying.Great coffee from all over the world to help them stay energizedAtlas Coffee ClubAtlas Coffee 3-month Subscription, $55If they drink coffee, they'll likely drink a fair amount of it during college. And it's really nice to have a good cup. Atlas Coffee is a monthly subscription that's sort of like a worldwide coffee tour — bringing the best single-origin coffee (with a postcard from its origin country) to your door. They'll also get brewing tips and flavor notes. A book that helps them build good habits and break bad onesAmazonAtomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, available at Amazon, $11.98Many college students are trying to map out what they want out of life and how to build the habits that get them where they want to go. In the popular book "Atomic Habits," James Clear, an expert on habit formation, teaches practical strategies for building lasting habits (and ditching detrimental ones). Popular wireless over-ear headphones for quality noise-canceling during studying and working outAmazonBeats Solo3 Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones, available at Amazon, $129.95If there's one thing every college student needs, it's good wireless headphones. This Beats pair has rich sound and up to 40 hours of listening time. And if they let the battery run out, a five-minute charge converts to three hours of playback.If they're a runner and need something lightweight and in-ear, you should opt for Jaybird Vista.An inexpensive way to get the iced coffee they love at homeAmazonTakeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available on Amazon, $24.99If the student you're thinking of drinks coffee — and there's a very good chance they do — having access to one of the best cold brew contraptions will be a gift that keeps on giving. A cold brew machine means you can go 4-5 days in a row without brewing another pot. It's also easy to clean. Find a full review here.A waterproof speaker that can bring the bassJBLJBL FLIP5 Bluetooth Speaker, available at B&H Photo, $129.95A Bluetooth speaker is a must-have: it helps set the mood for study nights and helps bring the party to life whenever you're hosting. JBL's Flip 5 speaker is the best choice. It has vibrantly booming bass, lasts for up to 12 hours without a charge, and is waterproof.Clothes and shoes for their upcoming interviews and presentationsEverlaneThe Oversized Blazer, available at Everlane, from $185Rebecca Allen Classic Pump, available at Nordstrom, $165Other Stories Wool Coat, available at Other Stories, $279College is full of big meetings, big presentations, and nerve-wracking interviews. For days when sweatpants aren't an option and something more formal is needed, these are some great options for women's staples. We've also created a list of our personal favorite workwear stores — plus the best styles to buy from each one. A nice watch they can wear to internshipsMVMTGunmetal Sandstone, Men, available at MVMT, $138Lexington, Women, available at MVMT, $128MVMT makes beautiful watches for men and women at great prices, and they feel more contemporary to wear than most on the market. It's a versatile, sentimental gift you can feel good about giving because you know they'll feel good — and perhaps more put-together — wearing it. One of the best tablets, which makes note-taking, entertainment, and everything else so much betterBest Buy2021 Apple iPad, available at Amazon, $479 If you go on a college campus today, you'll probably see iPads all over the place — and for a good reason. These slim rectangular boxes are bundles of joy for students. They make note-taking, e-reading, Netflix, and leisure drawing easy to do all in one place. The new 256GB iPad ($479) will make an unforgettable gift. If you want to take it up a notch, the highly-coveted and ultrafast 11" iPad Pro ($899) is even better.If they already have an iPad, you can think about getting them an Apple Pencil ($129), which will level up their gadget even more.A key-, wallet-, and iPhone-finderAmazonTile Mate with Replaceable Battery, 4-Pack, available at Amazon, $69.99You can't go wrong with a tracker for their keys, wallet, or phone. The Tile Mate is compact, thoughtful, and useful for everyone — especially an oft-frazzled college student. A bed frame that can easily move with themLauren Savoie/InsiderThuma Bed Frame, available at Thuma, from $995A good bed frame is the foundation of good sleep and this one by Thuma features interlocking Japanese joinery that makes it incredibly sturdy but easy to disassemble, move, and store. It's a great option for young adults on the move, especially if they're moving into older or smaller buildings. The most popular FitbitFitbitFitbit Charge 4 Fitness Activity Tracker, available on Amazon, from $122.21The Charge 4 offers stellar activity tracking (average and current pace, heart rate zones, calories burned, etc.) in a smaller footprint than a smartwatch and at a budget-friendly price point. Plus, it has a week-long battery life.A smartphone-sized travel photo printerStaplesFujifilm Instax Mini Link Bluetooth Photo Printer, available at Target, Apple, and Best Buy, from $99.95Mini portable Bluetooth printers make turning iPhone photos into tangible memories quick and easy — which is especially convenient for decorating their room. All they'll have to do is download the app (which also has internal PhotoShop elements and features like themed stickers and collages) and connect via Bluetooth. *This product is currently out of stock. Their favorite comfort foodsGoldbellyGoldbelly food gifts, available from $25Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy their most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration.A media streamer that transforms a normal TV into a smart oneAmazonRoku Ultra 4K/HDR/HD Streaming Player, available at Amazon, $69Most college students aren't forking over a monthly payment to cable. This streaming player is, overall, the best one you can buy, and it transforms an otherwise ordinary TV into one that can stream shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and others all in one spot.  One of the all-time best facial cleansers for a clean and effective routineFOREOLuna 2 Facial Cleansing Device, Men, available at FOREO, $169.95Luna 2 Facial Cleansing Device, Women, available at FOREO, $169.95FOREO's cult-favorite Luna 2 cleansing device gently and effectively cleans with thin, antimicrobial silicone touch points, and it removes 98.5% of dirt and makeup residue without irritating the skin. Plus, it's 100% waterproof and the battery life lasts for a few months per charge. Find a full review from a female reporter and a male reporter here.A 10-minute breakfast that will save them money and timeAmazonDash Rapid Egg Cooker, available at Target, $15.99The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker looks gimmicky but is actually deceptively useful. It's compact and makes virtually every kind of egg (hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, or an omelet) perfectly, and in under 10 minutes. Trendy and convenient Apple AirPodsAppleApple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, available at Best Buy, $149.99If you're after the title of their favorite relative of the year, here's a good place to start. AirPods are both easy to use and functional as well as trendy. The newer generation of AirPods can be purchased on Amazon for $200, but we also liked the earlier generation (which is slightly cheaper).A comfy Patagonia pullover they'll rely on a lotPatagoniaLightweight Synchilla Snap-T Pullover, Men, available at Patagonia, $119Women's Better Sweater 1/4-Zip Fleece, available at Patagonia, $119It's a good bet that many of their peers will also have this Snap-T pullover from Patagonia. It and the Better Sweater are long-held favorites, and both are comfortable classics that they'll no doubt come to rely upon. A Patagonia sweater is also a particularly good gift for students who are invested in sustainability. The company has been turning plastic bottles into polyester for its clothing since 1993, and continues to do so today.The world's comfiest shoesAllbirds/InstagramWool Runners, Men, available at Allbirds, $98Wool Runners, Women, available at Allbirds, $98Startup Allbirds makes wildly popular shoes out of soft, sustainable materials. Their Runners made of super-soft merino wool have been nicknamed "the world's most comfortable shoes." You can find a full review here. A portable projector that's the size of a soda canAmazonAnker Nebula Capsule Smart Mini Projector, available at Amazon, $299.99Anker's Nebula Capsule is a powerful and versatile mini projector, and its portability makes it a great option for college students who want a cozy movie-viewing experience in the comfort of their own room. It's 1 pound and the size of a soda can, but it has surprisingly crisp image quality and 360-degree sound. It's also quiet and has a continuous playtime of four hours. Find a full review here.College merchandise for school spiritAmerican EagleShop American Eagle's Tailgate ApparelParticularly if they're going to a school with a big sports team, you can be sure they'll both need and appreciate all the fan gear. A great game for a night in with friendsAmazonCards Against Humanity, available at Amazon, $25Grab a fun card game they'll inevitably end up pulling out to play with friends on the weekend nights and snow days. Check out What Do You Meme, too.A Brooklinen gift card for really nice sheetsBrooklinenGift Card, available at Brooklinen, from $50Few things sound so nice as comfortable, beautiful sheets that you don't need to buy for yourself. Brooklinen is one of our favorite startups to shop at, and we ranked their sateen cotton sheets (from $122) the best luxury sheets you can buy.A funny but useful book full of expert and student advice on everything from finances to relationships and dorm lifeAmazonThe Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College, available at Amazon, $10.19For everything from sharing a bathroom with 40 strangers to social network do's and don'ts, this funny but useful New York Times bestseller runs the gamut. A monthly subscription of personalized new makeup, haircare, and skincare samples delivered to their doorBirchbox Man/InstagramBirchbox Three Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45College students like to look and feel good, but tight budgets aren't conducive to trying a lot of new, (and often expensive) grooming products. Birchbox sends samples of new and beloved products once a month, so they can test out new finds and discover products they may want to buy a full size of in the future. It's also just fun to get a monthly gift that's all about them. An Echo Dot with a built-in clockAmazonEcho Dot 4th Gen with Clock, available on Amazon, $34.99The newest Echo Dot is more convenient than ever. The all-new design features a larger speaker for better audio, a digital clock to display the time and timer countdowns, and all of Alexa's other skills. A savvy suitcase for traveling on holiday breaksAway/FacebookCarry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360-degree spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so they never have to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here.We also recommend Calpak. A book about capitalizing on the huge choices to make in your 20sAmazonThe Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now, available at Amazon, $3.62The decisions you make in your 20s can greatly impact the rest of your life. The best defense is a good offense and your grad should know now, before any life-altering events crop up, how to get the most out of their "defining decade."An Amazon Prime membershipTommaso Boddi / Getty ImagesGift an Amazon Prime membership, $119An Amazon Prime membership is one of those things that immediately makes life easier and ultimately better. If you decide to gift one, the recipient will enjoy free two-day shipping; access to the Prime Now app, which provides free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items; Prime Video, Amazon's streaming video service; Prime Music; the Kindle Lending Library; Prime Reading; Prime Audible Channels; unlimited photo storage, and more.If you want to see how Amazon Prime ($119 for the year) actually gives you a lot more than free shipping, you can read about the benefits of the service here.A candle to remind college students of their favorite place or hometownAmazonHomesick Scented Candle, available at Uncommon Goods, $34If they're away from family or friends, a reminder of home is a wonderful thing to have around. The best electric toothbrushAmazonOral-B White Pro 1000, available at Best Buy, $39.99We rated this the best electronic toothbrush you can buy. Childlike cereal for adultsMagic SpoonFour Flavors, available at Magic Spoon, $39Magic Spoon is a new "childlike cereal for adults" that's high in protein and low in sugar — and all four flavors are delicious. Here's one way to show college kids it's completely possible to transition to adulthood without losing all the joy of being a kid. You can read more in a personal review here. Framed memoriesFramebridgeGift Card or Frame a Memory, available at Framebridge, from $25Help them honor some of their best memories — whether it's from friends now studying across the country, family, or best-loved locales. Framebridge is relatively affordable, but decor is one of the luxuries plenty of college students shirk to save elsewhere — even though it can make their home a much more inviting, happy place.A monogrammed leather shave bag so students can keep all their things in one placeLeatherologyLeatherology Small Shave Bag, available at Leatherology, from $90 (available for monogram for $10)The dreaded truth of college is that you'll most likely need to schlep your shower belongings to a communal area if you live in the dorms. No one wants to rely on a plastic shower caddy to do that. Grab them a leather shave bag that they'll use for years to come — they probably wouldn't justify the expense on their own, and they'll be grateful to have it. If you're looking for a chic aesthetic, Dagne Dover also makes a great neoprene toiletry bag named the Hunter (from $35) that's built to accommodate makeup. If they have a lot of toiletries, you'll probably want to get the large size for $55.The most comfortable lounge pants we've ever tried for lazy weekend morningsMeUndiesThe Lounge Pant, Men, available at MeUndies, $68The Lounge Pant, Women, available at MeUndies, $68MeUndies is a popular LA startup that makes some of the most comfortable underwear we've ever tried. Their lounge pants, however, are the real hidden gem — perfect for lounging around on weekend mornings, and they're sleek enough to avoid feeling too unkempt.The best pillow you can buyCoop Home GoodsPremium Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow, available at Coop Home Goods and Amazon, from $63.99Make sure they're optimizing their sleep with the best pillow you can buy. Thanks to the shredded memory foam, they'll get the support and comfortable "sinking in" sensation of a traditional memory foam pillow, but none of the excessive heat or firmness that can be a problem with solid foam. Read more in our Buying Guide here.A gift card to ClassPass so they can go to tons of boutique fitness classes without the expenseClassPass/InstagramGift Card, available at ClassPass, from $50Boutique fitness classes are expensive. ClassPass makes them less so. If they like to be active, are looking for a newfound favorite class, or like yoga as much as boxing classes, this is a great gift they'll actually use — and applies to virtual classes until in-person ones are safe again.A custom poster of their favorite placeGrafomapGift a customized Grafomap poster, from $49Commemorate their college town, hometown, or favorite place in the world with this customizable graphic map so they can keep it with them wherever life takes them.A hyper-useful extra-long, reinforced phone chargerAmazonNative Union 10-Foot Extra-Long Charging Cable with Leather Strap, available at Amazon, $34.99If they're going to be tethered to devices, you may as well give them a long leash. This long charging cable means no matter where one is, they'll have power — and they won't have to sit at the foot of their bed to reach it. A gym bag that can transition to a professional settingNordstromHerschel Supply Co. Novel Duffel Bag, available at Nordstrom, $90Just like bringing a beat-up JanSport everywhere, lugging an old nylon gym bag isn't ideal for anyone looking for versatile use. Herschel Supply Co. makes reliable, long-lasting bags, and this one has a separate compartment for gym or dress shoes. A microwave-safe ramen cooker for the most stressful or time-crunched nightsAmazonRapid Ramen Cooker, available at Amazon, $10.99There will be plenty of late nights filled with cheap and tasty ramen. If they're going to eat it anyway, at least let them make it quickly and perfectly every time.A super soft throw blanket they'll find themselves cocooned time and time againAmazonBEDSURE Sherpa Fleece Blanket, available at Amazon, from $26.99Grab their favorite candy, this sherpa-lined fleece blanket with over 4,400 five-star reviews on Amazon, and a Hulu gift card to make their nights in actually fun.Gift cards — perhaps the best gift you can give a cash-strapped college studentWhole Foods Market FacebookWhat a stressed, broke college student needs most is money and probably a hug. If you're looking for a way to gift maximum convenience, gift cards are a surprisingly thoughtful way to do that — either for their favorite restaurant, transportation, school books, or music to keep them occupied during long study hours. Check out more gift card gifts here. Everything: Visa Gift Card / Amazon Gift Card / Gift Amazon Prime MembershipCoffee: Starbucks Gift CardSchool books: Amazon Gift Card Entertainment: Netflix Gift Card / Hulu Gift Card / Sling Gift Card / StubHub gift cardTransportation: Uber Gift CardDecoration: Framebridge Gift CardFurniture: Amazon Gift Card / Wayfair Gift CardMusic: Spotify Gift CardSheets: Brooklinen Gift CardGroceries and food: Whole Foods Gift Card / Chipotle Gift CardClothes: Nordstrom Gift Card / Everlane Gift CardTech: Best Buy Gift CardTravel: Delta Gift Card / Airbnb Gift CardRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 16th, 2021

Futures Ramp On China Stimulus Hopes Ahead Of Central Bank Barrage

Futures Ramp On China Stimulus Hopes Ahead Of Central Bank Barrage U.S. futures rose again, starting the Santa rally predicted over the weekend by Goldman, after the underlying index surged to a record on Friday with risk appetite returning ahead of this week’s barrage of central bank meetings including the Fed on Wednesday, followed by the Bank of England and ECB. Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.4% as major technology and internet stocks rose in premarket trading with Apple inching closer to a $3 trillion market valuation; S&P 500 futures rose 11 points or 0.2%; with Dow Jones futures also rising 0.2%. Chinese developers’ bonds and shares experienced a wave of selling after the sudden plunge in Shimao Group's notes restarted concern over the health of the sector 10-year Treasury yields inched lower to 1.4684% and the dollar pushed higher. Bitcoin extended losses toward $48,000 as Binance bailed on plans for a Singapore exchange. Traders pared bets that the BOE will raise rates next year as concerns over fresh Covid restrictions outweighed inflation fears. Risk sentiment got a boost from predictions China will start adding fiscal stimulus in early 2022, said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote. “The chances of a massive hawkish surprise are limited, and the actual expectation doesn’t interfere with equity investors’ craving for a Santa rally to close a record-breaking year with one last record,” she wrote. Indeed, as we have been expecting for much of the past 6 months, China’s top decision makers last week signaled policies may become more supportive of growth next year. Economists predict China will start adding fiscal stimulus in early 2022. US stocks close Friday at a new record after in-line inflation data did not surprise to the upside for the first time in months and spurred bets that the Federal Reserve won’t have to accelerate plans to tighten monetary policy. That came amid a backdrop of uncertainty from the omicron coronavirus variant, a factor that traders are likely to also monitor closely as the week starts. Volatility should remain high as several central banks will decide on interest rates this week, Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades, said in written comments. The “policies should set the trading tone, providing investors with more clues on next year’s investing environment.” The Federal Reserve on Wednesday is expected to speed up stimulus withdrawal and perhaps open the door to earlier interest-rate hikes in 2022 if price pressures stay near a four-decade peak. After repeated jawboning, it would be a major surprise if the bank doesn't announce a faster tapering, and the bond market will have to adapt to the new approach. “Global equities had a solid run last week and we’ll see if the goodwill lasts into what is a behemoth when it comes to event risk,” Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Financial Pty Ltd., wrote in a note. Omicron and the Fed should dictate sentiment, he added. Meanwhile, in the world of covid, at least 30 U.S. states have reported omicron cases, with Anthony Fauci of course stepping up calls for boosters to increase protection and making pharma CEOs even richer. That said, all cases for which there's available information were asymptomatic or mild, European health chiefs said. That did not stop Boris Johnson from warning that the U.K. faces a tidal wave of infections and set a year-end deadline for its booster program. South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Arena Pharmaceuticals soars after Pfizer agrees to buy it for $100/Shr in Cash Apple shares rose 1%, leaving the stock close to hitting $3t market capitalization if the move holds. Airbnb, Lucid, Zscaler and Datadog shares all rise in U.S. premarket trading with the companies set to be added to the Nasdaq 100 index later this month. Peloton Interactive shares gain after the home-exercise firm put out an advert responding to a scene in the TV show “And Just Like That...” where a character dies using its product. The stock closed 5.4% lower on Friday, the day after the episode aired. TherapeuticsMD fell 25% in premarket trading after the FDA said it couldn’t approve revisions to some manufacturing testing limits for the Annovera birth-control ring requested by the company through a supplemental new drug application. European stocks also advanced, led by technology and mining stocks. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose as much as 1%, DAX outperforming at the margin.  In the U.K., traders are paring back bets on Bank of England rate hikes over the next year as concerns over fresh Covid restrictions outweigh inflation fears. Asian stocks erased an early advance as deepening losses in shares of Chinese property developers and persistent concerns over the omicron coronavirus variant soured sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.2% after having climbed as much as 0.8%. Equity benchmarks in India and South Korea led regional declines. While stocks in China and Hong Kong rallied in morning trade on signals policies may become more pro-growth next year, the Hang Seng Index erased a gain of as much as 1.6%. That was owing to a selloff in real estate names after a plunge in the bonds and shares of Shimao Group sparked renewed concern over the health of the sector. Monday’s trading in Asia also highlighted investor caution as markets confront potential economic risks from omicron’s spread and a series of central bank meetings this week, including the Federal Reserve. The Fed on Wednesday is expected to speed up stimulus withdrawal and perhaps open the door to earlier interest-rate hikes in 2022 if price pressures stay near a four-decade peak. “We are in the last three weeks of the year -- no investor is going to place new bets and are more likely to be taking profits off the table,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. “Any negative news will be taken as a reason to press the sell button.” Meanwhile, China’s stocks climbed for the fourth day in five after the nation’s annual economic conference ended Friday with a vow to ensure “stability” and “front load” policies. Foreign investors on Monday added to record purchases of mainland shares last week. Focus now shifts to data due later in the week, including industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment. India’s benchmark stock index dropped, with a fall in Reliance Industries Ltd. weighing on the market. The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.9% to close at 58,283.42 in Mumbai, reversing gains of as much as 0.7%. The index had posted its best weekly performance since mid-October on Friday. The NSE Nifty 50 Index also fell 0.8% on Monday. Still, a measure of small-cap companies gained 0.2%. Reliance, the nation’s most valuable company, dropped 2%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex, 23 fell and seven rose. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by a gauge of energy companies. “Selling is more evident in benchmark indices as overseas investors are booking at least a part of their profits ahead of the U.S. Fed’s rate-setting meeting that is likely to speed up the policy normalization process,” Abhay Agarwal, founder of Mumbai-based Piper Serica Advisors Pvt., an investment management company with assets of 5 billion rupees under management, said by phone.  The Fed.’s policy announcement is due Wednesday, where it is expected to speed up stimulus withdrawal and perhaps open the door to earlier interest-rate hikes in 2022. “Post-event, we expect to see a reallocation, though at a slower pace as FPIs will factor in the possible hike in interest rates, apart from the tapering of stimulus,” Agarwal said. Locally, the government will release its consumer inflation print for the month of November later on Monday. Inflation likely rose to 5.1% year-on-year in November from 4.5% in the previous month, according to a Bloomberg survey. Fixed income drifts higher with bund and UST curves bull flattening. Treasury yields were lower as the U.S. trading day begins, with the 10Y sliding to 1.46% and short-term little changed, prolonging the curve-flattening trend. With no U.S. economic data slated and Fed speakers silent ahead of Wednesday’s policy meeting, supply is a focal point, and Fed is slated to buy long-end sectors with no coupon supply until next week’s 20-year reopening. 10- to 30-year yields lower by about 1bp-2bp, 10-year by 1.5b at ~1.468%; 2- to 5-year yields little changed, narrowing 2s10s and 5s30s by 1bp-2bp.Peripheral spreads tighten slightly with short-dated BTPs leading a cautious move higher. Gilts bull steepen, trading ~2.5bps richer across the short end as money markets continue to price out hikes in light of the latest Covid restrictions. In FX, Bloomberg Dollar index drifts 0.3% higher, erasing Friday’s decline and rallying against all its peers with the focus on Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting amid speculation officials might accelerate the pace of policy normalization. Flows in the spot market are running at 70% of the recent average, a Europe-based trader told Bloomberg. Volatility term structures in the major currencies remain inverted as the market awaits forward guidance that could shape trading for the better part of 2022 U.S. inflation data in line with expectations on Friday “almost certainly won’t change the balance-of-risk assessment for the Fed, and the communications of late expressing concern over inflation risks remain valid,” says MUFG’s Derek Halpenny. “The week starts quietly in terms of data today but it remains likely that the dollar will remain supported into the FOMC on Wednesday with anticipation high of some hawkish rhetoric to accompany the decision to speed up QE tapering.” GBP/USD fell 0.2% to 1.3244 after gaining 0.5% over the previous two sessions. The Bank of England is set to opt for caution over Covid rather than worries about inflation, pushing back its first rate increase since the pandemic into 2022, according to economists. U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there’s no certainty the government will be able to keep schools in England open, as it battles to contain the spread of the omicron Covid-19 variant.  “This week is interesting for GBP as markets scrutinize labor-market report tomorrow ahead of BOE,” said Christopher Wong, senior foreign-exchange strategist at Malayan Banking Bhd. in Singapore. “There are concerns unemployment will spike if workers are made redundant or if people cannot find jobs, and this labor report will provide the first assessment.” The Yen outperformed amid broad dollar strength; USD/JPY still up 0.2% at 113.69. AUD and NOK are the weakest in G-10.  Turkish lira crashed again, plunging to a new record low in early London trade with USD/TRY initially rallying over 6% to highs of 14.7590, before fading some of the move after another intervention from the Turkish central bank. In commodities, crude futures give back Asia’s gains; WTI is little changed near $71.78, Brent dips below $75.50. Spot gold holds a narrow range near $1,785/oz. Most base metals are in the green with LME aluminum outperforming.  Bitcoin once again failed to rise above $50,000, extending losses toward $48,000 as Binance bailed on plans for a Singapore exchange There are no major economic developments on today's calendar, but it's a busy week with about 20 central banks making monetary policy announcements, including the Fed, the BOE and ECB, and the divergence of their paths will be evident. Jerome Powell may turn more hawkish as he fights rising inflation, while the ECB joins China in leaning dovish and playing down soaring prices. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 4,728.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.7% to 478.82 MXAP down 0.2% to 193.62 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 630.93 Nikkei up 0.7% to 28,640.49 Topix up 0.1% to 1,978.13 Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 23,954.58 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,681.08 Sensex down 0.9% to 58,278.65 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,379.26 Kospi down 0.3% to 3,001.66 Brent Futures up 0.8% to $75.74/bbl Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,784.20 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.34% to 96.42 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro down 0.4% to $1.1265 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Almost 20 central banks meet this week, including the world’s biggest. No surprise that volatility term structures in the major currencies remain inverted as the market awaits forward guidance that could shape trading for the better part of 2022 The Bank of Japan offered to buy 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) of government bonds under repurchase agreements after repo rates jumped to a two-year high Turkey’s central bank intervened in the market by selling FX after the lira tumbled past 14 to the dollar for the first time, piling pressure on a central bank that’s forecast to keep cutting interest rates this week despite rising inflation. The decline came after S&P Global Ratings lowered the outlook on the nation’s sovereign credit rating to negative on Friday, citing risks from the “extreme currency volatility” The ECB’s biggest decision this week is to decide if it can still call the current inflation spike “transitory.” The answer will have a huge bearing on the euro-area economy, which is already dealing with resurgent coronavirus infections, new restrictions and lockdowns, and uncertainty about the omicron variant ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, the ECB said in a statement posted on its website. Guindos hasn’t been in close contact with ECB President Christine Lagarde over the past week, according to the statement. The Spaniard, who is double- vaccinated and has very mild symptoms, will work from home until further notice Two doses of the Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc. vaccines induced lower levels of antibodies against the omicron variant, increasing the risk of Covid infection, according to researchers from the University of Oxford. A more detailed breakdown of overnight news from Newsquawk Asia-Pac equity markets took their cues from last Friday’s gains on Wall Street where the S&P 500 notched a fresh record close and its best weekly performance since February, with markets now bracing for a risk-packed week including a busy schedule of central bank meetings. The ASX 200 (+0.4%) traded higher with risk appetite supported by the reopening of Australia’s borders to international students and skilled workers from Wednesday, while the government will also partially underwrite up to AUD 7bln in new loans for small businesses impacted by lockdowns. The Nikkei 225 (+0.7%) benefitted from the mild outflows from the JPY, with the index unphased by mixed Tankan and Machinery Orders data in which the Tankan Large Manufacturers Index and Outlook missed expectations but sentiment among Large Non-Manufacturers and Small Manufacturers improved for the sixth consecutive quarter. The Hang Seng (-0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) predominantly conformed to the upbeat mood amid economists' expectations for China to add fiscal stimulus from early next year following last week’s conclusion to the Central Economic Work Conference, which noted that China's economy faces shrinking demand, supply shock, and weakening expectations but added that economic operations are to be kept within a reasonable range. Alibaba shares were among the biggest gainers in Hong Kong as it extended its rebound from YTD lows. Finally, 10yr JGBs were rangebound with March futures contained by resistance at the key 152.00 level and amid the positive mood across riskier assets, although JGBs were off the lows seen late last week where there were source reports that the BoJ is likely to scale back its pandemic relief programs in March with a potential announcement as early as this week’s meeting. Top Asian News Shriram Units Merge to Form Largest India Retail Financier Intel to Spend $7 Billion on Big Malaysia Chipmaking Expansion Shimao Group Appoints Xie Kun as Executive Director Daimler Reveals Chinese Partner BAIC Raised Stake to Almost 10% Stocks in Europe have continued to gain since the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.0%; Stoxx 600 +0.5%) as the APAC sentiment reverberates through the region following a fleeting blip lower in early European trade. US equity futures are also firmer but to a lesser magnitude – with the RTY (+0.3%) narrowly outpacing the ES (+0.%), NQ (+0.4%) and YM (+0.2%). Focus this week will be on the slew of central bank updates which kicks off with the FOMC on Wednesday, followed by the BoE and ECB on Thursday - with Flash PMIs, Christmas liquidity and Quad Witching also part of this week’s concoction. Add to that the potential tail-risk from geopolitics and headline risk from COVID. Nonetheless, European cash markets at the moment seem unfazed by what’s ahead. Sectors are pro-cyclical with Basic Resources and Autos topping the charts, whilst the defensive Healthcare, Telecoms and Personal & Household goods reside at the bottom. A recent Citi note suggests that rising earnings should keep European stocks moving higher and offset expansive valuations and tightening monetary policy in the US. Citi targets some 9% upside for the Stoxx 600 next year, with a target of 520 (vs current c.477), whilst 12% upside is targeted in the FTSE 100 to 8,200 (vs current c. 7,303). Citi leans in favour of cyclicals vs defensives - with overweights in Banks, Insurance, Basic Resources, Industrials, Media, Luxury Goods and Chemicals. Citi is underweight Utilities, Telecoms, Food & Beverages, Personal Care, Travel, Autos and Financial Services. The bank has also added to its focus list: AstraZeneca (+0.1%), Aviva (+0.7%), Capgemini (+1.2%), Faurecia (+0.9%), Iberdrola (-0.3%), Lloyds (-0.7%), Prosus (+1.5%), Royal Mail (+1.6%), Sanofi (Unch), Tesco (+0.4%), UBS (+0.2%), Vodafone (Unch), Volvo (+1.1%). Separately, Goldman Sachs sees muted returns for global stocks next year amid negative real rates coupled with high equity risk premia and in the absence of a growth shock. GS suggests that risks are growing in the US on a relative basis and sees a maximum drawdown of between -5 to -10% over the next 12 months. Top European News European Gas, Power Prices Surge on Nord Stream 2 Worries U.K. Says Can’t Rule Out Shutting Schools as Omicron Spreads UBS Global Wealth Management Discontinues USDTRY Coverage Vivendi Has ‘Never Been a Threat’ to Lagardere: Arnaud Lagardere In FX, the Greenback has clawed back all and a bit more of its post-US inflation data losses, partly on reflection perhaps that the CPI prints were broadly in line, and actually a tad above consensus in terms of the m/m headline rate, so highly unlikely to derail the Fed from upping the pace of QE tapering this week and probably won’t deter the more hawkish FOMC members from pencilling in a steeper lift-off. Hence, having ended Friday’s session fractionally below a Fib retracement level (96.098), the index subsequently eclipsed the intraday peak (96.429) to turn what was a bearish technical close into a constructive start to the new week within a 96.080-450 range and a ‘close’ above 96.500 would be deemed positive, if not bullish. CHF/EUR/AUD - Very little traction from latest signs of building inflation pressure in the Eurozone via German wholesale prices reaching a record high 16.6% y/y in November, but the Euro has held above 1.0400 against the Franc in wake of latest weekly Swiss sight deposits showing a rise in domestic bank balances. Meanwhile, the single currency has absorbed some stops triggered on a breach of 1.1265 vs the Buck and could derive underlying support from decent option expiry interest at 1.1250 (1.5 bn) at the base of a band extending to 1.1320 (2 bn) through 1.1270-1.1300 (1.1 bn), and Usd/Chf is hovering around 0.9250 at the upper end of a 0.9257-00 band ahead of producer/import prices on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the Aussie has not been able to benefit from good news in the form of Australia opening its borders to international students and skilled workers from Wednesday, Government plans to partially underwrite up to Aud 7 bn new loans for small businesses impacted by lockdowns, or buoyant risk appetite, as it straddles 0.7150 against its US counterpart. JPY/NZD/CAD/GBP - Also conceding ground to their US peer, with the Yen back below 113.50 and hardly helped by mixed Japanese macro releases including December’s Tankan survey and October machinery orders, while the Kiwi is back under 0.6800 even though NZ PM Ardern said the COVID-19 alert level for Auckland is to be eased on December 30 and the next review is scheduled for January 17. The Loonie is slipping alongside WTI between 1.2753-06 parameters and Cable has tested Fib support into 1.3200 at 1.3200 amidst ongoing UK political furore over Conservative Party transgressions during lockdown last year and heightened Omicron restrictions to prevent a tidal wave of infections. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures have been drifting lower since the European morning after the former tested USD 73/bbl to the upside and the latter briefly topped USD 76/bbl. Newsflow for the complex has been light but there have been further positive omens regarding the Iranian nuclear talks - Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said good progress was made in nuclear talks and can quickly pave the way for serious negotiations, whilst Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister said they have reason to anticipate some progress. That being said, we are yet to hear from some of the western nations. Meanwhile, on the OPEC front, Iraq’s Oil Minister said he expects OPEC to maintain its current policy of gradual monthly increases of 400k BPD at the next meeting – slated for early January. On the COVID front, the UK opted not to further tighten restrictions over the weekend but instead boosted the booster programme, whilst reports surrounding the Omicron variant have all highlighted a mild illness. The geopolitical space may require some more attention as tensions remain high on the Ukraine/Russia and Taiwan/China front, with the US involved in both. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, according to reports this morning, said if the US and NATO do not provide them with guarantees around security, it may lead to confrontation – and emphasised that the lack of progress on this would lead to a military response. Further, there were reports that Saudi Arabia and Iran held security talks. Ahead, the monthly OPEC oil market report is due to be released, but focus this week will likely remain on the slew of central bank meetings. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are constrained to recent ranges ahead of a risk-packed week, with the former still in a purgatory zone below its 50 DMA (1,789/oz), 200 DMA (1,793/oz) and 100 DMA (1,795/oz). Meanwhile, LME copper is firmer on the mild market optimism but has receded south of the USD 9,500/t mark. US Event Calendar Nothing major scheduled DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap We had our first Xmas lunch yesterday with my golf club hosting Santa (arriving on a golf buggy up the 18th fairway) and welcoming kids to the dinning room. I spent the whole lunch worrying their behaviour would get me black balled and banned from golf. Before we went my wife and I took lateral flow tests and Maisie asked if this was to stop Santa getting the virus? She then asked who would deliver all the presents if he had to self isolate. I must admit that I thought this was a very good question, especially as she’s starting to slowly question his existence. I said it was likely ok as Santa had just got his booster as he is over 50. I remember when the third week of December was one long string of Xmas client lunches that you desperately tried the leave as early as you could politely do so even if that was 8pm. This week they’ll be no time for lunches and we’ll be glued to our screens with just the eight G20 central banks deciding on monetary policy. The Fed’s decision on Wednesday will be key of course, with anticipation that they might accelerate the tapering of their asset purchases, but there’s also the ECB and Bank of England meetings to watch out for as well. All of them are very much “live” meetings. Elsewhere the flash PMIs for December (Thursday) could give us an initial indication as to how increased restrictions have begun to affect economic activity. US retail sales and UK CPI (both Wednesday) might be other interesting data points. Reviewing the main highlights in more details now. The Fed’s decision on Wednesday will be the focal point of the week. In terms of what to expect, our US economists write in their preview (link here) that they anticipate a doubling in the pace of tapering, which would bring the monthly drawdown of Treasury and MBS to $20bn and $10bn per month respectively. That would see the process of tapering conclude in March, giving them greater optionality for an earlier liftoff. Bear in mind that this meeting will also see the release of the latest dot plot, as well as the projections for inflation, growth and unemployment. On that, our economists see the median dot in 2022 likely showing two rate hikes, with risks of more, up from September when only half the dots saw any hikes by the end of 2022. The ECB’s decision will then follow on Thursday. In our European economists’ preview (link here) they write that until the arrival of the Omicron variant, the ECB appeared on track to initiate a transition to a monetary policy stance based more on policy rates and rates guidance and less on liquidity provision. They were also set to create a policy framework with more optionality to better respond to inflation uncertainties. The Omicron variant reinforces the need for optionality, but until there’s greater clarity on what it means for the pandemic and the recovery, the ECB may stall the expected decisions in part or in whole until early 2022. As with the Fed, it’ll be interesting to see the December staff forecasts on inflation, which could influence the market view on lift-off timing. The Bank of England’s decision will then take place on Thursday, and our UK economist expects the MPC will raise Bank Rate by +15bps to 0.25%. In the preview (link here) it argues that news of the Omicron variant has changed little on the medium-term economic outlook, with the labour market remaining as tight as it has been in recent memory, and inflation continuing to outpace staff forecasts. Nevertheless, the risks to this view are finely balanced, and risk management considerations may lead them to delay a rate hike, as they instead opt to find out more information on Omicron’s impact. Finally on the central bank front, the Bank of Japan will be holding their final monetary policy meeting of the year on Friday. In our economist’s preview (link here), it says that although there had been an expectation that the bank would revise their special pandemic corporate financing support program at this meeting, the emergence of the Omicron variant has changed the situation. Given the next meeting is only a month later, the view is now that they’ll maintain a wait-and-see stance in this meeting and adjust the policy in January, although a revision remains possible this week if more positive evidence is found on the new variant. Moving on to the data, the main highlight will be the flash PMIs for December from around the world on Thursday which will offer an initial indication as to whether there’s been any economic reaction yet to rise in restrictions and the emergence of the Omicron variant. There’ll also be an increasing amount of hard data out of the US for November, including retail sales (Wednesday), industrial production, housing starts and building permits (all Thursday). In China, Wednesday will see the release of their own retail sales and industrial production data for November, and in Germany on Friday there’s the Ifo’s business climate indicator for December. Finally on the inflation side, releases will include the US PPI data for November tomorrow, along with the UK and Canadian CPI readings for November on Wednesday. Late on Friday the UK released a paper looking at vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron variant. The good news is it suggested those who’d been boosted at least a couple of weeks ago still had decent protection, with 3 doses of Pfizer offering 75.5% effectiveness against symptomatic disease, and those who’d had two doses of AstraZeneca followed by a Pfizer booster had 71.4% effectiveness. Those are both lower than the 90+% effectiveness against delta with a booster, but is still much better than some of the worst outcomes had feared. Furthermore, if the past variants are anything to go by, then the protection against severe disease and hospitalisation could be even higher. However, the bad news is it indicated those who’ve been double-jabbed for some months now have significantly waning protection against this new variant from a purely symptomatic basis without a booster, so this will only encourage governments to ramp up their booster campaigns. The UK last night accelerated their plans to get all over 18s offered a booster. It’s now by the end of the year which will be a Herculean task. This follows PM Johnson last night telling the nation that there’s a tidal wave of Omicron cases coming. The government expects it to become the dominant strain very soon in what will be an incredibly short space of time. Overnight in Asia, markets are trading notably higher with the CSI (+1.31%), Hang Seng (+1.01%), Shanghai Composite (+1.00%), the Nikkei (+0.89%) and KOSPI (+0.28%) all strong after China's policymakers' hinted at more stimulus at the end of annual Central Economic Work Conference on Friday. Indeed our economists suggest that this is the decisive policy shift that markets have been waiting for and believe it’s a big deal. See their report on it here. This optimism is being reflected in the near 6% jump in Iron Ore trading overnight. DM futures are indicating a positive start to markets in the US and Europe with S&P 500 (+0.37%) and DAX (+0.44%) futures both in the green. Looking back at last week now and the focus remained squarely on Omicron, where the lack of any concrete bad news lent a more optimistic tone. This modestly improved risk sentiment sent equities and yields higher, and pushed volatility lower with the VIX ending the week -11.88 ppts lower at 18.79. The S&P 500 and Stoxx 600 gained +3.82% and +2.76% over the week (+0.95% and -0.30% Friday respectively). Cyclical sectors and tech stocks led the gains in the US. The small cap Russell 2000 advanced +2.43% (-0.38% Friday) while the Nasdaq climbed +3.61% (+0.73% Friday). The optimism also pushed yields higher and yield curves slightly steeper, with the 10yr treasury gaining +14.1bps this week after a poor close the previous week (-1.5bps Friday) and 10yr bunds climbing +5.1bps (+0.7bps Friday). The 2s10s treasury curve steepened +7.2bps (+1.6bps Friday). Ahead of the Fed’s meeting this week, the market is pricing the first full Fed rate hike by June. In the world of central banking, the Bank of Canada kept policy on hold and reinforced expectations for their inflation target to be sustainably achieved in the middle of 2022, enabling policy rate hikes. Like most DM central banks, they are focused on persistently elevated inflation, which they ascribe to supply constraints that will take time to alleviate. The Reserve Bank of Australia also left its benchmark interest rate unchanged while cautioning that price pressures remain subdued, in contrast to the rest of the DM space. In China, the PBoC cut the required reserve ratio by -50bps to support the economy, while FX reserve ratio was lifted +2.0% to lean against an appreciating renminbi. Property developers Evergrande and Kaisa defaulted on dollar debt. Chinese officials asserted the defaults would be dealt with “in a market-oriented way”. Geopolitical rumblings out of Europe also garnered focus. Presidents Biden and Putin held a phone call to discuss tensions following the build-up of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border. The readouts following the call offered few details but signalled both sides would follow up. President Biden has cautioned severe economic sanctions would be levied should Russia invade Ukraine, including sanctions on Putin’s inner circle, energy companies, and banks. The US would also consider severing Russian access to the US-run international payments system, SWIFT. On Friday, US CPI increased 0.8% and core US CPI increased 0.5% month-over-month in November, with the headline reading a tenth ahead of expectations. Commensurate year-over-year readings were 6.8% and 4.9%, the highest readings since 1982 and 1991, respectively. Measures of underlying and trend inflation continued to move higher, suggesting the Fed’s recent hawkish pivot will continue to be embraced by policymakers. Tyler Durden Mon, 12/13/2021 - 07:56.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 13th, 2021

