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High growth must for generating jobs, compete with China: NITI Aayog

He said China was at the same level of economic development as India 30 years ago but is now five times the size of the Indian economy.....»»

Category: topSource: business-standardMay 1st, 2018

Crescat Capital September 2021: The Psychology Of Inflation

Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month ended September 2021, titled, “The Psychology Of Inflation.” Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Psychology Of Inflation Today’s macro environment is indeed very different than any other period we have experienced in the last four decades. Inflation is infiltrating the mindset of US households in a […] Crescat Capital’s commentary for the month ended September 2021, titled, “The Psychology Of Inflation.” if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Psychology Of Inflation Today’s macro environment is indeed very different than any other period we have experienced in the last four decades. Inflation is infiltrating the mindset of US households in a way not seen since the wage-price spirals of the 1970s. Prices for the goods and services that individuals require to meet basic needs have been increasing at an accelerated pace. These necessities include shelter, food, energy, and transportation. The rising cost of living is due to both supply constraints and increased demand from fiscal and monetary stimulus. In the mix, net profit margins for S&P 500 companies at large are at record highs today, because these firms have been able to pass rising costs onto their customers in the short run. These windfall profit margins are unsustainable and poised to reverse quickly in our analysis. The two biggest costs of running a business that affect net profit margins are on track to rise imminently: taxes and labor. Corporate tax rate hikes are almost certain with the legislation now under consideration by the Democratic-controlled Congress and White House. Even less discounted by today’s buoyant stock market in our view is an impending rise in labor costs. Individuals and families cannot rely on continued government handouts to the degree they were provided during the pandemic lockdowns and the US government cannot afford to provide them. We believe a new and well-justified psychology of rising inflation will be forcing more of the population back into the labor force. At the same time, we are likely to see workers at large both demanding and receiving significantly higher wages and salaries contributing to a substantial squeeze to corporate profit margins in the years ahead. Increases in the general price level for goods and services and the rising inflation expectations that go along with them are a self-reinforcing helix that is set to become a durable feature of the economy. Just like the 1970s, these inflationary macro forces will likely lead to shorter economic expansions and more frequent stagflationary recessions in the 2020s and beyond than we have had in the last four decades under a generally disinflationary regime. These more contractions in real GDP due to rising inflation are likely to contrast with the deflationary recessions of the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis and the short-lived Covid recession in 2020. Starting from record valuations relative to underlying cash flows in the broad financial markets today, combined with historic loose financial conditions, we see substantial downside risk in crowded and highly speculative equity and fixed income markets at large. Rising inflationary pressures and ultimate Fed tightening measures needed to counter them will put downward pressure on hyper-overvalued, low yielding, long duration growth stocks and fixed income investments. We believe investors should be reducing exposure to these limited-upside and high downside-risk-areas of the financial markets today. We see a silver lining, however, in deep value and high near-term fundamental growth investments in the energy and materials sectors of the economy that are likely to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the new secular stagflationary environment ahead. These sectors are not without volatility but represent a calculated risk with substantial value-driven upside potential for investors who want to profit from the underlying fundamental tailwinds identified by Crescat’s equity and macro models. Diversifying among the best industries and companies within these sectors is what we are focused on now at Crescat with our own money and for clients with a like-minded outlook, risk tolerance, needs, and objectives. In our analysis, this approach is the highest probability path to generating strong risk-adjusted, real returns in the immediate years ahead. Supply Problems are Structural Supply chain disruptions will be with us for some time. They are due to complex structural problems that include a new deglobalization countertrend, particularly between the US and China. Another problem is the chronic underinvestment in the energy and basic materials sectors of the economy. As capital has overwhelmingly flowed to the information technology and innovation sectors of the economy in the last decade, the capital needs of the primary resource producing sectors of the economy got left behind. The goods produced by these industries are at the core of the supply chain and have long lead times with challenging permitting issues and heavy capital expenditure requirements. While demand continues to increase for the raw materials produced by these industries, companies are having difficulty filling jobs with qualified management and technical professionals to produce them efficiently. A decade of declining college enrollment in geosciences worldwide is one of the long-term structural imbalances affecting the oil and gas and mining industries. Skilled tradespeople in these industries are also in short supply. Source: Samuel Boone and Mark Quigley, University of Melbourne. Resource logistics issues are compounded by the environmental moment, which has captured both social norms and government technocrats, significantly adding to costs and lead times to produce basic resources. The push for the new green economy might be well intentioned but continues to have many blind spots regarding the need for traditional energy and material resources to ensure a healthy economy today as well as in the more environmentally friendly future. Stagflation is Here The problem is that while consumer prices are rising, we are also seeing signs that the global economy is starting to decelerate. China is the elephant in the room in that respect. The second largest economy in the world has achieved that spot while creating a property and credit bubble that, as measured by banking assets to GDP, is more than four times the size of the US housing and financial sector bubble ahead of the GFC. With its equity markets under pressure since February, the Evergrande collapse, and nationwide energy shortages, China’s economy appears to be in a serious meltdown. The spillover effects should not be underestimated. We need to start discounting now the ultimate new global fiscal and monetary stimulus that will be needed to counter China’s currently unfolding credit collapse and what that portends for its currency given its communist banking system with a whopping $52 trillion of suspiciously priced assets. As we have learned throughout the world in the post GFC era, the speed at which governments can create new central bank money is instantaneous. At the same time, and more than ever today, the speed at which countries can deliver the basic resources to meet their citizens’ needs is significantly impaired. The US economy has already started to slow significantly. The Atlanta Fed GDP nowcast, for instance, just went from 6% to 1.3% in the last couple of months. With business activity now decelerating as inflation remains historically elevated, the set of monetary and fiscal policies needed to fix one problem would worsen the other. At the same time, with historic high valuations for equity and credit markets in the US at large, there is much downside risk. The Fed is trapped to do anything to prevent a rotation out of speculatively priced assets with deteriorating fundamentals. Note the tight correlation between the real-time Atlanta Fed’s macro quantitative measure of real GDP growth and actual subsequently reported economic growth after inflation. Great Rotation Financial markets are not correctly priced for the stagflation that is already evident in the macro data. This creates both risks and opportunities for a large swath of investors who are crowded on the wrong side of this trade in our view. First and foremost, we see a major shift out of overpriced growth stocks and fixed income securities and into a much narrower group of deeply undervalued and high near-term growth stocks and commodity investments that will be the primary beneficiaries of stagflation, creating a reflexive inflationary loop. The smart money should be the first to make this move. We call it the Great Rotation. The motivation for such a shift in our research is that it is the most highly probable way to both protect against the downside risk of significantly rising inflation to financial assets at large while potentially substantially profiting from it at the same time. Investors should take note while overall price to book values for the broad market are at record highs along with many other fundamental measures, the relative price-to-book value of the Russell 1000 Growth compared to the Russell 1000 Value indices is about 60% higher than it was at the peak of the tech bubble in 2000, further illustrating the extreme imbalances and market risks along with the set-up for a growth to value rotation. Getting Ahead with Gold and Silver As inflation continues to develop in the economy, the chart below shows the incredible link between gold prices and CPI since the Global Financial Crisis. Note how after the pandemic lows, gold front ran the potential risk of a rise in consumer prices and the entire precious metals market appreciated sharply. Gold and silver not only diverged from CPI but also significantly outperformed the rest of the commodities market. It is important to remember that before recently peaking, gold had been going on a streak for two years already. The metal was up more than 75% from August 2018 to August 2020 and even reached historical highs during this period. Back then, with CPI around 1%, very few investors foresaw inflation as a risk to the economy. Now it is a real problem. We think gold likely appreciated too quick and too fast becoming what some thought as an obvious trade. Extreme sentiment probably explains the reason for its recent weakness after signaling way earlier than any other asset the possibility that an inflationary environment could be ahead of us. We are now on the other side of this extreme. Gold looks fundamentally cheap, technically oversold while inflation continues to gain traction. We think the historic relationship between precious metals and the growth in consumer prices will continue to be strong and the recent pullback in gold and silver related assets poses an incredible opportunity for investors to deploy capital at what we believe to be truly attractive levels. Also, keep in mind that we are using government reported numbers to gauge inflation in this analysis. We should all know by now that the true cost of goods and services is growing at a drastically faster pace than CPI. Recent Pullback in Precious Metals Presents Constructive Buying Opportunity The decline in Crescat’s strategies in the past two months has been almost entirely attributable to our precious metals long holdings which has been deliberately the largest exposure we have had firmwide. Our gold and silver names are ultra-cheap, worth an estimated 15 times their current market prices in aggregate according to our company-by-company model in the Crescat Precious Metals Fund. This fund was up 235% net in its first year ended in July and has experienced an 18.9% net pullback in August and September. The precious metals longs similarly have been the largest contributor to the last two-month decline in our Global Macro and Long/Short funds. These latter two funds also have significant short positions that have held the fund back year to date. We believe they are poised to deliver strong returns as the broad equity markets appear to finally be breaking down. We are not pleased at all with the recent pullback, but believe it is an inevitable part of the game. We think that accepting a moderate amount of volatility is necessary to build wealth and protect against rising inflation in the current environment of financial repression that we live in where governments maintain artificially low risk-free interest rates compared to true inflation. The goal of this policy is to resolve unsustainable debt-to-GDP imbalances with hidden inflation. We have been increasing our exposure to other resource industries in Large Cap, Global Macro, and Long/Short to add more diversification also with strong upside potential, based on our equity fundamental model scores within the energy and materials sectors. We remain highly committed and significantly exposed on the long side to activist positions in gold and silver mining companies with a strong focus on exploration under the guidance of our Geologic and Technical Director, Quinton Hennigh, Ph.D. We believe gold and silver commodity and equity markets are due for a major bull market resumption. This market may have already turned in our favor this month from deeply oversold levels for mining stocks and extreme negative sentiment despite incredibly positive fundamentals. All Crescat strategies are up month to date in October. Overvalued equity short positions in our Global Macro and Long/Short also generated positive profit attribution in September though modestly. We aim to increase our short exposure in these two funds to be able to take advantage of the abundant opportunities on this side of the market now that the risk of shorting has been decreased with inflationary pressures becoming more acknowledged and the Fed attempting to start tapering. With Crescat’s three high conviction macro themes coalescing, and after the recent pullback in Crescat’s strategies, we believe it is a highly constructive time for new and existing clients to be adding money to our strategies. HFM Award We are pleased to announce that the Crescat Global Macro Fund was just shortlisted for a HFM performance award in the macro category for funds with assets under $1 billion for the one-year period ended June 30, 2021. The final winner will be announced next month in NYC. We understand this is one of the most prestigious awards in the hedge fund industry. There is no guarantee that we will win, but for what it’s worth, according to Bloomberg and eVestment data, our fund was far-and-away the best performer for the period among all five shortlisted for the category. The fund was up 45% net over that time frame. September Performance Estimates Download PDF Version Sincerely, Kevin C. Smith, CFA Member & Chief Investment Officer Tavi Costa Member & Portfolio Manager For more information including how to invest, please contact: Marek Iwahashi Client Service Associate miwahashi@crescat.net 303-271-9997 Cassie Fischer Client Service Associate cfischer@crescat.net (303) 350-4000 Linda Carleu Smith, CPA Member & COO lsmith@crescat.net (303) 228-7371 © 2021 Crescat Capital LLC Updated on Oct 11, 2021, 11:27 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 11th, 2021

