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Will Ohio Legalize Cannabis In 2023? It"s Complicated But A Vague Deal Has Been Reached, Here"s What We Know

State officials and cannabis legalization advocates reached a deal on Friday, agreeing to allow the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to retain the signatures they’ve already collected while delaying their campaign until 2023. read more.....»»

Category: blogSource: benzingaMay 13th, 2022

An unregulated cannabis dispensary is already open for business in New York City, even though the state is still deciding what legal weed sales will look like. Here"s what it"s like inside.

Empire Cannabis Clubs offers "30 different delta-9 THC strains of flower, distillate cartridges, and delta-9 THC edibles," its co-owner told Insider. The first recreational use cannabis dispensary in New York City, Empire Cannabis Clubs. Ben Gilbert/Insider In September, a recreational cannabis "club" quietly opened in Manhattan. The store appears to be operating in a legal gray area, as dispensary regulation has yet to be written. New York's office of cannabis management said, "those attempting to sell illegally must stop immediately." On a beautiful fall afternoon in New York City, one of Empire Cannabis Clubs' owners stood out front on 8th Avenue and told anyone walking by the good news: "Recreational cannabis inside, folks! 18 and up! No medical card required!"It was a somewhat brazen act for an already brazen business. Even though recreational cannabis use was legalized on March 31 in New York State, there's no fully legal way to purchase cannabis at a dispensary. That isn't stopping Empire Cannabis Clubs, which opened its doors in September as a recreational cannabis shop operating in the Big Apple.Empire is "a full recreational shop with 30 different delta-9 THC strains of flower, distillate cartridges, and delta-9 THC edibles," co-owner Jonathan Elfand told Insider.A recent visit to the shop confirmed exactly that: Some of the many cannabis strains available at the Empire Cannabis Clubs storefront on 8th Avenue in Manhattan. Ben Gilbert/Insider When I first entered the store, a host checked me in near the front door and scanned my driver's license.After that, I was ushered past the checkout area into a brief tour of the space.A display case full of various edibles was first up, with everything from cannabis chocolate bars to THC-infused corn chips available for purchase in a variety of prices. A display case on the opposite wall showcased various vaping options: disposable half-gram cartridges and full-gram refill cartridges with varying prices and packaging.Finally, we reached the big star of the show: two long display cases filled with little cubes containing a few buds each of what's known in the dispensary world as "flower," or more commonly called "weed." Ben Gilbert/Insider The gentleman behind the counter was happy to talk through various strains, and even offered to open the containers so I could get a closer sniff.A card accompanying each strain offered even more details, from how the cannabis was grown to what type of high to expect. I was able to talk through several strains with the employee and ask about pricing.Customers could get quarter ounces of strains like Gorilla Glue and London Russian Cream for just shy of $100, with a $15 "membership fee" for the day (a $25 monthly pass is also offered).Technically, Empire Cannabis Clubs says, customers are not buying any cannabis - they're paying for the "acquisition and transfer" of the cannabis they're being given as part of the membership. That's how the company describes the transaction on its website, apparently as an attempt to get around the ban on sales of cannabis by unlicensed sellers. Packaging labels found at Empire Clubs indicates they are from California. The products weren't necessarily from California, but there's no regulated form of packaging yet for recreational cannabis sales in New York State. Ben Gilbert/Insider Everything about the experience of visiting Empire Cannabis Clubs felt like going to any other legal dispensary - despite the fact that it appears to be operating in a kind of legal gray area.Rather than calling itself a retail store, Empire Cannabis Clubs operates a "membership service in which the club will acquire cannabis products for its members," according to the dispensary's website. When you buy cannabis or various cannabis-based products, you're paying for "the cost to facilitate the acquisition and transfer of said products," the website says.The company apparently sees this as a legal loophole in New York's current limbo between legalization - which was signed into law in March - and the beginning of legal sales, which aren't expected until late 2022 at the earliest, and more likely in early 2023.It's unclear whether that loophole argument would hold up in court, according to Benjamin Goldburd, a lawyer at the New York City firm Goldburd McCone LLP."In a situation like this, it's decriminalized at the patron level," Goldburd told Insider, meaning customers purchasing small quantities of what a dispensary is selling are unlikely to face criminal charges. "But at the business level? Especially due to the fact that this is now a moneymaking product for New York? I can't imagine that they're not going to try and enforce that that licensing is a requirement."In plain terms: Because Empire Cannabis Clubs hasn't gone through the licensing process (which isn't set up yet), and it's not being formally taxed for the products it sells (which also hasn't been set up yet), New York State could have a reason to pursue legal action. And even though Empire Cannabis Clubs says customers are paying for membership, rather than paying for cannabis, that may not be a strong enough argument to hold up in court, Goldburd said. Few if any Capitol Hill offices require drug testing or ask staffers about their previous cannabis use. If anything, cannabis use on Capitol Hill appears to have gotten more pervasive as an increasing number of states legalize its use and as attitudes change. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Since the state has yet to issue licenses for recreational dispensaries, or to set up how taxation will work, or any other number of policies regarding the newly created adult-use cannabis market, it's not clear if so-called "clubs" like Empire will face legal action from the city or the state. One thing is clear: New York State's Office of Cannabis Management believes any unlicensed sale of cannabis is illegal."The unlicensed sale of cannabis remains illegal in New York State and the state will work with its local partners to enforce the law," a statement from the Office of Cannabis Management communications director Freeman Klopott provided to Insider said. "New York State is building a legal, regulated cannabis market that will ensure products are tested and safe for consumers. We encourage New Yorkers to not partake in illicit sales where products may not be safe, and those attempting to sell illegally must stop immediately. We will continue to work to ensure that New Yorkers have a pathway to sell legally in the new industry as we work to deliver economic justice."Empire, meanwhile, has plans to expand to at least two more Manhattan locations in the near future.Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 21st, 2021

One of NYC"s first cannabis "clubs" is already open for business, even though the state says selling weed is still illegal. Here"s what it"s like inside.

Empire Cannabis Clubs offers "30 different delta-9 THC strains of flower, distillate cartridges, and delta-9 THC edibles," its co-owner told Insider. The first recreational use cannabis dispensary in New York City, Empire Cannabis Clubs. Ben Gilbert/Insider In September, a recreational cannabis "club" quietly opened in Manhattan. The store appears to be operating in a legal gray area, as dispensary regulation has yet to be written. New York's office of cannabis management said, "those attempting to sell illegally must stop immediately." On a beautiful fall afternoon in New York City, one of Empire Cannabis Clubs' owners stood out front on 8th Avenue and told anyone walking by the good news: "Recreational cannabis inside, folks! 18 and up! No medical card required!"It was a somewhat brazen act for an already brazen business. Even though recreational cannabis use was legalized on March 31 in New York State, there's no fully legal way to purchase cannabis. That isn't stopping Empire Cannabis Clubs, which opened its doors in September as the first recreational cannabis "club" operating in the Big Apple.Empire is "a full recreational shop with 30 different delta-9 THC strains of flower, distillate cartridges, and delta-9 THC edibles," co-owner Jonathan Elfand told Insider.A recent visit to the shop confirmed exactly that: Some of the many cannabis strains available at the Empire Cannabis Clubs storefront on 8th Avenue in Manhattan. Ben Gilbert/Insider When I first entered the store, a host checked me in near the front door and scanned my driver's license.After that, I was ushered past the checkout area into a brief tour of the space.A display case full of various edibles was first up, with everything from cannabis chocolate bars to THC-infused corn chips available for purchase in a variety of prices. A display case on the opposite wall showcased various vaping options: disposable half-gram cartridges and full-gram refill cartridges with varying prices and packaging.Finally, we reached the big star of the show: two long display cases filled with little cubes containing a few buds each of what's known in the dispensary world as "flower," or more commonly called "weed." Ben Gilbert/Insider The gentleman behind the counter was happy to talk through various strains, and even offered to open the containers so I could get a closer sniff.A card accompanying each strain offered even more details, from how the cannabis was grown to what type of high to expect. I was able to talk through several strains with the employee and ask about pricing.Customers could get quarter ounces of strains like Gorilla Glue and London Russian Cream for just shy of $100, with a $15 "membership fee" for the day (a $25 monthly pass is also offered).Technically, Empire Cannabis Clubs says, customers are not buying any cannabis - they're paying for the "acquisition and transfer" of the cannabis they're being given as part of the membership. That's how the company describes the transaction on its website, apparently as an attempt to get around the ban on sales of cannabis by unlicensed sellers. Packaging labels found at Empire Clubs indicates they are from California. The products weren't necessarily from California, but there's no regulated form of packaging yet for recreational cannabis sales in New York State. Ben Gilbert/Insider Everything about the experience of visiting Empire Cannabis Clubs felt like going to any other legal dispensary - despite the fact that it appears to be operating in a kind of legal gray area.Rather than calling itself a retail store, Empire Cannabis Clubs operates a "membership service in which the club will acquire cannabis products for its members," according to the dispensary's website. When you buy cannabis or various cannabis-based products, you're paying for "the cost to facilitate the acquisition and transfer of said products," the website says.The company apparently sees this as a legal loophole in New York's current limbo between legalization - which was signed into law in March - and the beginning of legal sales, which aren't expected until late 2022 at the earliest, and more likely in early 2023.It's unclear whether that loophole argument would hold up in court, according to Benjamin Goldburd, a lawyer at the New York City firm Goldburd McCone LLP."In a situation like this, it's decriminalized at the patron level," Goldburd told Insider, meaning customers purchasing small quantities of what a dispensary is selling are unlikely to face criminal charges. "But at the business level? Especially due to the fact that this is now a moneymaking product for New York? I can't imagine that they're not going to try and enforce that that licensing is a requirement."In plain terms: Because Empire Cannabis Clubs hasn't gone through the licensing process (which isn't set up yet), and it's not being formally taxed for the products it sells (which also hasn't been set up yet), New York State could have a reason to pursue legal action. And even though Empire Cannabis Clubs says customers are paying for membership, rather than paying for cannabis, that may not be a strong enough argument to hold up in court, Goldburd said. Few if any Capitol Hill offices require drug testing or ask staffers about their previous cannabis use. If anything, cannabis use on Capitol Hill appears to have gotten more pervasive as an increasing number of states legalize its use and as attitudes change. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Since the state has yet to issue licenses for recreational dispensaries, or to set up how taxation will work, or any other number of policies regarding the newly created adult-use cannabis market, it's not clear if so-called "clubs" like Empire will face legal action from the city or the state. One thing is clear: New York State's Office of Cannabis Management believes any unlicensed sale of cannabis is illegal."The unlicensed sale of cannabis remains illegal in New York State and the state will work with its local partners to enforce the law," a statement from the Office of Cannabis Management communications director Freeman Klopott provided to Insider said. "New York State is building a legal, regulated cannabis market that will ensure products are tested and safe for consumers. We encourage New Yorkers to not partake in illicit sales where products may not be safe, and those attempting to sell illegally must stop immediately. We will continue to work to ensure that New Yorkers have a pathway to sell legally in the new industry as we work to deliver economic justice."Empire, meanwhile, has plans to expand to at least two more Manhattan locations in the near future.Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 19th, 2021

The behind-the-scenes story of Rootz Research

Welcome to Insider Cannabis, where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar cannabis boom. Employees tend to medical cannabis plants at Pharmocann, an Israeli medical cannabis company in northern Israel. Amir Cohen/Reuters Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we're bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.Sign up here to get it in your inbox every week.Hello everyone,This week, the House Judiciary Committee passed the MORE Act, a bill that would federally decriminalize cannabis, on Thursday by a vote of 26-15, mostly along party lines.In other news, Aurora Cannabis CEO Miguel Martin told us he thinks the cannabis industry and its investors are too focused on US recreational consumers and are missing a more profitable opportunity: medical marijuana. "The fact that everyone is just so consumed by this idea that only rec cannabis matters, I think, is a fallacy," Martin said in a recent interview. Aurora's medical-cannabis business is a bright spot for the company. Medical sales increased 9% in the most recent quarter, while the company's recreational sales tumbled 45%.In other news, Insider's cannabis team was at the Business of Cannabis conference in New York this week, where Jeremy moderated a panel on how the New York market would shape out as the industry begins to ramp up. We'll be at a few others in the coming months, so feel free to say hello if you see us around. - Jeremy Berke (@jfberke) & Yeji Jesse Lee (@jesse_yeji)If you like what you read, share this newsletter with your colleagues, friends, boss, spouse, strangers on the internet, or whomever else would like a weekly dose of cannabis news. Here's what we wrote about this week:Rootz Research claims it's using insights from top Wharton professors to upend cannabis data. The real story is far more complicated.The founder of Rootz Research told Insider he started the company with three Wharton professors. One of the professors told Insider the founder, Eric Spitz, had "grossly misrepresented" his role. The cannabis industry has its share of disingenuous founders and startup failures. Can Rootz chart a different path?3 top VCs who've sunk the most cash into psychedelics say they prioritize data, deep expertise, and a clear market strategy when placing their betsThe top 3 VCs in the psychedelics space told Insider they'd seen hundreds of pitches from startups since early 2020. So we asked them two main questions: What makes a company stands out? What's an automatic red flag? A top psychedelics VC who's evaluated 374 pitches shares the 2 red flags that turn him off every timeSa'ad Shah, managing partner at the Noetic Fund, told Insider in a recent interview that he's seen 374 different pitches from startups in the industry and that there are two major red flags he sees among companies in the space, which signal to him that he shouldn't invest. Aurora Cannabis is betting on medical marijuana, not the 'fallacy' of recreational pot. Here's why.Aurora Cannabis is doubling down on its medical business, CEO Miguel Martin told Insider. Aurora's medical-cannabis business is a bright spot for the company. Medical sales increased 9% in the most recent quarter, while the company's recreational sales tumbled 45%.Executive movesUS cannabis company MariMed said on Monday that former Neptune Wellness executive Steve West would be joining the company as vice president of investor relations.Cannabis tech company Flowhub announced on Wednesday that former Uber general manager Leandre Johns would be joining as chief operating officer. Cannabis website Leafly said on Tuesday that finance and tech veteran Suresh Krishnaswamy would be joining the company as its new chief financial officer.California-based cannabis company Glass House Brands announced on Wednesday that it had appointed finance and accounting veteran Mark Vendetti as its new chief financial officer.Deals, launches, and IPOsTrulieve closed its blockbuster deal with Harvest Health & Recreation. Trulieve also raised a $350 million private placement, at an 8% interest rate. Psychedelics company Delix Therapeutics said on Monday that it had raised $70 million in a Series A round led by ARTIS Ventures, RA Capital Management, and OMX Ventures.US cannabis company Jushi Holdings announced on Wednesday that it would be acquiring Nevada-based cannabis dispensary The Apothecarium.Parallel, Beau Wrigley's cannabis company, is no longer going public after the deal with Ceres Acquisition Corp, a SPAC, fell apart. Former basketball star Chris Webber and his business partner Lavetta Willis are building out a $50 million cannabis facility in Detroit, reports The Detroit News. Policy movesThe House Judiciary Committee passed The MORE Act, a bill that would federally decriminalize cannabis, on Thursday by a vote of 26-15, mostly along party lines. US cannabis company Ascend Wellness Holdings said on Monday that it had reached its $1 million milestone in contributions to the Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit focused on advocacy for individuals with cannabis convictions.Research and dataA new study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that more cannabis stores led to more legal sales - without increasing the number of new users. "That's about the best policymakers could have hoped for," the study's author, Brock University professor Michael Armstrong told Insider.A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that with legalization, Hispanic and White individuals increased their marijuana usage while Black individuals did not. A new study from New Brunswick's Research and Productivity Council found that illicit cannabis is more likely to contain contaminants like microbes and pesticides, and have inaccurate label claims when compared to legally purchased cannabis. Cannabis-related arrests in the US saw a steep drop in 2020, according to new data from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which showed that arrest rates dropped 36% in 2020 compared to 2019. Read more at NORML. Cannabis jobsFintech company FIS is hiring a senior strategy advisor to work on cannabis and CBD payments. EarningsAurora Cannabis released its fiscal Q4 results on Monday, reporting C$54.8 million in revenue, and a net loss of C$134 million.What we're reading Selling Marijuana on Tribal Lands, a Legal Gray Area (New York Times)I tried a cannabis-friendly coworking space with smoking and a weed-infused menu. Here's what it was like. (Insider)Greener pastures: Marijuana jobs are becoming a refuge for retail and restaurant workers (The Washington Post)Cannabis industry jobs are on the rise, fueled by the Great Resignation (Insider)CBD drinks and edibles claiming to reduce anxiety and pain are mostly 'pointless,' according to a cannabis researcher (Insider)Is It Ever OK to Get Stoned With a Client? And Other Questions as Pot Comes to Work (The Washington Post)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 1st, 2021

