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Federal Reserve to step up research, public engagement on digital currencies

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Category: topSource: foxnewsMay 24th, 2021

Telecom Stock Roundup: AT&T Halves HBO Max Price, Verizon 5G for Air Force & More

While AT&T (T) is presently offering HBO MAX at $7.49 per month for six months in a limited promotional deal till Sep 26, Verizon (VZ) will provide 5G mobility service to seven Air Force Reserve Command installations. Over the past five trading days, U.S. telecom stocks continued to mirror the broader benchmark equity indices in a similar trend as the prior week and witnessed a gradual downtrend due to an apparent policy paralysis despite the best intentions of the government to spur a healthy growth momentum. The final passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by the House appears to be stuck in a potential stalemate, as several progressive Democrats want the bill to be tied to the larger $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that is facing massive backlash from both Republicans and Democrats. This even forced President Biden to personally meet the dissident groups to seek an early resolution, although it reportedly failed to broker a compromise despite some ‘productive’ discussions. The infusion of federal funds to improve broadband infrastructure for greater access and deeper penetration in the underserved domestic markets is the need of the hour to bridge the digital divide. However, the uncertainty over the much sought-after infrastructure bill that focuses on affordability and low-cost service option has hard hit the industry.In order to stimulate broadband growth across the country, the U.S. Treasury Department has issued fresh guidelines as to how states should allocate money from the $10 billion Capital Projects Fund created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The instruction set encourages states to prioritize investments in fiber-optic connectivity and developing related infrastructure for the future broadband needs of the communities. It also urges states to pursue projects involving broadband networks either owned or affiliated to the government, non-profit or co-operatives in order to serve larger communities with less pressure on profit-making initiatives.   Meanwhile, China-based Hytera – a supplier of radio equipment to emergency first responders – said in a submission to the FCC that it has been unfairly targeted by the government and argued that its radio equipment do not pose any security risk as they do not use broadband connectivity. It urged the FCC to specify which of its equipment are deemed to be potential threats in order to avoid being hit across its entire business. The developments assume significance as the government is reportedly aiming to ease diplomatic relations with Beijing that have worsened over recent times to improve bilateral trade, as several restrictions and economic sanctions were hurting operations of domestic firms.    Regarding company-specific news, business tweaks, portfolio enhancements, a strategic tie-up, and product launch primarily took the center stage over the past five trading days.Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories1.    Over the past few months, AT&T Inc. T has taken several strategic decisions to focus more on its customer-centric business model. One of these was the decision to phase out HBO and HBO Max subscriptions through Amazon Prime Video Channels of Amazon.com, Inc., as it aimed to develop direct-to-consumer relationships. As HBO subscriptions officially went off the air from Amazon Prime on Sep 15, AT&T apparently lost about 5 million U.S. subscribers who had signed through Amazon. The company is now aiming to woo back these customers and attract newer ones as well through a discounted price offering as the streaming wars heat up.HBO Max subscription was originally priced at $14.99 per month. AT&T is presently offering this streaming service at $7.49 per month for six months in a limited promotional deal till Sep 26. The disruptive pricing is lower than the Prime video membership of $8.99 per month, plus taxes and is likely to be a lucrative offer for both existing and new customers. The offer, however, is available to only U.S. customers as AT&T expects to register healthy growth in HBO Max subscribers in international markets.      2.     Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently secured a prime contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for an undisclosed amount to provide 5G mobility service to seven Air Force Reserve Command installations. The deal underscores the trust and reliability enjoyed by the carrier as it continues to support the digital transformation initiatives of the federal government.Verizon Public sector, the unit dedicated to serving various public sector entities, has been entrusted to deliver 5G Ultra Wideband service in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas Air Force bases. This includes the deployment of c-band radios at outdoor locations at the facilities to improve signal bandwidth at higher speed and lower latency.3.     ADTRAN, Inc. ADTN recently announced that it has secured multiple partnerships with service providers to deploy its highly scalable fiber access network in the rural regions of the U.K. The Huntsville, AL-based company has collaborated with Alncom, Wildanet, and Netomnia.The alliances will bridge the digital divide on the back of a cost-effective fiber-to-the-home network, thereby delivering exceptional broadband experiences to customers, particularly based in the underserved areas of the European country.4.    Viasat, Inc. VSAT has secured two research contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) to evaluate the potential and feasibility of 5G connectivity in the battlefield. The Carlsbad, CA-based company has been working with DoD to address challenging communications issues across multiple network domains. The research contracts, which will be conducted over a span of three years, were awarded through the Information Warfare Research Project. These contracts are part of the $600 million 5G research program that was announced last year by DoD. The initiative aims to assess how the fifth-generation technology can boost warfighting capabilities.  5.    Viavi Solutions Inc. VIAV recently announced that it has augmented the capabilities of its Xgig 5P16 platform. It now supports multi-user functionality and analyzer bifurcation for multiple users and simultaneous tests on a single platform. The Xgig 5P16 Exerciser platform enables real-time analysis of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express or PCIe 5.0 data traffic at all layers of the stack.VIAVI Xgig 5P16 Analyzer is specifically designed to modernize data traffic analysis while addressing the growing demands of AI and IoT with enhanced capabilities. The device is reckoned to be the first-of-its-kind solution in the market. The latest move highlights Viavi’s commitment to drive the influence of bandwidth-intensive computing services globally on the back of its technology prowess.Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some of the major telecom stocks over the past week and six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past five trading days, T-Mobile was the only stock that gained 0.5%, while Bandwidth declined the most with its stock falling 6.5%.Over the past six months, Motorola has been the best performer with its stock appreciating 24.3%, while Bandwidth declined the most with its stock falling 17.2%.Over the past six months, the Zacks Telecommunications Services industry has gained 7.5% and the S&P 500 has rallied 12.7%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat’s Next in the Telecom Space?In addition to 5G deployments and product launches, all eyes will remain glued to how the administration implements key policy changes to safeguard the interests of the industry and address the bottlenecks to spur growth. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report ADTRAN, Inc. (ADTN): Free Stock Analysis Report AT&T Inc. (T): Free Stock Analysis Report Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Viasat Inc. (VSAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Viavi Solutions Inc. (VIAV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks2 hr. 49 min. ago

ALTCOINS TO BUY: Crypto experts share the best investing opportunities they"re seeing outside of bitcoin

Insider has talked to several experts about which altcoins they like most, why they're bullish, and what they recommend others should be buying now. In this photo illustration of the litecoin, ripple and ethereum cryptocurrency 'altcoins' sit arranged for a photograph Jack Taylor/Getty Image Thousands of cryptocurrencies now exist. It can be difficult to pick winners in such a saturated space. Insider has asked several experts about where they see the biggest opportunities in altcoins. See more stories on Insider's business page. Cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity over the last several months. Of course, the most popular remains bitcoin.But some other smaller cryptos are gaining serious steam as well, as the concept of digital currencies continues to seep into the public consciousness.However, it can be difficult to know which cryptocurrencies to invest in, or whether you should in the first place. There are currently thousands of different types of coins on the market. And some - like dogecoin, which was founded as a joke - don't appear to be serious. Others, like some built on the Ethereum blockchain, appear to have better use cases. And overall, there are legitimate concerns over whether the altcoin boom is unsustainable and will soon come crashing down.Crypto is an esoteric domain - its intricacies can be difficult to understand, especially for those new to the space.To help cut through the noise, Insider has talked to several experts about which altcoins - cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin - they believe have the best upside. These experts also described the fundamentals and technicals that make these altcoins attractive. Their views are shared in the articles below.imghed with link and appendage blurb Coach JV, crypto investor and founder of 3T Warrior Academy. Coach JV 4 altcoins to buy: A 12-year banking veteran says the biggest generational wealth transfer that's about to take place will trigger a 'parabolic' bull run in crypto. He explains how he's maximizing gains on the cryptos he's holding.John Vasquez quit a 12-year banking career to dive into crypto full-time.He's betting that the massive wealth transfer from baby boomers to their younger heirs will lead to a crypto boom.Vasquez, known as Coach JV on social media, explained what people should know about crypto before investing and the altcoins he's buying. Adrian Zduńczyk. Adrian Zduńczyk 5 altcoins that could surge 10-100x in the coming 'legendary' altcoin season that outshines bitcoin, according to a crypto technical analyst who's holding themCrypto technical analyst Adrian Zduńczyk says some altcoins due to outperform bitcoin in a "legendary" way. Zduńczyk is the founder and CEO of the Birb Nest, a trading platform. He shared five altcoins with us that he thinks could surge 10-100 times. Matthew Sigel is the head of digital assets research at VanEck. VanEck The head of digital assets research at an $81 billion money manager breaks down 3 drivers fueling the $2 trillion crypto market's latest bull run - and shares 3 competing altcoins to ethereum, including one that could nearly double in the next yearEthereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency at the moment, sitting behind bitcoin. But it has problems like expensive transaction fees. Matthew Sigel, head of digital asset research at VanEck, shares three altcoins to rival ether. Evergrande is China's second-biggest property developer. Noel Celis/Getty Images A trader who warned of the 2017 and 2021 bitcoin bull market tops shares 4 altcoins he's bullish on for the long-term - but breaks down why Evergrande's crisis is keeping him away from crypto at the momentThe looming debt crisis of Chinese real estate developer Evergrande sent shockwaves through global equity markets in September - and crypto was not spared.Given the recent sell-offs, Goodman said he was keeping his money on the sidelines in the crypto space until prices appear to be in an uptrend again. He shared four projects he thinks can do well in the longer-term. STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images Bitcoin is ready for a 'monster run' up to $85,000 if it clears a key resistance level, a crypto evangelist predicts - and shares 7 altcoins he's bullish on nowEthereum's major upgrade in early August led to a 9.6% intraday price spike, and investors haven't yet sold the positive news. That's one reason why David Gokhshtein is bullish. He also told us his theses for six smaller altcoins he owns. A local business in El Salvador that accepts bitcoin payments. Alex Pena/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Why crypto crashed: 4 experts break down what Tuesday's sudden drop might mean for the altcoin season and NFT frenzy - and share 12 high-quality tokens that are likely to continue rallying toward the year's endVarious cryptos tumbled on Tuesday September 7 as El Salvador officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender. By the following morning, more than $3.25 billion in crypto positions had been liquidated over 24 hours, affecting more than 300,000 traders, according to Bybit. We asked experts what was driving the sell-off, and where they recommended buying dips. Dogecoin is a 'meme' cryptocurrency, seemingly created as a joke Yuriko Nakao/Getty The chief economist of a blockchain data firm breaks down why the current dogecoin rally has more legs to run - and lays out why 'anything is possible' for the altcoin, including reaching $1When dogecoin rose over 12,000% to $0.68 earlier this year, it shocked the investing community. It has since cooled off, though its price has picked up in recent weeks. It now sits around $.027. What will it do next? Chainalysis chief economist Philip Gradwell broke down why he think it will go to $1. crypto coins circle Nurphoto WATCH: Crypto analyst David Grider and venture capital investor Ria Bhutoria discuss state of the market, under-the-radar altcoins, and outlook on regulationInsider recently hosted a live webcast featuring two crypto experts. They broke down their views on everything from the recent slump to the possibility of regulation. Lyn Alden is the founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy Lyn Alden Investment Strategy Bitcoin to $100,000 and ether to $5,000: Famed investment strategist Lyn Alden explains her bullish predictions for the largest cryptos in 2022, and why there are only 2 altcoins worth watchingLyn Alden says most altcoins are "smoke and mirrors." But there are at least two with interesting technologies that are worth watching. Marnie Griffiths/Getty A crypto evangelist explains why he's going 'all in on altcoins' - and shares why he's worried about bitcoin whales taking over that marketAs some altcoins have shown, there is potential for huge appreciation in crypto outside of bitcoin. David Gokhshtein is one investor that's looking to take advantage of these opportunities. He shared two altcoins he's bullish on. Mack Lorden, left, and Lucas Dimos are TikTok crypto influencers. Mack Lorden and Lucas Dimos 2 crypto traders and TikTok influencers share their 6 go-to altcoins for riding out crypto bear markets - including one that's up more than 11,000% since its launch in 2017The broader crypto space just went through a rough patch after huge gains earlier this year. Like any asset class, it has its bull and bear markets. When crypto bear markets do come, crypto influencers Mack Lorden and Lucas Dimos told us that six altcoins in particular help them hedge losses. Many investors are excited about the Ethereum network's uses. SOPA Images/Getty Images The head of institutional coverage at crypto trading platform FalconX shares 9 Ethereum-tied digital tokens to take advantage of the DeFi revolution - and breaks down why Ethereum still has 'significant' upsideMany altcoins are built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Aya Kantorovich, the head of institutional coverage at crypto exchange FalconX, shared nine coins built on top of the ethereum blockchain that she thinks have solid use cases."I personally always like coins with application," Kantorovich said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt22 hr. 33 min. ago