One Ring To Rule Us All: A Global Digital Fiat Currency

One Ring To Rule Us All: A Global Digital Fiat Currency Via SchiffGold.com, We’ve written extensively about the “war on cash.” In a nutshell, governments would love to do away with cash in order to better track and control their citizens. There have been numerous moves closer to a cashless society in recent years, from capping ATM withdrawals to doing away with large-denomination bills. Last year, China launched a digital yuan pilot program and the US has floated moving toward a digital dollar. We got a first-hand look at what happens when governments restrict access to cash when India plunged into a cash crisis after the country’s government enacted a policy of demonetization in November 2016. It’s bad enough that various countries are exploring ways to move toward cashlessness, but there’s an even worse scenario - a global digital currency. Economist Thorsten Polleit compares it to the “master ring” in J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings. The following article was originally published by the Mises Wire. 1. Human history can be viewed from many angles. One of them is to see it as a struggle for power and domination, as a struggle for freedom and against oppression, as a struggle of good against evil. That is how Karl Marx (1818–83) saw it, and Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) judged similarly. Mises wrote: The history of the West, from the age of the Greek Polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders. But unlike Marx, Mises recognized that human history does not follow predetermined laws of societal development but ultimately depends on ideas that drive human action. From Mises’s point of view, human history can be understood as a battle of good ideas against bad ideas. Ideas are good if the actions they recommend bring results that are beneficial for everyone and lead the actors to their desired goals; At the same time, good ideas are ethically justifiable, they apply to everyone, anytime and anywhere, and ensure that people who act upon them can survive. On the other hand, bad ideas lead to actions that do not benefit everyone, that do not cause all actors to achieve their goals and/or are unethical. Good ideas are, for example, people accepting “mine and yours”; or entering into exchange relationships with one another voluntarily. Bad ideas are coercion, deception, embezzlement, theft. Evil ideas are very bad ideas, ideas through which whoever puts them into practice is consciously harming others. Evil ideas are, for example, physical attacks, murder, tyranny. 2. With Lord of the Rings, J. J. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) wrote a literary monument about the epic battle between good and evil. His fantasy novel, published in 1954, was a worldwide success, not least because of the movie trilogy, released from 2001 to 2003. What is Lord of the Rings about? In the First Age, the deeply evil Sauron—the demon, the hideous horror, the necromancer—had rings of power made by the elven forges. Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. But Sauron secretly forges an additional ring into which he pours all his darkness and cruelty, and this one ring, the master ring, rules all the other rings. When Sauron puts the master ring on his finger, he can read and control the minds of everyone wearing one of the other rings. The elves see through the dark plan and hide their three rings. The seven rings of the dwarves also fail to subjugate their bearers. But the nine rings of men proved to be effective: Sauron enslaved nine human kings, who were to serve him. Then, however, in the Third Age, in the battle before Mount Doom, Isildur, the eldest son of King Elendils, severed Sauron’s ring finger with a sword blow. Sauron is defeated and loses his physical form, but he survives. Now Isildur has the ring of power, and it takes possession of him. He does not destroy the master ring when he has the opportunity, and it costs him his life. When Isildur is killed, the ring sinks to the bottom of a river and remains there for twenty-five hundred years. Then the ring is found by Smeagol, who is captivated by its power. The ring remains with its finder for nearly five hundred years, hidden from the world. Over time, Sauron’s power grows again, and he wants the Ring of Power back. Then the ring is found, and for sixty years, it remains in the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, a friendly, well-meaning being who does not allow himself to be seduced by the power of the One Ring. Years later, the wizard Gandalf the Gray learns that Sauron’s rise has begun, and that the Ring of Power is held by Bilbo Baggins. Gandalf knows that there is only one way to defeat the ring and its evil: it must be destroyed where it was created, in Mordor. Bilbo Baggins’s nephew, Frodo Baggins, agrees to take the task upon himself. He and his companions—a total of four hobbits, two humans, a dwarf, and an elf—embark on the dangerous journey. They endure hardship, adversity, and battles against the dark forces, and in the end, they succeed at what seemed impossible: the destruction of the ring of power in the fires of Mount Doom. Good triumphs over evil. 3. The ring in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is not just a piece of forged gold. It embodies Sauron’s evil, corrupting everyone who lays hands or eyes on it, poisons their soul, and makes them willing helpers of evil. No one can wield the cruel power of the One Ring and use it for good; no human, no dwarf, no elf. Can an equivalent for Tolkien’s literary portrait of the evil ring be found in the here and now? Yes, I believe so, and in the following, I would like to offer you what I hope is a startling, but in any case, entertaining, interpretation. Tolkien’s Rings of Power embody evil ideas. The nineteen rings represent the idea that the ring bearers should have power over others and rule over them. And the One Ring, to which all other rings are subject, embodies an even darker idea, namely that the bearer of this master ring has power over all other ring bearers and those ruled by them; that he is the sole and absolute ruler of all. The nineteen rings symbolize the idea of establishing and maintaining a state (as we know it today), namely a state understood as a territorial, coercive monopoly with the ultimate power of decision-making over all conflicts. However, the One Ring of power stands for the particularly evil idea of creating a state of states, a world government, a world state; and the creation of a single world fiat currency controlled by the states would pave the way toward this outcome. 4. To explain this, let us begin with the state as we know it today. The state is the idea of the rule of one over the other. This is how the German economist, sociologist, and doctor Franz Oppenheimer (1864–1946) sees it: The state … is a social institution, forced by a victorious group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating the dominion of the victorious group over the vanquished and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from abroad…. This dominion had no other purpose than the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors. Joseph Stalin (1878–1953) defined the state quite similarly: The state is a machine in the hands of the ruling class to suppress the resistance of its class opponents. The modern state in the Western world no longer uses coercion and violence as obviously as many of its predecessors. But it, too, is, of course, built on coercion and violence, asserts itself through them, and most importantly, it divides society into a class of the rulers and a class of the ruled. How does the state manage to create and maintain such a two-class society of rulers and ruled? In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, nine men, all of them kings, wished to wield power, and so they became bearers of the rings, and because of that, they were inescapably bound to Sauron’s One Ring of power. This is quite similar to the idea of the state. To seize, maintain, and expand power, the state seduces its followers to do what is necessary, to resort to all sorts of techniques: propaganda, carrot and stick, fear, and even terror. The state lets the people know that it is good, indispensable, inevitable. Without it, the state whispers, a civilized coexistence of people would not be possible. Most people succumb to this kind of propaganda, and the state gets carte blanche to effectively infiltrate all economic and societal matters—kindergarten, school, university, transport, media, health, pensions, law, security, money and credit, the environment—and thereby gains power. The state rewards its followers with jobs, rewarding business contracts, and transfer payments. Those who resist will end up in prison or lose their livelihood or even their lives. The state spreads fear and terror to make people compliant—as people who are afraid are easy to control, especially if they have been led to believe that the state will protect them against any evil. Lately, the topics of climate change and coronavirus have been used for fear-mongering, primarily by the state, which is skillfully using them to increase its omnipotence: it destroys the economy and jobs, makes many people financially dependent on it, clamps down on civil and entrepreneurial freedoms. However, it is of the utmost importance for the state to win the battle of ideas and be the authority to say what are good ideas and what are bad ideas. Because it is ideas that determine people’s actions. The task of winning over the general public for the state traditionally falls to the so-called intellectuals—the people whose opinions are widely heard, such as teachers, doctors, university professors, researchers, actors, comedians, musicians, writers, journalists, and others. The state provides a critical number of them with income, influence, prestige, and status in a variety of ways—which most of them would not have been able to achieve without the state. In gratitude for this, the intellectuals spread the message that the state is good, indispensable, inevitable. Among the intellectuals, there tend to be quite a few who willingly submit to the rings of power, helping—consciously or unconsciously—to bring their fellow men and women under the spell of the rings or simply to walk over, subjugate, dominate them. Anyone who thinks that the state (as we know it today) is acceptable, a justifiable solution, as long as it does not exceed certain power limits, is seriously mistaken. Just as the One Ring of power tries to find its way back to its lord and master, an initially limited state inevitably strives towards its logical endpoint: absolute power. The state (as we know it today) is pushing for expansion both internally and externally. This is a well-known fact derived from the logic of human action. George Orwell put it succinctly: “The object of power is power.”  Or, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe nails it, “[E]very minimal government has the inherent tendency to become a maximal government.” Inwardly, the state is expanding through all sorts of interventions in economic and social life, through regulations, ordinances, laws, and taxes. Outwardly, the economically and militarily strongest state will seek to expand its sphere of influence. In the most primitive form, this happens through aggressive campaigns of conquest and war, in a more sophisticated form, by pursuing political ideological supremacy. In recent decades the latter has taken the form of democratic socialism. To put it casually, democratic socialism means allowing and doing what the majority wants. Under democratic socialism, private property is formally upheld, but it is declared that no one is the rightful owner of 100 percent of the income from their property. People no longer strive for freedom from being ruled but rather to participate in the rule. The result is not people pushing back the state, but rather coming to terms and cooperating with it. The practical consequence of democratic socialism is interventionism: the state intervenes in the economy and society on a case-by-case basis to gradually make socialist ideals a reality. All societies of the Western world have embraced democratic socialism, some with more authority than others, and all of them use interventionism. Seen in this light, all Western states are now acting in concert. What they also have in common is their disdain for competition, because competition sets undesirable limits to the state’s expansive nature. Therefore, larger states often form a cartel. Smaller, less powerful states are compelled to join—and if they refuse, they will suffer political and economic disadvantages. But the cartel of states is only an intermediate step. The logical endpoint that democratic socialism is striving for is the creation of a central authority, something like a world government, a world state. 5. In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the One Ring, the ring of power, embodies this very dark idea: to rule them all, to create a world state. To get closer to this goal, democracy (as we understand it today) is proving to be an ideal trailblazer, and that’s most likely the reason why it is praised to the skies by socialists. Sooner or later, a democracy will mutate into an oligarchy, as the German-Italian sociologist Robert Michels pointed out in 1911. According to Michels, parties emerge in democracies. These parties are organizations that need strict leadership, which is handed to the most power-hungry, ruthless people. They will represent the party elite. The party elite can break away from the will of the party members and pursue their own goals and agendas. For example, they can form coalitions or cartels with elites of other parties. As a result, there will be an oligarchization of democracy, in which the elected party elites or the cartel of the party elites will be the kings of the castle. It is not the voters who will call the tune but oligarchic elites that will rule over the voters. The oligarchization of democracy will not only afflict individual states but will also affect the international relations of democracies. Oligarchical elites from different countries will join together and strengthen each other, primarily by creating supranational institutions. Democratic socialism evolves into “political globalism”: the idea that people should not be allowed to shape their own destiny in a system of free markets but that it should be assigned and directed by a global central authority. The One Ring of power drives those who have already been seduced by the common rings to long for absolute power, to elevate themselves above the rest of humanity. Who comes to mind? Well, various politicians, high-level bureaucrats, court intellectuals, representatives of big banking, big business, Big Pharma and Big Tech and, of course, big media—together they are often called the “Davos elite” or the “establishment.” Whether it is about combating financial and economic crises, climate change, or viral diseases—the one ring of power ensures that supranational, state-orchestrated solutions are propagated; that centralization is placed above decentralization; that the state, not the free market, is empowered. Calls for the “new world order,” the “Great Transformation,” the “Great Reset” are the results of this poisonous mindset inspired by the one ring of power. National borders are called into question, property is relativized or declared dispensable, and even a merging of people’s physical, digital, and biological identities—transhumanism—is declared the goal of the self-empowered globalist establishment. But how can political globalism be promoted at a time when there are (still) social democratic nation-states that insist on their independence? And where people are separated by different languages, values, and religions? How do the political globalists get closer to their badly desired end of world domination, their world state? 6. Sauron is the undisputed tyrant and dictator in his realm of darkness. He operates something like a command economy, forcing his subjects to clear forests, build military equipment, and breed Orcs. There are neither markets nor money in Sauron’s sinister kingdom. Sauron takes whatever he wants; he has overcome exchange and money, so to speak. Today’s state is not quite that powerful, and it finds itself in economies characterized by property, division of labor, and monetary exchange. The state wants to control money—because this is one of the most effective ways to gain ultimate power. To this end, the modern state has already acquired the monopoly of money production; and it has replaced gold with its own fiat money. Over time, fiat money destroys the free market system and thus the free society. Ludwig von Mises saw this as early 1912. He wrote: It would be a mistake to assume that the modern organization of exchange is bound to continue to exist. It carries within itself the germ of its own destruction; the development of the fiduciary medium must necessarily lead to its breakdown. (6) Indeed, fiat money not only causes inflation, economic crises, and an unsocial redistribution of income and wealth. Above all, it is a growth elixir for the state, making it ever larger and more powerful at the expense of the freedom of its citizens and entrepreneurs. Against this backdrop, it should be quite understandable why the political globalists see creating a single world currency as an important step toward seizing absolute power. In Europe, what the political globalists want “on a large scale” has already been achieved “on a small scale”: merging many national currencies into one. In 1999, eleven European nation-states gave up their currencies and merged them into a single currency, the euro, which is produced by a supranational authority, the European Central Bank. The creation of the euro provides the blueprint by which the world’s major currencies can be converted into a single world currency. This is what the 1999 Canadian Nobel laureate in economics, Robert Mundell, recommends: Fixing the exchange rates between the US dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, and the British pound against each other and also fixing them against a new unit of account, the INTOR. And hocus pocus: here is the world fiat currency, controlled by a cartel of central banks or a world central bank. 7. Admittedly, creating a single world fiat currency seems to have little chance of being realized at first glance. But maybe at second glance. First of all, there is a good economic reason for having a single world currency: if all people do business with the same money, the productive power of money is optimized. From an economic standpoint, the optimal number of monies in the world is one. What is more, nation-states have the monopoly of money within their respective territory, and since they all adhere to democratic socialism, they also have an interest in ensuring that there is no currency competition—not even between different state fiat currencies. This makes them susceptible to the idea of reducing the pluralism of currencies. Furthermore, one should not misinterpret the so-called rivalry between the big states such as the US and China and between China and Europe, which is being discussed in the mainstream media on a regular basis. No doubt that there is a rivalry between the national rulers: they do not want to give up the power they have gained in their respective countries; they want to become even more powerful. But the rivalry between the oligarchic democracies of the West has already weakened significantly, and there are great incentives for the oligarchic party elites to work together across borders. In fact, it is the oligarchization of democracy in the Western world that allowed for the rapprochement with a socialist-communist regime: the state increasingly taking control of the economic and societal system. This development could be called “the Chinacization of the West.” The way the Western world has dealt with the coronavirus—the suspension, perhaps the termination of constitutional rights and freedoms—undoubtedly shows where the journey is headed: to the authoritarian state that is beyond the control of the people—as is the case in Communist China. The proper slogan for this might be “One System, Many Countries.” Is it too farfetched to assume that the Western world will make common cause with Communist China not only on health issues but also on the world currency issue? The democratic socialists in the West and the Chinese Communist Party have a great deal of common ground and common interest, I would think. It is certainly no coincidence that China has pushed hard for the Chinese renminbi to be included in the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights, and that the IMF already agreed in November 2015. 8. The issue of digital central bank money, something the world’s major central banks are working on, could be a catalyst in the creation of a single world currency. The issue of digital central bank money not only heralds the end of cash—the anonymous payment option for citizens and entrepreneurs. Once people start using digital central bank money, it will be easy for the central bank and the state to spy on people’s transactions. The state will not only know who pays what, when, where, and what for. It will also be in a position to determine who gets access to the deposits: who gets them and who doesn’t. China is blazing the trail with its “social credit system”: behavior conforming to the Communist regime is rewarded, behavior that does not is punished. Against this backdrop, digital central bank money would be particularly effective at stifling unwanted political opposition. Digital central bank money will not only replace cash, but it will also increasingly compete with money from commercial banks. Why should you keep your money with banks that are exposed to the risk of default when you can keep it safe with the central bank that never goes bankrupt? Once commercial bank deposits can be exchanged one to one for digital central bank money—and this is to be expected—the credit and monetary system is de facto fully nationalized. Because under these conditions, the central bank transfers its unlimited solvency to the commercial banking sector. This completely deprives the financial markets of their function of determining the cost of capital—and the state-planned economy becomes a reality. In fact, this is the type of command and control economy that emerged in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s. The state formally retained ownership of the means of production. But with commands, prohibitions, laws, taxes, and control, the state determines who is allowed to produce what, when, and under what conditions, and who is allowed to consume what, when, and how much. In such a command and control economy, it is quite conceivable that the form of money production will change—away from money creation through lending toward the issue of helicopter money. The central bank determines who gets how much new money and when. The amount of money in people’s bank accounts no longer reflects their economic success. From now on, it is the result of arbitrary political decisions by the central banks, i.e., the rulers. The prospect of being supplied with new money by the state and its central bank—that is, receiving an unconditional basic income—will presumably drive hosts of people into the arms of the state and bring any resistance to its machinations to a shrieking halt. 9. Will the people, the general public, really subscribe to all of this? Well, government-sponsored economists, in particular, will do their very best to inform us about the benefits of having a globally coordinated monetary policy; that stabilizing the exchange rates between national currencies is beneficial; that if a supranational controlled currency—with the name INTOR or GLOBAL—is created, we will achieve the best of all worlds. And as the issuance of digital central bank money has shut down the last remnants of a free capital market, the merging of different national currencies into one will be relatively easy. The single world currency creature that the political globalists want to create will be a fiat money, certainly not a commodity money. Such a single world fiat currency will not only suffer from all the economic and ethical defects which weigh on national fiat currencies. It will also exacerbate and exponentiate the damages a national fiat currency causes. The door to a high inflation policy would be pushed wide open—as nobody could escape the inflationary single world fiat currency. The states are the main beneficiaries: they can get money from the world central bank at any time, provided they adhere to the rules set out by the world central bank and the special interest groups that govern it. This creates the incentive for national states to relinquish sovereignty rights and to submit to supranational rules—for example, in taxation and financial market regulation. It is therefore the incentive resulting from a single world currency that paves the way toward a world government and a world state. In this context, please note what happened in the euro area: the starting point was not the creation of the EU superstate, which was to be followed by the introduction of the euro. It was exactly the opposite: the euro was introduced to overcome national sovereignty and ultimately establish the United Nations of Europe. One has good reason to fear that the idea of issuing a world fiat currency—which the master ring relentlessly pushes for—would bring totalitarianism—that would most likely dwarf the regimes established by Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and other criminals. 10. In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, evil is eventually defeated. The story has a happy ending. Will it be that easy in our world? The ideas of having a state (as we know it today), of tolerating it, of cooperating with it, of giving the state total control over our money, of accepting fiat money, are deeply rooted in people’s minds as good ideas. Where are the forces supposed to come from that will enlighten people about the evil that the state (as we know it today) brings to humanity? Particularly when in kindergartens, schools, and universities—which are all in the hands of the state—the teachings of collectivism-socialism-Marxism are systematically drummed into people’s (especially impressionable children’s) heads, when the teachings of freedom, free market and free society, and capitalism are hardly or not at all imparted to the younger generation? Who will explain to people the uncomfortable truth that even a minimal state will become a maximal state? That states’ monopolies over money will lead to a single world currency and thus world tyranny? It does not take much to become bleak when it comes to the future of the free economic and social order. However, it would be rather shortsighted to get pessimistic. Those who believe in Jesus Christ can trust that God will not fail them. If we cannot think of a solution to the problems at hand, the believers can trust God. Because “[e]ven in the darkest night, there is a bright light shining somewhere.” Or: please remember the Enlightenment movement in the eighteenth century. At that time, the Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant explained the “unheard of” to the people, namely that there is such a thing as “autonomy of reason.” It means that you and I have the indisputable right to lead our lives independently; that we should handle it according to self-imposed rules, rules that we determine ourselves based on good reason. People back then understood Kant’s message. Why should such an intellectual revolution—triggered by the writings and words of a free thinker—not be able to repeat itself in the future? Or: the fact that people have not yet learned from bad experience does not mean that they won’t eventually learn from it. When it comes to thinking about changes for the better, it is important to note that it is not the mass of people that matters, but the individual. Applied to the conditions in today’s world, among those thinkers who can defeat evil and help the good make a breakthrough are Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe—and all those following their teachings and fearlessly disseminating them—as scholars or as fans. They are—in terms of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings—the companions. They give us the intellectual firepower and the courage to fight and defeat evil. I don’t know if Ludwig von Mises knew Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But he was certainly well aware of the struggle between good and evil that continues throughout human history. In fact, the knowledge of this struggle shaped Mises’s maxim of life, which he took from the verse of the Roman poet Virgil (70 to 19 BC): “Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito,” which means “Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.” I want to close my interpretation with a quote from Samwise Gamgee, the loyal friend and companion of Frodo Baggins. In a really hopeless situation, Sam says to Frodo: “There is something good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” So if we want to fight for the good in this world, we know what we have to do: we have to fight for property and freedom and against the darkness that the state (as we know it today) wishes to bring upon us, especially with its fiat money. In fact, we must fight steadfastly for a society of property and freedom! Tyler Durden Sat, 10/09/2021 - 22:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 9th, 2021