Futures Bounce On Evergrande Reprieve With Fed Looming

Futures Bounce On Evergrande Reprieve With Fed Looming Despite today's looming hawkish FOMC meeting in which Powell is widely expected to unveil that tapering is set to begin as soon as November and where the Fed's dot plot may signal one rate hike in 2022, futures climbed as investor concerns over China's Evergrande eased after the property developer negotiated a domestic bond payment deal. Commodities rallied while the dollar was steady. Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 flipped from losses to gains as China’s central bank boosted liquidity when it injected a gross 120BN in yuan, the most since January... ... and investors mulled a vaguely-worded statement from the troubled developer about an interest payment.  S&P 500 E-minis were up 23.0 points, or 0.53%, at 7:30 a.m. ET. Dow E-minis were up 199 points, or 0.60%, and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 44.00 points, or 0.29%. Among individual stocks, Fedex fell 5.8% after the delivery company cut its profit outlook on higher costs and stalled growth in shipments. Morgan Stanley says it sees the company’s 1Q issues getting “tougher from here.” Commodity-linked oil and metal stocks led gains in premarket trade, while a slight rise in Treasury yields supported major banks. However, most sectors were nursing steep losses in recent sessions. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers: Adobe (ADBE US) down 3.1% after 3Q update disappointed the high expectations of investors, though the broader picture still looks solid, Morgan Stanley said in a note Freeport McMoRan (FCX US), Cleveland- Cliffs (CLF US), Alcoa (AA US) and U.S. Steel (X US) up 2%-3% premarket, following the path of global peers as iron ore prices in China rallied Aethlon Medical (AEMD US) and Exela Technologies (XELAU US) advance along with other retail traders’ favorites in the U.S. premarket session. Aethlon jumps 21%; Exela up 8.3% Other so-called meme stocks also rise: ContextLogic +1%; Clover Health +0.9%; Naked Brand +0.9%; AMC +0.5% ReWalk Robotics slumps 18% in U.S. premarket trading, a day after nearly doubling in value Stitch Fix (SFIX US) rises 15.7% in light volume after the personal styling company’s 4Q profit and sales blew past analysts’ expectations Hyatt Hotels (H US) seen opening lower after the company launches a seven-million-share stock offering Summit Therapeutics (SMMT US) shares fell as much as 17% in Tuesday extended trading after it said the FDA doesn’t agree with the change to the primary endpoint that has been implemented in the ongoing Phase III Ri-CoDIFy studies when combining the studies Marin Software (MRIN US) surged more than 75% Tuesday postmarket after signing a new revenue-sharing agreement with Google to develop its enterprise technology platforms and software products The S&P 500 had fallen for 10 of the past 12 sessions since hitting a record high, as fears of an Evergrande default exacerbated seasonally weak trends and saw investors pull out of stocks trading at lofty valuations. The Nasdaq fell the least among its peers in recent sessions, as investors pivoted back into big technology names that had proven resilient through the pandemic. Focus now turns to the Fed's decision, due at 2 p.m. ET where officials are expected to signal a start to scaling down monthly bond purchases (see our preview here).  The Fed meeting comes after a period of market volatility stoked by Evergrande’s woes. China’s wider property-sector curbs are also feeding into concerns about a slowdown in the economic recovery from the pandemic. “Chair Jerome Powell could hint at the tapering approaching shortly,” said Sébastien Barbé, a strategist at Credit Agricole CIB. “However, given the current uncertainty factors (China property market, Covid, pace of global slowdown), the Fed should remain cautious when it comes to withdrawing liquidity support.” Meanwhile, confirming what Ray Dalio said that the taper will just bring more QE, Governing Council member Madis Muller said the  European Central Bank may boost its regular asset purchases once the pandemic-era emergency stimulus comes to an end. “Dovish signals could unwind some of the greenback’s gains while offering relief to stock markets,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity Group, wrote in emailed comments. A “hawkish shift would jolt markets, potentially pushing Treasury yields and the dollar past the upper bound of recent ranges, while gold and equities would sell off hunting down the next levels of support.” China avoided a major selloff as trading resumed following a holiday, after the country’s central bank boosted its injection of short-term cash into the financial system. MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index declined for a third day, dragged lower by Japan. Stocks were also higher in Europe. Basic resources - which bounced from a seven month low - and energy were among the leading gainers in the Stoxx Europe 600 index as commodity prices steadied after Beijing moved to contain fears of a spiraling debt crisis. Entain Plc rose more than 7%, extending Tuesday’s gain as it confirmed it received a takeover proposal from DraftKings Inc. Peer Flutter Entertainment Plc climbed after settling a legal dispute.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Entain shares jump as much as 11% after DraftKings Inc. offered to acquire the U.K. gambling company for about $22.4 billion. Vivendi rises as much as 3.1% in Paris, after Tuesday’s spinoff of Universal Music Group. Legrand climbs as much as 2.1% after Exane BNP Paribas upgrades to outperform and raises PT to a Street-high of EU135. Orpea shares falls as much as 2.9%, after delivering 1H results that Jefferies (buy) says were a “touch” below consensus. Bechtle slides as much as 5.1% after Metzler downgrades to hold from buy, saying persistent supply chain problems seem to be weighing on growth. Sopra Steria drops as much as 4.1% after Stifel initiates coverage with a sell, citing caution on company’s M&A strategy Despite the Evergrande announcement, Asian stocks headed for their longest losing streak in more than a month amid continued China-related concerns, with traders also eying policy decisions from major central banks. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 0.7% in its third day of declines, with TSMC and Keyence the biggest drags. China’s CSI 300 tumbled as much as 1.9% as the local market reopened following a two-day holiday. However, the gauge came off lows after an Evergrande unit said it will make a bond interest payment and as China’s central bank boosted liquidity.  Taiwan’s equity benchmark led losses in Asia on Wednesday, dragged by TSMC after a two-day holiday, while markets in Hong Kong and South Korea were closed. Key stock gauges in Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam rose “A liquidity injection from the People’s Bank of China accompanied the Evergrande announcement, which only served to bolster sentiment further,” according to DailyFX’s Thomas Westwater and Daniel Dubrovsky. “For now, it appears that market-wide contagion risk linked to a potential Evergrande collapse is off the table.” Japanese equities fell for a second day amid global concern over China’s real-estate sector, as the Bank of Japan held its key stimulus tools in place while flagging pressures on the economy. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 1%. Daikin and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 0.7% loss in the Nikkei 225. The BOJ had been expected to maintain its policy levers ahead of next week’s key ruling party election. Traders are keenly awaiting the Federal Reserve’s decision due later for clues on the U.S. central banks plan for tapering stimulus. “Markets for some time have been convinced that the BOJ has reached the end of the line on normalization and will remain in a holding pattern on policy until at least April 2023 when Governor Kuroda is scheduled to leave,” UOB economist Alvin Liew wrote in a note. “Attention for the BOJ will now likely shift to dealing with the long-term climate change issues.” In the despotic lockdown regime that is Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to close at 7,296.90, reversing an early decline in a rally led by mining and energy stocks. Banks closed lower for the fourth day in a row. Champion Iron was among the top performers after it was upgraded at Citi. IAG was among the worst performers after an earthquake caused damage to buildings in Melbourne. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% to 13,215.80 In FX, commodity currencies rallied as concerns about China Evergrande Group’s debt troubles eased as China’s central bank boosted liquidity and investors reviewed a statement from the troubled developer about an interest payment. Overnight implied volatility on the pound climbed to the highest since March ahead of Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday. The British pound weakened after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warnedthat people should prepare for longer-term high energy prices amid a natural-gas shortage that sent power costs soaring. Several U.K. power firms have stopped taking in new clients as small energy suppliers struggle to meet their previous commitments to sell supplies at lower prices. Overnight volatility in the euro rises above 10% for the first time since July ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision announcement. The Aussie jumped as much as 0.5% as iron-ore prices rebounded. Spot surged through option-related selling at 0.7240 before topping out near 0.7265 strikes expiring Wednesday, according to Asia- based FX traders.  Elsewhere, the yen weakened and commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar pushed higher. In rates, the dollar weakened against most of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasury futures were under modest pressure in early U.S. trading, leaving yields cheaper by ~1.5bp from belly to long-end of the curve. The 10-year yield was at ~1.336% steepening the 2s10s curve by ~1bp as the front-end was little changed. Improved risk appetite weighed; with stock futures have recovering much of Tuesday’s losses as Evergrande concerns subside. Focal point for Wednesday’s session is FOMC rate decision at 2pm ET.   FOMC is expected to suggest it will start scaling back asset purchases later this year, while its quarterly summary of economic projections reveals policy makers’ expectations for the fed funds target in coming years in the dot-plot update; eurodollar positions have emerged recently that anticipate a hawkish shift Bitcoin dropped briefly below $40,000 for the first time since August amid rising criticism from regulators, before rallying as the mood in global markets improved. In commodities, Iron ore halted its collapse and metals steadied. Oil advanced for a second day. Bitcoin slid below $40,000 for the first time since early August before rebounding back above $42,000.   To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned Federal Reserve decision and Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Otherwise on the data side, we’ll get US existing home sales for August, and the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area in September. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 4,362.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 461.19 MXAP down 0.7% to 199.29 MXAPJ down 0.4% to 638.39 Nikkei down 0.7% to 29,639.40 Topix down 1.0% to 2,043.55 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 24,221.54 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,628.49 Sensex little changed at 59,046.84 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,296.94 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,140.51 Brent Futures up 1.5% to $75.47/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,775.15 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.26 German 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to -0.319% Euro little changed at $1.1725 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg What would it take to knock the U.S. recovery off course and send Federal Reserve policy makers back to the drawing board? Not much — and there are plenty of candidates to deliver the blow The European Central Bank will discuss boosting its regular asset purchases once the pandemic-era emergency stimulus comes to an end, but any such increase is uncertain, Governing Council member Madis Muller said Investors seeking hints about how Beijing plans to deal with China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis are training their cross hairs on the central bank’s liquidity management A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed as caution lingered ahead of upcoming risk events including the FOMC, with participants also digesting the latest Evergrande developments and China’s return to the market from the Mid-Autumn Festival. ASX 200 (+0.3%) was positive with the index led higher by the energy sector after a rebound in oil prices and as tech also outperformed, but with gains capped by weakness in the largest-weighted financials sector including Westpac which was forced to scrap the sale of its Pacific businesses after failing to secure regulatory approval. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) was subdued amid the lack of fireworks from the BoJ announcement to keep policy settings unchanged and ahead of the upcoming holiday closure with the index only briefly supported by favourable currency outflows. Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) was initially pressured on return from the long-weekend and with Hong Kong markets closed, but pared losses with risk appetite supported by news that Evergrande’s main unit Hengda Real Estate will make coupon payments due tomorrow, although other sources noted this is referring to the onshore bond payments valued around USD 36mln and that there was no mention of the offshore bond payments valued at USD 83.5mln which are also due tomorrow. Meanwhile, the PBoC facilitated liquidity through a CNY 120bln injection and provided no surprises in keeping its 1-year and 5-year Loan Prime Rates unchanged for the 17th consecutive month at 3.85% and 4.65%, respectively. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat amid the absence of any major surprises from the BoJ policy announcement and following the choppy trade in T-notes which were briefly pressured in a knee-jerk reaction to the news that Evergrande’s unit will satisfy its coupon obligations tomorrow, but then faded most of the losses as cautiousness prevailed. Top Asian News Gold Steady as Traders Await Outcome of Fed Policy Meeting Evergrande Filing on Yuan Bond Interest Leaves Analysts Guessing Singapore Category E COE Price Rises to Highest Since April 2014 Asian Stocks Fall for Third Day as Focus Turns to Central Banks European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.5%) trade on a firmer footing in the wake of an encouraging APAC handover. Focus overnight was on the return of Chinese participants from the Mid-Autumn Festival and news that Evergrande’s main unit, Hengda Real Estate will make coupon payments due tomorrow; however, we await indication as to whether they will meet Thursday’s offshore payment deadline as well. Furthermore, the PBoC facilitated liquidity through a CNY 120bln injection whilst keeping its 1-year and 5-year Loan Prime Rates unchanged (as expected). Note, despite gaining yesterday and today, thus far, the Stoxx 600 is still lower to the tune of 0.7% on the week. Stateside, futures are also trading on a firmer footing ahead of today’s FOMC policy announcement, at which, market participants will be eyeing any clues for when the taper will begin and digesting the latest dot plot forecasts. Furthermore, the US House voted to pass the bill to fund the government through to December 3rd and suspend the debt limit to end-2022, although this will likely be blocked by Senate Republicans. Back to Europe, sectors are mostly firmer with outperformance in Basic Resources and Oil & Gas amid upside in the metals and energy complex. Elsewhere, Travel & Leisure is faring well amid further upside in Entain (+6.1%) with the Co. noting it rejected an earlier approach from DraftKings at GBP 25/shr with the new offer standing at GBP 28/shr. Additionally for the sector, Flutter Entertainment (+4.1%) are trading higher after settling the legal dispute between the Co. and Commonwealth of Kentucky. Elsewhere, in terms of deal flow, Iliad announced that it is to acquire UPC Poland for around USD 1.8bln. Top European News Energy Cost Spike Gets on EU Ministers’ Green Deal Agenda Travel Startup HomeToGo Gains in Frankfurt Debut After SPAC Deal London Stock Exchange to Shut Down CurveGlobal Exchange EU Banks Expected to Add Capital for Climate Risk, EBA Says In FX, trade remains volatile as this week’s deluge of global Central Bank policy meetings continues to unfold amidst fluctuations in broad risk sentiment from relatively pronounced aversion at various stages to a measured and cautious pick-up in appetite more recently. Hence, the tide is currently turning in favour of activity, cyclical and commodity currencies, albeit tentatively in the run up to the Fed, with the Kiwi and Aussie trying to regroup on the 0.7000 handle and 0.7350 axis against their US counterpart, and the latter also striving to shrug off negative domestic impulses like a further decline below zero in Westpac’s leading index and an earthquake near Melbourne. Next up for Nzd/Usd and Aud/Usd, beyond the FOMC, trade data and preliminary PMIs respectively. DXY/CHF/EUR/CAD - Notwithstanding the overall improvement in market tone noted above, or another major change in mood and direction, the Dollar index appears to have found a base just ahead of 93.000 and ceiling a similar distance away from 93.500, as it meanders inside those extremes awaiting US existing home sales that are scheduled for release before the main Fed events (policy statement, SEP and post-meeting press conference from chair Powell). Indeed, the Franc, Euro and Loonie have all recoiled into tighter bands vs the Greenback, between 0.9250-26, 1.1739-17 and 1.2831-1.2770, but with the former still retaining an underlying bid more evident in the Eur/Chf cross that is consolidating under 1.0850 and will undoubtedly be acknowledged by the SNB tomorrow. Meanwhile, Eur/Usd has hardly reacted to latest ECB commentary from Muller underpinning that the APP is likely to be boosted once the PEPP envelope is closed, though Usd/Cad is eyeing a firm rebound in oil prices in conjunction with hefty option expiry interest at the 1.2750 strike (1.8 bn) that may prevent the headline pair from revisiting w-t-d lows not far beneath the half round number. GBP/JPY - The major laggards, as Sterling slips slightly further beneath 1.3650 against the Buck to a fresh weekly low and Eur/Gbp rebounds from circa 0.8574 to top 0.8600 on FOMC day and T-1 to super BoE Thursday. Elsewhere, the Yen has lost momentum after peaking around 109.12 and still not garnering sufficient impetus to test 109.00 via an unchanged BoJ in terms of all policy settings and guidance, as Governor Kuroda trotted out the no hesitation to loosen the reins if required line for the umpteenth time. However, Usd/Jpy is holding around 109.61 and some distance from 1.1 bn option expiries rolling off between 109.85-110.00 at the NY cut. SCANDI/EM - Brent’s revival to Usd 75.50+/brl from sub-Usd 73.50 only yesterday has given the Nok another fillip pending confirmation of a Norges Bank hike tomorrow, while the Zar has regained some poise with the aid of firmer than forecast SA headline and core CPI alongside a degree of retracement following Wednesday’s breakdown of talks on a pay deal for engineering workers that prompted the union to call a strike from early October. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny by default have regrouped amidst reports that the CCP is finalising details to restructure Evergrande into 3 separate entities under a plan that will see the Chinese Government take control. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer this morning though once again fresh newsflow for the complex has been relatively slim and largely consisting of gas-related commentary; as such, the benchmarks are taking their cue from the broader risk tone (see equity section). The improvement in sentiment today has brought WTI and Brent back in proximity to being unchanged on the week so far as a whole; however, the complex will be dictated directly by the EIA weekly inventory first and then indirectly, but perhaps more pertinently, by today’s FOMC. On the weekly inventories, last nights private release was a larger than expected draw for the headline and distillate components, though the Cushing draw was beneath expectations; for today, consensus is a headline draw pf 2.44mln. Moving to metals where the return of China has seen a resurgence for base metals with LME copper posting upside of nearly 3.0%, for instance. Albeit there is no fresh newsflow for the complex as such, so it remains to be seen how lasting this resurgence will be. Finally, spot gold and silver are firmer but with the magnitude once again favouring silver over the yellow metal. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -1.7%, prior 2.0% 2pm: Sept. FOMC Rate Decision (Lower Boun, est. 0%, prior 0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap All eyes firmly on China this morning as it reopens following a 2-day holiday. As expected the indices there have opened lower but the scale of the declines are being softened by the PBoC increasing its short term cash injections into the economy. They’ve added a net CNY 90bn into the system. On Evergrande, we’ve also seen some positive headlines as the property developers’ main unit Hengda Real Estate Group has said that it will make coupon payment for an onshore bond tomorrow. However, the exchange filing said that the interest payment “has been resolved via negotiations with bondholders off the clearing house”. This is all a bit vague and doesn’t mention the dollar bond at this stage. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that Chinese authorities have begun to lay the groundwork for a potential restructuring that could be one of the country’s biggest, assembling accounting and legal experts to examine the finances of the group. All this follows news from Bloomberg yesterday that Evergrande missed interest payments that had been due on Monday to at least two banks. In terms of markets the CSI (-1.11%), Shanghai Comp (-0.29%) and Shenzhen Comp (-0.53%) are all lower but have pared back deeper losses from the open. We did a flash poll in the CoTD yesterday (link here) and after over 700 responses in a couple of hours we found only 8% who we thought Evergrande would still be impacting financial markets significantly in a month’s time. 24% thought it would be slightly impacting. The other 68% thought limited or no impact. So the world is relatively relaxed about contagion risk for now. The bigger risk might be the knock on impact of weaker Chinese growth. So that’s one to watch even if you’re sanguine on the systemic threat. Craig Nicol in my credit team did a good note yesterday (link here) looking at the contagion risk to the broader HY market. I thought he summed it up nicely as to why we all need to care one way or another in saying that “Evergrande is the largest corporate, in the largest sector, of the second largest economy in the world”. For context AT&T is the largest corporate borrower in the US market and VW the largest in Europe. Turning back to other Asian markets now and the Nikkei (-0.65%) is down but the Hang Seng (+0.51%) and Asx (+0.58%) are up. South Korean markets continue to remain closed for a holiday. Elsewhere, yields on 10y USTs are trading flattish while futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.10% and those on the Stoxx 50 are up +0.21%. Crude oil prices are also up c.+1% this morning. In other news, the Bank of Japan policy announcement overnight was a non-event as the central bank maintained its yield curve target while keeping the policy rate and asset purchases plan unchanged. The central bank also unveiled more details of its green lending program and said that it would immediately start accepting applications and would begin making the loans in December. The relatively calm Asian session follows a stabilisation in markets yesterday following their rout on Monday as investors looked forward to the outcome of the Fed’s meeting later today. That said, it was hardly a resounding performance, with the S&P 500 unable to hold on to its intraday gains and ending just worse than unchanged after the -1.70% decline the previous day as investors remained vigilant as to the array of risks that continue to pile up on the horizon. One of these is in US politics and legislators seem no closer to resolving the various issues surrounding a potential government shutdown at the end of the month, along with a potential debt ceiling crisis in October, which is another flashing alert on the dashboard for investors that’s further contributing to weaker sentiment right now. Looking ahead now, today’s main highlight will be the latest Federal Reserve decision along with Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference, with the policy decision out at 19:00 London time. Markets have been on edge for any clues about when the Fed might begin to taper asset purchases, but concern about tapering actually being announced at this meeting has dissipated over recent weeks, particularly after the most recent nonfarm payrolls in August came in at just +235k, and the monthly CPI print also came in beneath consensus expectations for the first time since November. In terms of what to expect, our US economists write in their preview (link here) that they see the statement adopting Chair Powell’s language that a reduction in the pace of asset purchases is appropriate “this year”, so long as the economy remains on track. They see Powell maintaining optionality about the exact timing of that announcement, but they think that the message will effectively be that the bar to pushing the announcement beyond November is relatively high in the absence of any material downside surprises. This meeting also sees the release of the FOMC’s latest economic projections and the dot plot, where they expect there’ll be an upward drift in the dots that raises the number of rate hikes in 2023 to 3, followed by another 3 increases in 2024. Back to yesterday, and as mentioned US equity markets fell for a second straight day after being unable to hold on to earlier gains, with the S&P 500 slightly lower (-0.08%). High-growth industries outperformed with biotech (+0.38%) and semiconductors (+0.18%) leading the NASDAQ (+0.22%) slightly higher, however the Dow Jones (-0.15%) also struggled. Europe saw a much stronger performance though as much of the US decline came after Europe had closed. The STOXX 600 gained +1.00% to erase most of Monday’s losses, with almost every sector in the index ending the day in positive territory. With risk sentiment improving for much of the day yesterday, US Treasuries sold off slightly and by the close of trade yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +1.2bps to 1.3226%, thanks to a +1.8bps increase in real yields. However, sovereign bonds in Europe told a different story as yields on 10yr bunds (-0.3bps), OATs (-0.3bps) and BTPs (-1.9bps) moved lower. Other safe havens including gold (+0.59%) and silver (+1.02%) also benefited, but this wasn’t reflected across commodities more broadly, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (-0.30%) losing ground for a 4th consecutive session. Democratic Party leaders plan to vote on the Senate-approved $500bn bipartisan infrastructure bill next Monday, even with no resolution to the $3.5tr budget reconciliation measure that encompasses the remainder of the Biden Administration’s economic agenda. Democrats continue to work on the reconciliation measure but have turned their attention to the debt ceiling and government funding bills.Congress has fewer than two weeks before the current budget expires – on Oct 1 – to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling. Republicans yesterday noted that the Democrats could raise the ceiling on their own through the reconciliation process, with many saying that they would not be offering their support to any funding bill. Democrats continue to push for a bipartisan bill to raise the debt ceiling, pointing to their votes during the Trump administration. If Democrats are forced to tie the debt ceiling and funding bills to budget reconciliation, it could limit how much of the $3.5 trillion bill survives the last minute negotiations between progressives and moderates. More to come over the next 10 days. Staying on the US, there was an important announcement in President Biden’s speech at the UN General Assembly, as he said that he would work with Congress to double US funding to poorer nations to deal with climate change. That comes as UK Prime Minister Johnson (with the UK hosting the COP26 summit in less than 6 weeks’ time) has been lobbying other world leaders to find the $100bn per year that developed economies pledged by 2020 to support developing countries as they reduce their emissions and deal with climate change. In Germany, there are just 4 days to go now until the federal election, and a Forsa poll out yesterday showed a slight narrowing in the race, with the centre-left SPD remaining on 25%, but the CDU/CSU gained a point on last week to 22%, which puts them within the +/- 2.5 point margin of error. That narrowing has been seen in Politico’s Poll of Polls as well, with the race having tightened from a 5-point SPD lead over the CDU/CSU last week to a 3-point one now. Turning to the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson reported that their booster shot given 8 weeks after the first offered 100% protection against severe disease, 94% protection against symptomatic Covid in the US, and 75% against symptomatic Covid globally. Speaking of boosters, Bloomberg reported that the FDA was expected to decide as soon as today on a recommendation for Pfizer’s booster vaccine. That follows an FDA advisory panel rejecting a booster for all adults last Friday, restricting the recommendation to those over-65 and other high-risk categories. Staying with the US and vaccines, President Biden announced that the US was ordering 500mn doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be exported to the rest of the world. On the data front, there were some strong US housing releases for August, with housing starts up by an annualised 1.615m (vs. 1.55m expected), and building permits up by 1.728m (vs. 1.6m expected). Separately, the OECD released their Interim Economic Outlook, which saw them upgrade their inflation expectations for the G20 this year to +3.7% (up +0.2ppts from May) and for 2022 to +3.9% (up +0.5ppts from May). Their global growth forecast saw little change at +5.7% in 2021 (down a tenth) and +4.5% for 2022 (up a tenth). To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned Federal Reserve decision and Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Otherwise on the data side, we’ll get US existing home sales for August, and the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area in September. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 08:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 22nd, 2021

After A Challenging March Quarter Canopy Growth Projects Positive EBITDA By FY 2024

Pablo Zuanic from Cantor Fitzgerald kept a rating of “Neutral” for the stocks of Canopy Growth Corp. (TSE: WEED) (NASDAQ: CGC) and lowered his 12-month price target to C$6.75 from C$7.75 due to the sectoral derating and reduced estimates. The Thesis According to Zuanic, Canopy’s cost savings measures and efforts to pivot away from value in the domestic recreational business should help the firm reach its target of positive EBITDA in the fiscal year 2024. However, he noted that "more clarity on the pace of cash burn" would help the cannabis company. "There was little improvement in FY22 vs. FY21, and at the current pace net debt could be a steep 1.6x sales by March 2023 (true, Constellation Brands [STZ/NC] exercising more warrants would help the balance sheet, dilution notwithstanding),” Zuanic wrote in a Friday analyst note. “Efforts to continue to build the US THC ecosystem make sense given private sector valuations, even though they will not contribute to the P&L for now." In the first quarter of 2022, Canopy’s recreational sales fell 22% (vs -2% for the market), cannabis adjusted gross margins were -72%, and adjusted EBITDA was -$122 million. “We stay Neutral and wonder if the focus on building US assets has put the company at a disadvantage in Europe, should markets there legalize before the US,” Zuanic added. Sales for 4Q 2022  Total sales of $112 million were below FactSet's consensus of $130 million. Recreational B2B sales ($26 million) continued to drop (-22% sequentially vs. -2% for the market), as the company tries to step back from the deep ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga8 hr. 52 min. ago

Oil & Gas Stock Roundup: Updates From CDEV and XOM Lead Week"s Action

Apart from Centennial Resource Development (CDEV) and ExxonMobil (XOM), there was news regarding Chevron (CVX), Diamondback Energy (FANG) and Petrobras (PBR) during the week. It was a week when both oil and natural gas prices settled higher.On the news front, Permian pure play Centennial Resource Development CDEV finalized a $7 billion transaction to combine with Colgate Energy, while U.S.-based energy biggie ExxonMobil XOM agreed to sell natural gas fields in Texas for $750 million. Announcements from Chevron CVX, Diamondback Energy FANG and Petrobras PBR also made it to the headlines.Overall, it was a good seven-day period for the sector. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 2.4% to close at $113.23 per barrel, while natural gas prices increased some 5.5% to end at $8.083 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). In particular, the oil market managed to maintain its forward momentum from the previous three weeks.Coming back to the week ended May 20, the positive oil price action could be attributed to a report from the Energy Information Administration ("EIA") showing steep declines in crude and gasoline stocks. With oil product consumption remaining strong in the face of supply shortage, investors have been worried about a sustained rise in the price of the commodity. The uptick also reflected concerns about supplies from Russia, which is one of the world's largest producers of the commodity. Raising the prospect of a dramatic fall in crude flows, speculation has it that the European Union could shortly follow the United States in blocking imports of Russian energy to protest Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. In other words, the pending European embargo could lead to an acute supply squeeze.Natural gas notched a healthy weekly gain, too, buoyed by hotter-than-normal early summer weather, lower domestic output, strong LNG shipments and high coal prices.Recap of the Week’s Most-Important Stories1.  Permian-focused oil and gas producer Centennial Resource Development announced that it has signed an accord to merge with private equity-backed Colgate Energy Partners. The agreement, approved by both the firms’ board of directors and likely to close in the second half of this year, will create a $7 billion Permian Basin pure-play.With the deal's closure, the merged entity will be the largest pure-play exploration and production company in the Delaware Basin, said Centennial Resource. In Delaware, a sub-basin of the broader Permian (the most prolific basin in the United States), the combined player will have operating activities across roughly 180,000 net leasehold acres and 40,000 net royalty acres. The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company added that currently, the total combined production is 135,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.CDEV further mentioned that this prolific asset base will help the merged entity to return significant value to its stockholders. The merged company will be able to generate more than $1 billion of expected free cash flow in 2023. (Centennial Signs Merger Agreement With Colgate Energy)2.   ExxonMobil entered an agreement with U.S. natural gas producer BKV Corporation to divest its operated and non-operated Barnett Shale gas assets in Texas.The divestment is part of America’s biggest energy group’s strategy to focus on more profitable assets with the lowest cost of supply. The transaction involves $750 million in cash, along with additional payments contingent on future natural gas prices. The deal is expected to close by the second quarter of this year.Asset divestments are crucial components in ExxonMobil’s strategy to optimize cash management. In 2018, the company established a goal to raise $15 billion from asset divestments to reduce debt and focus on low-cost oil production. Notably, it is halfway toward achieving its goal. (ExxonMobil Announces Barnett Shale Asset Divestment)3   Another American oil and gas supermajor, Chevron, recently announced that it authorized the Ballymore project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. With a design volume of 75,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the undertaking would be developed as a three-mile subsea tieback to the prevailing Chevron-run Blind Faith platform.The undertaking at Ballymore will be CVX’s first development in the Norphlet trend of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The project will be in the Mississippi Canyon area in approximately 6,600 feet of water, roughly 160 miles southeast of New Orleans. Per Chevron, potential recoverable oil-equivalent resources for Ballymore could be more than 150 million barrels.The project, which involves three production wells tied back via one flowline to the nearby Blind Faith facility, will need an investment of about $1.6 billion. The existing infrastructure is to be used for the transportation of the produced oil and natural gas. Ballymore is expected to pump its first oil in 2025. (Chevron Permits the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Project)4   Diamondback Energy said last week that it reached a deal to buy the remaining 26% stake that it does not already own in its publicly traded pipeline business Rattler Midstream LP. The transaction is primarily aimed at simplifying the corporate structure of the oil and gas explorer.FANG said that the all-stock deal would fold the outstanding units of Rattler Midstream into the parent at a ratio of 0.113 Diamondback Energy shares for each partnership unit, with the offer representing a premium of 17.3% based on the May 13 closing price. The firms said that the deal will benefit both and allow them to take advantage of the combined entity's scale and streamlined structure.Diamondback Energy said the deal was approved by both the boards and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. (Diamondback to Buy Rest of Rattler in All-Stock Deal)5.   The Brazilian government-run oil major, Petrobras, recently stated that it received a go-ahead from Brazil’s antitrust watchdog — the General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (“CADE”) — for the sale of the Isaac Sabbá Refinery (“REMAN”) to Ream Participações SA, a subsidiary of the distributor – Atem.Petrobras initially announced this refinery sale agreement worth $189.5 million in August 2021. The refinery, which has a capacity of 46,000 barrels per day and includes a storage terminal, is in the northern state of Amazonas. REMAN is one of the eight refineries that Petrobras has put up for sale as part of a 2019 agreement with the antitrust supervisory body to increase competition in Brazil's oil refining business.The transaction needs the final and unappealable authorization by CADE, which is subject to the elapse of the 15-day period imposed by Law 12.529/11 for the filing of any appeals by third parties or the revocation of the process by the CADE Tribunal. The closing of the deal is also subject to other purchase and sale agreement compliances. (Petrobras Refinery Sale Approved by Brazil Regulator)Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some major oil and gas players over the past week and during the last six months.Company    Last Week    Last 6 MonthsXOM               +3.4%               +48.7%CVX                +0.8%              +47.3%COP               +2.5%               +46.3%OXY                -1.3%                +103.3%SLB                +0.9%               +39.8%RIG                +3.7%                +27.3%VLO                -1.4%                +70.3%MPC               +0.7%               +50.7%The Energy Select Sector SPDR — a popular way to track energy companies — rose 1.2% last week. Over the past six months, the sector tracker has increased 45.5%.What’s Next in the Energy World?With real-life activities returning to normalcy, gasoline and diesel prices have reached record highs. Amid this backdrop, market participants will closely track the regular releases to look for a more decisive price direction. In this context, the U.S. Government’s statistics on oil and natural gas — one of the few solid indicators that come out regularly — will be on energy traders' radar. Data on rig count from the oilfield service firm Baker Hughes, which is a pointer to the trends in U.S. crude production, is closely followed too. News related to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflict and the potential demand hit from the coronavirus lockdowns in China will be the other factors that will dictate the near-term price movement for oil.  Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2022? Last year's 2021 Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +147.7%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these long-term buysAccess Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 today >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. Petrobras (PBR): Free Stock Analysis Report Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG): Free Stock Analysis Report Centennial Resource Development (CDEV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 26th, 2022