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

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

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

How a partnership between the city of Boston and local universities is working to help policymakers better serve residents

The Boston Area Research Initiative works with universities like Northeastern and Harvard to examine how data and tech can reshape the future. Northeastern University is where the Boston Area Research Initiative is housed. David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Kazi Awal/Insider The Boston Area Research Initiative helps policymakers better understand and serve residents. BARI collaborates with universities on research projects to offer insights into life in the city. Efforts include research on the city's 311 nonemergency reporting system and an annual conference. This article is part of a series focused on American cities building a better tomorrow called "Advancing Cities." The Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI) brings together academics, policymakers, and community leaders to examine how data and technology can reshape the city's future. "We put a real focus not just on cool technology and efficiency," Dan O'Brien, director of BARI, told Insider, but how these tools can enhance equity, justice, democracy, sustainability, and resilience in Boston. The multiuniversity partnership consists of the city of Boston, Northeastern University, where the organization is housed, Harvard University, and other higher-education institutions in the area. Its mission is to collaborate on research projects and offer insights into daily life in the city to help policymakers better understand and serve residents. Dan O'Brien is the director of BARI. Adam Glanzman / Northeastern University City-university partnerships are critical to digital transformation, as city agencies are consumed by "the daily grind of running a city," O'Brien, who's also an associate professor of public policy and urban affairs, criminology, and criminal justice at Northeastern University said. "Universities bring skills and extra capacity to the table to design research studies, execute research studies, to evaluate, and just to help ask questions."BARI has worked with Boston on several projects, including examining how residents use the city's nonemergency reporting system, studying urban heat islands, and hosting an annual conference to discuss and find solutions for the city's biggest challenges. Here's a look at some of these projects. Research on Boston's nonemergency reporting system revealed inequities in servicesSoon after BARI launched in 2011, the organization began working with the Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics to analyze data collected from the city's 311 nonemergency reporting system. The project involved analyzing hundreds of thousands of reports to the system about issues like potholes, broken street lights, and litter to identify who was using 311 and why. Researchers also surveyed residents and ran experiments to see how residents responded to advertisements for 311.The research showed that city services may be democratized, but they weren't necessarily equitable. Some neighborhoods may have just as many needs as others but don't report problems to 311. In 2018, O'Brien published a book on the project titled "The Urban Commons," which outlines why specific neighborhoods took ownership of their environment and infrastructure and reported problems to 311. It also identified ways for city governments to deploy technology, engage citizens, and use the data. "We demonstrated that this collaboration between academia and city agencies could take a new technology, evaluate it, make it stronger, give it meaning and understanding, and essentially advance research at the same time as policy and have the two be mutually reinforcing," O'Brien said.The relationship between heat islands and medical emergencies demonstrates the usefulness of smart-sensor tech The relationship between the city's heat islands, areas that are warmer than surrounding places, and emergency medical reports is another area of O'Brien's research into what he calls "microspatial inequities," or how equitable the features of an area are. In July 2020, he coauthored a study published in the American Journal of Public Health that found street temperatures within Boston neighborhoods can vary by as much as 20 or 30 degrees, depending on the presence of trees and amount of pavement. His team compared temperature data to 911 reports of medical emergencies and found that streets with higher land surface temperatures had more medical emergencies. "Basically, it was what street you were on and its temperature that was more important than what neighborhood you were in," O'Brien said. This project offers lessons for the city as it deals with pollution and prepares for climate change. "Could it be that areas all have their own microspatial components that we should be tracking and responding to and being supportive of?" he said.The need to granularly examine neighborhoods in this manner justifies the need for sensor systems in some areas and offers guidelines for how to design those systems, O'Brien said. Boston has deployed sensors and cameras on some city streets to examine issues like traffic and safety through its Smart Streets initiative. Putting a sensor on every street corner isn't the only solution, though. O'Brien said there isn't enough evidence as to how much value it offers the city. More targeted pilots could provide this information."These are the logistical questions that need to be answered if you're going to build a tool," he said. "How do we optimize to not overspend for a piece of infrastructure like this?" he added.Conferences and community training aids in Boston's digital transformation BARI hosts an annual conference that brings together nearby universities, city agencies, local organizations, and public-sector companies. This year's event, held in April, centered on helping the city rebuild post-pandemic. "It's an opportunity for everyone to come together," O'Brien said. "They're sharing their work, they're building their own collaborations, they're seeing us as a forum where experts of many different stripes can come together to further this work and set a communal agenda." The organization also holds community-based training to teach organizations how to access the data BARI publishes. The goal is to give communities the opportunity to contribute in an egalitarian way to Boston's digital transformation. "Otherwise, the transformation is going to happen to them, not with them," O'Brien said. "And that's a real problem for all smart cities or smart cities-adjacent work. It's one that my colleagues and I are very conscious of in Boston and have been working to solve."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt1 hr. 17 min. ago

Noom users say they feel misled by the diet app

These are Insider's biggest healthcare stories for September 23. Hello,Welcome to Insider Healthcare. I'm Leah Rosenbaum, a new healthcare editor at Insider who will be helping Lydia with this newsletter for the next few months. Today in healthcare news:Weight-loss app Noom calls itself anti-diet, but users say they it relies on calorie restriction;Former Accolade executive Dr. Alan Spiro is joining at-home care startup Laguna Health;Polls show that Americans are just fine with COVID-19 vaccine mandates. If you're new to this newsletter, sign up here. Comments, tips? Email me at lrosenbaum@insider.com or tweet @leah_rosenbaum. As Lydia likes to say, let's get to it...First - some breaking news from last night. The FDA on Wednesday evening authorized boosters of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 and up and people at higher risk.That includes people between 18-64 who are at higher risk of getting a severe COVID-19 case, and people at higher risk based on where they work or where they live. Boosters are only available to people who were initially vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.Read the full story>> Crystal Cox/Business Insider Noom markets itself as an anti-diet lifestyle app. Users say they find themselves counting calories, receiving canned advice from burned-out coaches, and taking on expensive subscriptions.Noom is an industry leader in weight-loss apps with millions of dollars in venture-capital funding.The company pitches itself as offering personalized weight-loss support using psychological methods.Users and former employees say it relies on calorie restriction and coaches are burned out. Get the full story>> Laguna Health's app helps patients recover at home. Laguna Health A longtime Accolade executive is setting his sights on at-home care as the next big opportunity for upending how care is delivered in the USDr. Alan Spiro, a longtime Accolade executive, is joining Laguna Health as its chief medical officer and president.At-home care has been an area of growth for digital health during the COVID-induced funding boom.The rapid adoption of telehealth helped startups offering in-home care, Laguna CEO Yoni Shtein said.Check it out now>> A band-aid is placed on the arm of a 12 year old child after they received a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine after it was approved for use by the FDA in children 12 and over at a Los Angeles County mobile vaccination clinic on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Patrick Fallon/AFP/Getty Images Poll after poll shows the same thing: Americans are cool with vaccine mandatesThree recent polls show that a majority of Americans support vaccine mandates. The popularity of vaccine requirements has risen as the Delta variant surged.Hardline opposition to getting vaccinated has fallen to a new low. Read more here>> More stories we're reading:Some doctors are spreading COVID-19 misinformation. Will they be held accountable? (Kaiser Health News)China's biotech industry has quietly surged to a $180 billion behemoth. Here's how it's reshaping biotech as we know it, from M&A to drug pricing (Insider)A new federal office plans to look at climate change through a public-health lens (The Wall Street Journal)Tennessee says vaccinated people should be last in line for antibody treatments to save them for the unvaccinated (Insider)-LeahRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider5 hr. 33 min. ago