Futures Tumble As Nat Gas Prices Explode, Stagflation Fears Surge

Futures Tumble As Nat Gas Prices Explode, Stagflation Fears Surge In our market comments on Tuesday we were stunned by the resilient surge in tech names and the broader market, even as yields soared on the biggest jump in breakevens since the presidential election, noting that something is very broken with this picture. Well, one day later normalcy is back: US stock index futures tumbled as much as 1.3% on Wednesday before paring some losses, after soaring oil and gas prices (rising as much as 40% in Europe today alone) fed into fears of higher inflation and fueled concerns of sooner-than-expected tapering, which in turn pushed 10Y yields just shy of 1.57%. At 730 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 309 points, or 0.9%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 49 points, or 1.12%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 181 points, or 1.23%, to the lowest level since June 25 on a closing basis, signaling more downside for tech shares after Tuesday’s short reprieve Up to Tuesday’s close, the S&P 500 index logged its fourth straight day of 1% moves in either direction. According to Reuters, the last time the index saw that much volatility was in November 2020, when it rose or fell 1% or more for seven straight sessions. The selloff was much more severe in Europe, with the Stoxx 600 falling as much as 2% to a 2 month low, with every industry sector firmly in the red as the region’s natural gas prices soared to catastrophic levels... ... even as the European Union pledged swift action to ensure the spiking costs don’t stifle the economy (it just didn't explain precisely what it would do). Asian stocks also dropped amid continued China property contagion fears. The 10-year TSY yield touched their highest since June, slamming shares of mega-cap FAAMGs; tech shares led the stocks selloff Apple (AAPL US -1.5%), Facebook (FB US -1.6%), Microsoft (MSFT US -1.6%), Tesla (TSLA US -1.4%) down in U.S. premarket trading. Economy-sensitive parts of the market also came under pressure, with lenders such as Bank of America Corp , JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley shedding more than 1% each. Boeing and industrial conglomerates Caterpillar Inc and 3M Co dropped between 0.8% and 2.0%. Ironically, even though Brent remained well above $82, energy names also slumped with Exxon sliding 1% on what appears to be profit taking to plug margin holes elsewhere. American Airlines’ shares fell 3.7% in U.S. premarket session after Goldman cut its recommendation for the stock to sell. Meanwhile, Palantir Technologies extended its gains to rise 9.3% as the company said it won a U.S. Army contract to supply data and analytics services. Here are some of the other notable market movers: Gogo (GOGO US) drops 5.3% in U.S. premarket trading after Morgan Stanley downgrades to underweight, with competitive landscape expected to pressure valuation and free cash flow over coming year American Airlines (AAL US) slides 3.6% in U.S. premarket trading on Goldman Sachs downgrade, according to Bloomberg data U.S. Steel (X US) down more than 5% in U.S. premarket trading on Goldman Sachs downgrade, according to Bloomberg data Calyxt (CLXT US) shares jump 5.4% premarket after the company said it will focus on engineering synthetic biology solutions for customers across the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, pharmaceutical, advanced materials, and chemical industries Indus Realty Trust (INDT US) fell postmarket Tuesday after launching a 2 million stock offering Noodles & Co. (NDLS US) shares rose 2% in Tuesday postmarket trading after Stephens started coverage with an overweight rating, saying the restaurant chain is poised for strong growth that should lead to higher multiples Allison Transmission (ALSN US) is accelerating the development of electrification technology for integration into the U.S. Army’s ground combat vehicle fleet Palantir (PLTR US) shares rise 14% in U.S. premarket trading after the the software company said Tuesday it was selected by the U.S. Army to provide data and analytics for the Capability Drop 2 program "Right now you’re seeing inflation risk really start to percolate and I do think that you’re going to see that really eat into margins as we go through the fourth quarter into 2022,” Erin Browne, multi-asset portfolio manager at Pimco, said on Bloomberg Television. “The energy crisis that’s starting to loom in Europe is a real risk that is being underestimated by the market right now." “The spike in energy prices continue fueling expectations of higher inflation for longer. Therefore, central banks will be forced to cool down the overheating in inflation rather than trying to boost recovery,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank. “Any weakness in the jobs figure could send the U.S. equities back below their 100-dma levels, as soft economic data could no longer revive the central bank doves." As such, all eyes will be on the U.S. private payrolls data, due at 8:15 a.m. ET. The numbers come ahead of the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls data on Friday, which is expected to cement the case for the Federal Reserve’s slowing of asset purchases. Meanwhile, a stalemate over Republicans and Democrats about the debt limit showed no sign of abating, with President Joe Biden saying that his Democrats might make an exception to a U.S. Senate rule to allow them to extend the government’s borrowing authority without Republican help. European stocks fell even more, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index plunging 2% to lowest since July 20; Travel, autos and retail names are the weakest sectors although all Stoxx 600 sub-indexes are off at least 1%, tech was also underperforming. As noted above, gas prices remain a focal pressure point with several measures hitting record levels. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Adler shares extend decline to 21% in Frankfurt after Viceroy Research publishes a report saying it is short Adler Group SA and its listed subsidiaries. Deutsche Telekom shares fall 4%, close to the level at which Goldman Sachs offered about EU1.5b worth of shares, as part of a deal to swap some of Softbank’s T- Mobile stake for one in Deutsche Telekom. Ambu shares fall as much as 8.1%, most since Aug. 17, after company cut its FY financial outlook. IP Group shares drop as much as 8.1%, their worst day in nine months, after CEO Alan Aubrey and CIO Mike Townend retire. GN Store Nord shares rise as much as 7.5% as it agrees to buy SteelSeries, a maker of software-enabled gaming gear, from Nordic private equity company Axcel for an enterprise value of DKK8b on a cash and debt-free basis. Tesco shares rise as much as 4.6% to an eight-month high after Britain’s biggest supermarket operator said it will buy back GBP500m of stock and raised its FY profit forecast. HSBC rises as much 2.5% as UBS upgrades the Asia-focused lender to buy from neutral, saying the market is taking a risk by being underweight. PageGroup shares jump as much as 6.9%, most since April, as the staffing firm boosts its profit forecast. Peer Hays also gains. Dustin shares jump as much as 11%, most since April 13, after the IT solutions provider’s Ebit for the fourth quarter beat the average analyst estimate. Atlantic Sapphire gains as much as 15% as Pareto sees improvements ahead. Asian stocks headed for their longest losing streak since August as a selloff in the heavyweight tech sector deepened amid rising Treasury yields. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.8%, in its fourth day of decline, with Samsung and Tencent among the biggest drags. A benchmark tracking Chinese technology stocks in Hong Kong closed at a record low. Japan’s Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s Kospi were the biggest losers, sliding more than 1% each. China Tech Stock Gauge Falls to Test Record Low as Yields Rise Investors have yet to digest issues such as the inflation outlook, among other concerns including gridlock over the U.S. debt ceiling and higher global energy prices. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is approaching year-to-date lows seen in August.  “At the moment, given all the uncertainties regarding the growth, inflation and policy outlooks, we are still in the middle of the tempest, so to speak,” Kyle Rodda, an analyst at IG Markets, said by email.  Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippine stock benchmarks were among the region’s best performers. In Japan, the Topix closed 0.3% lower while the Nikkei225 capped its worst daily losing streak since July 2009 and entered a technical correction, as Japanese equities tumbled while Treasury yields climbed. Fast Retailing Co. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. were the largest contributors to a 1.1% loss in the Nikkei 225, which fell for an eighth-straight day. The gauge, which had risen as much as 1.4% earlier in the day, closed more than 10% down from its September high. The broader Topix dipped 0.3%, erasing an early 1.6% advance, driven by losses in automakers. Banks climbed on the spike in Treasury yields. Japanese stocks had opened the day higher, following a rebound in U.S. shares. Both major gauges fell for a seventh day Tuesday amid market disappointment with the new government and a host of threats to global economic growth. ‘Kishida Shock’ Hits Japan Markets Wary of Redistribution Plan “Technicals such as RSI and Bollinger are showing that these moves may have been overdone in the short term, but Japan is hostage to the continued global concerns regarding inflation, supply chains and Chinese credit along with PM Kishida’s ‘new capitalism’ concept,” said Takeo Kamai, head of execution services at CLSA Securities Japan Co Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.6% to close at 7,206.50, reversing an earlier advance of as much as 0.4%. Banks contributed the most to the benchmark’s decline after Australia’s banking regulator raised loan buffers in a bid to cool the nation’s booming housing market. a2 Milk was the worst performer after a class action lawsuit was filed against the company. Whitehaven was the top performer, rising for a fourth straight day.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 13,166.44. The nation’s central bank raised interest rates for the first time in seven years and signaled further increases will likely be needed to tame inflation. The RBNZ lifted the official cash rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.5%. In rates, Treasuries were off their worst levels of the day after the 10Y yield rose briefly topped 1.57%, and remained cheaper by more than 2bps across long-end. The 10-year yield was around 1.55%, cheapest since June 17; U.K. 10-year cheapens by further 1.8bp vs U.S., German 10-year by 0.5bp. In the U.K., the 10-year breakeven rate climbed above 4%, twice the Bank of England’s target, spurred by soaring energy costs. Money markets have almost fully priced a rate hike as soon as December, in what would be the central bank’s first increase in over three years. Peripheral spreads widen to core with long-dated BTPs widening ~3bps to Germany. In FX, USD is well bid with risk assets trading poorly. Bloomberg dollar index rises 0.5%, pushing through last Friday’s highs. NZD, NOK and AUD are the weakest in G-10. Crude futures trade a narrow range near Asia’s opening levels. WTI is down 0.4% near $78.60, Brent briefly trades above $83 before dipping into the red. Spot gold extends Asia’s weakness to print fresh lows for the week near $1,745/oz. Base metals are in the red. LME copper the worst performer, dropping 1.9% to trade near the $9k mark. In commodities, crude futures trade a narrow range near Asia’s opening levels. WTI is down 0.4% near $78.60, Brent briefly trades above $83 before dipping into the red. Spot gold extends Asia’s weakness to print fresh lows for the week near $1,745/oz. Base metals are in the red. LME copper the worst performer, dropping 1.9% to trade near the $9k mark Elsewhere, Bitcoin traded around the $51,000 mark. Looking at the day ahead, data releases include German factory orders for August, the German and UK construction PMIs for September, Euro Area retail sales for August, and the ADP’s September report on private payrolls from the US. From central banks, we’ll also hear from the ECB’s Centeno. Market Wrap S&P 500 futures down 0.9% to 4,294.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.5% to 449.34 MXAP down 0.7% to 191.25 MXAPJ down 0.8% to 622.40 Nikkei down 1.1% to 27,528.87 Topix down 0.3% to 1,941.91 Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 23,966.49 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,568.17 Sensex down 0.2% to 59,596.78 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.6% to 7,206.55 Kospi down 1.8% to 2,908.31 Brent Futures up 0.1% to $82.67/bbl Gold spot down 0.7% to $1,747.69 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.32% to 94.28 German 10Y yield up 2 bps to -0.168% Euro down 0.3% to $1.1560 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Boris Johnson’s insistence that higher pay for U.K. workers is worth the pain of supply chain turmoil is generating buzz among Conservative Party members that he’s planning to raise the minimum wage in a keynote speech on Wednesday European energy prices extend their blistering rally as the supply crunch shows no sign of easing and the European Union pledged a quick response to keep the crisis from damaging the economy Chinese Fantasia Holdings Group Co., which develops high-end apartments and urban renewal projects, failed to repay a $205.7 million bond that came due Monday. That prompted a flurry of rating downgrades late Tuesday to levels signifying default. The stumble stirred broader angst in volatile markets amid public holidays in China and uncertainty about Evergrande President Emmanuel Macron nominated Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau for a second term, opting for stability in one of the most important appointment decisions on European Central Bank policy making for years to come The German Green Party is seeking to start exploratory talks with the SPD and liberal FDP party on forming a governing coalition, Green Party co-leader Annalena Baerbock said Saudi Arabia reduced oil prices for its main buyers, a day after OPEC+ sent crude futures surging by sticking to a plan for slow and steady supply increases A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk: Asia-Pac bourses traded mostly lower after failing to sustain the initial momentum from Wall St, where all major indices gained as investors bought back into tech and with sentiment helped by better-than-expected ISM services PMI, while continued upside in oil prices and a higher yield environment also underpinned energy and financials. This initially lifted the overnight benchmark indices although gains in the ASX 200 (-0.6%) were later reversed as the strength in energy and tech was overshadowed by weakness in the broader market including underperformance in the top-weighted financials sector after the regulator announced a loan curb measure targeting mortgage lending. Nikkei 225 (-1.1%) faded its opening gains and brief foray into 28k territory with auto names among the laggards amid ongoing production disruptions and with PM Kishida’s new cabinet beginning on shaky ground as polls showed his approval rating was at just 55% heading into the upcoming election, which was also the lowest for a new leader in 13 years, while KOSPI (-1.8%) gave up initial spoils with firmer than expected CPI data supporting the case for another hike by the BoK this year. Hang Seng (-0.6%) conformed to the soured mood amid weakness in property and biotech with participants also focusing on Chief Executive Lam’s final policy address of her current term where she proposed measures to address the housing issue, although this failed to lift the property sector as Evergrande concerns lingered after Hong Kong property agencies sued the Co. to recover overdue commissions and with shares in its New Energy Vehicle unit suffering double-digit percentage losses. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower on spillover selling from T-notes and despite the downturn in stocks, while the absence of BoJ purchases in the market today added to the lacklustre demand with the central bank instead offering to buy JPY 125bln in corporate bonds from October 11th with 1yr-3yr maturities. Top Asian News China Tech Stock Gauge Falls to Record Low as Yields Rise Top Glove Says Cooperating in Investigation Over Worker’s Death China Resources Unit Said to Be in Talks for JLL China Business Asian Stocks Drop as Tech Selloff Deepens Amid Rising Yields Stocks in Europe have extended on the losses seen at the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 -2.4%; Stoxx 600 -1.8%) with risk aversion intensifying from a downbeat APAC session as markets grapple with the prospect of stagflation, the energy crunch, Evergrande woes, and geopolitics. US equity futures have conformed to the losses across stocks with the ES (-1.3%) RTY (-1.5%), NQ (-1.5%) and YM (-1.0%) all softer, whilst the former two dipped under 4,300 and 2,200 respectively. From a news-flow standpoint, fresh catalysts have been light. Euro-bouses see broad-based losses whilst the FTSE 100 (-1.6%) is somewhat cushioned (albeit under 7k) by a softer sterling alongside some heavyweight individual stocks including HSBC (+3.3%) following a broker move, and Tesco (+4.5%) after topping H1 forecasts, raised guidance and a GBP 500mln share buyback scheme. Sectors in Europe are all in the red. Banks are the best of the bunch amid the favourable yield environment. On this note, SocGen suggested that the banking sector should benefit from the rise in yields and limited exposure to China, higher energy and supply-chain bottlenecks, while that market consolidation offers some opportunities in the European tech and industrial sectors. Back to sectors, the downside sees some of the more cyclical sectors including Travel & Leisure and Auto names. In terms of some individual movers, Deutsche Telekom (-5.6%) is hit after a bookrunner noted a share offering of some 90mln shares priced at a discount to yesterday’s close. Top European News German Greens Seek Talks With SPD, FDP on Post-Merkel Government European Industry Buckles Under a Worsening Energy Squeeze Polish Central Bank Unbowed Despite Price Spike: Decision Guide Bayer Shares Turn Lower After Initial Gains on Roundup Win In FX, the Dollar is firmly back in the driving seat and the index is eyeing YTD highs having reclaimed 94.000+ status amidst another sharp downturn in risk appetite just a day after what some pundits were dubbing as a ‘turnaround Tuesday’. Instead, Asia-Pacific bourses were reluctant to pick up the baton from Wall Street and the failure to keep the ball rolling against the backdrop of ongoing strength in gas and oil prices has rattled EU equities to the extent that the Dax has lost grip of the 15k handle and FTSE is down below 7k regardless of the fact that the UK benchmark has some positive impulses beyond the obvious revenue implications for the energy sector. Back to the DXY 94.448 is the best so far ahead of 94.500 for sentimental reasons and the current y-t-d peak just a fraction above at 94.504. In terms of fundamentals, next up for the Greenback is ADP as one of the usual pointers for NFP, while Fed speak comes from Bostic who is down to talk twice today. NZD/AUD - Ironically perhaps, the Kiwi is underperforming even though the RBNZ matched market expectations with a 25 bp OCR hike overnight, and this could well be described as a classic ‘buy rumour, sell fact’ reaction given that the move was all priced in. Moreover, the accompanying statement has not altered expectations for further measured tightening and this could compound the inclination to re-position/take profit/cut longs to the detriment of the Nzd. Indeed, the Kiwi has retreated from around 0.6980 vs its US rival to circa 0.6878 and is struggling to tread water on the 1.0500 mark against the Aussie that is also losing out to its US rival on the aforementioned risk dynamic, as Aud/Usd hovers towards the bottom end of 0.7295-0.7227 parameters ahead of AIG’s services sector index. CAD/GBP - Also somewhat perverse, though a measure of the degree that the market mood has changed since yesterday, the Loonie and Sterling are both struggling to derive much from the latest advances in WTI or Brent. In fact, Usd/Cad approached 1.2650 having breached the 50 DMA (1.2626) and pulling away from a cluster of decent option expiries that start at 1.2520-25 (1 bn) and continue through 1.2550-60 (2.1 bn) to 1.2600 (1 bn) and end between 1.2720-30 (1.5 bn, while Cable has reversed through 1.3600 and the 10 DMA (1.3592) with little assistance from a sub-consensus UK construction PMI. EUR/CHF/JPY - All unable to escape the Buck’s clutches, with the Euro down to a minor new 2021 low and probing barriers at 1.1550, while the Franc is treading water around 0.9300 and the Yen is thriving to keep tabs on 111.50 due to its renowned safe-haven properties, and with the prop of JGB yields reaching multi-month peaks, albeit in catch-up trade with US Treasuries and other global bonds. SCANDI/EM - Little solace for the Nok via Brent almost touching Usd 83.50/brl at one stage, though it is holding a firm line following its ascent beyond 10.0000 vs the Eur, while the Sek has largely taken mixed Swedish data and Riksbank rhetoric from Skingsley in stride (caution warranted and now is not the time to change monetary policy), but EM currencies are all floundering with the Try sliding to yet another record trough and on course to hit 9.0000. Ahead, the Zar will be looking for something supportive from SARB Governor Kganyago via a webinar on the economy, jobs and growth. RBNZ hiked the OCR by 25bps to 0.50% as expected and the committee noted further removal of monetary policy stimulus is expected over time. RBNZ added that it is appropriate to continue reducing the level of stimulus and that future moves are contingent on the medium term outlook for inflation and employment, while policy stimulus will need to be reduced to maintain price stability and maximum sustainable employment over the medium term. Furthermore, it noted that cost pressures are becoming more persistent and capacity pressures are still evident, but added that demand shortfalls are less of an issue than the economy hitting capacity constraints and that economic activity will rebound quickly as alert level restrictions ease. (Newswires) In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are choppy in early European trade with a downside bias amid the risk tone, but ultimately, prices remain near recent highs with the WTI Nov contract north of USD 78.50/bbl (78.25-79.78/bbl) and Brent Dec around 82/bbl (vs USD 81.92-83.47/bbl range) at the time of writing. Nat gas has once again been the focus in the energy complex, with the UK Nat Gas future surging some 40% intraday at one point, although its US counterpart has lost some steam. A lot of attention has been the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to alleviate some of the supply/demand imbalances in the gas market heading into the winter period. Yesterday, an EU lawmaker suggested that the pipeline does not comply with EU rules, although an EU court adviser noted that Nord Stream 2 could challenge the energy rule and the decision is not final. European natural gas futures climbed to a fresh all-time high. Back to crude, it’s worth being cognizant of the underlying demand that could be fed via the higher gas prices as other energy sources are more sought after, including diesel generators for electricity usually produced by Nat Gas. Over to metals, spot gold and silver are pressured by the firmer Buck with the former back under USD 1,750/oz and at session lows at the time of writing. The downbeat tone has also taken a toll on the base metals complex, with LME copper again dipping below the USD 9,000/t from a USD 9,135/t intraday peak. US Event Calendar 7am: Oct. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior -1.1% 8:15am: Sept. ADP Employment Change, est. 430,000, prior 374,000 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Risk appetite returned to markets yesterday, but not without some astonishing moves in commodities and inflation markets alongside a selloff in bonds. On top of that, we also had a fresh round of signals that supply-chain issues and inflation were beginning to have real economic impacts, thanks to the global September PMI readings. The most eye catching stat of the last 24 hours is probably that the UK’s index linked bonds are now implying that the April 2022 YoY UK RPI print will be c.7%. Thanks to DB’s Sanjay Raja for pointing this out to me. That’s the point in time where Ofgem next updates its price cap for utility bills. This comes after further astonishing moves in natural gas. In the UK, gas prices were up +19.54%, marking the biggest daily percentage increase in over a year and a +183.3% move since the start of August. 10 year UK breakevens closed at an incredible 3.979% (+9.6bps on the day). To be fair this is based on RPI not the CPI that other index linked markets are. As of early next year the UK is moving to a CPI-H benchmark so these numbers will come down but it’s still an astonishing reflection on expectations for 10-year average inflation numbers. Benchmark European natural gas futures weren’t much different and were up by +20.04% to a record €116.02 per megawatt hour. That’s also the biggest daily percentage increase in over a year, and the absolute increase of €19.37 is actually more than the level at which natural gas was trading as recently as Q1 this year! That leaves natural gas prices up more than six-fold since the start of the year, and up more than three-fold since the start of July. In comparison the US gas future was “only” up +9.20%, but still reached its highest closing level since December 2008. And oil itself saw another round of gains, with Brent Crude (+1.60%) rising to its highest in almost 3 years, at $82.56/bbl, whilst WTI was up +1.69% to $78.93/bbl, its highest since 2014. This fresh round of price surges has led to another spike in inflation expectations across multiple countries even in 10 year markets, so way beyond the transitory stage. We’ve already highlighted the UK number but the 10yr German breakeven (+7.6bps) saw its biggest daily increase in nearly a year, hitting a fresh 8-year high of 1.796%. Its Italian counterpart (+8.3bps) hit a new high for the decade at 1.715%. Even in the US, where breakevens have been trading in a fairly tight band recently, we saw a +6.8bps rise to 2.460%, which is its highest closing level in 4 months. With breakevens moving sharply higher, this was clearly bad news for sovereign bonds, which sold off on both sides of the Atlantic across different maturities. Yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +4.7bps to 1.53%, with the entirety of that move resulting from higher inflation expectations rather than real rates, which actually fell on the day (-2.0bps). Over in Europe, gilts saw the biggest declines as investors continue to anticipate a potential BoE rate hike in the coming months, with 10yr yields rising by a further +7.3bps, whilst the spread of UK 10yr yields over bunds actually widened to its biggest level since the day of the Brexit referendum in 2016. That said, yields were also moving higher on the continent, with those on 10yr bunds (+2.6bps), OATs (+2.5bps) and BTPs (+3.0bps) all moving to their highest level in 3 months. The case for inflation was given further support by the September PMI releases, which pointed to supply-chain issues across multiple countries. In the Euro Area, the composite PMI was revised up a tenth to 56.2, but the release said that input prices were rising at the joint-fastest on record. Over in the US, the composite PMI was also revised up half a point from the flash reading to 55.0, but the release similarly mentioned labour shortages and capacity constraints holding back growth. The US composite PMI of 55.0 was its lowest level in a year, albeit still above the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction. The September US ISM services reading rose 0.2 to 61.9 (59.9 expected) with the report suggesting that delta variant concerns are easing as 17 of the 18 industries reported growth over the last month. However, there were still comments in the report highlighting supply chain issues and some inability to retain or hire labour. In spite of the renewed inflation concerns clouding the Q4 outlook, the major equity indices managed to post a decent rebound from Monday’s losses, although it’s worth noting that many were only recouping those declines rather than advancing to new heights. The S&P 500 was up +1.05%, so still just beneath where it started the week after Monday’s -1.30% decline, whilst the NASDAQ was up +1.25% and the FANG+ recovered +2.23%. It was the 4th straight day that the S&P 500 moved more than 1% in either direction, the longest such streak since November 2020. While yesterday saw a broad-based rally with 21 of the 24 S&P 500 industries gaining, financials were the big outperformer thanks to higher yields. The US Financials sectors added +1.78%, whilst in Europe the STOXX Banks index (+3.99%) hit a post-pandemic high, well outpacing the broader STOXX 600 (+1.17%). Overnight in Asia, most markets continued to slide with the Nikkei (-1.00%), Kospi (-1.00%), Hang Seng (-0.71%) and Australia’s ASX (-0.68%) all moving lower on the back of higher energy prices and inflation concerns. In Japan the Nikkei extended losses for an eighth consecutive session on concerns that new PM Fumio Kishida could be outlining a redistribution plan that includes higher taxes, including on capital gains, although he’s yet to outline the specifics of the policy. Separately the Reserve Bank of New Zealand joined the club of central banks raising rates, hiking by 25bps in a move that was the first rate rise in seven years, as they also indicated more hikes might be warranted. In terms of the latest on Evergrande, the firm is still yet to release details of the “major transaction” we mentioned on Monday, with the company’s shares still suspended, whilst Fantasia saw its long-term rating cut to selective default by S&P yesterday, down from CCC. US futures are pointing to further declines later with those on the S&P 500 down -0.39%. Turning to the ongoing debt ceiling saga, the US Senate has a cloture vote scheduled for today to suspend the ceiling, but Republican leadership are confident they can block the measure and force the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally using the budget reconciliation process (which only requires a simple majority of votes in the Senate). So this would tie a move on the debt ceiling into the reconciliation bill that includes President Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic plan. However, the Democrats are maintaining that the reconciliation process takes too long, with the Treasury estimating it will run out of funding around October 18, and have made the case that both parties have a duty to raise the ceiling, since it reflects debts racked up under administrations of both parties rather than just the Democrats. Irrespective of the debt ceiling though, it does continue to sound like there’s movement toward a deal amongst Congressional Democrats on the size of the plan, withSenator Manchin (a key Democratic moderate) reportedly not ruling out a $1.9-2.2 trillion spending plan price tag, which is also the level that President Biden had been floating to House Democrats last week. Speaking of the Senate, yesterday Senator Elizabeth Warren had yet more strong words for Fed Chair Powell. Warren has already said she opposes giving Powell a second term as the Fed Chair, and yesterday’s speech criticised him for his lack of oversight of the trading activity of Federal Reserve officials. She said Powell has “failed as a leader” and that there are “legitimate questions about conflicts of interest and insider trading” around the actions of certain Fed Officials. This follows her actions on Monday, when she called the SEC to investigate Federal Reserve officials for insider trading. At the same time, Chair Powell asked its inspector general to conduct a review of trades made by Federal Reserve members to ensure they complied with the law and Fed rules. While a White House spokesperson said yesterday that President Biden continues to have confidence in Chair Powell, Senator Warren may be setting up to float an alternative candidate for Chair in the coming weeks ahead of Powell’s term ending early next year. To the day ahead now, and data releases include German factory orders for August, the German and UK construction PMIs for September, Euro Area retail sales for August, and the ADP’s September report on private payrolls from the US. From central banks, we’ll also hear from the ECB’s Centeno. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/06/2021 - 08:07.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 6th, 2021