S&P Futures Jump Above 4,000 As Fed Fears Fade

S&P Futures Jump Above 4,000 As Fed Fears Fade After yesterday's post-FOMC ramp which sent stocks higher after the Fed's Minutes were less hawkish than feared and also hinted at a timeline for the Fed's upcoming pause (and easing), US index futures initially swung between gains and losses on Thursday as investors weighed the "good news" from the Fed against downbeat remarks on the Chinese economy from premier Li who warned that China would struggle to post a positive GDP print this quarter coupled with Apple’s conservative outlook. Eventually, however, bullish sentiment prevailed and even with Tech stocks underperforming following yesterday's disappointing earnings from Nvidia, e-mini futures rose to session highs as of 715am, and traded up 0.6% above 4,000 for the first time since May 18, while Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.2% after earlier dropping as much as 0.8%. The tech-heavy index is down 27% this year. Treasury yields and the dollar slipped. Fed policy makers indicated their aggressive set of moves could leave them with flexibility to shift gears later if needed. Investors took some comfort from the Fed minutes that didn’t show an even more aggressive path being mapped to tackle elevated prices, though central banks remain steadfast in their resolve to douse inflation. Still, volatility has spiked as the risk of a US recession, the impact from China’s lockdowns and the war in Ukraine simmer. While the Fed minutes “provided investors with a temporary relief, today’s mixed price action on stocks mostly shows that major bearish leverages linger,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades in London. “The war in eastern Europe and concerns about the Chinese economy still add stress to market sentiment,” he wrote in a report. “Investors will want to see evidence of improvements regarding the pressure coming from rising prices.” “We expect key market drivers to continue to be centered around inflation and how central banks react; global growth concerns and how China gets to grip with its zero-Covid policy; and the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” said Fraser Lundie, head of fixed income for public markets at Federated Hermes Limited. “Positive news flow on any of these market drivers could sharply improve risk sentiment; however, there is a broad range of scenarios that could play out in the meantime.” In premarket trading, shares in Apple dropped 1.4% after a report said that the tech giant is planning to keep iPhone production flat in 2022, disappointing expectations for a ~10% increase. The company also said it was raising salaries in the US by 10% or more as it faces a tight labor market and unionization efforts. In other premarket moves, Nvidia dropped 5.3% as the biggest US chipmaker by market value gave a disappointing sales forecast. Software company Snowflake slumped 14%, while meme stock GameStop Corp. fell 2.9%. Among gainers, Twitter Inc. jumped 5.2% after billionaire Elon Musk dropped plans to partially fund his purchase of the company with a margin loan tied to his Tesla stake and increased the size of the deal’s equity component to $33.5 billion. Other notable premarket movers include: Shares of Alibaba and Baidu rise following results, sending other US-listed Chinese stocks higher in US premarket trading. Alibaba shares shot up as much as 4.5% after reporting fourth- quarter revenue and earnings that beat analyst expectations. Lululemon’s (LULU US) stock gains 2.4% in premarket trading as Morgan Stanley raised its recommendation to overweight, suggesting that the business can be more resilient through headwinds than what the market is expecting. Macy’s (M US) shares gain 15% in premarket trading after Co. increases its adjusted earnings per share guidance for the full fiscal year Williams-Sonoma (WSM US) shares jumped as much as 9.6% in premarket trading after 1Q sales beat estimates. The retailer was helped by its exposure to more affluent customers, but analysts cautioned that it may be difficult to maintain the sales momentum amid macroeconomic challenges. Nutanix (NTNX US) shares shed about a third of their value in US premarket trading as analysts slashed their price targets on the cloud platform provider after its forecast disappointed. US airline stocks rise in premarket trading on Thursday, after Southwest and JetBlue provided upbeat outlooks for the second-quarter. LUV up 1.5% premarket, after raising its second-quarter operating revenue growth forecast. JBLU up 2% after saying it expects second-quarter revenue at or above high end of previous guidance. Cryptocurrency-tied stocks fall in premarket trading as Bitcoin snaps two days of gains. Coinbase -2.6%; Marathon Digital -2.3%; Riot Blockchain -1.2%. Bitcoin drops 1.9% at 6:11 am in New York, trading at $29,209.88. It’s time to buy the dip in stocks after a steep global selloff in equity markets, according to Citi strategists. Meanwhile, Fidelity International Chief Executive Officer Anne Richards said the risk of a recession has increased and markets are likely to remain volatile, the latest dire warning on the outlook at the World Economic Forum. “If inflation gets tame enough over summer, there may not be continued raising of rates,” Carol Pepper, Pepper International chief executive officer, said on Bloomberg TV, adding that investors should look to buy tech stocks after the selloff. “Stagflation, I just don’t think that’s going to happen anymore. I think we are going to be in a situation where inflation will start tapering down and then we will start going into a more normalized market.” In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3%, pare some of their earlier gains but remain in the green, led by gains for retail, consumer and energy stocks. IBEX outperforms, adding 0.6%, FTSE MIB is flat but underperforms peers. Retailers, energy and consumer products are the strongest-performing sectors, with energy shares outperforming for the second day as oil climbed amid data that showed a further decrease in US crude and gasoline stockpiles. Here are the most notable European movers: Auto Trader rises as much as 3.5% after its full-year results beat consensus expectations on both top- and bottom-lines. Galp climbs as much as 4.1% as RBC upgrades to outperform, saying the stock might catch up with the rest of the sector after “materially” underperforming peers in recent years. Rightmove rises as much as 1.5% after Shore upgrades to hold from sell, saying the stock has reached an “appropriate” level following a 27% decline this year. FirstGroup soars as much as 16% after the bus and train operator said it received a takeover approach from I Squared Capital Advisors and is currently evaluating the offer. United Utilities declines as much as 8.9% as company reports a fall in adjusted pretax profit. Jefferies says full-year guidance implies a materially-below consensus adjusted net income view. Johnson Matthey falls as much as 7.5% after the company reported results and said it expects operating performance in the current fiscal year to be in the lower half of the consensus range. BT drops as much as 5.7% after the telecom operator said the UK will review French telecom tycoon Patrick Drahi’s increased stake in the company under the National Security and Investment Act. JD Sports drops as much as 12% as the departure of Peter Cowgill as executive chairman is disappointing, according to Shore Capital. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks were mixed as traders assessed China’s emergency meeting on the economy and Federal Reserve minutes that struck a less hawkish note than markets had expected.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed after fluctuating between gains and losses of about 0.6% as technology stocks slid. South Korean stocks dipped after the central bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points as expected. Chinese shares eked out a small advance after a nationwide emergency meeting on Wednesday offered little in terms of additional stimulus. The benchmark CSI 300 Index headed for a weekly drop of more than 2%, despite authorities’ vows to support an economy hit by Covid-19 lockdowns. Investors took some comfort from Fed minutes in which policy makers indicated their aggressive set of moves could leave them with flexibility to shift gears later if needed. Still, Asia’s benchmark headed for a weekly loss amid concerns over China’s lockdowns and the possibility of a US recession. “The coming months are ripe for a re-pricing of assets across the board with a further shake-down in risk assets as term and credit premia start to feature prominently,” Vishnu Varathan, the head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a research note.  Japanese stocks closed mixed after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting reassured investors while Premier Li Keqiang made downbeat comments on China’s economy. The Topix rose 0.1% to close at 1,877.58, while the Nikkei declined 0.3% to 26,604.84. Toyota Motor Corp. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 1.9%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 1,171 rose and 898 fell, while 102 were unchanged. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.7% to close at 7,105.90 as all sectors tumbled except for technology. Miners contributed the most to the benchmark’s decline. Whitehaven slumped after peer New Hope cut its coal output targets. Appen soared after confirming a takeover approach from Telus and said it’s in talks to improve the terms of the proposal. Appen shares were placed in a trading halt later in the session. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.6% to 11,102.84. India’s key stock indexes snapped three sessions of decline to post their first advance this week on recovery in banking and metals shares. The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.9% to 54,252.53 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced by a similar measure. Both benchmarks posted their biggest single-day gain since May 20 as monthly derivative contracts expired today. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained.  HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank provided the biggest boosts to the two indexes, rising 3% and 2.2%, respectively. Of the 30 shares in the Sensex, 24 rose and 6 fell. As the quarterly earnings season winds up, among the 45 Nifty companies that have so far reported results, 18 have trailed estimates and 27 met or exceeded expectations. Aluminum firm Hindalco Industries is scheduled to post its numbers later today. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar fell 0.3%, edging back toward the lowest level since April 26 touched Tuesday. The yen jumped to an intraday high after the head of the Bank of Japan said policymakers could manage an exit from their decades-long monetary policy, and that U.S. rate rises would not necessarily keep the yen weak. Commodity currencies including the Australian dollar fell as China’s Premier Li Keqiang offered a bleak outlook on domestic growth. The Chinese economy is in some respects faring worse than in 2020 when the pandemic started, he said. Central banks were busy overnight: Russia’s central bank delivered its third interest-rate reduction in just over a month and said borrowing costs can fall further still, as it looks to stem a rally in the ruble and unwinds the financial defenses in place since the invasion of Ukraine. The Bank of Korea raised its key interest rate on Thursday as newly installed Governor Rhee Chang-yong demonstrated his intention to tackle inflation at his first policy meeting since taking the helm. New Zealand’s central bank has also shown its commitment this week to combat surging prices. In rates, Treasuries bull-steepen amid similar price action in bunds and many other European markets and gains for US equity index futures. Yields richer by ~3bp across front-end of the curve, steepening 2s10 by ~2bp, 5s30s by ~3bp; 10-year yields rose 2bps to 2.76%, keeps pace with bund while outperforming gilts. 2- and 5-year yields reached lowest levels in more than a month, remain below 50-DMAs. US auction cycle concludes with 7-year note sale, while economic data includes 1Q GDP revision. Bund, Treasury and gilt curves all bull-steepen. Peripheral spreads tighten to Germany with 10y BTP/Bund narrowing 5.1bps to 194.6bps. The US weekly auction calendar ends with a $42BN 7-year auction today which follows 2- and 5-year sales that produced mixed demand metrics, however both have richened from auction levels. WI 7-year yield at ~2.735% is ~17bp richer than April’s, which tailed by 1.7bp. IG dollar issuance slate includes Bank of Nova Scotia 3Y covered SOFR; issuance so far this week remains short of $20b forecast, is expected to remain subdued until after US Memorial Day. In commodities,  WTI trades within Wednesday’s range, adding 0.6% to around $111. Spot gold falls roughly $7 to trade around $1,846/oz. Cryptocurrencies decline, Bitcoin drops 2.5% to below $29,000.  Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the second estimate of Q1 GDP, the weekly initial jobless claims, pending home sales for April, and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Meanwhile in Italy, there’s the consumer confidence index for May. From central banks, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Brainard, the ECB’s Centeno and de Cos, and also get decisions from the Central Bank of Russia and the Central Bank of Turkey. Finally, earnings releases include Costco and Royal Bank of Canada. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,974.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 435.16 MXAP little changed at 163.17 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 529.83 Nikkei down 0.3% to 26,604.84 Topix little changed at 1,877.58 Hang Seng Index down 0.3% to 20,116.20 Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,123.11 Sensex up 0.4% to 53,975.57 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.7% to 7,105.88 Kospi down 0.2% to 2,612.45 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.90% Euro little changed at $1.0679 Brent Futures up 0.5% to $114.55/bbl Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,847.94 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 102.11 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Federal Reserve officials agreed at their gathering this month that they need to raise interest rates in half-point steps at their next two meetings, continuing an aggressive set of moves that would leave them with flexibility to shift gears later if needed. Russia’s central bank delivered its third interest-rate reduction in just over a month and said borrowing costs can fall further still, halting a rally in the ruble as it unwinds the financial defenses in place since the invasion of Ukraine. China’s trade-weighted yuan fell below 100 for the first time in seven months as Premier Li Keqiang’s bearish comments added to concerns that the economy may miss its growth target by a wide margin this year. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve won’t necessarily cause the yen to weaken, saying various factors affect the currency market. A more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were indecisive as risk appetite waned despite the positive handover from Wall St where the major indices extended on gains post-FOMC minutes after the risk event passed and contained no hawkish surprises. ASX 200 failed to hold on to opening gains as weakness in mining names, consumer stocks and defensives overshadowed the advances in tech and financials, while capex data was mixed with the headline private capital expenditure at a surprise contraction for Q1. Nikkei 225 faded early gains but downside was stemmed with Japan set to reopen to tourists on June 6th. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were mixed with early pressure after Premier Li warned the economy was worse in some aspects than in 2020 when the pandemic began, although he stated that China will unveil detailed implementation rules for a pro-growth policy package before the end of the month, while the PBoC issued a notice to promote credit lending to small firms and the MoF announced cash subsidies to Chinese airlines. Top Asian News PBoC issued a notice to promote credit lending to small firms and is to boost financial institutions' confidence to lend to small firms, according to Reuters. BoK raised its base rate by 25bps to 1.75%, as expected, via unanimous decision. BoK raised its 2022 inflation forecast to 4.5% from 3.1% and raised its 2023 forecast to 2.9% from 2.0%, while it sees GDP growth of 2.7% this year and 2.4% next year. BoK said consumer price inflation is to remain high in the 5% range for some time and sees it as warranted to conduct monetary policy with more focus on inflation, according to Reuters. Morgan Stanley has lowered China's 2022 GDP estimate to 3.2% from 4.2%. CSPC Drops After Earnings, Covid Impact to Weigh: Street Wrap China Builder Greenland’s Near-Term Bonds Set for Record Drops Debt Is Top Priority for Diokno as New Philippine Finance Chief European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.7%, but remain within initial ranges in what has been a relatively contained session with much of northern-Europe away. Stateside, US futures are relatively contained, ES +0.2%, with newsflow thin and on familiar themes following yesterday's minutes and before PCE on Friday.  Apple (AAPL) is reportedly planning on having a 220mln (exp. ~240mln) iPhone production target for 2022, via Bloomberg. -1.4% in  the pre-market. Baidu Inc (BIDU) Q1 2022 (CNY): non-GAAP EPS 11.22 (exp. 5.39), Revenue 28.4bln (exp. 27.82bln). +4.5% in the pre-market. UK CMA is assessing whether Google's (GOOG) practises in parts of advertisement technology may distort competition. Top European News UK Chancellor Sunak's package today is likely to top GBP 30bln, according to sources via The Times; Chancellor will confirm that the package will be funded in part by windfall tax on oil & gas firms likely to come into effect in the autumn. Subsequently, UK Gov't sources are downplaying the idea that the overall support package is worth GBP 30bln, via Times' Swinford; told it is a very big intervention. UK car production declined 11.3% Y/Y to 60,554 units in April, according to the SMMT. British Bus Firm FirstGroup Gets Takeover Bid from I Squared Citi Strategists Say Buy the Dip in Stocks on ‘Healthy’ Returns The Reasons to Worry Just Keep Piling Up for Davos Executives UK Unveils Plan to Boost Aviation Industry, Passenger Rights Pakistan Mulls Gas Import Deal With Countries Including Russia FX Dollar drifts post FOMC minutes that reaffirm guidance for 50bp hikes in June and July, but nothing more aggressive, DXY slips into lower range around 102.00 vs 102.450 midweek peak. Yen outperforms after BoJ Governor Kuroda outlines exit strategy via a combination of tightening and balance sheet reduction, when the time comes; USD/JPY closer to 126.50 than 127.50 where 1.13bln option expiries start and end at 127.60. Rest of G10, bar Swedish Crown rangebound ahead of US data, with Loonie looking for independent direction via Canadian retail sales, USD/CAD inside 1.2850-00; Cable surpassing 1.2600 following reports that the cost of living package from UK Chancellor Sunak could top GBP 30bln. Lira hits new YTD low before CBRT and Rouble weaker following top end of range 300bp cut from CBR. Yuan halts retreat from recovery peaks ahead of key technical level, 6.7800 for USD/CNH. Fixed Income Debt wanes after early rebound on Ascension Day lifted Bunds beyond technical resistance levels to 154.74 vs 153.57 low. Gilts fall from grace between 119.17-118.19 parameters amidst concerns that a large UK cost of living support package could leave funding shortfall. US Treasuries remain firm, but off peaks for the 10 year T-note at 120-31 ahead of GDP, IJC, Pending Home Sales and 7 year supply. Commodities Crude benchmarks inch higher in relatively quiet newsflow as familiar themes dominate; though reports that EU officials are considering splitting the oil embargo has drawn attention. Currently WTI and Brent lie in proximity to USD 111/bbl and USD 115/bbl respectively; within USD 1.50/bbl ranges. Russian Deputy PM Novak expects 2022 oil output 480-500mln/T (prev. 524mln/T YY), via Ria. Spot gold is similarly contained around the USD 1850/oz mark, though its parameters are modestly more pronounced at circa. USD 13/oz Central Banks CBR (May, Emergency Meeting): Key Rate 11.00% (exp. ~11.00/12.00%, prev. 14.00%); holds open the prospect of further reductions at upcoming meetings. BoJ's Kuroda says, when exiting easy policy, they will likely combine rate hike and balance sheet reduction through specific means, timing to be dependent on developments at that point; FOMC rate hike may not necessarily result in a weaker JPY or outflows of funds from Japan if it affects US stock prices, via Reuters. US Event Calendar 08:30: 1Q PCE Core QoQ, est. 5.2%, prior 5.2% 08:30: 1Q Personal Consumption, est. 2.8%, prior 2.7% 08:30: May Continuing Claims, est. 1.31m, prior 1.32m 08:30: 1Q GDP Price Index, est. 8.0%, prior 8.0% 08:30: May Initial Jobless Claims, est. 215,000, prior 218,000 08:30: 1Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. -1.3%, prior -1.4% 10:00: April Pending Home Sales YoY, est. -8.0%, prior -8.9% 10:00: April Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. -2.0%, prior -1.2% 11:00: May Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 18, prior 25 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that our latest monthly survey is now live, where we try to ask questions that aren’t easy to derive from market pricing. This time we ask if you think the Fed would be willing to push the economy into recession in order to get inflation back to target. We also ask whether you think there are still bubbles in markets and whether equities have bottomed out yet. And there’s another on which is the best asset class to hedge against inflation. The more people that fill it in the more useful so all help from readers is very welcome. The link is here. For markets it’s been a relatively quiet session over the last 24 hours compared to the recent bout of cross-asset volatility. The main event was the release of the May FOMC minutes, which had the potential to upend that calm given the amount of policy parameters currently being debated by the Fed. But in reality they came and went without much fanfare, and failed to inject much life into afternoon markets or the debate around the near-term path of policy. As far as what they did say, they confirmed the line from the meeting itself that the FOMC is ready to move the policy to a neutral position to fight the current inflationary scourge, with agreement that 50bp hikes were appropriate at the next couple of meetings. That rapid move to neutral would leave the Fed well-positioned to judge the outlook and appropriate next steps for policy by the end of the year, and markets were relieved by the lack of further hawkishness, with the S&P 500 extending its modest gains following the release to end the day up +0.95%. As the Chair said at the meeting, and has been echoed by other Fed officials since, the minutes noted that the hawkish shift in Fed communications have already had a noticeable effect on financial conditions, with Fed staff pointing out that “conditions had tightened by historically large amounts since the beginning of the year.” Meanwhile on QT, which the Fed outlined their plans for at the May meeting, the minutes expressed some trepidation about market liquidity and potential “unanticipated effects on financial market conditions” as a result, but did not offer potential remedies. With the minutes not living up to hawkish fears alongside growing concerns about a potential recession, investors continued to dial back the likelihood of more aggressive tightening, with Fed funds futures moving the rate priced in by the December meeting to 2.64%, which is the lowest in nearly a month and down from its peak of 2.88% on May 3. So we’ve taken out nearly a full 25bp hike by now, which is the biggest reversal in monetary policy expectations this year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. That decline came ahead of the minutes and also saw markets pare back the chances of two consecutive +50bp hikes, with the amount of hikes priced over the next two meetings falling under 100bps for only the second time since the May FOMC. Yields on 10yr Treasuries held fairly steady, only coming down -0.5bps to 2.745%. Ahead of the Fed minutes, markets had already been on track to record a steady performance, and the S&P 500 (+0.95%) extended its existing gains in the US afternoon. That now brings the index’s gains for the week as a whole to +1.98%, so leaving it on track to end a run of 7 consecutive weekly declines, assuming it can hold onto that over the next 48 hours, and futures this morning are only down -0.13%. That said, we’ve seen plenty of volatility in recent weeks, and after 3 days so far this is the first week in over two months where the S&P hasn’t seen a fall of more than -1% in a single session, so let’s see what today and tomorrow bring. In terms of the specific moves yesterday, it was a fairly broad advance, but consumer discretionary stocks (+2.78%) and other cyclical industries led the way, with defensives instead seeing a much more muted performance. Tech stocks outperformed, and the NASDAQ (+1.51%) came off its 18-month low, as did the FANG+ index (+1.99%). Over in Europe, equities also recorded a decent advance, with the STOXX 600 gaining +0.63%, whilst bonds continued to rally as well, with yields on 10yr bunds (-1.5bps) OATs (-1.5bps) and BTPs (-2.7bps) all moving lower. These gains for sovereign bonds have come as investors have grown increasingly relaxed about inflation in recent weeks, with the 10yr German breakeven falling a further -4.2bps to 2.23% yesterday, its lowest level since early March and down from a peak of 2.98% at the start of May. Bear in mind that the speed of the decline in the German 10yr breakeven over the last 3-4 weeks has been faster than that seen during the initial wave of the Covid pandemic, so a big shift in inflation expectations for the decade ahead in a short space of time that’s reversed the bulk of the move higher following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nor is that simply concentrated over the next few years, since the 5y5y forward inflation swaps for the Euro Area looking at inflation over the five years starting in five years’ time has come down from aa peak of 2.49% earlier this month to 2.07% by the close last night, so almost back to the ECB’s target. To be fair there’s been a similar move lower in US breakevens too, and this morning the 10yr US breakeven is down to a 3-month low of 2.56%. That decline in inflation expectations has come as investors have ratcheted up their expectations about future ECB tightening. Yesterday, the amount of tightening priced in by the July meeting ticked up a further +0.2bps to 32.7bps, its highest to date, and implying some chance that they’ll move by more than just 25bps. We heard from a number of additional speakers too over the last 24 hours, including Vice President de Guindos who said in a Bloomberg interview that the schedule for rate hikes outlined by President Lagarde was “very sensible”, and that the question of larger hikes would “depend on the outlook”. Overnight in Asia, equities are fluctuating this morning after China’s Premier Li Keqiang struck a downbeat note on the economy yesterday. Indeed, he said that the difficulties facing the Chinese economy “to a certain extent are greater than when the epidemic hit us severely in 2020”. As a reminder, our own economist’s forecasts for GDP growth this year are at +3.3%, which if realised would be the slowest in 46 years apart from 2020 when Covid first took off. Against that backdrop, there’s been a fairly muted performance, and whilst the Shanghai Composite (+0.65%) and the CSI 300 (+0.60%) have pared back initial losses to move higher on the day, the Hang Seng (-0.13%) has lost ground and the Nikkei (+0.07%) is only just in positive territory. We’ve also seen the Kospi (-0.08%) give up its initial gains overnight after the Bank of Korea moved to hike interest rates once again, with a 25bp rise in their policy rate to 1.75%, in line with expectations. That came as they raised their inflation forecasts, now expecting CPI this year at 4.5%, up from 3.1% previously. At the same time they also slashed their growth forecast to 2.7%, down from 3.0% previously. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though we did get the preliminary reading for US durable goods orders in April. They grew by +0.4% (vs. +0.6% expected), although the previous month was revised down to +0.6% (vs. +1.1% previously). Core capital goods orders were also up +0.3% (vs. +0.5% expected). To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the second estimate of Q1 GDP, the weekly initial jobless claims, pending home sales for April, and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Meanwhile in Italy, there’s the consumer confidence index for May. From central banks, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Brainard, the ECB’s Centeno and de Cos, and also get decisions from the Central Bank of Russia and the Central Bank of Turkey. Finally, earnings releases include Costco and Royal Bank of Canada. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/26/2022 - 07:50.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 26th, 2022

The wild life of billionaire Twitter founder and "Block Head" Jack Dorsey, who"s officially left the social network"s board, eats one meal a day, and takes ice baths

Jack Dorsey, famous for his unusual life of luxury, stepped down as Twitter CEO in 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006 and the company made him a billionaire. He's famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. He stepped down as Twitter CEO in November 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square — which he rebranded as Block in 2021.He led Twitter through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.And Dorsey announced on November 29, 2021, he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter. He continues to lead Block, where in April 2022 he changed his title from "CEO" to "Block Head." And on Wednesday, Dorsey officially stepped down from Twitter's board of directors amid Elon Musk's bid for the company, a move that has been expected since fall 2021.Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to have taken a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Both Musk and Dorsey are crypto enthusiasts, and appear to have developed a good public relationship.Source: InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional executive these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Insider, Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square was launching a new bitcoin business in summer 2021.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hadn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey split his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.Dorsey said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.Twitter announced on November 29 Dorsey had stepped down as CEO.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesCNBC was the first to report on Dorsey's expected resignation, citing unnamed sources.Twitter confirmed the story the same day, announcing Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal would take over as CEO with immediate effect.Dorsey posted on his Twitter account saying: "Not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter."In his tweet he included a screenshot of the email he sent to Twitter staff announcing his resignation.—jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021And in May 2022, his time on the board of directors officially came to an end, an anticipated move that coincides with the company's stockholder's meeting. Two days after Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO, Square changed its name to Block.Block's revamped logo.Block"The name change creates room for further growth," the company said in a statement."Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes," it added.The line about tungsten cubes was an apparent reference to a craze among crypto enthusiasts of paying as much as $3,500 for novelty tungsten cubes.In April 2022, Dorsey changed his official title at Block from CEO to "Block Head."Jack Dorsey's official job description on the Block website was changed to say Block Head.BlockThe title change was made official in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 20, 2022."There will be no changes in Mr. Dorsey's roles and responsibilities," the filing said.Block's website was also updated to list his new title as Block Head.Musk tweeted in response to the news using fire emojis to signal his approval for Dorsey's title.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2022 Musk officially added the title of "Technoking" to his role at Tesla in March 2021.Dorsey said in an April 2022 tweet his "biggest regret" was Twitter shutting down Vine.Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square, attends the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention at the Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on June 4, 2021.Marco Bello/AFP/Getty ImagesDorsey replied to a Twitter user lamenting Vine's demise saying: "I know. Biggest regret," accompanied by a sad face emoji.Twitter acquired short-form video app Vine in 2012 but shut it down in 2016.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Futures Slide Before Fed Minutes, Dollar Jumps As China Lockdown Fears Return