How Bizarre

“History never repeats itself, but it rhymes!” -Mark Twain Dear fellow investors, Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The group, OMC, made a very catchy song and video back in the 1990s called “How Bizarre.” It does a pretty good job of explaining today’s stock market. Brother Pele’s in the back, sweet Zina’s […] “History never repeats itself, but it rhymes!” -Mark Twain Dear fellow investors, 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 Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger 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); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The group, OMC, made a very catchy song and video back in the 1990s called “How Bizarre.” It does a pretty good job of explaining today’s stock market. Brother Pele’s in the back, sweet Zina’s in the front Cruisin’ down the freeway in the hot, hot sun Suddenly red-blue lights flash us from behind Loud voice booming, “Please step out onto the line” Pele preaches words of comfort, Zina just hides her eyes Policeman taps his shades, “Is that a Chevy ’69?” How bizarre How bizarre, how bizarre Let us share some of the “bizarre red-blue lights flashing” in the S&P 500 Index: Bank of America Merrill Lynch mathematical model predicts -.8% annual 10-year returns Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. mathematical model predicts -6% real seven-year annualized large cap stock losses S&P 500 Index price-to-sales ratio: S&P 500 weighting in 5x price-to-sales stocks: Amazon has 55 analysts and 55 buy recommendations: Ooh, baby (Ooh, baby) It’s making me crazy (It’s making me crazy) Everytime I look around Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around) Everytime I look around It’s in my face The Financial Euphoria Episode “Every time I look around” this financial euphoria episode is “making me crazy,” because of how long it has lasted, how much the math tied to its carnage makes sense and because the anecdotal evidence has been visible for some time. We are channeling our inner Alan Greenspan, who called the tech bubble “Irrational Exuberance” in late 1996, only to look foolish for nearly four more years. As Art Cashin said recently on CNBC, the Y2K technology spending explosion elongated the tech bubble for another two years. Is the COVID-19 pandemic any different in elongating this euphoria episode? However, back then you needed to be like Zina and “hide her eyes.” Everyone who has hid their eyes, plugged their nose and over-paid for glam tech and high price-to-sales stocks have been rewarded. The similarities or rhymes with 1999-2000 are “in my face.” The thing that protected the singer from getting a ticket was his super-hot red 1969 Chevy convertible. Today, reality is being pushed back by the historically low interest rates. Warren Buffett explained in his May annual meeting that low interest rates have eliminated the gravitational pull on price-to-earnings and price-to-sales ratios. The low rates make expensive stocks look like the red ‘69 Chevy convertible. Inflation is rearing its ugly head and it looks like a 1970s redo as the chart above shows. Ironically, this is not far from when OMC made “How Bizarre.” Overpricing Treasuries relative to inflation was a curse in the 1970s. What will stop it from being a curse this time? Ring master steps out and says “the elephants left town” People jump and jive, but the clowns have stuck around TV news and camera, there’s choppers in the sky Marines, police, reporters ask where, for and why The Bizarre Stock Market You see, the clowns who damaged investors in 1999 have “stuck around.” George Gilder had a huge newsletter following in the late 1990s and investors seemed to hang on every recommendation. Motley Fool (whose Coxcomb trademark is a clown hat) blasted away on radio and in their writing. Unmentioned tech stock research analysts substituted genuine research with investment banking customer recommendations. Gilder has been replaced in 2021 by Ark disruption selections. Motley Fool has been reborn and “marines, police (SEC), reporters ask, where, for and why!” These current “bizarre” sets of experts are bound and determined to do to millennials what the prior group did to boomers. They bludgeoned boomers in the 2000-2003 bear market with the AOL chat room darlings. The millennials have Reddit and Robinhood to thank this time for the chat rooms and future carnage. Jumped into the Chevy and headed for big lights Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights The nice thing about this episode of financial euphoria is that you can buy the rights to own common stocks which are outside this bizarre rhyme of the year 2000. Nobody wants oil stocks because of a big move toward ESG investing (which is also pumping up tech stock valuations). Oil prices have gone up and investors are still afraid to buy in. We view Continental Resources (CLR) like the ’69 Chevy. Folks don’t have the guts to bet on a rise in recurrent inflation and higher interest rates. Lastly, everyone forgets how much value stomped growth from 2000-2003 when these “bizarre” circumstances existed, and the “red-blue lights” were flashing. “Every time I (we) look around,” we see buyers of expensive stocks and, as always, fear stock market failure. Warm regards, William Smead The information contained in this missive represents Smead Capital Management’s opinions, and should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice and are subject to change. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Bill Smead, CIO, wrote this article. It should not be assumed that investing in any securities mentioned above will or will not be profitable. Portfolio composition is subject to change at any time and references to specific securities, industries and sectors in this letter are not recommendations to purchase or sell any particular security. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk. In preparing this document, SCM has relied upon and assumed, without independent verification, the accuracy and completeness of all information available from public sources. A list of all recommendations made by Smead Capital Management within the past twelve-month period is available upon request. ©2021 Smead Capital Management, Inc. All rights reserved. This Missive and others are available at www.smeadcap.com. Updated on Sep 22, 2021, 8:52 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: valuewalk17 hr. 5 min. ago

FDA Agrees With Advisors, Limits Booster Jabs To Older & Immunocompromised Americans

FDA Agrees With Advisors, Limits Booster Jabs To Older & Immunocompromised Americans Following Friday's decision by the FDA's vaccine advisory panel to only recommend the use of boosters for patients who are a) immunocompromised, b) overweight or c) both, Bloomberg reports that the FDA has decided to accept the advisory panel's conclusions, as expected - representing a major victory for "the science" over President Biden's political priorities. The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee - also known as VRBPAC - is a panel of senior advisors for the FDA, and after a long public meeting on Friday, it voted overwhelmingly against approving a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab for every patient over the age of 16 (though it did leave a door open to approving booster jabs for all eventually). Now, the FDA on Wednesday has decided to accept VRBPAC's recommendations, according to Bloomberg. FDA TO AUTHORIZE 3RD PFIZER SHOT FOR 65 AND OVER, HIGH-RISK In keeping with panel reco — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 22, 2021 NEW: The FDA is set to authorize Pfizer boosters tonight, in line with VRBPAC recommendations, per a source. Boosters for 65 and up, those at high risk of severe cases, or in workplaces with high exposure risk, per source. Announcement said to be imminent but not confirmed. — Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) September 22, 2021 The expected emergency clearance for the number of booster jabs will be for people 65 and older, those most susceptible to severe disease and people whose jobs put them at risk, Bloomberg's source added. Most importantly, the FDA's decision will scuttle - well, at least for now - the Biden Administration's plan to start doling out third "booster" jabs to any American over the age of 16 (in Israel, they have been available to anyone over the ae=ge ofthat the Biden administration would have to forgo, temporarily, a wider rollout of boosters that it had proposed last month. Third doses are already authorized for certain people with compromised immune systems. While hundreds of thousands of Americans have already received a third dose (the CDC has allowed them for older, sick patients), only 54.8% of America's adult population has been fully inoculated. Along with the Biden Administration, which is scrambling to do everything in its power to combat the delta variant (even if some of those moves, like mandatory masking, aren't as effective as one might expect) Pfizer is also bound to be disappointed by the FDA's decision. The FDA's decision to defy Biden follows by nearly two weeks the president's own decision to abandon his promise not to mandate vaccines, when Biden ordered all federal employees, as well as employees for government contractors and other private small and medium size businesses, to get vaccinated. Polls have shown nearly half of Americans disapprove of the rule. This isn't the final word on whether the entire population will eventually be required - or aggressively "incentivized" - to get a third dose of one of the mRNA vaccines. The FDA has room to change its recommendations or decisions as more scientific data and research comes in. Looking ahead, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to meet Thursday to make its own recommendations about who should receive the additional dose. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 19:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge18 hr. 5 min. ago

FDA authorizes boosters of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for older adults and others at high risk from COVID-19

The hope is that booster shots will help protect those most at risk as the pandemic continues to rage. A nurse prepares to inject staff with the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images The FDA authorized boosters of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for older adults and people at higher risk. Booster shots are likely to be available in locations like pharmacies and clinics at no cost. The US is still struggling to convince many people to get their first doses of coronavirus vaccines. See more stories on Insider's business page. The US coronavirus booster-shot campaign has cleared a crucial hurdle.The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for older adults and others at high risk from the pandemic. Boosters can be given starting six months after the first two doses of the shot. The agency said that getting a third shot is safe and can help increase protection against the disease.The FDA decision caps more than a month of messy debate over the US vaccination drive. In mid-August, a group of President Joe Biden's top health officials issued an extraordinary joint statement saying that boosters were coming. The statement prompted controversy because it came before reviews by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and before much data on the safety or effectiveness of boosters was available. The US has already greenlit an extra vaccine dose for people with compromised immune systems, and some countries have embarked on booster-shot campaigns focused on vulnerable individuals.Under the FDA's emergency-use authorization, four main groups of people are eligible for booster shots:People 65 and older;People 18 to 64 who are at high risk of a severe case of COVID-19 if they get sick;People 18 to 64 who are at higher risk of getting COVID-19 at work, such as healthcare workers and teachers;People 18 to 64 who are at higher risk of getting COVID-19 because of where they live, such as those in prisons and other institutions.Protecting the most vulnerable amid the pandemicThe hope is that booster shots will help protect those most at risk as the pandemic continues to surge, fueled by the rise of the Delta variant. Delta is more contagious, and appears to be able to partially elude the protection offered by vaccines.Still, the US is struggling to convince much of its population to get coronavirus vaccines at all. Just over 64% of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC."At this moment, it is clear that the unvaccinated are driving transmission in the United States," Dr. Amanda Cohn from the CDC said during an FDA meeting on boosters shots on Friday. Cohn said that masks and social distancing are still crucial, because "vaccination will never be perfect" at preventing every case.The CDC still needs to weigh in formally on who should be prioritized to receive booster doses. The agency's vaccine advisory committee is set to discuss booster shots on Thursday. Interim FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock. Tom Williams/Getty Images The Biden administration has said that once approved, booster shots will be widely available in locations like pharmacies and clinics. They'll be offered to individuals for free.Expanding the reach of boostersThe FDA decision is a setback for Pfizer, which had asked the agency to make boosters available to everyone over age 16, six months after their second dose.It comes after a panel of doctors and other experts advising the FDA voted against the idea of making booster shots available that widely. The panel instead said that boosters should be given to people 65 and older, and to those most at risk of severe cases of COVID-19.Experts on the panel said there wasn't enough evidence showing the benefits of an extra vaccine dose for younger people. They also expressed concern that there wasn't enough safety data for younger adults, highlighting the risk of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, that has been seen at higher-than-usual levels in teenagers and 20-somethings who have been vaccinated."The incremental benefit to the younger population really has not been demonstrated at all," Dr. Michael Kurilla, an infectious disease expert from the National Institutes of Health, said during the meeting."I think we need to target the boosters right now specifically to the people who are likely to be at high risk, and it's an older population." 'A good step to protect yourself'Infectious-disease experts who aren't on the FDA's committee said the group made the right call to limit the initial rollout to more vulnerable people."If you fall into the age category, this is a good step to protect yourself," said Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.The booster rollout shouldn't distract from effort to get more unvaccinated people to get their initial shots, said Bernadette Boden-Albala, director of the University of California, Irvine's public-health program. "If you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated," Boden-Albala said. "If you are vaccinated, be vigilant. And if you're vaccinated and eligible for the booster, get it."The FDA still has plenty of work ahead on coronavirus vaccines. The agency is reviewing an application from Moderna to give a third shot of its two-dose vaccine. Johnson & Johnson recently put out data showing that its vaccine is more effective after a second dose, and said it'd provided the information to the FDA.The agency is also being pressed to make vaccines available to younger kids. Pfizer has said it plans to submit data from a study of kids ages 5 to 11 to FDA in early October, and the agency could reach a decision by the end of that month. The drugmaker then plans to submit data from kids between 6 months and 5 years old in November. Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer's head of vaccine research and development Pfizer The case for boostersTo make the case for booster shots, Pfizer presented results from at least eight studies showing protection from the vaccine wanes over time and that a booster could help. The company also cited data from Israel that showed big benefits from boosters in older people. That data comes from an observational study and could be skewed by factors that researchers weren't aware of or couldn't account for.The FDA's own review of the evidence for extra shots avoided taking a firm stance on some of the largest questions surrounding boosters, and noted that Pfizer didn't formally evaluate the efficacy of boosters.In a statement on Friday, Pfizer said that it believes booster shots are "a critical tool in the ongoing effort to control the spread of this virus.""We continue to believe in the benefits of a booster dose for a broader population," Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer's head of vaccine research & development, said in the statement.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider18 hr. 17 min. ago