The Value of Play-to-Earn

An evolution of gaming, a pyramid scheme, or the missing link to mass blockchain adoption? Play games, get paid. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more This is the underlying message of play-to-earn, the term given to the increasingly popular business model in the gaming ecosystem that provides players with a chance to earn […] An evolution of gaming, a pyramid scheme, or the missing link to mass blockchain adoption? Play games, get paid. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more This is the underlying message of play-to-earn, the term given to the increasingly popular business model in the gaming ecosystem that provides players with a chance to earn any form of in-game asset that can later be transferred to the world as a valuable resource. The most played such game is Splinterlands- think Pokémon cards meet World of Warcraft characters. Splinterlands gives its users the opportunity to earn cryptocurrency and NFTs while playing the game, which is the underlying principle of all current P2E games. But could it be this simple? Is play-to-earn the future, as the hype surrounding it will have us believe? Or is it a fad that is just too good to be true? Play-To-Earn, A Natural Evolution Of The Gaming Industry On one hand, play-to-earn seems like the natural evolution of an already booming gaming industry, one that represents a whopping $336 billion industry. Despite the elite handful of gamers who monetize their gaming, be it through live streams or lucrative sponsorship, the bulk of game-based economics have always been centralized, with the profits flowing into wallets of the gaming developers alone. Play to earn goes and pops this bubble, incentivizing gamers with a piece of the financial pie for the very first time. “We all love video gaming, but at the end of the day, it has always been a black hole for players financially. With the introduction of play to earn, games are no longer only valuable based solely on entertainment, add in cash flow and you have something truly revolutionary,” explains Jacob Steele, Software Developer at NFTyArcade. The Multi-Layered Value To Investors As these games experience rapid growth before our eyes, investors are getting on board and realizing the tremendous value potential that goes hand in hand with the convergence of entertainment and financial incentives. “By monetizing the games, you are drastically increasing revenue. Now players are not only participating, but benefitting from the system, and they will keep coming back as they get hooked on the notion of investotainment,” explains Venture Partner Andrew Batey. Instead of making $1 to $2 per user in a free-to-play gaming model, there is potential to make between $20 to $70. “We are looking at absolute behemoth gaming companies that will come out in the next few years,” Batey concludes. Yet investors are not only getting excited about P2E games themselves, but the possibilities surrounding play-to-earn. “Play-to-earn games will create whole ecosystems in their orbit,” observes Barak Rabinowitz, the Managing Partner at F2 Venture Capital. “Think marketplaces, game training platforms, gaming intelligence platforms, all taken to the next level of sophistication demanded by the opportunity to make money.” Although play-to-earn is still a new sector with many uncertainties around their sustainability, top-tier VCs are already hedging their bets, including Andreesen Horowitz who have doled out millions to companies in the space, like leading a $152 million investment round in Sky Mavis this October and the recently announced $200 million investment program to incubate early cryptocurrency-focused gaming projects by Animoca Brands. An Elaborate Pyramid Scheme? Yet, harsh skeptics remain. Despite developers, gamers, and even mainstream investors seeing the value in play-to-earn games, there are also those who compare the current play-to-earn models to nothing more than that of a Pyramid scheme. One such voice of caution is that of Ché Köhler, founder of South African business directory Niche Market who claims that “for now, this [model] works, because the number of new players joining each month is greater than the number of current players, meaning people can make their money back due to the number of greater fools to sell to thinking that are the early ones getting in cheap,” Following this logic, as soon as new user growth slows in these games, you will see fewer players wanting to hold tokens, tokens quickly losing their value, demand dropping, and many, many losers who got in too late. The Missing Link To Decentralized Finance One can argue that the early versions of play-to-earn games currently available are only scratching the surface of its potential. When speaking to those who are making a living off these games one can see the scale that this ‘surface’ represents. “D”, a Splinterlands whale who requested to remain anonymous, says he makes $10,000 a week playing the game through tournaments and renting out his cards to other players. “Owning your assets and competing for real prizes is here to stay, and will only grow over time. So find a game you enjoy playing and an ecosystem that you feel will treat you fairly, then get on it.” Play-to-earn is somewhat of a proof-of-concept for decentralized financial systems and an open creator economy. The genius of these games may not lie in their entertainment value (which I can concur after trying just one game myself). Rather, the true innovation of P2E is the transcendence of traditional propriety, or any permissions from centralized authority. A live demonstration of this is the Axie Infinity craze which became increasingly popular for players in the Philippine and Venezuela. So much so that their earnings proved far more significant than anything their local physical economy had to offer with stores in these areas accepting Axies tokens- smooth love potions (SLP)- as payment with no qualms. Like Farmville was the gateway to Facebook’s domination as the top social network, play-to-earn games could be the gateway to redefining financial services. “Play-to-earn is going to be the facilitator for wide-spread massive blockchain adoption across the world, it is a perfect solution specifically for crypto adoption in developing countries.” comments Steele. The P2E space is still in its infancy (much like home video game consoles in the late 80s/early 90s,) yet the sums of money both being invested and earned act as a small preview of the new model’s potential. If it does prove sustainable and delivers on the promise of paying gamers to do what they already enjoy doing, then not only will it serve as a massive bridge bringing millions of gamers into the world of decentralization, but it will turn the current $336B gaming entertainment market to a multi-trillion dollar investotainment industry. About the Author Yaffa is the Content Manager at F2 Venture Capital, responsible for creating multimedia content to engage and support their community of founders. Prior to F2, Yaffa worked as a writer and researcher at a business intelligence agency where she published content in top-tier media outlets and executed strategies to support client objectives. On the side, Yaffa is an active blogger for Hackernoon, The Times of Israel, and The Jerusalem Post. Updated on Dec 9, 2021, 10:28 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 9th, 2021

The most notable streaming TV shows in the works based on video games, from "Halo" to HBO"s "The Last of Us"

Plenty of game-based shows like "Halo" at Paramount+, HBO's "The Last of Us," and Netflix's "Assassin's Creed" are in the works. The next chapter in the "Halo" video-game franchise, "Halo: Infinite."343 Industries Hollywood is mining video games for IP to boost streaming services.  Video-game movies have a history of flopping, but there are plenty of notable shows in the works. Game industry professionals Insider has spoken to think TV is the best medium for adaptations. When Sony's "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City" opened in theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday, it flopped hard.The movie grossed $5.3 million in its first three-day weekend in the US. It's since made just $13 million domestically and $24 million worldwide. It's also received poor reviews and has a 28% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. It marks another commercial and critical failure for a video-game movie in a genre with a rich history of them.But Hollywood still has plenty of game adaptations on the way. The most notable ones are being developed for the small screen, though. Game sales hit a record $56.9 billion in 2020, according to a report by the research firm NPD. As media companies compete for well-established IP to attract (or keep) subscribers for their streaming services, they've set their sights on the video-game industry.And as long as Hollywood keeps mining games for content, industry professionals are glad it's embracing TV."We play our favorite games for hundreds of hours," said Christian Linke, a creative director at Riot Games and the showrunner of Netflix's new "League of Legends" animated series, "Arcane." "Movies don't do the experience justice when you only stick with that world for two hours."Mac Walters, the project director for "Mass Effect: Legendary Edition" — a remastered collection of the sci-fi series' original three games — told Insider during an interview this year that a planned "Mass Effect" movie was scrapped a decade ago."If you're going to tell a story that's as fleshed out as 'Mass Effect,' TV is the way to do it," Walters said. "There's a natural way it fits well with episodic content."Now, Amazon is nearing a deal to make a "Mass Effect" TV series, according to Deadline, as the company bets on high-profile genre shows.Insider looked at the major video-game shows in the works for streaming platforms, from Paramount+'s "Halo" to Netflix's "Assassin's Creed."Amazon Prime Video"Mass Effect: Legendary Edition."Electronic Arts/BioWareDeadline reported recently that Amazon is nearing a deal for a "Mass Effect" TV series, based on the hit sci-fi game franchise. It's part of an effort by Amazon to bulk up its output of genre TV after hits like "The Boys" and most recently "The Wheel of Time.""Westworld" creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are developing a "Fallout" show for Amazon, based on the post-apocalyptic game series."'Fallout' is one of the greatest game series of all time," Nolan and Joy said in a statement last year with the announcement. "Each chapter of this insanely imaginative story has cost us countless hours we could have spent with family and friends." HBO MaxNaughty DogHBO is developing a series based on the "Last of Us" video game, written and executive produced by "Chernobyl" creator Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the copresident of the studio behind the game, Naughty Dog.Pedro Pascal plays Joel, who has to escort young Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, across a post-apocalyptic US. Netflix"Assassin's Creed."UbisoftWhile Netflix's hit fantasy series "The Witcher" is more inspired by the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, the books also spawned popular video games. Given that "The Witcher" is one of Netflix's biggest series, the streaming giant is developing spinoffs, including a live-action prequel series called "The Witcher: Blood Origin."Other game-based, live-action shows coming to Netflix soon include "Resident Evil" and "Assassin's Creed." A 2016 movie adapted from the latter, starring Michael Fassbender, flopped at the box office with $240 million worldwide. Netflix has also ordered animated projects based on games, including "Sonic Prime" starring Sonic the Hedgehog and a "Tomb Raider" series.  Paramount+Bungie / Halo First developed for ViacomCBS's premium cable network Showtime, the long-in-the-works "Halo" TV series moved to ViacomCBS's streaming service Paramount+ last year, and is set for release in 2022. The series is based on the blockbuster sci-fi game franchise of the same name, the new entry of which, "Halo: Infinite," was released on Wednesday.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 8th, 2021

84 great gifts for your girlfriend no matter her interests, from astrology jewelry to an REI co-op membership

We rounded up 84 thoughtful gifts to give your girlfriend, from keepsake jewelry under $100 to helpful tech and fitness accessories. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Gift your girlfriend a thoughtful, custom keepsake.Framebridge Giving your girlfriend a meaningful gift doesn't have to require hours of research. Below is a list of thoughtful gifts for your girlfriend, from accessories and tech to home decor. Still looking for gifts? Find more gift guides broken down by interest, budget, and occasion here. Giving gifts as a couple can be a lot of fun. You know your partner: What they love, what rituals they enjoy, what small daily annoyances you could possibly solve with a thoughtful gift. You also know how much they'll appreciate the gift when it comes from you.Odds are you want to give them something wonderful — whatever your price range is. All most of us need is a little direction and a few great options to pick from, so we put together a list of our favorite gift ideas for girlfriends of all personalities and interests to help guide you.Check out all 84 gifts for your girlfriend:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Vuori. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*The best Apple Watch we've triedAppleApple Watch Series 7, available on Amazon and Apple, from $379If you're looking for a great gift and not concerned about staying in an under-$200 budget, we'd recommend the Apple Watch Series 7.Currently, we think it's the best Apple Watch. The Series 7 can charge up to 80% in 45 minutes, and it's the most advanced version with features such as blood oxygen saturation measuring and an electrocardiogram scanner to detect abnormalities in the heart's rhythm. Earrings made with her birthstoneMejuriAmethyst Flat Sphere Studs, available on Mejuri, $180If your girlfriend wears jewelry, birthstone earrings that she can keep forever are a thoughtful, personalized gift she'll wear often.  Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakeryMilk BarMilk Bar Treats, from $22If your girlfriend has a sweet tooth, send her Milk Bar — the company delivers its iconic and decadent cakes, cookies, and truffles to her doorstep.A pass to get into a bunch of boutique fitness classesClasspassClassPass Gift Card, from $15Boutique fitness classes are expensive, which can make trying new workouts — either for variety or to figure out what we like — less appealing. ClassPass solves both issues. It's relatively affordable, and members can access a neverending catalog of great workouts with small class sizes. If your partner is getting back into fitness after over a year of at-home workouts, we'd highly recommend a gift card here for whenever they're ready to use it.Leggings fit for workouts and lounge sessionsVuoriVuori Daily Legging, from $50Vuori is known for its smooth, soft fabrics and flattering fits — and the Daily Legging is no exception. Combining the leisure and comfort of a jogger with the function and stretch of a legging, your girlfriend can wear these for both workouts and weekend lounging. *Sponsored by VuoriA disposable camera that doesn't take you out of the momentGamesgamer024 The gamer/YouTubeDisposable camera, $42.49Interested in preserving memories without taking yourself out of them? A good disposable camera or a film camera can take the pressure away from perfection so you and your girlfriend can focus on just savoring experiences together.The best electric toothbrushColgateElectric toothbrush, $39.99If your girlfriend is more interested in gifts she needs as well as wants, an electric toothbrush is a good option. We've tested our fair share of electric toothbrushes, and we think Colgate's Hum is the best value. It cleans thoroughly and offers advanced features and modern design for $70 — which is considerably more affordable than options with fancy features you may not use enough. A planned trip for the two of you to take togetherAirbnbAirbnb Gift Card, available at Airbnb, from $25If you want to gift an experience you and your girlfriend can enjoy together, grab a card, a gift card to Airbnb, and come up with a few location ideas to choose from. You can also book a hotel in your city on Booking.com or Expedia for a sweet staycation. *This gift can be saved and used at a later date.A versatile Exercise DressOutdoor VoicesThe Exercise Dress, available on Outdoor Voices, $100Given the popularity of the Exercise Dress, we wouldn't be surprised if this was on your girlfriend's wish list. The Exercise Dress is comfortable, versatile, and cute — which has made it a cult-favorite item. If she's a fan of dresses, outdoor voices, or clothes she can wear all day long, this may be a good option. Her favorite specialty food straight from the sourceGoldbelly/InstagramOrder her favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $28Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy your girlfriend's most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration. A streaming bundle that checks off all the boxesHulu/Disney+/ESPN+/Business InsiderHulu, Disney+ ESPN+ Bundle, available at Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, from $13.99 per monthIf canceled sporting events or trips to Disney have you feeling down, you can gift Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu together to ensure the next few months include plenty of entertainment options. If your partner is not too fond of ads, this bundle can also be purchased with the ad-free version of Hulu.A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residueAmazonForeo Luna Play Plus 2, available at Foreo, $59In the category of things your girlfriend may love but hasn't asked for yet: Foreo facial brushes. Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleansing devices. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so your partner can maintain their skincare routine while traveling. A thoughtful book she'll loveAmazon"Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed, available on Amazon, $12.42Pick up one of your all-time favorite books that you think she'd like, or browse some of the books we love to gift. This collection of Dear Sugar advice columns is a heartfelt favorite. Its topics are diverse, its letters to Dear Sugar are intimate and relatable, and Cheryl Strayed's responses are both witty and extraordinarily compassionate.A membership to a huge outdoor co-opREIREI Co-Op Lifetime Membership, $20, available at REIAn REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. If your girlfriend loves the outdoors, this is an option she can enjoy solo and with you. A Dutch oven to elevate their bread gameLodge mfgEnameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, available at Walmart, $79.90Did your girlfriend get into baking bread and, miraculously, stay committed to it? If so, a really nice Dutch oven can help elevate her experience. You can get something great for under $100, or you can splurge on a beautiful Le Creuset. Other meaningful upgrades include a cooling rack, according to the famous baker Apollonia Poilâne.A subscription that sends her a six-month world tour of teasAtlas Tea ClubAtlas Tea Club 6 Month Subscription, available on Atlas Tea Club, $94This subscription sends your girlfriend single-origin teas from the best tea-growing regions in the world for six months. She'll get two delicious options sent to her home each month.Festive matching underwear from one of the internet's favorite startupsMeUndiesMatching Underwear, available at MeUndies, $42Get yourself and your girlfriend festive matching underwear — which also happen to be some of the most comfortable pairs we've ever found. MeUndies gives you the options to create your own personalized set — two styles listed for women, two styles listed for men, a mix, and whichever length or cut you and your partner prefer. A standing desk for a home office upgradeFullyJarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, available at Fully, from $569If she's working from home, your girlfriend might love a home office upgrade the most. We ranked the Fully Jarvis the best standing desk; it provides the right blend of features and reliable performance. Its customizations for style, height, and accessories make it adaptable to pretty much any need. A framed keepsake of a favorite memoryFramebridgeFramed photo, available at Framebridge, from $45Gift Card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing a bit more affordable. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it, and you can take advantage of the team of designers for help deciding what frame to get. The best socks she'll ever wearBombasBombas Women's Performance Running Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Bombas makes the best socks we've ever tried, and they're a gift we find ourselves giving every year to loved ones. They're lightweight, moisture-wicking, and built to circumvent annoyances like uncomfortable seams and heel slipping.A powerful, customizable massage gunTheragunTheragun PRO, available at Therabody, $599This is the best massage gun we've tested — though it's also on the higher end of what you would expect to pay. We loved it in part due to its two-year warranty, adjustable massage arm, customizable speeds, 60 lbs of no-stall force, six different heads, an extra battery, and how easy it is to use. If you can't give your girlfriend an unlimited pass to professional massages, this is a nice in-between option. A nice gold vermeil and sapphire zodiac sign necklaceMejuriAquarius Necklace, available at Mejuri, $395Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewelry affordable to buy — and it has racked up waitlists with more than 40,000 people before. Their popular Zodiac Necklace is cool, minimalist, and something she can wear every day. It's made in gold vermeil with AAA quality white sapphires. Mejuri's affordable pricing means the estimated traditional retail price of the same necklace elsewhere would be closer to $235.  The best bathrobe that money can buySnoweBathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Snowe's unisex bathrobe has been called the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, and I'm just one more fervent believer. The cotton fiber traps air for extra absorbency and is soft and plush, and the unisex sizing means it will feel like a blanket-turned-robe. Perfect functionality, and extra points for coziness.A tracker for finding cell phones and wallets quicklyAmazonTile Pro, available at Amazon, $34.99When your girlfriend can't find her phone, all she has to do is click the Tile button to make her phone ring, even if it's on silent. We've found them especially useful lately. A monogrammed jewelry case from a minimalist fashion startupCuyanaLeather Jewelry Case, available at Cuyana, $85 (+ $15 for monogram)Keeping track of tiny and delicate jewelry is difficult — but jewelry cases are a pretty and useful solution. This is a thoughtful and personalized gift, especially if you've gotten your girlfriend jewelry in the past, or plan to in the future. It's made from premium leather, comes in many colors, and can be monogrammed with her initials. Cuyana is a cool leather bag startup she may have already heard of. A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the houseFelix GrayFaraday Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95If she's ever complained about strain from constant screens, you can help mitigate it with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. They might even help with sleep.The convenience of Apple AirPodsHollis Johnson/Business InsiderApple AirPods, available at Best Buy, $119.99When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're easy to use. For the latest option, you can pick up AirPods Pro for $189.99. A 215-piece art kit for creative projectsAmazonArt 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, available at Amazon, $49.34If your girlfriend loves to create art, this 215-Piece art kit includes everything she'll need for projects: crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, fine line markers, watercolor cakes, and acrylic paint.A year-long MasterClass membership to learn about things she's passionate aboutMasterClassAnnual Membership, available at MasterClass, from $180/yearIf your dinner table conversations often include talk of photography, or tennis, or screenwriting, or another passion, consider getting your girlfriend a gift that helps her spend time with her hobbies. We love MasterClass because it kind of feels like entertainment. Classes are short, there's no homework, and she can listen to the audio like its a podcast or watch the videos. The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership. You can read our full review here.A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters the cabinetsMade InSilicone Universal Lid Kit, available at Made In, $59This was one of the gifts that professional chefs recommended to us for avid home cooks. If your girlfriend loves to cook and has a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with all the corresponding lids, having one universal lid can declutter and streamline their space in one move. A convenient phone sanitizerPhoneSoapPhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $79.95This small, easy-to-use device uses UV-C light to sanitize a phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs.A bottle (or two) of wineMcBride SistersMcBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a wine gift for your girlfriend. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot. The new Sonos Move portable speakerAmazonSonos Move, available at Best Buy, $399.99The Sonos Move is one of the best speakers on the market. It's powerful, can be controlled by voice or an app, and has Amazon Alexa built-in so on WiFi you can play music, check the news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, without much effort.A stylish, savvy carry-on with an external battery packAwayCarry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360° spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so she never has to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here.16 highly-rated sheet masksAmazon/Business InsiderSheet Mask Set, available at Amazon, $22.99Grab 39 sheet masks to make it easier for your girlfriend to have a frequent and well-deserved "treat yourself" day. These are highly-rated and have both vitamin E and collagen included for healthy, happy skin.   A weighted blanket for better restAmazonYnM Weighted Blanket, available at YnM, from $49.80Weighted blankets help create more restful sleep by "grounding" the body, and YnM makes some of the most popular and affordable weighted blankets on the internet. There are multiple sizes and weights for the ideal fit and width (they recommend picking whichever is about 10% of your body weight), and the segmented design allows you to move around without displacing all the weighted beads inside. A mini multipurpose toolAmazonMini Multitool Knife 12 in 1, available on Amazon, $9.99This lightweight multitool has a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, and a bottle opener — so it's nine times as many opportunities for being useful as your average gift. A sleek fitness tracker that includes heart rate monitoringFitbitFitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $69.95Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep someone informed about their physical activity — tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones.An 8-in-1 pan that helps to declutter your homeOur PlaceAlways Pan, available at Our Place, $145If you're spending more time at home cooking together — or re-organizing the kitchen — she may appreciate a good 8-in-1 cookware hack.The Always Pan from startup Our Place is a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in the space of a single pan. In other words, a clever generalist that's extremely convenient for small spaces or minimalist cooks. You can read our review here.A video message from someone she loves almost as much as youCameo/Business InsiderCameo Video Messages, available at Cameo, from $15Whether it's your girlfriend's favorite actor, comedian, or athlete, you're likely to find someone she admires on Cameo. Cameo allows celebrities to send custom video messages to recipients for nearly any occasion, and a personalized video is a gift that she'll never forget. Personalized cartoon couple mugsShelley KleinPersonalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30These cute mugs can be personalized for what you're like as a couple, making for a special weekend morning coffee routine or just a nice reminder in the kitchen cabinet. On the back, you can add a family name and the year the couple was established if you'd like. Silky, breathable leggingsEverlaneEverlane Leggings, $68Everlane's Perform Leggings are some of our all-time favorites — they're breathable and silky, like a slightly less expensive version of Alo leggings. You can read a full review of the Everlane Perform Leggings and see pictures of them here.Beautiful candles from a cool startupOtherlandOtherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36Otherland is a candle company started by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. If you want to give your girlfriend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from a startup that she's probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find our full review here.The last weekend bag you'll ever need to buy herRothy'sRothy's The Weekender, available at Rothy's, $550With its large, padded top handles and roomy interior, Rothy's The Weekender might be the last overnight bag your partner ever needs. It's got multiple pockets and a sturdy insert that helps it maintain its shape. You'll be shocked by how much you can fit in this bag — definitely enough for a long weekend. It's made of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean and is machine washable.  The "world's most comfortable shoes"AllbirdsWomen's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98The classic Wool Runners make a great gift for the uninitiated, though we'd also highly recommend the brand's casual cup sole Wool Piper for everyday wear if that's more your partner's style. You can find our full review of the Runners here, and the Wool Pipers here.A customized map of her favorite placeGrafomapCustom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap lets you design custom maps of anywhere in the world — like the first place you met, the best trip you ever took together, or the hometown she couldn't wait to show you. It's unique, thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.  You can find our full review here.A gift card to a popular wine subscription clubWincGift Card, available at Winc, from $29.95Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think it's the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions. An exercise bike for staying active indoorsNordicTrackCommercial S22i Studio Cycle, available at NordicTrack, $1,499If money is of no object and your partner is trying to figure out how to exercise while staying indoors, an exercise bike is a particularly thoughtful and useful gift right now. We like the NordicTrack option the most overall, but we also like and recommend options that are under $200. A large print on fine art paper of a favorite memoryArtifact Uprising/Business InsiderLarge Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $30.A mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours straightHydro FlaskHydro Flask Mug, 12 oz, available at Hydro Flask, from $24.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Reviews team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read our full review of it here.A gift card for delicious, healthy meals she can make in about 30 secondsDaily HarvestGift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Daily Harvest is a food startup that makes it possible to eat healthy, delicious meals for less than $10 each even if you only have 30 seconds to spare for prep time. Meals are pre-portioned, delicious, and designed by both a chef and a nutritionist to make sure they're tasty and good for you. It addressed most of my healthy eating roadblocks. The best hair dryer ever inventedDyson/FacebookDyson Blow Dryer, available at Ulta, $399.99This gift may seem inexplicably expensive, but the Dyson blow dryer is lauded as the best one ever invented, making it a cult favorite. It prevents hair damage by measuring air temperature 20 times per second, has a specially designed Dyson motor for fast drying, and reduces static, breakage, and makes hair look smooth and shiny.Comfy, high-end sheets at the best price on the marketBrooklinenLuxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point-blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in plenty of colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. Grab a gift card if you want to give her more freedom. If you opt for a sheet bundle, she'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave.This cozy loungewear set that she'll never want to take offKnixKnix Cozzzy Track Pants, available at Knix, $46.75Cozy and warm, the Cozzzy Track Pants from Knix are comfortable enough to wear around the house while also being cute enough to wear to the market. The ultra-soft fabric feels like the softest terry cloth washcloth you've ever used, and its slouchy fit is modern and luxe. She'll love the joggers with cuffed legs that are sleek without being overly tight. Comes in cream and gray.The internet's favorite olive oilBrightlandAwake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone else who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. Find a full review here. A high-tech towel that keeps her from slipping around during yoga classesMandukaManduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, from $42.50Manduka is known for making the best yoga products, and their Yogitoes towel is one of the most loved. It has tiny 100% silicone nubs on one side that grab yoga mats and keep yogis from slipping around during the exercise. Having a good towel can make a big difference. It also comes in 19 great colors and gets eco-friendly points. Each Yogitoes towel is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles, and made with dyes free of azo, lead, or heavy metal. A card game that's meant to deepen personal connectionsUrban OutfittersWe're Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Urban Outfitters, $30This card game, from the popular Instagram account We're Not Really Strangers, is designed to enhance connections between people with different levels: perceptions, connection, and reflection. Not only is it a card game you haven't played before, but it's also a thoughtful activity you can enjoy with your girlfriend.A cooking class from one of the nation's top chefsCozymeal/InstagramGift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50With a Cozymeal class, you and your girlfriend can learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to Argentinian staple dishes from the nation's top chefs. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers food tours in various cities (when it's safe to do so). A satin-lined beanieAndrea Bossi / Business InsiderKink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $36Most people with naturally curly hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil's satin-lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if she'd prefer to wear the hat without it.We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair. Rihanna's bestselling Fenty skincare setFenty BeautyFenty Skin Start'rs Full-Size Bundle, $75Rihanna's bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything she'll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, and two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here.A cashmere crew from Everlane that she'll own foreverEverlaneThe Cashmere Crew, available at Everlane, from $120For a closet staple she'll own for years to come, Everlane's $120 Cashmere Crew (available in various colors) is about the safest choice you can make. Everlane has plenty of great gifts (you can find the Everlane basics we wear repeatedly here), so you can't really go wrong. A small cold brew coffee makerAmazonAirtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Walmart, $34.99This small cold brew maker (available in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options) makes coffee's less acidic, smoother cousin cold brew in 12 hours in the fridge, so there's minimal hassle and always a treat ready in the morning on your girlfriend's way out the door to work. A stylish leather makeup pouch that's thoughtful and easy to travel withDagne DoverHunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40Dagne Dover is quickly becoming one of the best women's handbag companies to know, and its toiletry pouches are a great and relatively affordable gift. The small size holds a handful of go-to toiletries, and the large should have enough space for all of the grooming essentials.A comfy zip-up for the months aheadPatagoniaBetter Sweater, available at Patagonia, from $139Patagonia makes our favorite athleisure options overall, and that definitely includes the Better Sweater. It works in pretty much any environment — in the office, at home, on a hike, or on a casual night out — and has zippered pockets to keep hands warm in the cold months. We're also big fans of the 1/4 Zip option.A new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for reading anywhereAmazonKindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $129.99If your girlfriend is a reader, we'd suggest looking at Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite; it's the company's thinnest and lightest yet, with double the storage. Perhaps the best features are that it's waterproof and has a built-in adjustable light for the perfect reading environment indoors or outdoors, day or night. If she loves a nice, relaxing bath, pair this with a caddy, bath bombs, and a glass of wine for a relaxing night in that you've already taken care of.A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50%AquisAquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, from $30Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes for her hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries. A fun, unique local dateAirbnb/Business InsiderAirbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $10Airbnb started offering experience programming online. You can book from thousands of experiences that range from workouts with Olympic athletes over Zoom to cooking classes with chefs you'd normally have to hop on a flight to meet. We tested a a tango class and a Moroccan cooking class.It's also an under-utilized part of Airbnb, making it a thoughtful and unusual gift — and one you may keep using with your girlfriend for out-of-the-box date nights in the future. As states and countries slowly begin reopening, Airbnb listings and in-person activities are becoming options again, but you can still participate in online activities from home if you're not ready to travel yet or just want a fun activity. A houseplant that arrives already potted and is easy to care forLeon & GeorgeSilver Evergreen, available at Leon & George, from $149Leon & George is a San Francisco startup that will send beautiful plants — potted in stylish, minimalist pots — to your girlfriend's door. All she has to do is to occasionally add water. Flowers are wonderful, but houseplants have a much longer shelf life, and most of Leon & George's options are very easy to care for. We'd also recommend checking out Bloomscape for small plant trios under $70.  Beautiful earrings she'll own foreverStone and StrandSparkle Diamond Cluster Huggies, available at Stone and Strand, $395They're solid gold, conflict-free, and made locally. Plus, the style is versatile enough that your girlfriend can wear them every day.A membership to a popular skincare and makeup subscription that sends new, cool, and bestselling products once per monthConnie Chen/Business InsiderBirchbox Gift Subscription, available at Birchbox, from $45Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products to subscribers so they can find products they love without much commitment or cost upfront. Makeup and skincare products can be expensive, so this is a particularly helpful service. A funny and unique cardLoveFromCo/EtsyYou Take My Breath Away, available at Etsy, from $4.09You can pick up a card from Walgreens on your way to exchange gifts, but it'll mean more if you think just a few days ahead. Etsy has great options for cheap, unique, handmade gifts that are cool and thoughtful. This one is perfect for a couple who appreciates a "The Office" deep cut. A streaming stick that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodesAmazonRoku Streaming Stick +, available at Best Buy, $44.99Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into his TV.A great foam rollerTB12Vibrating Pliability Roller, available on TB12, $160If your girlfriend is very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$20 options too. A subscription to a book club that sends her great hardcovers once per monthBook of the Month Instagram3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she's a bookworm, Book of the Month is an especially thoughtful and unique gift — it's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time ("Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple). If you gift her a subscription, she'll receive a hardcover book delivered to her door once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If she's really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here).Fancy popcorn and a movie nightWilliams SonomaAmish Popcorn Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Make a reservation at a nice outdoor restaurant, stock up on your girlfriend's favorite movie candy and some fun drinks ahead of time (wrap them for an extra wow-factor), and create your own in-house cinema experience. Or, perhaps even better, order a bunch of take-out from your favorite local restaurants.A gift set of a dozen decadent bath bombsAmazonBath Bomb Gift Set, available at Walmart, $34.53This bath bomb gift set comes with 12 handcrafted bath bombs that range from mango-papaya to lavender in scent, and some of which include flower petals. They're a great addition to a long bath, as is a bamboo bathtub tray. A subscription to a coffee service that sends coffees specifically for her taste preferencesDriftaway Facebook3-Month Subscription, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $75If your girlfriend loves coffee, she'll probably love to try Driftaway. It's a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it, remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your specific tastes. The first shipment will be a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which she'll rate online or in the app to start getting personalized options.A book of love letters written by history's great menAmazonLove Letters of Great Men, available at Amazon, $13.95It can be hard to do yourself justice in words — whether they're spoken or written in a card. This compilation of love letters written by great men can help you say it without actually technically saying it. Bonus points if you write your own, or mark the ones in the book that most closely resemble your own feelings.  A beautiful diamond necklace she'll have foreverAUrateDiamond Bezel Necklace, available at AUrate, from $320A diamond necklace doesn't have to be thousands of dollars, as fine jewelry startups like AUrate are proving. This necklace is something she can keep and wear forever, and both the solid gold and conflict-free diamonds are of the highest quality. Lush, subtly scented body washNecessaireNecessaire — The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with nourishing vitamins and clean ingredients. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave her skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished. Hand sanitizer that smells goodTouchlandTouchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9Many of us are using hand sanitizer a lot these days. Why not pick one they'd enjoy using? This version from Touchland is a little moisturizing and doesn't smell like alcohol or make hands sticky. Read our full review here.A stylish weekender to keep her organized on the goCaraa SportCaraa Studio Tote Large, available at Caraa, $250Caraa Sport makes some of the most functional and best-looking gym bags on the market. This one can transition from tote to backpack by adding straps. It also has a hidden shoe compartment and a waterproof and antimicrobial lining.An award-winning at-home facialSephoraDrunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80This is an award-winning mask with a big following in the beauty and skincare community. It's $80, but it's an at-home pro-quality facial your girlfriend can use anytime — which is a fraction of the price required for regular facials.Kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foodsUncommon GoodsWine Pairing Towel, available at Wolf & Badger, $19If your girlfriend loves having a nice glass of wine and/or cooking, she'll appreciate the thought behind this unique wine pairing towel. Grab a bottle and some corresponding ingredients for a fun night in for the two of you.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 8th, 2021