Futures Slide Before Fed Minutes, Dollar Jumps As China Lockdown Fears Return Another day, another failure by markets to hold on to even the smallest overnight gains: US futures erased earlier profits and dipped as traders prepared for potential volatility surrounding the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes which may provide insight into the central bank’s tightening path, while fears over Chinese lockdowns returned as Beijing recorded more Covid cases and the nearby port city of Tianjin locked down a city-center district. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were each down 0.5% at 7:30 a.m. in New York after gaining as much as 1% earlier, signaling an extension to Tuesday’s slide that followed a profit warning from Snap. In premarket trading, Nordstrom jumped 10% after raising its forecast for earnings and revenue for the coming year suggesting that the luxury consumer is doing quite fine even as most of the middle class has tapped out; analysts highlighted the department store’s exposure to higher-end customers.Meanwhile, Wendy’s surged 12% after shareholder Trian Fund Management, billionaire Nelson Peltz' investment vehicle, said it will explore a transaction that could give it control of the fast-food chain. Here are the most notable premarket movers in the US: Urban Outfitters (URBN US) shares rose as much as 5.7% in premarket trading after Nordstrom’s annual forecasts provided some relief for the beaten down retail sector. Shares rallied even as Urban Outfitters reported lower-than-expected profit and sales for the 1Q. Best Buy (BBY US) shares could be in focus as Citi cuts its price target on electronics retailer to a new Street-low of $65 from $80, saying that there continues to be “significant risk” to 2H estimates. Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS US) sinks as much as 20% premarket after the retailer cut its year adjusted earnings per share and comparable sales guidance for the full year. Peers including Big 5 Sporting Goods, Hibbett and Foot Locker also fell after the DKS earnings release 2U Inc. (TWOU US) shares drop as much as 4.3% in US premarket trading after Piper Sandler downgraded the online educational services provider to underweight from neutral, with broker flagging growing regulatory risk. Verrica Pharma (VRCA US) shares slump as much as 61% in US premarket trading after the drug developer received an FDA Complete Response Letter for its VP-102 molluscum treatment. Shopify’s (SHOP US) U.S.-listed shares fell 0.7% in premarket trading after a second prominent shareholder advisory firm ISS joined its peer Glass Lewis to oppose the Canadian company’s plan to give CEO Tobi Lutke a special “founder share” that will preserve his voting power. Cazoo (CZOO US) shares declined 3.3% in premarket trading as Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the stock with a neutral recommendation, saying the company is well positioned to capture the significant growth in online used car sales. CME Group (CME US Equity) may be in focus as its stock was upgraded to outperform from market perform at Oppenheimer on attractive valuation and an “appealing” dividend policy. US stocks have slumped this year, with the S&P 500 flirting with a bear market on Friday, as investors fear that the Fed’s active monetary tightening will plunge the economy into a recession: as Bloomberg notes, amid surging inflation, lackluster earnings and bleak company guidance have added to market concerns. The tech sector has been particularly in focus amid higher rates, which mean a bigger discount for the present value of future profits. The Nasdaq 100 index has tumbled to the lowest since November 2020 and its 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19.7 is the lowest since the start of the pandemic and below its 10-year average. “The consumer in the US is still showing really good signs of strength,” said Michael Metcalfe, global head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets. “Even if there is a slowdown it’s going to be quite mild,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Meanwhile, Barclays Plc strategists including Emmanuel Cau see scope for stocks to fall further if outflows from mutual funds pick up, unless recession fears are alleviated. Retail investors have also not yet fully capitulated and “still look to be buying dips in old favorites in tech/growth,” the strategists said. "Our central scenario remains that a recession can be avoided and that geopolitical risks will moderate over the course of the year, allowing equities to move higher,” said Mark Haefele,  chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “But recent market falls have underlined the importance of being selective and considering strategies that mitigate volatility." The Fed raised interest rates by 50 basis points earlier this month -- to a target range of 0.75% to 1% -- and Chair Jerome Powell has signaled it was on track to make similar-sized moves at its meetings in June and July. Investors are now awaiting the release of the May 3-4 meeting minutes later on Wednesday to evaluate the future path of rate hikes. However, in recent days, traders have dialed back the expected pace of Fed interest-rate increases over worse-than-expected economic data and the selloff in equities. Sales of new US homes fell more in April than economists forecast, and the Richmond Fed’s measure of business activity dropped to a two-year low. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped for a second day to 2.73%. “Given the risks to growth and our view that positive real rates will be unmanageable for any significant length of time, we expect the Fed to deliver less tightening in 2022 overall than it and markets currently expect,” Salman Ahmed, global head of macro and strategic asset allocation at Fidelity International, wrote in a note. In Europe, stocks pared an earlier advance but hold in the green while the dollar rallies. The Stoxx 600 gave back most of the morning’s gains with autos, financial services and travel weighing while miners and utilities outperformed. The euro slid as comments by European Central Bank officials indicated policy normalization will be gradual. The ECB is in the midst of a debate over how aggressive it should act to rein in inflation. Here are some of the most notable European movers today: SSE shares rise as much as 6.3% after strong guidance and amid reports that electricity generators are likely to escape windfall taxes being considered by the U.K. government. Air France-KLM jumps as much as 13% in Paris after falling 21% on Tuesday as the airline kicked off a EU2.26 billion rights offering. Mining and energy stocks outperform the broader market in Europe as iron ore rebounded, while oil rose after a report that showed a decline in US gasoline stockpiles. Rio Tinto gains as much as 2.3%, Anglo American +2.6%, TotalEnergies +2.8%, Equinor +3.7% Elekta rises as much as 9.3% after releasing a 4Q earnings report that beat analysts’ expectations. Torm climbs as much as 12% after Pareto initiates coverage at buy and says the company may pay out dividends equal to 40% of its market value over the next 3 years. Mercell rises as much as 104% to NOK6.13/share after recommending a NOK6.3/share offer from Spring Cayman Bidco. Luxury stocks traded lower amid rekindled Covid-19 worries in China as Beijing continued to report new infections while nearby Tianjin locked down its city center. LVMH declines as much as 1.4%, Burberry -2.6% and Hermes -1.7% Sodexo falls as much as 5.7% after the French caterer decided not to open up the capital of its benefits & rewards unit to a partner following a review of the business. Ocado slumps as much as 8% after its grocery joint venture with Marks & Spencer slashed its forecast for FY22 sales growth to low single digits, rather than around 10% guided previously. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks were steady as traders continued to gauge growth concerns and fears of a US recession. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1%, paring an earlier increase of as much as 0.5%, as gains in the financial sector were offset by losses in consumer names. New Zealand equities dipped on Wednesday after the central bank delivered an expected half-point interest rate hike to combat inflation. Chinese shares stabilized after the central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans as the nation grapples with ongoing Covid outbreaks. The benchmark CSI 300 Index snapped a two-day losing streak to close 0.6% higher. Asian equities have been trading sideways as the prospect of slower growth amid tighter monetary conditions, as well as China’s strict Covid policy and supply-chain disruptions, remain key overhangs for the market. In China, the country’s strict Covid policy is outweighing broad measures to support growth and keeping investors wary. Its commitment to Covid Zero means it’s all but certain to miss its economic growth target by a large margin for the first time ever. The nation’s central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans in the latest effort to shore up the battered economy. “The valuation is still nowhere near attractive and you have a number of leading indicators, whether its credit, liquidity or growth, which are not yet indicating that we want to take more risks on the market,” Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Societe Generale, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. He added that the preferred strategy in equities will focus on defensive plays like resources and income. Investors will get further clues on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policies with the release in Washington of minutes from the latest meeting on Wednesday. Concerns that the Fed’s tightening will plunge the nation into recession had spurred a sharp selloff in US shares recently. Japanese stocks ended a bumpy day lower as investors awaited minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting and continued to gauge the impact of China’s rising Covid cases. The Topix fell 0.1% to close at 1,876.58, while the Nikkei declined 0.3% to 26,677.80. Nintendo Co. contributed the most to the Topix Index decline, decreasing 4.3%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 793 rose and 1,257 fell, while 121 were unchanged. Meanwhile, Australian stocks bounced with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.4% to close at 7,155.20, with banks and miners contributing the most to its move. Costa Group was the top performer after reaffirming its operating capex guidance. Chalice Mining dropped after an equity raising. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7% to 11,173.37 after the RBNZ’s policy decision. The central bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point for a second straight meeting and forecast further aggressive hikes to come to tame inflation. India’s key equity indexes fell for the third consecutive session, dragged by losses in software makers as worries grow over companies’ spending on technology amid a clouded growth outlook. The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.6% to 53,749.26 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.6%. The benchmark has retreated for all but four sessions this month, slipping 5.8%, dragged by Infosys, Tata Consultancy and Reliance Industries. All but two of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell on Wednesday, led by information technology stocks. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 12 rose and 18 fell. The S&P BSE IT Index has lost nearly 26% this year and is trading at its lowest level since June.  In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index resumed rising, up 0.3% with all G-10 FX in the red against the dollar. The euro slipped and Italian bonds extended gains after comments from ECB officials. Executive board member Fabio Panetta said the ECB shouldn’t seek to raise its interest rates too far as long as the euro-area economy displays continuing signs of fragility. Board Member Olli Rehn said the ECB should raise rates to zero in autumn. The pound was steady against the dollar and gained versus the euro, paring some of its losses from Tuesday. Focus is on the long-awaited report into lockdown parties at No. 10. The BOE needs to tighten policy further to fight rising inflation, but it’s also wary of acting too quickly and risking pushing the UK into recession, according to Chief Economist Huw Pill. Sweden’s krona slumped on the back of a stronger dollar and amid data showing that consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since the global financial crisis. Yen eased as Treasury yields steadied in Asia from an overnight plunge.  China’s offshore yuan weakened for the first time in five days as Beijing recorded more Covid cases and the nearby port city of Tianjin locked down a city-center district. New Zealand dollar and sovereign yields rose after the RBNZ hiked rates by 50 basis points for a second straight meeting and forecast more aggressive tightening, with the cash rate seen peaking at 3.95% in 2023. Most emerging-market currencies also weakened against a stronger dollar as investors await minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting for clues on the pace of US rate hikes.  The ruble extended its recent rally in Moscow even as Russia’s central bank moved up the date of its next interest-rate meeting by more than two weeks to stem gains in the currency with more monetary easing. Russia has been pushed closer to a potential default. US banks and individuals are barred from accepting bond payments from Russia’s government since 12:01 a.m. New York time on Wednesday, when a license that had allowed the cash to flow ended. The lira lagged most of its peers, weakening for a fourth day amid expectations that Turkey’s central bank will keep rates unchanged on Thursday even after consumer prices rose an annual 70% in April. In rates, Treasuries were steady with yields slightly richer across long-end of the curve as S&P 500 futures edge lower, holding small losses. US 10-year yields around 2.745% are slightly richer vs Tuesday’s close; long-end outperformance tightens 5s30s spread by 1.4bp on the day with 30-year yields lower by ~1bp. Bunds outperform by 2bp in 10-year sector while gilts lag slightly with no major catalyst. Focal points of US session include durable goods orders data, 5-year note auction and minutes of May 3-4 FOMC meeting. The US auction cycle resumes at 1pm ET with $48b 5-year note sale, concludes Thursday with $42b 7-year notes; Tuesday’s 2-year auction stopped through despite strong rally into bidding deadline. The WI 5-year yield at ~2.740% is ~4.5bp richer than April auction, which tailed by 0.9bp. In commodities, WTI pushed higher, heading back toward best levels of the week near $111.60. Most base metals trade in the red; LME aluminum falls 2.3%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $10 to trade around $1,856/oz. Spot silver loses 1.1% to around. Bitcoin trades on either side of USD 30k with no real direction. Looking to the day ahead now, and central bank publications include the FOMC minutes from their May meeting and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review. Separately, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Rehn, Panetta, Holzmann, de Cos and Lane, BoJ Governor Kuroda, Fed Vice Chair Brainard and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Otherwise, data releases from the US include preliminary April data on durable goods orders and core capital goods orders. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,942.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 433.41 MXAP little changed at 163.41 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 531.42 Nikkei down 0.3% to 26,677.80 Topix little changed at 1,876.58 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 20,171.27 Shanghai Composite up 1.2% to 3,107.46 Sensex down 0.5% to 53,763.20 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,155.24 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,617.22 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.94% Euro down 0.5% to $1.0677 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $114.69/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,856.22 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.30% to 102.16 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg New Zealand dollar and sovereign yields rose after the RBNZ hiked rates by 50 basis points and forecast more aggressive tightening, with the cash rate seen peaking at 3.95% in 2023 The euro slipped and Italian bonds extended gains after comments from ECB officials. Executive board member Fabio Panetta said the ECB shouldn’t seek to raise its interest rates too far as long as the euro-area economy displays continuing signs of fragility. Board Member Olli Rehn said the ECB should raise rates to zero in autumn The pound was steady against the dollar and gained versus the euro, paring some of its losses from Tuesday. Focus is on the long-awaited report into lockdown parties at No. 10 The BOE needs to tighten policy further to fight rising inflation, but it’s also wary of acting too quickly and risking pushing the UK into recession, according to Chief Economist Huw Pill Sweden’s krona slumped on the back of a stronger dollar and amid data showing that consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since the global financial crisis Yen eased as Treasury yields steadied in Asia from an overnight plunge A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mostly positive but with gains capped and price action choppy after a lacklustre lead from global counterparts as poor data from the US and Europe stoked growth concerns, while the region also reflected on the latest provocations by North Korea and the RBNZ’s rate increase. ASX 200 was led higher by commodity-related stocks despite the surprise contraction in Construction Work. Nikkei 225 remained subdued after recent currency inflows and with sentiment clouded by geopolitical tensions. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were marginally higher following further support efforts by the PBoC and CBIRC which have explored increasing loans with major institutions and with the central bank to boost credit support, although the upside is contained amid the ongoing COVID concerns and with Beijing said to tighten restrictions among essential workers. Top Asian News US SEC official said significant issues remain in reaching a deal with China over audit inspections and even if US and China reach a deal on proceeding with inspections, they would still have a long way to go, according to Bloomberg. China will be seeing a Pacific Island Agreement when Senior Diplomat Wang Yi visits the region next week, according to documents cited by Reuters. North Korea Fires Suspected ICBM as Biden Wraps Up Asia Tour Luxury Stocks Slip Again as China Covid-19 Worries Persist Asia Firms Keep SPAC Dream Alive Despite Poor Returns: ECM Watch Powerlong 2022 Dollar Bonds Fall Further, Poised for Worst Week In Europe the early optimism across the equity complex faded in early trading. Major European indices post mild broad-based gains with no real standouts. Sectors initially opened with an anti-defensive bias but have since reconfigured to a more pro-defensive one. Stateside, US equity futures have trimmed earlier gains, with relatively broad-based gains seen across the contracts; ES (+0.1%). Top European News Aiming ECB Rate at Neutral Risks Hurting Economy, Panetta Says M&S Says Russia Exit, Inflation to Prevent Profit Growth Prudential Names Citi Veteran Wadhwani as Insurer’s Next CEO EU’s Gentiloni Eyes Deal on Russian Oil Embargo: Davos Update UK’s Poorest to See Inflation Hit Near Double Pace of the Rich FX Buck builds a base before Fed speak, FOMC minutes and US data - DXY tops 102.250 compared to low of 101.640 on Tuesday. Kiwi holds up well after RBNZ hike, higher OCR outlook and Governor Orr outlining the need to tighten well beyond neutral - Nzd/Usd hovers above 0.6450 and Aud/Nzd around 1.0950. Euro pulls back sharply as ECB’s Panetta counters aggressive rate guidance with gradualism to avoid a normalisation tantrum - Eur/Usd sub-1.0700 and Eur/Gbp under 0.8550. Aussie undermined by flagging risk sentiment and contraction in Q1 construction work completed - Aud/Usd retreats through 0.7100. Loonie and Nokkie glean some underlying traction from oil returning to boiling point - Usd/Cad capped into 1.2850, Eur/Nok pivots 10.2500. Franc, Yen and Sterling all make way for Greenback revival - Usd/Chf bounces through 0.9600, Usd/Jpy over 127.00 and Cable close to 1.2500. Fixed Income Choppy trade in bonds amidst fluid risk backdrop and ongoing flood of global Central Bank rhetoric, Bunds and Gilts fade just above 154.00 and 119.00. Eurozone periphery outperforming as ECB's Panetta urges gradualism to avoid a normalisation tantrum and Knot backs President Lagarde on ZIRP by end Q3 rather than going 50 bp in one hit. US Treasuries flat-line before US data, Fed's Brainard, FOMC minutes and 5-year supply - 10 year T-note midway between 120-21/09+ parameters. Commodities WTI and Brent July futures are firmer intraday with little newsflow throughout the European morning. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude +0.6mln (exp. -0.7mln), Gasoline -4.2mln (exp. -0.6mln), Distillates -0.9mln (exp. +0.9mln), Cushing -0.7mln. Spot gold is pressured by the recovery in the Dollar but found some support at its 21 DMA. Base metals are pressured by the turn in the risk tone this morning. US Event Calendar 07:00: May MBA Mortgage Applications -1.2%, prior -11.0% 08:30: April Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.6%, prior 1.1% -Less Transportation, est. 0.5%, prior 1.4% 08:30: April Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4% 08:30: April Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.5%, prior 1.3% Central Banks 12:15: Fed’s Brainard Delivers Commencement Address 14:00: May FOMC Meeting Minutes DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning we’ve launched our latest monthly survey. In it we try to ask questions that aren’t easy to derive from market pricing. For example we ask whether you think a recession is a price worth paying to tame inflation back to target. We also ask whether you think the Fed will think the same. We ask whether you think bubbles are still in markets and whether the bottom is in for equities. We also ask you the best hedge against inflation from a small list of mainstream assets. Hopefully it will be of use and the more people that fill it in the more useful it might be so all help welcome. The link is here. Talking of inflation I had a huge shock yesterday. The first quote of three came back from builders for what I hope will be our last ever renovation project as we upgrade a dilapidated old outbuilding. Given the job I do I'd like to think I'm fully aware of commodity price effects and labour shortages pushing up costs but nothing could have prepared me for a quote 250% higher than what I expected. We have two quotes to come but if they don't come in nearer to my expectations then we're either going to shelve/postpone the project after a couple of years of planning or my work output might reduce as I learn how to lay bricks, plumb, tile, make and install windows and plaster amongst other things. Maybe I could sell the rights of my journey from banker to builder to Netflix to make up for lost earnings. Rather like my building quote expectations, markets came back down to earth yesterday, only avoiding a fresh closing one-year low in the S&P 500 via a late-day rally that sent the market from intra-day lows of -2.48% earlier in the session to -0.81% at the close and giving back just under half the gains from the best Monday since January. Having said that S&P futures are up +0.6% this morning so we've had a big swing from the lows yesterday afternoon. The blame for the weak market yesterday was put on weak economic data alongside negative corporate news. US tech stocks saw the biggest losses as the NASDAQ (-2.35%) hit its lowest level in over 18 months following Snap’s move to cut its profit forecasts that we mentioned in yesterday’s edition. The stock itself fell -43.08%. Indeed, the NASDAQ just barely avoided closing more than -30% (-29.85%) from its all-time high reached back in November. The S&P 500's closing loss leaves it +1.03% week to date as it tries to avoid an 8th consecutive weekly decline for just the third time since our data starts in 1928. Typical defensive sectors Utilities (+2.01%), staples (+1.66%), and real estate (+1.21%) drove the intraday recovery, so even with the broad index off the day’s lows, the decomposition points to continued growth fears. Investors had already been braced for a more difficult day following the Monday night news from Snap, but further fuel was then added to the fire after US data releases significantly underwhelmed shortly after the open. First, the flash composite PMI for May fell to 53.8 (vs. 55.7 expected), marking a second consecutive decline in that measure. And then the new home sales data for April massively underperformed with the number falling to an annualised 591k (vs. 749k expected), whilst the March reading was also revised down to an annualised 709k (vs. 763k previously). That 591k reading left new home sales at their lowest since April 2020 during the Covid shutdowns, and comes against the backdrop of a sharp rise in mortgage rates as the Fed have tightened policy, with the 30-year fixed rate reported by Freddie Mac rising from 3.11% at the end of 2021 to 5.25% in the latest reading last week. The strong defensive rotation in the S&P 500 and continued fears of a recession saw investors pour into Treasuries, which have been supported by speculation that the Fed might not be able to get far above neutral if those growth risks do materialise. Yields on 10yr Treasuries ended the day down -10.1bps at 2.75%, and the latest decline in the 10yr inflation breakeven to 2.58% leaves it at its lowest closing level since late-February, just after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine that led to a spike in global commodity prices. And with investors growing more worried about growth and less worried about inflation, Fed funds futures took out -11.5bps of expected tightening by the December meeting, and saw terminal fed funds futures pricing next year close below 3.00% for the first time in two weeks. 10 year US yields are back up a basis point this morning. Over in Europe there was much the same pattern of equity losses and advances for sovereign bonds. However, the decline in yields was more muted after there was further chatter about a potential 50bp hike from the ECB. Austrian central bank governor Holzmann said that “A bigger step at the start of our rate-hike cycle would make sense”, and Latvian central bank governor Kazaks also said that a 50bp hike was “certainly one thing that we could discuss”. Along with Dutch central bank governor Knot, that’s now 3 members of the Governing Council who’ve openly discussed the potential they could move by 50bps as the Fed has done, and markets seem to be increasingly pricing in a chance of that, with the amount of hikes priced in by the July meeting closing at a fresh high of 32.5bps yesterday. In spite of the growing talk about a 50bp move at a single meeting, the broader risk-off tone yesterday led to a decline in sovereign bond yields across the continent, with those on 10yr bunds (-4.9bps), OATs (-4.3bps) and BTPs (-5.9bps) all falling back. Equities struggled alongside their US counterparts, and the STOXX 600 (-1.14%) ended the day lower, as did the DAX (-1.80%) and the CAC 40 (-1.66%). The flash PMIs were also somewhat underwhelming at the margins, with the Euro Area composite PMI falling a bit more than expected to 54.9 (vs. 55.1 expected). Over in the UK there were even larger moves after the country’s flash PMIs significantly underperformed expectations. The composite PMI fell to 51.8 (vs. 56.5 expected), which is the lowest reading since February 2021 when the country was still in lockdown. In turn, that saw sterling weaken against the other major currencies as investors dialled back the amount of expected tightening from the Bank of England, with a fall of -0.44% against the US dollar. That also led to a relative outperformance in gilts, with 10yr yields down -8.3bps. And on top of that, there were signs of further issues on the cost of living down the tracks, with the CEO of the UK’s energy regulator Ofgem saying that the energy price cap was set to increase to a record £2,800 in October, an increase of more than 40% from its current level. Asian equity markets are mostly trading higher this morning with the Hang Seng (+0.64%), Shanghai Composite (+0.58%), CSI (+0.17%) and Kospi (+0.80%) trading in positive territory with the Nikkei (-0.03%) trading fractionally lower. Earlier today, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), in a widely anticipated move, hiked the official cash rate (OCR) by 50bps to 2.0%, its fifth-rate hike in a row in a bid to get on top of inflation which is currently running at a 31-year high. The central bank has significantly increased its forecast of how high the OCR might rise in the coming years with the cash rate jumping to about 3.4% by the end of this year and peaking at 3.95% in the third quarter of 2023. Additionally, it forecasts the OCR to start falling towards the end of 2024. Following the release of the statement, the New Zealand dollar hit a three-week high of 0.65 against the US dollar. Elsewhere, as we mentioned last week, today marks the expiration of the US Treasury Department’s temporary waiver that allowed Russia to make sovereign debt payments to US creditors. US investors will no longer be able to receive such payments, pushing Russia closer to default on its outstanding sovereign debt. To the day ahead now, and central bank publications include the FOMC minutes from their May meeting and the ECB’s Financial Stability Review. Separately, we’ll hear from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Rehn, Panetta, Holzmann, de Cos and Lane, BoJ Governor Kuroda, Fed Vice Chair Brainard and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Otherwise, data releases from the US include preliminary April data on durable goods orders and core capital goods orders. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/25/2022 - 08:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 25th, 2022