FDA Agrees Awith Advisors, Limits Booster Jabs To Older & Immunocompromised Americans

FDA Agrees Awith Advisors, Limits Booster Jabs To Older & Immunocompromised Americans Following Friday's decision by the FDA's vaccine advisory panel to only recommend the use of boosters for patients who are a) immunocompromised, b) overweight or c) both, Bloomberg reports that the FDA has decided to accept the advisory panel's conclusions, as expected - representing a major victory for "the science" over President Biden's political priorities. The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee - also known as VRBPAC - is a panel of senior advisors for the FDA, and after a long public meeting on Friday, it voted overwhelmingly against approving a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab for every patient over the age of 16 (though it did leave a door open to approving booster jabs for all eventually). Now, the FDA on Wednesday has decided to accept VRBPAC's recommendations, according to Bloomberg. FDA TO AUTHORIZE 3RD PFIZER SHOT FOR 65 AND OVER, HIGH-RISK In keeping with panel reco — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 22, 2021 NEW: The FDA is set to authorize Pfizer boosters tonight, in line with VRBPAC recommendations, per a source. Boosters for 65 and up, those at high risk of severe cases, or in workplaces with high exposure risk, per source. Announcement said to be imminent but not confirmed. — Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) September 22, 2021 The expected emergency clearance for the number of booster jabs will be for people 65 and older, those most susceptible to severe disease and people whose jobs put them at risk, Bloomberg's source added. Most importantly, the FDA's decision will scuttle - well, at least for now - the Biden Administration's plan to start doling out third "booster" jabs to any American over the age of 16 (in Israel, they have been available to anyone over the ae=ge ofthat the Biden administration would have to forgo, temporarily, a wider rollout of boosters that it had proposed last month. Third doses are already authorized for certain people with compromised immune systems. While hundreds of thousands of Americans have already received a third dose (the CDC has allowed them for older, sick patients), only 54.8% of America's adult population has been fully inoculated. Along with the Biden Administration, which is scrambling to do everything in its power to combat the delta variant (even if some of those moves, like mandatory masking, aren't as effective as one might expect) Pfizer is also bound to be disappointed by the FDA's decision. The FDA's decision to defy Biden follows by nearly two weeks the president's own decision to abandon his promise not to mandate vaccines, when Biden ordered all federal employees, as well as employees for government contractors and other private small and medium size businesses, to get vaccinated. Polls have shown nearly half of Americans disapprove of the rule. This isn't the final word on whether the entire population will eventually be required - or aggressively "incentivized" - to get a third dose of one of the mRNA vaccines. The FDA has room to change its recommendations or decisions as more scientific data and research comes in. Looking ahead, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to meet Thursday to make its own recommendations about who should receive the additional dose. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 19:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge19 hr. 17 min. ago

Facebook"s longtime CTO says he"s stepping down, one of the biggest leadership changes in company history

Mike Schroepfer has been Facebook's tech chief since 2013. His departure is one of its first major leadership changes in nearly a decade. Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer. Greg Sandoval/Business Insider Facebook's CTO, Mike Schroepfer, said on Wednesday that he would step down sometime next year. Schroepfer is one of the longest-serving execs in CEO Mark Zuckerberg's inner circle and has been tech chief since 2013. Facebook's virtual reality czar, Andrew Bosworth, will take over. See more stories on Insider's business page. Facebook's chief technology officer and a longtime Facebook employee is stepping down from the role, headed to a new part-time and much different position.The tech chief, Mike Schroepfer, said in a post to his own Facebook page on Wednesday that he would leave the role sometime in 2022. He will then be replaced by Andrew Bosworth, currently the leader of Facebook's augmented and virtual reality division, further signalling Facebook's push into that business. Schroepfer has been CTO since 2013. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.Bosworth is another early Facebook employee and member of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's inner circle who has steadily moved up through the ranks. He joined in 2006, two years before Schroepfer, and was one of the company's earlier executives with the title of vice president. Over the years, Bosworth, known as Boz, helped build central parts of the platform, including its News Feed, Messages, and Groups, before moving on to augmented and virtual reality projects. "This is a difficult decision because of how much I love Facebook and how excited I am about the future we are building together," Schroepfer wrote in his post. But he is not leaving the company entirely. He said he is to become a "senior fellow" within Facebook next year, a first-of-its-kind role at the company, although he did not say what exactly the role will entail.Zuckerberg called Schroepfer "a close friend" in a statement on Facebook's press site and said he had "played a critical role in almost everything we've done." He added that the senior fellow position will see Schroepfer helping with recruitment and "continuing to foster our AI investments."Schroepfer is among the first of Facebook's true old-guard to move away from the company, having been there for 13 years. But other executive departures have come in recent months. David Fischer, Facebook's chief revenue officer, announced his exit in spring. Then VR leader Hugo Barra left, as did advertising head Carolyn Everson, and app head Fidji Simo.Not everyone is cheering the change, however. Samidh Chakrabarti, who was previously a director of product management at Facebook, suggested on Twitter that a Facebook without Schroepfer is "worrisome.""After I left FB earlier this month, many existing employees asked me who could now best be their ally on matters of societal import," Chakrabarti wrote. "Who was on my short list every single time? Schrep. So this is indeed significant."-Samidh (@samidh) September 22, 2021 In the post announcing his job change, Schroepfer said that Bosworth was responsible for the creation of Facebook's entire AR and VR organization thus far, now called Facebook Realty Labs, and led research efforts and hardware rollouts like Oculus and Portal."These contributions are foundational components of our broader efforts to help build the metaverse," Schroepfer said. Zuckerberg echoed that point, saying in his note that Bosworth's work is "foundational to our broader efforts helping to build the metaverse, and I'm excited about the future of this work under Boz's leadership."Zuckerberg has been a fierce advocate for Facebook's push into AR and VR, saying on an earnings call earlier this year that he wants it to be "a metaverse company." The term "metaverse" refers to a manifestation of the social, physical world in digital space, like in the games "Animal Crossing" or "Second Life" - or, as Zuckerberg put it, ​​"an embodied internet that you're inside of rather than just looking at.""I wanted to discuss this now so that you can see the future that we're working towards and how our major initiatives across the company are going to map to that," he said at the time.Do you work at Facebook? Got a tip? Contact this reporter at khays@insider.com or via secure messaging service Signal at 949-280-0267. Reach out using a non-work device.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 5 min. ago