Stocks Soar On Optimism Omicron Is A Dud As Traders Focus On Growing China Stimulus

Stocks Soar On Optimism Omicron Is A Dud As Traders Focus On Growing China Stimulus U.S. index futures rallied, led by gains for Nasdaq 100 contracts, amid waning omicron worries and a booster shot of Chinese stimulus lifted world stock markets and oil on Tuesday and left traders offloading safe-haven currencies and bonds for the second day in a row. Emini S&P futures were up 61 point to 4,650.75 or about 120 points higher then where Gartman said "stocks are headed lower" some 24 hours ago. Nasdaq futures were up 1.8% and Dow futures rose 1% in premarket trading. In fact, futures are now just 50 points away from where they were below the Black Friday Omicron panic plunge. The FTSEurofirst 300 index was on track for its first back-to-back run of plus 1% gains since February while Asia saw record bounces from some of China's biggest firms such as Alibaba which soared by the most since its 2019 listing in Hong Kong, leading a rebound in Chinese tech stocks, as bargain hunters piled in amid improved sentiment following Beijing’s move to bolster the economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.7% while Japan’s Topix index closed 2.2% higher. The VIX dropped for a second day, sliding below 24, but remained above this year’s average. The risk-on mood also helped the dollar climb against safe haven currencies such as the Japanese yen, , which had lost 0.6% overnight, as the confidence-sensitive Australian dollar also found buyers. Safe-haven government bonds went the other way with yields  up 2.5% on Germany's benchmark 10-year Bund after falling to a three-month low on Monday. Reports in South Africa said Omicron cases there had only shown mild symptoms and the top U.S. infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, told CNN "it does not look like there's a great degree of severity" so far. "Good news relating to the severity of Omicron should be taken with a pinch of salt. Faster transmission could offset the benefits of milder symptoms," researchers at ING said in a note. "More broadly, it is still early days, even if markets are starting to display Omicron fatigue." "While epidemiologists have rightly warned against premature conclusions on Omicron, markets arguably surmised that last week's brutal sell-off ought to have been milder," Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, said in a note. "After all, early assessments of Omicron cases have been declared mild, spurring half-full relief." There are signs of “a fragile improvement in market mood,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote. Still, “no headline addresses the major concern of the week: the rising U.S. inflation, which is a big threat to the investor mood, as the U.S. CPI data is due Friday, and the expectation is an advance to a strong 6.7%,” Ozkardeskaya wrote in a report. “We could see wild mood swings into the second half of the week.” The gains also came after China's central bank on Monday injected its second shot of stimulus since July by cutting the RRR - or the amount of cash that banks must hold in reserve. Then on Tuesday, the PBOC said that the Interest rate for relending to support rural sector and smaller firms will be cut by 0.25 percentage point, effective from today, with 3-mo, 6-mo and 1-yr relending rates will be cut to 1.7%1.9% and 2%. After pretending it would let the economy falter for months, Beijing is finally firmly in pro-growth mode with the Politburo stating that stability is the top priority ahead of next year’s Communist Party congress. Premier Li Keqiang also said China has room for a variety of monetary policy tools after yesterday’s reserve ratio cut. As a result, the beaten down financial and property stocks were the biggest winners amid the change in tone from policy makers. In Hong Kong, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. soared by the most since its 2019 listing. Global markets are also getting a lift from the easing policy pivot in world’s second-largest economy which we first flagged more than a weeks ago. * * * In the premarket, Intel shares rose 7.7% in premarket trading after the chipmaker confirmed a WSJ report that it plans to float a minority stake in its Mobileye self-driving car business by the middle of next year. Alibaba jumped as much as 5.4% in U.S. premarket trading Tuesday, adding to a 10% rally on Monday as with Chinese tech stocks rebound. Alibaba’s climb in the U.S. comes after its shares posted their biggest gain since June 2017 on Monday. Cruise operators and airline stocks are trading higher for a second session as investors assess the severity of the omicron virus variant. American Airlines was among the notable outperformers after naming President Robert Isom to replace retiring CEO Doug Parker. AAL rose 3% in premarket trading, while UAL climbs 2.6% and JBLU jumps 2.7%; other gainers include: ALK +2.6%, DAL+2.3%, LUV +2.4%, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise added 3.3%, while Carnival increased 3.1% in premarket trading. Casino operators also rebounded, led by Las Vegas Sands +3.5%, Wynn Resorts +2.7%, MGM Resorts +2.3% after Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam said the city will prioritize quarantine-free travel for business people when its border with mainland China reopens. In Europe every industry sector rose, led by tech and mining companies, to push the Stoxx 600 Index to a 2% gain led by technology, mining and consumer companies. AstraZeneca was an outliker, falling 2% in London after the company agreed to pay Ionis Pharmaceuticals as much as $3.6 billion to gain rights to a promising medicine for a rare disease. European e-commerce stocks that benefited from increased demand during pandemic-related lockdowns rose in Europe on Tuesday, with many outperforming the benchmark Stoxx 600’s biggest gain since March. Among the names were Allegro +6.3%, Moonpig +5.3%, Global Fashion Group +5.3%, Asos +5.1%, Zalando +4.6%, THG +3.7%, Boozt +3.3%, Ocado +2.4%, Boohoo +1.9%. “As concerns grow over rising case numbers, we expect some people will prefer to shop online again to limit their visits to stores,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, says in emailed comments. Asian equities advanced, on track for their best day in more than three months, following China’s latest moves to bolster growth in the world’s second-largest economy.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.8%, poised for its biggest gain since Aug. 24. Consumer-discretionary firms contributed most to the market’s climb, led by Alibaba as bargain hunters snapped up recently rattled Chinese tech stocks. Benchmarks in Hong Kong and Japan led broad gains around the region.  China’s central bank said it will cut the amount of cash most banks must keep in reserve from Dec. 15, providing a liquidity boost. Meanwhile the Communist Party’s Politburo signaled an easing of curbs on the battered real-estate sector. “Anxiety over the Chinese economy is abating thanks to the cut in the banks’ reserve ratio and a partial easing of real-estate regulations,” said Hiroshi Namioka, chief strategist at T&D Asset Management Co. Plus, “an overall risk-on mood is being created as people turn increasingly optimistic about any impact from the omicron, leading to higher U.S. equities and long-term yields.”  Financials and industrials also boosted the region’s key equity gauge Tuesday as investors looked toward reopening prospects. The day’s rebound marks a sharp turnaround following weeks of declines since mid-November. U.S. equities overnight rebounded from Friday’s selloff after reports that cases of the omicron variant have been relatively mild. Japanese equities rose by the most in over a month, as investors were cheered by reports of Chinese policy makers moving to support the nation’s economy and that global omicron virus cases have been relatively mild. Electronics makers and telecoms were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which gained 2.2%, the most since Nov. 1. SoftBank Group and Tokyo Electron were the largest contributors to a 1.9% rise in the Nikkei 225. The yen extended its loss against the dollar after weakening 0.6% overnight. U.S. stocks climbed Monday after news from South Africa that showed hospitals haven’t been overwhelmed by the latest wave of Covid cases. Meanwhile, China President Xi Jinping oversaw a meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo on Monday that concluded with a signal of an easing in curbs on real estate. “Cyclical stocks, China-linked names and automakers that had been sold on a stronger yen will likely be bought up following China’s change in policy stance,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a strategist at Nomura Asset Management in Tokyo. “This will alleviate worry over a slowdown in the Chinese economy.” India’s benchmark equity index bounced back from a three-month low on optimism that the global economic recovery may be able to withstand risks associated with the omicron virus variant.  The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.6% to 57,633.65, in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index also advanced by a similar magnitude. ICICI Bank Ltd. provided the biggest boost to both the gauges with a 3.5% gain. Out of the 30 shares in the Sensex, 29 rose and one fell. All 19 industry sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a measure of metals companies. The uncertainty from the omicron variant, along with expectations of rapid tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve have tested the risk appetite of investors in the previous two sessions in India. However, markets across Asia advanced Tuesday after China pledged measures to support slowing economic growth. “Indian markets mirrored the sharp buoyancy in global indices on the back of short-covering by market participants. The rally was backed by a sharp upsurge in banking and metal stocks, which had taken a severe hammering in recent sessions,” Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research at Kotak Securities Ltd. wrote in a note.  Australia’s central bank -- at its monetary policy meeting Tuesday -- left its key interest rate unchanged and said that while the strain is a source of uncertainty, it’s not expected to derail the recovery. Reserve Bank of India will announce its rate decision on Wednesday.  In FX, the Dollar Spot Index inched lower as commodity currencies led gains among Group-of-10 peers. The volatility skew for the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index shows bullish bets on the greenback over the one-month tenor stand near their lowest since August. This may change as soon as next week after Friday's CPI report. The euro reversed an Asia session gain to touch a December low of $1.1254 in early European hours. Bunds and Italian bonds slumped, led by the belly after ECB’s Holzmann yesterday said rate hikes are possible while still buying debt. Money markets continue to price the first 10bps rate hike in December 2022 but October pricing jumps to 7.5bps from 6bps on Monday. The pound was steady against the dollar, trailing other risk-sensitive currencies, with focus on next week’s Bank of England meeting and how officials will assess the threat of the omicron strain. The Norwegian krone and the Canadian dollar advanced amid rising oil prices and before the Bank of Canada meeting Wednesday. Australian bond yields extended gains and the Aussie dollar advanced versus all of its G-10 peers as central bank optimism that omicron won’t disrupt the economic recovery underscored bets on sooner-than-expected rate hikes. Australia’s central bank left monetary settings unchanged, citing uncertainties from omicron, while highlighting positive signs in the labor market and broader economy. Finally, the yen fell a second day after easing concern over the coronavirus omicron variant In rates, Treasuries were narrowly mixed with the front-end lagging ahead of today's 3-year auction. Treasury 2-year yields were cheaper by 2.2bp on the day, flattening 2s10s spread by 1.8bp and unwinding portion of Monday’s steepening move; 10-year yields around 1.436%, slightly cheaper on the day. Bunds lag by 1.3bp after ECB’s Holzmann says rate hikes are possible while still buying debt -- BTP’s cheapen 2.5bp vs. Treasuries in 10-year sector. U.S. TSY auctions resume with $54b 3-year note sale at 1pm ET, before $36b 10- and $22b 30-year Wednesday and Thursday; the WI 3-year around 0.973% is above auction stops since Feb. 2020 and ~22bp cheaper than November’s sale, which tailed the WI by 1bp. In commodities, oil prices jumped another 2% to $74.60 a barrel, adding to a near 5% rebound the day before as concerns about the impact of Omicron on global fuel demand eased; WTI rose about 3% near $71.50. Copper prices also ticked higher while gold was steady at $1,778.5 per ounce on expectations U.S. consumer price data due later this week will show inflation quickening. European natural gas futures rose on talk of fresh Russian sanctions. Spot gold is choppy near $1,780/oz. Base metals are well bid given the broader risk-on tone: most of the complex rises over 1% with LME zinc outperforming.  Looking at today's calendar, we have trade balance data for October at 8:30 a.m, while the EIA short-term energy outlook is published at 12:00 p.m. The US sells $54 billion of 3-year notes at 1:00 p.m. Biden and Putin talk from 10:00 a.m. Jeffrey Gundlach hosts his Total Return webcast from 4:15 p.m. Autozone Inc. and Toll Brothers Inc. report results. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.3% to 4,650 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.7% to 476.71 MXAP up 1.7% to 193.18 MXAPJ up 1.7% to 627.71 Nikkei up 1.9% to 28,455.60 Topix up 2.2% to 1,989.85 Hang Seng Index up 2.7% to 23,983.66 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,595.09 Sensex up 1.6% to 57,657.07 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.9% to 7,313.90 Kospi up 0.6% to 2,991.72 Brent Futures up 2.3% to $74.73/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,778.95 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 96.36 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1268 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The ECB said its supervision arm will focus its scrutiny in the coming three years on risks that lenders face from a potential spike in bad loans and their search for higher returns Hungary’s central bank is nowhere close to stopping a monetary tightening campaign that will make the country’s real interest rates the highest in central Europe, Deputy Governor Barnabas Virag said The U.S. and European allies are weighing sanctions targeting Russia’s biggest banks and the country’s ability to convert rubles for dollars and other foreign currencies should President Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine, according to people familiar with the matter China’s exports and imports grew faster than expected in November, with both hitting records as external demand surged ahead of the year-end holidays and domestic production rebounded on an easing power crunch. Some China Evergrande Group bondholders have not received overdue coupon payments after the end of a month-long grace period, putting the world’s most indebted property developer on the brink of its first default on offshore notes U.K. house prices hit a record in November, with values over the past three months rising at their fastest pace for 15 years, according to mortgage lender Halifax A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mostly positive following the heightened risk appetite among global peers, including in the US, where the DJIA posted its best performance since March and all sectors in the S&P 500 finished positive. Omicron concerns abated throughout the session and resulted in notable outperformance across travel and leisure stocks, while the region also took its opportunity to digest the PBoC's recent RRR cut announcement and mostly better than expected Chinese trade data. The ASX 200 (+1.0%) was positive with broad gains across its sectors aside from utilities and with momentum helped after a lack of surprises at the RBA policy decision - which refrained from any policy tweaks. Nikkei 225 (+1.9%) outperformed and regained a firm footing above the 28k level as exporters benefitted from a weaker currency, and with the advances led by SoftBank which atoned for the recent declines in its portfolio companies. The Hang Seng (+2.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) were both initially lifted in early trade after the announcement of the PBoC’s RRR cut, which is said to likely calm markets amid increasing developer risks, although the mainland bourse then gave back its gains after the PBoC continued to drain liquidity in its daily open market operations. Furthermore, reports that the PBoC lowered its relending rate by 25bps for agricultural and small companies also failed to boost the mainland as this is viewed as a more targeted supportive measure. Finally, 10yr JGBs declined and re-approached the key psychological 152.00 level on spillover selling from USTs as stocks gained and Omicron fears abated. The results of the latest 30yr JGB auction were mixed with higher accepted prices and lower yield offset by a weaker b/c and wider tail in price. Top Asian News Asian Stocks Set for Best Day in 3 Months as China Tech Rebounds Alibaba Jumps Most Since H.K. Listing as China Tech Rebounds Malaysia Court Dismisses Najib’s Plea, SRC Verdict Due Wednesday LG Energy Seeks Up to 12.75t Won IPO, Biggest in Korea European stocks have conformed to the risk appetite seen across global peers (Euro Stoxx 50 +2.5%; Stoxx 600 +2.0%), which initially emanated from Wall Street, before seeping into APAC and reverberating in Europe. There is no clear catalyst behind the gains, although desks have been attributing the optimism to receding fears regarding the Omicron variant – with no recorded deaths thus far. That being said, some of the key tail risks to markets have not subsided, with liquidity also expected to be more anemic in the run-up to next week’s risk-packed docket before year end. Nonetheless, US equity futures are grinding higher with the NQ (+1.9%) in the lead, closely followed by the RTY (+1.7%), whilst the ES (+1.3%) and YM (+1.0%) see slightly less pronounced gains. Back in Europe, Euro-bourses see broad-based upside but the UK’s FTSE 100 (+1.1%) and the Swiss SMI (+0.7%) are capped by underperformance in the defensive sectors – with Healthcare and Food & Beverages towards the bottom of the bunch. Sectors are overall in the green with a clear and firm pro-cyclical bias. Tech leads the gains following its recent underperformance, with Basic Resources also among the winners as base metals post decent gains. In terms of individual movers GSK (+0.5%) remains supported after pre-clinical data demonstrate the potential for monoclonal antibody Sotrovimab to be effective against the latest variant, Omicron, plus all other variants of concern defined to date by the WHO. As a reminder, the co. last week said its COVID treatment Sotrovimab retains its activity against the Omicron variant. British American Tobacco (+2.1%) is firmer followed by a positive trading update alongside Babcock (+5.2%) and Ferguson (+4.0%). On the downside, AstraZeneca (-1.7%) resides towards the foot of the Stoxx 600 amid a downgrade at Jefferies, alongside the broader anti-defensive narrative. Looking at analysts’ commentary, Barclays suggests that the Fed is unlikely to over-deliver on the rate hikes that are already priced in, with the bank unphased by the recent Powell pivot and Omicron resurgence. Barclays maintains its positive view on 2022 equities and upgraded its European small caps to overweight on improving fundamentals but oversold performance, and downgraded Momentum to market-weight. Top European News U.K. House Prices Post Strongest Quarterly Increase Since 2006 Republicans’ Pecresse Ties With Le Pen in French Poll Ferguson 1Q U.S. Organic Revenue Beats Estimates EU Aims to Unveil Green Rules for Gas, Nuclear Projects Dec. 22 In FX, although the Buck remains bid on bullish US fundamentals and the index is finding plenty of underlying buying interest/support into 96.000, the overall market mood is constructive enough to help riskier currencies outperform, and shrug off another dovish RBA policy meeting in the case of the Aussie. Instead, Aud/Usd and Aud/Nzd are gaining more ground on the coattails of iron ore prices and favourable tradewinds, as Chinese imports surged beyond expectations and outpaced exports that also beat consensus to leave the surplus somewhat short of the mark. The headline pair reached 0.7101 before running into resistance and 1.2 bn option expiry interest at the 0.7100 strike, while the cross has breached 1.0450 convincingly to expose 1.0500 ahead of NZ Q3 manufacturing sales on Wednesday and following RBNZ Assistant Governor Hawkseby sticking to a considered line on further rate normalisation overnight. He also said the Kiwi is in a broad range of where it is expected to be and that a higher currency in the short-term will help us achieve objectives more quickly. Nzd/Usd is still rotating around 0.6750, while the Loonie is latching on to the latest leg up in WTI over Usd 71/brl to test offers protecting 1.2700 vs its US rival in advance of Canadian and US trade data, Ivey PMIs and tomorrow’s BoC, with the DXY fading following a fleeting breach of Monday’s peak within 96.447-168 confines, Note also, 1.1 bn option expiries reside between 1.2750-55 in Usd/Cad and could cap recovery rallies. Elsewhere, the Scandinavian Crowns continue to rebound from recent lows against the Euro, and Brent’s bounce to the brink of Usd 75/brl is helping the Nok probe 10.2000 rather than a somewhat mixed Norges Bank regional network survey, while the Sek is lagging circa 10.2400 amidst Riksbank concerns over the lack of liquidity and transparency in Sweden’s corporate bond market that needs to be addressed. CHF/GBP/EUR/JPY - The G10 laggards to varying degrees, with the Franc trying to pare losses from sub-0.9250 vs the Dollar and more successfully against the Euro from almost 1.0450 towards 1.0400, while the Pound is holding mostly above 1.3250 in Cable terms and Eur/Gbp is pivoting 0.8500 as the single currency remains under the psychological 1.1300 level vs the Greenback irrespective of supportive Eurozone macro impulses via better than forecast German industrial output and ZEW economic sentiment over bleak current conditions. Similarly, the Yen remains weak on risk and rate/yield dynamics and Usd/Jpy is now firmer within a loftier 113.40-74 range before a raft of Japanese releases including Q3 GDP revisions and October’s current account balance. EM - More easing in China, but resilience or even ongoing strength in the Cny and Cnh in wake of the PBoC shaving 25 bp off the relending rate for agricultural and small companies, according to sources in the Securities Times that also suggests in tune with the China Daily that an LPR cut may be in the offing. Conversely, weakness in the Rub awaiting the call between Putin and Biden and the Zar on the back of SA GDP missing already low-key expectations, but the Try is nursing some declines in what could be reasonably described as intervention fashion. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are firmer on the session, buoyed by the risk appetite across the markets. From a fundamental standpoint, the benchmarks remain underpinned by the lack of progress in Iranian nuclear talks coupled with the OSP hike seen by Saudi Aramco over the weekend for Asia and US customers – typically a reflection of firmer demand. The morning also saw some reports suggesting Yemen Houthis fired several ballistic missiles and 25 armed drones on Saudi Arabia, including Aramco facilities in Jeddah, but details remain light. Aside from that, the morning’s newsflow has been on the quiet side, with the macro environment currently dictating price action. WTI Jan is back on a USD 71/bbl handle (vs low 69.50/bbl) while Brent Feb topped USD 75.00/bbl (vs low USD 73.20/bbl). In terms of bank forecasts, Citi sees a dramatic fall in energy prices from Q4 2021 to Q4 2022 averages – with Brent seen at USD 62/bbl (from USD 79/bbl) and WTI seen at USD 59/bbl (from USD 75/bbl). Over to metals, spot gold and silver move in tandem with the Buck featuring the former around USD 1,780/oz and caged below that cluster of DMAs which today sees the 50, 100 and 200 at USD 1,793/oz, USD 1,790/oz and USD 1,791/oz respectively. Elsewhere LME copper takes impetus from the broader risk appetite, with prices back north of USD 9,500/t and extending on gains, with the Chinese trade data also supportive for the base metal complex. Overnight, Dalian iron ore futures gained focus as prices were bolstered by the recent liquidity action taken by the PBoC coupled with more sanguine commentary surrounding the Chinese housing market, according to some analysts. US Event Calendar 8:30am: 3Q Unit Labor Costs, est. 8.3%, prior 8.3% 8:30am: 3Q Nonfarm Productivity, est. -4.9%, prior -5.0% 8:30am: Oct. Trade Balance, est. -$66.8b, prior -$80.9b 3pm: Oct. Consumer Credit, est. $25b, prior $29.9b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It’s with much trepidation that I take an hour off work this morning to visit my 4-year old twins’ nativity play. They are by far the youngest in their Reception year and given they were premature, in reality there are technically older kids in the nursery year. As such my expectations were always well managed when the parts were being doled out that they wouldn’t be competing for the blockbuster roles such as Joseph! These expectations were met as they have been cast as “presents”. So I think they have to sit there with a bow around them and try to remember some of the words in the songs they have been given to sing. Success would be for them not to have a fight mid-performance as they do most evenings when I see them. Only when you have identical twins can you witness such love and hatred displayed within the space of a few seconds. Markets have been swinging between love and hate over the last 10 days with the former winning out yesterday as investors’ concerns eased around the Omicron variant. Obviously we’re still awaiting definitive data on a number of points, but more generally the suggestions that it could be less likely to cause severe disease has injected some optimism back into markets after the recent selloffs. As a result, we saw a decent bounceback among the major equity indices on both sides of the Atlantic, an advance for oil prices following 6 successive weekly declines, and investors even moved to marginally bring forward the likely timing of central bank rate hikes. We’ll start with equities, where risk appetite only increased as the day went on, with the S&P 500 (+1.17%) posting a broad-based advance that saw over 85% of the index’s members advancing. Europe also put in a strong performance, with the STOXX 600 up +1.3%, whilst many indices saw their biggest advances in months. That included the UK’s FTSE 100 (+1.5%), Spain’s IBEX 35 (+2.4%), and Italy’s FTSE MIB (+2.2%), which, outside of last Wednesday, were the best daily performances since July. European tech shares lagged the broader rally, with the STOXX Technology index down -0.33%, though US tech shares gained steam after the European close, with the Nasdaq up +0.93%, trailing the S&P by a more modest amount. Greater optimism about the new variant proved supportive for oil prices too, with Brent crude (+4.58%) and WTI (+4.87%) posting gains after a run of 6 consecutive weekly declines, having also been supported by Saudi Arabia’s move to raise oil prices to Asia and the US in January. Oil prices are up another 1% this morning. However, there was a big decline in US natural gas futures (-11.50%) yesterday, the worst daily performance since January 2019, as the mild weather outlook has served to dampen demand. Over in sovereign bond markets there was a fresh selloff in US Treasuries, and a steepening of the yield curve, as the optimism about Omicron led investors to bring forward their expectations of future rate hikes. Yields moved higher across the curve, with those on 10yr yields up +9.1bps to 1.43%, as both real yields and inflation breakevens moved higher on the day, whilst the 2s10s curve managed to steepen +4.7bps to 79.9bps. 10yr yields are up another +1.4bps this morning. Near-term, the first Fed rate hike is again fully priced by the June FOMC meeting. Over in Europe, yields were lower, with those on 10yr bunds (-0.1bps), OATs (-0.4bps) and BTPs (-3.8bps) all declining, though the greater risk appetite was reflected in the narrowing of peripheral spreads, with the gap between Italian and Spanish yields over bunds both tightening by the close. Overnight in Asia stocks are all trading up with the Nikkei (+2.09%), Hang Seng (+1.62%), CSI (+0.51%), KOSPI (+0.47%) and Shanghai Composite (+0.12%) all stronger. China’s RRR cut yesterday is certainly helping sentiment. On the data front, China's trade balance for November came in at $71.72 bn (consensus $83.60 bn and $84.54 bn previously), lower than expected as imports grew at +31.7% year-on-year against +21.5% consensus. Exports (+22%) were slightly higher than expected. Elsewhere the Reserve Bank of Australia held its benchmark interest rate unchanged while cautioning that price pressures remain subdued in Australia compared with other economies as the RBA expects it to reach 2.5% by 2023. Our economists put out a note suggesting that if you squint, the RBA commentary was slightly hawkish though. See more here if you’d like their review. Elsewhere futures are pointing to a positive start in the US and Europe with the S&P 500 (+0.34%) and DAX (+0.38%) contracts trading in the green. Looking ahead, one of the important events today will be the scheduled video call between US President Biden and Russian President Putin. The Biden administration, in concert with European allies, is reportedly weighing whether to bring economic tools to bear against Russia in response to the recent flare up on the Ukrainian border. Measures being considered included sanctions against President Putin’s inner circle, energy producers, and banks, as well as the more drastic option of denying Russian access to US-run international payments system, SWIFT. The Ruble depreciated -0.66% against the US dollar after having appreciated +0.50% in the morning before the headlines. In terms of other developments on the pandemic, the global case count has been moving higher for 7 consecutive weeks now, and we got fresh news of tougher restrictions in New York City yesterday. They’re set to place a vaccine mandate on private sector workers from December 27, whilst indoor dining and entertainment will be requiring those aged 12 and over to be fully vaccinated, and those aged 5-11 to have one dose. Here in the UK, over 50k confirmed cases were reported yesterday once again, and the average number of cases over the last week now stands up +9% on the week before. Turning to Germany, the main news yesterday was that the Greens became the final party of the incoming traffic-light coalition to approve the negotiated agreement, with 86% of members in favour. That follows similar moves by the SPD and the FDP, and today the parties are set to formally sign the deal, with Olaf Scholz set to become chancellor tomorrow in a Bundestag vote, which will also bring an end to Chancellor Merkel’s 16-year tenure. For a run down on what to expect from the new government, our research colleagues in Germany have put together a guide on the various policy areas (link here). Staying on Germany, data also showed yesterday that factory orders fell by a much larger-than-expected -6.9% in October (vs. -0.3% expected), with the decline driven by a -13.1% fall in foreign orders, contrary to domestic orders which actually expanded +3.4%. To the day ahead now, and data highlights include German industrial production for October and the ZEW survey for December, along with the US trade balance for October. Otherwise, US President Biden and Russian President Putin will be holding a video call. Tyler Durden Tue, 12/07/2021 - 07:59.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 7th, 2021

I drove a 3-wheeled, one-seater electric car on a mini road trip through Southern California and I"m convinced it could change how we get from A-to-B

The SOLO is a surprisingly delightful machine. I found myself preferring this one-person EV over my daily driver for short trips and errands. The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business Insider The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV is an electric car that can travel 100 miles on a full charge. Yes, it's a one-seater with three wheels, but it has the creature comforts of a full-sized vehicle. It's a fun-to-drive ride around town, and perfectly capable of longer highway jaunts. Lately, I've been thinking about choices. In the US, there's no shortage of options when you're shopping for a car. You can find an unlimited inventory of four-door sedans, coupes, wagons, trucks, vans — and an overabundance of crossovers and SUVs and (crossover SUV coupes), supply chain crisis and semiconductor chip shortage notwithstanding.But I just wonder if it always makes sense to have four wheels and several empty seats when I'm on the road. What about an in-between car for when I just need to run a quick errand, pick up food, or simply drive solo to my destination? And what if that in-between car could be a clean-energy vehicle I could plug into a wall outlet in my garage?I had a couple weeks in October to think about those questions when I got the keys to a SOLO EV, a three-wheeled, one-seater electric car from ElectraMeccanica.The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderSo, let's get the obvious out of the way: yes, the SOLO EV looks quirky. People often stopped to take pictures of it as it sat in the driveway. One person jokingly asked: "Where's the rest of it?"The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderBut the more I zipped around Los Angeles in it during the warm early days of fall, the more I wanted to drive. The comfortable, well-bolstered seat, air-conditioning, and Bluetooth audio made the SOLO EV feel like my own personal rocket. It quite easily gets you to an 80 mile-per-hour top speed, which I found to be plenty for the highway. "We've been working to really, truly tune into the personal transportation needs of our customers." That's Kevin Pavlov, the CEO of ElectraMeccanica. He and the company's chief financial officer, Bal Bhullar, sat down with me at an October delivery event where early reservation holders drove away in their own SOLO EVs.Who really needs a one-seater electric car though? It's a fair question. Pavlov said he's confident there is a sizable market for the SOLO, be it as a fleet vehicle for last-mile deliveries, for college campuses, and beyond. "I think the market's going to keep telling us where the niches go and that provides us the time to continue to make more personalized answers," he said.The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderWe're in the early aughts of an automotive revolution right now. Battery electric vehicles are becoming more popular as automakers introduce new models and governments make plans to phase out internal combustion engines over the next decade. Where you once could count the number of available electric cars on one hand, there are now dozens available, and many more in the pipeline. And they're getting less expensive, too. The SOLO EV can be had for $18,500.Thankfully, all of the talk about range anxiety in those early days of the electric car is pretty much moot now. Most electric vehicles can travel at least 200 miles on a full charge.Range anxiety is overrated, anywayAfter a few short trips close to home in the SOLO EV, I started to wonder how far I could stretch its 100-mile range. On the surface it sounds paltry, but considering drivers will mostly use this for short commutes and jaunts about town, 100 miles is truly more than enough.Pavlov summed it up poetically: "Some people will drive 10 miles, some will go 30 miles. Other people want to drive it to work. And some will drive this car to go find themselves."And that's when I had an idea. I thought about the very first car review I did for Business Insider back in 2015 when I drove what was then the brand-new Volvo XC90 from LA to San Francisco on one tank of gas, and thought I'd try for a long-ish trip in the SOLO EV. Not really to find myself, but to prove that range anxiety is indeed overrated.So I planned to take the SOLO eastward, from LA to the high desert, a roughly 75-mile, one-way drive.Status at the start of the trip: 99% charge.The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderThe long and short of it is, this electric three-wheeler proved itself to be a fun, capable and versatile ride. I cruised comfortably to the desert, A/C flowing, music playing, in the glorious solitude of my personal battery-powered coach.I pulled up to a drive-thru for lunch with about 26 miles of range to spare.The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderGreat news for me since the ChargePoint location I planned to visit was just another three miles away.The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderOnce I arrived, I walked away to enjoy my lunch and visit with family. A little more than two hours later, I returned to find the SOLO EV had regained 90% of its battery charge, more than enough for the 75-mile trip back home.The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderMinimalist drivingIn a world of automobiles that seem larger and faster than ever, it's nice to slip into something that's anti-all of that. The SOLO EV is large enough (even for my 6-foot-2-inch frame) and quick enough to scoot past gasoline-powered vehicles from a stop, thanks to the instant torque you get from the electric motor.The ElectraMeccanica SOLO EV.Bryan Logan/Business InsiderAnd perhaps that idea of "just enough" is indeed suitable for this segment of the micromobility space. All the better if it helps preserve our environment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 20th, 2021