Futures Slide As Snap Forecast Steamrolls Rebound Optimism

Futures Slide As Snap Forecast Steamrolls Rebound Optimism It's not every day that a relatively small social media company (whose market cap is now less than Twitter) slashing guidance can send shockwaves across global markets and wipe out over a trillion in market cap, yet SNAP's shocking crash after it cut its own guidance released one month ago which hammered risk assets around the globe, and here we are. Add to this the delayed realization that Biden was just spouting his usual senile nonsense yesterday when he said Chinese trade tariffs would be discussed and, well, wave goodbye to the latest dead cat bounce as futures unwind much of Monday's rally. SNAP just crushed any hope of a sustained dead cat bounce — zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 23, 2022 US futures declined as technology shares were set to come under pressure after Snap warned it would miss second-quarter profit and revenue forecasts amid deteriorating macroeconomic trends. Nasdaq 100 futures slid 1.5% at 7:30 a.m. ET and S&P 500 futures retreated 1.0% just as the benchmark was starting to pull back from the brink of a bear market amid fears the Federal Reserve’s tightening could hurt growth. Meanwhile in other markets, Chinese tech stocks fell by more than 4%, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index dropped 1%, led by losses in shares of utilities and retail companies. The dollar was little changed, while Treasuries advanced. Snapchat plunged more 31% in premarket trading, while Facebook Meta and other companies that rely on digital advertising also tumbled amid fears that the sudden collapse in ad spending is systemic. Technology shares have been hammered this year amid rising interest rates and soaring inflation, with the Nasdaq 100 trading near November 2020 lows and at the cheapest valuations since the early days of the pandemic. Social media stocks are on course to erase more than $100 billion in market value Tuesday after Snap’s warning: Meta Platforms (FB US) declined 6.3%, Twitter (TWTR US) -4.1%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) -3.8% and Pinterest (PINS US) -12%. “It highlights how fleeting swings in sentiment are now and also that investors are running at the first sign of trouble,” Jeffrey Haley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific, wrote in a note. “The market continues to turn itself inside out and back to front as it tries to decide if it has priced all of the impending rate hikes, soft landing or recession, inflation or stagflation, China, Ukraine, US summer driving season, supply chains, the list goes on.” Among other notable moves in US premarket trading, Zoom Video’s shares rallied as much as 6.3% after better-than-expected guidance. Deutsche Bank said the video-software maker’s continued post-pandemic growth in its Enterprise business is encouraging, though analysts remain cautious on the company’s comments around free cash flow. Tesla shares fell 2.6% in premarket trading on Tuesday, amid news that it may take the electric-vehicle maker at least until later this week to resume full production at its China factory. Also, Daiwa analyst Jairam Nathan lowered his price target on TSLA to $800 from $1150, the latest in a string of target cuts by Wall Street analysts. Nathan cited the lockdowns in Shanghai and supply chain concerns impacting ramp-up of Austin and Berlin plants, and lowered the EPS estimates for 2022 and 2023. Elsewhere, Frontline shares rallied 3.1% after the crude oil shipping company reported net income for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Social media and other digital advertisers fell in US premarket trading after Snap cut its forecasts. Albemarle (ALB US) shares may be in focus as analysts raise their price targets on the specialty chemicals maker amid a boost from higher lithium prices. BitNile (NILE US) swings between gains and losses in US premarket trading, after the crypto miner reported 1Q results amid a broader slump across high-growth stocks. Nautilus (NLS US) got a new Street-low price target after exercise equipment maker’s “lackluster” guidance, with the company’s shares slumping as much as 24% in US extended trading on Monday. INmune Bio (INMB US) shares dropped 23% in postmarket trading on Monday after the FDA placed the company’s investigational new drug application to start a Phase 2 trial of XPro in patients with Alzheimer’s disease on clinical hold. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF IS)  falls as much as 21% premarket after the clothing retailer reported an unexpected loss for its first quarter Equities have been volatile as investors assess the outlook for monetary policy, inflation and the impact of China’s strict Covid policies on the global economy. Minutes on Wednesday of the most recent Federal Reserve rate-setting meeting will give markets insight into the US central bank’s tightening path. “With the era of cheap money hurtling to an end the focus will be on a speech from Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve later, with investors keen to glean any new titbit of information about just how far and fast the US central bank will go in raising rates and offloading its mass bond holdings,” Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note. In Europe, the Stoxx 50 slumped 1.4%. FTSE 100 outperformed, dropping 0.6%, while CAC 40 lags. Utilities, retailers and consumer products are the worst performing sectors. Utilities were the biggest decliners in Europe, as Drax Group Plc, Centrica Plc and SSE Plc all sank on Tuesday following a report about UK plans for a possible windfall tax. Air France-KLM fell after plans to sell about 2.26 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of new shares to shore up its balance sheet. Oil and gas stocks underperformed the European equity benchmark in morning trading as crude declines amid investors’ concerns about Chinese demand, while mining shares also fall alongside metal prices.  Here are some of the biggest European movers: Big Yellow shares gain as much as 4% after what Citi described as a “strong set” of results, supported by structural tailwinds. SSP rises as much as 13% after the U.K. catering and concession-services company reported 1H results that Citi says were above expectations. Adevinta climbs as much as 7.8% after reporting 1Q results that were broadly as expected, with revenue slightly below expectations and Ebitda ahead, according to Citi. Frontline gains as much as 6.4% in Oslo after the crude oil shipping company reported 1Q net income that beat the average analyst estimate. Moonpig gains as much as 8.2%, extending a rise of 11% on Monday when the company announced the acquisition of Smartbox Group UK U.K. utility firms sink after the Financial Times reported that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has ordered officials to prepare plans for a possible windfall tax on power generators as well as oil and gas firms. SSE declines as much as 11%, Drax Group -19% and Centrica -12% European technology and advertising stocks slump with Nasdaq futures after Snap cut its revenue and profit forecasts below the low end of its previous guidance. Just Eat falls as much as 4.8%, Deliveroo -4.9%, Delivery Hero -4.4%, STMicro -3%, Infineon -2.8%, AMS -3% Prosus drops as much as 6.7% in Amsterdam and Naspers declines as much as 6.1% in Johannesburg as Barclays cuts ratings on both stocks after downgrading Tencent in the prior session. The latest flash PMI data showed that Europe’s two largest economies kept growing in May as they benefited from a sustained rebound in services that offset fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the pound fell after a report showed the UK economy faces an increasing risk of falling into a recession as firms and households buckle under the fastest inflation rate in four decades. At the same time, the euro climbed above $1.07 for the first time in four weeks as ECB President Christine Lagarde said the currency bloc has reached a “turning point” in monetary policy and rejected the idea that the region is heading for a recession, but said the ECB won’t be rushed into withdrawing monetary stimulus. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks dipped as traders remained cautious on global growth concerns while assessing the impact of China’s fresh fiscal stimulus.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as much as 1.2%, with tech names the biggest drags. Lower revenue and profit forecasts from Snap Inc. weighed on the broader sector. Chinese stocks led declines in the region as the government’s new support package including more than 140 billion yuan ($21 billion) in additional tax relief failed to impress investors. Covid-19 lockdowns remain a key overhang, while market participants are looking to major China tech earnings this week, including Alibaba and Baidu, for direction. Hong Kong equities also dropped after the city’s outgoing leader said border controls will remain in place for now.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index tumbles as much as 4.2% in afternoon trading on Tuesday, on track for a second day of declines.  “Markets have caught a glimpse of the impact of regulatory risks and Covid-19 lockdowns from Tencent’s recent lackluster earnings,” and a potential mirroring of the weakness by big tech earnings ahead “may be driving some caution,” Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte., wrote in a note Japanese equities dropped as investors mulled China’s new stimulus measures and amid growing concerns over global economic health.  The Topix Index fell 0.9% to close at 1,878.26 on Tuesday, while the Nikkei declined 0.9% to 26,748.14. Recruit Holdings Co. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, as the staffing-services firm tumbled 6.6%. Among the 2,171 shares in the index, 1,846 fell, 249 rose and 76 were unchanged. “The markets will continue to be in an unstable situation for a while as the US is still in the process of raising its interest rates and we are entering a phase where the effects of interest rate tightening on the economy will start to be felt in the real economy,” said Hiroshi Matsumoto, senior client portfolio manager at Pictet Asset Management. Indian stocks also declined, dragged by a selloff in information technology firms, as investors remained cautious over global economic growth.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.4% to 54,052.61 in Mumbai while the NSE Nifty 50 Index eased 0.6%. The gauges have now dropped for four of five sessions and eased 5.3% and 5.7% this month, respectively. All but two of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined on Tuesday, led by information technology stocks. Foreign funds have been net sellers of Indian stocks since end of September and have taken out $21.3 billion this year through May 20. The benchmark Sensex is now 12.5% off its peak in Oct. Corporate earnings for the March quarter have been mixed as 26 out of 41 Nifty companies have reported profit above or in line with consensus expectations. “There is a lot of skepticism among investors over interest rate hikes in the near term and its impact on growth going ahead,” according to Kotak Securities analyst Shrikant Chouhan. In FX, the dollar dipped while the euro jumped to a one-month high versus the US dollar after the European Central Bank reiterated its plans to end negative rates quickly, bolstering market expectations that rates will rise as early as July. It pared some gains after ECB Governing Council’s Francois Villeroy de Galhau argued against a 50 bps increase. “The single currency is dancing to the tune of ECB policymakers this week as the Governing Council attempts to talk up the euro to insure against imported inflation,” said Simon Harvey, forex analyst at Monex Europe. “The euro’s rally highlights how dip buyers are happy to buy into the ECB’s messaging in the near-term.” Elsewhere, the pound slid and gilts rallied after a weak UK PMI reading ramped up speculation that the country is heading toward recession. The Australian and New Zealand dollars led declines among commodity currencies after Snapchat owner Snap Inc. slashed its revenue forecast, spurring doubts about the strength of the US economy. Japan’s yen snapped a two-day drop as Treasury yields resumed their decline. Japanese government bond yields eased across maturities, following their US peers. In rates, Treasuries were richer by up to 4bp across belly of the curve as S&P futures gapped lower from the reopen and extended losses over Asia, early European session. Treasury 10-year yields around 2.815%, richer by 3.5bp vs. Monday close US session focus to include Fed Chair Powell remarks and 2-year note auction. Gilts outperformed following soft UK data. Gilts outperform by additional 1.5bp in the sector after May’s preliminary PMI prints missed expectations. Belly-led gains steepened the US 5s30s by 1.8bp on the day while wider bull steepening move in gilts steepens UK 5s30s by 5bp on the day.  The US auction cycle begins at 1pm ET with $47b 2- year note sale, followed by $48b 5- and $42b 7-year notes Wednesday and Thursday. In commodities, oil and gas stocks underperformed as crude declined amid concerns about Chinese demand, while mining shares also fall alongside metal prices. WTI is in the red but recovers off worst levels to trade back on a $109-handle. Most base metals trade poorly; LME nickel falls 4.5%, underperforming peers. Spot gold rises roughly $5 to trade above $1,858/oz. Looking at the day ahead, we’ll get the rest of the May flash PMIs from Europe and the US, along with US new home sales for April and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the ECB’s Villeroy and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.3% to 3,920.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.9% to 432.44 MXAP down 1.1% to 163.24 MXAPJ down 1.3% to 531.58 Nikkei down 0.9% to 26,748.14 Topix down 0.9% to 1,878.26 Hang Seng Index down 1.7% to 20,112.10 Shanghai Composite down 2.4% to 3,070.93 Sensex down 0.3% to 54,148.93 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,128.83 Kospi down 1.6% to 2,605.87 Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,859.38 US Dollar Index down 0.11% to 101.96 Brent Futures down 0.2% to $113.15/bbl German 10Y yield little changed at 0.99% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0713 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Social media stocks are on course to shed more than $100 billion in market value after Snap Inc.’s profit warning, adding to woes for the sector which is already reeling amid stalling user growth and rate-hike fears. The US must be “strategic” when it comes to a decision on whether to remove China tariffs, Trade Representative Katherine Tai said a day after President Joe Biden mentioned he would review Trump-era levies as consumer prices surge. China rolled out a broad package of measures to support businesses and stimulate demand as it seeks to offset the damage from Covid lockdowns on the world’s second-largest economy. China’s central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans as the economy is battered by Covid outbreaks that have threatened growth this year. President Joe Biden is seeking to show US resolve against China, yet an ill-timed gaffe on Taiwan risks undermining his bid to curb Beijing’s growing influence over the region. Europe’s two largest economies kept growing in May as they benefited from a sustained rebound in services that offset fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s currency extended a rally that’s taken it to the strongest level versus the dollar in four years, prompting a warning from one of President Vladimir Putin’s staunchest allies that the gains may be overdone. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newqsuawk Asia-Pac stocks mostly declined after Snap's profit warning soured risk sentiment and weighed on US tech names. ASX 200 was rangebound but kept afloat for most of the session by resilience in tech and mining stocks, while PMIs remained in expansion territory. Nikkei 225 fell below 27,000 although losses are stemmed by anticipation of incoming relief with Finance Minister Suzuki set to present an additional budget to parliament tomorrow. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were pressured after further bank downgrades to Chinese economic growth forecasts, while the recent announcement of targeted support measures by China and reports of the US mulling reducing China tariffs, did little to spur risk appetite. Top Asian News Shanghai will allow supermarkets, convenience stores and drugstores to resume operations with a maximum occupancy of 50% before May 31st and 75% after June 1st, according to Global Times. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said they are unlikely to lift the quarantine in her term, according to Bloomberg. US President Biden said there is no change to the policy of strategic ambiguity regarding Taiwan, while Defense Secretary Austin earlier commented that he thinks US President Biden was clear that US policy has not changed on Taiwan, according to Reuters. USTR Tai said the US is engaging with China on Phase 1 commitments of trade, while she added they must be strategic on tariffs and that President Biden's team believes trade needs new ideas, according to Reuters. China's push to loosen USD dominance is said to take on new urgency amid Western sanctions on Russia and some Chinese advisers are urging the government to overhaul the exchange rate regime to turn the Yuan into an anchor currency, according to SCMP. European bourses are subdued following the Snap-headwind, further hawkish ECB rhetoric and disappointing Flash PMIs; particularly for the UK, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.7%. US futures are similarly subdued and the Nasdaq, -1.7%, is taking the brunt of the pressure as tech names are hit across the board, ES -1.1%. Snap (SNAP) said the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated since its last guidance issuance and it now believes it will report revenue and adjusted EBITDA below the low end of its Q2 guidance range, according to the filing cited by Reuters. Samsung (005935 KS) is to reportedly invest USD 360bln on chips and biotech over a period of five years, according to Bloomberg. Tesla (TSLA) could take until later this week to restore full production in China after quarantining thousands of workers. Uber (UBER) has initiated a broad hiring freeze across the Co. as it faces increased pressure to become profitable, according to Business Insider sources Top European News UK Chancellor Sunak ordered officials to draw up a plan for a windfall tax on electricity generators' profits, according to FT. ECB's Nagel said it seems clear that the wage moderation seen for 10 years in Germany is over and they think they will see high numbers from German wage negotiations. Germany's Chambers of Commerce DIHK cuts 2022 GDP growth forecast to 1.5% (vs prev. view of 3% made in Feb). FX Yen outperforms on risk off and softer yield dynamics, USD/JPY at low end of wide range stretching from just above 128.00 to just over 127.00 and multiple chart supports under the latter. Franc and Euro underpinned as SNB and ECB pivot towards removal of rate accommodation, USD/CHF sub-0.9650, EUR/USD 1.0700-plus. Dollar suffers as a result of the above, but DXY contains losses under 102.000 as Pound plunges following disappointing UK preliminary PMIs; Cable recoils from the cusp of 1.2600 to touch 1.2475. Aussie, Loonie and Kiwi all suffer from aversion and latter also cautious ahead of RBNZ on Wednesday; AUD/USD loses grip of 0.7100 handle, NZD/USD under 0.6450 having got close to 0.6500 yesterday and USD/CAD probing 1.2800 vs virtual double bottom around 1.2765. Lira loses flight to stay above 16.0000 vs Buck as Turkish President Erdogan refuses to acknowledge Greek leader and sets out plans to strengthen nation’s southern border defences. Fixed Income Gilts fly after UK PMIs miss consensus and only trim some gains in response to much better than expected CBI distributive trades 10 year bond holds near the top of a 118.86-117.92 range Bunds bounce from sub-153.00 lows after more hawkish guidance from ECB President Lagarde, but Italian BTPs lag under 128.00 as books build for 15 year issuance US Treasuries bull-flatten ahead of 2 year note supply and Fed's Powell, T-note just shy of 120-00 within 120-02+/119-18 band Italy has commenced marketing a new syndicated 15yr BTP, guidance +11bp vs outstanding March 2037 bond, according to the lead manager via Reuters; subsequently, set at +8bp. Commodities WTI and Brent are subdued amid the broader risk environment with familiar factors still in play; however, the benchmarks are off lows amid USD downside. Meandering around USD 110/bbl (vs low 108.61/bbl) and USD 113/bbl (vs low USD 111.70/bbl) respectively. White House is considering environmental waivers for all blends of US gasoline to lower pump prices, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is modestly firmer though it has failed to extend after briefly surpassing the 21-DMA at USD 1856/oz. Central Banks ECB's Lagarde believes the blog post on Monday was at a good time, adding we are clearly at a turning point, via Bloomberg TV; adds, we are not in a panic mode. Rates are likely to be positive at end-Q3; when out of negative rates, you can be at or slightly above zero. Does not comment on FX levels, when questioned about EUR/USD parity. Click here for more detail, analysis & reaction. ECB's Villeroy says he believes the ECB will be at a neutral rate at some point next year, via Bloomberg TV; 50bps hike does not belong to the Governing Council's consensus, does not yet know the terminal rate. NBH Virag says continuing to increase rates in 50bp increments is an options, increasing into double-digits is not justified. US Event Calendar 09:45: May S&P Global US Manufacturing PM, est. 57.6, prior 59.2 May S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 55.2, prior 55.6 May S&P Global US Composite PMI, est. 55.6, prior 56.0 10:00: May Richmond Fed Index, est. 10, prior 14 10:00: April New Home Sales MoM, est. -1.7%, prior -8.6%; New Home Sales, est. 750,000, prior 763,000 Central Banks 12:20pm: Powell Makes Welcoming Remarks at an Economic Summit DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap These are pretty binary markets at the moment. If the US doesn’t fall into recession over the next 3-6 months then it’s easy to see markets rallying over this period. However if it does, the correction will likely have further to run and go beyond the average recession sell-off (that we were close to at the lows last week) given the rich starting valuations. For choice I don’t think the US will go into recession over this period but as you know I do think it will next year. As such a rally should be followed by bigger falls next year. Two problems with this view. Timing the recession call and timing the market’s second guessing of it. Apart from that it's all very easy!! This week started on a completely different basis to most over the past few months. So much so that there's hope that the successive weekly losing S&P streak of seven might be ended. 4 days to go is a long time in these markets but after day one we're at +1.86% and the strongest start to a week since January. And that comes on top of its intraday recovery of more than +2% late on Friday’s session, after the index had briefly entered bear market territory, which brings the index’s gains to more than 4% since its Friday lows at around the European close. However just when you thought it was safe to emerge from behind the sofa, S&P 500 futures are -0.84% this morning with Nasdaq futures -1.42% due to Snapchat slashing profit and revenue forecasts overnight. Their shares were as much as -31% lower in after hours, taking other social media stocks with it. Asia is also weaker this morning as we'll see below. Before we get there, yesterday's rally was built on a few bits of positive news that are worth highlighting. Investors were buoyed from the get-go by remarks from President Biden that he’d be considering whether to review Trump-era tariffs on China. It had been reported previously that such a move was under consideration, but there are also geopolitical as well as economic factors to contend with, and a Reuters report last week cited sources who said that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai favoured keeping the tariffs in place. Biden said that he’d be discussing the issue with Treasury Secretary Yellen following his return to the United States, so one to watch in the coming days with the administration under pressure to deal with inflation. This comes as the Biden administration unveiled the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework yesterday, which covers 13 countries and approximately 40% of the world’s GDP. Conspicuously, China was not one of the included parties, but US officials said there was a path for them to join. The framework reportedly does not contain any new tariff reductions, but instead seems focused on new labour, environmental, and anti-money laundering standards while seeking to build resilience. The 13 involved countries said in a joint statement, “This framework is intended to advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness for our economies.” It is not clear what is binding, or what Congress will think about the framework, but regardless, this is battle to halt or slow the anti-globalisation sentiment so prominent in recent years. It was not just Biden who helped encourage the rally. We then had a further dose of optimism in the European morning after the Ifo Institute’s indicators from Germany surprised on the upside. Their business climate indicator unexpectedly rose to 93.0 in May (vs. 91.4 expected), thus marking a second successive increase from the March low after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This morning we’ll get the May flash PMIs for Germany and elsewhere in Europe, so let’s see if they paint a similar picture. Ahead of that, equity indices moved higher across the world, with the S&P 500 up +1.86% as mentioned, joining other indices higher including the NASDAQ (+1.59%), the Dow Jones (+1.98%), and the small-cap Russell 2000 (+1.10%). It was a very broad-based advance, with every big sector group moving higher on the day, and banks (+5.12%) saw the largest advance in the S&P 500. Meanwhile, consumer discretionary (+0.64%) continues to lag the broader index. Over in Europe there were also some major advances, with the STOXX 600 (+1.26%), the DAX (+1.38%) and the CAC 40 (+1.17%) all rising. They have lagged the US move since Friday's Euro close mostly because they have out-performed on the downside. Staying on Europe, we had some significant developments on the policy outlook as ECB President Lagarde published a blog post that basically endorsed near-term market pricing for future hikes. In turn, that helped the euro to strengthen against other major currencies and led to a rise in sovereign bond yields. In the post, Lagarde said that she expected net purchases under the APP “to end very early in the third quarter”, which would enable rates to begin liftoff at the July meeting in just over 8 weeks from now. Furthermore, the post said that “on the current outlook, we are likely to be in a position to exit negative interest rates by the end of the third quarter”, so implying that we’ll see more than one hike in Q3, assuming they move by 25bp increments. Interestingly, Bloomberg subsequently reported that others at the ECB wanted to keep open the possibility of moving even faster. Indeed, it said that Lagarde’s plan had “irked colleagues” seeking to keep that option open, and was “a position that leaves some more hawkish officials uncomfortable.” So according to this, some officials want to keep the option of moving in 50bp increments like the Fed did earlier this month, although so far only Dutch central bank Governor Knot has openly referred to this as a possibility. That move from Lagarde to endorse an exit from negative rates in Q3 sent sovereign bonds noticeably higher after the blog post was released, with 10yr bund yields giving up their initial decline to rise +7.5bps by the close, aided by the broader risk-on move. Those on 10yr OATs (+7.1bps) and BTPs (+3.3bps) also moved higher, with a rise in real yields driving the moves in all cases. Nevertheless, when it came to what the market was pricing for future rate hikes, Lagarde’s comments seemed to just solidify where they’d already reached, with the amount priced in for the ECB by year-end rising just +5.5bps to remain above 100bps. Given the ECB’s more hawkish rhetoric of late as well as the upside Ifo reading, the Euro gained further ground against the US dollar over the last 24 hours, strengthening by +1.20% in yesterday’s session. In fact, the dollar was the second-worst performer amongst all the G10 currencies yesterday, narrowly edging out the yen, and the dollar index has now shed -2.64% since its peak less than two weeks ago. That’s in line with what our FX colleagues argued in their Blueprint at the end of last week (link here), where they see the reversal of the dollar risk premium alongside ECB tightening sending EURUSD back above 1.10 over the summer. But even though the dollar was losing ground, US Treasury yields still moved higher alongside their European counterparts, with 10yr yields up +7.0bps to 2.85%. They given back around a basis point this morning. Over to Asia and as discussed earlier markets are weaker. The Hang Seng (-1.50%) is extending its previous session losses with stocks in mainland China also lagging. The Shanghai Composite (-1.09%) and CSI (-0.80%) are both trading lower even as the government is offering more than 140 billion yuan ($21 billion) in extra tax relief to companies and consumers as it seeks to offset the impact of Covid-induced lockdowns on the world’s second biggest economy. Among the agreed new steps, China will also reduce some passenger car purchase taxes by 60 billion yuan. Meanwhile, the Nikkei (-0.51%) and Kospi (-0.90%) are also trading in the red. Early morning data showed that Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in three months in May after the au Jibun Bank flash manufacturing PMI slipped to +53.2 from a final reading of +53.5 in April amid supply bottlenecks with new orders growth slowing. Meanwhile, the nation’s services PMI improved to +51.7 in May from +50.7. Elsewhere, manufacturing sector activity in Australia expanded at the slowest pace in four months as the S&P Global flash manufacturing PMI fell to +55.3 in May from April’s +58.8 level while the services PMI dropped to +53.0 in May. While markets try to judge whether or not a near-term recession is imminent and how severe it may be, another external shock to contend with is the growing Covid case count in mainland China and how stiff the lockdown measures authorities will impose to contain outbreaks. As we reported yesterday, Beijing registered record case growth over the weekend. The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 141 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 58 were in Shanghai and 41 in Beijing. So these numbers will be closely watched over the next few days. To the day ahead now, and we’ll get the rest of the May flash PMIs from Europe and the US, along with US new home sales for April and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the ECB’s Villeroy and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Tyler Durden Tue, 05/24/2022 - 08:08.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 24th, 2022

Shanghai is finally lifting its lockdown after 7 weeks. The global economy has yet to feel its full impact, experts warn.

The lockdown shuttered factories across the city and caused delays at ports. The ripple effects are being felt by Starbucks, Apple, and more. People queue for COVID-19 tests in Shanghai.Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images. City officials in Shanghai are planning to gradually ease lockdown restrictions after seven weeks. The lockdown forced shops and factories to close and disrupted ports. The ripple effects of the lockdown have yet to be fully felt by the global economy, experts warn. Shanghai has begun to emerge from a lockdown that has constrained the global economy and created even more turmoil for supply chains.The city's deputy mayor, Zong Ming, said in an online news conference on Monday that the city would emerge from restrictions in phases, aiming to return to normal life by June 1, Reuters reported.In line with China's zero-COVID strategy, Shanghai entered a strict lockdown on March 28 to combat a rising number of Omicron cases.The tough restrictions hit businesses in the manufacturing and commercial hub of Shanghai, not to mention the broader global economy, as factories were shuttered and workers were confined to their homes. Truckers struggled to move goods in and out of the city's huge port due to restrictions on movement.But even when the restrictions lift, experts have warned that the impact of the lockdown will continue to cause ripple effects around the world.Shanghai factories will struggle to ramp up productionTesla cars in Shanghai waiting be exported to Belgium on May 15.Shen Chunchen/VCG via Getty Images.Manufacturers may ramp up production ahead of the lockdown lifting, but it might not be easy.Shops and factories have been largely closed in Shanghai and workers have struggled to commute to work under strict work-from-home rules. Tesla closed its Shanghai gigafactory entirely for three weeks and reopened operating a "closed-loop" system with workers sleeping on the factory floor, Bloomberg first reported.Despite reopening, the electric-car manufacturer said production has been slowed due to challenges with getting parts, Reuters reported, citing an internal memo. It recently delayed plans to ramp up production to pre-lockdown levels by May 16. It was facing difficulties bringing more workers back to the factory under the closed-loop conditions still required before the lockdown lifts entirely, Reuters recently reported, citing a source familiar with the situation.Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Shanghai's port, the world's busiest, is facing a huge backlogA truck driver presents a negative COVID-19 test to a traffic officer in Shanghai in April 2022.Yin Liqin/China News Service via Getty Images.Shanghai is home to the world's busiest port and processes around 20% of Chinese exports.Ioana Kraft, general manager of the Shanghai Chapter at the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said problems with logistics at the port have been a key factor in snarls across the global supply chain.According to Project44, a supply-chain data-tracking platform, the port saw a 175% increase in container dwell time between March and April, meaning ships have been waiting longer to take on cargo, indicating issues with trucking operations on land.Truck drivers are slowed by needing different COVID permits to travel between different areas in China in a "patchwork" of regulations, the Financial Times reported.Goods will start flowing in and out of Shanghai's port as the lockdown lifts, but delays for ships and trucks are unlikely to disappear.The number of vessels waiting outside the port is increasing as factories grapple to secure the materials needed to return to full production, Project44 said, adding: "The situation is expected to remain dire for a while."US ports face a huge influx of backlogged Chinese shipmentsYangshan Deepwater Port loaded with containers on April 24, 2022.Yin Liqin/China News Service via Getty Images.The slump in production capacity in China helped to ease logjams at US ports that were created during the pandemic.But as manufacturing resumes in Shanghai and more goods are shipped out, ports across the US East and West coasts are likely to be strained again, experts told Insider."As soon as these lockdowns end and you have all this capacity actually being moved at the same time, it will definitely, I would say, create new issues, and most probably it will be issues on both sides of the US," Alex Charvalias, a supply-chain lead at the vessel-tracking site MarineTraffic, said.And with no structural changes at US ports expected in terms of truckers, workers, and port facilities, those ports won't have the capacity to deal with a sudden rise in ships arriving, experts said."If demand is not changing, backlogs will continue, because the reason for the backlogs is lack of transport inland, lack of labor and facilities to unstuff the containers," Stanley Smulders, the director of marketing and commercial at the global-shipping company Ocean Network Express, said.Starbucks and Apple warn of long-term implicationsStarbucks stores were either temporarily closed or offered delivery only.Yin Liqin/China News Service via Getty Images.China's retail sales dropped during the lockdown and may not recover in the coming months, experts have warned.Retail sales in China fell by over 11% year-over-year in April, according to recent data from China's statistics bureau."These numbers are unlikely to improve significantly in the coming months given that China is unlikely to alter its zero-COVID policy," Michael Hewson, a markets analyst, told the financial news site Sharecast on Monday.Retail and tech giants including Starbucks and Apple have said that the lockdown would have long-term implications for business. Apple predicted that ongoing chip shortages caused by supply-chain constraints would cost the company between $4 billion and $8 billion in the next quarter, while Starbucks also reported a dip in Chinese sales as a number of chains were closed. Other analysts predicted a slump in GDP. Goldman Sachs analysts reduced their forecast for China's GDP from 4.5% to 4%, adding that they do not expect to see an increase before the second quarter of 2023, CNBC reported on Wednesday.Investment in China could falterA worker in protective clothing at an edible-oil production factory in Shanghai in April.Zhang Jiansong/Xinhua via Getty Images.Officials said the pattern of strict lockdowns in China could curb foreign investment in the country.The US Chamber of Commerce warned that the lockdown could have long-term consequences on investment because of travel restrictions that will hamper projects, Reuters reported on Tuesday."Unfortunately the COVID lockdown this year and the restrictions for the last two years are going to mean three, four, five years from now, we will see investment decline, most likely," Michael Hart, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said on Monday, per Reuters."Fifty-eight percent of our members have already decreased revenue projections for 2022, while 61% have experienced supply-chain disruptions due to transportation and shipping issues. Most worryingly, members don't see any light at the end of the tunnel," Colm Rafferty, the chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce in China, added in a press release posted to the AmCham China website Tuesday.Insider has reached out to the US Chamber of Commerce in China for comment.But businesses and consumers will adapt, experts sayCommuters on the New York subway.Paul Seheult/Eye Ubiquitous/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.Manufacturers have faced a shortage of materials including semiconductors and auto parts, partially caused by the lockdown in Shanghai.Kevin Krot, the executive vice president of aerospace and defense at the global supply-chain consulting group SGS-Maine Pointe, told Insider that manufacturers across industries like automotive, aerospace, and defense could start to bring their production capacities closer to home as a result."We're definitely seeing more onshoring," Krot said, adding that the impact of this would not be noticeable for another two to three years.Krot said that constraints would push consumers to change their purchasing habits, liking keeping their phones and cars for longer."Consumers will now keep their phones six months longer," he predicted. "We're going to learn to adapt."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

Sri Lanka Default Hints at Trouble Ahead for Developing Nations

The island’s saga is starting to be seen as a bellwether for emerging markets Sri Lanka’s impending default on $12.6 billion of overseas bonds is flashing a warning sign to investors in other developing nations that surging inflation is set to take a painful toll. The South Asian nation is set to blow through the grace period on $78 million of payments Wednesday, marking its first sovereign debt default since it gained independence from Britain in 1948. Its bonds already trade deep in distressed territory, with holders bracing for losses approaching 60 cents on the dollar. The government said last month it would halt payments on foreign debt. Sri Lanka’s situation is unique in the way all debt crises are—the particulars here involve an unpopular government run by an all-powerful family, the unresolved aftermath of a 30-year civil war and violent street protests. But the island’s saga is starting to be seen as a bellwether for emerging markets where shortages exacerbated by inflation, including record-high food costs globally, have the potential to roil national economies. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “The Sri Lanka default is an ominous sign for emerging markets,” said Guido Chamorro, the co-head of emerging-market hard-currency debt at Pictet Asset Management, which holds Sri Lankan bonds. “We expect the good times to stop. Slowing growth and more difficult funding conditions will increase default risk particularly for frontier countries.” Sri Lanka, an $81 billion economy located off India’s southern coast, has been mired in turmoil for weeks amid annual inflation running at 30%, a plummeting currency and an economic crisis that has left the country short of the hard currency it needs to import food and fuel. Anger over the situation—brought about by years of excessive borrowing to fund bloated state companies and generous social benefits—has boiled over into violent protests. Widespread arson and clashes were reported from several parts of the country while homes and properties of several government lawmakers were set on fire. At least nine people, including one member of parliament, were killed in the violence. Sri Lanka is currently without a finance minister, which could complicate efforts to get through the crisis as the government struggles to restore security and get a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. At the same time, it needs to negotiate a restructuring with creditors including BlackRock Inc. and Ashmore Group. The nation’s dollar bonds are among the worst performers in the world this year, with only Ukraine, Belarus and El Salvador’s Bitcoin-busted notes faring worse. The government on April 18 failed to transfer about $78 million in coupons to holders of debt maturing in 2023 and 2028, leading S&P Global Ratings to declare a selective default. Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service have yet to declare official defaults, despite issuing their own warnings. After the grace period on those payments ends Wednesday, negotiations with creditors can begin in earnest, a process that will be key to winning aid from the IMF. The country has previously said it needs between $3 billion and $4 billion this year to pull itself out of crisis. The nation’s $1 billion dollar debt due this July was indicated 0.24 cents higher at 42.73 cents on Wednesday, near the record low of 42.5 cents reached last week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. But getting such a deal done quickly won’t be easy. While President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has already called on one of his political opponents to take over as prime minister after the resignation of his brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, instability lingers. Divides remain deep after a 30-year civil war that ended in 2009, and the central bank governor has threatened to quit if political stability doesn’t return soon. “We are in a fluid situation that is very perilous for Sri Lanka,” said Matthew Vogel, London-based portfolio manager and head of sovereign research at FIM Partners. Risk of Replication As Sri Lanka struggles with the turmoil, its problems provide a warning for other emerging markets where heavy debt loads are converging with economic issues and social unease. The challenge is made more difficult as the Federal Reserve and other major central banks raise interest rates in a bid to quell inflation, leading to higher borrowing costs. “They are now forced to face their debt burdens amid tightening financial conditions,” said Trang Nguyen, executive director of emerging markets strategy at JPMorgan Chase & Co. At least 14 developing economies tracked in a Bloomberg gauge have debt yields at an excess of 1,000 basis points over US Treasuries, a threshold for bonds to be considered distressed. The added pressures of rising food and energy prices has already started to bubble up in other countries, including Egypt, Tunisia and Peru. It risks turning into a broader debt debacle and yet another threat to the world economy’s fragile recovery from the pandemic. Pakistan, Ethiopia and Ghana are also in danger of following suit, Bloomberg Economics said last month. “Sri Lanka could be the start of a trend across the frontier and emerging markets where governments experience debt crises — and possibly default on their obligations,” said Brendan McKenna, a strategist at Wells Fargo in New York who says Pakistan and Egypt look particularly vulnerable. “As rates move higher, a lot of the fundamentally weaker countries with dollar-denominated debt may struggle to repay bonds.” — With assistance from Ronojoy Mazumdar, Lilian Karunungan and Liau Y-Sing......»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 18th, 2022