Poll after poll shows the same thing: Americans are cool with vaccine mandates

COVID-19 vaccination mandates are increasingly popular among Americans, particularly for teachers and government workers, polls show. A 12-year-old receives their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a Los Angeles County mobile clinic on May 14, 2021. Patrick Fallon/AFP/Getty Images Three recent polls show that a majority of Americans support vaccine mandates. The popularity of vaccine requirements has risen as the Delta variant surged. Hardline opposition to getting vaccinated has fallen to a new low. See more stories on Insider's business page. Though Americans remain divided about vaccine mandates, poll after poll shows that their overall popularity is rising - particularly for workers in specific industries, like education and government.Three surveys conducted between August 3 and September 15 - from CNN, Axios/Ipsos and Fox News - have all found the same thing. More than half of Americans support making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for participating in public life. Such mandates have gained favor during the period Delta infections have surged. Among the three polls, the Axios/Ipsos survey found the highest support for vaccine mandates among the general population, with 60% of respondents saying they supported vaccine mandates. In CNN's poll, 51% voiced support. In Fox News' poll, the most recent of the bunch, 54% of respondents did.Democrats like mandates more than Republicans do Italy is one of the countries requiring a COVID-19 pass for travel. Stefano Guidi/Getty Image Democratic survey respondents were more likely to say that requiring proof of vaccination for everyday activities outside of the home, such as attending a concert or going grocery shopping, was an acceptable way to raise the vaccination rate.In CNN's poll, 80% of Democrats said they supported mandates, compared with 44% of Independents and 23% of Republicans. The survey, conducted by the independent research company SSRS between August 3 and September 7, relied on a nationally representative group of more than 2,000 adults.The Axios/Ipsos survey, which was conducted between September 10 and 13, found that more than 80% of Democrats support the Biden Administration's federal mandate that businesses with 100 or more employees require them to be vaccinated or get tested weekly. But support for those measures fell to roughly 60% among independents and 30% among Republicans. The poll included a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 adults.Americans want teachers and government workers to be vaccinated Army medics fill syringes with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Orlando, Florida, April 10, 2021. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images The Fox News poll, conducted between September 12 and 15, found that among more than 1,000 registered voters, 54% said they supported cities requiring proof of vaccination in order to participate in indoor activities. By contrast, 44% said they opposed such vaccine mandates.The percentage of respondents who said they supported vaccinations rose four percentage points since a prior Fox News poll conducted in early August. In that survey, 50% said they supported vaccine mandates.Respondents to the Fox poll were more enthusiastic about vaccine mandates for frontline workers: 61% said they supported vaccine mandates for teachers. For government workers, 58% were in favor of mandates, and 55% were in favor of workplace requirements that employees to be vaccinated. The poll also found that 56% of respondents supported the Biden Administration's vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees.The CNN poll similarly suggested that Americans are warming up to vaccination requirements in workplaces and schools: 54% of respondents said they approved of those requirements for in-office workers, and 55% supported them for students attending in-person classes. In the Axios/Ipsos poll, too, 57% of working Americans said they supported their employer requiring vaccination.Strident opposition to vaccination has fallen to a new lowBetween April and August, hardline resistance to COVID-19 vaccines has steadily declined, Axios/Ipsos found.In the spring, 19% of respondents to an Axios/Ipsos survey said they were "not at all likely" to get vaccinated. By the end of August, that group had shrunk to 14%, and 72% of respondents reported that they'd already been vaccinated.As of Tuesday, 64% of the US population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 55% were fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.After a slight uptick in vaccinations at the start of September, when the CDC reported a seven-day average of more than 954,000 vaccinations per day, the number had fallen to an average of about 761,000 per day as of Tuesday. That's down from an average of more than 3 million vaccinations per day during the April peak.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt21 hr. 17 min. ago

Bet on These 3 MedTech Growth Stocks for 2021 & Beyond

Stocks like West Pharmaceutical Services (WST), IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX) and Align Technology (ALGN) make great picks for the long term. The economic mayhem brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is barely showing any signs of easing. After a few months of some stability in the first half of 2021, the surge in the highly-transmissible Delta variant is haunting investors.Going by a Reuters report, the U.S. economic rebound has been impeded in the third quarter, partly because of the spread of the Delta variant. However, the growth outlook still stands at 4.2% for 2022 and 2.3% for 2023.Meanwhile, despite several temporary phases of market recovery over the past couple of months, the pessimism across major pandemic-battered industries in the United States is still looming large.Brighter Picture for MedTechOn Sep 9, the new mandate announced by President Joe Biden unveiled a series of steps to combat the rising pandemic concerns, including the announcement of a forthcoming federal rule that all businesses with 100 or more employees have to ensure that every worker is either vaccinated for COVID-19 or will have to submit weekly coronavirus testing results.Once the rule is implemented, several MedTech stocks, particularly companies in the field of testing and vaccines, are expected to report robust business gains. Also, this rule is expected to ease away the Delta-induced fear in the economy, which might again increase hospital and physician office visits, boosting demand for non-COVID elective procedures.Furthermore, a report by World Bank noted that the U.S. economy has been bolstered by massive fiscal support and growth is expected to reach 6.8% in 2021, the fastest pace since 1984.MedTech: A Comparatively Safe BetWhile theories about the impending new waves of coronavirus are still looming large, the MedTech space is expected to remain resilient on the transformation of business models according to changing demand pattern, inclination toward digital healthcare and a number of fiscal stimulus packages that the government has introduced of late.Despite the pandemic-induced crisis, many MedTech companies have raised their 2021 outlook on rise in diagnostic testing demand.In this line, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated DGX recently raised its full-year projection significantly. The company’s revenues for 2021 are now expected in the range of $9.84 billion to $10.09 billion versus the prior view of $9.54 billion to $9.79 billion.Ideal Strategy for MedTech InvestorsAmid the pandemic-induced market turmoil, when volatility peaks, it is always prudent to adopt a longer-term investing strategy and pick some growth-focused MedTech stocks which are fundamentally strong.Once the pandemic fades, these stocks with a robust long-term growth potential along with strong and sustainable financial performance can be the best bets.Here are a few MedTech companies with a Growth Score of A or B. Our research shows that stocks with a Growth Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), offer the best upside potential. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.3 Stocks to Bet OnWest Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST delivered robust performance in the second quarter of 2021 aided by solid organic sales growth in both of its base businesses and improving demand for products related to COVID-19 vaccines.  It continues to witness strong uptake of HVP components, which include Westar, FluroTec, Envision and NovaPure offerings, and Daikyo’s Crystal Zenith. A raised financial outlook for 2021 instills further optimism in the stock. Net sales for full-year 2021 are projected between $2.76 billion and $2.79 billion (up from the prior range of $2.63-$2.65 billion), while adjusted earnings per share for 2021 are anticipated in the band of $8.05 to $8.20 (up from the previous range of $6.95-$7.10).West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Price West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. price | West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. QuoteThis Zacks Rank #1 stock has a Growth Score of B. The stock’s return on equity (ROE) stands at an impressive 28.6% versus the industry’s 14.1%. In 2021, the company’s earnings are expected to grow 72.7%. It has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 27.3%.IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.’s IDXX top line in the second quarter was driven by strong sales at the CAG, LPD and Water businesses. The company witnessed sturdy gains in CAG Diagnostics’ recurring revenues, supported by sustained strong global trends in pet healthcare. IDEXX, boosted by the ongoing business recovery and strong performance in the last-reported quarter, has raised its financial outlook for 2021.The company currently projects revenue growth for the year in the range of 17-18.5% on a reported and 14.5-16% on an organic basis. Further, IDEXX projects full-year earnings per share growth of 22-25% on a reported basis.IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. Price IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. price | IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. QuoteThis Zacks Rank #2 stock has a Growth Score of B. The stock’s Price/Sales ratio stands at 18.5% versus the industry’s 6.3%. In 2021, the company’s earnings are expected to grow 24.4%. It has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 19.9%.Align Technology, Inc. ALGN exited the second quarter of 2021 with better-than-expected results despite the challenging business environment. Continued adoption of the company’s digital platform has also been a tailwind. The company is witnessing strong global growth in iTero business across all regions on the continued adoption of the iTero Element 5D Plus Series of next-generation scanners and imaging systems. Align Technology, on the back of its impressive performance, has raised its financial outlook for 2021. The company now expects revenue growth for the year in the range of 56-60% from 2020. Further, it expects revenue growth in the second half of 2021 to exceed the mid-point of its long-term operating model target of 20% to 30%.Align Technology, Inc. Price Align Technology, Inc. price | Align Technology, Inc. QuoteThis Zacks Rank #2 stock has a Growth Score of A. The stock’s Price/Sales ratio stands at a very impressive 16.4% versus the industry’s 3.3%. In 2021, the company’s earnings are expected to grow 109.3%. It has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 26.6%. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX): Free Stock Analysis Report Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN): Free Stock Analysis Report IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX): Free Stock Analysis Report West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (WST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 22nd, 2021

Fossil Fuel Companies Say Hydrogen Made From Natural Gas Is a Climate Solution. But the Tech May Not Be Very Green