Futures Rise Boosted By JNJ Split As Treasuries, Dollar Slide

Futures Rise Boosted By JNJ Split As Treasuries, Dollar Slide U.S. equity index futures were slightly up at the end of a volatile week, trading in a narrow 20 point range for the second day in a row, while Treasuries resumed declines in response to the recent shock inflation data from the world’s largest economies. Contracts on the three main U.S. gauges were higher, with Johnson & Johnson rising in premarket trading after saying it will split into two companies, while tech stocks again led gains at the end of a week scarred by deepening concerns over prolonged inflation. All the major U.S. indexes were set for a more than 1% weekly drop, their first since the week ended Oct. 1, as hot inflation numbers sapped investor sentiment and halted an earnings-driven streak of record closing highs. At 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 106 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.5 points, or 0.18%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 40.25points, or 0.25%. The same bullish sentiment that lifted US futures pushed European shares up as luxury shares gained after Cartier owner Richemont posted better-than-forecast earnings, offsetting a drop in travel stocks. Asian shares also climbed, helped by a rally in Japan. At the same time, Treasuries resumed a selloff after a trading holiday Thursday, with this week’s shock US inflation figures still reverberating through the bond market. Five-year notes led losses on concern the price pressure will force the Federal Reserve to raise rates earlier than anticipated. A gauge of the yield curve flattened to the least since March 2020. While global stocks are set for their first weekly drop since early October, their swings have been muted compared with the gyrations in the bond market. Investor focus on a strong earnings season has tempered worries about higher inflation. “Inflation could remain elevated in the coming months, and each inflation release that comes in above expectations has the potential to cause volatility in rate and equity markets, but we still don’t expect inflation to derail the equity rally,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote in a note. In US premarket trading, Johnson & Johnson jumped 4.7% in premarket trading after the drugmaker said it is planning to break up into two companies focused on its consumer health division and the large pharmaceuticals unit. Shares of the GAMMA giga techs (fka as FAAMG) also inched up. Tesla’s boss Elon Musk sold even more shares of the electric car maker, regulatory filings showed, after offloading about $5 billion worth of stock following a poll he posted on Twitter. The sale news naturally pushed TSLA stock price higher.  A gauge of U.S.-listed Chinese stocks jumped more than 5%, helped by Alibaba’s blowout Singles’ Day shopping festival and a report that Didi is getting ready to relaunch its apps. Rivian shares gain as much as 5% in U.S. premarket trading, extending the surge for the EV maker seen since its IPO this week which has sent its market value over $100b. Rivian trading at $122.99 in at 5am in New York, compared to IPO price of $78 Rising price pressures across the globe have been a top concern for market participants, with focus now shifting towards how consumer spending would fare as the holiday shopping season approaches. “The risk-on trading stance remains,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades in London. “However, markets are likely to remain volatile as investors will need to have more clues on where both the economy and monetary policies are going.” In Europe, gains for consumer and retail stocks balanced out declines for mining and energy companies. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fluctuated as Bank of America strategists predicted a fall of at least 10% for the continent’s equities by early next year. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Richemont shares jump as much as 9.8% to a record high, with analysts seeing scope for earnings estimates to be upgraded after the company reported first-half results that Citigroup described as “stellar.” Peer Swatch also bounced. Renault shares gain as much as 4.6% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the French automaker to overweight, saying it should have a stronger 2022 if it can raise production levels from a currently low base. Deutsche Telekom rises as much as 3% with analysts highlighting a good revenue performance and upgraded earnings and cash flow guidance as key positives from its earnings. Intertrust shares surge as much as 40% after the trust and corporate-services firm entered talks to be acquired by private-equity firm CVC. AstraZeneca falls as much as 5.9% after the drugmaker’s 3Q results missed estimates, with analysts noting a big miss for cancer drug Tagrisso. Wise shares sink as much as 8.8% after the money-transfer company won’t be added to an MSCI index in the latest rejig as some investors had expected. JDE Peet’s, Atos and Investor AB also all moved after the MSCI review. Fortum shares decline as much as 3.6% after the Finnish utility’s 3Q sales missed estimates. Uniper, in which Fortum owns a 75% stake, also slid after Fortum said it stopped share purchases in the German group in July owing to high prices. Avon Protection plummet as much as 44% after it warned of testing failures for some body-armor plates ordered by the U.S. military. SimCorp shares drop as much as 7.1% after the financial software and services company’s 3Q earnings, with Handelsbanken calling the quarter “weak,” and saying it raises doubts for the 2022 outlook Earlier in the session, Asia’s regional benchmark advanced, on track for a second day of gains, after sales in the Singles’ Day shopping festival boosted optimism. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 0.9%, with materials and communication stocks driving the benchmark. Tencent climbed 1.6%, after it bought a Japanese game studio and sold HengTen Networks shares. JD.com gained 5.2% after it received record Singles’ Day orders. Adding to sentiment were the mandate for China’s President Xi Jinping to potentially rule for life, which may mean policy continuity and fewer regulatory surprises and Goldman Sachs’ upgrade of offshore China stocks. A report that Didi Global is getting ready to relaunch apps in China further fueled optimism. “Investors are hoping that greenshoots of a loosening of reforms are upon us,” said Justin Tang head of Asian research at United First Partners. It’s clear “tech shares got a little boost from Singles’ Day and the anointing of Xi as forever leader.” JD.com Shines in Muted Singles Day After Sales Beat: Street Wrap South Korea and Japan benchmarks posted the top gains in the region. Australia’s shares also advanced, boosted by mining stocks. Japanese equities also rose, following gains in U.S. peers, erasing virtually all of their losses from earlier in the week. Electronics makers and telecoms were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which gained 1.3%. All 33 industry groups were in the green except energy products. Tokyo Electron and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 1.1% rise in the Nikkei 225. The yen has weakened more than 1% against the dollar since Tuesday. “It’s a favorable environment for risk-taking thanks to China,” said Shogo Maekawa, a strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management in Tokyo, referring to Evergrande’s latest interest payment. Rising U.S. yields and a weaker yen “may serve as a trigger for foreign investors to re-evaluate Japanese equities and shift their focus to stocks here.” Indian stocks also rose, snapping three sessions of declines, boosted by gains in software exporter Infosys. The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.3% to 60,686.69 to a two-week high and completed a second successive week of gains with a 1% advance. The NSE Nifty 50 Index increased 1.3% on Friday. All 19 sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. rose, led by a measure of technology companies. In earnings, of the 45 Nifty 50 companies that have announced results so far, 29 have either met or exceeded consensus analyst expectations, 15 have missed estimates, while one couldn’t be compared. Oil & Natural Gas Corp. and Coal India are among those scheduled to announce results today.  Expectations of the U.S. Fed raising interest rates earlier than expected after a surge in inflation weighed on most emerging markets this week. In India, consumer prices probably quickened for the first time in five months in October, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. The data will be released on Friday after market hours.   In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed, even as the dollar added to gains versus most its Group-of-10 peers, and Treasury yields rose across the curve on concern that rising U.S. inflation would warrant earlier rate hikes. The euro hovered around a more than a one-year low of $1.1450. The pound extended an Asia session advance and was the best performer among G-10 peers; the currency still heads for a third week of losses, having touched its lowest level since Christmas and options suggest the move may have legs to follow. Australian and New Zealand dollars are headed for back-to-back weekly declines as rising Treasury yields stoke further demand for the greenback; A 60% drop in the price of iron ore signals a blow to the Australian government’s efforts to stabilize the fiscal position following massive spending to support the economy through the coronavirus pandemic.Meanwhile, the ruble extended its losses, tracking a decline in Brent crude, as tensions flared up between Russia and Western nations over energy supplies and migrants. The currency tumbled as much as 1.1% to 72.4375 per dollar after the U.S. sounded out its EU allies that Russia may invade Ukraine. That made the ruble the worst performing currency in emerging markets.  In rates, Treasuries were off session lows, but cheaper by 2bp-3bp across belly of the curve which underperforms as reopened cash market catches up with Thursday’s slide in futures. Treasury 10-year yields around 1.566%, cheaper by 2bp on the day, while 5-year topped at 1.262% in early Asia session; curve is flatter amid belly-led losses, with 5s30s spread tighter by ~1bp on the day after touching 63.7bp, lowest since March 2020. On the 2s5s30s fly, belly cheapened 3.5bp on the day, re-testing 2018 levels that were highest since 2008. Bunds advanced, led by the front end, while Italian bonds slid across the curve, pushing the 10-year yield above 1% for the first time since Nov. 4, as money markets held on to aggressive ECB rate-hike bets. The Asia session was relatively calm, while during the European morning, Italian bonds lagged as futures continue to price in aggressive ECB policy. Treasury options activity in U.S. session has included downside protection on 5-year sector, where yields reached YTD high.     In commodities, crude futures dip to lowest levels for the week: WTI drops 1.4% before finding support near $80, Brent dips 1% back onto a $81-handle. Spot gold drifts lower near $1,852/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME aluminum, nickel and tin post modest gains, copper and zinc lag. Looking at the day ahead, data releases from the US include the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for November, as well as the JOLTS job openings for September. In the Euro Area, there’ll also be industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from New York Fed President Williams, ECB Chief Economist Lane, and the BoE’s Haskel. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,646.50 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 485.18 MXAP up 0.8% to 199.85 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 653.35 Nikkei up 1.1% to 29,609.97 Topix up 1.3% to 2,040.60 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 25,327.97 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,539.10 Sensex up 1.3% to 60,697.82 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.8% to 7,443.05 Kospi up 1.5% to 2,968.80 Brent Futures down 1.3% to $81.83/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,853.43 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.20 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.23% Euro little changed at $1.1441 Top Overnight News From Bloomberg Inflation is soaring across the euro area, but it’s also diverging by the most in years in a further complication for the European Central Bank’s ongoing pandemic stimulus The White House is debating whether to act immediately to try to lower U.S. energy prices or hold off on dramatic measures in the hope markets settle, as President Joe Biden’s concern about inflation runs up against climate, trade and foreign policy considerations Reports U.S. is concerned that Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine are “empty and unfounded efforts to exacerbate tensions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says on conference call Financial problems faced by institutions like China Evergrande Group are “controllable” and spillovers from the nation’s markets to the rest of the world are limited, a former central bank adviser said Hapag-Lloyd AG warned that a crunch in global container shipments could persist into next year, with labor negotiations, environmental pressures and disruptive weather combining to hamper goods flows Japan’s government plans to compile an economic stimulus package of more than 40 trillion yen ($350 billion) in fiscal spending, according to the Nikkei newspaper President Xi Jinping appeared more certain than ever to rule China well into the current decade, as senior Communist Party officials declared that the country had reached a new “historical starting point” under his leadership Italian President Sergio Mattarella tried to quash speculation that he could stay on for a second term, leaving Prime Minister Mario Draghi as the top contender for the role early next year A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly higher heading into the weekend as the region attempted to build on the somewhat mixed performance stateside, where price action was contained amid Veterans Day and with US equity futures also slightly picking up from the quasi-holiday conditions. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was lifted in which mining stocks and the tech industry spearheaded the broad gains across sectors aside from healthcare as Ramsay Health Care remained pressured after it recently announced a near-40% decline in Q1 net profit. Nikkei 225 (+1.1%) was underpinned with Japanese exporters benefitting from recent favourable currency flows and with the biggest stock movers influenced by a deluge of earnings. Hang Seng (+0.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) were indecisive with Hong Kong tech stocks encouraged after e-commerce retailers Alibaba and JD.com posted record Singles Day sales, despite a deceleration in revenue growth from the shopping festival to its slowest annual pace since its conception in 2009 amid a toned-down event due to Beijing’s tech crackdown and emphasis on common prosperity. Conversely, mainland bourses were indecisive following a neutral liquidity operation by the PBoC and after US President Biden recently signed the Secure Equipment Act which prevents companies deemed as security threats from receiving new equipment licences from US regulators, which comes ahead of Monday’s potential Biden-Xi virtual meeting. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower due to a lack of momentum from US treasuries as cash bond markets were closed for the federal holiday, with demand for JGBs also hampered by the gains in stocks and lack of BoJ purchases in the government debt market. Top European News Macron and Draghi Have Plans to Fill the Void Left by Merkel Johnson Burns Through Political Capital Built Up With Tory MPs JPMorgan Hires Zahn as Head of DACH Equity Capital Markets Hapag-Lloyd CEO Says Global Shipping Crunch Could Extend in 2022 European equities (Stoxx 600 -0.1%) have seen a relatively directionless start to the session with the Stoxx 600 set to close the week out with modest gains of around 0.4%. Macro updates have been particularly sparse thus far with today’s data docket also relatively light (highlights include US JOLTS and Uni. of Michigan sentiment). The handover from the APAC region was a predominantly positive one as Japanese equities benefited from favourable currency dynamics and Chinese markets focused on the fallout from Singles Day which saw record sales for Alibaba and JD.com. Stateside, futures are also relatively directionless (ES -0.1%) ahead of aforementioned US data points and Fedspeak from NY Fed President Williams (voter), who will be speaking on heterogeneity in macroeconomics. The latest BofA Flow Show revealed USD 7.3bln of inflows for US equities, whilst tech stocks saw outflows of USD 1.6bln; the largest outflow since June. In Europe, equities saw their largest outflows in seven weeks with USD 1.7bln of selling. In a separate note, BofA projects 10+% of downside by early next year for European stocks amid weakening growth momentum and rising bond yields. Sectors in Europe are mixed with outperformance seen in Personal & Household Goods with Richemont (+8.6%) shares boosted following better-than-expected Q3 results. LVMH (+1.4%) also gained at the open following reports that the Co. could consider opening duty-free stores in China. Telecom names are firmer with Deutsche Telekom (+2.6%) one of the best performers in the DAX after posting solid results and raising guidance. To the downside, commodity-exposed names are lagging peers with Basic Resources and Oil & Gas names hampered by price action in their underlying markets. FTSE-100 heavyweight AstraZeneca (-4.4%) sits at the foot of the index after Q3 profits fell short of expectations. Finally, Renault (+4.3%) is the best performer in the CAC after being upgraded to overweight from equalweight at Morgan Stanley with MS expecting the Co. to have a better year next year. Top Asian News JPMorgan Japan Stocks Downgrade Shows Doubts Before Stimulus Japan Stimulus Package to Top 40 Trillion Yen, Nikkei Reports Hon Hai Warns Chip Shortage Will Outweigh IPhone Boost to Sales AirAsia X Gets Over 95% Support From Creditors for Revamp In FX, it would be far too premature to suggest that the Buck’s winning streak is over, but having rallied so far in relatively short order some consolidation is hardly surprising, especially on a Friday in between a semi US market holiday and the weekend. Hence, the index is hovering just above 95.000 within a 95.078-266 range after a minor extension from yesterday’s peak to set a new 2021 best, and the Dollar is on a more mixed footing vs basket components plus other G10 and EM counterparts, awaiting the return of those not in on Veteran’s Day, JOLTS, preliminary Michigan sentiment and Fed’s Williams for some fresh or additional impetus and direction. GBP/CAD - The Pound and Loonie are flanking the major ranks even though the latest retreat in Brent and WTI is pretty uniform from a change on the day in Usd terms perspective, so it seems like Sterling is getting a boost from a downturn in the Eur/Gbp cross ahead of the UK-EU showdown on Brexit and Article 16, while Usd/Cad remains bullish on technical impulses before the BoC’s Q3 Senior Loan Officer Survey. Cable has bounced from just over 1.3350 to retest 1.3400 with Eur/Gbp probing 0.8550 to the downside, but Usd/Cad is probing 1.2600 irrespective of the Greenback stalling. AUD/JPY - Both fractionally firmer as the Buck takes another breather, though the Aussie is also deriving some traction from favourable Aud/Nzd tailwinds again. Aud/Usd has pared losses sub-0.7300 as the cross hovers around 1.0400, while Usd/Jpy has retreated from around 114.30 towards 1.9 bn option expiries at the 114.00 strike amidst reports that the Japanese Government's economic stimulus package will increase to Yen 40+ tn in fiscal spending, according to the Nikkei citing sources. EUR/NZD/CHF - The Euro is still hanging in following its close below a key technical level for a second consecutive session and fall further from the psychological 1.1500 mark, especially as better than forecast Eurozone ip has not prompted any upside, However, option expiry interest at 1.1450 (1.2 bn) may keep Eur/Usd afloat if only until the NY cut. Similarly, the Kiwi has not gleaned anything via a decent pick-up in NZ’s manufacturing PMI as Nzd/Usd clings to 0.7000+ status and the Franc remains under 0.9200 regardless of an acceleration in Swiss import and producer prices. SCANDI/EM - More transitory inflation remarks from Riksbank Governor Ingves are not helping the Sek fend off another dip through 10.0000 vs the Eur. but the Nok is getting protection from weaker oil prices via unusually large option expiries spanning the same big figure given 1.2 bn at 9.7500, 1.7 bn on the round number and 1 bn at 10.2000. Conversely, the Rub is underperforming as tensions rise around the Russian/Ukraine border and the Kremlin aims blame at the feet of the US alongside NATO, while the Try only just survived the latest assault on 10.00000 against the Usd in wake of below forecast Turkish ip and CBRT survey-based CPI projections for year end rising again. Elsewhere, the Mxn is softer following confirmation of a 25 bp Banxico hike on the basis that the verdict was not unanimous and some were looking for +50 bp, but the Zar retains an underlying bid after Thursday’s supportive SA MTBS and with Eskom reporting no load shedding at present, while the Cnh and Cny are holding gains in advance of the virtual Chinese/US Presidential meeting scheduled for Monday. In commodities, WTI and Brent are pressured in the European morning, experiencing more pronounced downside after a gradual decline occurred in APAC hours. However, the magnitude of today’s performance is comparably minimal when placed against that seen earlier in the week and particularly on Wednesday; in-spite of the earlier pronounced movements, benchmarks are currently set to end the week with losses of less than USD 1.00/bbl – albeit the range is in excess of USD 5.00/bbl. Newsflow this morning has been minimal and thus yesterday’s themes remain in-focus where a firmer USD likely continues to factor but more specifically COVID-19 concerns, with Germany’s Spahn on the wires, and geopolitics via Russia drawing attention. On the latter, tensions are becoming increasingly inflamed as the US said they are concerned that Russia could attack Ukraine and in response Russia said they are not a threat to anyone, but, says US military activity is aggressive and a threat. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are softer on the session, but remain notably firmer on the week given the CPI-induced move. On this, UBS highlights the risk of additional inflation strength next year which could stoke further gold demand. Elsewhere, base metals are, broadly speaking, marginally softer given tentative APAC performance and the aforementioned COVID concerns, particularly those pertinent for China. In terms of associated bank commentary, SocGen looks for copper to average USD 9.2k/T and USD 8.0k/T in 2021 and 2022 respectively. US Event Calendar 10am: Sept. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 10.3m, prior 10.4m 10am: Nov. U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 4.9%, prior 4.8%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 2.9% 10am: Nov. U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 72.5, prior 71.7; Current Conditions, est. 77.2, prior 77.7; Expectations, est. 68.8, prior 67.9 DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap there wasn’t much to speak of in markets yesterday as US bond markets were closed for Veterans Day and investors elsewhere continued to digest the bumper CPI print from the previous session. We did see a bit of residual concern at the prospect of a faster tightening in monetary policy, and implied rates on Eurodollar futures continued to climb, gaining between +4bps and +8bps on contracts maturing through 2023. However, on the whole equities were relatively unfazed on both sides of the Atlantic, and the S&P 500 (+0.06%) stabilised after 2 successive declines thanks to a bounceback among the more cyclical sectors. Looking at those moves in more depth, interest-sensitive tech stocks were a big outperformer yesterday as both the NASDSAQ (+0.52%) and the FANG+ index (+0.98%) of megacap tech stocks moved higher. Material stocks in the S&P (+0.85%) were another sectoral winner, and the VIX index of volatility (-1.07pts) ticked down from its 4-week high on Wednesday. In Europe, the advance was even more prominent, where the STOXX 600 (+0.32%), the DAX (+0.10%) and the CAC 40 (+0.20%) all reached fresh records. Indeed, for the STOXX 600, that now marks the 13th advance in the last 15 sessions, with the index having risen by over +6% in the space of a month. As mentioned, it was a quieter day for sovereign bond markets with the US not trading, but the sell-off continued in Europe as yields on 10yr bunds (+1.7bps), OATs (+1.4bps) and BTPs (+2.7bps) all moved higher. We didn’t get any fresh news on the Fed officials either given the US holiday, but a Washington Post article yesterday said that officials from the White House had stayed in touch with Governor Brainard since her meeting with President Biden last week, albeit still emphasising that no final decision had yet been made. Separately, Bloomberg reported that senior Biden advisors did not view the recent trading scandal at the Federal Reserve as disqualifying Chair Powell. US Treasury markets have reopened overnight, with 10yr yields following their European counterparts higher, moving up +1.4bps to 1.563%. That’s been driven by a +2.4bps rise in the real yield, though 10yr real yields still remain close to their all-time lows since TIPS started trading back in 1997. Otherwise in Asia, markets are mostly trading higher with the KOSPI (+1.48%), Nikkei (+1.07%) and Hang Seng (+0.22%) all advancing, though the Shanghai Composite (-0.01%) is basically unchanged whilst the CSI (-0.31%) is trading lower. Data showed further signs of inflationary pressures in the region, with South Korea’s import price index up +35.8% in October on a year-on-year basis, the highest since 2008. Elsewhere in India, Prime Minister Modi is expected to announce an opening up of the sovereign bond market to retail investors today, which comes amidst rising inflation concerns as well. Looking ahead, futures are indicating a positive start in the US and Europe with those on the S&P 500 (+0.16%) and the DAX (+0.15%) pointing higher. Turning to the geopolitical scene, it was reported by Bloomberg that US officials had briefed their counterparts in the EU about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. It follows a build-up in Russian forces near the Ukrainian border that have been reported more widely, and echoes a similar situation back in the spring. The Russian ruble weakened -0.57% against the US dollar yesterday in response, with the declines occurring after the report came out. This comes amidst a number of broader tensions in the region, and natural gas prices in Europe were up +6.66% yesterday after Belarus’ President Lukashenko threatened to cut the transit of gas if the EU placed additional sanctions on his regime. Meanwhile on Brexit, there were potential signs of compromise in the dispute over Northern Ireland, with the Telegraph reporting that the EU was prepared to improve its offer when it came to reducing customs checks. However, the report also said that this would be contingent on the UK ending its demands to remove the European Court of Justice’s role in overseeing the agreement. There has been growing speculation in recent days that the UK could be about to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which allows either side to take unilateral safeguard measures if the deal was causing serious issues. This would risk EU retaliation that could in theory even led to a suspension of the entire trade deal agreed last year, which is an option that has been talked up in recent weeks. For those wanting further reading on the issue, DB’s FX strategist Shreyas Gopal put out a note on Tuesday (link here) looking at the issues surrounding Article 16 and its implications for sterling. Another important thing to keep an eye on over the coming weeks will be any further signs of deterioration in the Covid-19 situation. Cases have been ticking up at the global level for around 4 weeks now, and a number of European countries (including Germany) have seen a major surge over the last few days. In the Netherlands, they actually set a record for the entire pandemic yesterday, and Prime Minister Rutte is due to hold a press conference today where it’s been speculated he’ll announce fresh restrictions. Separately in Austria, Chancellor Schallenberg said that a lockdown for the unvaccinated was “probably unavoidable”, and said that “I don’t see why two-thirds should lose their freedom because one-third is dithering”. On the data front, the only major release was the UK’s Q3 GDP reading yesterday, which surprised on the downside with growth of +1.3% (vs. +1.5% expected), even though Covid-19 restrictions were much easier in Q3 relative to Q2. To be fair, the monthly reading for September did surprise on the upside, with growth of +0.6% (vs. +0.4% expected), but it came as July and August saw downward revisions. On a monthly basis, the September reading meant the UK economy was just -0.6% beneath its pre-pandemic size in February 2020. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for November, as well as the JOLTS job openings for September. In the Euro Area, there’ll also be industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from New York Fed President Williams, ECB Chief Economist Lane, and the BoE’s Haskel. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/12/2021 - 07:48.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 12th, 2021

Learning From Trader Joe’s, Joe Coulombe

It’s a rare person who can run their own business, and rarer still are those who can do it well. And in a world of stiff competition and consumer fickleness, those people who’s businesses can both survive and thrive in that environment are probably the rarest of them all. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences […] It’s a rare person who can run their own business, and rarer still are those who can do it well. And in a world of stiff competition and consumer fickleness, those people who’s businesses can both survive and thrive in that environment are probably the rarest of them all. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more If you choose a manager to whom you entrust your capital, in the words of Charlie Munger, choose a ‘business fanatic.’ Such individuals live, sleep and breathe their businesses. They’re not bound by the same restraints as most business people; constantly pushing boundaries, trialing new approaches, thinking outside the box, challenging conventional wisdom and always looking for business improvements. If you’re in business, these are the last type of people you want to compete with. One man that epitomized such fanaticism was the late Joe Coulombe, founder of the convenience store chain that carried his name, Trader Joe’s. “Edward H. Heller, a pioneer venture capitalist used the term ‘vivid spirit’ to describe the type of individual to whom he was ready to give significant financial backing. He said that behind every unusually successful corporation was this kind of determined entrepreneurial personality with the drive, the original ideas, and the skill to make such a company a truly worthwhile investment.” Phil Fisher Joe tells his story in the book, ‘Becoming Trader Joe - How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys.’ It contains a wealth of wisdom, particularly when it comes to thinking about running a successful retailer. Over more than a quarter of a century, Trader Joe’s sales grew at a compound rate of 19% per year and the company’s net worth grew at a compound rate of 26% per annum over the same period - no mean feat for a commodity business that’s hard to differentiate. Furthermore, the business never lost money in a year and incredibly each year was more profitable than the last. When the competitor 7-Eleven extended it’s footprint into California in the 1970’s, Pronto Markets, the precursor to Trader' Joe’s, already enjoyed the highest sales per store of any convenience operator in America by a factor of three. A high wage policy, strong locations, a few liquor licences, and the beginnings of a differentiated strategy through product knowledge was the core of their success. One of the mental models I particularly enjoyed in the book was Joe’s concept of ‘Double Entry Retailing.’ A form of second level thinking, Joe recognised that making changes to Demand Side factors had an influence on Supply Side factors which aren’t always obvious. A striking example was the introduction of orange juice freshly squeezed on the premises. While a great Demand Side success - customers embraced the product - it was a total nightmare to administer because of the Supply Side issues; the great variation in sweetness of oranges over the course of a year, difficulty in ensuring machines squeezed the right amount and disposal of the leftover rinds. As a result it was eventually phased out. You’ll recognise many of the characteristics that form a common link with the other great businesses we’ve studied. I’ve included some of my favourite extracts from the book below. Harnessing Demographic & Technological Change ‘The clue, the keystone of the arch of Trader Joe’s, was a small news item in Scientific American in 1965. When we left Stanford, my father-in-law, Bill Steere, a professor of botany, gave me a subscription to Scientific American. In terms of creating my fortune, it’s the most important magazine I’ve ever read. The news item said that, of all the people in the US who were qualified to go to college in 1932, in the pit of the Depression, only 2 percent did. By contrast, in 1964, of all the people qualified to go to college 60 percent in fact actually did. The big change, of course, was the GI Bill of Rights that went into effect in 1945. A second news item, one from the Wall Street Journal, told me that the Boeing 747 would go into service in 1970, and that it would slash the cost of international travel. In Pronto Markets we had noticed that people who travelled - even to San Francisco - were far more adventurous in what they were willing to put in their mouths. Travel is, after all, a form of education. Trader Joe’s was conceived from those two demographic news stories. What I saw here was a small but growing demographic opportunity in people who were well educated. 7-Eleven, and the whole convenience store genre, served the most basic needs of the most mindless demographics with cigarettes, Coca-Cola, milk, Budweiser, candy, bread, eggs. I saw an opportunity to differentiate ourselves radically from mainstream retailing to mainstream people.” Obliquity “I hope you’ll consider the following, my favourite quote from my favourite book on Management, ‘The Winning Performance’ by Clifford and Cavanaugh,’ ‘The fourth (general themes in winning corporations] is a view of profit and wealth-creation as inevitable byproducts of doing other things well. Money is a useful yardstick for measuring quantitative performance and profit and an obligation to investors. But … making money as an end in itself ranks low.’” A Bias to Action & Tenacity “In 1962, Barbara Tuchman published ‘The Guns of August’, an account of the first ninety days of WWI, It’s the best book on management - and, especially, mismanagement - I’ve ever read. The most basic conclusion I drew from from her book was that, if you adopt a reasonable strategy, as opposed to waiting for an optimum strategy, and stick with it, you’ll probably succeed. Tenacity is as important as brilliance.” “Trying to find an optimum solution in business is a waste of time; the factors in the equation are changing all the time.” Value, Empower & Pay Employees Well “You’ve got to have something to hang your hat on. The one core value I chose was our high compensation policies, which I put in place from the very start in 1958… This is the most important single business decision I ever made: to pay people well. First Pronto Markets and then Trader Joe’s had the highest-paid, highest benefitted people in retail.” “Time and again I am asked why no one has successfully replicated Trader Joe’s. The answer is that no one has been willing to pay the wages and benefits, and thereby attract - and keep - the quality of people who work at Trader Joe’s.” “[I was asked,] ‘But how could you afford to pay so much more than your competition?’ The answer, of course, is that good people pay by their extra productivity. You can’t afford to have cheap employees.” “Equally important was our practice of giving every full-time employee an interview every six months. At Stanford I’d been taught that employees never organise (join unions) because of the money; they organise because of un-listened-to grievances.” “The [store] Captains had the salary plus a bonus that theoretically had no limit. The bonus was based on Trader Joe’s overall profit, allocated among the stores based on each store’s contribution. In 1988, several Captains made bonuses of more than 70 percent of their base pay. Unless a bonus system promises, and delivers big rewards, it should be abandoned.” “My idea, often stated to everybody, was that the [store] Captains should have the chance to make more than executives in the office. In a traditional chain store, managers aspire to become bureaucrats with cushy, high-paying jobs in the office. I wanted to kill such aspirations at the start.” “Part timers .. at a time when the minimum wage was $4.35, we often paid $13.00 per hour because these people were worth it.” “Productivity in part is a product of tenure. That’s why I believe that turnover is the most expensive form of labor expense.” “We instituted full health and dental insurance back in the 1960's when it was cheap. When I left, we were paying $6,000 per employee per year!” “Each full-timer was supposed to be able to perform every job in the store, including checking, balancing the books, ordering each department, stocking, opening, closing, going to the bank, etc. Everybody worked the check stands in the course of the day, including the [store] Captain.” “In thirty years we never had a layoff of full-time employees. Seasonal swings in business were handled with overtime pay to full-time employees, and by adjusting part-time hours. The stability of full-time employment at Trader Joe’s was due in part to caution opening new stores, and insisting on high volume stores.” “Cost of goods sold is the dominant expense. The funny thing is that grocers seem to spend more effort squeezing payroll than squeezing Cost of Goods Sold, though there is at least five times more opportunity in the latter.” Retail & Real Estate Decisions ‘First we upped the investment ante by taking only prime locations, which could generate the most sales, even though the rents were higher. A lease is an investment, perhaps the most serious and certainly the least changeable a retailer can make. Financially, a lease is simply a long-term loan… Most retail bankruptcies come from bad real estate leasing decisions… Early in my career I learned there are two kinds of decisions: the ones that are easily reversible and the ones that aren’t. Fifteen-year leases are the least-reversible decisions you can make. That’s why, throughout my career, I kept absolute control of real estate decisions.” “The keys to management are strong locations with good people.” “People often ask me, how many stores did we have at such-and-such time? It’s the wrong question to ask. What’s important is dollar sales. For example, from 1980 to 1988, we increased the number of stores by 50 percent but sales were up 340 percent.” “My preference is to have a few stores, as far apart as possible, and to make them as high volume as possible.” “Too many stores, to many irreversible leases, too much geographical saturation was a recurrent theme in the failure of American retail chains in the twentieth century.” “Ancient Mariner Retailers claim that ‘volume solves everything.’ If it’s profitable volume, they’re right. Things go most sour in the lowest-volume stores. It’s like riding a bicycle, the faster it goes, the more stable it is. The ‘normal distribution’ of most chains is 20% dogs, 60% okay stores, and 20% winners. I believe in ruthlessly dumping the dogs at whatever cost. Why? Because their real cost is in management energy. You always spend more time trying to make the dogs acceptable than in raising the okay stores into winners. And it’s in the dogs that you always have the most personnel problems." “I believe that the sine qua non for successful retailing is demographic coherence: all your locations should have the same demographics whether you are selling clothing or wine.” “I liked semi-decayed neighbourhoods, were the census tract income statistics looked terrible, but the mortgages were all paid-down, and the kids had left home. Housing and rental prices tend to be lower, and more suitable for those underpaid academics. Related to this, I was more interested in the number of households in a given area than the number of people in a ZIP code. Trader Joe’s is not a store for kids or big families. One or two adults is just fine.” “Computerisation has radically upgraded the statistics available: I’d probably do it more formally now. But there’s no substitute for ‘driving’ a location to ferret out traffic problems. And do it at night, too.” “I hardly need to mention that a trading area is rarely determined by a radius. It’s determined by geographical barriers, boulevard access, and where the demographics lie.” “Let’s go back to the question of number of stores. How do you space them? Here are some parameters: You need to have enough stores in a trading area to economically amortise the radio advertising. You need enough stores in an area to have a large enough pool of employees. My rule was that distance between stores should not be measured in miles but in driving time. I wanted no less than twenty minutes between stores. That pretty much avoided the dread word, cannibalisation. Could a given trading area support more Trader Joe’s? Almost certainly! I figured we could break even at ten thousand core residences. But I wanted super-volume stores. If the credo that super-volume stores have the fewest operating problems is valid, then the overall health of the chain, in the long run, is maximised.” “How many trading areas should you enter? As long as you can preserve the culture of the company, and as long as logistics don’t kill you, go ahead.” “Never, never, never sign a lease with a ‘continuous operation’ clause. That clause means you must stay open - you can’t ‘go dark’ and just pay the rent.” Product Knowledge “The buyers at the supermarket chains knew nothing about what they sold, and they don’t want to know. What they did know all about was extorting slotting allowances, cooperative ad revenue, failure allowances, and back-haul concessions from the manufacturers.” Four Tests “The advantage of hard liquor merchandise was that it met three tests: a) A high value per cubic inch, essential to a small store format b) A high rate of consumption c) It had to be easily handled If we could have added a fourth test, it would be that we had to be outstanding in the field. Still trying to maximise the use of a small store, I looked for categories that met the Four Tests; high value per cubic inch, high rate of consumption; easily handled; and something in which we could be outstanding in term of price or assortment. For example, diamonds met the first test but flunked the second. Fruits and vegetables met the first and second but flunked the third because produce requires constant reworking. Fresh meat flunked the third test even more.” Purpose “Most of my ideas about how to act as an entrepreneur are derived from ‘The Revolt of the Masses’ by Jose Ortega y Gasset, the greatest Spanish philosopher of the twentieth century. I believe it offers a master ‘plan of action’ for the would-be entrepreneur, who usually has no reputation and few resources. Ortega offers an explanation of how such a person can get an enterprise started. In the context of the career of Julius Caesar, an entrepreneur who started without power, Otega says of the state: ‘Human life, by its very nature, has to be dedicated to something, an enterprise glorious or humble, a destiny illustrious or trivial .. The State begins when groups, naturally divided, find themselves obliged to live in common. The obligation is not of brute force, but implies an impelling purpose, a common task which is set before the dispersed groups. Before all, the State is a plan of action and a Programme of Collaboration. The men are called upon so that together they may do something .. It is pure dynamism, the will to do something in common, and thanks to this the idea of the state, is bounded by no physical limits.” Most of my career has been spent selling ‘plans of action and programmes of collaboration.’ If you want to know what differentiates me from most manager’s that’s it. From the beginning, thanks to Ortega y Gasset, I’ve been aware of the need to sell everybody.” Radical Transparency “Throughout my career, my policy has been full disclosure to employees about the true state of affairs, almost to the point of imprudence. I took a cue from General Patton, who thought that the greatest danger was not that the enemy would learn the plans, but that his own troops would not.” Growth “Growth for the sake of growth still troubles me. It seems unnatural, even perverted. This helps explain why I went from 1974 to 1978 without opening another store. To keep sales increasing during the mid-1970s, we relied on new ideas implemented in existing stores. This was my favourite form of growth. I don’t think that any given store ever fully realises its potential.” Smallness & Empowerment “We developed a prototype [Trader Joe’s] store of 4,500 square feet. Here’s a good question: Given my need to get away from convenience stores, why did I stick with small stores? The answer was verbalised for us in ‘In Search of Excellence,’ Tom Peter’s best-selling book on management. He called it ‘The Power of Chunking’: ‘The essential building block of a company is the section [which] within its sphere does not await executive orders but takes initiatives. The key factor for success is getting one’s arms around almost any practical problem and knocking it off… The small group is the most visible of the chunking devices.’ The fundamental ‘chunk’ of Trader Joe’s is the individual store with its highly paid [store] Captain and staff; the people who are capable of exercising discretion. I admire Nordstrom’s fundamental instruction to its employees: use your judgement. Trader Joe’s finally settled down at an average of about eight thousand square feet in the 1980’s, but the concept of a relatively small store with a relatively small staff remains in force.” Marketing & Customers “At all times I wrote the Fearless Flyer [marketing newsletter] for over-educated, underpaid people. This requires two mindsets: Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer Newsletter 1) There are no such things as consumers - dolts who are driven by drivel to buy stuff they don’t need or even want. There are only customers, people who are reasonably well informed, and very well focused in their buying habits. 2) We always looked up to the customers in the text of the Fearless Flyer. We assumed they knew more than they did, we never talked down to them. 3) Given the first two assumptions, we assumed that our readers had a thirst for knowledge, 180 degrees opposite from supermarket ads. We emphasised ‘informative advertising.’ Originally, we distributed the Fearless Flyer only in stores and to a small but growing list. [Later,] by mailing to addresses rather than to individuals - by blanketing entire ZIP codes - we were able to tremendously expand the distribution of the Fearless Flyer. The ZIPs to which we mailed, of course, were chosen on the basis of the likely concentration of over-educated and underpaid people.” Word of Mouth “Word of Mouth: The Power of True Believers. As everyone knows, word of mouth is the most effective advertising of all. I have been known to say that there’s no better business to run than a cult. Trader Joe’s became a cult of the over-educated and underpaid, partly because we deliberately tried to make it a cult and partly because we kept the implicit promises with our clientele.” “There aren’t many cult retailers who successfully retain their cult status over a long period of time. A couple in California are In-N-Out Burger and Fry’s Electronics. But across America, in every town, there’s a particular donut shop, pizza parlour, bakery, greengrocer, bar, etc. that has a cult following of True Believers.” Pricing “One of the fundamental tenets of Trader Joe’s is that retail prices don’t change unless costs change. There are no weekend ad prices, no in-and-out pricing… I have always believed that supermarkets pricing is a shell game and I wanted no part of it.” Retailing “The fundamental job of a retailer is to buy goods whole, cut them into pieces, and sell the pieces to the ultimate consumers. This is the most important mental construct I can impart on those of you who want to enter retailing. Most ‘retailers’ have no idea of the formal meaning of the word. Time and again, I had to remind myself just what my role in society was supposed to be.” “[We decided] no outsiders of any sort were permitted in the store. All the work was done by employees.]” “From 1958 through 1976, we tried to carry what the customer asked for, given the limits of our small stores and other operational parameters. Each store probably had access to ten thousand stock keeping units (SKUs), of which about three thousand were actually stocked in any given week. By the time I left in 1989, we were down to a band of 1,100 to 1,500 SKUs, all of which were delivered through a central distribution system.” “Along the way not only did we drop a lot of products that our customers would have liked us to sell, even at not-outstanding prices, but we stopped cashing checks in excess of the amount of purchase, we stopped full-case discounts, and we persistently shortened the hours. We violated every received wisdom of retailing except one: we delivered great value, which is where most retailers fall.” “[We were] willing to discontinue any product if we were are unable to offer the right deal to the customer.” “Instead of national brands, [we] focused on either Trader Joe’s label products or ‘no label’ products like nuts and dried fruits.” “We wouldn’t try to carry a whole line of spices, or bag candy, or vitamins. Each SKU had to justify itself as opposed to riding piggyback into the stores just so we had a ‘complete’ line. Depth of assortment was of no interest.” “Each SKU would stand on its own two feet as a profit centre. We would earn a gross profit on each SKU that was justified by the cost of handling that item. There would be no ‘loss leaders.’” “Above all we would not carry any item unless we could be outstanding in terms of price (and make a profit at that price) or uniqueness.” ‘I do not believe in keeping ‘spoils’ in the back room until some salesperson comes by to pick them up. I believe that products should move in only one direction, never back up the supply chain. When a bottle was broken, a can dented, or a ‘short fill’ was discovered, it went to the trash bin.” “A guideline: No private label product was introduced for the sake of having a private label. This is 100 percent contrary to the policy of most supermarkets… Each private label product had to have a reason, a point of differentiation.” “The willingness to do without any given product is one of the cornerstones of Trader Joe’s merchandising philosophy.” “No bulky products like paper towels or sugar, because the high-value-per-cubic inch rule still prevailed.. We simply went out of business on the ‘bulkers’ and did not replace them with private labels.” “I believe in the wisdom that you gain customers one by one, but you lose them in droves.” “Back in 1967, [we] made a bet that rising levels of education would fragment the masses, that a small but growing group of people would be dissatisfied with having to consume what everybody else consumed… This philosophical approach put us in conflict with the mainstream of American retailing, which emphasises continuous products. Thus when a supermarket promotes Coca-Cola it doesn’t have to explain that Coca-Cola is a secret formula for a soft drink created a century ago in Atlanta.. Wines have not been popular in America because, intrinsically, they are not continuous products. You can’t just order up some more sugar and chemicals and make another batch. In 1987, I outlined to the buyers where I thought we should go: 1) we want continuous products. Any sane person does. We want continuous products which are profitable without creating a high-price image. 2) to create such products, they needed to be differentiated at least in order to avoid direct price comparison. 3) products in which we had an absolute buying advantage. For example, we were the largest seller of cheap Bordeaux blanc in the United States. 4) I was willing to continue to indulge in the spectacular ‘closeout’ sales of branded products, but I wanted to do so in the context of much greater overall sales, principally generated by continuous products, most of them private label.” “I don’t think that the internet grocery store will successfully invade food retailing because you’re dealing with four different temperatures: dry grocery, refrigerated products, frozen products, and ice cream when you try to home-deliver foods.” “Showmanship is the sum total of all efforts to make contact with the customer. It’s the most ephemeral, the most difficult, and the most important of the Demand Side activities.” “All the research on whether people turn to the left or the right, or whether you can ‘force’ people to the rear of the store, is irrelevant if you’re a value retailer.” Win-Win “Honour thy vendors: After all, these are the guys you’re buying from. They should not be treated as adversaries. Five year plan 1977 said, ‘Buying, therefore, is not just a matter of trying to beat down suppliers on price. It is a creative exercise of developing alternatives.’ Many of our best product ideas and special buying opportunities came from our vendors.” “Vendors should be regarded as an extension of the retailer, a Marks and Spencer concept. Their employees should be regarded almost as employees of the retailer. Concern for their welfare should be shown, because employee turnover at vendors sometimes can be more costly than turnover of your own employees.” “Tenants who enter negotiations with the idea of beating the landlord at the objective future game usually get the kind of landlords they deserve. And vice versa.” “Other non-merchandise vendors are very much extensions of Trader Joe’s and should be treated as much. Since we owned no trucks, warehouses, etc., I asked our people to keep track of the outsourced drivers and do their best to see that our contractors were paid reasonable wages with reasonable working conditions. Turnover is the most expensive labour expense!’ Committees “I want to make it quite clear that I called all the shots. I reject management by committee.” Economies of Scale “The point where the ‘buying power’ and ‘selling power’ curves cross each other creates the magical physical thresholds. There are two magical physical thresholds that a retailer must achieve to be competitive: the truckload, and the ocean container load. These thresholds mark the limit of most economies of scale.” Focus & Outsource “We tried to stay out of all functions that were not central to our primary job in society: namely, buying and selling merchandise.. [We’d] been getting rid of all functions except those buying and selling. We got rid of our own maintenance people, we sold off almost all the real estate we had acquired during the 1970’s, we never took mainframe computing in-house, etc. Some choice quotes from Dr. Drucker: ‘In-house service activities have little incentive to improve their productivity .. The productivity is not likely to ramp up until it is possible to be promoted for doing a good job at it. And that will happen in support work only when such work is done by separate, free standing enterprises.’” Business Problems “All businesses have problems. It’s the problems that create the opportunities. If a business is easy, every simple bastard would enter it.” “This is one of the most important things I can impart; in any troubled company the people at lower levels know what ought to be done in terms of day-to-day operations. If you just ask them, you can find answers.” Adapt, Challenge the Status Quo “Believe me, you have to have a system for everything that has to happen in your business - you just may not be conscious of it. And you probably have still other systems that are not needed. That’s why The Winning Performance calls for a ‘continued contempt for business as usual.’ To practice ‘constitutional contempt,’ you have to arrive every day with the attitude, ‘Why do we do such-and-such that way?’ Better yet, why do we do it at all? Usually the answer is, ‘We’ve always done it that way,’ ‘That’s the way we did it at my last job,’ or ‘All our competitors are doing it.’ Mental Model - Double Entry Retailing “I hit on the idea of using double entry accounting as an analogy, what I call Double Entry Retailing. On the left side of the ledger is the business in terms of how its customers see it: I call this the Demand Side. On the right side of the ledger are the factors that limit or determine the retailer's ability to satisfy those demands: the Supply Side. All businesses, whether manufacturing, wholesaling, services, etc., have [the] fearful symmetry of both Demand and Supply sides. And all businesses are subject to the ultimate supply-side constraint of cash: you can do anything, no matter how stupid, within that fearful symmetry, as long as you don't run out of cash. From my view, the Demand Side of Retailers can be analysed in terms of five variables: The assortment of merchandise offered for sale. Pricing: stability and relative to competition. Convenience: geographical, in-store, and time. Credit: the accepted methods of payment. Showmanship: the sum of all activities that result in making contact with the customer, from advertising to store architecture to employee cleanliness. Here are factors on the Supply Side: Merchandise Vendors Employees  The way you do things: "habits" and "culture" Systems Non-merchandise vendors Landlords Governments Bankers and investment bankers Stockholders Crime As in double entry accounting, the change in any factor must be matched by a corresponding change in another factor. For example, a decision to increase geographical convenience (Demand Side) obviously involves some change of policy with landlords (Supply Side) including the amount of rent you're willing to pay. Consider how Barney's paid through the nose because they thought they had to offer the geographical convenience of being in Beverly Hills. How big a factor was this in Barney's subsequent bankruptcy? Was it Demand Side success at the price of Supply Side failure? The lists above aren't much different from other businesses. What distinguishes retailing is the asymmetry of the fearful symmetry: the huge number of customers (Demand Side) vs. the number of suppliers. This is the exact opposite of a government defence contractor. This lopsided butterfly may cause a retailer to act as if the only people they have to ‘sell’ to are customers: the Demand Side. That’s a major mistake. All the people on the supply side have to be sold, too.” “One of the smartest things we ever did was to cut the hours of Trader Joe’s. This is mostly a Supply Side question, but the quality and attitude of the employees handling our customers is a Demand Side factor.” Employee Ownership “From the beginning of Pronto Markets, one of my basic principles, one of my basic goals, was employee ownership of the business. Getting there, however, was complicated.” Summary I found the similarities between Trader Joe’s approach to retailing and the German retailer Aldi strikingly similar. Despite being on opposite sides of the world, both businesses evolved complementary retailing practices: a focus on private label, above market wages for employees, a win-win mentality and continuous innovation. It’s little wonder the Albrecht family were attracted to the business. Aldi acquired Trader Joe’s in 1979 and retained Joe as the independent manager for another ten years. Paying staff well, empowering and sharing information with them and maintaining smallness are consistent themes across many of the successful business stories we’ve studied. When it comes to the specifics of retailing, the analogy of super-volume stores better able to provide balance is a useful one. As are the insights into economies of scale, pricing strategy, jettisoning poorly performing stores, the power of word-of-mouth marketing and the means to abolish bureaucracy through the outsourcing of non-essential functions. Every business has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Identifying what they are and how they contribute to a firm’s success can provide clues in our own quest to find compounding machines; in the long run, it’s business success which determines share prices. The more businesses you study, the larger the toolkit of mental models you’ll have to apply in your investment endeavours. Source: 'Becoming Trader Joe - How I Did Business My Way & Still Beat the Big Guys,’ Joe Coulombe, Patty Civalleri. Harper Collins. 2021. Follow us on Twitter : @mastersinvest * NEW * Visit the Blog Archive Article by Investment Masters Class Updated on Oct 26, 2021, 1:11 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 26th, 2021