U.S. Soccer to Pay Women’s and Men’s Teams Equally in Milestone Agreement

U.S. women have been successful on the international stage but took home far less than the men's winners The U.S. Soccer Federation reached milestone agreements to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally, making the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes matching money. The federation announced separate collective bargaining agreements through December 2028 with the unions for both national teams on Wednesday, ending years of often acrimonious negotiations. The men have been playing under the terms of a CBA that expired in December 2018. The women’s CBA expired at the end of March but talks continued after the federation and the players agreed to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by some of the players in 2019. The settlement was contingent on the federation reaching labor contracts that equalized pay and bonuses between the two teams. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “I feel a lot of pride for the girls who are going to see this growing up, and recognize their value rather than having to fight for it. However, my dad always told me that you don’t get rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do — and paying men and women equally is what you’re supposed to do,” U.S. forward Margaret Purce said. “So I’m not giving out any gold stars, but I’m grateful for this accomplishment and for all the people who came together to make it so.” Perhaps the biggest sticking point was World Cup prize money, which is based on how far a team advances in the tournament. While the U.S. women have been successful on the international stage with back-to-back World Cup titles, differences in FIFA prize money meant they took home far less than the men’s winners. The unions agreed to pool FIFA’s payments for the men’s World Cup later this year and next year’s Women’s World Cup, as well as for the 2026 and 2027 tournaments. Each player will get matching game appearance fees in what the USSF said makes it the first federation to pool FIFA prize money in this manner. Read more: Megan Rapinoe Is on the 2020 TIME 100 List “We saw it as an opportunity, an opportunity to be leaders in this front and join in with the women’s side and U.S. Soccer. So we’re just excited that this is how we were able to get the deal done,” said Walker Zimmerman, a defender who is part of the U.S. National Team Players Association leadership group. The federation previously based bonuses on payments from FIFA, which earmarked $400 million for the 2018 men’s tournament, including $38 million to champion France, and $30 million for the 2019 women’s tournament, including $4 million to the champion United States. FIFA has increased the total to $440 million for the 2022 men’s World Cup, and its president, Gianni Infantino, has proposed that FIFA double the women’s prize money to $60 million for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, in which FIFA has increased the teams to 32. For the current World Cup cycles, the USSF will pool the FIFA funds, taking 10% off the top and then splitting the rest equally among 46 players — 23 players on the roster of each team. For the 2026-27 cycle, the USSF cut increases to 20% before the split. After missing the 2018 World Cup, the men qualified for this year’s World Cup in Qatar starting in November. The women’s team will seek to qualify this year for the 2023 World Cup, cohosted by Australia and New Zealand. For lesser tournaments, such as those run by the governing body of North America, players will earn identical game bonuses. And for exhibition games, players will receive matching appearance fees and performance payments based on the match result and opponent rank. Players who don’t dress will earn a fee that is the equivalent of participating in a national team training camp. The women gave up guaranteed base salaries which had been part of their CBA since 2005. Some players had been guaranteed annual salaries of $100,000. “I think we’ve outgrown some of the conditions that may look like we have lost something, but now our (professional) league is actually strong enough where now we don’t need as many guaranteed contracts, you know, we can be on more of a pay-to-play model,” Purce said. Child care, covered for women for more than 25 years, will be extended to men during national team training camps and matches. The women and men also will receive a portion of commercial revenue from tickets for matches controlled by the USSF, with bonuses for sellouts, and each team will get a portion of broadcast, partner and sponsor revenue. Players will get a 401(k) plan and the USSF will match up to 5% of a player’s compensation, subject to IRS limits. That money will be deducted from the shares of commercial revenue. “There were moments when I thought it was all going to fall apart and then it came back together and it’s a real credit to all the different groups coming together, negotiating at one table,” said federation President Cindy Parlow Cone, a former national team player who became head of the governing body in 2020. “I think that’s where the turning point really happened. Before, trying to negotiate a CBA with the women and then turn around and negotiate CBA terms with the men and vice versa, was really challenging. I think the real turning point was when we finally were all in the same room sitting at the same table, working together and collaborating to reach this goal.” Women ended six years of litigation over equal pay in February in a deal calling for the USSF to pay $24 million, a deal contingent on reaching new collective bargaining agreements. As part of the settlement, players will split $22 million, about one-third of what they had sought in damages. The USSF also agreed to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women. Mark Levinstein, counsel for the men’s union, said the agreement ended “more than 20 years of federation discrimination against the USWNT players.” “Together with the USWNTPA, the USMNT players achieved what everyone said was impossible—an agreement that provides fair compensation to the USMNT players and equal pay and equal working conditions to the USWNT players,” he said. “The new federation leadership should get tremendous credit for working with the players to achieve these agreements.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 18th, 2022

25 Ways To Help Your Young Children Save Their Money

Did you know that kids aged 4 to 14 receive an average weekly allowance of about $9.35? That comes out to roughly $486 per year. Which, really isn’t all that bad for daily chores like tidying their bedroom or helping with laundry. Even better? It’s also been found that almost half of the average kid’s […] Did you know that kids aged 4 to 14 receive an average weekly allowance of about $9.35? That comes out to roughly $486 per year. Which, really isn’t all that bad for daily chores like tidying their bedroom or helping with laundry. Even better? It’s also been found that almost half of the average kid’s weekly allowance is saved. While kids may not have the same financial obligations as their parents, this is certainly encouraging. Saving money ensures financial independence and security during an emergency. More specifically, this habit encourages discipline and goal-planning. And, it can prevent a potential financial crisis. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Warren Buffett Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Warren Buffett in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more With that being said, if you’re a parent, you can help your young children step up their saving game using the following 25 strategies. Start with the basics sooner than later. In 2001, Sam X Renick created Sammy Rabbit, a character and financial literacy initiative for children. He has been teaching kids about money through his Sammy Rabbit stories since then. It has been his experience that the earlier you start teaching your children about finances, the better. Money habits and attitudes are formed by age seven, he says, so lessons need to begin before then. Your children should be introduced to coins and cash when they are old enough to know they shouldn’t eat pennies. Describe how money works and why it is important to save money. Rather than telling them how money works, you should show them. You can do this by showing them how you use cash. You should always tell your children that you’re using money to make purchases, regardless of whether you use a debit or credit card. Chase Peckham, director of the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, taught his daughter and son this when they were young. On every shopping trip they took together, Peckham showed his children the receipts with the amount he had paid. “By doing it over and over again, it became habit to them,” he says. “As they got older, they started to understand. That’s how we introduced money.” The receipt strategy allowed Peckham’s son to understand how money works by the age of 4. However, getting his daughter to understand was more difficult. Consistency, however, guaranteed that “the light bulb would turn on” — which it did. Talk about money. According to a 2021 survey by T. Rowe Price, 41% of parents are reluctant to talk to their children about money. Moreover, many express embarrassment when discussing money. In order to teach kids how to save, you must sustain an ongoing dialogue. The key is to keep the conversation going, whether you schedule a weekly check-in to talk about money or make it part of your daily routine. Be a financially responsible role model. Educate children by example by saving money yourself. This is the most effective way to teach them to save money. Put funds into your own jar of money frequently, for example. As you’re out shopping, teach your kids how to discern different prices and why some items are more beneficial than others. Also, emphasize that you save a portion of every paycheck as a way to secure your financial future. Use a piggy bank. By providing your kids with a piggy bank, you can teach them the importance of saving and make it easy for them to do so. To fill up the piggy bank until there is no room, tell your children to put in as many dollars and coins as they can. Most importantly, demonstrate that the piggy bank is for saving money for the future. And, this will result in wealth accumulation. As an example, Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank” explained compound interest to his own children by using a piggy bank in this video. Develop their budgeting skills. As you know, a budget helps create financial stability by tracking expenses and following a plan. And teaching your kids how to budget is a crucial life skill they need to develop sooner than later. Use jars to teach your children basic budgeting concepts by spending, saving, giving, and sharing. You can show younger children how Elmo from “Sesame Street” saves in those three jars. As your child’s chores or allowance are complete, discuss with them the importance of; Saving money now so it will grow for later use Making a plan for how to spend the money that they have now How caring means sharing their funds with people and organizations that your family values Physically show them that things cost money. It’s one thing to tell your son or daughter that that Paw Patrol vehicle they’ve been eying up is $10. It’s another thing to have them take a few dollars from their piggy bank and hand it to the cashier at the store. Sure, this is a simple act. But, it will have a greater impact than having a conversation. Write down savings goals. According to psychology professor Gail Matthews, writing your goals down on a regular basis makes them 42% more likely to be achieved. And, yes, this can be applicable to children as well. When they write down a clear savings goal, they’ll be motivated to follow through. Additionally, you can help them break this goal into achievable. Let’s say they want a $60 Lego set. Help them determine how long it will take for them to reach that goal if they receive $10 a week for doing chores. Also, help your child understand that there are two types of savings. One type of savings is saving for the Lego set, a game card, or a special pair of Allstar shoes. However, the other savings is the savings we never touch — it is for emergencies and to build enough funds for investment. Use stories to inspire. “Beyond writing down goals and providing interest payments, I’ve also discovered that stories can be educational and inspire kids to keep saving,” writes Kerry Flatley, owner, and author of Self-Sufficient Kids. “I’ve shared a few stories with my girls of times when I had to save – for my first car, for example – to provide insight into how saving works in the adult world, where purchases are larger and more critical.” Additionally, Flatley and her children have read a few books together on how people stick to their savings goals — or don’t. She recommends the following three books; “Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock” “Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday” “Bunny Money” Give them fake money. This might seem a bit out there. However, the positive aspect of fake money is that it teaches kids about how money works without involving any real money. Essentially, it’s a set of training wheels for future consumers, with you acting both as merchant and bank. To make this stick, assign reasonable values to various chores, such as making their bed or cleaning up after a meal. You can also apply this to privileges, such as movie night and their wants, like popcorn for said movie night. Create a timeline. Kids often have difficulty understanding the concept of time and money. In fact, it’s been found that one-hour financial lessons lose their impact after five months. As such, a timely and ongoing approach to money education is needed for the message to stick. If, for example, your child receives $5 a week in allowance and they want to save $50. Their goal would be reached in roughly three months if they saved 100 percent of their allowance. To really bring this home, use visualization. You’ll need a long piece of paper and a marker to begin. On one side of the paper write 0 and on the other side write 50. Make checks for 25%, 50%, and 75% of the goal on the paper. If an amount is saved, draw a line showing the amount that they saved. Also, explain that at each checkpoint, kids will be given small rewards. Rewarding kids in this way can encourage them to stay the course. Also, visual representations assist them in illustrating how their money is growing and how their savings goals are progressing. Consider making earning money a competition. You could make money-making a contest if you have more than one child. “That always brings out the competitive nature of the kids. Whichever child saves the most gets the biggest special treat or bonus,” Lamar Brabham, CEO of Noel Taylor Agency, told U.S. News. In order to make sure that your kids are good sports if they lose, you could always set up a series of contests to increase the chances that both will win. It will help, however, if you make teaching your kids about finance an enjoyable experience, Brabham says, noting that many adults have a difficult time dealing with the world of finance. “Words like boring, confusing, complicated, and scary are common when hearing someone describe money matters. You can imagine what children think of it,” he says. Play games. Do you and your family play games together? Board games in particular can be fun while also teaching priceless life lessons as well. Ideally, you want to pick games that teach financial basics, like the Game of Life, Pay Day, or Monopoly. Additionally, there are some games that specifically teach money management techniques, such as Cash Flow 101. Make sure kids get paid fairly for age-appropriate chores When you give young children an allowance without requiring them to work, make sure it’s fairly distributed and based on their age. If you prefer, you can give them quarterly or annual raises. Most importantly, assign equal work assignments, as well as similar pay rates if you pay for chores. Unfortunately, the gender wage gap has reached children as well. According to BusyKid, an app that tracks personal finances for kids, girls receive less than half the weekly allowance given to boys. Believe it or not, that gap is far more severe than the one that exists for adults. Offer savings incentives. Matching contributions from employers are perhaps the main reason people make contributions to their company’s retirement plan. Everyone loves free money, right? Well, using that same principle will help you motivate your kids to start saving. You can match your child’s savings by 25 or 50 cents on the dollar, for example. Not only does this help them increase their savings, but it also introduces the idea of company matching in 401(k) plans. Discourage impulse purchases. As a parent, I’m sure that you’ve been in this situation before. You go to Target and your child pleads for you to buy them Chase’s transforming police car from PAW Patrol. As opposed to caving in, remind them that they can use their savings. But, also suggest that they wait a day or two. Maybe after sleeping on it, they really don’t want this new toy. But, just reassure them that Chase and his police car will still be there if they decide that they really want to buy it. Also, depending on their age, this could be a great time to talk about opportunity costs. By fifth grade, children should understand this concept. Help them prioritize their needs and wants. Impulse buying happens to the best of us from time to time. But, help them to learn to recognize it and how to limit it. As little as possible, give kids money. Yeah. This might seem harsh. But, here’s the jest. When kids are given as much money as possible less frequently, they will learn to budget. As an example, instead of giving your 10-year-old lunch money every single day, give them $80 for the entire month. Remind them that if they spend all of this money too soon, they’ll have to eat PB&J every day. In this way, your children will understand the real meaning of money and the need for budgeting and deferral of expenses. Make use of age-appropriate spending cards and parental control apps. Today, you use apps for just about everything. So, why not use an app to improve your child’s financial education? With Greenlight, you can reload a prepaid debit card for your kids. Through an app, you can supervise and control the card. The card is designed to load instantly, leave notifications every time your child uses it, and turn on and off instantly. Another feature worth mentioning is that it also lets them save their change. Stress the importance of giving. I remember during a family vacation to D.C. my little brother struck up a conversation with a homeless vet. Without hesitation, he gave the man $5 from his allowance. With that in mind, when your little one has some money saved, teach them the power of giving. “I think helping our kids experience the happiness that comes from giving to others is probably one of the most valuable ways we can nurture generosity in them,” says Lara Aknin, an assistant professor of psychology at Simon Fraser University in Canada (and the one who led the study suggesting that giving makes toddlers happier than getting). “It sets off this positive cycle: Giving makes people happy and happiness promotes giving.” At the same time, don’t force them to do this. Researchers have found that when people are forced to do something kind for others, or subtly coerced to do so, they will feel less altruistic and less motivated to help others. Include them in the financial process. Encourage your children to help you save money while shopping. Ask them to find the right items and compare prices with coupons from the grocery store, for instance. You can also challenge your child to find the clothes they need within a limited budget when back-to-school shopping. The older your children get, show them what your mortgage or utility payments look like. Or, you show them what your 401(k) statement looks like. Sounds simple. But, having them be a part of your financial processes is good preparation for when they have their own financial documents. Kid blew all their money and needs more? Seize this teachable moment. Parents familiar with this scenario might be able to relate: your kid has money but spends it all on toys. Imagine you are at the toy store again, where they want something but can’t afford it. How do you deal with that? Don’t give in. Instead, use this as a “teachable moment,” suggests says Rachel Cruze, personal finance expert and the co-author of “Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money “Teach them that when money runs out, it runs out,” Cruze says. “It will be tough in the moment, but in the long run you are teaching them to live below their means — and that’s the only way to win with money.” Visit the bank together. You and your child can open a no-fee savings account together. The concept of delayed gratification can be difficult for them to grasp. However, children may see the benefits of accumulating compound interest as free money if they equate it with short-term sacrifices. Charge a “parent” tax. I don’t think that many of us are fond of taxes. But, that’s life. So, this could be an easy way to break the news to your children. To help them prepare them for the real world withhold some of their earnings. Be sure not to spend the money though. Instead, invest it or save it for them until they’re 18. By letting them know that they won’t keep every penny of their paycheck, they’ll be better prepared financially. Also, let them know that if they have $5,000 saved by 16, they can invest this money and become rich. As a teenager. Let them make mistakes. You may think “that’s easier said than done.” But let me explain. Almost everyone has regrettably purchased something, whether it was a Peloton we thought we’d use more frequently or an investment that was too good to be true. Since the stakes are low, now would be an ideal time for your child to make mistakes. Give your child the option of spending their money on a short-lived gimmicky toy. Upon realizing a mistake, ask them what they’ve learned and how they can avoid making it again. Do they need to do more research next time? What can they do to remind themselves of what their goals are? How can they spend their money in a way they enjoy? Perhaps, in the future, they’ll spend their savings a bit more wisely. And, since we’re talking about kids here, don’t be too harsh. In fact, you can share with them your past financial mistakes and the lesson you learned. Don’t give your kids an open line of credit. Make sure your kids do not have open credit lines. Spending money should be limited, even if occasional spoiling is possible. After all, on other matters, you’ve been telling your kids no for a while. The same holds true when it comes to denying requests for cash or parent-aided purchases such as video games and candy bars. The importance of imparting this type of financial education to young children cannot be overstated. When you delay, old habits will become more difficult for them to break. Now, how exactly you approach this is totally up to you. Maybe there’s a family jar of money for expenses like snacks or activities like mini-golf. If they know the balance, your kids will be able to budget their spending accordingly and won’t be surprised when you say no. And, with time, they’ll realize that if they want a large purchase, they’ll need to save. that they need to save. Open a 529 plan. Share the fact that you are saving for your children’s future higher education with them. Even better, ask them if they want to contribute to the plan as well. Although you don’t need to share the dollar amount saved in your 529 plan with them, make it clear that you expect them to continue their education after high school. According to a study by Institute for Higher Education Policy, children who know that money will be saved for college are much more likely to enroll in college. What’s more, kids with college savings of $1-$499 are three times more likely than children with no savings to attend college. If you’re unaware, plan 529s are for any school your child wishes to attend after high school. As a result, these funds can be used tax-free for eligible higher education expenses including; Four-year schools Two-year colleges Trade institutions Apprenticeship programs Certificate programs In short, this means that your children are free to attend schools based on their interests, talents, and skills. And, this can set them up for financial success later in life since they won’t have a lot student loan debt. Frequently Asked Questions When should kids learn about saving money? According to research, many of our money habits as adults are formed around age 7. So it’s wise to teach your children about money at a very early age. Children as young as 3 can start with basic concepts. As they grow, they can move on to more advanced ones. How do I talk to my kids about saving money? Curiosity is a natural, and often relentless, characteristic of kids. Teach young children that in order to make money, you have to earn it. Explain that money is a type of energy exchange. After all, money just doesn’t appear out of thin air. Take going to the grocery store with them. Show them the budget for groceries and why it’s important. Tell them if they want a toy that it’s not in the budget. But, tell them to put the money in their piggy bank so that they can buy it later. You can also involve your children in making money-making decisions that affect the whole family, such as booking a summer vacation, as they grow up. Consider sharing your experience with them when you’re negotiating a job offer or choosing a robo advisor. How can I encourage my kids to save money? Providing a place for kids to save their money is an effective way to get them to set aside some of their money. Kids younger than 12 can get a piggy bank; older kids can get a debit card or bank account. Incentives such as interest can also be provided to encourage them to save money. What are some of the best ways for kids to earn money? Children can earn money in a variety of ways. You might find them setting up a lemonade stand or having a yard sale depending on their age. They can also babysit, care for pets, collect recyclable materials, wash cars, and work in the yard. If you have your own business, you could also “hire” them for age-appropriate tasks like filing paperwork or being a part of your social media marketing. Make sure to follow child labor laws. How can you teach kids to distinguish between needs and wants? Children can be quizzed about household items such as kitchen utensils, clothing, and toys. Ask them if it’s something your family really needs or if it’s just something they fancy. Kids learn that some purchases should have a greater priority than others as a result of that distinction. Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old while attending the University of Utah he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine, Finance Expert by Time and Annuity Expert by Nasdaq. He is the Founder and CEO of Due. Updated on May 16, 2022, 3:22 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: valuewalkMay 17th, 2022