21 Investing Myths That Just Aren’t True

With all of humanity’s collective knowledge available at our fingertips, you’d think investing myths would have disappeared by now. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Yet they persist, largely because too many people consider money a “taboo” subject and avoid talking about it. Many of us also never question these assumptions, so we […] With all of humanity’s collective knowledge available at our fingertips, you’d think investing myths would have disappeared by now. 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 Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Yet they persist, largely because too many people consider money a “taboo” subject and avoid talking about it. Many of us also never question these assumptions, so we don’t bother running a quick web search in the first place. These persistent investing myths cost you money though, in a very real sense. Once you move past these myths, a wider world of investing opportunities open up for you. Myth: You Can Time the Market to Earn Higher Returns When it comes to new investors learning how to invest their money one of the biggest myths is that you can time the market and earn better returns. To profitably time the market, you need to get it right twice. You need to buy at or near the bottom of the market, just as it turns upward. Then you need to sell at or near the top of the market, just as it prepares to plunge. The most experienced, best-informed professionals can’t do this predictably. If they can’t do it, you certainly can’t. Imagine you’re standing on the sidelines, telling yourself that you’ll invest “once the market drops.” But the market continues to rise for the next year or two before its next dip. When the dip does come, its low point might still cost more than today’s price. And that’s assuming you were able to buy at the low point, which you almost certainly won’t time properly. In the meantime, you’ve missed out on years of passive income from dividends or rents, or interest. Rather than trying to time the market, practice dollar-cost averaging. While it sounds complicated, it simply involves investing a set amount every month into the same diversified investments, based on what your budget allows for each month. You ignore timing and just mimic the broader upward trend, to earn better returns in the long run. Myth: You Need a Lot of Money to Start Investing A common myth that many people assume is investing a little bit of money doesn’t make sense. They think that investing $5 a month is pointless so they never even bother to start. That couldn’t be further from the truth. And it leads to wasted opportunities to save and invest over time. The truth is, investing a small amount of money can grow into large sums of money. Jon Dulin, owner of MoneySmartGuides, offers this example: “Let’s say you are 25 years old and invest $20 a month for 25 years. During this time you earn an average 8% return — nothing spectacular, just average returns. “At the end of 25 years, your $20 monthly investment has grown to nearly $19,000. If that doesn’t sound impressive, consider that your measly $20 each month could help your child or grandchild pay for college. Or it could pay for a family reunion vacation that you have on a tropical island. “If you instead keep the money invested for another 25 years, when you reach age 75, you’ll have close to $149,000. This can cover several years’ worth of living expenses during retirement.” Don’t make the mistake of assuming a small amount of money is a waste of time. Thanks to compounding, your money will grow into far larger sums over time. Literally anyone can get started even with little capital. Take the first step now and start investing any excess money you have, regardless of the amount. Read more: Invest in Art like the Ultra Wealthy Without Spending Millions Myth: I’m Too Young (or Too Old) to Start Investing The sooner you start and the longer you keep the money invested, the more it will grow. At an 8% return, you’d have to invest $5,467 each month to reach $1 million in 10 years. But it only takes $287 invested each month to reach $1 million in 40 years. That means that even people working for minimum wage can become millionaires if they invest consistently over time. On the other end of the spectrum, some older adults look at those numbers and despair, wondering why they should bother investing at all. But that’s the price of delaying: you need to save and invest more each month to reach the same goal. As the proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Start investing today with what you have, and let compounding work its magic for you. Read more: Don’t Miss These 12 Stocks Pay Monthly Dividends Myth: It Takes Decades to Save Enough to Retire In personal finance, the concept of “financial independence” means being able to cover your living expenses with passive income from investments. To make your day job optional, in other words, allowing you to retire if you like. It takes hard work and an enormous savings rate, of course. If you plod along with a 10-15% savings rate, then yes, it will take you decades to save enough to retire. My wife and I got serious about financial independence at 37, three years ago. We’re on track to reach financial independence within the next two or three years, in our early  40s. How? With a savings rate of 60-65% of our annual income and aggressive investing. Neither of us earns a huge salary either, but we still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with plenty of international travel. We can save so much of our income because we house hack for free housing, avoid owning a car by living in a walkable area, and get full health insurance through my wife’s job. Nor are we alone. Read up on the FIRE movement (financial independence, retire early) to see how thousands of other people are achieving fast early retirement. Myth: Popular Companies Make Better Stock Picks The idea that popular companies make for good stocks sounds appealing on its surface. After all, if a company is popular, it’s probably growing its business. But the popularity and even the quality of a business only tell half the story. The other side is the price you pay for it. “Imagine someone approached you with two offers,” illustrates Ben Reynolds of Sure Dividend. “The first offer is to buy a $100 bill for $150. The second offer is to buy a $1 bill for $0.50. We all know the $100 bill is worth much more than the $1 bill… But any rational person would rather buy $1 for $0.50 than $100 for $150.” Two Warren Buffett quotes sum this up nicely: “For the investor, a too-high purchase price for the stock of an excellent company can undo the effects of a subsequent decade of favorable business developments.” “Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.” The reason it is difficult to do well investing in popular stocks is because they tend to be overvalued. Everyone already “knows” the business is going to be wildly successful, and that’s baked into the price. If there’s any hiccup in results, the price is likely to decline significantly. Also, as evidenced by the GameStop fiasco, amateur traders can make a significant impact on popular investments. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it a good investment. Read more:  Discover these 19 Blue Chip Dividend Stocks Myth: You Need to Spend Time Researching Stocks or Frequently Trading Many people believe that it takes a lot of time to research stock and make frequent trades to make money, resulting in people leaving their investments with a professional or relying on expensive mutual funds. But individual investors don’t need expensive investment advisors or managed mutual funds (more on them shortly). “For most retail investors, utilizing low-cost passive index ETFs is the easiest and cheapest approach,” explains Bob Lai of Tawcan.com. “These index ETFs track a special index, like the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ Composite Index. Because of index-tracking nature, you get to own all the stocks listed in that index.” There’s no need to spend time determining the earning trend of companies like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, or Pfizer because you own them all. By owning all these stocks in the index ETFs, you are also not making frequent trades. Counterintuitively, frequent trades generally lead to lower returns. Think of your investment portfolio like a bar of soap: the more you touch it, the smaller it gets. Read more: Related read: Diversify Your Portfolio With These Top 10 International ETFs Myth: Expensive Managed Mutual Funds Outperform Passive Index Funds Experienced, professional investors with the best data available to them still can’t pick stocks or time the market better than passive index funds. Need proof? Over the last 15 years, nearly 90% of managed mutual funds underperformed compared to their respective benchmark index. “The best investment strategy would be to invest in index funds of stocks or bonds that track an entire segment of the market — so you don’t have to worry about which specific security will give you the best return over short investing periods,” offers Kelan Kline, cofounder of The Savvy Couple. “My personal favorite low cost broad market index fund is Vanguard’s VTSAX.” Myth: Only the Wealthy Can Hire Investment Advisors A survey from JPMorgan Chase found that 42% of people who aren’t investing are staying out because they don’t think they have enough to invest. On some level, this isn’t surprising. After all, historically people had to work with private wealth managers who require $100,000 or more. Even many popular index funds required a minimum of $10,000 to get started, just 20 years ago. “That is changing with algorithm-driven investment tools such as robo-advisors,” says Jeremy Biberdorf of ModestMoney.com. “In many cases, robo-advisors have no minimum investment and allow you to invest for a small fee. Even investing a small amount every year can make a big difference.” Robo-advisors also won’t run off with your money or engage in insider trading. Many investors let their guard down and trust human investment advisors without doing any due diligence on them, especially when referred to them by friends of family members. “This makes investors vulnerable to conflicting advice in even the best-case scenarios. In the worst-case scenarios, they are easy prey for scammers. That’s why I call this blind faith in financial professionals the worst investment advice I hear everywhere,” explains Chris Mamula of Can I Retire Yet?. Read more: Can I Retire at 62 With 400k In My 401(k)? Myth: Bonds Are Inherently Safer than Other Asset Classes Bonds offer one type of safety — but leave you exposed to other types of risk. When an investor buys a bond from the US Government or most municipalities, there’s little risk of the borrower defaulting. So investors can sleep at night knowing that as long as they hold that bond, they’ll probably receive their modest interest payments. But bond values gyrate on the secondary market just like stock prices. Investors who plan to sell their bonds rather than hold them can find themselves with paper that’s gone down in value, not up. Which says nothing of the corroding effect of inflation on bond interest payments. When inflation runs at 3% in a year, a bond paying 3% interest-only generates a 0% real return. That in turn means that bonds may not actually protect retirees against running out of money before they die. Sure, the stock market is volatile, but in the long term, it generates an average return of 10% per year. At a 4% withdrawal rate, investors will see their stock portfolio go up in value rather than down, in most years. Even conservative income stock investing, such as in dividend kings, can yield 3-4% in dividends alone, on top of share price growth. But bonds paying paltry 3-4% interest will cause a slow decay in your nest egg. None of that means that you should never invest in bonds. But every investor should understand all the risks — not just the risk of default. Myth: Options Trading is Risky For many, selling options is a risky business.  And strategies such as Iron Condors add to the complexity.   “However, when managed correctly, options trading can be a handy addition to an overall portfolio”, explains Gavin McMaster of IQ Financial Services, LLC. An iron condor is a delta-neutral option strategy that consists of both call options, and put options.  The strategy works if the underlying stock stays within a specific range during the course of the trade. The key with iron condors is trading an appropriate position size (never risk your whole account on an iron condor) and knowing how to manage them. Here are a few quick tips to reduce the risks with iron condors: Never risk more than 2-3% of your account size on any one trade Close the trade before the stock breaks through one of the short strikes Avoid earnings announcements Have one or two adjustment strategies ready in case the trade moves against you Focus on stocks and ETF’s with a high IV Rank “While iron condors can be risky if you don’t know what you are doing, using appropriate position sizing and risk management rules can reduce the risks”, adds McMaster.  Generating income from iron condors can be a superb way to increase the returns on your portfolio. Myth: Pay Off Your Student Loans Before Buying a Home Paying off student loans before buying a home is a common misconception. While there is no “one size fits all approach,” many people believe their student loan debt will prohibit them from purchasing a home, however, this isn’t always the case. “For example, doctors and dentists often carry large amounts of student debt, and typically have relatively high debt to income ratios. Therefore, exploring a Physician Mortgage, which allows individuals to carry more debt, may be a better fit than a traditional mortgage”, explains Kaitlin Walsh-Epstein with Laurel Road. For those nonhealthcare professionals looking to purchase a home while managing high outstanding student loan balances, refinancing their student loans can be a good option. By refinancing to a longer-term mortgage, the borrower may lower their monthly payments. However, this may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. “Refinancing to a shorter-term mortgage may increase the borrower’s monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan.”, adds Walsh-Epstein. Questions to consider: What is your current student loan interest rate? (Calculate the true cost over the life of your loan) What are mortgage interest rates and are they projected to go up or down?  (Currently mortgage rates are low) Do you pay rent each month and if so, how will your rent payment compare to a mortgage payment?  (As well as carrying costs of owning a home) Is the home (or real estate) projected to appreciate in value? The first step is to review and understand your credit score, student loan terms, and financial goals. Working towards making payments to lower your overall debt will help to raise your credit score, yet again increasing your chances of getting into your dream home faster! Myth: The “Rule of 100” In the 20th Century, investment advisors droned out the same advice to most clients: “Subtract your age from 100, and that’s the percent of your portfolio that should be invested in stocks.” They pushed clients to move their money into bonds instead, as they grew older. A sound strategy — back when Treasury bonds paid 15% interest. This century has seen perpetual low-interest rates, and bonds have offered poor returns compared to stocks. This says nothing of the fact that people are living and working longer, so they both have more risk tolerance and need their nest eggs to last longer. Today, investment advisors tend to instead advise subtracting your age from 110 or 120 instead, if they bother issuing such generic advice at all. Everyone has their own unique risk tolerance and needs; as a real estate investor, I can earn safer, higher returns from real estate than bonds, so I avoid bonds altogether. A high earner nearing retirement might appreciate the tax benefits and security of municipal bonds and tailor their portfolio accordingly. Be careful of anyone peddling such a broad rule of thumb as the “Rule of 100.” Read more: Find Expert Tax Preparers Now! Myth: You Must Pay Off All Debt Before Investing There are plenty of great reasons to pay off consumer debt early. You earn an effective return equal to the interest rate, and it’s a guaranteed return on your money when you use it to pay off debt early. Mark Patrick of Financial Pilgrimage explains it like this: “Our family even went so far to pay down our mortgage debt despite record low-interest rates. With that said, throughout the entire process we invested in our retirement accounts, such as our 401(k) account. The benefits are just too good to pass up. “The company that I work for provides a 401k match of up to 6% plus an additional 1% that every employee receives regardless. Therefore, if I contributed 6% of my salary to my 401(k) I would receive an additional 7% in contributions from my employer. I was more than doubling my money right away! “If you decide to wait to pay down all of your consumer debt instead of starting to invest for your retirement you’ll miss out on years of compound interest. Compound interest is one of the most powerful forces in personal finance. The earlier you can get started, the better. For example, if someone invests $5,000 per year from age 25 to 35 and then never invests another dollar, they would likely have more money at age 65 than someone that invests the same amount every month from age 35 to 65. “While I am a huge proponent of paying down debt, it shouldn’t come at the expense of forgoing investing. Especially when you want that money to grow until retirement. Try to find the balance between paying down debt and investing. We certainly could have paid down our debt faster if we decided not to invest throughout the process, but after 15 years in the workforce I’m sure glad we didn’t. Those dollars invested early on have compounded into much larger amounts over the years. Read more: Should you Pay off Debt or Save for Retirement Myth: You Should Pay Off Your Student Loans Before Buying a Home It might make more sense to pay off student loans before buying a house. Or it might not. Ultimately it depends on your goals, your housing market, your loan interest rates, and your other finances. For example, you might live in a housing market where it’s cheaper to rent than own a home. In that case, it makes sense to pay off your student loans rather than rush into buying. Alternatively, if you plan on buying a duplex and house hacking, and thereby eliminating your housing payment, it probably makes more sense to buy. Just think about how much faster you could pay off your student loans, with no housing payment! Think holistically about how owning versus renting for another year or two would affect your finances. Don’t rush into buying a home — but don’t avoid it without deep analysis, either. Myth: Buying Is Always Better than Renting Despite having owned dozens of properties as a real estate investor, I live in a rental apartment. In some markets, renting makes more sense than buying. Look no further than San Francisco, where the median home price is $1,504,311, but the median rent for a three-bedroom home is $4,567. After adding in property taxes and homeowners insurance, it would cost roughly double the monthly payment to buy a median home as rent, despite all the perennial complaints by San Francisco tenants. And that says nothing of maintenance and repair costs, which average thousands of dollars each year for the typical homeowner. Renters don’t have to pay those costs or do that labor. They delegate them to the landlord. Nor do renters need the fiscal discipline to budget money each month for those irregular, but inevitable expenses. Not everyone has that discipline, and they’re better off with the steady, predictable housing cost of monthly rent. Finally, renting allows flexibility. Tenants can sign a month-to-month lease agreement and move out with a few weeks’ notice. Homeowners don’t have the flexibility; it takes months to sell a home, and typically tens of thousands in closing costs. Myth: Your Home Is an Investment Buyers love to delude themselves that they’re buying an “investment” rather than spending money on shelter. It helps them justify overspending on the biggest, fanciest house they can possibly afford. But make no mistake: housing falls under the “Expenses” category in your budget, not the “Investments” category. It costs you money every month, rather than generating it. House hacking marks a notable exception however, since your home helps you avoid a housing payment. Sure, real estate often goes up in value. So do baseball cards, but that doesn’t justify hobbyists spending as much as they possibly can on them, while patting themselves on the back for their wise “investments.” By all means, invest in real estate. But do it by buying true investment properties, or REITs, or real estate crowdfunding investments. The more you spend on housing, the less you can put toward true investments. Read more: House Hacking – 18 Ways to Never Pay Rent Again Myth: You Should Put the Bare Minimum Down When You Buy a Home Making the bare minimum down payment often enables buyers to overspend on housing. They end up overleveraging themselves, mortgaged to the hilt with an enormous monthly payment and little money left to actually furnish the place, or to enjoy any social life. It also leaves homeowners vulnerable to becoming upside-down on their home, owing more than the home is worth. At that point, they become prisoners in their own homes, unable to sell without the lender’s permission. They end up stuck there until the housing market either improves or they pay their loan balance down enough to be able to afford seller closing costs without coming out of pocket. While it sounds nice to put down next to nothing on a home, look at the bigger picture. If you spend far less on a home than you can afford, then a low down payment can serve you well. But if you’re straining against the limits of your budget, beware of putting every last penny into a tiny down payment with a huge monthly bill. Myth: You Should Put Down as Much as Possible on a Home The common wisdom was once to put down as much as possible when you buy a home, and 20% at the very least. However, this locks up a good portion of the money that could be growing at a faster rate with other investments. “Putting down less than 20% does increase the monthly mortgage payment due to the higher interest rate and PMI (private mortgage insurance),” explains Andy Kolodgie of The House Guys. “However, you should compare your expected returns on that extra down payment if you were to invest it elsewhere, to the annual savings on your mortgage. For example, investing in stocks and bonds could allow you to earn more money while providing the added benefit of easy liquidity. “A lesson learned from the 2008 mortgage crisis was you can’t eat equity in your home. During the recession, it was nearly impossible to refinance the equity out of any home, as home prices dropped below most people’s mortgage balance. Putting less than 20% down to stay more liquid and investing in alternative assets diversifies your portfolio, keeping buyers more risk-averse.” Again, look holistically at your personal finances. As you near retirement, it makes more sense to play conservatively with a larger down payment to avoid PMI and reduce your monthly mortgage bill. For younger borrowers looking to buy a first home, it often makes more sense to put down 3-10%, and invest their other cash more aggressively in the stock market or other assets with high return potential. Myth: You Need 6-12 Months’ Living Expenses in an Emergency Fund To hear the pundits crying from their soapboxes, we all need at least a year’s worth of living expenses parked in a savings account in cash to protect us from a financial apocalypse. And some people do. But not everyone. Those with either irregular incomes, irregular expenses, or both do need a deep cash cushion. For example, as an entrepreneur, there have been months where I didn’t earn enough to take a personal distribution for myself from the company, so I earned $0 in personal income those months. Someone like me does need 6-12 months’ worth of living expenses saved in an emergency fund. Salaried employees with safe jobs at stable employers don’t need as much cash in an emergency fund. That goes doubly if they live a predictable middle-class lifestyle with the same expenses month in and month out. They may only need 2-3 months’ expenses set aside in cash. I go a step further with my emergency fund and think of it as tiered levels of defenses, like a medieval castle. The first level comprises cash savings — you can tap it if you need it. I also keep several unused credit cards with low-interest rates, that I can also draw on in a pinch. Then I keep several low-volatility, short-term investments that I can also turn to if needed. All of which means I don’t actually need 6-12 months’ living expenses in cash after all. Myth: More Education Inherently Means a Higher Income From a statistical standpoint, education level correlates strongly with income. People with college degrees earn more than those with high school diplomas on average, and those with advanced degrees earn a higher average income still. On a personal level, it often doesn’t work out that way. I have plenty of friends and family members with advanced degrees, and most of them earn modest, middle-income salaries. Salaries with ceilings, and little room for advancement beyond their specialized niche. I can’t tell you how many teachers I know with several master’s degrees, who earn little or nothing more than their colleagues with bachelor’s degrees. In fact, my friends and family with the highest incomes all stopped at bachelor’s degrees and while some got high-paying jobs, others went into business in some capacity. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue an advanced degree if it’s required for your dream job. By all means, pursue your passion. But don’t assume that an advanced degree inherently means an advanced salary. Read more: How to Make $100k/yr As A Brand Ambassador Myth: Gold Offers the Best Hedge Against Inflation Many investors flock to gold when they fear inflation. But historically, gold often performs badly during times of high inflation. From 1980-1984, for instance, gold lost around 10% in value, even as inflation raged at a 6.5% annual rate. Historically repeated itself in the late 1980s as well. Gold actually works best as a hedge against a weakening currency — compared to other world currencies. When investors think the US dollar is about to crumble in value compared to the euro, pound, or yen, that marks a good moment to grab some gold. But investors more generally worried about inflation should consider better hedges against it. Real estate offers an excellent hedge against inflation, for example. It has inherent value: people will pay the going rate, regardless of the value of the currency. The same goes for commodities like food staples; no one stops eating just because inflation surges. Most professional investment advisors recommend holding no more than 5% of your portfolio in precious metals, if that. I personally own none, preferring to invest in stocks, real estate, and the occasional speculative gamble such as cryptocurrency. Article By G. Brian Davis, The Financially Independent Millennial Updated on Oct 5, 2021, 5:10 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 5th, 2021