But the tech may not actually be very green As a committee of climate scientists and environmental officials deliberated over how to drastically cut New York State’s carbon footprint last summer, natural gas industry representatives were putting forward a counterintuitive pitch: hydrogen, made from fossil fuels. The concept was simple, explained natural-gas proponents serving on the state’s climate-action council. Industrial hydrogen suppliers had long used a process called steam methane reforming (SMR) to produce what the industry calls “gray” hydrogen from natural gas—a system that accounts for 95% of all current hydrogen production, but releases large amounts of carbon emissions. Emissions-free “green” hydrogen can be produced using water and renewable electricity, but that tends to be more expensive than making gray hydrogen. The solution, gas-industry representatives said, was to pursue a kind of carbon compromise. Instead of making expensive green hydrogen, industrial gray hydrogen facilities could be outfitted with carbon capture systems that buried their emissions underground. Voila: A new color in the hydrogen rainbow—safe, clean, abundant “blue” hydrogen to power the economy of the future. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Bob Howarth, a Cornell University climate scientist serving on the N.Y. State carbon-drawdown committee, decided to look into the gas industry’s arguments. “I’m not surprised that people in the natural gas industry are trying to suggest ways that they keep their industry alive,” he says. “But I was skeptical.” Together with Mark Jacobson, an atmospheric scientist at Stanford University, Howarth set out to document the full emissions picture arising from blue hydrogen production. The results, published Aug. 12 in Energy Science and Engineering, were striking. According to Howarth and Jacobson’s calculations, capturing SMR carbon emissions uses so much energy and results in so much extra leakage of methane—another greenhouse gas that has many times more warming potential than carbon dioxide—that any possible CO2 emissions benefit is nearly canceled out, leaving in place a process that produces about 90% of the emissions of making grey hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is so dirty, in fact, that it’s worse for the climate than burning natural gas for heat in the first place, the researchers found. But in the meantime, blue hydrogen’s proponents were hard at work. Backed up by industry-funded reports, lobbyists had been pushing blue hydrogen to governments around the world, and the governments were listening. The E.U. released a strategy last summer that proposed expanding blue hydrogen production over the next decade. In the U.K., bureaucrats were crafting a national “hydrogen strategy,” released last month, that gives ample support to blue hydrogen development. In the U.S., legislators are currently negotiating a trillion-dollar infrastructure package that, in its current form, would allocate $8 billion to develop so-called “clean” hydrogen, much of it using fossil fuels. To some extent, Howarth’s work had come too late. “Industry marketing is way out ahead of scientific research and policy sometimes,” he says. That’s nothing new. From claims that natural gas could be a “bridge” to lower emissions, to promises of decarbonization through “clean coal,” pie-in-the-sky propositions from the fossil-fuel industry have been a feature of climate policy discussions for years. Now, with worldwide political will finally coalescing around an urgent imperative to draw down carbon emissions, natural-gas producers like Shell and BP and distributors like Engie have allied themselves with companies like Air Liquide that have long produced SMR hydrogen to promote blue hydrogen—which looks clean from certain angles, but from others, appears as CO2-intensive as other fossil fuels—as the future of the energy industry. Industry groups say blue hydrogen will be critical to meeting the world’s climate goals, and can be part of a broad strategy to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But some scientists and experts say the hydrogen industry’s real purpose is to preserve the value of its natural-gas resources and distribution systems under the cover of climate stewardship, locking the world into a technology that will release yet more methane and CO2 emissions for decades to come. For those of us who have gotten used to seeing hydrogen in the context of sleek concept cars, it can be surprising to learn that large-scale hydrogen production has been around for more than a century. Hydrogen became particularly useful after the early 20th century invention of the Haber process, which combines the gas with nitrogen in the atmosphere to produce ammonia, a compound valuable for its use in fertilizer and explosives. U.S. fossil-fuel companies began operating SMR plants to make hydrogen from natural gas in the 1930s, and the industry grew over the following decades. Oil refineries also use hydrogen to remove sulfur from crude oil, with many refineries currently producing their own hydrogen on-site from natural gas. About 6% of the world’s natural gas (and 2% of coal, through another carbon-intensive process) is currently used to produce hydrogen, emitting 830 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the International Energy Agency. In all, hydrogen production accounts for about 2% of all the world’s carbon emissions. But when used as a fuel, hydrogen has an environmental advantage over fossil fuels: burning hydrogen releases nothing but water vapor. Amid rising public concern over climate change in the early 2000s, hydrogen underwent a PR renaissance. No longer was it just a dirty industrial feedstock—now it was the fuel of the future. Though most hydrogen at the time was produced using SMR, experts knew large amounts of it could, in theory, be extracted from water using solar or wind power. And though the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, the hydrogen fuel made using those resources could be transported anywhere and used any time, essentially acting like a portable battery to store renewable energy. “Hydrogen fuel cells represent one of the most encouraging, innovative technologies of our era,” said U.S. President George W. Bush in 2003 while announcing a $1.2 billion federal initiative to launch a fledgling hydrogen sector. Promises of a “hydrogen economy” that would see fossil fuels phased out in favor of the lightest element to power everything from stove-top burners to trucks abounded. But hydrogen’s golden hour, particularly in the automotive sector, was to be short lived. In 2009, the new Obama Administration energy secretary and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu publicly lambasted the idea of a fleet of hydrogen-powered cars, saying the technology wasn’t progressing fast enough, and tried to cut government research funding. Congress restored those funds, though the Energy Department succeeded in making deep hydrogen cuts two years later. The next decade saw hydrogen’s prospects further decline. While hydrogen-powered vehicles from the likes of Toyota were beset by cost problems and difficulties building out fueling infrastructure, the battery-electric sector took off, with industry newcomers like Tesla selling half a million cars a year by the end of the next decade. Seeing which way the wind was blowing, other automakers like GM and Nissan quietly backed off hydrogen passenger car projects (though GM has continued to invest heavily in fuel cells for larger commercial vehicles). But hydrogen stalwarts weren’t going down without a fight. In the late 2010s, fossil-fuel companies, automakers, natural-gas grid operators and legacy SMR hydrogen companies, among others, began promoting a new narrative: Hydrogen, they said, was essential to a green-energy transition. “Green” hydrogen made from renewable energy would supply some of the power demand. The “blue” variety, made from natural gas, would make up the rest, with carbon-capture-and-storage technologies mitigating its emissions. That blue hydrogen narrative is largely descended from previous industry hype cycles around so-called “clean coal,” says Jan Rosenow, European Programme Director for the Regulatory Assistance Project, a nonprofit that helps governments implement green-energy goals. Those projects, launched in the 2010s, were largely based on the notion that coal-fired power plants would use carbon-capture equipment to bury their emissions underground—but they ultimately foundered, resulting in costly, federally-funded failures within a few years. After that, Rosenow says, industry switched tack to promoting natural gas as a low-carbon transition fuel, a push that drew environmental outcry over methane leaks along the gas-supply chain. Fossil-fuel companies, Rosenow says, needed a new option. “That’s where the whole discussion around hydrogen comes from,” he says. As China began to cash in on a green-tech manufacturing boom in the late-2010s, European governments eager to dominate a nascent hydrogen sector proved a receptive audience for industry pitches. In 2020, the non-profit watchdog group Corporate Europe Observatory released a report pointing out what it said were worrying signs of industry influence in the E.U. hydrogen strategy. “The bodies being created by the E.U. like the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance are completely industry dominated and industry driven,” says Pascoe Sabido, a researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory. “I don’t know if I’d even call it lobbying—this is the E.U. putting industry in the driving seat.” He frames the hydrogen push as an attempt by fossil fuel companies to shift a coming green energy transition to suit their own interests, pointing to their involvement in hydrogen industry groups like the Hydrogen Council and Hydrogen Europe. The secretariats of both organizations were previously managed by FTI Consulting, a consulting firm that garnered controversy last year over its role in setting up groups like Texans for Natural Gas and the Main Street Investors Coalition as part of a fossil fuel industry influence campaign. Then Bob Howarth and Mark Jacobson came out with their report last month, further sandbagging the blue hydrogen airship. Industry groups representing SMR producers, fossil-fuel companies and other hydrogen players contest their findings, pointing to their own reports, which argue that the technology can produce energy at an emissions cost 80% to 90% lower than pure fossil fuels. Daryl Wilson, executive director of the Hydrogen Council, an industry consortium, argues that Howarth’s blue hydrogen report would have come up with lower methane leakage rates if it had looked only at wells that were following industry best practices. But Howarth says there is little evidence that many in the industry actually operate that way. (Satellite imaging in recent years has found alarming gas leakage from wells and pipelines around the world.) In their calculations, he and Jacobson used the average methane leakage rate across the U.S. natural gas industry, a number they say better reflects real-world conditions. Right now, there are only a handful of blue-hydrogen facilities around the world, but governments are preparing subsidies and investments that, if enacted, will lead to the construction of many more. Chris Jackson, a green-hydrogen entrepreneur who resigned as chair of the U.K. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association earlier this month over the group’s inclusion of blue-hydrogen proponents, worries that fossil-fuel companies have once again hijacked the green-energy conversation. “Is it really appropriate and right that limited government resources from the public, which are meant to be supporting genuine net-zero technologies, should instead be spent on essentially allowing oil and gas companies to continue to operate the way they do today?,” Jackson says. Plans for new blue-hydrogen facilities, he says, don’t make sense from either an environmental or economic perspective. “You’re putting in infrastructure that’s going to take you five years to build and going to be there for 20 years. Everyone should be asking themselves: ‘if this is an asset…in the middle of 2040, [is it] still going to make sense to be running?’ And if not, you have to ask the question right now: ‘why are you building it?'” Even some with optimistic views of blue hydrogen don’t see why the public should support new facilities. Dolf Gielen, director of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany, generally supports blue hydrogen, but disagrees on the question of government assistance. “If blue hydrogen means you add some [carbon-capture equipment] to an existing [methane] reformer facility, why not?” says Gielen. “It’s a different question whether governments should subsidize new blue hydrogen.” Others say it makes little sense to invest limited government funds in a technology that only promises to reduce carbon emissions, rather than eliminate them completely. “We’re talking about 100% reductions in emissions to get to net zero,” says Rosenow, of the Regulatory Assistance Project. “In that context, there isn’t any space for just an 80% reduction. And that’s what blue hydrogen would probably deliver.” In the massive, unthinkably complex task of replacing every boiler, automobile, locomotive, cargo ship, and airplane with a carbon-free alternative—indeed, of tearing out just about every piece of machinery installed over the past hundred years—planners, corporations, governments and citizens generally have two options for what sort of system should take their place: hydrogen or electric. Hydrogen has a high-energy density, which means it would theoretically be lighter, making it good for airplanes, long-haul trucks, and for creating especially high temperatures, like those needed to produce essential materials like steel. But because you lose a lot of energy converting electricity into green hydrogen, and because it requires new infrastructure, electricity is better for smaller scale uses like heating buildings and powering cars. But some industry players are still trying to make hydrogen happen for all sorts of energy uses. Toyota, for instance, has continued what some green energy analysts consider to be a quixotic quest to popularize hydrogen cars, even going so far as to lobby against fuel efficiency rules and gasoline car phase-out requirements around the world that would benefit its battery-electric rivals. European gas companies have sought to show the world that homes can be heated with hydrogen, while industry consortiums push a vision of continent-wide hydrogen distribution networks both to supply gas for industry, and to replace natural-gas home-heating systems. Wilson says such initiatives have a place in an overall decarbonization strategy, and that they could be supplied by both blue and green hydrogen. “The optimized answer for transport and heating will vary region to region,” he says. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer here.” Of course, it’s hard to know for sure; a clear idea about the benefits of blue hydrogen would require spending a few decades and many billions of dollars building the infrastructure necessary to test it. But if blue hydrogen doesn’t pan out, we might be wishing we could go back in time and think a bit harder about investing in that technology now. As for the vast new hydrogen economy it’s intended to supply, many experts say hydrogen-fuel-cell cars are a dead end, with insurmountable cost barriers compared to battery cars, and opponents have characterized hydrogen-based home-heating plans as a gambit intended to extend the life of the gas industry through a vast expenditure of public resources. “The science demands that we keep fossil fuels in the ground,” says Sabido, of the Corporate Europe Observatory. “If we started from that point, [fossil-fuel companies] wouldn’t have a business model. So they’re doing whatever they can to ensure…that the assets they currently have on their books still have value.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 22nd, 2021