Saga Partners 1Q22 Commentary: Carvana And Redfin

Saga Partners commentary for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022. During the first quarter of 2022, the Saga Portfolio (“the Portfolio”) declined 42.4% net of fees. This compares to the overall decrease for the S&P 500 Index, including dividends, of 4.6%. The cumulative return since inception on January 1, 2017, for the Saga Portfolio […] Saga Partners commentary for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022. During the first quarter of 2022, the Saga Portfolio (“the Portfolio”) declined 42.4% net of fees. This compares to the overall decrease for the S&P 500 Index, including dividends, of 4.6%. The cumulative return since inception on January 1, 2017, for the Saga Portfolio is 112.0% net of fees compared to the S&P 500 Index of 122.7%. The annualized return since inception for the Saga Portfolio is 15.4% net of fees compared to the S&P 500’s 16.5%. Please check your individual statement as specific account returns may vary depending on timing of any contributions throughout the period. 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); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Interpretation of Results I was not originally planning to write a quarterly update since switching to semi-annual updates a few years ago but given the current drawdown in the Saga Portfolio I thought our investors would appreciate an update on my thoughts surrounding the Portfolio and the current market environment in general. The Portfolio’s drawdown over the last several months has been hard not to notice even for those who follow best practices of only infrequently checking their account balance. Outperformance vs. the S&P 500 since inception has flipped to underperformance on a mark-to-market basis and the stock prices of our companies have continued to decline into the second quarter. In past letters I have spent a lot of time discussing the Saga Portfolio’s psychological approach to investing to help prepare for the inevitable chaos that will occur while investing in the public markets from time-to-time. It’s impossible to know why the market does what it does at any point in time. I would argue that the last two years could be considered pretty chaotic, both on the upside speculation and now what appears to be on the downside fear and panic. I will attempt to give my perspective on how events played out within the Saga Portfolio with an analogy. Let’s say that in 2019 we owned a fantastic home that was valued at $500,000. We loved it. It was in a great neighborhood with good schools for our kids. We liked and trusted our neighbors; in fact, we gave them a spare key in case of emergencies. It was the perfect home for us to live in for many years to come. Based on the neighborhood becoming increasingly attractive over time, it was likely that our home may be valued around $2 million in ~10 years from now. This is strong appreciation (15% IRR) compared to the average home, but this specific home and neighborhood had particularly strong long-term fundamental tailwinds that made this a reasonable expectation. Then in 2020 a global pandemic hit causing a huge disorientation in the housing market. For whatever reasons, the appraised value of our home almost immediately doubled to $1 million. Nothing materially changed about what we thought our home would be worth in 10 years, but now from the higher market value, the home would only appreciate at a lower 7% IRR assuming it would still be worth $2 million in 10 years. What were our options under these new circumstances? We could move and try to buy a new home that provided a higher expected return. However, the homes in the other neighborhoods that we really knew and liked also doubled in price, so they did not really provide any greater value. Also, the risk and hassle of moving for what may potentially only be modestly better home appreciation did not make sense. We could buy a home in a less desirable neighborhood where prices looked relatively cheaper, but we would not want to live long-term. Even if we decided to live there for many years, the long-term fundamental dynamics of the crummy neighborhood were weak to declining and it was uncertain if the property would appreciate at all despite its lower valuation. We could sell our home for $1 million and rent a place to live for the interim period while holding cash and waiting for the market to potentially correct. However, we did not know if, when, or to what extent the market would correct and the thought of renting a place temporarily for our family was unappealing. For the Saga family, we decided to stay invested in the home that we knew, loved, and still believed had similar, if not stronger prospects following the COVID-induced surge in demand in our neighborhood. Now, for whatever reason, the market views our neighborhood very poorly and the appraised value of our home declined to $250,000, below any previous appraisals. It seems odd because it is the exact same home and the fundamentals of the neighborhood are much stronger than several years ago, suggesting that the expected $2 million value in the future is even more probable than before. It is a very peculiar situation, but the market can do anything at any moment. Fortunately, the lower appraisal value does not impact how much we still love our home, neighborhood, schools, or what the expected future value will be. In fact, we prefer a lower value because our property taxes will be lower! One thing is for certain, we would never sell our home for $250,000 simply because the appraised value has declined from prior appraisals. We would also never dream of selling in fear that the downward price momentum continues and then hopefully attempt to buy it back one day for $200,000. We can simply sit tight for as long as we want while the neighborhood around us continues to improve fundamentally over time, fully expecting the value of our home to eventually go up with it. It just so happens humans are highly complex beings and do not always react in what an economist may consider a rational way. Our emotions are highly contagious. When someone smiles at you, the natural reaction is to smile back. When someone else is sad, you feel empathy. These are generally great innate characteristics for helping to build the strong relationships with friends and family that are so important throughout life. But it also means that when other people are scared, it also makes you feel scared. And when more and more people get scared, that fear can cascade exponentially and turn into panic, which can cause people to do some crazy things, especially when it comes to making long-term decisions. As fear spreads, all attention shifts from thinking about what can happen over the next 5-10+ years to the immediate future of what will happen over the next day or even hour. Of course, during times of panic, “this time is always different.” It may very well be the case, but the world can only end once. Historically speaking, things have tended to work out pretty well over time on average. I am by no means immune to these contagious feelings. My way of coping with how I am innately wired is by accepting this fact and then trying to know what I can and cannot control. A core part of my investing philosophy is that I do not know what the market will do next, and I never will. Inevitably the market or a specific stock will crash, as it does from time-to-time. This “not timing the market” philosophy or treating our public investments from the perspective of a private owner may feel like a liability during a drawdown, but it is this same philosophy of staying invested in companies we believe to have very promising futures which positions us perfectly for the inevitable recovery. Eventually, emotions and the business environment will normalize, and the storm will pass. It could be next quarter, year, or even in several years, but we will be perfectly positioned for the recovery, at which point the stock price lows will likely be long gone. The whole investing process improves if one can really take the long-term view. However, it is not natural for people to think long-term particularly when it comes to owning pieces of publicly traded companies. It is far more natural to want to act by jumping in and out of stocks in an attempt to outsmart others who are trying to outsmart you. When the market price of your ownership in a business is available and fluctuating wildly every single day, it is hard to ignore and not be influenced by it. While one can get lucky through speculation, the big money is made by investing, by owning great businesses and letting them compound owner’s capital over many years. As the market has evolved over the last few decades, there appears to be an ever-increasing percent of “investors” who are effectively short-term renters, turning over the companies in their portfolios so quickly that they never really know the business that lies below the surface of the stock. While more of Wall Street is increasingly focused on the next quarter, a potentially looming recession, the Fed’s next interest rate move, or trying to time the market’s rotation from one industry into another, we are trying to think about what our companies’ results will be in the year 2027, or better yet 2032 and beyond. The most significant advantage of investing in the public market is the ability to take advantage of it when an opportunity presents itself or to ignore the market when there is nothing to do. The key to success is never giving up this advantage. You must be able to play out your hand and not be forced to sell your assets at fire sale prices. Significant portfolio declines are a good reminder of the importance of only investing money that you will not need for many years. This prevents one from being in a position where it is necessary to liquidate when adverse psychology has created unusually low valuations. However, we do not want to simply turn a blind eye to stock price declines of 50% or more and dig our heals into the ground believing the market is just being irrational. When the world is screaming at you that it believes your part ownership in these companies is worth significantly less than the market believed not too long ago, we attempt to understand if we are missing something by continually evaluating the long-term outlooks of our companies using all the relevant information that we have today from a first principles basis. Portfolio Update Instead of frequently checking a stock’s price to determine whether the company is making progress, I prefer looking to the longer-term trends of the business results. There will be stronger and weaker quarters and years since business success rarely moves up and to the right in a perfectly straight line. As a company faces headwinds or tailwinds from time-to-time, the stock price may fluctuate wildly in any given year, however the underlying competitive dynamics and business models that drive value will typically change little. Regarding our companies as a whole, first quarter results reflected a general softness in certain end markets, including the used car, real estate, and advertising markets. However, the Saga Portfolio’s companies, on average, provide a superior customer value proposition difficult for competitors to match. Most of them have a cost advantage compared to competitors; therefore, the worse it gets for the economy, the better it gets for our companies’ respective competitive positions over the long-term. For example, first quarter industry-wide used car volumes declined 15% year-over-year while Carvana’s retail units increased 14%. Existing home sales decreased 5% during the quarter while Redfin’s real estate transactions increased 1%. Digital advertising is expected to grow 8-14% in 2022 while the Trade Desk grew Q1’22 revenues 43% and is expected to grow them more than 30% for the full year 2022. While industry-wide TV volumes remain below 2019 pre-COVID levels, Roku gained smart TV market share sequentially during the quarter, continuing to be the number one TV operating system in the U.S. and number one TV platform by hours streamed in North America. Weaker industry conditions will inevitably impact our companies’ results; however, our companies should continue to take market share and come out on the other side of any potential economic downturn stronger than when they went in. For the portfolio update, I wanted to provide a more in-depth update on Carvana and Redfin which have both experienced particularly large share price declines and have recent developments that are worth reviewing. Carvana I first wrote about Carvana Co (NYSE:CVNA) in this 2019 write-up. I initially explained Carvana’s business, superior value proposition compared to the traditional dealership model, attractive unit economics, and how they were uniquely positioned to win the large market opportunity. Since then, Carvana has by far exceeded even my most optimistic initial expectations. While the company did benefit following COVID in the sense that customers’ willingness to buy and sell cars through an online car dealer accelerated, the operating environment over the last two years has been very challenging. Carvana executed exceedingly well considering the shifting customer demand in what is a logistically intensive operation and what has been a tight inventory environment due to supply chain issues restricting new vehicle production. Sales, gross profits, and retail units sold have grown at a remarkable 104%, 151%, and 87% CAGR over the last five years, respectively. Source: Company filings Shares have come under pressure following their first quarter results, which reflected larger than expected losses. The quarter was negatively impacted by a combination of COVID-related logistical issues in their network that started towards the end of the fourth quarter as Omicron cases spread. Employee call off rates related to Omicron reached an unprecedented 30% that led to higher costs and supply chain bottlenecks. As less inventory was available due to these problems, it led to less selection and longer delivery times, lowering customer conversion rates. Additionally, interest rates increased at a historically fast rate during the first quarter which negatively impacted financing gross profits. Carvana originates loans for customers and then sells them to investors at a later date. If interest rates move materially between loan origination and ultimately selling those loans, it can impact the margin Carvana earns on underwriting those loans. Industry-wide used car volumes were also down 15% year-over-year during the first quarter. While Carvana continues to grow and take market share, its retail unit volume growth was slower than initially anticipated, up only 14% year-over-year. Carvana has been in hyper growth mode since inception and based on the operational and logistical requirements of the business, typically plans, builds, and hires for expected capacity 6-12 months into the future. This has historically served Carvana well given its exceptionally strong growth, but when the company plans and hires for higher capacity than what occurs, it can lead to lower retail gross profits and operating costs per unit sold. When combined with lower financing gross profits in the quarter from rising interest rates, losses were greater than expected. In February, Carvana announced a $2.2 billion acquisition of ADESA (including an additional $1 billion plan to build out the reconditioning sites) which had been in the works for some time. ADESA is a strategic acquisition to help accelerate Carvana’s footprint expansion across the country, growing its capacity from 1.0 million units at the end of Q1’22 to 3.2 million units once complete over the next several years. It is unfortunate the acquisition timing followed a difficult quarter that had greater than expected losses, combined with a generally tighter capital market environment. Carvana ended up raising $3.25 billion in debt ($2.2 billion for the acquisition and $1 billion for the buildout) at a higher than initially expected 10.25% interest rate. Given these higher financing costs and first quarter losses, they issued an additional $1.25 billion in new equity at $80 per share, increasing diluted shares outstanding by ~9%. Despite the short-term speedbumps surrounding logistical issues, softer industry-wide demand, and a higher cost of capital to acquire ADESA, Carvana’s long-term outlook not only remains intact but looks even more promising than before. To better understand why this is the case and where Carvana is in its lifecycle, it helps to provide a little background on the history of retail. While e-commerce is a more recent phenomena that developed from the rise of the internet in the 1990s, the retail industry has undergone several transformations throughout history. In retailing, profitability is determined by two factors: the margins earned on inventory and the frequency with which they can turn inventory. Each successive retail transformation had a similar economic pattern. The newer model had greater operating leverage (higher fixed costs, lower variable costs). This resulted in greater economies of scale (lower cost per unit) and therefore greater efficiency (higher asset turnover) with size that enabled them to charge lower prices (lower gross margins) than the preceding model and still provide an attractive return on capital. The average successful department store earned gross margins of ~40% and turned inventory about 3x per year, providing ~120% annual return on the capital invested in inventory. The average successful big box retailer earned ~20% gross margins and turned its inventory 5x per year. Amazon retail earns ~10% gross margins (including fulfillment costs in COGS) and turns inventory at a present rate of 12x times annually. The debate that surrounds any subscale retailer, particularly in e-commerce, is whether they have enough capital/runway to build out the required infrastructure and then scale business volume to spread fixed costs over enough units. Before reaching scale, analysts may point to an online business’ lower price points (“how can they charge such low prices?!”), higher operating costs per unit (“they lose so much money per item!”), and ongoing losses and capital investments (“they spend billions of dollars and still have not made any money!”) as evidence that the model does not make economic sense. Who can blame them since the history books are filled with companies that never reached scale? However, if the retailer does build the infrastructure and there is sufficient demand to spread fixed costs over enough volume, the significant capital investment and high operating leverage creates high barriers to entry. If we look to Amazon as the dominant e-commerce company today, once the infrastructure is built and reaches scale, there is little marginal cost to serve any prospective customer with an internet connection located within its delivery footprint. For this reason, I have always been hesitant to invest in any e-commerce company that Amazon may be able to compete with directly, which is any mid-sized product that fits in an easily shippable box. As it relates to used car retailing, the infrastructure required to ship and recondition cars is unique, and once built, the economies of scale make it nearly impossible for potential competitors to replicate. Carvana is in the very early stages of building out its infrastructure. There is clearly demand for its attractive customer value proposition. It has demonstrated an ability to scale fixed costs in earlier cohorts as utilization of capacity increases, providing attractive unit economics at scale. Newer market cohorts are tracking at a similar, if not faster market penetration rate as earlier cohorts. Carvana is still investing heavily in building out a nationwide hub-and-spoke transportation network and reconditioning facilities. In 2021 alone, Carvana grew its balance sheet by $4 billion as it invested in its infrastructure while also reaching EBITDA breakeven for the first time. The Amazon story is a prime example (pun intended) of a new and better business model (more attractive unit economics) that delivered a superior value proposition and propelled the company ahead of its competition, similar to the underlying dynamics occurring in the used car industry today. Amazon invested heavily in both tangible and intangible growth assets that depressed earnings and cash flow in its earlier years (and still today) while growing its earning power and the long-term value of the business. The question is, does Carvana have enough capital/liquidity to build out its infrastructure and scale business volume to then generate attractive profits and cash flow? Following Carvana’s track record of scaling operating costs and reaching EBITDA breakeven in 2021, the market was no longer concerned about its liquidity position or the sustainability of its business model. However, the recent quarterly loss combined with taking on $3 billion in debt to buildout the 56 ADESA locations across the country raises the question of whether Carvana has enough liquidity to reach scale. Carvana’s current stock price clearly reflects the market discounting the probability that Carvana will face liquidity issues and therefore have to raise further capital at unfavorable terms. However, I think if you look a little deeper, Carvana has clearly demonstrated highly attractive unit economics. It has several levers to pull to protect it from any liquidity concerns if needed. The $2.6 billion in cash (as well as $2 billion in additional available liquidity in unpledged real estate and other assets) it has following the ADESA acquisition, is more than enough to sustain a potentially prolonged decline in used car demand. The most probable scenario over the next several quarters is that Carvana will address its supply chain and logistical issues that were largely due to Omicron. As the logistical network normalizes, more of Carvana’s inventory will be available to purchase on their website with shorter delivery times, which will increase customer conversion rates. This will lead to selling more retail units, providing higher inventory turnover and lower shipping costs, and therefore gross profit per unit will recover from the first quarter lows. Other gross profit per unit (which primarily includes financing) will also normalize in a less volatile interest rate environment. Combined total gross profit per unit should then approach normalized levels by the end of the year/beginning of 2023 (~$4,000+ per unit). Like all forms of leverage, operating leverage works both ways. For companies with higher operating leverage, when sales increase, profits will increase at a faster rate. However, if sales decrease, profits will decrease at a faster rate. While Carvana has high operating leverage in the short-term, they do have the ability adjust costs in the intermediate term to better match demand. When demand suddenly shifts from plan, it will have a substantial impact on current profits. First quarter losses were abnormally high because demand was lower than expected. Although, one should not extrapolate those losses far into the future because Carvana has the ability to better adjust and match its costs structure to a lower demand environment if needed. As management better matches costs with expected demand, operating costs as a whole will remain relatively flat if not decline throughout the year as management has already taken steps to lower expenses. As volumes continue to grow at the more moderate pace reflected in the first quarter and SG&A remains flat to slightly declining, costs per unit will decline with Carvana reaching positive EBITDA per unit by the second half of 2023 in this scenario. Source: Company filing, Saga Partners Source: Company filing, Saga Partners With the additional $3.2 billion in debt, Carvana will have a total interest expense of ~$600 million per year, assuming no paydown of existing revolving facilities or net interest income on cash balances. Management plans on spending $1 billion in capex to build out the ADESA locations. They are budgeting for ~$40 million in priority and elective capex per quarter going forward suggesting the build out will take ~6 years. Total capex including maintenance is expected to be $50 million a quarter. Carvana would reach positive free cash flow (measured as EBITDA less interest expense less total Capex) by 2025. Note this assumes the used car market remains depressed throughout 2022 and then Carvana’s retail unit growth increases to 25% a year for the remainder of the forecast and no benefit in lower SG&A or increased gross profit per unit from the additional ADESA locations was assumed. Stock based compensation was included in the SG&A below so actual free cash flow would be higher than the chart indicates. Source: Company filings, Saga Partners Note: Free cash flow is calculated as EBITDA less interest expense less capex After the close of the ADESA acquisition, Carvana has $2.6 billion in cash (plus $2 billion in additional liquidity from unpledged assets if needed). Assuming the above scenario, Carvana has plenty of cash to endure EBITDA losses over the next year and a half, interest payments, and capex needs. Source: Company filings, Saga Partners The above scenario does not consider the increasing capacity that Carvana will have as it continues to build out the ADESA locations. After building out all the locations, Carvana will be within one hundred miles of 80% of the U.S. population. This unlocks same-day and next-day delivery to more customers, leading to higher customer conversion rates, higher inventory turn, lower risk of delivery delays, and lower shipping costs, which all contribute to stronger unit economics. Customer proximity is key. Due to lower transport costs, faster turnaround times on acquired vehicles, and higher conversion from faster delivery speeds, a car picked up or delivered within two hundred miles of a recondition center generates $750 more profit than an average sale. It is possible that industry-wide used car demand remains depressed or even worsens for an extended period. If this were the case, management has the ability to further optimize for efficiency by lowering operating costs to better match demand. This is what management did following the COVID demand shock in March 2020. The company effectively halted corporate hiring and tied operational employee hours to current demand as opposed to future demand. During the months of May and June 2020, SG&A (ex. advertising expense and D&A) per unit was $2,600, far lower than the $3,440 reported in 2020 or $3,654 in 2021. Carvana has also historically operated between 50-60% capacity utilization, indicating further room to scale volumes across its existing infrastructure without the need for materially greater SG&A expenses. Advertising expense in older cohorts reached ~$500 per unit, compared to the $1,126 reported for all of 2021, while older cohorts still grew at 30%+ rates. If needed, Carvana could improve upon the $2,600 SG&A plus $500 advertising expense ($3,100 in total) per unit at its current scale and be far below gross profit per unit even if used car demand remains depressed for an extended period of time. When management optimizes for efficiency as opposed to growth, it has the ability to significantly lower costs per unit. Carvana has highly attractive unit economics and I fully expect management will take the needed measures to right size operating costs with demand. They recently made the difficult decision to layoff ~2,500 employees, primarily in operations, to better balance capacity with the demand environment. If we assume it takes six years to fully build out the additional ADESA reconditioning locations, Carvana will have a total capacity of 3.2 million units in 2028. If Carvana is running at 90% utilization it could sell 2.9 million retail units (or ~7% of the total used car market). If average used car prices decline from current levels and then follow its more normal longer-term price appreciation trends, the average 2028 Carvana used car price would be ~$23,000 and would have a contribution profit of ~$2,000 per unit at scale. This would provide nearly $5.6 billion in EBITDA. After considering expected interest expense, maintenance capex, and taxes, it would provide over $4 billion in net income. If Carvana realizes this outcome in six years, the company looks highly attractive (perhaps unreasonably attractive) compared to its current $7 billion market cap or $10 billion enterprise value (excluding asset-based debt). Redfin I recently wrote about Redfin Corp (NASDAQ:RDFN) in this December 2021 write-up. I explained how Redfin has increased the productivity of real estate agents by integrating its website with its full-time salaried agents and then funneling the demand aggregated on its website to agents. Redfin agents do not have to spend time prospecting for business but can rather spend all their time servicing clients throughout the process of buying and selling a home. Since Redfin agents are three times more productive than a traditional agent, Redfin is a low-cost provider, i.e., it costs Redfin less to close a transaction than a traditional brokerage at scale. It is a similar concept as the higher operating leverage of e-commerce relative to brick & mortar retailers. Redfin has higher operating leverage compared to the traditional real estate brokerage. Real estate agents are typically contractors for a brokerage. They are largely left alone to run their own business. Agents have to prospect for clients, market/advertise listings, do showings, and service clients throughout each step of the real estate transaction. Everything an agent does is largely a variable cost because few of their tasks are automated. Redfin, on the other hand, turned prospecting for demand, marketing/advertising listings, and investments in technology to help agents and customers throughout the transaction into more of a fixed cost. These costs are scalable and become a smaller cost per transaction as total transaction volumes grow across the company. Because Redfin is a low-cost provider, it has a relative advantage over traditional brokerages. No other real estate brokerage has lowered or attempted to lower the costs of transacting real estate in a similar way. This cost advantage provides Redfin with options about how to share these savings on each transaction. Redfin has primarily shared the cost savings with customers by charging lower commission rates than traditional brokerages. By offering a similar, if not superior, service to customers compared to other brokerages yet charging lower fees, it naturally attracts further demand which then provides Redfin with the ability to scale fixed costs per transaction even more, further widening their cost advantage to other brokerages. So far, the majority of those cost savings are shared with home sellers as opposed to homebuyers. Sellers are more price sensitive than homebuyers because the buyer’s commission is already baked into the seller’s contract and therefore buyers have not directly paid commissions to agents historically. Also, growing share of home listings is an important component of controlling the real estate transaction. The seller’s listing agent is the one who controls the property, decides who sees the house, and manages the offers and negotiations. Therefore, managing more listings enables Redfin to have more control over the transaction and further streamline/reduce inefficiencies for the benefit of both potential buyers and sellers. Redfin also spends some of their cost savings by reinvesting them back into the company by hiring software engineers to build better technology to continue to lower the cost of the transaction. This may include building tools for agents to service clients better, improving the web portal and user interfaces, on-demand tours for buyers to see homes first, automation to give homeowners an immediate RedfinNow offer, etc. Redfin also invests in building other business segments like mortgage, title forward, and iBuying which provide a more comprehensive real estate offering for customers which attracts further demand. So far, the lower costs per transaction have not been shared with shareholders in the form of dividends or share repurchases, and for good reason. In theory, Redfin could charge industry standard prices and increase revenue immediately by 30-40% which would drop straight to the bottom-line assuming demand would remain stable. However, giving customers most of the savings through lower commissions has obviously been one of the drivers for attracting demand and growing transaction volume, particularly for home sellers. The greater the number of transactions, the lower the fixed costs per transaction, which further increases Redfin’s cost advantage compared to traditional brokerages, which provides Redfin with even more money per transaction to share with either customers, employees, and eventually shareholders. With just over 1% market share, Redfin should be reinvesting in growing share which will increase the value of the business and inevitably benefit long-term owners of the company. Redfin’s stock price has experienced an especially large decline this year. I typically prefer to not attempt to place an explanation or narrative on short-term stock price movements, but I will do it anyways given the substantial drop. There are primarily two factors contributing to the market’s negative view of the company: first, the market currently dislikes anything connected to the real estate industry and second, the market currently has little patience for any company that reports net losses regardless of the underlying economics of the business. Real estate is currently a hated part of the market, and potentially for good reason. It is a cyclical industry, and the economy is potentially either entering or already in a recession. Interest rates are expected to continue to rise, negatively impacting home affordability, while an imbalance in the housing supply persists with historically low inventory available helping fuel an unsustainable rise in housing prices. From a macro industry-wide perspective, the real estate market will ebb and flow with the economy over time, but demand to buy, sell, and finance homes will always exist. I do not have the ability to determine how aggregate demand for buying or selling a home will change from year-to-year, but I do know that people have to live somewhere and if Redfin is able to help them find, buy or rent, and finance where they live better than alternative service providers, then the company will gain share and grow in value overtime. Redfin has also reported abnormally high losses of $91 million in the first quarter for which the current market has little appetite. It feeds the argument that Redfin does not have a sustainable business model. While losses can be a sign of unsustainable economics, that is not the case for Redfin. There are several factors that are all negatively hitting the income statement at the same time, and all should improve materially over the next year or two. Higher first quarter losses largely reflect: Agent Productivity: First quarter brokerage sales increased 7% year-over-year, but lead agent count increased 20%, which meant agents were less productive, leading to real estate gross profits declining $17 million from the prior year. Lower productivity was a result of a steeper ramp in agent hiring towards the end of the year against lower seasonal transaction volumes. It typically takes about six months for new agents to get trained and start closing transactions and then contributing to gross profits. Any accelerated hiring, particularly during a softer macro environment, will be a headwind while Redfin is paying upfront costs before any revenue is being generated. Further, closing transactions has been difficult particularly for buyers, which is where most new agents start. The housing market has been unbalanced where there is not enough inventory. A home for sale will typically receive many competing offers which makes it difficult for a buyer to win the deal. Since Redfin agents are mostly paid on commission (~20% salary plus the remainder being commission), it has been more difficult for new agents to earn a sufficient income in the current real estate environment. In response, Redfin started paying $1,500 retention bonuses for new agents who could guide customers to the point of bidding on a home, regardless of whether those bids win. While the bonus may impact gross profits in the near-term before a customer closes a transaction, it will not impact gross margins in the long-term when a transaction eventually takes place. Going forward, agent hiring will return to more normal rates and the larger number of new hires from recent quarters will ramp up which will improve productivity and gross profits. RentPath: Redfin bought RentPath out of bankruptcy for $608 million in April 2021, primarily to incorporate its rentals on its website which helps Redfin.com show up higher on Internet real estate searches. Prior to the acquisition, RentPath had no leadership direction for several years and declining sales and operating losses. RentPath had new management start in August 2021 and was integrated into Redfin.com in March. It finally started to see operational improvement with sales increasing in February and March year-over-year for the first time since 2019 despite a significant decrease in marketing expenses. While RentPath had $17 million in losses during the first quarter and is expected to have $22 million in losses in the second quarter, operations will improve going forward. Management made it clear that RentPath will be a contributor to net profits in its own right and not just a driver of site traffic and demand to Redfin’s brokerage business. Mortgage: A recent major development was the acquisition of Bay Equity for $135 million in April. Redfin was historically building out its mortgage business from scratch but after struggling to scale the operation decided to buy Bay Equity. Redfin was spending $13 million per a year on investing in its legacy mortgage business but going forward, mortgage will now be a net contributor to profits with Bay expected to provide $4 million in profit in the second quarter. The greater implication of having a scaled mortgage underwriter that is integrated with the real estate broker is that they can work together to streamline and expedite the transaction closing which has become an increasingly important value proposition for customers. Looking just a little further into the future, having a scaled and integrated mortgage underwriter can provide Redfin with the capability of providing buyers with the equivalent of an all-cash offer to sellers. Prospective homebuyers who offer all-cash offers to sellers are four times as likely to win the bid and sellers will often accept a lower price from an all-cash buyer vs. one requiring a mortgage. A common problem that many homeowners face is that when they are looking to move, it is difficult to get approved for a second mortgage while holding the current one. Much of their equity is locked in their current home. Frequently, a homebuyer wins an offer on a new home and then is in mad dash to sell their existing home in order to get the financing to work. It is not ideal to attempt to sell your home as fast as possible because it decreases the chance of getting the best price possible. A solution that Redfin could offer as a customer’s agent and underwriter is provide bridge financing between when a customer buys their new home and is then trying to sell their existing home and is therefore paying on two mortgages. Redfin would be able to make a reasonable appraisal for what a customer’s existing home will sell for (essentially what Redfin already does with iBuying) and underwriting the incremental credit exposure they are willing to provide the buyer. The buyer would then have “Redfin Cash” which would work like a cash offer. If this service helps buyers win a bid four times more often, it would even further differentiate Redfin’s value proposition and attract further demand. At least in the near-term, the mortgage segment will go from being a loss center to a contributor to net profits as well as further improving Redfin’s customer value proposition. Restructuring and transaction costs: Redfin had $6 million in restructuring expenses related to severance with RentPath and the mortgage business as well as closing the Bay Equity acquisition. $4 million in restructuring expenses are expected in the second quarter but these expenses will go away in future quarters. The combination of the above factors provided the headline $91 million net loss for the first quarter. Larger than normal losses between $60-$72 million are still expected in the second quarter. However, going forward losses are expected to continue to improve materially. While Redfin is not done investing in improving its service offerings, it should benefit from the significant investments it has already made over the last 16 years. Redfin has been building and supporting a nationwide business that only operated in parts of the country and had to incur large upfront costs. Going forward, it will benefit from the operating leverage baked into its cost structure with gross profits expected to grow twice as fast as overhead operating expenses. Redfin is expected to be cash flow breakeven in 2022 and provide net profits starting in 2024. Redfin has built a great direct to consumer acquisition tool that is unmatched by any real estate broker. It has spent the costs to acquire the customer and has now built out the different services to provide customers any of the real estate services that they may need, whether that is one or a combination of brokerage services, mortgage underwriting, title forward, iBuying, or rental search. Being able to monetize each customer that it has already acquired by offering them any of these services provides Redfin with a better return on customer acquisition costs that no other competitor is able to do to the same extent. Additionally, these real estate services work better when they are integrated under the same company. One does not have to dig very deep to see how attractive Redfin’s shares are currently priced. Shares are now selling around all-time historic lows since its IPO in August 2017. The prior all-time lows were reached during the COVID crash which was a time the world was facing an unknown pandemic that would shut down the economy and potentially put us through a great depression. At its current $1.2 billion market cap, Redfin is selling for 3x expected 2022 real estate gross profits, or 4x its current $1.7 billion enterprise value (excluding asset-based debt). Both are far below the historic average of 15x (which excludes peak multiples reached towards the end of 2020 and early 2021), or the previous all-time low of 6x reached in the depths of March 2020. If we assume Redfin can raise brokerage commissions by 30%, in line with traditional brokerage commission rates, and it does not lose business, Redfin would be able to provide ~20% operating margins. If we take a more conservative view and say Redfin can earn 10% net margins on its 2022 expected real estate revenues of $990 million, it would provide $99 million in net profits, providing a current 12x price-to-earnings ratio. This is for a company that has a long track record of being able to grow 20%+ a year on average, consistently gains market share each quarter, and has barely monetized its significant upfront investments and fixed costs with a long runway to continue to scale. This also does not place any value on its mortgage or iBuying segments which are now contributors to gross profits. There may be macro risks as well as other concerns today, however Redfin’s business and relative competitive advantage have never been stronger. The net losses reported are not representative of Redfin’s true underlying earning power. Redfin has untapped pricing power, an increasingly attractive customer value proposition, and a growing competitive advantage compared to alternative brokerages, which will help Redfin to continue to grow and take market share in what is a very large market. Conclusion Of course, the future can look scary, as it often does when headlines jump from one risk to the other. Despite what may be happening in the macro environment, our companies on average are stronger than they have ever been and are now selling for what we believe are the most attractive prices we have seen relative to their intrinsic value. I have no idea what shares will do in the near-term and I never will. Stock prices can swing wildly for many reasons, and sometimes seemingly for no reason at all. They can diverge, sometimes significantly from their true underlying value. I have no idea when sentiment will shift from optimism to pessimism and then back to optimism. This is what keeps us invested in both good times and in bad. The current selloff can continue further, but assuming our companies continue to execute over the coming years by winning market share and earning attractive returns on their investment spending, the market’s sentiment surrounding our portfolio companies will eventually reflect their underlying fundamentals. I will continue to look towards the longer-term operating results of our companies and not to the movements in their stock price as feedback to whether our initial investment thesis is playing out as expected. While the market can ignore or misjudge business success for a certain period, it eventually has to realize it. During times of greater volatility and periods of large drawdowns, I am reminded of how truly important the quality of our investor base is. It is completely natural to react in certain ways to rising or declining stock prices. It takes a very special investor base to look past near-term volatility and to trust us to make very important decision on their behalf as we continually try to increase the value of the Saga Portfolio over the long-term. As always, I am available to catch up or discuss any questions you may have. Sincerely, Joe Frankenfield Saga Partners Updated on May 16, 2022, 4:44 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: valuewalkMay 17th, 2022

Zoom Communications (ZM) Inks Deal To Acquire Solvvy

Zoom Communications (ZM) entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Solvvy to improve its contact center and customer support services. Zoom Communications ZM recently signed a deal to acquire Solvvy, a conversational AI and automation platform for customer support.With the completion of the Solvvy acquisition, Zoom will be able to offer improved customer service experiences to a global enterprise base. It will also enable the company to capitalize on new opportunities in contact centers and the customer support arena.In February 2022, Zoom launched Zoom Contact Center, an omnichannel contact center solution optimized for video and integrated into the Zoom experience.With the acquisition of Solvvy proprietary technology and the introduction of scalable self-service and conversational AI, Zoom Contact Centre’s offerings are likely to broaden.Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Price and Consensus  Zoom Video Communications, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Quote Business Scale Expansion Efforts to Aid ProspectsZoom Communications has transformed largely over the last few years, evolving from a meetings company into a multiproduct platform, including video conferencing, events, phone calls and more.Moreover, the company gained immense traction amid the pandemic with the emergence of remote work and online learning. Zoom’s software provides users with solid scalability, easy deployment, convenience and hassle-free management. This helped the platform gain popularity among users, even amidst intense competition from the likes of Microsoft Teams, Google G Suite, Webex and others.Zoom has been focusing on eliminating its existing privacy and security loopholes. Zoom also received a variety of third-party certifications and attestations, unveiled product innovations and established programs. These certificates demonstrate the many initiatives undertaken at Zoom that help protect the security and privacy of its users.The company has been investing massively in research and development. In fourth-quarter fiscal 2022, Zoom reported research and development expenses of $117 million, up 123.4% year over year. In fiscal 2022, Zoom’s research and development expenses reached $363 million, up 121% year over year.In April, Zoom announced the availability of Zoom Whiteboard, a solution that allows collaboration and creation within the Zoom platform. Zoom Whiteboard further broadens the capabilities of the Zoom platform for the hybrid work model, including unified communications.Zoom also expects a rise in sales and marketing expenses since it plans to scale its brand awareness to retain its customers and expand its clientele. In the last reported quarter, Zoom’s sales and marketing expenses reached $325.4 million, up 52% year over year.Zoom further expects its revenues to witness a breakeven or slight year-over-year growth in 2022 as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to taper. The company will be back to focusing on the growth of its Enterprise business in terms of introducing more new services. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Zoom reported revenues of $1.07 billion, up 21% year over year.For first-quarter fiscal 2023, Zoom anticipates revenues in the range of $1.07-$1.075 billion.Zacks Rank and Stocks to ConsiderCurrently, Zoom holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell)Zoom’s shares have declined 27.9% year to date compared with the Zacks Internet Software industry’s decline of 28.9%. The Computer & Technology sector has tumbled 12.9%.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Computer & Technology sector are Avid Technology AVID, Ceridian HCM CDAYand Cisco Systems CSCO, each sporting a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Avid Technology shares have declined 15% compared with the Zacks Computer – Software industry’s fall of 21% and the Computer & Technology sector’s drop of 14.9% in the year-to-date period.Ceridian HCM stock has surged 33.5% against the Zacks Internet - Software industry’s decline of 28.7% and the Computer & Technology sector’s fall of 14.9% in the year-to-date period.Shares of Cisco have returned 1.7% compared with the Zacks Computer - Networking industry’s decrease of 23.5% and the Computer & Technology sector’s fall of 14.9% in the year-to-date period. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report Avid Technology, Inc. (AVID): Free Stock Analysis Report Ceridian HCM (CDAY): Free Stock Analysis Report Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 13th, 2022

We"re living in an age of food protectionism: 5 countries that are banning or restricting major exports to safeguard food supplies as inflation soars