NASDAQ Drops Over 2% as Tech is Trounced Again

NASDAQ Drops Over 2% as Tech is Trounced Again It looks like September’s sluggish shenanigans followed us into October after all, as tech again led the market lower on Monday to begin a week full of economic data. Despite stiff losses last month and last week, stocks began October and the fourth quarter with a very respectable rally on Friday. Of course, most of the problems that plagued September are still with us. We may have averted a government shutdown, but that debt ceiling debate is still hovering over us. Plus, there’s been no relief from rising inflation, supply chain issues, uncertainty over the Fed’s monetary policy or China troubles (e.g. Evergrande, Taiwan). And the market’s always a bit on edge in the runup to the Government Employment Situation report. This Friday’s print could be especially meaningful since it might determine when the Fed begins tapering its asset purchases. So given all these uncertainties, we had a rough start to the week today. The NASDAQ, which snapped a five-day skid on Friday, went back in the red by plunging 2.14% (or about 311 points) to 14,255.48. It was another difficult day for tech with all of the FAANGs solidly lower, especially Facebook (FB, -4.9%) amid an approximately six-hour outage and last night’s whistleblower story on “60 Minutes”. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOG) were each down 2% or more. Microsoft (MSFT) also declined over 2%, while NVIDIA (NVDA) dipped nearly 5%. The 10-year ticked a bit higher on Friday, but remained below 1.5% and well off of last week’s high around 1.56%. Elsewhere, the S&P dropped 1.3% to 4300.46, while the Dow declined 0.94% (or about 323 points) to 34,002.92. Stocks are coming back from a rough week that saw the NASDAQ plunge over 3%, while the S&P and Dow were down 2.3% and 1.4%, respectively. “The best thing that could happen to this market is a move to the 200-day ahead of the next earnings season,” said Dave Bartosiak in today’s Surprise Trader. “That would set us up for a nice rally with a healthy pullback in the rearview and the debt ceiling saga likely all cleared up. Get ready because opportunity is knocking.” Today's Portfolio Highlights: Technology Innovators: The portfolio swapped software positions on Monday as Bentley Systems (BSY) “has done nothing but go straight down” since being added less than a month ago and is “now past the point of no return”. Brian got rid of the stock today and replaced it with Progress Software (PRGS), which is focused on developing and deploying mission-critical business applications. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the past four quarters, including a beat of 42% in the most recent report. The company also has a very reasonable valuation for generating 34% topline growth in that blowout quarter. Perhaps most importantly at the moment, PRGS didn’t selloff like so many others in the past few weeks. This swap keeps the portfolio fully invested as Brian waits for the markets to bounce back. Read the full write-up for a lot more on today’s moves.    Zacks Short Sell List: As you can see in the scoreboard above, this portfolio is operating just as intended. It’s emotion-free approach was meant to outperform during volatile or falling markets. Therefore, on a day when the S&P plunged 1.3%, this service had the top four winners of the session among all ZU names. Those strong performances came from the short positions in Certara (CERT, +8.3%), Enphase Energy (ENPH, +6.7%), Overstock.com (OSTK, +6.6%) and StoneCo (STNE, +6.4%). By the way, the short in STNE is also a top performer over the past 30 days with a rise of 25.7%. This portfolio’s weekly update will be tomorrow, as usual.   Black Box Trader: This week's adjustment replaced more than half of the portfolio and cashed in a double-digit winner. The six stocks that were sold on Monday included: • Mosaic (MOS, +18.8%) • Olin Corp. (OLN, +6.4%) • LKQ Corp. (LKQ) • Textron (TXT) • The TJX Cos. (TJX) • Johnson Controls (JCI) The new buys that replaced these names were: • Avantor (AVTR) • Jefferies Financial Group (JEF) • New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) • Pfizer (PFE) • Range Resources (RRC) • Tronox Holdings (TROX) Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service. Options Trader: "But the report everybody is really waiting for is Friday’s always important Employment Situation report. After a miss in last month’s report, but a positive surprise the month before, everybody is wondering what the jobs market will show this time, especially with the extended unemployment benefits having expired in early September. "Since many have attributed this year’s labor shortages, in part, on the extended unemployment benefits, it will be interesting to see if hiring picked up now that those are over. "The fun stuff comes next week with Q3 earnings season coming into focus. Since stocks typically go up during earnings season, it’s easy to see why it can be such an exciting time in the market." -- Kevin Matras Until Tuesday, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 5th, 2021