Verizon (VZ) to Power 5G Installations at 7 U.S. Air Force Bases

The deal underscores the trust and reliability enjoyed by Verizon (VZ) as it continues to support the digital transformation initiatives of the federal government. Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently secured a prime contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) for an undisclosed amount to provide 5G mobility service to seven Air Force Reserve Command installations. The deal underscores the trust and reliability enjoyed by the carrier as it continues to support the digital transformation initiatives of the federal government.Verizon Public sector, the unit dedicated to serving various public sector entities, has been entrusted to deliver 5G Ultra Wideband service in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas Air Force bases. This includes the deployment of c-band radios at outdoor locations at the facilities to improve signal bandwidth at higher speed and lower latency. The 5G Ultra Wideband technology eliminates the deployment of large towers — typically 100 feet tall 8-foot antennas —  that were traditionally used in military bases and instead utilizes small cells for network connectivity.  Titled Offer to Lease (OTL), the contract reinforces the long-standing business relationship with the federal government as Verizon had earlier secured a similar OTL deal in 2019 to provide 5G Ultra Wideband technology to 10 U.S. Air Force bases. The company is currently continuing with the deployment of high-speed 5G wireless services at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. The upgraded technology will enable the defense establishment to support flight line test equipment, animated simulation and training exercises, high-definition video for telemedicine for its airmen, and ultra-fast AI techniques for biometric identification.  The fact that the DoD is engaging with industry participants to gauge the nascent stages of emerging technology and is aiming to leverage its untapped potential to better navigate the perceived threats despite bureaucratic controls and red tapes speak volumes about the strategic importance of 5G and Verizon’s market-leading position in it. The company is continuing with the aggressive rollout of 5G Ultra Wideband service to expand its coverage across the country. It is also offering the best of LTE and 5G Ultrawideband facilities with the launch of On Site 5G — a transformative on-premises, private 5G network — for business enterprises. This customized solution enables firms that were hitherto crippled with coverage gaps, lost connectivity, fractured security, data congestion, and inconsistent service quality to have a dedicated capacity with adequate bandwidth to minimize costly downtime and missed opportunities.Verizon’s 5G mobility service offers an unparalleled experience that impacts industries as diverse as public safety, health care, retail, and sports. The company’s 5G network hinges on three fundamental drivers to deliver the full potential of next-generation wireless technology. These are massive spectrum holdings, particularly in the millimeter-wave bands for faster data transfer, end-to-end deep fiber resources, and the ability to deploy a large number of small cells. In order to expand coverage and improve connectivity, Verizon has acquired 161MHz of mid-band spectrum in the C-Band auction for a total consideration of $45.5 billion. These airwaves offer significant bandwidth with better propagation characteristics for optimum coverage in both rural and urban areas. Verizon reportedly secured 3,511 of the 5,684 licenses up for grabs.The stock has lost 8.3% in the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 2.8%. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchNevertheless, we remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM, InterDigital, Inc. IDCC, and Juniper Networks, Inc. JNPR, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Qualcomm has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 21%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 13.5%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.InterDigital has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 15%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 536%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.Juniper has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8.4%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 7.5%, on average, in the trailing four quarters. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM): Free Stock Analysis Report Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR): Free Stock Analysis Report InterDigital, Inc. (IDCC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 22nd, 2021

Robinhood is launching its long-awaited crypto wallet next year and will begin testing the feature with users starting in October

The uncapped waitlist for the crypto wallet will be released on Wednesday ahead of the launch. Rivals Coinbase and Gemini already offer their own. Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images Robinhood is launching its crypto wallet early next year. It will test the wallet as part of an "alpha program" in October, Robinhood crypto COO Christine Brown told Insider. The uncapped waitlist for the wallet will be released on Wednesday ahead of the launch, she added. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Robinhood Markets is launching its long-awaited cryptocurrency wallet early next year after the online brokerage firm fine-tunes the new product based on user feedback, cryptocurrency chief operating operator Christine Brown told Insider. The firm will test the new product as part of an "alpha program" in October. Alpha testing will enable Robinhood to give some users early access to pre-released versions of the app while receiving real-time comments."We're building in public," Brown told Insider. "We're going to have a handful of select customers come in and build alongside us ... We're giving them the ability to actually shape what we end up releasing later on."The feedback they gather, Brown said, will be shared in the company's blog. The uncapped waitlist for the cryptocurrency wallet will be released on Wednesday ahead of the launch, she added.Robinhood's users have been waiting for a cryptocurrency wallet feature, and rivals Coinbase and Gemini already offer their own. Robinhood Although Robinhood users can trade cryptocurrencies, a wallet will allow them to manage their holdings within the app. At the moment, users cannot store, manage, or swap digital assets in and out of their accounts, making exchanges like Kraken and CEX.IO more attractive for crypto traders. But beginning October, some users will be able to store and secure their crypto on the investing app and receive supported cryptocurrencies into their account.Though it has lagged some rivals in the space, chief product officer Aparna Chennapragada said the phased rollout of the wallet was deliberate. The popular trading app, she said, was prioritizing three things backed by research: general accessibility, product safety, and customer feedback. "Robinhood has always been about broadening the access and expanding access to the market so we want to develop the product in a way that works for everybody," Chennapragada told Insider, adding that the wallet is meant for both "crypto nerds" and beginners. With the new feature, she said Robinhood is building towards its vision of being a one-stop-shop service where users can trade stocks and cryptocurrencies. CEO Vlad Tenev announced in July that the company was aware of the demand for a wallet, and users could expect one at some point. In March, he promised the company would get one to users "as fast as possible."Robinhood, which says it will maintain commission-free crypto trades, said nearly 60% of its users bought or sold digital assets on its platform, and that many new customers made their first trade in crypto, rather than stocks.The platform also launched its recurring crypto investment feature on Wednesday. It allows users to automatically invest in tokens on a set schedule.Digital assets made up 51% of Robinhood's transaction-based revenue in the second quarter of this year, with dogecoin trades making up 62% of crypto revenue, the company said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021

JPMorgan Makes An Unexpected Discovery: Delta Variant Only "Half As Infectious As Assumed"

JPMorgan Makes An Unexpected Discovery: Delta Variant Only "Half As Infectious As Assumed" Now that the Delta variant in the US has peaked in terms of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, media fearmongering surrounding the latest round of the covid pandemic has understandably been quietly pulled from the front pages at least until such time the mu variant, or some other virulent strain du jour, makes a triumphant appearance and Fauci is again trotted across the mainstream media to distill a fresh round of fear and set the scene for a new round of restrictions and lockdowns, a cycle that will repeat at least until the mid-term elections which predictably will have to be conducted largely by mail. But while we wait, we wanted to bring attention to a remarkable new analysis from JPMorgan which found that contrary to developed nations, many of which imposed draconian lockdowns, most notably Australia... Source: @ianmSC ... developing nations saw a Delta wave that was "much milder" than anticipated. JPM's discussion and conclusions as to why this may have happened are striking. Taking a step back, over two months ago in early July, JPMorgan wrote a note about EM vulnerabilities to the COVID-19 Delta variant in which it drew attention to seven countries – the Philippines, Peru, Columbia, South Africa, Ecuador, Thailand and Mexico – which at the time looked particularly vulnerable due to a combination of low prevalence of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates. Given the widely accepted assumption that the Delta variant is much more infectious than prior strains of SARS-CoV-2, and given the prevailing trends in vaccination rates, JPMorgan then estimated that the spread of the Delta variant would push up the effective reproduction numbers (Re) significantly in these countries. JPMorgan's concern was that these seven countries would see significant gains in COVID-19 infections which would prompt further restrictive measures on mobility and mixing in some countries (EM Asia) or lead to worsening in public health and confidence in others (Latin America): "we thought that Re in the Philippines would rise from 0.92 to 1.97 as the Delta variant became fully prevalent. At an Re of 0.92 new infections are falling, while at an Re of 1.97 new infections are doubling every six to seven days." What happened next was unexpected: JPMorgan policy research analyst David Mackie found that "the Delta wave was much milder than expected: none of these countries saw the gains in Re that we anticipated." This brings us to the latest note from JPM titled "What happened to the COVID-19 Delta wave in vulnerable EM countries?" in which the bank tries to explain just why it was so wrong with its modeling and assumptions. The bank starts off by showing the evolution of the reproductive numbers (Re) over the past couple of months for these seven countries. While Re did initially rise over the summer as the Delta variant spread, which led to an increase in infections, it was not by as much as expected. While on average, Re was expected to rise by 0.58 from the end of June to the time when the Delta variant was fully prevalent (from 1.07 to 1.65), the average rise was only by 0.24 (from 1.07 to 1.31); in other words, around half of the expected gain in Re did not occur. "How can we explain this shortfall?" JPMorgan's Mackie asks, and answers: There are five areas which could contribute to an explanation: mobility; vaccinations; acquired immunity from infection and recovery, seasonality and the infectiousness of the Delta variant. Starting at the top, JPMorgan points out the obvious: mobility cannot explain the lower than expected Re. Mobility did decline sharply in July in the Philippines, South Africa and Thailand, but these declines were mostly reversed during August. "The short-lived nature of the decline in mobility in these countries implies only a temporary depressing effect on Re" JPM observes and adds that on average across the seven countries, higher mobility contributed 0.16 to the change in Re from the time of our original note to the moment that the Delta variant reached full prevalence. Another possible explanation for the far more moderate-than-expected rise in Re - the preferred explanation of Anthony Fauci - is that actual infections have been much higher than reported infections, which would have introduced more immunity into the populations. This is notable because as JPMorgan then notes, in its analysis the bank takes reported infections and assume that acquired immunity from infection and recovery is the same as from full vaccination. This assumption would make the Biden admin, which sternly refuses to discuss the impact of natural immunity and is desperately trying to force jabs on everyone, quite displeased. Yet this too is hardly the full story: according to JPMorgan, with these assumptions acquired immunity from infection and recovery has pushed down Re by just 0.02, and means that aAlthough actual infections are likely above reported infections, the under-reporting would have to be very large to make the contribution to the change in Re significant in size. That is unlikely. The most likely, and most politically problematic explanation, proposed by JPMorgan is that "the Delta variant may be less infectious than initially assumed." As JPM explains, the impact of infectiousness comes through changes in the basic reproduction number (R0). In the bank's framework, on a forward looking basis it makes assumptions about the level of R0, but on a backward looking basis R0 is the residual given the path of Re is already known. In the bank's original, July  note, it had assumed an R0 of 3.0 for the original wild strain of SARS-CoV-2, 3.9 for the Alpha variant (an increase in infectiousness of 30%) and 5.2 for the Delta variant (a further increase in infectiousness of 33%), in line with what the accepted "science" claimed was reasonable. As JPM further notes, assuming that the Alpha variant was the previously dominant strain, the spread of the Delta variant should have added 1.3 to Re as it moved from zero to full prevalence. But in the event, the implied increase in R0 over the past couple of months has been much less than expected. Table 3 compares JPM's original expectation of the contribution of R0 to the change in Re with its latest estimate of the contribution. On average, the bank finds that "the estimate of the contribution to the change in Re of increased infectiousness of the Delta variant has been 0.56, around half of our initial estimate." What does this mean? Simple: as Mackie explains, "it is very possible that the Delta variant is around half as infectious as initially assumed." While this - JPM exclaims optimistically - would be very positive going forward, and would limit any increase in infections in the coming months, it would be devastating for such institutions as the NIH, not to mention Biden's chief covid advisor, Fauci, whose entire argument since the start is that the delta variant was far more infectious than any of the previous covid variants; it would also once again make a mockery of "the science" which had fully supported the theory that Delta had a far greater infectiousness. Of course by even getting this far, the JPMorgan analyst may have broken most of the most cardinal of taboos of delta variant discussion in "polite society", so we are not surprised that he did not even dare breathe the word "ivermectin" and its use in Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Ecuador, Thailand and Mexico. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 21:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