Transcript: Soraya Darabi

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This… Read More The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Soraya Darabi, TMV, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest. Her name is Soraya Darabi. She is a venture capital and impact investor who has an absolutely fascinating background working for, first with the New York Times Social Media Group then with a startup that eventually gets purchased by OpenTable, and then becoming a venture investor that focuses on women and people of color-led startups which is not merely a way to, quote-unquote, “do good” but it’s a broad area that is wildly underserved by the venture community and therefore is very inefficient. Meaning, there’s a lot of upside in this. You can both do well and do good by investing in these areas. I found this to be absolutely fascinating and I think you will also, if you’re at all interested in entrepreneurship, social media startups, deal flow, how funds identify who they want to invest in, what it’s like to actually experience an exit as an entrepreneur, I think you’ll find this to be quite fascinating. So with no further ado, my conversation with TMV’s Soraya Darabi. VOICEOVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. My special guest this week is Soraya Darabi. She is the Co-Founder and General Partner of TMV, a venture capital firm that has had a number of that exits despite being relatively young, 65 percent of TMV’s startups are led by women or people of color. Previously, she was the cofounder of Foodspotting, an app named App of the Year by Apple and Wire that was eventually purchased by OpenTable. Soraya Darabi, welcome to Bloomberg. SORAYA DARABI; GENERAL PARTNER & FOUNDER; TMV: My goodness, Barry, thank you for having me. RITHOLTZ: I’ve been looking forward to this conversation since our previous discussion. We were on a Zoom call with a number of people discussing blockchain and crypto when it was really quite fascinating and I thought you had such an unusual and interesting background, I thought you would make a perfect guest for the show. Let’s start with your Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media at the “New York Times” when social media was really just ramping up. Tell us about what that was like. Tell us what you did in the late aughts at The Times. DARABI: Absolutely. I was fresh faced out of a university. I had recently graduated with mostly a journalism concentration from Georgetown and did a small stint in Condé Nast right around the time they acquired Reddit for what will soon be nothing because Reddit’s expecting to IPO at around 15 billion. And that experience at Reddit really offered me a deep understanding of convergence, what was happening to digital media properties as they partnered for the first time when nascent but scaling social media platforms. And so the “New York Times” generously offered me a role that was originally called manager of buzz marketing. I think that’s what they called social media in 2006 and then that eventually evolved into manager of digital partnerships and social media which, in essence, meant that we were aiming to be the first media property in the world to partner with companies that are household names today but back in the they were fairly unbalanced to Facebook and Twitters, of course, but also platforms that really took off for a while and then plateaued potentially. The Tumblers of the world. And it was responsibility to understand how we could effectively generate an understanding of the burgeoning demographics of this platform and how we could potentially bring income into The Times for working with them, but more importantly have a journalist that could authentically represent themselves on new media. And so, that was a really wonderful role to have directly out of University and then introduce me to folks with whom I still work today. DARABI: That’s quite interesting. So when you’re looking at a lot of these companies, you mentioned Facebook and Twitter and Tumbler, how do you know if something’s going to be a Facebook or a MySpace, so Twitter or a Tumbler, what’s going to survive or not, when you’re cutting deals with these companies on behalf of The Times, are you thinking in terms of hey, who’s going to stick around, wasn’t that much earlier that the dot-com implosion took place prior to you starting with The Times? DARABI: It’s true, although I don’t remember the dot-com implosion. So, maybe that naivete helped because all I had was enthusiasm, unbridled enthusiasm for these new companies and I operated then and now still with a beta approach to business. Testing out new platforms and trying to track the data, what’s scaling, what velocity is this platform scaling and can we hitch a ride on the rochet ship if they will so allow. But a lot of our partnerships then and now, as an investor, are predicated upon relationships. And so, as most, I think terrific investors that I listen to, who I listen to in your show, at least, will talk to you about the importance of believing and the founder and the founder’s vision and that was the case back then and remains the case today. RITHOLTZ: So, when you were at The Times, your tenure there very much overlapped the great financial crisis. You’re looking at social media, how did that manifest the world of social media when it looked like the world of finance was imploding at that time? DARABI: Well, it was a very interesting time. I remember having, quite literally, 30-second meetings with Sorkin as he would run upstairs to my floor, in the eighth floor, to talk about a deal book app that we wanted to launch and then he’d ran back down to his desk to do much more important work, I think, and — between the financial crisis to the world. So, 30-second meetings aside, it was considered to be, in some ways, a great awakening for the Web 2.0 era as the economy was bottoming out, like a recession, it also offered a really interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs, many of whom had just been laid off or we’re looking at this as a sizeable moment to begin to work on a side hustle or a life pursuit. And so, there’s — it’s unsettling, of course, any recession or any great awakening, but lemonade-lemons, when the opening door closing, there was a — there was a true opportunity as well for social media founders, founders focusing on convergence in any industry, really, many of which are predicated in New York. But again, tinkering on an idea that could ultimately become quite powerful because if you’re in the earliest stage of the riskiest asset class, big venture, there’s always going to be seed funding for a great founder with a great idea. And so, I think some of the smartest people I’d ever met in my life, I met at the onset of the aftermath of that particular era in time. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned side hustle. Let’s talk a little bit about Foodspotting which is described as a visual geolocal guide to dishes instead of restaurants which sounds appealing to me. And it was named App of the Year by both Apple and Wired. How do you go from working at a giant organization like The Times to a startup with you and a cofounder and a handful of other coders working with you? DARABI: Well, five to six nights a week after my day job at the “New York Times,” I would go to networking events with technologists and entrepreneurs after hours. I saw that a priority to be able to partner from the earliest infancy with interesting companies for that media entity. I need to at least know who these founders were in New York and Silicon Valley. And so, without a true agenda other than keen curiosity to learn what this business were all about, I would go to New York tech meetup which Scott Heiferman of meetup.com who’s now in charge LP in my fund would create. And back then, the New York Tech Meetup was fewer than 40 people. I believe it’s been the tens of thousands now. RITHOLTZ: Wow, that’s … DARABI: In New York City alone. And so, it was there that I met some really brilliant people. And in particular, a gentleman my age who’s building a cloud-computing company that was essentially arbitraging AWS to repopulate consumer-facing cloud data services for enterprises, B2B2C play. And we all thought it would be Dropbox. The company ultimately wasn’t, but I will tell you the people with whom I worked with that startup because I left the “New York Times” to join that startup, to this day remain some of the most successful people in Silicon Valley and Alley. And actually, one of those persons is a partner at our firm now, Darshan. He was the cofounder of that particular company which is called drop.io. but I stayed there very quickly. I was there for about six months. But at that startup, I observed how a young person my age could build a business, raise VC, he was the son of a VC and so he was exceptionally attuned to the changing landscape of venture and how to position the company so that it would be attractive to the RREs of the world and then the DFJs. And I … RITHOLTZ: Define those for us. RREs and BFJs. DARABI: Sorry. Still, today, very relevant and very successful venture capital firms. And in particular, they were backing a lot of the most interesting ideas in Web 2.0 era when I joined this particular startup in 2010. Well, that startup was acquired by Facebook and I often say, no, thanks to me. But the mafia that left that particular startup continues to this day to coinvest with one another and help one another’s ideas to exceed. And it was there that I began to build the confidence, I think, that I really needed to explore my own entrepreneurial ideas or to help accelerate ideas. And Foodspotting was a company that I was advising while at that particular startup, that was really taking off. This was in the early days of when Instagram was still in beta and we observed that the most commonly posted photos on Instagram were of food. And so, by following that lead, we basically built an app as well that activity that continues to take place every single day. I still see food photos on Twitter every time I open up my stream. And decided to match that with an algorithm that showed folks wherever they were in the world, say in Greece, that might want spanakopita or if I’m in Japan, Okinawa, we help people to discover not just the Michelin-rated restaurants or the most popular local hunt in New York but rather what’s the dish that they should be ordering. And then the app was extremely good was populating beautiful photos of that particular dish and then mirroring them with accredited reviews from the Zagats of the world but also popular celebrity shots like Marcus Samuelsson in New York. And that’s why we took off because it was a cult-beloved app of its time back when there were only three geolocation apps in the iTunes apparently store. It was we and Twitter and Foursquare. So, there was a first-mover advantage. Looking back in hindsight, I think we sold that company too soon. OpenTable bought the business. A year and a half later, Priceline bought OpenTable. Both were generous liquidity events for the founders that enabled us to become angel investors. But sometimes I wish that that app still existed today because I could see it being still incredibly handy in my day-to-day life. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. So did you have to raise money for Foodspotting or did you just bootstrapped it and how did that experience compare with what that exit was like? DARABI: We did. We raised from tremendous investors like Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures whom I think of as being one of the best angel investors of the world. He was on the board. But we didn’t raise that much capital before the business is ultimately sold and what I learned in some of those early conversations, I would say, that may have ultimately led to LOIs and term sheets was that so much of M&As about wining and dining and as a young person, particularly for me, you and I discussed before the show, Barry, we’re both from New York, I’m not from a business-oriented family to say the least. My mom’s an academic, my father was a cab driver in New York City. And so, there are certain elements of this game, raising venture and ultimately trying to exit your company, that you don’t learn from a business book. And I think navigating that as a young person was complicated if I had to speak economically. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. What is purposeful change? DARABI: Well, the world purpose, I suppose, especially in the VC game could come across as somewhat of a cliché. But we try to be as specific as possible when we allude to the impact that our investment could potentially make. And so, specifically, we invest in five verticals at our early stage New York City-based venture fund. We invest in what we call the care economy, just companies making all forms of care, elder care to pet care to health care, more accessible and equitable. We invest in financial inclusion. So this is a spin on fintech. These are companies enabling wealth creation, education, and most importantly literacy for all, that I think is really important to democratization of finance. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employees alike. We invest in the future of work which are companies creating better outcomes for workers and employers alike. We invest in purpose as it pertains to transportation. So, not immediately intuitive but companies creating transparency and efficiency around global supply chain and mobility. I’m going to talk about why we pick that category in a bit. And sustainability. So, tech-enabled sustainable solutions. These are companies optimizing for sustainability from process to product. With these five verticals combined, we have a subspecies which is that diverse founders and diverse employee bases and diverse cap table. It is not charity, it’s simply good for business. And so, in addition to being hyper specific about the impact in which we invest, we also make it a priority and a mandate at our firm to invest in the way the world truly look. And when we say that on our website, we link to census data. And so, we invest in man and women equally. We invest in diverse founders, almost all of the time. And we track this with data and precious to make sure that our investments reflect not just one zip code in California but rather America at large. RITHOLTZ: And you have described this as non-obvious founders. Tell us a little bit about that phrase. DARABI: Well, not obvious is a term you hear a lot when you go out to Silicon Valley. And I don’t know, I think it was coined by a well-known early PayPal employee turned billionaire turned investor who actually have a conference centered around non-obvious ideas. And I love the phrase. I love thinking about investment PC that are contrary because we have a contrary point of view, contrarian point of view, you often have outlier results because if you’re right, you’re taking the risk and your capturing the reward. When you’re investing in non-obvious founders, it should be that is the exact same outcome. And so, it almost sort of befuddled me as a person with a hard to pronounce name in Silicon Valley, why it was that we’re an industry that prides itself on investing in innovation and groundbreaking ideas and the next frontier of X, Y, and Z and yet all of those founders in which we were investing, collectively, tended to kind of look the same. They were coming from the same schools and the same types of families. And so, to me, there was nothing innovative at all about backing that Wharton, PSB, HBS guy who is second or third-generation finance. And what really excites me about venture is capturing a moment in time that’s young but also the energy is palpable around not only the idea in which the founder is building but the categories of which they’re tackling and that sounded big. I’ll be a little bit more speficic. And so, at TMV, we tried to see things before they’re even coming around the bend. For instance, we were early investors in a company called Cityblock Health which is offering best in class health care specifically for low income Americans. So they focus on the most vulnerable population which are underserved with health care and they’re offering them best in class health care access at affordable pricing because it’s predominantly covered through a payer relationship. And this company is so powerful to us for three reasons because it’s not simply offering health care to the elite. It’s democratizing access to care which I think is absolutely necessary in term out for success of any kind. We thought this was profoundly interesting because the population which they serve is also incredibly diverse. And so when you look at that investment over, say, a comparable company, I won’t name names, that offers for-profit health care, out-of-pocket, you can see why this is an opportunity that excites us as impact investors but we don’t see the diversity of the team it’s impact. We actually see that as their unfair advantage because they are accessing a population authentically that others might ignore. RITHOLTZ: Let me see if I understand this correctly. When you talk about non-obvious find — founders and spaces like this, what I’m hearing from you is you’re looking at areas where the market has been very inefficient with how it allocates capital … DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … that these areas are just overlooked and ignored, hey, if you want to go on to silicon valley and compete with everybody else and pay up for what looks like the same old startup, maybe it will successful and maybe it won’t, that’s hypercompetitive and hyper efficient, these are areas that are just overlooked and there is — this is more than just do-goodery for lack of a better word. There are genuine economic opportunities here with lots of potential upside. DARABI: Absolutely. So, my business partner and I, she and I found each other 20 years ago as undergrads at Georgetown but we went in to business after she was successful and being one of the only women in the world to take a shipping business public with her family, and we got together and we said we have a really unique access, she and I. And the first SPV that we collaborated on back in 2016 was a young business at the time, started by two women, that was focused on medical apparel predominantly for nurses. Now it’s nurses and doctors. And they were offering a solution to make medical apparel, so scrubs, more comfortable and more fashionable for nurses. I happen to have nurses and doctors in my family so doing due diligence for this business is relatively simple. I called my aunt who’s a nurse practitioner, a nurse her life, and she said, absolutely. When you’re working in a uniform at the hospital, you want something comfortable with extra pockets that makes you look and feel good. The VCs that they spoke to at the time, and they’ve been very public about this, in the beginning, anyway, were less excited because they correlated this particular business for the fashion company. But if you look back at our original memo which I saved, it says, FIGS, now public on the New York Stock Exchange is a utility business. It’s a uniform company that can verticalize beyond just medical apparel. And so, we helped value that company at 15 million back in 2016. And this year, in 2021, they went public at a $7 billion market cap. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: And so, what is particularly exciting for us going back to that conversation on non-obvious founders is that particular business, FIGS, was the first company in history to have two female co-founders go public. And when we think of success at TMV, we don’t just think about financial success and IRR and cash on cash return for our LPs, of course we think about that. But we also think who are we cheerleading and with whom do we want to go into business. I went to the story on the other side of the fence that we want to help and we measure non-obvious not just based on gender or race because I think that’s a little too precise in some ways. Sometimes, for us non-obvious, is around geography, I would say. I’m calling you from Athens, as you know, and in Greece, yesterday, I got together with a fund manager. I’m lucky enough to be an LP in her fund and she was talking about the average size of a seed round in Silicon Valley these days, hovering around 30 million. And I was scratching my head because at our fund, TMV, we don’t see that. We’re investing in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Austin, Texas and the average price for us to invest in the seed round is closer to 5 million or 6 million. And so, we actually can capture larger ownership of the pie early on and then develop a very close-knit relationship with these founders but might not be as networked in the Valley where there’s 30 VC funds to everyone that exist in Austin, Texas. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And so, yes, I think you’re right to say that it’s about inefficiencies in market but also just around — about being persistent and looking where others are not. RITHOLTZ: That’s quite intriguing. Your team is female-led. You have a portfolio of companies that’s about 65 percent women and people of color. Tell us how you go about finding these non-obvious startups? DARABI: It’s a good question. TMV celebrates its five-year anniversary this year. So the way we go about funding companies now is a bit different than the way we began five years ago. Now, it’s systematic. We collectively, as a partnership, there are many of us take over 50 calls a month with Tier 1 venture capital firms that have known us for a while like the work that we do, believe in our value-add because the partnership comprised of four more operators. So, we really roll up our sleeves to help. And when you’ve invested at this firms, enough time, they will write to you and say I found a company that’s a little too early for us, for XYZ reason, but it resonates and I think it might be for you. So we found some of our best deals that way. But other times, we found our deal flow through building our own communities. And so, when I first started visit as an EM, an emerging manager of a VC firm. And roughly 30 percent of LP capital goes to EM each year but that’s sort of an outsized percentage because when you think about the w-fix-solve (ph) addition capital, taking 1.3 billion of that pie, then you recognize the definition of emerging manager might need to change a bit. So, when I was starting as an EM, I recognize that the landscape wasn’t necessarily leveled. If you weren’t, what’s called the spinout, somebody that has spent a few years at a traditional established blue-chip firm, then it’s harder to develop and cultivate relationships with institutional LPs who will give you a shot even though the data absolutely points to there being a real opportunity in capturing lightning in a bottle if you find a right EM with the right idea in the right market conditions which is certainly what we’re in right now. And so, I decided to start a network specifically tailored around helping women fund managers, connecting one another and it began as a WhatsApp group and a weekly Google Meet that has now blown into something that requires a lot of dedicated time. And so we’re hiring an executive director for this group. They’re called Transact Global, 250 women ex-fund managers globally, from Hong Kong, to Luxembourg, to Venezuela, Canada, Nigeria, you name it. There are women fund managers in our group and we have one of the most active deal flow channels in the world. And so two of our TMV deals over the last year, a fintech combatting student debt and helping young Americans save for retirement at the same time, as an example, came from this WhatsApp deal flow channel. So, I think creating the community, being the change, so to speak, has been incredibly effective for us a proprietary deal flow mechanism. And then last but not least, I think that having some sort of media presence really has helped. And so, I’ve hosted a podcast and I’ve worked on building up what I think to be a fairly organic Twitter following over the years and we surprise ourselves by getting some really exceptional founders cold pitching us on LinkedIn and on Twitter because we make ourselves available as next gen EMs. So, that’s a sort of long-winded answer to your question. But it’s not the traditional means by any means. RITHOLTZ: To say the least. Are you — the companies you’re investing in, are they — and I’ll try and keep this simple for people who are not all that well-versed in the world of venture, is it seed stage, is it the A round, the B round? How far into their growth process do you put money in? DARABI: So it is a predominantly seed fund. We call our investments core investments. So, these are checks that average, 1 and 1.5 million. So for about 1.25 million, on average, we’re capturing 10-15% of a cap payable. And in this area, that’s called a seed round. It will probably be called a Series A 10 years ago. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And then we follow on through the Series A and it max around, I think, our pro rata at the B. So, our goal via Series B is to have, on average, 10% by the cap. And then we give ourselves a little bit of wiggle room with our modeling. We take mars and moonshot investments with smaller checks so we call these initial interest checks. And initial interest means I’m interested but your idea is still audacious, they won’t prove itself out for three or four years or to be very honest, we weren’t the first to get into this cap or you’re picking Sequoia over us, so we understand but let’s see if we can just promise you a bit of value add to edge our way into your business. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And oftentimes, when you speak as a former founder yourself with a high level of compassion and you promise with integrity that you’re going to work very hard for that company, they will increase the size of their round and they will carve out space for you. And so, we do those types of investments rarely, 10 times, in any given portfolio. But what’s interesting in looking back at some of our outliers from found one, it came from those initial interest checks. So that’s our model in a nutshell. We’re pretty transparent about it. What we like about this model is that it doesn’t make us tigers, we’re off the board by the B, so we’re still owning enough of the cap table to be a meaningful presence in the founder’s lives and in their business and it allows us to feel like we’re not spraying and praying. RITHOLTZ: Spraying and praying is an amusing term but I’m kind of intrigued by the fact that we use to call it smart money but you’re really describing it as value-added capital when a founder takes money from TMV, they’re getting more than just a check, they’re getting the involvement from entrepreneurs who have been through the process from startup to capital raise to exit, tell us a li bit about how that works its way into the deals you end up doing, who you look at, and what the sort of deal flow you see is like. DARABI: Well, years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a world-class advertiser and I was at his incredibly fancy office down in Wall Street, his ad agency. And he described to me with pride how he basically bartered his marketing services for one percent of a unicorn. And he was sort of showing off of it about how, from very little time and effort, a few months, he walked away with a relatively large portion of a business. And I thought, yes, that’s clever. But for the founder, they gave up too much of their business too soon. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I came up with an idea that I floated by Marina back in the day where our original for TMV Fund I began with the slide marketing as the future of venture and venture is the future of marketing. Meaning, it’s a VC fund where the position itself more like an ad agency but rather than charging for its services, it’s go-to-market services. You offer them free of charge but then you were paid in equity and you could quantify the value that you were offering to these businesses. And back then, people laughed us even though all around New York City, ad agencies were really doing incredible work and benefiting from the startups in that ecosystem. And so, we sort of changed the positioning a bit. And now, we say to our LPs and to our founders, your both clients of our firm. So, we do think of ourselves as an agency. But one set of our marketplace, you have LPs and what they want is crystal clear. The value that they derive from us is through a community and connectivity and co-investment and that’s it. It’s pretty kind of dry. Call me up once a year where you have an exceptional opportunity. Let me invest alongside you. Invite me to dinners four times a year, give me some information and a point of view that I can’t get elsewhere. Thank you for your time. And I love that. It’s a great relationship to have with incredibly smart people. It’s cut and dry but it’s so different. What founders want is something more like family. They want a VC on their board that they can turn to during critical moments. Two a.m. on a Saturday is not an uncommon time for me to get a text message from a founder saying what do I do. So what they want is more like 24/7 services for a period of time. And they want to know when that relationship should start and finish. So it’s sort of the Montessori approach to venture. We’re going to tell them what we’re going to tell them. Tell them what they’re telling them. Tell them what we told them. We say to founders with a reverse pitch deck. So we pitch them as they’re pitching us. Here’s what we promise to deliver for you for the first — each of the 24 months of your infancy and then we promise you we’ll mostly get lost. You can come back to use when your business is growing if you want to do it tender and we’ll operate an SPV for you for you or if you simply want advice, we’re never going to ignore you but our specialty, our black belt, if you will, Barry, is in those first 24 months of your business, that go-to-market. And so, we staffed up TMV to include, well, it’s punching above our weight but the cofounder of an exceptionally successful consumer marketing business, a gross marketer, a recruiter who helps one of our portfolio companies hire 40 of their earliest employees. We have a PR woman. You’ve met Viyash (ph), she’s exceptional with whom, I don’t know, how we would function sometimes because she’s constantly writing and re-editing press releases for the founders with which we work. And then Anna, our copywriter who came from IAC and Sean, our creative director, used to be the design director for Rolling Stone, and I can go on and on. So, some firms called us a platform team but we call it the go-to-market team. And then we promise a set number of hours for ever company that we invest into. RITHOLTZ: That’s … DARABI: And then the results — go ahead. RITHOLTZ: No, that’s just — I’m completely fascinated by that. But I have to ask maybe this is an obvious question or maybe it’s not, so you — you sound very much like a non-traditional venture capital firm. DARABI: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Who are your limited partners, who are your clients, and what motivates them to be involved with TMV because it sounds so different than what has been a pretty standard model in the world of venture, one that’s been tremendous successful for the top-tier firms? DARABI: Our LP set is crafted with intention. And so, 50% of our investors are institutional. This concludes institutional-sized family offices and family offices in a multibillions. We work with three major banks, Fortune 500 banks. We work with a couple of corporate Fortune 500 as investors or LPs and a couple of fund to funds. So that’s really run of the mill. But 50 percent of our investors and that’s why I’m in Athens today are family offices, global family offices, that I think are reinventing with ventures like, to look like in the future because wealth has never been greater globally. There’s a trillion dollars of assets that are passing to the hands of one generation to the next and what’s super interesting to me, as a woman, is that historically, a lot of that asset transferred was from father to son, but actually, for the first time in history, over 50 percent, so 51% of those asset inheritors are actually women. And so, as my business partner could tell because she herself is a next gen, in prior generations, women were encouraged to go into the philanthropic or nonprofit side of the family business … RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the sons were expected to take over the business or the family office and all of that is completely turned around in the last 10 years. And so, my anchor investor is actually a young woman. She’s under the age of 35. There’s a little bit of our firm that’s in the rocks because we’re not playing by the same rules that the establishment has played by. But certainly, we’re posturing ourselves to be able to grow in to a blue-chip firm which is why we want to maintain that balance, so 50 percent institutional and 50 percent, I would call it bespoke capital. And so, the LPs that are bespoke, we work at an Australian family office and Venezuelan family office and the Chilean family office and the Mexican family office and so on. For those family offices, we come to them, we invite them to events in New York City, we give them personalized introductions to our founders and we get on the phone with them. Whenever they’d like, we host Zooms. We call them the future of everything series. They can learn from us. And we get to know them as human beings and I think that there’s a reason why two thirds of our Fund I LPs converted over into Fund II because they like that level of access, it’s what the modern LP is really looking for. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about some of the areas that you find intriguing. What sectors are really capturing your attention these days? What are you most excited about? DARABI: Well, Barry, I’m most excited about five categories for which we’ve been investing for quite some time, but they’re really being accelerated due to the 2020 pandemic and a looming recession. And so, we’re particularly fascinated by not just health care investing as has been called in the past but rather the care economy. I’m not a huge fan of the term femtech, it always sounds like fembot to me. But care as it pertains to women alone is a multitrillion dollar opportunity. And so, when we think of the care economy, we think of health care, pet care, elder care, community care, personal care as it pertains to young people, old people, men, women, children, we bifurcate and we look for interesting opportunities that don’t exist because they’ve been undercapitalized, undervalued for so long. Case in point, we were early investors Kindbody, a reproductive health care company focused on women who want to preserve their fertility because if you look at 2010 census data, you can see that the data has been there for some time that women, in particular, were delaying marriage and childbirth and there are a lot of world-famous economists who will tell you this, the global population will decline because we’re aging and we’re not necessarily having as many children as we would have in the past plus it’s expensive. And so, we saw that as investors as a really interesting opportunity and jumped on the chance to ask Gina Bartasi who’s incredible when she came to us with a way to make fertility preservation plus expenses. So she followed the B2C playbook and she started with the mobile clinic that helps women freeze their eggs extensively. That company has gone on to raise hundreds — pardon me — and that company is now valued in the hundreds of million and for us, it was as simple as following our intuition as women fund managers, we know what our peers are thinking about because we talk to them all the time and I think the fact that we’re bringing a new perspective to venture means that we’re also bringing a new perspective to what has previously been called femtech. We invest in financial inclusion. Everyone in the world that’s investing fintech, the self-directed financial mobile apps are always going to be capitalized especially in a post Robin Hood era but we’re specifically interested in the democratization of access to financial information and we’re specifically interested in student debt and alleviating student debt in America because not only is it going to be one of the greatest challenges our generation will have to overcome, but it’s also prohibiting us from living out the American dream, $1.7 trillion of student debt in America that needs to be alleviated. And then we’re interested in the future of work, and long have been, that certainly was very much accelerated during the pandemic but we’ve been investing in the 1099 and remote work for quite some time. And so, really proud to have been the first check into a company called Bravely which is an HR chatbot that helps employees inside of a company chat a anonymously with HR representatives outside of that company, that’s 1099. That issue is like DEI, an inclusion and upward mobility and culture setting and what to do when you’re all of a sudden working for home. So that’s an example of a future of work business. And then in the tech-enabled sustainable solutions category, it’s a mouthful, let’s call that sustainability, we are proud to have been early investors of a company called Ridwell, out of Seattle Washington, focused on not just private — privatized recycling but upcycling and reconnaissance. Where are our things going when we recycle them? For me, it always been a pretty big question. And so, Ridwell allows you to re and upcycle things that are hard to get rid of out of your home like children’s eyeglasses and paints and battery, single-use plastic. And it shows you where those things are going which I think is super cool and there’s good reason why it has one of the highest NPS scores, Net Promoter Scores, of any company I’ve ever worked with. People are craving this kind of modern solution. And last but not least, we invest in transportation and part because of the unfair advantage my partner, Marina, brings to TMV as she comes from a maritime family. And so, we can pile it, transportation technology, within her own ecosystem. That’s pretty great. But also, because we’re just fascinated by the fact that 90 percent of the world commodities move on ship and the biggest contributor to emissions in the world outside of corporate is coming from transportation. SO, if we can sort of figure out this industry, we can solve a lot of the problems that our generation are inheriting. Now, these categories might sound massive and we do consider ourselves a generalist firm but we stick to five-course sectors that we truly believe in and we give ourselves room to kick out a sector or to add a new one with any given new fund. For the most part, we haven’t needed to because this remain the categories that are not only most appealing to us as investors but I think paramount to our generation. RITHOLTZ: That’s really intriguing. Give us an example of moonshot or what you called earlier, a Mars shot technology or a company that can really be a gamechanger but may not pay off for quite a while. DARABI: We’ve just backed a company that is focusing on food science. Gosh, I can’t give away too much because they haven’t truly launched in the U.S. But maybe I’ll kind of allude to it. They use crushed produce, like, crush potato skins to make plastic but biodegrades. And so, it’s a Mars shot because it’s a materials business and it’s a food science business rolled off into both the CPG business and an enterprise business. This particular material can wrap itself around industrial pellets. Even though it’s audacious, it’s not really a Mars shot when you think about the way the world is headed. Everybody wants to figure out how do we consume less plastic and recycle plastic better. And so, if there are new materials out there that will not only disintegrate but also, in some ways, feed the environment, it will be a no-brainer and then if you add to the equation the fact that it could be maybe not less expensive but of comparable pricing to the alternative, I can’t think of a company in the world that wouldn’t switch to this solution. RITHOLTZ: Right. So this is plastic that you don’t throw away. You just toss in the garden and it becomes compost? DARABI: Yes, exactly. Exactly. It should help your garden grow. So, yes, so that’s what I would call a Mars shot in some ways. But in other ways, it’s just common sense, right? RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about your investment vehicles. You guys run, I want to make sure I get this right, two funds and three vehicles, is that right? DARABI: We have two funds. They’re both considered micro funds because they’re both under 100 million and then we operate in parallel for SPVs that are relatively evergreen and they serve as opportunistic investments to continue to double down on our winners. RITHOLTZ: SPV is special purpose investment … DARABI: Vehicles. Yes. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And the PE world, they’re called sidecars. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. So how do these gets structured? Does everything look very similar when you have a fund? How quickly do you deploy the capital and typically how long you locked for or investors locked up for? DARABI: Well investors are usually in private equity are VC funds locked up for 10 years. That’s not usual. We have shown liquidity faster, certainly, for Fund I. It’s well in the black and it’s only five years old less, four and a half years old. So, how do we make money? We charge standard fees, 2 on 20 is the rubric of it, we operate by. And then lesser fees for sidecars or direct investments. So that’s kind of how we stay on business. When you think about an emerging manager starting their first fund, management fees are certainly not so we can live a lavish rock and roll life on a $10 million fund with a two percent management fee, we’re talking about 200K for the entire business to operate. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DARABI: So Marina and I, not only anchored our first fund with their own capital but we didn’t pay ourselves for four years. It’s not glamorous. I mean, there’s some friends of mine that thing the venture capital life is glam and it is if you’re on Sand Hill Road. But if you’re an EM, it’s a lot more like a startup where you’re burning the midnight oil, you are bartering favors with your friends, and you are begging the smartest people you know to take a chance on you to invite you on to their cap table. But it somehow works out because we do put in that extra effort, I think, the metrics, certainly for Fund I have shown us that we’re in this for the long haul now. RITHOLTZ: So your fund 1 and Fund 2, are there any plans of launching Fund III? DARABI: Yes. I think that given the proof points between Fund I and Fund II and a conversation that my partner and I recently had, five years out, are we in this? Do we love this? We do. OK. This is our life’s work. So you can see larger and more demonstrable sized funds but not in an outsized way, not just because we can raise more capital now but because we want to build out a partnership and the kind of culture that we always dreamed of working for back when we were employees, so we have a very diverse set of colleagues with whom we couldn’t operate and we’ll be adding to the partnership in the next two or three years which is really exciting to say. So, yes, the TMV will be around for a while. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. I want to ask you the question I ask any venture capitalist that I interview. Tell us about your best and worst investments and what did you pass on that perhaps you wish you didn’t? DARABI: Gosh. The FOMO list is so long and so embarrassing. Let me start with what I passed on that I regret. Well, I don’t know she really would have invited me to invest, but certainly, I had a wonderful conversation a peer from high school, Katrina Lake, when she was in beta mode for Stitch Fix. I think she was still at HBS at the time or had just recently graduated from Harvard. When Katrina and I had coffee in Minneapolis were we went to high school and she was telling me about the Netflix for clothing that she was building and certainly I regret not really picking up on the clues that she was offering in that conversation. Stitch Fix had an incredible IPO and I’m a proud shareholder today. And similarly, when my friend for starting Cloudflare which luckily they did bring me in to pre-IPO and I’m grateful for that, but when they were starting Cloudflare, I really should have jumped on that moment or when my buddy Ryan Graves whom I still chat with pretty frequently was starting out Uber in beta with Travis and Garrett, that’s another opportunity that I definitely missed. I was in Ireland when the Series A term sheet assigned. So there’s such a long laundry list of namedropped, namedropped, missed, missed, missed. But in terms of what I’m proud of, I’d say far more. I don’t like Sophie’s Choice. I don’t like to cherry pick the certain investments to just brag about them. But we’ve talked about someone to call today, I’d rather kind of shine a light — look at my track record, right? There’s a large realized IRR that I’m very proud of. But more on the opportunity of the companies that we more recently backed that prevent damages (ph) of CRM for oncology patient that help them navigate through the most strenuous time of their life. And by doing so, get better access to health care. And we get to wrote that check a couple of months ago. But already, it’s becoming a company that I couldn’t be more excited about because if they execute the way I think Shirley and Victor will, that has the power to help so many people in a profound way, not just in the Silicon Valley cliché way of this could change the world but this could actually help people receive better care. So, yes, I’m proud of having been an early investor in the Caspers of the world. Certainly, we’re all getting better sleep. There’s no shame there. But I’m really excited now today at investing in financial inclusion in the care economy and so on. RITHOLTZ: And let’s talk a little bit about impactful companies. Is there any different when you’re making a seed stage investment in a potentially impactful company versus traditional startup investing? DARABI: Well, pre-seed and seed investing isn’t a science and it’s certainly not a science that anyone has perfected. There are people who are incredibly good at it because they have a combination of luck and access. But if you’re a disciplined investor in any asset class and I talk to my friends who run hedge funds and work for hedge funds about 10 bets that they take a day and I think that’s a lot trickier than what I do because our do due diligence process, on average, takes an entire quarter of the year. We’re not making that many investments each year. So even though it sounds sort of fruity, when you look at a Y Combinator Demo Day, Y Comb is the biggest accelerator in Silicon Valley and they produce over 300 companies, three or four times a year. When you look at the outsized valuations coming out of Y Comb, it’s easy to think that starting company is as simple as sort of downloading a company in a Box Excel and running with it. But from where we sit, we’re scorching the earth for really compelling ideas in areas that have yet to converge and we’re looking for businesses that may have never pitched the VC before. Maybe they’re not even seeking capital. Maybe it’s a company that isn’t so interested in raising a penny eventually because they don’t need to. They’re profitable from day one. Those are the companies that we find most exciting because as former operators, we know how to appeal to them and then we also know how to work with them. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. Before I get to my favorite question, let me just throw you’re a curveball, tell me a little bit about Business Schooled, the podcast you hosted for quite a while. DARABI: So, Synchrony, Sync, came to me a few years ago with a very compelling and exciting opportunity to host a podcast with them that allowed me a fortunate opportunity to travel the country and I went to just under a dozen cities to meet with founders who have persevered past their startup phase. And what I loved about the concept of business school is that the cities that I hosted were really focused on founders who didn’t have access to VC capital, they put money on credit card. So I took SBA loans or asked friends and family to give them starter capital and then they made their business work through trying times and when you pass the five-year mark for any business, I’m passing it right now for TMV, there’s a moment of reflection where you can say, wow, I did it. it’s incredibly difficult to be a startup founder, more than 60 percent of companies fail and probably for good reason. And so, yes, I hosted business school, Seasons 2 and 3 and potentially there will be more seasons and I’m very proud of the fact that at one point we cracked the top 20 business podcasts and people seem to be really entertained through these conversations with insightful founders who are vulnerable with me about what it was like to build their business and I like to think they were vulnerable because I have a good amount of compassion for the experience of being founder and also because I’m a New Yorker and I just like to talk. RITHOLTZ: You’re also a founder so there’s going to be some empathy that’s genuine. You went through what they’re going through. DARABI: Exactly. Exactly. And so, what you do, Barry, is quite similar. You’re — you host an exceptionally successful business podcast and you’re also an allocator. You know that it’s interesting to do both because I think that being an investor is a lot like being a journalist. In both professions, you won’t succeed unless you are constantly curious and if you are having conversations to listen more than you speak. DARABI: Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret since it’s so late in the podcast and fewer people will be hearing this, the people I invite on the show are essentially just conversations I want to have. If other people come along and listen, that’s fantastic. But honestly, it’s for an audience of one, namely me, the reason I wanted to have you on is because I’m intrigued by the world of venture and alternatives and impact. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people have been somewhat disappointed in the results of ESG investing and impact investing that for — it’s captured a lot more mindshare than it has captured capital although we’re seeing signs that’s starting to shift. But then the real question becomes, all right, so I’m investing less in oil companies and more in other companies that just happen to consume fossil fuels, what’s the genuine impact of my ESG investing? It feels like it’s sort of de minimis whereas what you do really feels like it has a major impact for people who are interested in having their capital make a positive difference. DARABI: Thank you for saying that. And I will return the compliment by saying that I really enjoyed getting to know you on our one key economist Zoom and I think that you’re right. I think that ESG investing, certainly in the public markets has had diminished returns historically because the definition has been so bizarre and so all over the place. RITHOLTZ: Right. DARABI: And I read incredible books from people like Antony Bugg-Levine who helps coin the term the Rockefeller Foundation, who originally coined the term you read about, mortgage, IRR and IRS plus measurement and it’s so hard to have just standardization of what it means to be an impact investor and so it can be bothered but we bother. Rather, we kind of come up with our own subjective point of view of the world and we say what does impact mean to us? Certainly, it means not investing in sin stocks but then those sin stocks have to begin somewhere, has to begin with an idea that somebody had once upon a time. And so, whether we are investing in the way the world should look from our perspective. And with that in mind, it doesn’t have to be impact by your grandpa’s VC, it can be impact from modern generation but simply things that behave differently. Some folks with their dollars. People often say, well, my ESG portfolio is underperforming. But then if you dig in to the specifics, are you investing in Tesla? It’s not a pretty good year. Did you back Beyond Meat? Had a great year. And so, when you kind of redefine the public market not by a sleeve and a bank’s version of a portfolio, but rather by company that you think are making demonstrable change in the world, then you can walk away, realizing had I only invested in these companies that are purpose driven, I would have had outsized returns and that’s what we’re trying to deliver on at TMV. That’s the promise. RITHOLTZ: Really, really very, very intriguing. I know I only have you for a few minutes so let’s jump to my favorite questions that I ask all of our guests starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days. Give us your favorite, Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any podcast that are keeping you entertained during the pandemic. DARABI: Well, my family has been binging on 100 Foot Wave on HBO Max which is the story of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara who is constantly surfing the world’s largest waves and I’m fascinated by people who have a mission that’s sort of bigger than success or fame but they’re driven by something and part of that something is curiosity and part of it is insanity. And so not only is it visually stunning to kind of watch these big wave surfers in Portugal, but it’s also a mind trip. What motivates them to get out of bed every day and potentially risk their lives doing something so dangerous and so bananas but also at the same time so brave and heroic. So, highly recommend. I am listening to too many podcasts. I listen to, I don’t know, a stream of things. I’m a Kara Swisher fan, Ezra Klein fan, so they’re both part of the “New York Times” these days. And of course, your podcast, Barry. RITHOLTZ: Well, thank you so much. Well, thank you so much. Let’s talk a little bit about who your early mentors were and who helped shape you career? DARABI: It’s going to sound ungrateful but I don’t think, in like a post lean in definition of the word, I ever truly had a mentor or a sponsor. Now, having said that, I’ve had people who really looked at for me and been incredibly gracious with their time and capital. And so, I would absolutely like to acknowledge that first and foremost. I think about how generous Adam Grant has been with his time and his investments for TMV in Fund I and Fund II and he’s a best-selling author and worked on highest-rated business school professor. So shout out to Adam, if he’s listening or Beth Comstock, the former Vice Chair of GE who has been instrumental in my career for about a decade and a half now. And she is also really leaning in to the TMV portfolio and has become a patient of Parsley Health, an early investment of ours and also an official adviser to the business. So, people like Adam and Beth certainly come to mind. But I don’t know, I just — I’m not sure mentors really exist outside of corporate America anymore and part of the reason why we started Transact Global is to kind of foster the concept of the peer mentor, people who are going through the same thing as you at the same time and allowing that hive mentality with an abundance mentality to catalyze people to kind of go further and faster. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about some of your favorite books and what you might reading right now. DARABI: OK, so in the biz book world, because I know your listeners as craving, I’m a big fan of “Negotiation Genius.” I took a crash course with one of the authors, Max Bazerman at the Kennedy School and it was illuminating. I mean, he’s one of the most captivating professors I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing lecture and this book has really helped me understand the concept of the ZOPA, the Zone of Possible Agreement, and how to really negotiate well. And then for Adam whom I just referenced, of all of his incredible books, my favorite is Give and Take because I try to operate with that approach of business. Give more than you take and maybe in the short term, you’ll feel depleted but in the long term, karma pays off. But mostly, Barry, I read fiction. I think the most interesting people in the world or at least the most entertaining at dinner parties are all avoid readers of fiction and history. So I recently reread, for instance, all of my favorite short stories from college, from Dostoyevsky’s “A Gentle Creature” to “Drown” Junot Diaz. “Passing” by Nella Larsen, “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” by Fitzgerald. Those are some of my very favorite stories of all time. And my retirement dream is to write a book of short stories. RITHOLTZ: Really, really quite intriguing. Are they all available in a single collection or these just, going back to your favorites and just plowing through them for fun? DARABI: Those are just going back to my favorites. I try to re-read “Passing” every few years which is somehow seems to be more and more relevant as I get older and Junot Diaz has become so incredibly famous when I first read “Drown” about 20 years ago which is an original collection of short stories that broadened my perspective of why it’s important to think about a broader definition of America, I guess. And, yes, no, that’s just — that was just sort of off the top of my head as the offering of a few stories that I really love, no collection. RITHOLTZ: That’s a good collection. And we’re down to our final two questions. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who was interested in a career in either venture capital or entrepreneurship? DARABI: Venture capital or entrepreneurship. Well, I would say, learn as early as possible how to trust your gut. So, this could mean a myriad of things. As an entrepreneur, it could mean under the halo effect of an institution, university or high school or maybe having a comfortable day job, tinker with ideas, get feedback on that idea, don’t be afraid of looking or sounding dumb and build that peer network that I described. People who are rooting you on and are also insatiably curious about wonky things. And I would say that for venture capital, similar play on the same theme, but whether it’s putting small amounts of money into new concept, blockchain investing, or whether it’s meeting with entrepreneurs and saying maybe I only have $3,000 save up but I believe in you enough to bet amongst friends in Brooklyn on your concept if you’ll have me as an investor. So, play with your own money because what it’s really teaching you in return is how to follow instincts and to base pattern recognition off your own judgement. And if you do that early on, overtime, these all become datapoints that you can point to and these are lessons that you can glean while not taking the risk of portfolio management. So, I guess the real advice to your listeners is more action, please. RITHOLTZ: Really very, very intriguing. And our final question, what do you know about the world of venture investing today that you wish you knew 15 or 20 years ago when you first getting started? DARABI: Twenty years ago, I was a bit of a Pollyanna and I thought every wonderful idea that simply is built by smart people and has timed the market correctly will work out. And I will say that I’m slightly more jaded today because of the capital structure that is systematically allowing the biggest firms in the world to kind of eat up a generous portion of, let’s call it the LP pie, which leaves less capital available to the young upstart VC firms, and of course I’m biased because I run one, that are taking outsized risks on those non-obvious ideas that we referenced. And so, what I wish for the future is that institutional capital kind of reprioritizes what it’s looking for. And in addition to having a bottom line of reliable and demonstrable return on any given investment, there are new standards put into play saying we want to make sure that a portion of our portfolio goes to diverse managers. Because in turn, we recognize that they are three times more likely to invest in diverse founders or we believe in impact investing can be broader than the ESG definitely of a decade ago, so we’re coming up with our own way to measure on sustainability or what impact means to us. And if they go through those exercises which I know is hard because, certainly, I’m not trying to add work to anyone’s plate, I do think that the results will more than make up for it. RITHOLTZ: Quite intriguing. Thank you, Soraya, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Soraya Darabi who is the Co-Founder and General Partner at TMV Investments. If you enjoy this conversation, well, be sure and check out any of the prior 376 conversations we’ve had before. You can find those at iTunes or Spotify, wherever you buy your favorite podcast. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at MIB podcast@bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily reads at ritholtz.com. Check out my weekly column at bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps me put these conversations together each week. Tim Harrow is my audio engineer. Paris Walt (ph) is my producer. Atika Valbrun is our project manager, Michael Batnick is my head of research. I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~     The post Transcript: Soraya Darabi appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 20th, 2021