In Deep Ship: What"s Really Driving The Supply-Chain Crisis

In Deep Ship: What's Really Driving The Supply-Chain Crisis By Michael Every and Matteo Iagatti of Rabobank Summary It is impossible to ignore the current shipping crisis and its impact on global supply chains  A common view is that this is all the result of Covid-19. Yet while Covid has played a key role, it is only part of a far larger interconnected set of problems This report examines current shipping market dynamics; overlooked “Too Big to Sail” structural issues; a brewing political tsunami as a backlash; possible Cold War icebergs ahead; and the ‘ship of things to come’ if maritime past is a guide to maritime future  The central argument is that while central banks and governments both insist inflation is transitory and will fall once supply-chain bottlenecks are resolved, shipping dynamics suggest they are closer to becoming systemically entrenched Moreover, both historical and current trends towards addressing such problems suggest potential global market disruptions at least equal to the shocks we have already experienced. Many ports will get caught in this storm, if so Ready to ship off? It is impossible to ignore the current shipping crisis and its impact on global supply chains and economies. Businesses face huge headaches as supply dries up. Consumers see bare shelves and rising prices. Governments have no concrete solutions – save the army? Economists have to discuss the physical economy rather than a model. Central banks still assume this will all resolve itself. And shippers make massive profits. The giant Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March 2021, is emblematic of these problems, but they run far deeper. This report will explore the shipping issue coast-to-coast, and past-to-present in six ‘containers’: “Are you shipping me?”, a deep-dive into market dynamics and supply-demand causes of soaring shipping prices; “To Big to Sail”, a key structural issue driving things; “Tsunami of politics” of the looming backlash to what is happening; “Cold War icebergs” of fat geopolitical tail risks; “Ship of things to come?”, asking if the maritime past is a potential guide to maritime future; and “Wait and sea?”, a strategic overview and conclusion. Are You Shipping Me? Since 2020, global shipping has been frenetic, with equally frenetic shipping rates (figure 2); difficulties for both businesses and consumers; and container-carrier profits. Is Covid-19 driving these developments, or are there other structural and cyclical factors at play? Let’s take stock. One root of the problem… In 2020, COVID-19 become a global pandemic, and lockdowns ensued: factories, restaurants, and shops all closed, bringing global supply chain almost to a halt. In this context, container carriers had no visibility on future demand and did the only reasonable thing: cut capacity. There is no economic sense in moving half-empty ships across the globe; it is costly, especially for a sector operated on tiny margins for a very long time. The consequence was widespread vessel cancellations, which soared in the first months of 2020 (figure 3). Progressively, more trade lines and ports were involved as containment measures were enacted globally. By H2-2020, virus containment measures were over in China, and many other nations eased them too. Shipping cancellations did not stop, however, just continuing at a slower pace. Indeed, capacity cuts have plagued supply-chains in 2021. Excluding the January-February peaks, from March to September 2021, an average of 9.2 vessels per week were cancelled, four vessels per week more than the previous off-peak period of July to December 2020 (figure 3). Cumulative cancellations (figure 4) underline the problems. Transpacific (e.g., China-US) and Asia-Northern Europe lines saw the largest capacity cuts, but Transatlantic and Mediterranean-North America vessels also reached historic levels of cancellations. Transpacific and Asia-Europe lines are the backbone of global trade, each representing 40% of the total container trade. More than 3 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, a standard cargo measure) are moved on Transpacific and Asia-Europe lines in total per month. Due to cancellations, more than 10% of that capacity was lost in early 2020. In such a context, it was only normal to expect a rise in container rates. Over January-December 2020 the Global Baltic index (the world reference for box prices) increased by 115% from $1,460 to $3,140/TEU. However, as figure 2 shows, things then changed dramatically in 2021 for a variety of reasons. As can be seen (figure 5), cancellations alone cannot explain the price surge seen in the Baltic Dry Index -- the leading international Freight Rate Index, providing market rates for 12 global trade lines-- and on key global shipping routes (figure 6). So what did? We have instead identified five key themes that have pushed up shipping costs, which we will explore in turn: Suez – and what happened there; Sickness – or Covid-19 (again); Structure – of the shipping market; Stimulus – most so in the US; and “Stuck” – as in logistical congestion. Suez On March 23rd 2021, a 20,000TEU giant vessel, the Ever Given, owned by the Taiwanese carrier Evergreen, was forced by strong winds to park sideways in the Suez Canal, ultimately obstructing it. For the following six days, one of the fundamental arteries of trade between Europe, the Gulf, East Africa, the Indian Ocean, and South East Asia was closed for business. While the world realized how fragile globalized supply chains are, carriers and shippers were counting the costs. 370 ships could not pass the Canal, with cargoes worth around $9.5bn. Every conceivable good was on those ships. The result was more unforeseen delays, more congestions and, of course, more upward pressure on container rates. Sickness New COVID-19 Delta variant outbreaks in 20201 forced the closure of major Chinese ports such as Ningbo and Yantian causing delays and congestion that reverberated both in the region and globally. Vietnamese ports also suffered similar incidents. These closures, while not decisive blows, contributed to taking shipping capacity off the global grid, hindering the recovery trend. They were also signals of how thin the ice is that global supply chain are walking on. Indeed, Chinese and South-east Asian ports are still suffering the consequences of those earlier closures, with record queues of ships waiting to unload. Structure When external shocks cause price spikes it is always wise to look at structure of the sector in which disruption caused the price spike. This exercise provides precious hints on what the “descent” from the spike might look like. Crucially, in the shipping sector, consolidation and concentration has achieved levels that few other sectors of the economy reach. In the last five years, carriers controlling 80% of global capacity became more concentrated, with fewer operators of even larger size (figure 7). However, this is just the most obvious piece of the puzzle. In our opinion, the real change started in 2017, when the three main container alliances (2M, THE, and Ocean) were born. This changed horizontal cooperation between market leaders in shipping. The three do not fix prices, but via their networks capacity is shared and planned jointly, fully exploiting economies of scale that are decisive to making a capital-intensive business profitable and efficient. Unit margins can stay low as long as you move huge volume with high precision, and at the lowest cost possible. To be able to move the huge volumes required by a globalized and increasingly e-commerce economy at the levels of efficiency and speed demanded by operators up and down supply chains, there was little other options than to cooperate and keep goods flowing for the lowest cost possible at the highest speed possible. A tight discipline of cost was imposed on carriers, who also had to get bigger. This strategy more than paid off in the Covid crisis, when shippers demonstrated clear minds, efficiency in implementing capacity control, and a key understanding of the elements they could use to their advantage: in other words – how capitalism actually works. Carriers did not decide on the lockdowns or port closures; but they exploited their position in the global market when the pandemic erupted. In a recent report, Peter Sands from BIMCO (the Baltic and International Maritime Council) put it as follows: “Years of low freight rates resulting in rigorous cost-cutting by carriers have left them in a great position to maximise profits now that the market has turned.” Crucially, this market structure is here to stay - for now. It is a component of the global system. Carriers will continue to exert pressure and find ways to make profit but, most importantly, they will make more than sure that, this time, it is not only them that end up paying the costs of rebalancing within the global system. In short, the current market allows carriers to make historic levels of profits. However, in our view this is not the end of the story – as shall be shown later. Stimulus 2020 and 2021 saw unprecedented economic shocks from Covid-19, as well as unprecedented economic stimulus from some governments. In particular, the US government sent out direct stimulus cheques to taxpayers. With few services to spend the money on, it was instead centred on goods. Hence, consumer demand for some items is red-hot (figures 8-10). The consequences of this surge in buying on top of a workforce still partly in rolling lockdowns, and against a backlog of infrastructure decades in the making, was obvious: logistical gridlock. Moreover, with the US importing high volumes, and not exporting to match, and its own internal logistics log-jammed, there has been a build-up of shipping containers inside the US, and a shortage elsewhere. Shippers are, in some cases, even dropping their cargo and returning to Asia empty: the same has been reported in Australia. Against this backdrop, the US is perhaps close to introducing further major fiscal stimulus, with little of this able to address near-term infrastructure/logistical shortfalls. Needless to say, the impact on shipping, if such stimulus is passed, could be enormous. As such, while central banks and governments still insist that inflation is transitory, supply-chain dynamics suggest it is in fact closer to becoming systemically entrenched. Stuck In normal times, a surge in consumer spending would be a bonanza for everyone: raw material producers, manufacturers, carriers, shippers, and retailers alike. In Covid times, this is all a death-blow to global supply chains. Due to misplaced global capacity, high export volumes cannot be moved fast enough, intermediate goods cannot reach processors in time, and everybody is fighting to get a container spot on the ships available. Ports cannot handle the throughput given the backlog of containers that are still waiting to be shipped inland or loaded on a delayed boat. It is not by chance that congestion hit record peaks at the same time in Los Angeles – Long beach (LALB), and in the main ports in China, the two main poles of transpacific trade. Clearly, LALB cannot handle the surge in imports, the arrival queue keeps on growing by the day (figure 11). There are now plans to shift to working 24/7. However, critics note that all this would do is to shift containers from ships to clog other already backlogged areas of the port, potentially reducing efficiency even further. Meanwhile, in Shanghai and Ningbo there were also 154 ships waiting to unload at time of writing. The power-cuts seeing Chinese factories only operating 3-4 day weeks in many locations suggest a slow-down in the pace of goods accumulating at ports, but also imply disruption, shortages, and delays in loading, still making problems worse overall. Imagine large-scale US stimulus on top of a drop in supply! Overall, “endemic congestion” is the perfect definition for the state of the global shipping market. It is the results of many factors: vessels cancellations and capacity control; Covid; bursts of demand in some trade lines; imbalances in container distribution; regular disruption in key arteries and ports; a backlog and increasing volumes cannot be dealt with at the same time, all creating an exponentially amplifying effect. The epicenter is in the Pacific, but the problem is global. At present 10% of global container capacity is waiting to be unloaded on ship at the anchor outside some port. Solutions need to be found quickly – but can they be? The Transpacific situation is particularly delicate, stemming from a high number of cancellations, ongoing disruption, and the highest demand surge in the global economy. However, this perfect recipe for a disaster is also affecting Asia–Europe lines where shipping rates hikes also do not show any signs of slowing down. …and unstuck? The shipping business would logically seem best-placed to get out of this situation by increasing vessel capacity. Indeed, orders of new ships spiked in 2021, and in coming years 2.5m TEUs will come on stream (figure 12). However, this will not arrive for some time, and may not sharply reduce shipping prices when it does. Indeed, the industry --which historically operates on thin margins, and has seen many boom and bust cycles—knows all too well the old Greek phrase: “98 ships, 101 cargoes, profit; 101 ships, 98 cargoes, disaster”. They will want to preserve as much of the current profitability as possible, which a concentrated ‘Big 3’ makes easier. Tellingly, a recent article stressed: “Ship-owners and financiers should avoid sinking money into new container vessels despite a global crunch because record orders have driven up prices, according to industry insiders.” True, CMA CGM just froze shipping spot rates until February 2022, joining Hapag-Lloyd. Yet in both cases the new implied benchmark is of price freezes at what were once unthinkable levels – not price falls. To conclude, shipping prices are arguably very high for structural reasons, and are likely to stay high ahead – if those structures do not change. On which, we even need to look at the structure of ships themselves. Too Big to Sail Shipping, like much else, has become much larger over the years. Small feeder ships of up to 1,000TEU are dwarfed by the largest Ultra-Large Container Vessels (ULCVs), which start from 14,501 TEUS up, and are larger than the US Navy’s aircraft carriers. Of course, there is a reason for this gigantism: economy of scale. It is a sound argument. However, the same was said in other industries where painful experience, after the fact, has shown such commercial logic is not the best template for systemic stability. In banking we are aware of the phenomenon, and danger, of “Too Big to Fail”. In shipping, ULCVs and their associated industry patterns could perhaps be seen as representing “Too Big to Sail”. After all, there are downsides to so much topside beyond the obvious incident with the Ever Given earlier in the year: ULVCs cannot fit through the Panama Canal; Not all ports can handle ULCVs; They are slow at sea; They are slow to load and unload; They require more complex cargo placement / handling; They force carriers to maximize efficiency to cover costs; They force all in-land logistics to adapt to their scale; They force a hub-and-spokes global trade model; and They are vulnerable to accident or disruption, i.e., they were designed for an entirely peaceful shipping environment at a time of rising geopolitical tensions (which we will return to later). In short, current ULCV hub-and-spokes trade models are the antithesis of a nimble, distributed, flexible, resilient system, and actually help create and exacerbate the cascading supply-chain failures we are currently experiencing. However, we do not have a global shipping regulator to order shippers to change their commercial practices! Specifically, building ULVCs takes time, and shipyard capacity is more limited. As shown, the issue is not so much a lack of ULCVs, but limited capacity from ports onwards. That means we need to expand ports, which is a far slower and more difficult process than adding new containers or ships, given the constraints of geography, and the layers of local and international planning and politics involved in such developments. There is also then a need for matching warehousing, roads, trucks, truckers, rail, and retailer warehousing, etc. As we already see today, just finding truckers is already a huge issue in many  economies. Meanwhile, any incident that impacts on a ULCV port --a Covid lockdown, a weather event, power-cuts, or a physical action-- exacerbates feedback loops of supply-chain disruption more than any one, or several, smaller ports servicing smaller feeder ships would do. So why are we not adapting? Economic thinking, partly dictated by the need to survive in a tough industry; massive sunk costs; and equally massive vested interests – which we can collectively call “Too Big to Sail”. Naturally, some parties do not wish to move to a nimbler, less concentrated, more widely-distributed, locally-produced, more resilient supply-chain system --with lower economies of scale-- while some do: and this is ultimately a political stand-off. Crucially, nobody is going to make much-needed new investments in maritime logistics until they know what the future map of global production looks like. Post-Covid, do we still make most things in China, or will it be back in the US, EU, and Japan – or India, etc.? Are we Building Back Better? Where? Resolving that will help resolve our shipping problems: but it will of course create lots of new ones while doing so. Tidal Wave of Politics Against this backdrop, is it any surprise that a tsunami of politics could soon sweep over global shipping? In July, US President Biden introduced Executive Order 14036, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy”. This puts forward initiatives for federal agencies to establish policies to address corporate consolidation and decreased competition - which will include shipping. Ironically, the US encouraged “Too Big to Sail” for decades, but real and political tides both turn. Indeed, in August a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress --“The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021”-- which proposes radical changes to: Establish reciprocal trade to promote US exports as part of the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) mission; Require ocean carriers to adhere to minimum service standards that meet the public interest, reflecting best practices in the global shipping industry; Require ocean carriers or marine terminal operators to certify that any late fees --known in maritime parlance as “detention and demurrage” charges-- comply with federal regulations or face penalties; Potentially eliminate “demurrage” charges for importers; Prohibit ocean carriers from declining opportunities for US exports unreasonably, as determined by the FMC in new required rulemaking; Require ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and TEUs (loaded/empty) per vessel that makes port in the US; and Authorizes the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carrier’s business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate. Promoting reciprocal US trade would either slow global trade flows dramatically and/or force more US goods production. While that would help address the global container imbalance, it would also unbalance our economic and financial architecture. Fining carriers who refuse to pick up US exports would also rock many boats. Moreover, forcing carriers to carry the cost of demurrage would change shipping market dynamics hugely. At the moment, the profits of the shipping snarl sit with carriers and ports, and the rising costs with importers: the US wants to reverse that status quo. While global carriers and US ports obviously say this bill is “doomed to fail”, and will promote a “protectionist race to the bottom”, it is bipartisan, and has been endorsed by a large number of US organisations, agricultural producers and retailers. Even smaller global players are responding similarly. For example, Thailand is considering re-launching a national shipping carrier to help support its economic growth: will others follow suite ahead? Meanwhile, shipping will also be impacted by another political decision - the planned green energy transition. The EU will tax carbon in shipping from 2023, and new vessels will need to be built. For what presumed global trade map, as we just asked? The green transition will also see a huge increase in the demand for resources such as cobalt, lithium, and rare earths. Economies that lack these, e.g., Japan and the EU, will need to import them from locations such as Africa and Australia. That will require new infrastructure, new ports, and new shipping routes – which is also geopolitical. Indeed, the US, China, the EU, UK, and Japan have all made clear that they wish to hold commanding positions in new green value chains - yet not all will be able to do so if resources are limited. Therefore, green shipping threatens to be a zero-sum game akin to the 19th century scramble for resources. As Foreign Affairs noted back in July: “Electricity is the new oil” – meant in terms of ugly power politics, not more beautiful power production. Before the green transition, energy prices are soaring (see our “Gasflation” report). On one hand, this may lift bulk shipping rates; on another, we again see the need for resilient supply chains, in which shipping plays a key role. In short, current zero-sum supply-chains snarls, already seeing a growing backlash, are soon likely to be matched by a zero-sum shift to new green industrial technologies and related raw materials. In both dimensions, shipping will become as (geo)political as it is logistical. Notably, while tides may be turning, we can’t ‘just’ reshape the global shipping system, or get from “just in time” to “just in case”, or to a more localized “just for me” just like that: it will just get messy in the process. Cold War Icebergs The US is now pushing “extreme competition” between “liberal democracy and autocracy”; China counters that US hegemony is over. For both, part of this will run through global shipping. Both giants are happy to decouple supply chains from the other where it benefits them. However, the larger geostrategic implications are even more significant. Piracy and national/imperial exclusion zones used to be maritime problems, but post-WW2, the US Navy has kept the seas safe and open to trade for all carriers equally. This duty is extremely expensive, and will get more so as new ships have to be built to replace an ageing fleet. Meanwhile, China is building its own navy at breath-taking speed, and a maritime Belt and Road (BRI). As a result, a clear shift has occurred in US maritime strategy: 2007’s “A Co-operative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power”, stressed: “We believe that preventing wars is as important as winning wars.” 2015’s update argued: “Our responsibility to the American people dictates an efficient use of our fiscal resources.” 2020’s title was changed to “Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power”, and stressed: “...the rules-based international order is once again under assault. We must prepare as a unified Naval Service to ensure that we are equal to the challenge.” The US is also pressing ahead with the AUKUS defence alliance and the ‘Quad’ of Japan, India, and Australia to maintain naval superiority in the Indo-Pacific. This is generating geopolitical frictions, and fears of further escalation of maritime clashes in the region. The Quad has also agreed to key tech and supply-chain cooperation, with Australia a key part of a new green minerals strategy – a race in which China is still well ahead, and the EU lags. Should any kind of major incident occur, shipping costs would escalate enormously, as can easily be seen in the case of US-UK shipping from 1887-1939: this leaped 1,600% during WW1, and these shipping data stopped entirely in September 1939 due to WW2. Crucially, US naval strategy is rooted in the post-WW2 power structure in which it benefitted from such control commercially. That architecture is crumbling - and there is a matching US consensus to shift towards “America First”, or “Made in America”. The thought progression from here is surely: “Why are we paying to protect shipping from China, or economies that do not support us against China?” In short, the strategic and financial logic is: surrender control of the seas, or ensure commercial gains from it. There are enormous implications for shipping if such a shift in thinking were to occur - and such discussions are already taking place. July 2020’s “Hidden Harbours: China’s State-backed Shipping Industry” from the Center for Strategic and International Studies argued: “The time is long overdue for the US to reinvigorate its maritime industries and challenge the Chinese in the same game by using the very same techniques the Chinese have used to gain dominance in the global maritime industry. The private-sector maritime industry cannot do this alone—the US maritime industry simply cannot compete against the power of the Chinese state. The US and allied governments must bring to bear substantial and sustained political action, policies, and financial support. To do anything less is to cede control of the world’s maritime industry and global supply chains to China, and perhaps to force the US and its allies to enter their own ‘century of shame.’” Meanwhile, stories link ports and shipping to national security (see here and here), underlining logistics are no longer seen as purely commercial areas, but rather fall within the “grey zone” between war and peace – as was the case pre-WW2. This again has major implications for the shipping business. Expect that trend to continue ahead if the maritime past as guide, as we shall now explore. The Ship of Things to Come? US maritime history in particular holds some clear lessons for today’s shipping world if looked at carefully. First, the importance of the sea to what we now think of as a land-based US: the US merchant marine helped it win independence from the powerful naval forces of the British, and the first piece of legislation Congress passed in 1789 was a 10% tariff on British imports, both to build US industry and merchant shipping. Indeed, the underlying message of US maritime history is that the US is a major commercial force at sea – but only when it sees this as a national-security goal. Following independence, US commercial shipping and industry surged in tandem, with an understandable dip only due to war with the British in 1812. The gradual normalisation of maritime trade with the UK after that saw a gradual decline in the share of trade US shipping carried, which accelerated with the end of steamship subsidies --which the British maintained-- and the US Civil War. By the start of the 20th century, W. L. Marvin was arguing: “A nation which is reaching out for the commercial mastery of the world cannot long suffer nine-tenths of its ocean-carrying to be monopolized by its foreign rivals.” Yet 1915 saw the welfare-focused US Seaman’s Act passed and US flags move to Panama, where costs were lower. However, WW1 saw US shipping surge, and the Jones Act in 1920 reaffirmed ‘cabotage’ – only US flagged and crewed vessels can trade cargo between US ports. The 1930s saw global trade and the US maritime marine dwindle again – until 1936, when the Federal Maritime Commission was set up "to promote the commerce of the US, and to aid in the national defense." WW2 then saw US mass production of Liberty Ships account for over a third of global merchant shipping – and then post-1945, this lead slipped away again, and the US merchant marine now stands at around just 0.4% of the world fleet. Indeed, in 2020, US sealift capability was reported short on personnel, hulls, and strategy such that the commercial fleet would be unlikely to meet the Pentagon’s needs for a large-scale troop build-up overseas. As we see, the US has been here several times before. If the past is any guide for the future response, this suggests the following US actions could be seen ahead: Use its market size to force shippers to change pricing – which may already be happening; Raise tariffs again (on green grounds?); Refuse to take goods from some foreign ships or ports; Force vessels to re-flag in the US, at higher cost; Build a rival to China’s marine BRI with allies; Massive ship-building, for the 3rd time in the last century; Charter US private firms to bring in green materials; or The US Navy stops protecting some sea lanes/carriers, or forces the costs of their patrols onto others. It goes without saying that any of these steps would have enormous implications for global shipping and the global economy – and yet most of them are compatible with both the strategic military/commercial logic previously underlined, as well as the lessons of history. Wait and Sea? We summarize what we have shown in the key points below: Markets For markets, there are obvious implications for inflation. How can it stay low if imported prices stay high? How will central banks respond? Rate hikes won’t help. Neither will loose monetary policy – and less it is directed to a directly-related government response on supply chains and logistics. This suggests greater impetus for a shift to more localised production on cost grounds, at least at the lower end of the value chain, if not the more-desirable higher end. Yet once this wave starts to build, it may be hard to stop. Look at EU plans for strategic autonomy in semiconductors, for example, which are echoed in the US, China, and Japan. For FX, the countries that ride that wave best will float; the ones that don’t will sink. Helicopter view of ships Clearly, shipping will continue to boom. There are huge opportunities in capex on ships, ports, logistics, and infrastructure ahead – as well as in new production and supply chains. Yet one first needs to be sure what, or whose, map of production will be used for them! As the industry sits and waits for the wind and tide to change, logically one wants to position oneself best for what may be coming next. That implies global consolidation and/or vertical integration: Large shippers looking at smaller shippers to snuff out alternative routes and capacity; shippers looking at ports; ports looking at shippers; giant retailers/producers looking at shippers; importers banding together for negotiating power in ultra-tight markets. Of course, nationally, governments are looking at shippers, or at starting new carriers. If this is to be a realpolitik power struggle for who rules the waves --“Too Big to Sail”, or a new more national/resilient map of production-- then having greater scale now increases your fire-power. Of course, it also makes you a larger target for others. Let’s presume current trends continue. Could we even end up with a return to older patterns of production, e.g., where oil used to be produced by company X, refined in its facilities, shipped on its vessels, to its de facto ports, and on to its retail distribution network. Might we even see the same for consumer goods? That is the logic of globalisation and geopolitics, as well as the accumulation of capital. However, if history is a guide, and (geo)politics is a tsunami, things will look very different on both the surface and at the deepest depths of the shipping industry and the global economy. Much we take as normal today could become flotsam and jetsam. To conclude, who benefits from the huge profits of the current shipping snarl, and who will pay the costs, is ultimately a (geo)political issue, not a market one. Many ports are likely going to be caught up in that storm. Tyler Durden Sun, 10/03/2021 - 12:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 3rd, 2021

Repsol (REPYY) Completes Cabo Leones 3 Wind Farm in Chile

Repsol's (REPYY) wind farm will remove roughly 418,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year from the region. Repsol SA REPYY and joint venture partner Grupo Ibereolica Renovables completed the construction of Cabo Leones 3, a joint wind farm in Chile.The wind park, which is situated in the Huasco province of the northern Atacama region, consists of 44 wind turbines supplied by manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA. Notably, this is Repsol and Ibereolica’s first joint wind project in Chile.The first phase of the Cabo Leones wind farm was initiated in late 2020, with a 78.1-megawatt (“MW”) generating capacity. This was made up of 22 SG-132 wind turbines of 3.55 MW from Siemens Gamesa. In the second phase, additional 5-MW wind turbines were installed to add 110 MW of installed capacity.Repsol expects the second phase to start generating electricity in late 2021. Once fully operational, both phases are expected to produce 520 gigawatt hours of power per year, with the ability to fulfill the energy requirements of 170,000 Chile households.The Cabo Leones 3 installation also significantly contributed to create new jobs, which include up to 150 workers on the ground. It provided the region with a high component of renewable and clean energy generation. Repsol cited that the wind farm will remove nearly 418,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year from the region.The companies secured funding for the wind farm through a $209-million project financing arrangement with Spanish and international financial institutions. The agreement also includes long-term debt and establishes a series of guarantees. Beside Cabo Leones 3, the companies expect to execute the Atacama wind farm project, with a total installed capacity of up to 180 MW.Repsol is significantly investing in the energy transition and  is expanding its wind generation capabilities. Outside Chile, the company holds one active wind farm in Spain and five other renewable projects across the Iberian Peninsula. It is part of a consortium behind one of the world's largest semi-submersible floating wind farms, WindFloat Atlantic. Repsol also secured a position in the U.S. renewable market through its acquisition of Hecate Energy.Company Profile & Price PerformanceHeadquartered in Madrid, Spain, Repsol is an integrated energy company, which advocates energy transition.Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past three months. Its stock has gained 6.6% compared with the industry’s 0.3% growth. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to ConsiderThe company currently flaunts a Zack Rank #1 (Strong Buy).Some other top-ranked players in the energy space are Canadian Natural Resources Limited CNQ and Magnolia Oil & Gas Corporation MGY, each currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1, and Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A), carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Canadian Natural’s 2021 earnings has been raised by 12.5%, while that for Magnolia has been raised by 19.2%.Shell’s earnings for 2021 are expected to increase 17.2% year over year. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Repsol SA (REPYY): Free Stock Analysis Report Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp (MGY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 1st, 2021

Telecom Stock Roundup: Corning Boosts Fiber Production, Telefonica Inks Deal & More