In addition to Russia and Ukraine, major food-producing countries including Indonesia, Argentina, and Kazakhstan are also restricting food exports. Some countries are restricting food exports due to concerns about domestic shortages and inflation.Zheng Huansong/Xinhu/Getty Images Governments around the world are taking steps to safeguard food supplies as inflation soars. Russia and Ukraine have imposed wheat and sunflower-oil export curbs amid the war. Indonesia, Argentina, and Kazakhstan are also restricting trade in key produce to control domestic inflation. Governments around the world are taking steps to safeguard food supplies as inflation soars due to supply-chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.Food prices have hit all-time highs.Jon Super/Xinhua/Getty ImagePublic discontent over soaring food prices poses political risks for governments, particularly if shortages present themselves in major crop producers. That's the case with palm-based cooking oil in Indonesia, where there have been public protests against high prices."As the world's largest producer of palm oil, it is ironic that we actually have difficulty getting cooking oil," said Indonesian President Joko Widodo on April 27, according to an official transcript. "As president, I cannot allow that to happen," he added ahead of an export ban of the vegetable oil that went into effect on April 28.There's a risk that soaring food prices could spur even more protectionist measures across the world, said Nomura economists Sonal Varma and Rangga Cipta in a note on April 26."Rising food prices risk more such protectionist measures globally, and could further stoke food price inflation in Asia," Varma and Cipta wrote."This is a real and present concern," said Jamus Lim, an associate professor of economics at the ESSEC Business School.The last time the world went through an agricultural commodity price shock was in the aftermath of the global financial crisis from 2007 to 2008. At the time, Ukraine and other major grain exporters restricted exports to protect domestic prices. Major rice exporters India and Vietnam restricted rice exports to counter food inflation.The scenario could repeat itself, "especially since the situation is complicated by even more factors today, including COVID-19-induced supply chain disruptions and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict," Lim told Insider.Here are five countries that have banned or restricted key agricultural exports in the last year. While most of them imposed measures after the war in Ukraine started, some ramped up existing restrictions to deal with further price surges on the back of the conflict.1. Russia has restricted wheat and sunflower-oil shipments.Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter.Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty ImagesRussia is the world's largest wheat exporter, accounting for about one-fifth of the world's exports of the grain, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA.)The country had already introduced export quotas and new taxes on wheat exports in 2021 to tame domestic food inflation. After it launched its war against Ukraine, the Kremlin announced additional export restrictions including a temporary ban on wheat shipments to ex-Soviet countries, Reuters reported. It also suspended most sugar exports."The move will further squeeze global wheat supplies at a time when Russia's war with Ukraine is disrupting exports from the region," Gro Intelligence, a global agriculture data-analysis firm, wrote in a note in March.Russia has also banned the export of sunflower seeds from April to August, and imposed an export quota on sunflower oil to ease rising domestic prices, Reuters reported, citing the country's agriculture ministry."This set of measures will eliminate the possibility of shortages, as well as sharp increases in the cost of raw materials and socially important products in Russia," said the ministry on March 31, according to Reuters.2. Ukraine has banned the export of food staples.Ukraine has banned the export of some food staples to feed its people amid the war.Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty ImagesUkraine is the world's fifth-largest exporter of wheat, accounting for 9% of global export, according to the USDA.Due to the war, the Ukrainian government has banned the export of food staples including wheat and oats to ensure there's enough for its people at home.The ban was necessary to prevent a "humanitarian crisis in Ukraine" and to feed the country's population, Roman Leshchenko, Ukraine's minister of agrarian and food policy, said in March, according to the Associated Press.Ukraine — the world's top sunflower oil exporter — is still exporting the cooking oil, although shipments have been disrupted due logistics challenges amid the war.3. Indonesia has banned palm-oil exports.Indonesia is the world's largest producer and exporter of palm oil.Azwar Ipank/AFP via Getty ImagesIndonesia, the world's largest edible-oils exporter, said a domestic shortage of cooking oil has prompted it to impose a blanket ban on the export of palm oil that started on April 28.Retail prices of cooking oil have soared in Indonesia as palm-oil producers boosted exports on the back of rising global vegetable oil prices amid the Ukraine war, according to Channel News Asia. This in turn caused a supply crunch at home.Retail prices of cooking oil in Indonesia have gained over 40% so far this year, Reuters reported, citing a price monitoring page. The price spike has led to protests and sent President Widodo's approval rate down 12% from February to April, according to the news agency.4. Argentina started restricting beef exports before the war to tamp down food inflation.Argentina has banned some beef cuts to control inflation.Manuel Cortina/SOPA Images/LightRocket /Getty ImagesArgentina has faced soaring inflation for years due to policy missteps.To tamp inflation — which hit 50.9% in 2021 — Argentina banned all meat exports last May, according to Reuters. Some restrictions have since been eased, but the country is still banning the export of seven beef cuts until 2023, per Bloomberg. Argentina is the world's fifth-largest beef exporter, accounting for about 6% of the world's beef exports, according to the USDA.Argentina's government has called on slaughterhouses to contribute to fighting inflation in the country by selling certain cuts in the domestic market at low prices, Reuters reported in March. Those that do not comply will face export bans, Argentine agriculture minister Julián Domínguez wrote on Twitter in March."I informed them that those who do not comply with the commitments assumed with the Argentine people will not be able to continue exporting meat," he tweeted. Domínguez said he made the decision against the backdrop of the Ukraine war, which has worsened food inflation.5. Kazakhstan has restricted wheat and wheat flour exports after domestic prices soared over 30% after the Ukraine war started.Kazakhstan has restricted exports of wheat and wheat flour.Shamil Zhumatov/ReutersKazakhstan has restricted wheat and wheat flour exports until June 15. The move is aimed at balancing exports with domestic food security needs, the USDA wrote in an April 28 report.The domestic price of wheat in Kazakhstan has risen by over 30% since the Ukraine war started, per the USDA. That's as Russia has suspended wheat exports to the country."Many flour mill representatives expressed concern about the export restrictions, the high price of domestic wheat, and the lack of Russian wheat imports," wrote the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in the Kazakh capital city of Nur-Sultan. Just about two-thirds of flour mills in the country are operating as grains have become unaffordable."Many of these mills are expected to cease operations in the next few weeks if domestic wheat prices do not decrease," it added.Kazakhstan is a major wheat exporter accounting for 4% of the world's shipment, according to the USDA. It is an especially important supplier to its Central Asian neighbors such as Uzbekistan.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 12th, 2022

RUBELLITE ENERGY INC. REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 2022 FINANCIAL AND OPERATING RESULTS AND PROVIDES OPERATIONS AND LAND ACQUISITION UPDATE

CALGARY, AB, May 11, 2022 /CNW/ - (TSX:RBY) - Rubellite Energy Inc. ("Rubellite", or the "Company"), a pure play Clearwater oil exploration and development company, is pleased to report first quarter 2022 financial and operating results and provide an operations and land acquisition update. Select financial and operational information is outlined below and should be read in conjunction with Rubellite's unaudited condensed interim financial statements and related Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the three months ended March 31, 2022, which are available through the Company's website at www.rubelliteenergy.com and SEDAR at www.sedar.com. This news release contains certain specified financial measures that are not recognized by GAAP and used by management to evaluate the performance of the Company and its business. Since certain specified financial measures may not have a standardized meaning, securities regulations require that specified financial measures are clearly defined, qualified and, where required, reconciled with their nearest GAAP measure. See "Non GAAP and Other Financial Measures" in this news release and in the MD&A for further information on the definition, calculation and reconciliation of these measures. This release also contains forward-looking information. See "Forward Looking Information". Readers are also referred to the other information under the "Advisories" section in this news release for additional information. FIRST QUARTER 2022 HIGHLIGHTS Rubellite has steadily executed its business plan, running a two-rig drilling program since late November. As of March 31, 2022 there were twenty eight (26.0 net) wells contributing to sales production, with another four (3.5 net) wells rig released and recovering oil-based drilling mud ("OBM"), as compared to sixteen (15.0 net) wells on production at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021 with an additional five (5.0 net) wells recovering OBM. Recoveries of OBM are not recorded as sales production as the OBM is recycled for future drilling operations to the extent possible or sold and credited back to drilling capital. The Company averaged 1,525 bbl/d of sales production during the month of March and achieved its 2,000 bbl/d production milestone in late March. Production progressively ramped up through the first quarter of 2022 as new wells fully recovered base-oil load fluid, filled tank inventories and then commenced delivery to sales terminals. Daily average sales production increased 108% from fourth quarter 2021 levels to average 1,251 bbl/d of conventional heavy oil in the first quarter of 2022 (Q4 2021 - 603 bbl/d), at the high end of first quarter guidance of 1,150 to 1,250 bbl/d (100% conventional heavy oil). Capital expenditures(1) totaled $35.5 million in the first quarter of 2022 (Q4 2021 – $17.2 million). Exploration and development spending of $21.8 million was in-line with previous guidance of first quarter 2022 spending of between $20.0 and $22.0 million, and included $3.1 million for equipment, tubulars and OBM inventory procurement for the remainder of the 2022 drilling program. Land purchases during the first quarter of 2022 were $13.7 million (Q4 2021 – $1.5 million) and comprised 65.1 net sections of highly prospective Clearwater undeveloped lands in strategic areas of the Clearwater play. During the quarter, the Company signed a letter of intent to pursue a farm-in and option agreement (the "Peavine Transaction") in the Peavine area, in the vicinity of recent industry Clearwater drilling activity and southwest of Rubellite's existing option acreage at West Dawson in northern Alberta. The Peavine Transaction provides exposure to 61.25 gross (36.75 net) sections of land highly prospective for the Clearwater formation. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the Company executed the definitive agreement with respect to the Peavine Transaction. Drilling activity for the first quarter of 2022 totaled eleven (9.5 net) multi-lateral horizontal Clearwater wells, including six (6.0 net) wells rig released at Ukalta, two (2.0 net) wells rig released at Figure Lake and three (1.5 net) wells rig released at Marten Hills prior to the end of the first quarter. The two-rig winter drilling program extended into the early part of the second quarter as one (1.0 net) multi-lateral horizontal well at Ukalta was spud on March 24, 2022 and rig released April 5, 2022, followed by the drilling of a vertical water disposal well at Ukalta, and one (0.5 net) multi-lateral horizontal well at Marten Hills was spud on March 20, 2022 and rig released April 8, 2022. Operating netbacks(1) in first quarter of 2022 were $8.0 million, or $71.02/bbl (Q4 2021 – $1.5 million or $45.48/boe), reflecting strong Western Canadian Select ("WCS") benchmark prices and increased production. After realized losses on risk management contracts of $3.3 million or $29.02/boe (Q4 2021 – gain of $0.1 million or $1.83/boe), operating netbacks were $4.7 million or $42.00/boe (Q4 2021 – $2.6 million or $47.31/boe). Adjusted funds flow(1) was $3.8 million in the first quarter of 2022 (Q4 2021 - $1.5 million), up 153% quarter-over-quarter, driven by the growth in sales production. Cash flow from operating activities was $3.2 million (Q4 2021 - $1.1 million). Net loss was $9.3 million in the first quarter of 2022 (Q4 2021 – $1.3 million) as a result of an unrealized loss on risk management commodity contracts of $10.6 million. On March 30, 2022, Rubellite completed its previously announced bought deal and non-brokered private placement financings, raising gross proceeds of $38.7 million through the issuance of approximately 10.9 million shares priced at $3.55 per share. Adjusted positive working capital(1) at the end of the first quarter of 2022 was $10.9 million, an increase from the end of the fourth quarter of 2021 of $5.4 million as a result of the equity financings and adjusted funds flow, offset by capital spending on drilling activity and land purchases. The borrowing limit on the Company's reserves-based revolving credit facility was increased to $25.0 million during the quarter and the initial term was extended by 12 months to May 31, 2023. (1)  Non-GAAP measure, Non-GAAP ratio or supplementary financial measure that does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other entities. Refer to the section entitled "Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures" contained within this news release.   OPERATIONS UPDATE At Ukalta, six (6.0 net) wells were rig released in the first quarter and drilling operations continued through the first two weeks of April as the final Clearwater multi-lateral horizontal well on the 13-35 pad was rig released and a vertical water disposal well was drilled to reduce future water handling costs and enhance field netbacks. Drilling in the Ukalta area is now shut down for spring break-up. During the first quarter, three previously drilled Ukalta development wells completed their OBM recovery in mid-to-late February and recorded an average IP30 rate of 137 bbl/d which is on the Ukalta area type curve(1) of approximately 135 bbl/d. The first three wells of the first quarter 2022 drilling program (the "9-9 pad") completed their OBM recovery phase and IP30 period during the quarter. These wells have been experiencing higher water cuts than directly offsetting wells, are still cleaning up and are producing below the Ukalta area type curve. The last pad of the first quarter 2022 drilling program (the "13-35" pad) had two (2.0 net) wells that rig released in March and one (1.0 net) that was rig released in April. Two of the wells have fully recovered their respective OBM and are in their initial 30-day production periods. The final well has been experiencing higher gas rates during start-up operations which has delayed full recovery of OBM. Production is beginning to stabilize on this pad. Since its inception, Rubellite has drilled 9 wells in the primary Clearwater development zone at Ukalta that have completed their initial 30-day production periods, with an average IP30 rate of 113 bbl/d. Excluding the three high water cut wells on the 9-9 pad, the average IP30 rate is 145 bbl/d. When field conditions allow, drilling operations at Ukalta will re-commence at a new six-well pad, targeting to extend the primary Clearwater zone development to the north end of Rubellite's Ukalta area land base. At Marten Hills, the final eight-leg multi-lateral well of the four (2.0 net) well winter drilling program was rig released in early April. All four wells are located on the same new surface pad and have all recovered their respective OBM and are now producing volumes to sales. Two of the four wells have reached the end of their initial 30-day production periods, recording average IP30 rates of 182 bbl/d as compared to the Marten Hills type curve(1) IP30 of approximately 120 bbl/d. The remaining two wells of the Marten Hills winter drilling program are also performing slightly stronger than the Marten Hills type curve IP30 and are expected to reach the end of their initial 30-day production periods during May. At Figure Lake, during the first quarter, the Company drilled and rig released the last two wells of the four well winter drilling program, which followed up last summer's exploration success at the South Figure Lake pad. The first two south pad development wells in the winter program completed their OBM recovery in late January while the last two wells on the same pad completed their OBM recovery in February. On average, the 4 south pad follow up wells recorded average IP30 rates of 133 bbl/d which compares favorably with the Figure Lake type curve(1) of approximately 115 bbl/d. Drilling operations are expected to recommence at Figure Lake later in the second quarter as surface access conditions permit, with a vertical water disposal well and 12 new horizontal multi-lateral wells planned for the remainder of 2022. In addition to enhancing field netbacks during the second half of 2022, the new on-site water disposal well at Figure Lake is also designed to provide additional reservoir quality information on the prospective Clearwater zone. Drilling costs escalated 5 to 10% during the quarter due to increased OBM costs which are directly related to the price of base oil. In addition, the flow through of higher fuel surcharges and personnel costs and supply chain issues has further impacted the cost of tubulars and other goods and services. The Company has been successful mitigating the impact of inflationary pressures by improving average drilling performance and employing bulk-purchasing and other capital efficiency strategies. (1) Type curve assumptions are based on the Total Proved plus Probable Undeveloped reserves contained in the McDaniel Reserve Report as disclosed in the Company's Annual Information Form which is available under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. "McDaniel" means McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd. independent qualified reserves evaluators. "McDaniel Reserve Report" means the independent engineering evaluation of the crude oil, natural gas and NGL reserves, prepared by McDaniel with an effective date of December 31 2021 and a preparation date of March 9 2022.   LAND ACQUISITION UPDATE Subsequent to the end of the first quarter, Rubellite executed a definitive agreement for the previously announced Peavine Transaction located in the vicinity of recent industry Clearwater drilling activity and southwest of Rubellite's existing option acreage at West Dawson in northern Alberta. The Peavine Transaction provides exposure to 61.25 gross (36.75 net) sections of land highly prospective for the Clearwater formation. Rubellite plans to access the Peavine lands late in 2022 when frozen ground conditions permit to drill a minimum of two exploratory wells prior to April 1, 2023, targeting to establish production and evaluate the future development potential of these Clearwater lands. Since the end of the first quarter, Rubellite has spent an additional $2.9 million to acquire 52.7 net sections of land through Crown land purchase and other transactions. Including lands acquired in the second quarter of 2022, the Company has grown its land position for exposure to the Clearwater play to over 270 net sections, up 160% from the 104 net sections held by Rubellite at its inception in July of 2021. A significant portion of the newly acquired lands are complementary to existing operating areas in Ukalta and Figure Lake on the southern Clearwater trend, while the remainder of the additional new acreage supplements Rubellite's exploratory acreage in the Northern Clearwater play fairway. 2022 OUTLOOK AND GUIDANCE Rubellite forecasts capital spending(5) of $26.0 to $28.0 million for the remainder of 2022 to drill, complete equip and tie-in up to 22 (20.1 net) multi-lateral horizontal wells in its three core operating areas at Ukalta, Figure Lake and Marten Hills, as well as two (2.0 net) vertical water disposal wells to mitigate water handling costs. The Company is finalizing its licensing, access and logistical plans to drill four to six (3.0 – 4.0 net) exploratory wells on its northern exploration blocks, including lands at West Dawson and Peavine, to complete earning requirements and delineate area type curves prior to April 1, 2023. In addition, Rubellite plans to continue to pursue additional investments to further grow its land base and its inventory of prospective.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaMay 11th, 2022

JAZZ Q1 Earnings Miss, Sales Robust, 2022 Guidance Raised

JAZZ's product revenues grow in the first quarter on the back of strong demand for its new drugs and drugs added with the acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals. It raises guidance on strong results. Jazz Pharmaceuticals JAZZ reported adjusted earnings of $3.73 per share for the first quarter of 2022, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.75. Earnings declined 4.8% year over year.Total revenues in the reported quarter rose 33.9% year over year to $813.7 million but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $852.43 million. The year-over-year increase was driven by sales of new drugs and drugs added from the acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals.Net product sales increased 34.2% from the year-ago quarter to $809.8 million. Royalties and contract revenues declined 4.1% to $3.9 million in the quarter.This year so far, Jazz’s shares have risen 23.5% in contrast to the industry’s decrease of 21.4%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchNeuroscience ProductsSales of Jazz’s neuroscience products increased 44.8% to $612.1 million.Net product sales for the combined oxybate business (Xyrem + Xywav) increased 5.5% to $433.6 million in the quarter. Sales of Xyrem, approved to treat cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness (“EDS”) in narcolepsy patients, declined 26% year over year to $247.5 million due to patients switching to Xywav. Jazz expects an authorized generic version of Xyrem to be launched by Hikima Pharmaceuticals in the second half of 2022.Xywav is a low sodium formulation and a Xyrem follow-on product to treat EDS or cataplexy in narcolepsy patients. Xywav recorded sales of $186.1 million in the quarter compared with $182.7 million in the previous quarter. At the end of the first quarter, Jazz had approximately 7,800 active Xywav patients, up from 6,900 at the end of fourth-quarter 2021. Jazz launched Xyway for a new indication — idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) — in November 2021. The company reported the favorable launch uptake of the drug in IH indication during the quarter. The company ended the first quarter with approximately 750 active Xywav patients with IH compared with 250 patients as of the end of the fourth quarter.Another new drug, Sunosi recorded sales of $15.9 million in the quarter, up 36.8%. In March, Jazz inked an agreement to sell its rights to Sunosi to Axsome Therapeutics AXSM. Axsome will make an upfront payment of $53 million to Jazz upon closing of the deal, expected later in the second quarter. Axsome will also pay Jazz royalties on U.S. net sales of Sunosi.Sales of Epidiolex/Epidyolex rose 6% (on a proforma basis) to $157.9 million. Epidiolex, which is approved for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, was added to Jazz’s pipeline with the GW Pharmaceuticals acquisition in 2021. Jazz is making significant progress with respect to the launch of Epidyolex in Europe.Jazz is planning to initiate a late-stage study on Epidiolex in the second half of 2022 to support its label expansion to include epilepsy patients with myoclonic-atonic seizures.Another drug added with the GW Pharma acquisition was Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray for multiple sclerosis-related spasticity, which is approved in Europe but not in the United States. The drug recorded sales of $4.7 million in the quarter.Oncology ProductsOncology product sales increased 10.5% to $196.8 million.New drug Zepzelca (lurbinectedin) recorded sales of $59.3 million in the quarter compared with $64.8 million in the previous quarter. However, sales increased 9.2% year over year.Acute myeloid leukemia drug, Vyxeos generated sales of $33.8 million, up 1.8% from the year-ago period.New drug Rylaze recorded sales of $54.2 million in the quarter compared with $65.0 million in the previous quarter. Although drug sales declined sequentially, Jazz stated that demand remained strong during the first quarter. Rylaze was launched in July in the United States for treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients who have developed hypersensitivity to E.coli-derived asparaginase. Regulatory applications in Europe are expected to be filed in mid-2022.Defitelio sales were almost flat year over year at $49.5 million in the quarter.Cost DiscussionAdjusted selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses rose 13.3% to $258.7 million to support higher headcount costs and recent launches. Adjusted research and development (R&D) expenses surged 71.4% to $116.5 million mainly to support ongoing clinical activities of pipeline candidates of GW Pharmaceuticals as well as for a couple of other candidates.2022 Guidance RaisedThe company raised its guidance for revenues and adjusted earnings in 2022. The company expects adjusted earnings to be in the range of $16.70-$17.70 per share versus the previous guidance of $16.00-$17.00 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $16.51 per share.Total revenues are now expected to be in the range of $3.5-$3.7 billion, up from the previously guided range of $3.46-$3.66 billion. In 2022, Jazz expects at least 65% of net product sales to come from newly approved or acquired products.Neuroscience sales are now expected higher in the range of $2.6 billion-$2.8 billion compared with $2.56 billion-$2.76 billion guided previously. The sales guidance for the Oncology franchise remains the same in the range of $840 million-$920 million.Adjusted SG&A expenses are anticipated to be between $1.08 billion and $1.13 billion, down from the previous guidance range of $1.12-$1.19 billion. Adjusted R&D expenses are expected to be in the band of $560 million to $600 million.Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC QuoteZacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderJazz currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).A couple of better-ranked stocks from the same sector include Xencor XNCR and Lyell Immunopharma LYEL. While Xencor sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Exscientia and Lyell carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Xencor’s loss per share estimates have improved from $2.96 to $2.67 for 2022 and from $3.24 to $3.03 for 2023 in the past 30 days. XNCR has declined 35.7% so far this year.Xencor delivered an earnings surprise of 125.72%, on average, in the last four quarters.Lyell loss per share estimates have narrowed from $1.19 to $1.09 for 2022 and from $1.52 to $1.41 for 2023 in the past 30 days. LYEL has declined 30% so far this year.Lyell delivered an earnings surprise of 25.26%, on average, in the last four quarters. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (JAZZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Xencor, Inc. (XNCR): Free Stock Analysis Report Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (AXSM): Free Stock Analysis Report Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. (LYEL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 5th, 2022

With new operations on opposite sides of the world, Chinese military aircraft are showing off growing reach

China's air force is getting "more confident in its ability to operate farther" from its shores with newer aircraft, an expert told Insider. China's J-20, a fifth-generation fighter jet.Reuters China is rapidly developing combat and transport aircraft to support longer-range military operations. A flight to Europe by China's Y-20 airlifter and regular patrols by J-20 fighters are milestones for those jets, officials say. The new capabilities worry China's neighbors, but China's troops and hardware are largely untested in combat. China's military has rapidly built one of the world's largest aviation forces, developing increasingly capable aircraft that the US Defense Department has warned are "gradually eroding" the US military's advantage in the air.In recent weeks, China's premier fighter jets and strategically valuable airlifters have reached milestones that underscore Beijing's increasing focus on and investment in military aviation.In early April, six Y-20 cargo planes arrived in Belgrade to deliver what were believed to be Chinese-made HQ-22 surface-to-air missiles to Serbia's military. The roughly 5,000-mile flight by what Chinese state media called "a record-breaking number" of Y-20s was seen as a demonstration of Beijing's ambitions for global power projection.Days later, a top official with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the state-owned firm developing the J-20 fighter jet, said that J-20s are now conducting regular patrols over the East and South China seas, a sign of the advanced jet's increasing reliability.The developments are indications that China's air force "is growing more confident in its ability to operate farther and farther from Chinese shores with newer and newer aircraft," Timothy Heath, a senior international defense researcher at the RAND Corporation think tank, told Insider.China has struggled to develop new engines for the J-20.ReutersThe AVIC official said the J-20s were routinely conducting alert patrols, which are mainly for surveillance, over the South China and combat patrols, which require a higher level of readiness, over the East China Sea. The official said that had been made possible by the switch to a "Chinese heart" for the jets, a reference to domestically developed engines.The J-20 was originally fitted with less powerful Russian-made engines. Some of the several dozen J-20s in service are now fitted with WS-10C engines, an upgraded version of an older Chinese-made engine, but China has struggled to develop the WS-15 engine specifically designed for fifth-generation aircraft like the J-20. The lack of engine power is expected to prevent the J-20 from adopting advanced weaponry and high-end operations.Chinese military officials have said the WS-15 would be finished by 2023 and would put the jet on par with the US's F-22, but Heath said the upgrade shouldn't be overstated, calling the WS-15 "at least a generation behind" the F-22's engine.The WS-15 "has the usual Chinese problems of short maintenance schedules, or just a short lifespan due to maintenance issues, and quality-control issues and general underperformance," Heath told Insider.Despite its shortcomings, the J-20 has left an impression on US commanders, who have noted that Chinese pilots are flying the J-20 "pretty well," Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, the head of US Pacific Air Forces, said in March.It is "still too early" to tell whether the J-20 will be used as a multi-role fighter like the F-35 or be focused on air-superiority like the F-22, but China is showing it can employ the jet effectively, Wilsbach said, referring to a recent encounter in which "we got relatively close to the J-20s with our F-35s in the East China Sea and were relatively impressed with command-and-control that was associated with the J-20s."Logistics and heavy liftA Chinese military Y-20 transport aircraft at Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, November 7, 2018.AP Photo/Kin CheungLike the J-20, the Y-20 has been operational for about a decade, and China has focused on developing the Y-20 fleet to support longer-range military operations.Prior to the flight to Serbia, two Y-20s delivered more than 30 tons of supplies to Tonga after that country was devastated by a volcanic eruption and tsunami. The 6,000-mile flight was the longest known overseas mission for the Y-20, a former Chinese military instructor told the South China Morning Post.In November, an aerial-refueling variant of the Y-20 took part in a military flight near Taiwan for the first time, demonstrating a capability considered essential to support longer-range and longer-duration flights by China's fighters and bombers.The expanding reach of Chinese military aircraft has been noticed across the Pacific, including in Australia, which US and Australian officials say faces a renewed threat of attack from Beijing."If you look at those distances and how that's been transported, it's really captured the attention of folks in Canberra," Patrick Cronin, Asia-Pacific Security chair at Hudson Institute think tank, said of the flight to Serbia.Y-20s delivering medical workers and medical supplies to Wuhan in February 2020.TPG/Getty Images"This is exactly the kind of logistics and heavy lift that China's building [and] that could use some of these facilities and access points that they're putting money into," Cronin said on a recent podcast, pointing a security deal recently signed by China and the Solomon Islands.Long-distant flights to unfamiliar areas have training value but Chinese pilots already have experience conducting such operations in the older Russian-made Il-76 and Il-78 cargo planes that China's military, the People's Liberation Army, has used for decades, Heath said."The difference is they're using the Y-20 more than the Il-76s and 78s, but it's not a dramatic change," Heath told Insider, adding that those missions "are really not designed to replicate" combat, with which most of China's military does not have experience."I'm still not sure that the Chinese themselves know if they can deploy combat forces into a hostile country that is armed with the latest equipment, like surface-to-air missiles," Heath said. "That's a type of situation I just don't see the PLA being well prepared to carry out at this point."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 28th, 2022