The 85 truly unique gifts for your girlfriend that she will actually love, from personalized jewelry to unique subscription boxes

We rounded up 85 thoughtful gifts to give your girlfriend, from keepsake jewelry under $100 to helpful tech and fitness accessories. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Give your girlfriend a thoughtful, custom keepsake. Framebridge Giving your girlfriend a meaningful gift doesn't have to require hours of research. Below is a list of thoughtful gifts for your girlfriend, from accessories and tech to home decor. Still looking for gifts? Find more gift guides broken down by interest, budget, and occasion here. Giving gifts as a couple can be a lot of fun. You know your partner: What they love, what rituals they enjoy, what small daily annoyances you could possibly solve with a thoughtful gift. You also know how much they'll appreciate the gift coming from you.Odds are you want to give them something wonderful - whatever your price range is. All most of us need is a little direction and a few great options to pick from, so we put together a list of our favorite gift ideas for girlfriends of all personalities to help guide you, below.Check out all 85 gifts for your girlfriend:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Vuori. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.* Earrings made with her birthstone Mejuri Amethyst Flat Sphere Studs, available on Mejuri, $180If your girlfriend wears jewelry, birthstone earrings that she can keep forever are a thoughtful, personalized gift she'll wear often.   Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakery Milk Bar Milk Bar Treats, from $22If your girlfriend has a sweet tooth, send her Milk Bar — the company delivers its iconic and decadent cakes, cookies, and truffles to her doorstep. A pass to get into a bunch of boutique fitness classes Classpass ClassPass Gift Card, from $15Boutique fitness classes are expensive, which can make trying new workouts — either for variety or to figure out what we like — less appealing. ClassPass solves both issues. It's relatively affordable, and members can access a neverending catalog of great workouts with small class sizes. If your partner is getting back into fitness after over a year of at-home workouts, we'd highly recommend a gift card here for whenever they're ready to use it. Leggings fit for workouts and lounge sessions Vuori Vuori Daily Legging, from $59Vuori is known for its smooth, soft fabrics and flattering fits — and the Daily Legging is no exception. Combining the leisure and comfort of a jogger with the function and stretch of a legging, your girlfriend can wear these for both workouts and weekend lounging. *Sponsored by Vuori A disposable camera that doesn't take you out of the moment Gamesgamer024 The gamer/YouTube Disposable camera, $45Interested in preserving memories without taking yourself out of them? A good disposable camera or a film camera can take the pressure away from perfection so you and your girlfriend can focus on just savoring experiences together. The best electric toothbrush Colgate Electric toothbrush, $39.99If your girlfriend is more interested in gifts she needs as well as wants, an electric toothbrush is a good option. We've tested our fair share of electric toothbrushes, and we think Colgate's Hum is the best value. It cleans thoroughly and offers advanced features and modern design for $70 — which is considerably more affordable than options with fancy features you may not use enough.  A planned trip for the two of you to take together Airbnb Airbnb Gift Card, available at Airbnb, from $25If you want to gift an experience you and your girlfriend can enjoy together, grab a card, a gift card to Airbnb, and come up with a few location ideas to choose from. You can also book a hotel in your city on Booking.com or Expedia for a sweet staycation. *This gift can be saved and used at a later date. A versatile Exercise Dress Outdoor Voices The Exercise Dress, available on Outdoor Voices, $100Given the popularity of the Exercise Dress, we wouldn't be surprised if this was on your girlfriend's wish list. The Exercise Dress is comfortable, versatile, and cute — which has made it a cult-favorite item. If she's a fan of dresses, outdoor voices, or clothes she can wear all day long, this may be a good option.  Her favorite specialty food straight from the source Goldbelly/Instagram Order her favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $28Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy your girlfriend's most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration.  A streaming bundle that checks off all the boxes Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+/Business Insider Hulu, Disney+ ESPN+ Bundle, available at Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, from $13.99 per monthIf canceled sporting events or trips to Disney have you feeling down, you can gift Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu together to ensure the next few months include plenty of entertainment options. If your partner is not too fond of ads, this bundle can also be purchased with the ad-free version of Hulu. A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residue Amazon Foreo Luna Play Plus 2, available at Foreo, $59In the category of things your girlfriend may love but hasn't asked for yet: Foreo facial brushes. Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleansing devices. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so your partner can maintain their skincare routine while traveling.  A thoughtful book she'll love Amazon "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed, available on Amazon, $12.42Pick up one of your all-time favorite books that you think she'd like, or browse some of the books we love to gift. This collection of Dear Sugar advice columns is a heartfelt favorite. Its topics are diverse, its letters to Dear Sugar are intimate and relatable, and Cheryl Strayed's responses are both witty and extraordinarily compassionate. A membership to a huge outdoor co-op REI REI Co-Op Lifetime Membership, $20, available at REIAn REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. If your girlfriend loves the outdoors, this is an option she can enjoy solo and with you.  A Dutch oven to elevate their bread game Lodge mfg Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, available at Walmart, $79.90Did your girlfriend get into baking bread and, miraculously, stay committed to it? If so, a really nice Dutch oven can help elevate her experience. You can get something great for under $100, or you can splurge on a beautiful Le Creuset. Other meaningful upgrades include a cooling rack, according to the famous baker Apollonia Poilâne. A subscription that sends her a six-month world tour of teas Atlas Tea Club Atlas Tea Club 6 Month Subscription, available on Atlas Tea Club, $109This subscription sends your girlfriend single-origin teas from the best tea-growing regions in the world for six months. She'll get two delicious options sent to her home each month. Festive matching underwear from one of the internet's favorite startups MeUndies Matching Underwear, available at MeUndies, $42Get yourself and your girlfriend festive matching underwear — which also happen to be some of the most comfortable pairs we've ever found. MeUndies gives you the options to create your own personalized set — two styles listed for women, two styles listed for men, a mix, and whichever length or cut you and your partner prefer.  A standing desk for a home office upgrade Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, available at Fully, from $569If she's working from home, your girlfriend might love a home office upgrade the most. We ranked the Fully Jarvis the best standing desk; it provides the right blend of features and reliable performance. Its customizations for style, height, and accessories make it adaptable to pretty much any need.  A framed keepsake of a favorite memory Framebridge Framed photo, available at Framebridge, from $45Gift Card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing a bit more affordable. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it, and you can take advantage of the team of designers for help deciding what frame to get.  The best socks she'll ever wear Bombas Bombas Women's Performance Running Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Bombas makes the best socks we've ever tried, and they're a gift we find ourselves giving every year to loved ones. They're lightweight, moisture-wicking, and built to circumvent annoyances like uncomfortable seams and heel slipping. A powerful, customizable massage gun Theragun Theragun PRO, available at Therabody, $599This is the best massage gun we've tested — though it's also on the higher end of what you would expect to pay. We loved it in part due to its two-year warranty, adjustable massage arm, customizable speeds, 60 lbs of no-stall force, six different heads, an extra battery, and how easy it is to use. If you can't give your girlfriend an unlimited pass to professional massages, this is a nice in-between option.  A nice gold vermeil and sapphire zodiac sign necklace Mejuri Aquarius Necklace, available at Mejuri, $395Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewelry affordable to buy — and it has racked up waitlists with more than 40,000 people before. Their popular Zodiac Necklace is cool, minimalist, and something she can wear every day. It's made in gold vermeil with AAA quality white sapphires. Mejuri's affordable pricing means the estimated traditional retail price of the same necklace elsewhere would be closer to $235.   The best bathrobe that money can buy Snowe Bathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Snowe's unisex bathrobe has been called the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, and I'm just one more fervent believer. The cotton fiber traps air for extra absorbency and is soft and plush, and the unisex sizing means it will feel like a blanket-turned-robe. Perfect functionality, and extra points for coziness. A tracker for finding cell phones and wallets quickly Amazon Tile Pro, available at Amazon, $34.99When your girlfriend can't find her phone, all she has to do is click the Tile button to make her phone ring, even if it's on silent. We've found them especially useful lately.  A monogrammed jewelry case from a minimalist fashion startup Cuyana Leather Jewelry Case, available at Cuyana, $85 (+ $15 for monogram)Keeping track of tiny and delicate jewelry is difficult — but jewelry cases are a pretty and useful solution. This is a thoughtful and personalized gift, especially if you've gotten your girlfriend jewelry in the past, or plan to in the future. It's made from premium leather, comes in many colors, and can be monogrammed with her initials. Cuyana is a cool leather bag startup she may have already heard of.  A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the house Felix Gray Faraday Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95If she's ever complained about strain from constant screens, you can help mitigate it with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. They might even help with sleep. The convenience of Apple AirPods Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Apple AirPods, available at Best Buy, $129.99When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're easy to use. For the latest option, you can pick up AirPods Pro for $199.99 on Best Buy too.  A 215-piece art kit for creative projects Amazon Art 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, available at Amazon, $49.99If your girlfriend loves to create art, this 215-Piece art kit includes everything she'll need for projects: crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, fine line markers, watercolor cakes, and acrylic paint. A year-long MasterClass membership to learn about things she's passionate about MasterClass Annual Membership, available at MasterClass, from $180/yearIf your dinner table conversations often include talk of photography, or tennis, or screenwriting, or another passion, consider getting your girlfriend a gift that helps her spend time with her hobbies. We love MasterClass because it kind of feels like entertainment. Classes are short, there's no homework, and she can listen to the audio like its a podcast or watch the videos. The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership. You can read our full review here. A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters the cabinets Made In Silicone Universal Lid Kit, available at Made In, $59This was one of the gifts that professional chefs recommended to us for avid home cooks. If your girlfriend loves to cook and has a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with all the corresponding lids, having one universal lid can declutter and streamline their space in one move.  A convenient phone sanitizer PhoneSoap PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $79.95This small, easy-to-use device uses UV-C light to sanitize a phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs. A bottle (or two) of wine McBride Sisters McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a wine gift for your girlfriend. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot.  The new Sonos Move portable speaker Amazon Sonos Move, available at Best Buy, $399.99The Sonos Move is one of the best speakers on the market. It's powerful, can be controlled by voice or an app, and has Amazon Alexa built-in so on WiFi you can play music, check the news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, without much effort. 16 highly-rated sheet masks Amazon/Business Insider Sheet Mask Set, available at Amazon, $22.99Grab 39 sheet masks to make it easier for your girlfriend to have a frequent and well-deserved "treat yourself" day. These are highly-rated and have both vitamin E and collagen included for healthy, happy skin.    A weighted blanket for better rest Amazon YnM Weighted Blanket, available at YnM, from $39.50Weighted blankets help create more restful sleep by "grounding" the body, and YnM makes some of the most popular and affordable weighted blankets on the internet. There are multiple sizes and weights for the ideal fit and width (they recommend picking whichever is about 10% of your body weight), and the segmented design allows you to move around without displacing all the weighted beads inside.  A mini multipurpose tool Amazon Mini Multitool Knife 12 in 1, available on Amazon, $8.99This lightweight multitool has a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, and a bottle opener — so it's nine times as many opportunities for being useful as your average gift.  A sleek fitness tracker that includes heart rate monitoring Fitbit Fitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $99.95Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep someone informed about their physical activity — tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones. An 8-in-1 pan that helps to declutter your home Our Place Always Pan, available at Our Place, $115If you're spending more time at home cooking together — or re-organizing the kitchen — she may appreciate a good 8-in-1 cookware hack.The Always Pan from startup Our Place is a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in the space of a single pan. In other words, a clever generalist that's extremely convenient for small spaces or minimalist cooks. You can read our review here. A video message from someone she loves almost as much as you Cameo/Business Insider Cameo Video Messages, available at Cameo, from $15Whether it's your girlfriend's favorite actor, comedian, or athlete, you're likely to find someone she admires on Cameo. Cameo allows celebrities to send custom video messages to recipients for nearly any occasion, and a personalized video is a gift that she'll never forget.  Personalized cartoon couple mugs Shelley Klein Personalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30These cute mugs can be personalized for what you're like as a couple, making for a special weekend morning coffee routine or just a nice reminder in the kitchen cabinet. On the back, you can add a family name and the year the couple was established if you'd like.  Silky, breathable leggings Everlane Everlane Leggings, $68Everlane's Perform Leggings are some of our all-time favorites — they're breathable and silky, like a slightly less expensive version of Alo leggings. You can read a full review of the Everlane Perform Leggings and see pictures of them here. Beautiful candles from a cool startup Otherland Otherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36Otherland is a candle company started by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. If you want to give your girlfriend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from a startup that she's probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find our full review here. The last weekend bag you'll ever need to buy her Rothy's Rothy's The Weekender, available at Rothy's, $550With its large, padded top handles and roomy interior, Rothy's The Weekender might be the last overnight bag your partner ever needs. It's got multiple pockets and a sturdy insert that helps it maintain its shape. You'll be shocked by how much you can fit in this bag — definitely enough for a long weekend. It's made of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean and is machine washable.   The "world's most comfortable shoes" Allbirds Women's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98The classic Wool Runners make a great gift for the uninitiated, though we'd also highly recommend the brand's casual cup sole Wool Piper for everyday wear if that's more your partner's style. You can find our full review of the Runners here, and the Wool Pipers here. A customized map of her favorite place Grafomap Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap lets you design custom maps of anywhere in the world — like the first place you met, the best trip you ever took together, or the hometown she couldn't wait to show you. It's unique, thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.  You can find our full review here. A gift card to a popular wine subscription club Winc Gift Card, available at Winc, from $29.95Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think it's the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions.  An exercise bike for staying active indoors NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle, available at NordicTrack, $1,999If money is of no object and your partner is trying to figure out how to exercise while staying indoors, an exercise bike is a particularly thoughtful and useful gift right now. We like the NordicTrack option the most overall, but we also like and recommend options that are under $200.  A large print on fine art paper of a favorite memory Artifact Uprising/Business Insider Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $30. A mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours straight Hydro Flask Hydro Flask Mug, 12 oz, available at Hydro Flask, from $24.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Reviews team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read our full review of it here. A gift card for delicious, healthy meals she can make in about 30 seconds Daily Harvest Gift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Daily Harvest is a food startup that makes it possible to eat healthy, delicious meals for less than $10 each even if you only have 30 seconds to spare for prep time. Meals are pre-portioned, delicious, and designed by both a chef and a nutritionist to make sure they're tasty and good for you. It addressed most of my healthy eating roadblocks.  The best hair dryer ever invented Dyson/Facebook Dyson Blow Dryer, available at Ulta, $399.99This gift may seem inexplicably expensive, but the Dyson blow dryer is lauded as the best one ever invented, making it a cult favorite. It prevents hair damage by measuring air temperature 20 times per second, has a specially designed Dyson motor for fast drying, and reduces static, breakage, and makes hair look smooth and shiny. Comfy, high-end sheets at the best price on the market Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point-blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in plenty of colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. Grab a gift card if you want to give her more freedom. If you opt for a sheet bundle, she'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave. This cozy loungewear set that she'll never want to take off Knix Knix Cozzzy Track Pants, available at Knix, $46.75Cozy and warm, the Cozzzy Track Pants from Knix are comfortable enough to wear around the house while also being cute enough to wear to the market. The ultra-soft fabric feels like the softest terry cloth washcloth you've ever used, and its slouchy fit is modern and luxe. She'll love the joggers with cuffed legs that are sleek without being overly tight. Comes in cream and gray. The internet's favorite olive oil Brightland Awake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone else who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. Find a full review here.  A comfortable cable-knit sweater United By Blue United By Blue Recycled Cotton Fisherman Sweater, $99.99A cable-knit or fisherman's sweater is a wardrobe staple that'll last for years. United By Blue's take on the classic piece is made from recycled cotton and is super soft, so your girlfriend has a feel-good cozy staple. A high-tech towel that keeps her from slipping around during yoga classes Manduka Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, from $58Manduka is known for making the best yoga products, and their Yogitoes towel is one of the most loved. It has tiny 100% silicone nubs on one side that grab yoga mats and keep yogis from slipping around during the exercise. Having a good towel can make a big difference. It also comes in 19 great colors and gets eco-friendly points. Each Yogitoes towel is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles, and made with dyes free of azo, lead, or heavy metal.  A card game that's meant to deepen personal connections Urban Outfitters We're Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Urban Outfitters, $30This card game, from the popular Instagram account We're Not Really Strangers, is designed to enhance connections between people with different levels: perceptions, connection, and reflection. Not only is it a card game you haven't played before, but it's also a thoughtful activity you can enjoy with your girlfriend. A cooking class from one of the nation's top chefs Cozymeal/Instagram Gift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50With a Cozymeal class, you and your girlfriend can learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to Argentinian staple dishes from the nation's top chefs. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers food tours in various cities (when it's safe to do so).  A satin-lined beanie Andrea Bossi / Business Insider Kink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $37Most people with naturally curly hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil's satin-lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if she'd prefer to wear the hat without it.We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair.  Rihanna's bestselling Fenty skincare set Fenty Beauty Fenty Skin Start'rs Full-Size Bundle, $75Rihanna's bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything she'll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, and two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here. A cashmere crew from Everlane that she'll own forever Everlane The Cashmere Crew, available at Everlane, from $120For a closet staple she'll own for years to come, Everlane's $120 Cashmere Crew (available in various colors) is about the safest choice you can make. Everlane has plenty of great gifts (you can find the Everlane basics we wear repeatedly here), so you can't really go wrong.  A small cold brew coffee maker Amazon Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Walmart, $37.55This small cold brew maker (available in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options) makes coffee's less acidic, smoother cousin cold brew in 12 hours in the fridge, so there's minimal hassle and always a treat ready in the morning on your girlfriend's way out the door to work.  A stylish leather makeup pouch that's thoughtful and easy to travel with Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40Dagne Dover is quickly becoming one of the best women's handbag companies to know, and its toiletry pouches are a great and relatively affordable gift. The small size holds a handful of go-to toiletries, and the large should have enough space for all of the grooming essentials. A comfy zip-up for the months ahead Patagonia Better Sweater, available at Patagonia, from $139Patagonia makes our favorite athleisure options overall, and that definitely includes the Better Sweater. It works in pretty much any environment — in the office, at home, on a hike, or on a casual night out — and has zippered pockets to keep hands warm in the cold months. We're also big fans of the 1/4 Zip option. A new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for reading anywhere Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $84.99If your girlfriend is a reader, we'd suggest looking at Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite; it's the company's thinnest and lightest yet, with double the storage. Perhaps the best features are that it's waterproof and has a built-in adjustable light for the perfect reading environment indoors or outdoors, day or night. If she loves a nice, relaxing bath, pair this with a caddy, bath bombs, and a glass of wine for a relaxing night in that you've already taken care of. A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50% Aquis Aquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, from $30Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes for her hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries.  A fun, unique local date Airbnb/Business Insider Airbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $10Airbnb started offering experience programming online. You can book from thousands of experiences that range from workouts with Olympic athletes over Zoom to cooking classes with chefs you'd normally have to hop on a flight to meet. We tested a a tango class and a Moroccan cooking class.It's also an under-utilized part of Airbnb, making it a thoughtful and unusual gift — and one you may keep using with your girlfriend for out-of-the-box date nights in the future. As states and countries slowly begin reopening, Airbnb listings and in-person activities are becoming options again, but you can still participate in online activities from home if you're not ready to travel yet or just want a fun activity.  A houseplant that arrives already potted and is easy to care for Leon & George Silver Evergreen, available at Leon & George, from $149Leon & George is a San Francisco startup that will send beautiful plants — potted in stylish, minimalist pots — to your girlfriend's door. All she has to do is to occasionally add water. Flowers are wonderful, but houseplants have a much longer shelf life, and most of Leon & George's options are very easy to care for. We'd also recommend checking out Bloomscape for small plant trios under $70.   Beautiful earrings she'll own forever Stone and Strand Sparkle Diamond Cluster Huggies, available at Stone and Strand, $395They're solid gold, conflict-free, and made locally. Plus, the style is versatile enough that your girlfriend can wear them every day. A membership to a popular skincare and makeup subscription that sends new, cool, and bestselling products once per month Connie Chen/Business Insider Birchbox Gift Subscription, available at Birchbox, from $45Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products to subscribers so they can find products they love without much commitment or cost upfront. Makeup and skincare products can be expensive, so this is a particularly helpful service.  A funny and unique card LoveFromCo/Etsy You Take My Breath Away, available at Etsy, from $4.19You can pick up a card from Walgreens on your way to exchange gifts, but it'll mean more if you think just a few days ahead. Etsy has great options for cheap, unique, handmade gifts that are cool and thoughtful. This one is perfect for a couple who appreciates a "The Office" deep cut.  A leather wallet from the same manufacturer as Prada for a fraction of the price Italic Brynn Zip Around Wallet, available at Italic, $50Italic is a startup that makes unbranded luxury goods from the same factories that produce designs for brands like Givenchy or scents for Le Labo — minus the markup. The Zip-Around Wallet is made from soft, calfskin leather and comes in four classic colors.It comes from the same manufacturer as Celine and Prada, and Italic estimates it would cost $295-$300 in traditional retail. It's also good to note that the company plants one tree for every order. You can find a full review of the company's leather goods here, and of their candles here.  A streaming stick that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes Amazon Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Best Buy, $44.99Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into his TV. A great foam roller TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller, available on TB12, $160If your girlfriend is very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$20 options too.  A subscription to a book club that sends her great hardcovers once per month Book of the Month Instagram 3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she's a bookworm, Book of the Month is an especially thoughtful and unique gift — it's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time ("Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple). If you gift her a subscription, she'll receive a hardcover book delivered to her door once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If she's really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here). Fancy popcorn and a movie night Williams Sonoma Amish Popcorn Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Make a reservation at a nice outdoor restaurant, stock up on your girlfriend's favorite movie candy and some fun drinks ahead of time (wrap them for an extra wow-factor), and create your own in-house cinema experience. Or, perhaps even better, order a bunch of take-out from your favorite local restaurants. A gift set of a dozen decadent bath bombs Amazon Bath Bomb Gift Set, available at Walmart, $40.01This bath bomb gift set comes with 12 handcrafted bath bombs that range from mango-papaya to lavender in scent, and some of which include flower petals. They're a great addition to a long bath, as is a bamboo bathtub tray.  A subscription to a coffee service that sends coffees specifically for her taste preferences Driftaway Facebook 3-Month Subscription, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $75If your girlfriend loves coffee, she'll probably love to try Driftaway. It's a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it, remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your specific tastes. The first shipment will be a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which she'll rate online or in the app to start getting personalized options. A book of love letters written by history's great men Amazon Love Letters of Great Men, available at Amazon, $13.95It can be hard to do yourself justice in words — whether they're spoken or written in a card. This compilation of love letters written by great men can help you say it without actually technically saying it. Bonus points if you write your own, or mark the ones in the book that most closely resemble your own feelings.   A beautiful diamond necklace she'll have forever AUrate Diamond Bezel Necklace, available at AUrate, from $320A diamond necklace doesn't have to be thousands of dollars, as fine jewelry startups like AUrate are proving. This necklace is something she can keep and wear forever, and both the solid gold and conflict-free diamonds are of the highest quality.  Lush, subtly scented body wash Necessaire Necessaire — The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with nourishing vitamins and clean ingredients. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave her skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished.  Hand sanitizer that smells good Touchland Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9Many of us are using hand sanitizer a lot these days. Why not pick one they'd enjoy using? This version from Touchland is a little moisturizing and doesn't smell like alcohol or make hands sticky. Read our full review here. A stylish weekender to keep her organized on the go Caraa Sport Caraa Studio Tote Large, available at Caraa, $250Caraa Sport makes some of the most functional and best-looking gym bags on the market. This one can transition from tote to backpack by adding straps. It also has a hidden shoe compartment and a waterproof and antimicrobial lining. An award-winning at-home facial Sephora Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80This is an award-winning mask with a big following in the beauty and skincare community. It's $80, but it's an at-home pro-quality facial your girlfriend can use anytime — which is a fraction of the price required for regular facials. Kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foods Uncommon Goods Wine Pairing Towel, available at Wolf & Badger, $20If your girlfriend loves having a nice glass of wine and/or cooking, she'll appreciate the thought behind this unique wine pairing towel. Grab a bottle and some corresponding ingredients for a fun night in for the two of you. A stylish, savvy carry-on with an external battery pack Away Carry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360° spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so she never has to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 11th, 2021