While Corning (GLW) will invest $150 million in its Catawba County facility in North Carolina to augment fiber production for AT&T, Telefonica (TEF) will migrate most of its database systems to Oracle. Over the past five trading days, U.S. telecom stocks have witnessed a roller-coaster ride, punctuated by the uncertainty regarding the final passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by the House and a transatlantic pledge to strengthen semiconductor supply chains to tackle chip shortage. Although Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has scheduled the bill for a vote today, it appears to be still 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. Despite interventions by President Biden to broker a compromise with the dissident groups, the bill appears poised on a tender balance to pass through the House. The infusion of federal funds to improve broadband infrastructure for greater access and deeper penetration in the underserved domestic markets could have worked wonders for the beleaguered industry and helped 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. While the policy paralysis has crippled operations, an FCC-mandate to ‘rip and replace’ telecommunications equipment manufactured by China-based firms like Huawei and ZTE has affected the sustainability of rural telecom firms amid widespread resentment of the release of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou from three-year detention in Canada. The removal of the low-cost gear is likely to affect rural network service, hurt profitability and jeopardize the progress of 5G deployment when most local operators would be forced to reshuffle their existing infrastructure. Although the FCC is slated to initiate a $1.9 billion program to reimburse the carriers by seeking applications from Oct 29 through Jan 14, 2022, it is unlikely to pacify the huge number of rural telecom operators that are likely to go out of office.Meanwhile, senior cabinet officials from both the United States and the European Union have come together to coordinate transatlantic ties to better address supply chain headwinds for chip shortage and take a pro-active and unified approach against foreign adversaries. With the launch of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, the continents aim to strengthen the regional technology ecosystem by pledging to cooperate on export controls for sensitive dual-use technologies and on the development of AI. Although this appeared to be a positive signal for the industry, unless the tangible effects percolate within the system, it is unlikely to reap significant benefits.     Regarding company-specific news, partnership, strategic agreements, portfolio enhancements, and 5G deals primarily took the center stage over the past five trading days.Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories1.     Corning Incorporated GLW has extended its long-term partnership with AT&T Inc. T by committing to invest $150 million in its Catawba County facility in North Carolina to augment fiber production. In addition to generating about 200 jobs initially to boost regional economic development, the investment is likely to help AT&T increase its fiber footprint across the country and scale up its broadband network connectivity.A surge in demand for broadband connectivity has led to a wide proliferation of fiber infrastructure throughout the country and carriers like AT&T are aiming to significantly increase their fiber coverage to gain a greater pie in the market. An integrated fiber expansion strategy is expected to improve AT&T’s broadband connectivity for both enterprise and consumer markets, while steady 5G deployments are likely to boost end-user experience. The carrier intends to achieve this objective by leveraging its long-term business association with Corning spanning over three decades and gain a competitive edge in the fiber industry, which is probably in the early stages of a major growth cycle.      2.     To better utilize the benefits of 5G and edge computing facilities in core network functions, Telefónica, S.A. TEF recently inked a multi-year agreement with cloud-service provider Oracle Corporation to migrate most of its database systems to the cloud. The deal is the second of its kind this month with Telefonica forging an agreement with IBM to develop its first-ever Unica Next cloud-based 5G core network platform using IBM intelligent automation software and services.Per the Oracle deal, the Spain-based carrier will transfer all its internal and commercial operations data, including business intelligence services and billing, revenues, and customer management products to the cloud-based platform in tune with the evolving business conditions. It will be operated by Oracle in Telefonica’s datacenters to comply with European data laws. Moreover, this is likely to safeguard data security issues while keeping operating costs down as Telefonica has a debt-laden balance sheet.3.     Verizon Communications Inc. VZ has upgraded some of the features of its subsidiary BlueJeans that offers an interoperable cloud-based video conferencing service across a wide range of devices and conferencing platforms. The move is aimed to facilitate a seamless transition to a hybrid workplace with a spontaneous and engaging interactive digital platform as the work-from-home option continues to gain traction.Such technological innovations are likely to provide flexibility to remote workers and unlock workplace productivity and happiness. By creating a virtual space that simulates a real-life office environment where distributed teams can collate together to brainstorm, organize and socialize, BlueJeans aims to address a major hurdle in today’s hybrid work reality.4.   Nokia Corporation NOK has partnered with Slovenia-based telecommunications company — Telekom Slovenije — to power the latter’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network with the deployment of avant-garde broadband equipment. Per the agreement, Telekom Slovenije will also capitalize on the Quillion chipset-powered Nokia ISAM FX series. The ISAM FX series involve high-capacity access nodes that have been specifically designed to deliver ultra-broadband services rapidly and cost-effectively. The deployment, which is scheduled to commence this year, will bring 10Gb/s fiber to Slovenia. Currently, the FTTH network caters to more than half of Slovenian households. The 10Gb/s fiber installation will enable these households to benefit from high-speed broadband connections.  5.    Ericsson ERIC has inked a 10-year 5G partnership deal with Digital Nasional Berhad (“DNB”) to deliver a nationwide 5G network in Malaysia. DNB is helping Malaysia to achieve its digital goals as outlined in the government’s MyDIGITAL blueprint, which plans to transform Malaysia into a digitally-driven, high-income country.DNB’s partnership with Ericsson covers the latter’s Radio System products and solutions, including Spectrum Sharing, cloud-native 5G Core, and 5G Radio Access Network. The Sweden-based telecom gear maker will supply its Managed Services offering, Ericsson Operations Engine. It will also provide operational support systems and business support systems solutions.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, Juniper has been the best performer with its stock gaining 2.1% while Bandwidth has declined the most with its stock falling 12.7%.Over the past six months, Motorola has been the best performer with its stock appreciating 20.2% while Bandwidth has declined the most with its stock falling 44.3%.Over the past six months, the Zacks Telecommunications Services industry has gained 4.4% and the S&P 500 has rallied 10.5%.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. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 AT&T Inc. (T): Get Free Report Ericsson (ERIC): Get Free Report Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ): Get Free Report Nokia Corporation (NOK): Get Free Report Telefonica SA (TEF): Get Free Report Corning Incorporated (GLW): Get Free Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 30th, 2021

Amazon is poaching school bus drivers for delivery jobs amid a shortage

School districts in Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have cited hiring competition with Amazon as a factor fueling the bus-driver shortage. Schools are competing with Amazon amid the bus driver shortage. Tom Williams/Getty Images The national bus-driver shortage continues to disrupt learning despite extra financial incentives. New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania schools said they are competing with Amazon for drivers. Amazon is hiring 4,800 workers in Philadelphia - school leaders worry it could worsen hiring challenges. See more stories on Insider's business page. School districts in New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania have cited hiring competition with Amazon as one factor fueling a national bus-driver shortage that has forced kids to taxi, Uber, and even kayak to class.Chloe Williams, president of the New Jersey School Bus Contractors Association, told Insider that the driver shortage is not due to "wages at this point," adding that they lost bus drivers to Amazon, ride-hailing services, and long-haul trucking companies. She said several bus drivers left last year due to health concerns but most returned after the vaccine became available. "Primarily, it was because the jobs were available last year when the schools shut down," Williams said. "People were looking for other jobs and found the demand was there ... especially in package delivery, everybody was home shopping on Amazon." Public schools across New Jersey have raised wages for bus drivers to as high as $30 an hour, according to NJ.com. Private bus contractors in the state are offering bonuses ranging from $1500 to $5000, the report says.In Palm Beach, Florida, schools are competing with a new 96,000-square-foot Amazon warehouse to hire drivers, The Hustle's Zachary Crockett reported Saturday.The hourly wage for Amazon drivers in Palm Beach is approximately $2 higher than the district's bus driver salary of $14.57 an hour, according to The Hustle report. Amazon recently announced plans to hire 4,800 workers in Philadelphia, a city hard-hit by the school bus driver shortage, The Inquirer reported.The e-commerce giant's growth could make it even more difficult to hire bus drivers, Philadelphia superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said at a press conference earlier this month.District spokeswoman Christina Clark told Insider that Amazon offered logistics advice around making bus routes more efficient. "They, too, are in the process of dealing with driver vacancies, so filling driver shortages is not something we are looking for them to help us with at this time," she said. "Our most critical needs are for teachers, bus drivers, special education assistants, food service workers, and student climate staff," Hite said at a Facebook Live briefing last week.He added that the district is introducing a new bus driver trainee position which will "provide potential bus drivers with compensation and benefits while they take their CDL course and complete all necessary exams."One Amazon delivery service partner (DSP) employee in Connecticut told Insider a former driver used to say "packages are much better than kids," when asked about his past experience as a school bus driver and why he left.Amazon recruiting tactics are hard to compete with. One driver operating out of a Danbury, Connecticut warehouse told Insider he was instructed to distribute business cards advertising Amazon delivery driving jobs to "drivers, landscapers, anyone we see on the road."He said if an applicant is hired as a result, the driver is rewarded with a $300 bonus, adding that the hiring push is in preparation for Amazon's peak holiday season. Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-lastRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021

Lessons from Our Origin Story

  To hear an audio spoken word version of this post, click here.     I took my boss to lunch on a Wednesday before Friday the 13th. I was about to drop a bomb after the weekend; I liked him enough to share some things he should know prior to — Surprise! — 20% of… Read More The post Lessons from Our Origin Story appeared first on The Big Picture.   To hear an audio spoken word version of this post, click here.     I took my boss to lunch on a Wednesday before Friday the 13th. I was about to drop a bomb after the weekend; I liked him enough to share some things he should know prior to — Surprise! — 20% of the firm’s AUM walking out the door with my crew the next Monday. Over steak salad at the Strip House, I explained why he needed to take control of his firm’s future. His partner was standing in the way of his success, with too many examples to list. The portfolio was in the green in 2008 despite the S&P500 crashing 38% — until that other partner loaded up on Wells Fargo cause “it looked cheap.” What should have been a career year was instead proof the firm lacked process, internal controls, and proper management. I felt comfortable being (dangerously) blunt because my team had been busy the prior 6 months: Josh, Kris, Michael, and I had taken the steps necessary to launch RWM. Our still-secret exit was inevitable, and I wanted it to be on good terms. My then boss was a well-regarded technician whose methodology incorporated both Technicals (price action, relative strength, rate of change) and Fundamentals (earnings, revenue, debt). He developed a screening tool to apply this approach, generating a stock ranking system scaled 0-100. My job was to run this division, build out the software tool/website, and attract institutional clients. A buddy who managed >$100m for the Thundering Herd loved the tool. He overlaid our rankings with his firm’s analyst research/price target list. The results were impressive, showing alpha of ~300 basis points annually. I knew BAML’s CIO and showed her the real-life trading results. “Wait, you can use our research to make clients more money?” To get on their platform (as a fund or subscription) required a comprehensive white paper. Total cost: ~$30,000; potential upside was 100X. I was excited, as was my boss . . . until his partner refused to spend the money. It was one of many last straws. Less than a year later, RWM launched. I tend to find fascination even in things that go horribly wrong. Failures can be more instructive than successes because there is less of an element of random luck involved. Two partners with a 50/50 control equal a dysfunctional firm.1 They disagreed on decisions big and small, leading to stasis. In any dynamic and fast-moving industry, stalemate is a death sentence. Rather than bore you with those stories, I’d rather share the lessons I learned from that experience: 1. Capital Required: You can get away with bootstrapping yourself on the cheap when you are a small start-up, but at a certain point in your growth trajectory, it takes money to build a firm. We launched RWM with Josh & I supplying the initial capital; we funded growth by reinvesting profits in the firm (as opposed to taking big salaries/distributions). Yes, it does take money, but we have been fortunate to go into this with enough savings to make it work on our own. Do not underestimate how important those initial dollars are to getting off the ground. Office space costs money, Lawyers cost money, everything costs money! You must have enough of it to ensure you are around long enough to focus on your clients, the markets and running the business. If you are constantly raising operating expenses or stressed about cash flow, you simply won’t have enough bandwith to serve your clients properly. 2. Control: We never sold an interest to outside investors; we were founder-owned and managed from day one. Today, we are partner-employee-owned. There are no 3rd parties dictating terms to us (“Sell more high commission variable annuities!”). We embraced the fiduciary side and never looked back. I believe this philosophy is incredibly valuable to our clients. I was surprised to learn mid-pandemic of firms that had ceded control to outside investors – leading to layoffs, poor product offerings, and revenue-maximizing. I would argue this came at the  at the expense of client service and those fiduciary obligations that are a core of our belief system. So while sufficient capital matters, it should not come at the expense of controlling your own destiny. 3. Ensemble Advantages: Everyone one of us has diverse work experiences, skillsets, and perspectives. Putting those to best use meant as we grew, the founding team was able to each gravitate towards doing what we indiviudally did best. Dividing oversight and management was crucial to improving our professional performance. This approach has allowed us to focus on our strongest and highest value work. A team approach also means having faith in your partners and employees, delegating authority to them, and trusting their judgment. Giving people clear goals, the tools to do their jobs, and enough space to pursue those objectives as they thought best has been a core strength. The net result is each of us is more productive, creative, and valuable to the firm. 4. Press Your Advantages: During the post-GFC era, it was clear that prospective clients were: a) Unhappy with their existing brokers/advisors; b) finding us on their own, and c) Asking us help on issues we had shown expertise in. These were a powerful force leading us to deeper understanding about how the RIA world should work, and what we had to do to push it in that direction. We found countless ways those three steps were uniquely advantageous to us. We continued to tack into what was working, and tried out new things that were adjacent. Our moat (for lack of a better word) was contained within that model, and we continually pressed that advantage forward. 5. Be Willing to Fail: If you are not failing, then you are not taking chances, experimenting with new innovations, or venturing outside of your comfort zone. Some firms can get away with this for years, but eventually, newer entrants will eat their lunch. You must adapt, change your mind, admit error, and reverse yourself. The key is quantifying the metrics of success or failure, understanding the costs involved, and having a stop loss where you can declare the experiment over; then, you move on. Faster/cheaper/smarter/better eventually comes for all business models. You may not be driving towards those qualities, but someone else is, and they will eventually take your market share. This week was the 8th anniversary of RWM’s launch. This time of year usually leads me to think about the circumstances surrounding our beginning. We were lucky in terms of timing within the market cycle, our reputation around the GFC, how we exited via not burning bridges on the way out. I probably have dozens of other lessons I could write up as well. But these 5 stand out to me. But mostly, I am filled with gratitude for this team, my partners, and our clients. There is a lot more building to come; I am very excited about the future we are creating . . .       See also: Announcing: Ritholtz Wealth Management (September 16, 2013) How I Met Barry (September 9, 2018) 5 Years On . . . (September 17, 2018) 10 Things I Have Learned Launching RWM (September 16, 2019)     _________   1. This sort of arrangement is a terrible idea, one I strongly suggest avoiding, but if you absolutely must, then have a mutually agreed upon 3rd party to be a tiebreaker. Businesses that exist in a constant state of stalemate/stasis soon calcify and die.       click for audio   The post Lessons from Our Origin Story appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureSep 21st, 2021

High growth must for generating jobs, compete with China: NITI Aayog

He said China was at the same level of economic development as India 30 years ago but is now five times the size of the Indian economy.....»»

Category: topSource: business-standardMay 1st, 2018

Salisbury Bancorp (SAL) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Salisbury Bancorp (SAL) have what it takes? Let's find out. Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Salisbury Bancorp in FocusSalisbury Bancorp (SAL) is headquartered in Lakeville, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 37.51% since the start of the year. The bank holding company is paying out a dividend of $0.31 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.42% compared to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 1.95% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.38%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.24 is up 6.9% from last year. In the past five-year period, Salisbury Bancorp has increased its dividend 2 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 1.53%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Salisbury Bancorp's current payout ratio is 21%. This means it paid out 21% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Looking at this fiscal year, SAL expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $5.92 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 40.95%.Bottom LineFrom greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, SAL is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). 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 Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. (SAL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks8 hr. 24 min. ago

Why Texas Instruments (TXN) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Texas Instruments (TXN) have what it takes? Let's find out. Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.Texas Instruments in FocusHeadquartered in Dallas, Texas Instruments (TXN) is a Computer and Technology stock that has seen a price change of 17.28% so far this year. The chipmaker is currently shelling out a dividend of $1.02 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.12%. This compares to the Semiconductor - General industry's yield of 0.68% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.38%.Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $4.08 is up 9.7% from last year. Texas Instruments has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 18.90%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Texas Instruments's current payout ratio is 57%, meaning it paid out 57% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.Earnings growth looks solid for TXN for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $7.92 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 32.66%.Bottom LineInvestors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that TXN is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). 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 Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks8 hr. 24 min. ago

4 ETF Areas for Investors to Make the Most of Q4

Let's take a look at some ETF areas that are looking decent investment options for the investors to park their money in Q4. Investors are having a difficult time on Wall Street after a tough September. Apart from increased volatility, market participants are currently grappling with other issues like inflationary pressure, the Fed’s tapering concerns and supply-chain challenges. Investors are on edge regarding earnings growth in the third-quarter earnings season. Going by Refinitiv data, the September-quarter earnings growth rate might come in at 30% from the year-ago reported figure following a 96.3% rise in the second quarter (as mentioned in a CNBC article).A CNBC Market Strategist Survey reflects that Wall Street major strategists are expecting soft returns for the remainder of 2021 as the average year-end S&P 500 target is 4,433.In another disappointing development, Goldman Sachs (GS) decreased its U.S. economic growth prediction. The investment bank expects 2022 growth in the range of 4% to 4.4% (according to a CNBC article). It has also revised its 2021 estimate downward to 5.6% from 5.7%. It cited various factors like the diminishing fiscal stimulus support from the Congress and the slow pace of recovery in consumer spending for its decision.The latest jobs report for September was quite lacklustre as the U.S. economy has added the lowest number of jobs so far this year. 194,000 positions were added in September, which missed the forecast of 500,000. Nonfarm employment has risen 17.4 million since April 2020 but decreased 3.3% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some ETF areas that are looking decent investment options for the investors to park their money in Q4:Energy ETFsThe energy sector has been attracting investors’ attention on the latest rally in oil prices. Oil prices crossed the $80-a-barrel mark amid the ongoing global power crisis. The price of crude attained a seven-year high. Shrinking crude inventories, supply disruption in the Gulf of Mexico following a couple of hurricanes and surging fuel demand are pushing oil prices higher.Soaring coal and natural gas prices in Europe and Asia due to a supply-demand imbalance before the severe winter season is driving consumption of diesel and kerosene (according to a Bloomberg article). TheOrganization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a Russia-led group of oil producers, collectively called OPEC+ decided to raise production by 400,000 barrels a day each month. Also, the coronavirus vaccine rollout is gradually aiding in controllingthe spread of the pandemic. The optimism surrounding the gradual reopening of global economies and increasing demand are painting a rosy picture for cyclical sectors.Considering the bullish energy sector backdrop, let’s take a look at some energy ETFs that are worth adding to your portfolio for boosting returns Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF PXE, Vanguard Energy ETF VDE, Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF (FENY) and The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) (read: Here's Why Energy ETFs Are Sizzling With Opportunities).Dividend ETFsDividend aristocrats are blue-chip dividend-paying companies with a long history of increasing dividend payments year over year. Moreover, dividend aristocrat funds provide investors with dividend growth opportunities compared to other products in the space but might not necessarily have the highest yields.‘Dividend aristocrats’ or ‘dividend growers’ are mostly deemed to be the smartest way to deal with market turmoil. Notably, the inclination toward dividend investing has been rising due to easing monetary policy on the global front and market uncertainty triggered by the pandemic and deceleration in global growth.These products also form a strong portfolio, with a higher scope of capital appreciation as against simple dividend-paying stocks or those with high yields. As a result, these products deliver an excellent combination of annual dividend growth and capital-appreciation opportunity and are primarily suitable for risk-averse long-term investors.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some ETFs that investors can consider like Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF VIG, SPDR S&P Dividend ETF SDY, iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY) and ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL) (read: September's Weak History Turning True: 5 ETF Buying Zones).Technology ETFsTechnology has played an instrumental role amid the ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty in aiding people to maintain safe-distancing norms. The work-from-home model has bumped up sales of PCs, laptops and other kinds of computer peripherals as well. Going by IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, the global shipment of PCs that include laptops and tablets, desktops and notebooks, reached 83.6 million units in the second quarter, rising 13.2% on a year-over-year basis.Certain other ‘new normal’ trends have also emerged amid the health crisis like work from home, increasing digital payments, growing video streaming and soaring video game sales. The pandemic has also beena boon for the e-commerce industry as people continue staying indoors and shopping online for all essentials, especially food items.Further, the semiconductor space has been gaining from expanding digitization and growing dependency on the Internet. In fact, the growing adoption of cloud computing and the ongoing infusion of AI, machine learning and IoT are expected to keep the sector brewing with opportunities in 2021.Thus, investors could consider ETFs like Vanguard Information Technology ETF VGT, The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund XLK, iShares U.S. Technology ETF IYW and First Trust NASDAQ-100-Technology Sector Index Fund (QTEC) (read: 5 ETFs & Stocks From the FavoriteSectors of Q3 Earnings).Retail ETFsMarket analysts are expecting an impressive retail sales figure in 2021 anda strong holiday season. Strengthin consumer sentiment can act as a major growth driver as consumers haveenough resources to splurge this holiday season after facing restrictions for more than a year.The retailers are prepping for the start to the holiday season (the late October-December period) that is considered a busy season for severalindustry players and market participants. The quarter is marked by some popular retail events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Christmas, which increase its significance among retailers.According to Mastercard SpendingPulse,  U.S. retail sales — excluding automotive and gas — for the “75 Days of Christmas” spanning from Oct 11 to Dec 24 are anticipated to increase 6.8% from the year-earlier tally.Considering the strong trends, investors may park their money in the retail ETFs like Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, ProShares Online Retail ETF ONLN, SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) and VanEck Retail ETF (RTH) to tap the sales boom (read: Online Retail ETFs to Gain From Holiday Shopping Craze). Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK): ETF Research Reports SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE): ETF Research Reports Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY): ETF Research Reports iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT): ETF Research Reports Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF (PXE): ETF Research Reports ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks8 hr. 24 min. ago