Elizabeth Warren and Cori Bush are fighting an "extremist" Supreme Court on the eviction ban by introducing a bill to keep renters in their homes until the pandemic is over

AOC and Ayanna Pressley support the bill, which gives the federal government the power to implement its own eviction moratorium. Elizabeth Warren and Cori Bush. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Cori Bush unveiled a bill to protect renters from eviction during the ongoing pandemic. It would allow the Dept. of Health and Human Services to automatically implement an eviction ban. This comes after the Supreme Court struck down Biden's eviction ban extension in August. See more stories on Insider's business page. After the Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden's ban on evictions, progressive lawmakers said they would not give up on protecting renters during the pandemic. On Tuesday, they followed through on that promise.Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush unveiled the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 to "enact an urgently needed nationwide eviction moratorium," according to a press release. The bill, supported by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, would allow the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to automatically implement a national residential eviction moratorium in the interest of public health, which Bush called during a press conference "lifesaving legislation.""Thanks to an extremist SCOTUS, evictions are now on the rise," Warren said during the press conference. "We can avoid further exacerbating this crisis if Congress can step up now and pass legislation that keeps families in their homes through the duration of this emergency."The Supreme Court ruled in August that HHS does not have the authority to mandate an eviction moratorium, and according to the bill text, the Democrats' legislation would amend section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to grant HHS the permanent authority to institute an eviction ban. As the bill lays out, the HHS would implement an eviction that would:Be automatic, meaning no individuals would have to apply;Apply to all residential eviction filings and judgments;Allow the HHS Secretary to establish moratorium exceptions necessary to protect the health and safety of others;And remain in effect at least 60 days after the pandemic ends. On August 3, Biden's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new eviction ban following pressure from progressives, after a nationwide ban had just lapsed on July 31. Progressive lawmakers were so enraged by the July lapse of the ban that some of them, including Bush, slept on the steps of the Capitol until the CDC issued the most recent 60-day moratorium that was struck down.Biden had extended the CDC moratorium despite anticipating that it would face legal challenges after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the nationwide eviction ban was unconstitutional.In a 6-3 decision last month, the Supreme Court's majority affirmed that ruling, reiterating that only Congress, not the CDC, had the power to "specifically authorize" a "federally imposed eviction moratorium."The court's three liberal justices dissented, arguing that Congress has allocated billions in federal aid to help landlords cover rent, and that an eviction ban isn't as extreme as government-imposed coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Congressional Democrats, including Bush, swiftly denounced the court's move and pledged to take action. On Tuesday, Bush said the moratorium was "shamefully struck down with a partisan Supreme Court."About 7.4 million Americans are at risk of eviction in the coming months -about 16% of all renters, according to Census Pulse Survey Data. And given the surge of the Delta variant, there isn't any way to know when the pandemic will end and how long the proposed eviction ban would need to last.Insider reported on the reasons why the Supreme Court voted to expose millions to eviction, given that multiple courts ruled the government did not hold the authority to impose a nationwide ban. But a federal judge recognized the concerns Bush, Warren and other progressives had, and said while she did not think the ban was legal, she would uphold it given that the pandemic is not over.A date is not yet set for when the Democrats' bill will be brought to the House floor."Housing is a human right, not a bargaining chip to let fall between bureaucratic cracks," Bush said in a statement. "Nearly 40 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19. Over 670,000 people have died of this virus, and countless are living permanently disabled from its aftereffects. As the Delta variant continues to force individuals to quarantine, close schools, and stifle businesses, we must do all we can to save lives."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

The world"s central banks speed up digital currency moves post-Covid, Moody"s says

The pace of digital currency (CBDCs) development by central banks around the world has accelerated since the start of the Covid pandemic, Moody's Investors Services said Tuesday. The debt research firm said a 2021 survey of central banks by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) showed that 86% of respondents are actively researching the potential of central bank digital currencies, with 60% in the experimentation phase and 14% piloting specific programs. "This rapid advancement has come as the shift in consumer preferences towards digital payments, while on the rise already, has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic," Moody's analyst Farooq Khan said. "Such behavioral changes have also taken place globally across developing and emerging markets." Digital currencies offer "a systemically safe" state-sponsored payment alternative to existing private payment company services. Central banks in the Bahamas, Brazil, Russia and Georgia have announced plans for their own digital currencies. Other reasons for digital currency include the high cost of transferring hard currency and avoiding high crime rates and natural disasters.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchSep 21st, 2021

Google buying St John’s Terminal building for $2.1B

Google today announced its intent to purchase the St. John’s Terminal development that it currently leases for $2.1 billion in Q1 2022.  Google’s decision to exercise its option to purchase St. John’s Terminal further builds upon its existing plans to invest more than $250 million this year in its New... The post Google buying St John’s Terminal building for $2.1B appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Google today announced its intent to purchase the St. John’s Terminal development that it currently leases for $2.1 billion in Q1 2022.  Google’s decision to exercise its option to purchase St. John’s Terminal further builds upon its existing plans to invest more than $250 million this year in its New York campus presence. Google’s 1.7 million-square-foot Hudson Square campus spans three buildings: 315 Hudson Street, 345 Hudson Street and St. John’s Terminal at 550 Washington Street. Google’s spaces in the two Hudson Street buildings are now completed, and the St. John’s Terminal anchor site is expected to open by mid 2023 as the new NYC headquarters for Google’s Global Business Organization. “New York’s energy, creativity and world-class talent are what keep us rooted here and why we’re deepening our commitment with plans to purchase St. John’s Terminal,” said Ruth Porat, Alphabet and Google CFO. “We look forward to continuing to grow along with this remarkable, diverse city.” “This announcement from Google is yet another proof point that New York’s economy is recovering and rebuilding. We are creating jobs, investing in emerging industries, lifting up New Yorkers, and together, we are writing our comeback story,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “Google’s historic investment in New York City marks an enormous step for our recovery,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The purchase of St. John’s Terminal will ensure New York remains a global leader in technology as well as a place that people are excited to live and work in.” The St John’s Terminal site was acquired for $700 million in 2017 by Oxford Properties, the project’s lead developer, and is a joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The 12-story, 1.3 million-square-foot St. John’s Terminal site encompasses two entire city blocks adjacent to Hudson River Park’s Pier 40 and is currently under construction.  “When we acquired the St. John’s Terminal site in 2017, we saw an incredible opportunity to rethink the modern workplace and bring that vision to New York,” said Dean Shapiro, Head of US Developments at Oxford Properties. “From day one of our partnership on the project, it was clear that Oxford and Google’s vision for the future of work were fully aligned. Today showcases our deeply shared commitment to the future of the office, and the great city of New York, as we drive innovation and creativity in the heart of NYC.” The former freight terminal is being reimagined into a highly sustainable, adaptable and connected building, with its biophilic design adding numerous outdoor open spaces and reconnecting the Hudson Square neighborhood to the waterfront. The building will also offset 100% of its carbon in support of Google’s carbon goals, in addition to pursuing LEED Platinum and ILFI (International Living Future Institute) Zero Carbon certifications. “St. John’s Terminal gave us the opportunity to design a healthy, high-performance building for Google that will connect Hudson Square to Hudson River Park with new public greenspaces and pathways, honor the industrial history of the area, and serve as a model for the sustainable future of New York City,” said Rick Cook, Founding Partner of COOKFOX Architects. As part of investing in its long-term campus footprint in New York City, construction is also proceeding at Pier 57 where Google will occupy about 320,000 s/f office space. Once completed next year, the site will also include a public food hall, community space, galleries, the city’s largest public rooftop space, and educational and environmental programs run by the Hudson River Park Trust.  Pier 57 rendering Google has had a presence in New York for more than 20 years, with 12,000 full-time employees in the state as Google’s largest office outside of California. The company’s campus investments will provide the capacity to grow its workforce in the city to more than 14,000 employees in the coming years. As part of its previously announced racial equity commitments, Google also plans to continue expanding the number of employees in diverse communities including New York that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Google remains focused on helping local communities, organizations and people emerge stronger from the pandemic. Since 2005, Google has provided over $170 million in grant funding to nonprofits in New York. In the Hudson Square neighborhood, the company is supporting the new Jackie Robinson Museum opening next year with a grant to help deliver new educational programming for students. Google also provided grant funding to the Children’s Museum of the Arts to help launch new digital programming for childhood arts education, and to God’s Love We Deliver to offer free nutritious meals and services for those living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.  Jackie Robinson Museum rendering via Gensler Google also continues to invest in growing the next generation of tech talent. Its Grow with Google programs are helping to create new pathways to in-demand, good paying tech jobs for people most impacted by the pandemic. Through Google’s skilling programs, more than 3,800 New Yorkers have completed a certificate program to date. Google is also working with select CUNY/SUNY Schools to add Google Certificates to their curriculum as part of the SUNY for All free online training program. “We are excited to see Google expand its footprint here in New York City bringing opportunities for thousands of tech and related good-paying jobs. It is a true commitment to the City’s economic recovery and the future of the workplace, proving New York City is a thriving vital place in the global tech landscape,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “The announcement by Google today reinforces what we’ve known all along: that New York is a great home for the tech industry,” said Bill Rudin, CEO and Co-Chairman of Rudin Management Company. “Google has been a great partner to this city and their continual investment and growth here is a strong demonstration of their commitment to New York and of the strength of our economic future.” St. John’s Terminal renderings all via COOKFOX Architects The post Google buying St John’s Terminal building for $2.1B appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklySep 21st, 2021