"Catastrophic" Property Sales Mean China"s Worst Case Scenario Is Now In Play

"Catastrophic" Property Sales Mean China's Worst Case Scenario Is Now In Play No matter how the Evergrande drama plays out - whether it culminates with an uncontrolled, chaotic default and/or distressed asset sale liquidation, a controlled restructuring where bondholders get some compensation, or with Beijing blinking and bailing out the core pillar of China's housing market - remember that Evergrande is just a symptom of the trends that have whipsawed China's property market in the past year, which has seen significant contraction as a result of Beijing policies seeking to tighten financial conditions as part of Xi's new "common prosperity" drive which among other things, seeks to make housing much more affordable to everyone, not just the richest. As such, any contagion from the ongoing turmoil sweeping China's heavily indebted property sector will impact not the banks, which are all state-owned entities and whose exposure to insolvent developers can easily be patched up by the state, but the property sector itself, which as Goldman recently calculated is worth $62 trillion making it the world's largest asset class, contributes a mind-boggling 29% of Chinese GDP (compared to 6.2% in the US) and represents 62% of household wealth. It's also why we said that for Beijing the focus is not so much about Evegrande, but about preserving confidence in the property sector. Remember: for China this is not about Evergrande, it's about preserving confidence in the property sector — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 22, 2021 But first, a quick update on Evergrande, which - to nobody's surprise - we learned today is expected to default on its offshore bond payment obligations imminently according to investment bank Moelis, which is advising a group of the cash-strapped developer’s bondholders. Evergrande, which is facing one of the country’s largest defaults as it wrestles with more than $300 billion of debt, has already missed coupon payments on dollar bonds twice last month. The missed payments, worth a combined $131 million, have left global investors wondering if they will have to swallow large losses when 30-day grace periods end for coupons that were due on Sept. 23 and Sept. 29. A separate group of creditors to Jumbo Fortune Enterprises who are advised by White & Case, are also waiting for a $260 million bond principal repayment, after a bond guaranteed by Evergrande matured last Friday, and unlike the offshore bonds, does not have a 30 day grace period (although five business days 'would be allowed' if the failure to pay were due to administrative or technical error). The Jumbo Fortune payment is being closely watched because of the risks of cross-default for the real estate giant’s other dollar bonds; it would also be the firm’s first major miss on maturing notes instead of just coupon payments since regulators urged the developer to avoid a near-term default. And with the five business days up as of today, and with a payment yet to be made, it appears that this weekend we will get news of a declaration of involuntary default from the creditor group which will set in motion the Evegrande default dominoes. With that background in mind, let's move on to the truly chilling latest developments: it now appears that China does not need Evergrande to officially default to unleash a property crisis - one has already arrived. Recall that in September, sketched out Goldman's three scenarios on China's housing sector - a base case, a severe scenario and a third "hard landing." While readers can find the full details here, we focus on the worst case, "Scenario 3", which Goldman summarized as follows: In the third and most bearish scenario, land sales and housing starts fall 30% and property sales, house prices and completions drop 10% from 2021 to 2022. The tightening in financial conditions doubles that in the second scenario. Note that in this scenario, the tightening is of the same magnitude as the tightening in Goldman's China Financial Conditions Index (FCI) from November 2017 to June 2018 when domestic credit tightening and the US-China trade war rattled the financial market significantly. Quantifying this dire scenario, Goldman envisions a China where new property starts tumble 30%, completions drop 10% alongside sales volumes and ASPs. If this scenario comes to pass it would also wipe out at least 4% of China's 2022 GDP, potentially resulting in full-year contraction at the second largest economy in the world, an outcome that would have catastrophic implications for the rest of the world. And with Goldman's warning that such a scenario would lead to a tightening in financial conditions similar to what happened "from November 2017 to June 2018 when domestic credit tightening and the US-China trade war rattled the financial market significantly" and one can therefore see that while contagion from an Evergrande default may skip China's banks, it would have no less dire consequences for global markets and economies. With that preamble in mind, we bring readers' attention to a little noticed report in Shanghai Securities News, citing China Real Estate Information Corp. research (link), which revealed that more than 90% of China’s top 100 property developers’ sales declined in September by an average of 36% from the same period last year. According to the report: Sept. sales totaled 759.6b yuan ($118BN), down 36.2% from September 2020 and 17.7% lower from the same period in 2019, deepening a downward spiral that started in July Among companies, 60% of developers saw sales decrease by more than 30% y/y in Sept. Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou saw transaction volume of residential properties decline 30% y/y, while Shanghai fell 45% We had to do a double take when we saw this because these are absolutely terrifying numbers and are, to put it bluntly, scarier than Goldman's "worst case scenario"; what's worse this sudden collapse in China's property market is taking place before Evergrande has even defaulted, an event which would lead to a glacial freeze in the property market as potential buyers hold off expecting liquidation firesales from the property giant in hopes of getting bargains. The problem is that in addition to being the world's largest asset, China's property market is also the world's largest ponzi scheme, and without constant inflow of new capital it would implode, especially when factoring in the 90 million vacant apartment which just sit inert and which would promptly be dumped by anxious owners, flooding the market with excess inventory and sending prices crashing. It didn't take long for the market to notice what is going on and otherwise healthy property developers, which are in far better financial health than Evergrande, promptly collapsed: China Jinmao Holdings plunged as much as 10%, China Overseas Grand Oceans Group tumbled -7.9%, Sunac -3.7%, Country Garden Holdings -3%, Agile Group -2.8%, and so on. But keep in mind that all of the above presupposes just one major default, that of Evergrande. Alas, it's going to be far, far worse because in a reflexive toxic spiral, one property values fall, the entire property sector will collapse, leading to an epic bursting of a housing bubble that is order of magnitude greater than the US housing market was in 2007/2008. As Bloomberg writes, Chinese property firms "may face a wave of defaults" next year if China Evergrande Group’s deepening debt crisis shuts access to a key source of funding and conditions don’t ease for heavily indebted borrowers. As we have documented extensively in the past month, there’s growing alarm that the liquidity crisis at Evergrande will spill over to other developers as President Xi maintains measures to cool the property market while maintaining China's "three red lines" rules on property sector leverage (a new report from the FT today found that no less than half of China's 30 top developers were in breach of at least one of said lines). Fears of contagion risks intensified this week after a surprise default by Fantasia Holdings Group spurred a dramatic selloff in the offshore market. That sent yields on China dollar junk bonds to 17.5%, the highest in about a decade, while Evergrande’s dollar bond prices sank to a record low. After plunging 80%, Evergrande's HK-traded stock remains halted. Distressed debt veteran Michel Lowy said in a Bloomberg TV interview that the nation’s developers are facing a “triple whammy” with dwindling access to offshore financing, “catastrophic” September pre-sales and a limited onshore banking market. Translation: both organic (i.e., operation) and external sources of cash have dried up. That could spark a “large wave of defaults” if the offshore market remains shut for riskier borrowers going into next year, said Lowy, chief executive officer of his alternative asset manager SC Lowy. For dollar bonds - which in the coming Evegrande default will be at the very bottom of the pre-petition claims waterfall leaving them with negligible recoveries at best - the risk is that the increase in yields becomes indiscriminate and makes it impossible for developers to refinance maturing debt, triggering a succession of missed payments across the industry. If they end up being locked out from the market and unable to rollover coming maturities, and with operating cash flow drying up, the only recourse is the dreaded liquidation firesale which would be the pin that bursts China's housing bubble. "Ultimately it’s a liquidity game," said Lowy. “How many months can you survive until at some point the central government will relent and start releasing liquidity pressures on developers?” And while much has been written about the turmoil in China's dollar, or offshore bond market, the distress is starting to spread to the onshore bond market too. As Bloomberg notes, signs of strain in China’s $12 trillion domestic credit market after months of resilience may add to borrowers’ refinancing pressures. Stress levels rose in both the local and offshore bond markets in September, Bloomberg’s China Credit Tracker showed. Take yuan-denominated bonds sold by Xiamen Yuzhou Grand Future Real Estate Development Co., Yango Group Co. and Aoyuan Corp. Group all of which plunged to record lows Friday while two local bonds from a Fantasia Holdings Group unit were briefly halted following sharp declines. Yango denied social media reports that one of its housing projects had been halted indefinitely, and said that it had sufficient cash to repay debt. And while Bloomberg still has its onshore credit stress indicator at a positively bubbly level 3 (vs 2 in August), expect this to get much, much worse as the property sector implosion accelerates. As for the offshore bond credit stress indicator, well at least it can't get any worse. Needless to say, once the "stress level" in China's far bigger, $12 trillion onshore bond market approaches levels currently at the offshore, property-dominated market, all bets are off. Yet what makes the situation especially dire is that while Beijing would eagerly step in to bailout every insolvent bank and corporations until a few years ago, the one time when China's economy desperately needs a bailout from the state is when Xi decided to be silent. Authorities have been allowing defaults to rise in recent years in order to curb moral hazard and encourage better pricing of risk in its debt markets. Property firms’ missed payments made up 36% of the record 175 billion yuan in onshore corporate bond defaults this year. Yet if Xi allows the entire $62 trillion Chinese property sector to sink, the outcome will be orders of magnitude more dire than Lehman. “It’s very difficult to see a solution right now,” said Hao Hong, head of research and chief strategist at BoCom International, who agrees that the Evergrande crisis could drag on. China’s Evergrande strategy would be to “let as many people bear the cost as possible,” to lessen the pain for any one individual, Hong said. However, if the broader population loses faith in what is China's biggest asset while the market waits for a resolution - something the latest sales data confirm is already taking place - then the consequences will be catastrophic. So while some observers have compared Evergrande’s woes to the epic collapse of Lehman, the truth is that the coming default is just the trigger event whose downstream effects could pull down the entire Chinese house of cards, something the latest housing data show is already in play. Because at the end of the day, no Ponzi scheme can continue if the participants lose faith in a favorable outcome, and at $62 trillion China's housing sector is not only the world's largest assets, it is also the world's biggest Ponzi scheme. Which is why other experts have said this isn’t a Lehman Brothers moment— it could be far worse, if one views China’s gargantuan real estate sector as rotten to the core. Which it is. Appendix: Those seeking more information on China's property sector, we recommend reading a recent fascinating report from Nomura titled "China: Beijing's Volcker Moment" available to professional subs in the usual place. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/10/2021 - 10:11.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 10th, 2021

86 gifts for your girlfriend that show you truly know her, from personalized jewelry to unique subscription boxes

We rounded up 86 thoughtful gifts to give your girlfriend, from keepsake jewelry under $100 to helpful tech and fitness accessories. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. If you're looking to wow, plan an activity or staycation on Airbnb. Airbnb Giving your girlfriend a meaningful gift doesn't have to require hours of research. Below is a list of thoughtful gifts for your girlfriend, from accessories and tech to home decor. Still looking for gifts? Find more gift guides broken down by interest, budget, and occasion here. Giving gifts as a couple can be a lot of fun. You know your partner: What they love, what rituals they enjoy, what small daily annoyances you could possibly solve with a thoughtful gift. You also know how much they'll appreciate the gift coming from you.Odds are you want to give them something wonderful - whatever your price range is. All most of us need is a little direction and a few great options to pick from, so we put together a list of our favorite gift ideas for girlfriends of all personalities to help guide you, below.Check out all 86 gifts for your girlfriend:This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Vuori. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.* Earrings made with her birthstone Mejuri Amethyst Flat Sphere Studs, available on Mejuri, $180If she wears jewelry, birthstone earrings that she can keep forever are a thoughtful, personalized gift she can use often.  Delicious sweets from a famous NYC bakery Milk Bar Milk Bar Treats, from $22Milk Bar delivers its decadent cakes, cookies, and truffles to your doorstep. A pass to get into a bunch of boutique fitness classes classpass ClassPass Gift Card, from $15Boutique fitness classes are expensive, which can make trying new workouts — either for variety or to figure out what we like — less appealing. ClassPass solves both issues. It's relatively affordable, and members can access a neverending catalog of great workouts with small class sizes. If your partner is getting back into fitness after over a year of at-home workouts, we'd highly recommend a gift card here for whenever they're ready to use it. Leggings fit for workouts and lounge sessions Vuori Vuori Daily Legging, from $59Vuori is known for its smooth, soft fabrics and flattering fits — and the Daily Legging is no exception. Combining the leisure and comfort of a jogger with the function and stretch of a legging, they'll be reaching for these for both workouts and weekend lounging. *Sponsored by Vuori A disposable camera that doesn't take you out of the moment Gamesgamer024 The gamer/YouTube Disposable camera, $45Interested in preserving memories without taking yourself out of them? A good disposable camera or a film camera can take the pressure away from perfection and editing so you can savor your experiences together. The best electric toothbrush Colgate Electric toothbrush, $39.99We've tested our fair share of electric toothbrushes, and we think Colgate's Hum is the best value. It cleans thoroughly and offers advanced features and modern design for $70 — which is considerably more affordable than options with fancy features you may not use enough.  A planned trip for the two of you to take together If you're looking to wow, plan an activity or staycation on Airbnb. Airbnb Airbnb Gift Card, available at Airbnb, from $25If you want to gift an experience for the two of you to enjoy together, grab a birthday card, a gift card to Airbnb, and come up with a few location ideas to choose from. You can also book a hotel in your city on Booking.com or Expedia for a sweet staycation. *This gift can be saved and used at a later date. A versatile Exercise Dress Outdoor Voices The Exercise Dress, available on Outdoor Voices, $100Given the popularity of the Exercise Dress, we wouldn't be surprised if this was on her wish list. The Exercise Dress is comfortable, versatile, and cute — which has made it a cult-favorite item. If she's a fan of dresses, outdoor voices, or clothes she can wear all day long, this may be a good option.  Her favorite specialty food straight from the source Goldbelly/Instagram Order her favorite specialty foods using Goldbelly, from $28Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy their most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration.  A streaming bundle that checks off all the boxes Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+/Business Insider Hulu, Disney+ ESPN+ Bundle, available at Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, from $13.99 per monthIf canceled sporting events or trips to Disney have you feeling down, you can gift Disney+, ESPN, and Hulu together to ensure the next few months include plenty of entertainment options. If your partner is not too fond of ads, this bundle can also be purchased with the ad-free version of Hulu. A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residue Amazon Foreo Luna Play Plus 2, available at Foreo, $59Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleansing brushes. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so they can maintain their skincare routine while traveling.  A thoughtful book she'll love Amazon "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed, available on Amazon, $12.42Pick up one of your favorites that you think she'd like, or browse some of the books we love to gift. This collection of Dear Sugar advice columns is a heartfelt favorite. Its topics are diverse, its letters to Dear Sugar are intimate and relatable, and Cheryl Strayed's responses are both witty and extraordinarily compassionate.  A membership to a huge outdoor co-op REI REI Co-Op Lifetime Membership, $20, available at REIAn REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here. A Dutch oven to elevate their bread game Lodge mfg Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, available at Walmart, $79.90Did they get into baking bread and, miraculously, stay committed to it? If so, a really nice Dutch oven can help elevate their game. You can get something great for under $100, or you can splurge on a beautiful Le Creuset. Other meaningful upgrades include a cooling rack, according to the famous baker Apollonia Poilâne. A subscription that sends her a six-month world tour of teas Atlas Tea Club Atlas Tea Club 6 Month Subscription, available on Atlas Tea Club, $109This subscription sends her single-origin teas from the best tea-growing regions in the world for six months. She'll get two delicious options sent to her home each month. Festive matching underwear from one of the internet's favorite startups MeUndies Matching Underwear, available at MeUndies, $42Get yourself and your girlfriend festive matching underwear — which also happen to be some of the most comfortable pairs we've ever found. MeUndies gives you the options to create your own personalized set — two styles listed for women, two styles listed for men, a mix, and whichever length or cut you and your partner prefer.  A standing desk for a home office upgrade Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, available at Fully, from $569If they're working from home, they might love a home office upgrade the most. We ranked the Fully Jarvis the best standing desk; it provides the right blend of features and reliable performance. Its customizations for style, height, and accessories make it adaptable to pretty much any need.  A framed keepsake of a favorite memory Framebridge Framed photo, available at Framebridge, from $45Gift Card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it, and you can take advantage of the team of designers for help deciding what frame to get.  The best socks she'll ever wear Bombas Bombas Women's Performance Running Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Bombas makes the best socks we've ever tried, and they're a gift we find ourselves giving every year to loved ones. They're lightweight, moisture-wicking, and built to circumvent annoyances like uncomfortable seams and heel slipping. A powerful, customizable massage gun Theragun Theragun PRO, available at Therabody, $599This is the best massage gun we've tested — though it's also on the higher end of what you would expect to pay. We loved it in part due to its two-year warranty, adjustable massage arm, customizable speeds, 60 lbs of no-stall force, six different heads, an extra battery, and how easy it is to use. A nice gold vermeil and sapphire zodiac sign necklace Mejuri Aquarius Necklace, available at Mejuri, $395Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewelry affordable to buy — and it has racked up waitlists with more than 40,000 people before. Their popular Zodiac Necklace is cool, minimalist, and something she can wear every day. It's made in gold vermeil with AAA quality white sapphires. Mejuri's affordable pricing means the estimated traditional retail price of the same necklace elsewhere would be closer to $235.   The best bathrobe that money can buy Snowe Bathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Snowe's unisex bathrobe has been called the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, and I'm just one more fervent believer. The cotton fiber traps air for extra absorbency, is soft and plush, and the unisex sizing means it will feel like a blanket-turned-robe. Perfect functionality, and extra points for coziness. A tracker for finding cell phones and wallets quickly Amazon Tile Pro, available at Amazon, $34.99When they can't find their phone, all they have to do is click their Tile button to make their phone ring, even if it's on silent. We've found them especially useful lately.  A monogrammed jewelry case from a minimalist fashion startup Cuyana Leather Jewelry Case, available at Cuyana, $85 (+ $15 for monogram)Keeping track of tiny and delicate jewelry is difficult — but jewelry cases are a pretty and useful solution. This is a thoughtful and personalized gift, especially if you've gotten her jewelry in the past, or plan to in the future. It's made from premium leather, comes in six colors, and can be monogrammed with her initials. Cuyana is a cool leather bag startup she may have already heard of.  A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the house Felix Gray Faraday Glasses, available at Felix Gray, from $95Help mitigate some of the strain from constant screens with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. They might even help with their sleep. The convenience of Apple AirPods Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Apple AirPods, available at Best Buy, $129.99When it comes to convenience, truly wireless earbuds are the best. And Apple's AirPods are very popular with iPhone and Android users alike. They look subtle compared to other bigger options, and they're incredibly easy to use. For the latest option, you can pick up AirPods Pro for $199.99 on Best Buy too.  A 215-piece art kit for creative projects Amazon Art 101 215-Piece Wood Art Set, available at Amazon, $49.99This 215-Piece art kit includes crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, fine line markers, watercolor cakes, and acrylic paint for endless art projects.  A year-long MasterClass membership to learn about things she's passionate about MasterClass Annual Membership, available at MasterClass, from $180/yearIf your dinner table conversations often include talk of photography, or tennis, or screenwriting, or another passion, consider getting her a gift that helps her spend time in that hobby. We love MasterClass because it kind of feels like entertainment. Classes are short, there's no homework, and she can listen to the audio like its a podcast or watch the videos. The site hosts classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders — from Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication to Malcolm Gladwell on Writing, Shonda Rhimes on Writing for Television, and Bob Iger on Business Strategy and Leadership. You can read our full review here. A one-size-fits-all lid that instantly declutters the cabinets Made In Silicone Universal Lid Kit, available at Made In, $59This was one of the gifts that professional chefs recommended to us for avid home cooks. If they love to cook and have a plethora of differently sized pots and pans with all the corresponding lids, having one universal lid can declutter and streamline their space in one move.  A convenient phone sanitizer PhoneSoap PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $79.95This small device uses UV-C light to sanitize a phone, killing 99.9% of common household germs. It's easy to use, and it could help give you and your partner a bit more peace of mind. The new Sonos Move portable speaker Amazon Sonos Move, available at Best Buy, $399.99The Sonos Move is one of the best speakers on the market. It's powerful, can be controlled by your voice or an app, and has Amazon Alexa built-in so on WiFi you can play music, check the news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and more, without much effort. 16 highly-rated sheet masks Amazon/Business Insider Sheet Mask Set, available at Amazon, $22.99Grab them 39 sheet masks to make it easier for them to have a frequent and well-deserved "treat yourself" day. These are highly-rated and have both vitamin E and collagen included for healthy, happy skin.    A weighted blanket for better rest Amazon YnM Weighted Blanket, available at YnM, from $39.50Weighted blankets help create more restful sleep by "grounding" the body, and YnM makes some of the most popular and affordable weighted blankets on the internet. There are multiple sizes and weights for the ideal fit and width (they recommend picking whichever is about 10% of your body weight), and the segmented design allows you to move around without displacing all the weighted beads inside.  A mini multipurpose tool Amazon Mini Multitool Knife 12 in 1, available on Amazon, $8.99This lightweight multitool has a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, and a bottle opener — so it's nine times as many opportunities for being useful as your average gift.  A sleek fitness tracker that includes heart rate monitoring Fitbit Fitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, $99.95Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep them informed about their physical activity. The heart rate monitor lets them be more strategic about their workouts by tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones. An 8-in-1 pan that helps to declutter your home Our Place Always Pan, available at Our Place, $115If you're spending more time at home cooking together — or re-organizing the kitchen — they can definitely appreciate a beautiful 8-in-1 cookware hack.The Always Pan from startup Our Place is a frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in the space of a single pan. In other words, a clever generalist that's extremely convenient for small spaces or minimalist cooks. You can read our review here. A video message from someone she loves almost as much as you Cameo/Business Insider Cameo Video Messages, available at Cameo, from $15Whether it's her favorite actor, comedian, or athlete, you're likely to find someone she admires on Cameo. Cameo allows celebrities to send custom video messages to recipients for nearly any occasion, and a personalized video is a gift that she'll never forget.  Silky, breathable leggings Everlane Everlane Leggings, $68Everlane's Perform Leggings are some of our all-time favorites — they're breathable and silky, like a slightly less expensive version of Alo leggings. You can read a full review of the Everlane Perform Leggings and see pictures of them here. Beautiful candles from a cool startup Otherland Otherland Candles, available at Otherland, $36Otherland is a candle company started by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. If you want to give your girlfriend a candle that burns for 55 hours, looks beautiful, and comes from a startup that she's probably seen (or coveted) before, this is a great option. Find our full review here. The last weekend bag you'll ever need to buy her Rothy's Rothy's The Weekender, available at Rothy's, $550With its large, padded top handles and roomy interior, Rothy's The Weekender might be the last overnight bag your partner ever needs. It's got multiple pockets and a sturdy insert that helps it maintain its shape. You'll be shocked by how much you can fit in this bag — definitely enough for a long weekend. It's made of recycled plastic pulled from the ocean and is machine washable.   The "world's most comfortable shoes" Allbirds Women's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98The classic Wool Runners make a great gift for the uninitiated, though we'd also highly recommend the brand's casual cup sole Wool Piper for everyday wear if that's more your partner's style. You can find our full review of the Runners here, and the Wool Pipers here. A customized map of her favorite place Grafomap Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap lets you design custom maps of anywhere in the world — like the first place you met, the best trip you ever took together, or the hometown she couldn't wait to show you. It's unique, thoughtful, and pretty inexpensive.  You can find our full review here. A gift card to a popular wine subscription club Winc Gift Card, available at Winc, from $29.95Winc is a personalized wine club — and we think it's the best one you can belong to overall. Members take a wine palate profile quiz and then choose from the personalized wine suggestions. Each bottle has extensive tasting notes and serving recommendations online, and makes it easy to discover similar bottles. Gift her a Winc gift card, and she can take a wine palate profile quiz and get started with her own customized suggestions.  An exercise bike for staying active indoors NordicTrack Commercial S22i Studio Cycle, available at NordicTrack, $1,999If money is of no object and your partner is trying to figure out how to exercise while staying indoors, an exercise bike is a particularly thoughtful and useful gift right now. We like the NordicTrack option the most overall, but we also like and recommend options that are under $200.  A large print on fine art paper of a favorite memory Artifact Uprising/Business Insider Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $30. A mug that keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours straight Hydro Flask Hydro Flask Mug, 12 oz, available at Hydro Flask, from $24.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Reviews team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold up to 24 hours. Read our full review of it here. A gift card for delicious, healthy meals she can make in about 30 seconds Daily Harvest Gift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Daily Harvest is a food startup that makes it possible to eat healthy, delicious meals for less than $10 each even if you only have 30 seconds to spare for prep time. Meals are pre-portioned, delicious, and designed by both a chef and a nutritionist to make sure they're tasty and good for you. It addressed all my healthy eating roadblocks.  The best hair dryer ever invented Dyson/Facebook Dyson Blow Dryer, available at Ulta, $399.99This gift may seem inexplicably expensive, but the Dyson blow dryer is lauded as the best one ever invented, making it a cult favorite. It prevents hair damage by measuring air temperature 20 times per second, has a specially designed Dyson motor for fast drying, and reduces static, breakage, and makes hair look smooth and shiny. Comfy, high-end sheets at the best price on the market Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, available at Brooklinen, from $240Brooklinen is one of our favorite companies, point-blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Reviews team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in 14 colors and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. Grab a gift card if you want to give her more freedom. If you opt for a sheet bundle, she'll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave. This cozy loungewear set that she'll never want to take off Knix Knix Cozzzy Track Pants, available at Knix, $46.75Cozy and warm, the Cozzzy Track Pants from Knix are comfortable enough to wear around the house while also being cute enough to wear to the market. The ultra-soft fabric feels like the softest terry cloth washcloth you've ever used, and its slouchy fit is modern and luxe. She'll love the joggers with cuffed legs that are sleek without being overly tight. Comes in cream and gray. The internet's favorite olive oil Brightland Awake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone else who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. Find a full review here.  A bottle (or two) of wine McBride Sisters McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a gift for the wine lover on your list. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot.  A comfortable cable-knit sweater United By Blue United By Blue Recycled Cotton Fisherman Sweater, $99.99A cable-knit or fisherman's sweater is a wardrobe staple that'll last for years. United By Blue's take on the classic piece is made from recycled cotton and is super soft. A high-tech towel that keeps her from slipping around during yoga classes Manduka Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel, from $58Manduka is known for making the best yoga products, and their Yogitoes towel is one of the most loved. It has tiny 100% silicone nubs on one side that grab yoga mats and keep yogis from slipping around during the exercise. Having a good towel can make a big difference. It also comes in 19 great colors and gets eco-friendly points. Each Yogitoes towel is made from eight recycled plastic water bottles, and made with dyes free of azo, lead, or heavy metal.  A card game that's meant to deepen personal connections Urban Outfitters We're Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Urban Outfitters, $30This card game, from the popular Instagram account We're Not Really Strangers, is designed to enhance connections between people with different levels: perceptions, connection, and reflection. Not only is it a card game you haven't played before, but it's also a thoughtful activity you can enjoy together. A satin-lined beanie Andrea Bossi / Business Insider Kink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $37Most people with naturally curly hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil's satin-lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if she'd prefer to wear the hat without it.We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair.  Rihanna's bestselling Fenty skincare set Fenty Beauty Fenty Skin Start'rs Full-Size Bundle, $75Rihanna's bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything you'll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, and two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here. A cashmere crew from Everlane that she'll own forever Everlane The Cashmere Crew, available at Everlane, from $120For a closet staple she'll own for years to come, Everlane's $120 Cashmere Crew (available in various colors) is about the safest choice you can make. Everlane has plenty of great gifts (you can find the Everlane basics we wear repeatedly here), so you can't really go wrong.  A small cold brew coffee maker Amazon Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, available at Walmart, $37.55This small cold brew maker (available in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options) makes coffee's less acidic, smoother cousin cold brew in 12 hours in the fridge, so there's minimal hassle and always a treat ready in the morning on her way out the door to work.  A stylish leather makeup pouch that's thoughtful and easy to travel with Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, from $40Dagne Dover is quickly becoming one of the best women's handbag companies to know, and its toiletry pouches are a great and relatively affordable gift. The small size holds a handful of go-to toiletries, and the large should have enough space for all of the grooming essentials. A comfy zip-up for the months ahead Patagonia Better Sweater, available at Patagonia, from $139Patagonia makes our favorite athleisure options overall, and that definitely includes the Better Sweater. It works in pretty much any environment — in the office, at home, on a hike, or on a casual night out — and has zippered pockets to keep hands warm in the cold months. We're also big fans of the 1/4 Zip option. A new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for reading anywhere Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon, $84.99Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite is its thinnest and lightest yet, with double the storage. Perhaps the best features are that it's waterproof and has a built-in adjustable light for the perfect reading environment indoors or outdoors, day or night. If she loves a nice, relaxing bath, pair this with a caddy, bath bombs, and a glass of wine for a relaxing night in that you've already taken care of. A cult-favorite hair towel that reduces damage and cuts drying time by 50% Aquis Aquis Rapid Dry Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie, from $30Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. The proprietary fabric also means there's less damage to wet hair while it dries.  A fun, unique local date Airbnb/Business Insider Airbnb Experiences, available at Airbnb, from $10Airbnb started offering experience programming online. You can book from thousands of experiences that range from workouts with Olympic athletes over Zoom to cooking classes with chefs you'd normally have to hop on a flight to meet. We tested a a tango class and a Moroccan cooking class.It's also an under-utilized part of Airbnb, making it a thoughtful and unusual gift — and one you may keep using yourselves for out-of-the-box date nights in the future. As states and countries slowly begin reopening, Airbnb listings and in-person activities are becoming options again, but you can still participate in online activities from home if you're not ready to travel yet or just want a fun activity.  A 100% silk pillowcase that reduces frizz and keeps skin hydrated overnight Walmart 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, available at Walmart, from $22.32Silk pillowcases reduce frizz and damage to hair and make it look shiny and healthy. It also reduces the likelihood of wrinkles and keeps skin hydrated overnight by absorbing less of the moisture in the skin. A houseplant that arrives already potted and is easy to care for Leon & George Silver Evergreen, available at Leon & George, from $149Leon & George is a San Francisco startup that will send beautiful plants — potted in stylish, minimalist pots — to her door. All she has to do is to occasionally add water. Flowers are wonderful, but houseplants have a much longer shelf life, and most of Leon & George's options are very easy to care for. We'd also recommend checking out Bloomscape for small plant trios under $70.   Beautiful earrings she'll own forever Stone and Strand Sparkle Diamond Cluster Huggies, available at Stone and Strand, $395They're solid gold, conflict-free, and made locally. Plus, the style is versatile enough that she can wear them every day. A membership to a popular skincare and makeup subscription that sends new, cool, and bestselling products once per month Connie Chen/Business Insider Birchbox Gift Subscription, available at Birchbox, from $45Birchbox is a skincare and makeup subscription that sends tons of samples of new and cult-favorite products to subscribers so they can find products they love without much commitment or cost upfront. Makeup and skincare products can be expensive, so this is a particularly helpful service.  A funny and unique card LoveFromCo/Etsy You Take My Breath Away, available at Etsy, from $4.19You can pick up a card from Walgreens on your way to exchange gifts, but it'll mean more if you think just a few days ahead. Etsy has great options for cheap, unique, handmade gifts that are cool and thoughtful. This one is perfect for a couple who appreciates a "The Office" deep cut.  A leather wallet from the same manufacturer as Prada for a fraction of the price Italic Brynn Zip Around Wallet, available at Italic, $50Italic is a startup that makes unbranded luxury goods from the same factories that produce designs for brands like Givenchy or scents for Le Labo — minus the markup. The Zip-Around Wallet is made from soft, calfskin leather and comes in four classic colors.It comes from the same manufacturer as Celine and Prada, and Italic estimates it would cost $295-$300 in traditional retail. It's also good to note that the company plants one tree for every order. You can find a full review of the company's leather goods here, and of their candles here.  A streaming stick that gives you access to hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes Amazon Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Best Buy, $44.99Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into his TV. A great foam roller TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller, available on TB12, $160If your girlfriend is very physically active, a foam roller is a nice gift to aid in her workout recovery and soreness. This one is our favorite because it has four levels of vibration, a pattern that targets muscle groups, and a durable exterior. But, if your budget doesn't fit a $160 foam roller, never fear — we like some under-$20 options too.  A subscription to a book club that sends her great hardcovers once per month Book of the Month Instagram 3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99If she loves books, Book of the Month is an especially thoughtful and unique gift — it's a book club that has been around since 1926, and it's credited with discovering some of the most beloved books of all time ("Gone with the Wind" and "Catcher in the Rye" to name a couple). If you gift her a subscription, she'll receive a hardcover book delivered to her door once a month. Books are selected by a team of experts and celebrity guest judges.If she's really more into audiobooks or e-reading now rather than hardcovers, check out a gift subscription to Scribd (full review here). Fancy popcorn and a movie night Williams Sonoma Amish Popcorn Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95Make a reservation at a nice outdoor restaurant, stock up on her favorite movie candy and some fun drinks ahead of time (wrap them for an extra wow-factor), and create your own in-house cinema experience. Or, perhaps even better, order a bunch of take-out from your favorite local restaurants. A gift set of a dozen decadent bath bombs Amazon Bath Bomb Gift Set, available at Walmart, $40.01This bath bomb gift set comes with 12 handcrafted bath bombs that range from mango-papaya to lavender in scent, and some of which include flower petals. They're a great addition to a long bath, as is a bamboo bathtub tray.  A subscription to a coffee service that sends coffees specifically for her taste preferences Driftaway Facebook 3-Month Subscription, available at Driftaway Coffee, from $75If she loves coffee, she'll probably love to try Driftaway. It's a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it, remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your specific tastes. The first shipment will be a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which she'll rate online or in the app to start getting personalized options. A book of love letters written by history's great men Amazon Love Letters of Great Men, available at Amazon, $13.95It can be hard to do yourself justice in words — whether they're spoken or written in a card. This compilation of love letters written by great men can help you say it without actually technically saying it. Bonus points if you write your own, or mark the ones in the book that most closely resemble your own feelings.   A beautiful diamond necklace she'll have forever AUrate Diamond Bezel Necklace, available at AUrate, from $320A diamond necklace doesn't have to be thousands of dollars, as fine jewelry startups like AUrate are proving. This necklace is something she can keep and wear forever, and both the solid gold and conflict-free diamonds are of the highest quality.  Personalized cartoon couple mugs Shelley Klein Personalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30These cute mugs can be personalized for what you're like as a couple, making for a special weekend morning coffee routine or just a nice reminder in the kitchen cabinet. On the back, you can add a family name and the year the couple was established.  Lush, subtly scented body wash Necessaire Necessaire — The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with nourishing vitamins and clean ingredients. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave their skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished.  Hand sanitizer that smells good Touchland Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $9We're using hand sanitizer a lot these days. Why not pick one they'd enjoy using? This version from Touchland is a little moisturizing and doesn't smell like alcohol or make your hands sticky. Read our full review here. A stylish weekender to keep her organized on the go Caraa Sport Caraa Studio Tote Large, available at Caraa, $250Caraa Sport makes some of the most functional and best-looking gym bags on the market. This one can transition from tote to backpack by adding straps. It also has a hidden shoe compartment and a waterproof and antimicrobial lining. An award-winning at-home facial Sephora Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, available at Sephora, $80This is an award-winning mask with a big following in the beauty and skincare community. It's $80, but it's an at-home pro-quality facial she can use anytime — which is a fraction of the price required for regular facials. Kitchen towels that rate wines by how well they pair with certain foods Uncommon Goods Wine Pairing Towel, available at Wolf & Badger, $20If she loves having a nice glass of wine and/or cooking, she'll appreciate the thought behind this unique wine pairing towel. Grab a bottle and some corresponding ingredients for a fun night in for the two of you. A stylish, savvy carry-on with an external battery pack Away Carry-On, available at Away, from $225Away's hyper-popular suitcases deserve their hype. Their hard shell is lightweight but durable, their 360° spinner wheels make for seamless traveling, and the external (and ejectable and TSA-compliant) battery pack included can charge a smartphone five times over so she never has to sit behind a trash can at the airport for access to an outlet again. It's also guaranteed for life by Away. Find our full review here. A cooking class from one of the nation's top chefs Cozymeal/Instagram Gift Card, available at Cozymeal, from $50With a Cozymeal class, they'll learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to Argentinian staple dishes from the nation's top chefs. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers food tours in various cities (when it's safe to do so).  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 7th, 2021

Empowering Investors To Short The Market Can Help End The Keynesian Fantasy

Empowering Investors To Short The Market Can Help End The Keynesian Fantasy Submitted by Quoth the Raven at QTR's Fringe Finance, In an interview I did last week with one of my favorite podcasts, Palisades Gold Radio, I talked about the rigged Keynesian system the Fed runs to help prop up capital markets by any means necessary. In addition to frontrunning monetary policy moves in their own portfolios, which appears to be standard operating procedure at the FOMC (and Congress) nowadays, Fed governors are also subject to the constant psychological reminder that keeping the country’s citizens comfortable by keeping the appearance of order makes for a much nicer Tuesday at the office than shocking the system and its participants by announcing that today will be the day that the Fed plans on raising rates. Photo: CNBCI often propose critiques of the system without pragmatic, real-world ways to help bring balance to this expectation of comfort. Today, I want to propose one idea for helping solve this problem: empowering retail investors to get short the market, if they want. Teaching the every day investor how to gain exposure to market downside could be a crucial first step to bringing much-needed balance back to Central Banking, and by default, to markets. While I often nitpick by suggesting individual reforms and pointing out all types of gripes I have with the Fed, the fact is that affecting change at a Central Bank is like attempting to pull a 180° turn in the Titanic. That is to say, it would need to be done extremely slowly and with the buy-in of a majority of the country, its politicians, its elites and its citizens - all at once. While I’m not going to pretend that I have all of the answers on how to bring homeostasis and balance to the markets by undoing all of the damage the Fed has already done, I do think we can take a positive collective step forward by empowering retail investors to understand how to profit from individual equities and markets moving lower. Put simply, it would help make the populace far less scared of what should be normal, run-of-the-mill market corrections and much needed rebalancing. And that’s a good first step. Aside from the fact that it has been burned into everybody’s brains that the price of equities and markets moving higher is a profound positive and all-out daily certainty, it is realistically the only way that many people know how to invest. Buying and holding a stock and then hoping it rises, is about as American as apple pie. 401(k) plans and employee stock options are just two of the many financial instruments that your average American citizen comes across during their careers and, like many other instruments, these are set up to benefit the owner by holding securities and waiting for appreciation. But the one thing that market skeptics, Austrian economists and short sellers all have in common is that they all know how to position themselves for moves lower in the market. They have the wherewithal and the financial sophistication (i.e. a first grade education on markets) to play in instruments like options and execute trades like short sales, or even long purchases of inverse ETFs, that can allow them to hedge their portfolios of risk or even bet on companies or markets to fall outright. In the world of sports betting, you have the over/under when it comes to total points or runs in a game. While the over remains more popular, especially with unsophisticated bettors, the under is as easily available for people to bet. Most notably, it doesn’t take any expertise that betting the over does require. Photo: Covers.comNot unlike how the majority often bets the over, if betting against markets or stocks was just as easy as going long, the majority might still have the tendency to position themselves on the “over”, or long, side. That is to be expected, but the introduction of how to benefit from markets moving lower may jar some things loose in the heads of retail investors who otherwise might not have noticed how “rigged” the markets truly are - constantly coming in “over”. It is only through painful loss of capital on the short side that many market skeptics start to come to terms with exactly how skewed the playing field truly is. Emboldening retail investors to be able to position themselves short would not only make these types of trades available to them, allowing them to learn in the (sometimes painful) same way, but it would also result in an increased likelihood of having a better fluency of how our markets work and how our markets are affected by central banks. Not unlike the Fed pushing out the bubble even further, a lack of understanding of the short side will also make the next coming recession that much more painful for individual investors. Introducing more retail investors to positioning themselves short would rein in some of this excess, introduce much needed balance to the markets when they rip higher, and help ease the tension for the Fed to do the right thing. I believe that a collective effort to make exposure to the short side just as easy as exposure to the long side for retail would not only result in a new generation of investors with a more complex understanding of markets, it would also make the Fed’s job of being objective, easier. Every person that “wakes up” to exactly how central banks are manipulating markets is one less person the Fed has to worry about being uncomfortable when they do consider doing the right thing and quelling access to the euphoric upside in markets. Whether it be from tapering or raising rates, it doesn’t matter: removing even the slightest amount of psychological worry that likely encourages the Fed to continue confirming their Keynesian biases would be a step toward order in monetary policy. It would also offer a true emboldening of investors; something that brokerages like Robinhood have tried to promise. In addition to making it easier for the Fed to be objective, being able to easily short the system would also put retail investors on more of a level playing field with Wall Street. This is due to the fact that many of the esoteric instruments that Wall Street “fat cats” have access to that Main Street doesn’t are simply various complex instruments set up to benefit from both upside and downside in markets. Finally, the mass scale at which this type of financial education could be deployed may be enough to influence government and central banking decisions in a way that nitpicking individual ideas never could. Not unlike what makes Wikipedia so efficient and effective: the more people you add to the collective effort, the more likely it has of being a success and helping a usher in change that would otherwise seem insurmountable to catalyze. Photo: Britannica *  *  * Zerohedge readers get 10% off an annual subscription to my blog by using this special link here. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/30/2021 - 08:07.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 30th, 2021

Futures Slide On Growing Stagflation Fears As Treasury Yields Surge

Futures Slide On Growing Stagflation Fears As Treasury Yields Surge US index futures, European markets and Asian stocks all turned negative during the overnight session, surrendering earlier gains as investors turned increasingly concerned about China's looming slowdown - and outright contraction - amid a global stagflationary energy crunch, which sent 10Y TSY yields just shy of 1.50% this morning following a Goldman upgrade in its Brent price target to $90 late on Sunday. At 745 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.75 points, or 0.1% after rising as much as 0.6%, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 83 points, or 0.54% and Dow e-minis were up 80 points, or 0.23%. The euro slipped as Germany looked set for months of complex coalition talks. While the market appears to have moved beyond the Evergrande default, the debt crisis at China's largest developer festers (with Goldman saying it has no idea how it will end), and data due this week will show a manufacturing recovery in the world’s second-largest economy is faltering faster. A developing energy crisis threatens to crimp global growth further at a time markets are preparing for a tapering of Fed stimulus. The week could see volatile moves as traders scrutinize central bankers’ speeches, including Chair Jerome Powell’s meetings with Congressional panels. “Most bad news comes from China these days,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Group Holdings, wrote in a note. “The Evergrande debt crisis, the Chinese energy crackdown on missed targets and the ban on cryptocurrencies have been shaking the markets, along with the Fed’s more hawkish policy stance last week.” Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp rose 1.5% and 1.2% in premarket trade, respectively, tracking crude prices, while big lenders including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp gained about 0.8%.Giga-cap FAAMG growth names such as Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Facebook and Apple all fell between 0.3% and 0.4%, as 10Y yield surged, continuing their selloff from last week, which saw the 10Y rise as high as 1.4958% and just shy of breaching the psychological 1.50% level. While growth names were hit, value names rebounded as another market rotation appears to be in place: industrials 3M Co and Caterpillar Inc, which tend to benefit the most from an economic rebound, also inched higher (although one should obviously be shorting CAT here for its China exposure). Market participants have moved into value and cyclical stocks from tech-heavy growth names after the Federal Reserve last week indicated it could begin unwinding its bond-buying program by as soon as November, and may raise interest rates in 2022. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Gores Guggenheim (GGPI US) shares rise 7.2% in U.S. premarket trading as Polestar agreed to go public with the special purpose acquisition company, in a deal valued at about $20 billion. Naked Brand (NAKD US), one of the stocks caught up in the first retail trading frenzy earlier this year, rises 11% in U.S. premarket trading, extending Friday’s gains. Among other so-called meme stocks in premarket trading: ReWalk Robotics (RWLK) +6.5%, Vinco Ventures (BBIG) +18%, Camber Energy (CEI) +2.9% Pfizer (PFE US) and Opko Health (OPK US) in focus after they said on Friday that the FDA extended the review period for the biologics license application for somatrogon. Opko fell 3.5% in post-market trading. Aspen Group (ASPU) climbed 10% in Friday postmarket trading after board member Douglas Kass buys $172,415 of shares, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Seaspine (SPNE US) said spine surgery procedure volumes were curtailed in many areas of the U.S. in 3Q and particularly in August. Tesla (TSLA US) and other electric- vehicle related stocks globally may be active on Monday after Germany’s election, in which the Greens had their best-ever showing and are likely to be part of any governing coalition. Europe likewise drifted lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index erasing earlier gains and turning negative as investors weighed the risk to global growth from the China slowdown and the energy crunch. The benchmark was down 0.1% at last check. Subindexes for technology (-0.9%) and consumer (-0.8%) provide the main drags while value outperformed, with energy +2.4%, banks +2% and insurance +1.3%.  The DAX outperformed up 0.5%, after German election results avoided the worst-case left-wing favorable outcome.  U.S. futures. Rolls-Royce jumped 12% to the highest since March 2020 after the company was selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program. Here are some of the other biggest European movers today IWG rises as much as 7.5% after a report CEO Mark Dixon is exploring a multibillion-pound breakup of the flexible office-space provider AUTO1 gains as much as 6.1% after JPMorgan analyst Marcus Diebel raised the recommendation to overweight from neutral Cellnex falls as much as 4.3% to a two-month low after the tower firm is cut to sell from neutral at Citi, which says the stock is “priced for perfection in an imperfect industry” European uranium stocks fall with Yellow Cake shares losing as much as 6% and Nac Kazatomprom shares declining as much as 4.7%. Both follow their U.S. peers down following weeks of strong gains as the price of uranium ballooned For those who missed it, Sunday's closely-watched German elections concluded with the race much closer than initially expected: SPD at 25.7%, CDU/CSU at 24.1%, Greens at 14.8%, FDP at 11.5%, AfD at 10.3% Left at 4.9%, the German Federal Returning Officer announced the seat distribution from the preliminary results which were SPD at 206 seats, CDU/CSU at 196. Greens at 118, FDP at 92, AfD at 83, Left at 39 and SSW at 1. As it stands, three potential coalitions are an option, 1) SPD, Greens and FDP (traffic light), 2) CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP (Jamaica), 3) SPD and CDU/CSU (Grand Coalition but led by the SPD). Note, option 3 is seen as the least likely outcome given that the CDU/CSU would be unlikely willing to play the role of a junior partner to the SPD. Therefore, given the importance of the FDP and Greens in forming a coalition for either the SPD or CDU/CSU, leaders of the FDP and Greens have suggested that they might hold their own discussions with each other first before holding talks with either of the two larger parties. Given the political calculus involved in trying to form a coalition, the process is expected to play out over several months. From a markets perspective, the tail risk of the Left party being involved in government has now been removed due to their poor performance and as such, Bunds trade on a firmer footing. Elsewhere, EUR is relatively unfazed due to the inconclusive nature of the result. We will have more on this in a subsequent blog post. Asian stocks fell, reversing an earlier gain, as a drop in the Shanghai Composite spooked investors in the region by stoking concerns about the pace of growth in China’s economy.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index wiped out an advance of as much as 0.7%, on pace to halt a two-day climb. Consumer discretionary names and materials firms were the biggest contributors to the late afternoon drag. Financials outperformed, helping mitigate drops in other sectors.  “Seeing Shanghai shares extending declines, investors’ sentiment has turned weak, leading to profit-taking on individual stocks or sectors that have been gaining recently,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities. “The drop in Chinese equities is reminding investors about a potential slowdown in their economy.”  The Shanghai Composite was among the region’s worst performers along with Vietnam’s VN Index. Shares of China’s electricity-intensive businesses tumbled after Beijing curbed power supplies in the country’s manufacturing hubs to cut emissions. The CSI 300 still rose, thanks to gains in heavily weighted Kweichow Moutai and other liquor makers. Asian equities started the day on a positive note as financials jumped, tracking gains in U.S. peers and following a rise in Treasury yields. Resona Holdings was among the top performers after Morgan Stanley raised its view on the stock and Japanese banks. The regional market has been calmer over the past few trading sessions after being whipsawed by concerns over any fallout from China Evergrande Group’s debt troubles. While anxiety lingers, many investors expect China will resolve the distressed property developer’s problems rather than let them spill over into an echo of 2008’s Lehman crisis. Japanese equities closed lower, erasing an earlier gain, as concerns grew over valuations following recent strength in the local market and turmoil in China. Machinery and electronics makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.1%. Daikin and Bandai Namco were the largest contributors to a dip of less than 0.1% in the Nikkei 225. Both gauges had climbed more 0.5% in morning trading. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index fell as much as 1.5% as industrials tumbled amid a power crunch. “Seeing Shanghai shares extending declines, investors’ sentiment has turned weak, leading to profit-taking on individual stocks or sectors that have been gaining recently,” said Shoichi Arisawa, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. “The drop in Chinese equities is reminding investors about a potential slowdown in their economy. That’s why marine transportation stocks, which are representative of cyclical sectors, fell sharply.” Shares of shippers, which have outperformed this year, fell as investors turned their attention to reopening plays. Travel and retail stocks gained after reports that the government is making final arrangements to lift all the coronavirus state of emergency order in the nation as scheduled at the end of this month. Australia's commodity-heavy stocks advanced as energy, banking shares climb. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to close at 7,384.20, led by energy stocks. Banks also posted their biggest one-day gain since Aug. 2. Travel stocks were among the top performers after the prime minister said state premiers must not keep borders closed once agreed Covid-19 vaccination targets are reached. NextDC was the worst performer after the company’s CEO sold 1.6 million shares. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index. In FX, the U.S. dollar was up 0.1%, while the British pound, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar lead G-10 majors, with the Swedish krona and Swiss franc lagging. •    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers o    Volatility curves in the major currencies were inverted last week due to a plethora of central bank meetings and risk-off concerns. They have since normalized as stocks stabilize and traders assess the latest forward guidance on monetary policy •    The yield on two-year U.S. Treasuries touched the highest level since April 2020, as tightening expectations continued to put pressure on front-end rates and ahead of debt sales later Monday •    The pound advanced, with analyst focus on supply chain problems as Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers bringing in army drivers to help. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey’s speech later will be watched after last week’s hawkish meeting •    Antipodean currencies, as well as the Norwegian krone and the Canadian dollar were among the best Group-of-10 performers amid a rise in commodity prices •    The yen pared losses after falling to its lowest level in six weeks and Japanese stocks paused their rally and amid rising Treasury yields   In rates, treasuries extended their recent drop, led by belly of the curve ahead of this week’s front-loaded auctions, which kick off Monday with 2- and 5-year note sales.  Yields were higher by up to 4bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s spread by 3.2bp on the day; 10-year yields sit around 1.49%, cheaper by 3.5bp and underperforming bunds, gilts by 1.5bp and 0.5bp while the front-end of the curve continues to sell off as rate-hike premium builds -- 2-year yields subsequently hit 0.284%, the highest level since April 2020. 5-year yields top at 0.988%, highest since Feb. 2020 while 2-year yields reach as high as 0.288%; in long- end, 30-year yields breach 2% for the first time since Aug. 13. Auctions conclude Tuesday with 7-year supply. Host of Fed speakers due this week, including three scheduled for Monday. In commodities, Brent futures climbed 1.4% to $79 a barrel, while WTI futures hit $75 a barrel for the first time since July, amid an escalating energy crunch across Europe and now China. Base metals are mixed: LME copper rises 0.4%, LME tin and nickel drop over 2%. Spot gold gives back Asia’s gains to trade flat near $1,750/oz In equities, Stoxx 600 is up 0.6%, led by energy and banks, and FTSE 100 rises 0.4%. Germany’s DAX climbs 1% after German elections showed a narrow victory for social democrats, with the Christian Democrats coming in a close second, according to provisional results. S&P 500 futures climb 0.3%, Dow and Nasdaq contracts hold in the green. In FX, the U.S. dollar is up 0.1%, while the British pound, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar lead G-10 majors, with the Swedish krona and Swiss franc lagging. Base metals are mixed: LME copper rises 0.4%, LME tin and nickel drop over 2%. Spot gold gives back Asia’s gains to trade flat near $1,750/oz Investors will now watch for a raft of economic indicators, including durable goods orders and the ISM manufacturing index this week to gauge the pace of the recovery, as well as bipartisan talks over raising the $28.4 trillion debt ceiling. The U.S. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to prevent the second partial government shutdown in three years, while a vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is scheduled for Thursday. On today's calendar we get the latest Euro Area M3 money supply, US preliminary August durable goods orders, core capital goods orders, September Dallas Fed manufacturing activity. We also have a bunch of Fed speakers including Williams, Brainard and Evans. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 4,442.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 464.54 MXAP little changed at 200.75 MXAPJ little changed at 642.52 Nikkei little changed at 30,240.06 Topix down 0.1% to 2,087.74 Hang Seng Index little changed at 24,208.78 Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,582.83 Sensex up 0.2% to 60,164.70 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,384.17 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,133.64 German 10Y yield fell 3.1 bps to -0.221% Euro down 0.3% to $1.1689 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $79.04/bbl Gold spot little changed at $1,750.88 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.15% to 93.47 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put the infrastructure bill on the schedule for Monday under pressure from moderates eager to get the bipartisan bill, which has already passed the Senate, enacted. But progressives -- whose votes are likely vital -- are insisting on progress first on the bigger social-spending bill Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats defeated Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in an extremely tight German election, setting in motion what could be months of complex coalition talks to decide who will lead Europe’s biggest economy China’s central bank pumped liquidity into the financial system after borrowing costs rose, as lingering risks posed by China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis hurt market sentiment toward its peers as well Global banks are about to get a comprehensive blueprint for how derivatives worth several hundred trillion dollars may be finally disentangled from the London Interbank Offered Rate Economists warned of lower economic growth in China as electricity shortages worsen in the country, forcing businesses to cut back on production Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says it’s necessary for the Bank of Japan to continue with large-scale monetary easing to achieve the bank’s 2% inflation target The quant revolution in fixed income is here at long last, if the latest Invesco Ltd. poll is anything to go by. With the work-from-home era fueling a boom in electronic trading, the majority of investors in a $31 trillion community say they now deploy factor strategies in bond portfolios A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded somewhat mixed with the region finding encouragement from reopening headlines but with gains capped heading towards month-end, while German election results remained tight and Evergrande uncertainty continued to linger. ASX 200 (+0.6%) was led higher by outperformance in the mining related sectors including energy as oil prices continued to rally amid supply disruptions and views for a stronger recovery in demand with Goldman Sachs lifting its year-end Brent crude forecast from USD 80/bbl to USD 90/bbl. Furthermore, respectable gains in the largest weighted financial sector and details of the reopening roadmap for New South Wales, which state Premier Berijiklian sees beginning on October 11th, further added to the encouragement. Nikkei 225 (Unch) was kept afloat for most of the session after last week’s beneficial currency flows and amid reports that Japan is planning to lift emergency measures in all areas at month-end, although upside was limited ahead of the upcoming LDP leadership race which reports noted are likely to go to a run-off as neither of the two main candidates are likely to achieve a majority although a recent Kyodo poll has Kono nearly there at 47.4% of support vs. nearest contender Kishida at 22.4%. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) were varied with the mainland choppy amid several moving parts including back-to-back daily liquidity efforts by the PBoC since Sunday and with the recent release of Huawei’s CFO following a deal with US prosecutors. Conversely, Evergrande concerns persisted as Chinese cities reportedly seized its presales to block the potential misuse of funds and its EV unit suffered another double-digit percentage loss after scrapping plans for its STAR Market listing. There were also notable losses to casino names after Macau tightened COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the Golden Week holidays and crypto stocks were hit after China declared crypto activities illegal which resulted in losses to cryptoexchange Huobi which dropped more than 40% in early trade before nursing some of the losses, while there are also concerns of the impact from an ongoing energy crisis in China which prompted the Guangdong to ask people to turn off lights they don't require and use air conditioning less. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat but have clawed back some of the after-hour losses on Friday with demand sapped overnight amid the mild gains in stocks and lack of BoJ purchases in the market. Elsewhere, T-note futures mildly rebounded off support at 132.00, while Bund futures outperformed the Treasury space amid mild reprieve from this month’s losses and with uncertainty of the composition for the next German coalition. Top Asian News Moody’s Says China to Safeguard Stability Amid Evergrande Issues China’s Tech Tycoons Pledge Allegiance to Xi’s Vision China Power Crunch Hits iPhone, Tesla Production, Nikkei Reports Top Netflix Hit ‘Squid Game’ Sparks Korean Media Stock Surge Bourses in Europe have trimmed the gains seen at the open, albeit the region remains mostly in positive territory (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%; Stoxx 600 +0.2%) in the aftermath of the German election and amid the looming month-end. The week also sees several risk events, including the ECB's Sintra Forum, EZ CPI, US PCE and US ISM Manufacturing – not to mention the vote on the bipartisan US infrastructure bill. The mood in Europe contrasts the mixed handover from APAC, whilst US equity futures have also seen more divergence during European trade – with the yield-sensitive NQ (-0.3%) underperforming the cyclically-influenced RTY (+0.4%). There has been no clear catalyst behind the pullback since the Cash open. Delving deeper into Europe, the DAX 40 (+0.6%) outperforms after the tail risk of the Left party being involved in government has now been removed. The SMI (-0.6%) has dipped into the red as defensive sectors remain weak, with the Healthcare sector towards to bottom of the bunch alongside Personal & Household Goods. On the flip side, the strength in the price-driven Oil & Gas and yield-induced Banks have kept the FTSE 100 (+0.2%) in green, although the upside is capped by losses in AstraZeneca (-0.4%) and heavy-weight miners, with the latter a function of declining base metal prices. The continued retreat in global bonds has also hit the Tech sector – which resides as the laggard at the time of writing. In terms of individual movers, Rolls-Royce (+8.5%) trades at the top of the FTSE 100 after winning a USD 1.9bln deal from the US Air Force. IWG (+6.5%) also extended on earlier gains following reports that founder and CEO Dixon is said to be mulling a multibillion-pound break-up of the Co. that would involve splitting it into several distinct companies. Elsewhere, it is worth being cognizant of the current power situation in China as the energy crisis spreads, with Global Times also noting that multiple semiconductor suppliers for Tesla (Unch), Apple (-0.4% pre-market) and Intel (Unch), which have manufacturing plants in the Chinese mainland, recently announced they would suspend their factories' operations to follow local electricity use policies. Top European News U.K. Relaxes Antitrust Rules, May Bring in Army as Pumps Run Dry Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake Hits Greek Island of Crete German Stocks Rally as Chances Wane for Left-Wing Coalition German Landlords Rise as Left’s Weakness Trumps Berlin Poll In FX, the Aussie is holding up relatively well on a couple of supportive factors, including a recovery in commodity prices overnight and the Premier of NSW setting out a timetable to start lifting COVID lockdown and restrictions from October 11 with an end date to completely re-open on December 1. However, Aud/Usd is off best levels against a generally firm Greenback on weakness and underperformance elsewhere having stalled around 0.7290, while the Loonie has also run out of momentum 10 pips or so from 1.2600 alongside WTI above Usd 75/brl. DXY/EUR/CHF - Although the risk backdrop is broadly buoyant and not especially supportive, the Buck is gleaning traction and making gains at the expense of others, like the Euro that is gradually weakening in wake of Sunday’s German election that culminated in narrow victory for the SPD Party over the CDU/CSU alliance, but reliant on the Greens and FDP to form a Government. Eur/Usd has lost 1.1700+ status and is holding a fraction above recent lows in the form of a double bottom at 1.1684, but the Eur/Gbp cross is looking even weaker having breached several technical levels like the 100, 21 and 50 DMAs on the way down through 0.8530. Conversely, Eur/Chf remains firm around 1.0850, and largely due to extended declines in the Franc following last week’s dovish SNB policy review rather than clear signs of intervention via the latest weekly Swiss sight deposit balances. Indeed, Usd/Chf is now approaching 0.9300 again and helping to lift the Dollar index back up towards post-FOMC peaks within a 93.494-206 range in advance of US durable goods data, several Fed speakers, the Dallas Fed manufacturing business index and a double dose of T-note supply (Usd 60 bn 2 year and Usd 61 bn 5 year offerings). GBP/NZD/JPY - As noted above, the Pound is benefiting from Eur/Gbp tailwinds, but also strength in Brent to offset potential upset due to the UK’s energy supply issues, so Cable is also bucking the broad trend and probing 1.3700. However, the Kiwi is clinging to 0.7000 in the face of Aud/Nzd headwinds that are building on a break of 1.0350, while the Yen is striving keep its head afloat of another round number at 111.00 as bond yields rebound and curves resteepen. SCANDI/EM - The Nok is also knocking on a new big figure, but to the upside vs the Eur at 10.0000 following the hawkish Norges Bank hike, while the Cnh and Cny are holding up well compared to fellow EM currencies with loads of liquidity from the PBoC and some underlying support amidst the ongoing mission to crackdown on speculators in the crypto and commodity space. In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures kicked the week off on a firmer footing, which saw Brent Nov eclipse the USD 79.50/bbl level (vs low 78.21/bbl) whilst its WTI counterpart hovers north of USD 75/bbl (vs low 74.16/bbl). The complex could be feeling some tailwinds from the supply crunch in Britain – which has lead petrol stations to run dry as demand outpaces the supply. Aside from that, the landscape is little changed in the run-up to the OPEC+ meeting next Monday, whereby ministers are expected to continue the planned output hikes of 400k BPD/m. On that note, there have been reports that some African nations are struggling to pump more oil amid delayed maintenance and low investments, with Angola and Nigeria said to average almost 300k BPD below their quota. On the Iranian front, IAEA said Iran permitted it to service monitoring equipment during September 20th-22nd with the exception of the centrifuge component manufacturing workshop at the Tesa Karaj facility, with no real updates present regarding the nuclear deal talks. In terms of bank commentary, Goldman Sachs raised its year-end Brent crude forecast by USD 10 to USD 90/bbl and stated that Hurricane Ida has more than offset the ramp-up in OPEC+ output since July with non-OPEC+, non-shale output continuing to disappoint, while it added that global oil demand-deficit is greater than expected with a faster than anticipated demand recovery from the Delta variant. Conversely, Citi said in the immediate aftermath of skyrocketing prices, it is logical to be bearish on crude oil and nat gas today and forward curves for later in 2022, while it added that near-term global oil inventories are low and expected to continue declining maybe through Q1 next year. Over to metals, spot gold and silver have fallen victim to the firmer Dollar, with spot gold giving up its overnight gains and meandering around USD 1,750/oz (vs high 1760/oz) while spot silver briefly dipped under USD 22.50/oz (vs high 22.73/oz). Turning to base metals, China announced another round of copper, zinc and aluminium sales from state reserves – with amounts matching the prior sales. LME copper remains within a tight range, but LME tin is the outlier as it gave up the USD 35k mark earlier in the session. Finally, the electricity crunch in China has seen thermal coal prices gain impetus amid tight domestic supply, reduced imports and increased demand. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.9% 8:30am: Aug. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.4%, prior 0.1% 8:30am: Aug. -Less Transportation, est. 0.5%, prior 0.8% 8:30am: Aug. Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.6%, prior -0.1% 10:30am: Sept. Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 11.0, prior 9.0 Central Banks 8am: Fed’s Evans Speaks at Annual NABE Conference 9am: Fed’s Williams Makes Opening Remarks at Conference on... 12pm: Fed’s Williams Discusses the Economic Outlook 12:50pm: Fed’s Brainard Discusses Economic Outlook at NABE Conference DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Straight to the German elections this morning where unlike the Ryder Cup the race was tight. The centre-left SPD have secured a narrow lead according to provisional results, which give them 25.7% of the vote, ahead of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc, which are on 24.1%. That’s a bit narrower than the final polls had suggested (Politico’s average put the SPD ahead by 25-22%), but fits with the slight narrowing we’d seen over the final week of the campaign. Behind them, the Greens are in third place, with a record score of 14.8%, which puts them in a key position when it comes to forming a majority in the new Bundestag, and the FDP are in fourth place currently on 11.5%. Although the SPD appear to be in first place the different parties will now enter coalition negotiations to try to form a governing majority. Both Olaf Scholz and the CDU’s Armin Laschet have said that they will seek to form a government, and to do that they’ll be looking to the Greens and the FDP as potential coalition partners, since those are the most realistic options given mutual policy aims. So the critical question will be whether it’s the SPD or the CDU/CSU that can convince these two to join them in coalition. On the one hand, the Greens have a stronger policy overlap with the SPD, and governed with them under Chancellor Schröder from 1998-2005, but the FDP seems more in line with the Conservatives, and were Chancellor Merkel’s junior coalition partner from 2009-13.  So it’s likely that the FDP and the Greens will talk to each other before talking to either of the two biggest parties. For those wanting more information, our research colleagues in Frankfurt have released a post-election update (link here) on the results and what they mean. An important implication of last night’s result is that (at time of writing) it looks as though a more left-wing coalition featuring the SPD, the Greens and Die Linke would not be able for form a majority in the next Bundestag. So the main options left are for the FDP and the Greens to either join the SPD in a “traffic light” coalition or instead join the CDU/CSU in a “Jamaica” coalition. The existing grand coalition of the SPD and the CDU/CSU would actually have a majority as well, but both parties have signalled that they don't intend to continue this. That said, last time in 2017, a grand coalition wasn’t expected after that result, and there were initially attempts to form a Jamaica coalition. But once those talks proved unsuccessful, discussions on another grand coalition began once again. In terms of interesting snippets, this election marks the first time the SPD have won the popular vote since 2002, which is a big turnaround given that the party were consistently polling in third place over the first half of this year. However, it’s also the worst ever result for the CDU/CSU, and also marks the lowest combined share of the vote for the two big parties in post-war Germany, which mirrors the erosion of the traditional big parties we’ve seen elsewhere in continental Europe. Interestingly, the more radical Die Linke and AfD parties on the left and the right respectively actually did worse than in 2017, so German voters have remained anchored in the centre, and there’s been no sign of a populist resurgence. This also marks a record result for the Greens, who’ve gained almost 6 percentage points relative to four years ago, but that’s still some way down on where they were polling earlier in the spring (in the mid-20s), having lost ground in the polls throughout the final weeks of the campaign. Markets in Asia have mostly started the week on a positive note, with the Hang Seng (+0.28%), Nikkei (+0.04%), and the Kospi (+0.25%) all moving higher. That said, the Shanghai Comp is down -1.30%, as materials (-5.91%) and industrials (-4.24%) in the index have significantly underperformed, which comes amidst power curbs in the country. In the US and Europe however, futures are pointing higher, with those on the S&P 500 up +0.37%, and those on the DAX up +0.51%. Moving onto another big current theme, all the talk at the moment is about supply shocks and it’s not inconceivable that things could get very messy on this front over the weeks and months ahead. However, I think the discussion on supply in isolation misses an important component and that is demand. In short we had a pandemic that effectively closed the global economy and interrupted numerous complicated supply chains. The global authorities massively stimulated demand relative to where it would have been in this environment and in some areas have created more demand than there would have been at this stage without Covid. However the supply side has not come back as rapidly. As such you’re left with demand outstripping supply. So I think it’s wrong to talk about a global supply shock in isolation. It’s not as catchy but this is a “demand is much higher than it should be in a pandemic with lockdowns, but supply hasn't been able to fully respond” world. If the authorities hadn’t responded as aggressively we would have plenty of supply for the demand and a lot of deflation. Remember negative oil prices in the early stages of the pandemic. So for me every time you hear the phrase “supply shock” remember the phenomenal demand there is relative to what the steady state might have been. This current “demand > supply” at lower levels of activity than we would have had without covid is going to cause central banks a huge headache over the coming months. Should they tighten due to what is likely to be a prolonged period of higher prices than people thought even a couple of months ago or should they look to the potential demand destruction of higher prices? The risk of a policy error is high and the problem with forward guidance is that markets demand to know now what they might do over the next few months and quarters so it leaves them exposed a little in uncertain times. This problem has crept up fast on markets with an epic shift in sentiment in the rates market after the BoE meeting Thursday lunchtime. I would say they were no more hawkish than the Fed the night before but the difference is that the Fed are still seemingly at least a year from raising rates and a lot can happen in that period whereas the BoE could now raise this year (more likely February). That has focused the minds of global investors, especially as Norway became the first central bank among the G-10 currencies to raise rates on the same day. Towards the end of this note we’ll recap the moves in markets last week including a +15bps climb in US 10yr yields in the last 48 hours of last week. One factor that will greatly influence yields over the week ahead is the ongoing US debt ceiling / government shutdown / infrastructure bill saga that is coming to a head as we hit October on Friday - the day that there could be a partial government shutdown without action by the close on Thursday. It’s a fluid situation. So far the the House of Representatives has passed a measure that would keep the government funded through December 3, but it also includes a debt ceiling suspension, so Republicans are expected to block this in the Senate if it still includes that. The coming week could also see the House of Representatives vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill (c.$550bn) that’s already gone through the Senate, since Speaker Pelosi had previously committed to moderate House Democrats that there’d be a vote on the measure by today. She reaffirmed that yesterday although the timing may slip. However, there remain divisions among House Democrats, with some progressives not willing to support it unless the reconciliation bill also passes. In short we’ve no idea how this get resolved but most think some compromise will be reached before Friday. Pelosi yesterday said it “seems self-evident” that the reconciliation bill won’t reach the $3.5 trillion hoped for by the administration which hints at some compromise. Overall the sentiment has seemingly shifted a little more positively on there being some progress over the weekend. From politics to central banks and following a busy week of policy meetings, there are an array of speakers over the week ahead. One of the biggest highlights will be the ECB’s Forum on Central Banking, which is taking place as an online event on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the final policy panel on Wednesday will include Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde, BoE Governor Bailey and BoJ Governor Kuroda. Otherwise, Fed Chair Powell will also be testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen, and on Monday, ECB President Lagarde will be appearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs as part of the regular Monetary Dialogue. There are lots of other Fed speakers this week and they can add nuances to the taper and dot plot debates. Finally on the data front, there’ll be further clues about the state of inflation across the key economies, as the Euro Area flash CPI estimate for September is coming out on Friday. Last month's reading showed that Euro Area inflation rose to +3.0% in August, which was its highest level in nearly a decade. Otherwise, there’s also the manufacturing PMIs from around the world on Friday given it’s the start of the month, along with the ISM reading from the US, and Tuesday will see the release of the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for the US as well. For the rest of the week ahead see the day-by-day calendar of events at the end. Back to last week now and the highlight was the big rise in global yields which quickly overshadowed the ongoing Evergrande story. Bonds more than reversed an early week rally as yields rose for a fifth consecutive week. US 10yr Treasury yields ended the week up +8.9bps to finish at 1.451% - its highest level since the start of July and +15bps off the Asian morning lows on Thursday. The move saw the 2y10y yield curve steepen +4.5bps, with the spread reaching its widest point since July as well. However, at the longer end of the curve the 5y30y spread ended the week largely unchanged after a volatile week. It was much flatter shortly following the FOMC and steeper following the BoE. Bond yields in Europe moved higher as well with the central bank moves again being the major impetus especially in the UK. 10yr gilt yields rose +7.9bps to +0.93% and the short end moved even more with the 2yr yield rising +9.4bps to 0.38% as the BoE’s inflation forecast and rhetoric caused investors to pull forward rate hike expectations. Yields on 10yr bunds rose +5.2bps, whilst those on the OATs (+6.3bps) and BTPs (+5.7bps) increased substantially as well, but not to the same extent as their US and UK counterparts. While sovereign debt sold off, global equity markets recovered following two consecutive weeks of declines. Although markets entered the week on the back foot following the Evergrande headlines from last weekend, risk sentiment improved at the end of the week, especially toward cyclical industries. The S&P 500 gained +0.51% last week (+0.15% Friday), nearly recouping the prior week’s loss. The equity move was primarily led by cyclicals as higher bond yields helped US banks (+3.43%) outperform, while higher commodity prices saw the energy (+4.46%) sector gain sharply. Those higher bond yields led to a slight rerating of growth stocks as the tech megacap NYFANG index fell back -0.46% on the week and the NASDAQ underperformed, finishing just better than unchanged (+0.02). Nonetheless, with four trading days left in September the S&P 500 is on track for its third losing month this year, following January and June. European equities rose moderately last week, as the STOXX 600 ended the week +0.31% higher despite Friday’s -0.90% loss. Bourses across the continent outperformed led by particularly strong performances by the IBEX (+1.28%) and CAC 40 (+1.04%). There was limited data from Friday. The Ifo's business climate indicator in Germany fell slightly from the previous month to 98.8 (99.0 expected) from 99.4 on the back a lower current assessment even though business expectations was higher than expected. In Italy, consumer confidence rose to 119.6 (115.8 expected), up just over 3pts from August and at its highest level on record (since 1995). Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 08:09.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 27th, 2021