Three Bizarre Reasons Why Inflation Is Here To Stay

When I was about five years old in the early 1980s, my dad brought home our first computer. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more I’ll never forget it– it was an clunky IBM with a tiny, orange, monochromatic monitor, and dual floppy disks. It had 640 kilobytes of RAM, and no hard disk. […] When I was about five years old in the early 1980s, my dad brought home our first computer. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more I’ll never forget it– it was an clunky IBM with a tiny, orange, monochromatic monitor, and dual floppy disks. It had 640 kilobytes of RAM, and no hard disk. I loved it. With that computer I learned how to program, how to navigate a command-line interface, how to design algorithms, and how to solve constant problems… because it was ridiculously buggy and would break down all the time. It was also painfully slow. The boot-up process could easily take an hour, from the time I flipped on the power switch, to the time I saw the ‘DOS prompt’. Sometimes I think that computer is a great metaphor for the global economy. Turning it off is nothing; you flip the switch and the power goes off. But starting it back up again takes a long time. And the process isn’t so smooth– sometimes it crashes during bootup. The Great Plague Last March when the Great Plague was upon us, nearly every industry, in nearly every country in the world, practically shut down. And many businesses went bust, never to return. Eighteen months later businesses have largely reopened. But like my old computer, the reboot process has been riddled with critical errors and system failures. For example, right now there are countless businesses in industries from retail to manufacturing that are experiencing severe labor shortages. Supply chains around the world are breaking down, resulting in product shortages and major transportation bottlenecks. The end result of this dumpster fire is that prices are soaring. And I wanted to spend some time today connecting the dots to help explain some of these important trends. Let’s go back to last March again when everything shut down. You probably recall that dozens of large companies declared bankruptcy, like Nieman Marcus, GNC, JC Penny, etc. But there were other companies that went bust which most people have probably never heard of. They were in more mundane, less sexy industries… like corrugated paper and wood pulp. Yet while their demise was hardly noticed, it turns out they would have a significant impact on the global economy. Surge In Global Shipping Demand Global shipping demand surged last year in ways that had never been seen before. Suddenly, instead of efficient supply chains shipping goods to large marketplaces (like retail and grocery stores), consumers wanted everything delivered to them. While the total volume of shipping was largely the same (or even less) than previous years, the number of individual shipments increased dramatically. In other words, instead of a single large shipment to a store or supermarket, companies were making thousands of tiny shipments to individual consumers. This meant more trips… and more packaging. More cardboard boxes. More plastic wrap. More plastic containers. More Styrofoam. And the prices for all of these materials has spiked. The price for polyethylene, for example, which is used extensively in shipping, has increased from $820 per ton to $1,850 per ton. Polypropylene prices are also up from $1,100 per ton to $1,770 per ton. It’s a similar trend with cardboard and corrugated paper. And these price increases aren’t simply due to high demand either. Supply has fallen. Last March when a number of wood pulp producers went out of business, no one noticed and no one cared. But it turned out that more than 10% of all North American paper capacity vanished, practically overnight, just before demand started to surge. And this capacity cannot be simply turned on again with a flip of a switch. It takes a lot of effort to resurrect a bankrupt factory, to re-hire and re-train workers. (We’ll get to the worker issue in a moment.) It’s a similar trend around the world– foreign factories have closed, and those that remain open are struggling to retain workers and operate under strict COVID protocols. Manufacturing efficiency is way down as a result, so they’re not producing enough supply to keep up with demand. The Actual Shipping Problems Then there are the actual shipping problems– the crazy delays, especially on the West Coast of the United States, that prevent container ships from delivering their cargo. It’s not that there aren’t enough ships in the world; in fact, the total global capacity in terms of TEUs, or 20-foot Equivalent Units, is slightly higher than pre-pandemic. But a range of factors, including COVID rules and union regulations, means there’s a shortage of maritime crew to operate the vessels. There’s also a shortage of dockworkers, truck drivers, forklift operators, etc. at the ports. This is especially true in California, whose regulatory environment makes port operations extremely difficult and inefficient. Yet sadly for the United States, California’s ports are the busiest and most important in the country; most of the seafreight from China is offloaded at the Port of Long Beach or Port of Los Angeles, so bottlenecks there cause a major ripple effect across the country. Right now there is a backlog of ships waiting to unload their cargo in southern California. This makes the COVID policies of California especially important for the rest of the United States; whatever Gavin Newsome decides has a huge impact on the national economy. Labor Shortage Labor is obviously another major issue in this messy economic reboot. Thanks to a steady digest of mass media Covid hysteria, there are still plenty of people who are terrified to leave their homes and go to work. Moreover, there are so many people who got used to being home over the past 18-months, that now they only want a job where they can work from home. This is a major problem for businesses… and why it’s so hard for restaurant companies, fast food joints, retail shops, factories, etc. to find workers. People would rather stay home. The government hasn’t exactly been helpful in this department when they were paying outsized unemployment benefits to encourage everyone to stay home. That effect is lingering. There’s another trend at work here, though. For the last several years, politicians have been fighting hard to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. It turns out that no one really wanted those jobs to begin with. Younger people in particular don’t have as much interest in those sorts of traditional jobs; they’d rather be ‘influencers’ and make their money posting butt selfies and snapshots of their contrived lifestyle. This was already becoming an issue prior to COVID; large companies– especially those in industries that were considered unappealing to Gen Z– were complaining how difficult it was to hire, train, and retain young workers. Now it’s borderline impossible. Businesses also have to compete with the government for labor, which has gobbled up workers and put them to work as ‘contact tracers’. And retail companies that are lucky enough to find employees are forced to misallocate those scarce resources to do unproductive tasks, like checking everyone’s ‘papers’ when customers walk through the door. And then, of course, if a business has been able to navigate all of those crazy obstacles, Hunter Biden’s dad is now forcing you to fire any worker who hasn’t been [unmentionable word– thanks Google]. Federal Reserve’s Monetary Blowout On top of all of the above is the Federal Reserve’s monetary blowout. They’ve printed trillions of dollars over the past 18 months to ‘support the economy’. Yet even though the unemployment rate is down to 4.8%, they’re STILL printing at least $120 billion per month in new money. All that new money has helped fuel giant asset bubbles in stocks, bonds, property, and commodities. Energy prices in particular have risen sharply, and this tends to cause all other prices to rise. The result of all of this insanity is inflation. Lots of it. The problem is that most of these trends are not going away anytime soon. The Fed may start to taper its money printing. But they have very little room to raise interest rates meaningfully to combat inflation. Plus the labor issues, government policy, shipping, manufacturing shortages, etc. are going to last for a while. In fact, you’d think the correct government policy right now would be to create incentives for people to work, to create new businesses, and to invest in new technology that could automate and clean up the bottlenecks. At a minimum you’d think they’d stay the hell away and let capitalism do its job. After all, free market competition is one of the greatest tools to fix any economic woes, especially inefficiencies and resource misallocation. Yet all of the policies they’re proposing are anti-competitive and anti-market. They want to create DISINCENTIVES to form businesses and make investments. It’s the exact opposite of what they should be doing. (This is what happens when you put a socialist in charge of writing the budget.) So the next time one of these politicians or central bankers say that inflation is ‘transitory’, you can be certain they’re completely clueless about what’s happening in the real world. On another note… We think gold could DOUBLE and silver could increase by up to 5 TIMES in the next few years. That's why we published a new, 50-page long Ultimate Guide on Gold & Silver that you can download here. Inside you'll learn... How you could Double Your Money with an asset That Has a 5,000 Year History of Prosperity Why gold could potentially DOUBLE, and why silver could increase by up to 5 TIMES The 5 smartest, safest and most lucrative ways to own gold and silver (and one way you should definitely avoid) Why gold is the ultimate anti-currency and insurance policy against the systematic destruction of the US dollar (that everyone should at least consider owning) Why ETFs are a lurking timebomb and why you want to avoid them like the plague And everything else you need to know about buying, owning, storing and investing in precious metals This 50-page report is brand new and absolutely free. Article by Simon Black, Sovereig Mman Updated on Oct 15, 2021, 4:01 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: valuewalk11 hr. 8 min. ago

5 Dividend Aristocrat ETFs in Focus for a Stable Finish to Q4

Dividend aristocrats are likely to perform well and are attractive investment options for an impressive finish to 2021. Market participants are having a tough time as the mood on Wall Street seems dull and volatile amid inflationary pressure and the Fed’s tapering concerns.  The recently released minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s September meeting have highlighted that the Fed might begin tapering the fiscal stimulus support program from mid-November (according to a CNBC article).The central bank is expected to roll back the month-end bond purchases by cutting $10 billion out of $80 billion a month in Treasury’s and $5 billion from $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities (per a CNBC article). If everything goes well, the Federal Reserve expects to finish off purchases by mid-2022.Investors seem continuously worried about the soaring inflation levels. Per the latest Labor Department report, the Consumer Price Index in September rose 5.4% year over year compared to the Dow Jones estimate of a 5.3% rise, per a CNBC article. The metric came in at the highest level since January 1991. It also increased 0.4% for the month, surpassing the 0.3% Dow Jones estimate. The soaring food and energy prices might be primarily responsible for the higher inflation levels.In another disappointing development, Goldman Sachs (GS) slashed its U.S. economic growth prediction. According to a CNBC article, the investment bank expects economic growth to come in at 4% from 4.4% in 2022. It has also revised its 2021 estimate downward to 5.6% from 5.7%. The firm cited various factors like the diminishing fiscal stimulus support from Congress and the slow pace of recovery in consumer spending for its decision.The latest jobs report for September turned out to be unimpressive as the U.S. economy has added the lowest number of jobs so far this year. Notably, 194,000 positions were added in September, missing the forecast of 500,000. Nonfarm employment has risen 17.4 million since April 2020 but slid 3.3% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.Investors may have to handle certain issues like inflationary pressure, supply-chain challenges, possibilities of the Fed tapering the fiscal stimulus, China’s Evergrande crisis and concerns over a debt-ceiling breach in October. These factors can also keep the stock market volatile.Why Consider Dividend Aristocrat ETFs?Dividend aristocrats are blue-chip dividend-paying companies with a long track record of increasing dividend payments year over year. Moreover, dividend aristocrat funds provide investors with dividend growth opportunities in comparison to other products in the space but might not necessarily have the highest yields.‘Dividend aristocrats’ or ‘dividend growers’ are mostly deemed the smartest way to deal with the market turmoil. The inclination toward dividend investing is rising on account of easing monetary policy on the global front, and the market uncertainty triggered by the pandemic and deceleration in global growth. Demand for these funds is mostly driven by their characteristic of being the major source of consistent income for investors when returns from the equity markets are uncertain.These products also form a strong portfolio with a higher scope of capital appreciation against simple dividend-paying stocks or those with high yields. As a result, these products deliver a nice combination of annual dividend growth and capital-appreciation opportunity and are mostly beneficial to risk averse long-term investors.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some ETFs that investors can consider:Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF VIGThis is the largest and the most popular ETF in the dividend space with an AUM of $61.55 billion. The fund follows the S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index. It charges 6 basis points (bps) in annual fees (read: Focus on These ETF Areas to Combat Market Uncertainties).SPDR S&P Dividend ETF SDYThis fund seeks to provide investment results that before fees and expenses correspond generally to the total return performance of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index. The index screens companies that consistently increased their dividend for at least 20 consecutive years. The fund has an AUM of $19.23 billion. It charges 35 bps in fees per year (read: Market Outlook & ETF Ideas for the Fourth Quarter).iShares Select Dividend ETF DVYThe fund provides exposure to broad-cap U.S. companies with a consistent history of dividends and tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index. The fund has an AUM of $18.37 billion. It charges 38 bps in fees per year (as stated in the prospectus).ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF NOBLThis fund seeks investment results before fees and expenses that track the performance of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index. It is the only ETF focusing exclusively on the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, which are high-quality companies that not just paid out dividends but also raised the same for at least 25 consecutive years with most doing so for 40 years or more. NOBL amassed $9.36 billion in its asset base. It has an expense ratio of 0.35%.iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF DGROThis fund provides exposure to companies boasting a history of sustained dividend growth by tracking the Morningstar US Dividend Growth Index. The fund has an AUM of $20.11 billion. It charges 8 bps in fees per year (read: 5 Winning ETF Ideas for the Fourth Quarter). 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG): ETF Research Reports ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL): ETF Research Reports iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY): ETF Research Reports iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks18 hr. 52 min. ago

Applying A Barbell Investment Strategy To Protect Against Stagflation

An inclination towards this strategy can be seen with the bids for exceptionally safe dividend drivers like utilities, real estate, & consumer staples, combined with a growing penchant for speculative innovation-fueled equities. Since last Friday's jobs report (10/8), the US Treasury yield curve has been flattening, with short-term yields (1 to 5-year notes) floating higher while longer-duration bond yields tumbling. The September jobs report intensified stagflation fears with outsized monthly wage increases (one of the stickiest inflation gauges) coupled with decelerating jobs growth.These concerns are pushing money managers into a barbell equity allocation to protect themselves against the potential stagflation, which poses a significant risk to the broader equity market over the next year or two.The barbell investment approach is used to protect portfolios against systemic economic and market risk by taking the 2 extreme ends of the risk-reward spectrum. This strategy stays away from equities whose value is heavily correlated with broader market performance, typically found in the middle of this risk-reward scale.With weights on each polarized edge of the risk-reward spectrum, investors can capture the annual (risk-adjusted) returns that they are looking for while protecting themselves from index-level risks. Secular market-disrupting growth stocks move at the beat of their own innovation-driven drum with little influence from broader equity moves. At the same time, low beta high-yielding defensive sectors like utilities, REITs, & consumer staples have little market correlation (low systemic market risk). This equity allocation is similar to that of the investment mix of bonds and stocks that most of us learned about in personal finance class, only this strategy replaces bonds with higher-yielding equities. The equity market remains the most attractive asset class for your capital in this rising rate, inflationary environment.In this 4th Revolution video, I present 3 well-positioned ultra-high growth stocks to buy today like SoFi SOFI, UiPath PATH, & Splunk SPLK, along with several ETFs including Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF ARKK, SPDR Utilities ETF XLU, & SPDR Real Estate ETF XLRE that can be utilized to implement this barbell investment strategy. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Splunk Inc. (SPLK): Free Stock Analysis Report UiPath, Inc. (PATH): Free Stock Analysis Report Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU): ETF Research Reports ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK): ETF Research Reports Real Estate Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLRE): ETF Research Reports SoFi Technologies, Inc. (SOFI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks18 hr. 52 min. ago

Off-Premise Business Drives Darden (DRI), High Costs Ail

Darden (DRI) continues to focus on simplifying kitchen systems, sales planning and scheduling as well as menu customizations to drive growth. However, high operating costs are a concern. Darden Restaurants, Inc.‘s DRI focus on off-premise sales, digitization initiatives and menu simplifications bodes well. A rise in labor and other operating expenses along with coronavirus-related woes is a concern.Let’s discuss the factors highlighting why investors should retain the stock for the time being.Factors Driving GrowthEven though capacity restrictions continue to ease, Darden’s off-premise sales remained strong during fiscal 2021 and first-quarter fiscal 2022. For first-quarter fiscal 2022, it contributed 27% of total sales at Olive Garden and 15% at LongHorn. Notably, the company has been benefitting from the technological enhancements related to online ordering, introduction of To Go capacity management and Curbside I'm Here notification. Going forward, the company intends to revamp its point-of-sale system to boost guest experience as well as to manage off-premise offerings.Meanwhile, to reduce friction and enhance consumer convenience in the digital platform, Darden initiated streamlining of the order pickup process and payment methods. Backed by these initiatives, online ordering has increased sharply. Additionally, it is witnessing a sharp increase in To Go sales. During first-quarter fiscal 2022, 60% of all off-premise sales were placed digitally. Going forward, the improvements in business model are likely to reinforce its ability to boost restaurant value across its brands.Darden, which shares space with Jack in the Box Inc. JACK, Papa John's International, Inc. PZZA and El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. LOCO in the Zacks Retail - Restaurants industry, continues to focus on the core menu, culinary innovation and providing regional flavors. It is also working toward strengthening its in-restaurant execution through investments in quality and simplification of operations to augment the guest experience. Also, it continues to focus on simplifying kitchen systems, improving sales planning and scheduling, operational excellence to improve guest experience, allowing menu customizations and making smarter promotional investments. The operational readjustments are likely to drive the company’s performance, going forward.Maintaining liquidity during the pandemic is a herculean task during the pandemic. Darden stated that it has enough liquidity to survive the coronavirus pandemic for some time. As of Aug 29, 2021, the company’s cash balance totaled nearly $947.8 million compared with $1,214.7 million as of fiscal 2021-end. Lately, it is generating positive cash flow, which is adding to the positives. As of May 30, 2021, the company’s long-term debt is pegged at $936.7 million compared with $929.8 million at the end of fiscal 2021. However, the company’s times interest earned ratio during the quarter came in at 13.9, improving from 10.1 reported at the preceding quarter end.ConcernsThe coronavirus outbreak has rattled the Retail - Restaurants industry and Darden is not immune to the aftereffects. Although the majority of dining services are open, traffic is still low compared with pre-pandemic levels. In August, sales slowed due to the negative impact of the Delta variant. We believe that the Delta variant of coronavirus might hurt traffic and sales in the upcoming periods.Moreover, the company has been persistently shouldering increased expenses, which have been detrimental to margins. In the fiscal first quarter, total operating costs and expenses increased 37.7% year over year due to a rise in food and beverage costs, restaurant expenses as well as labor costs. For fiscal 2022, the company expects total inflation of 4% (up from the prior projection of 3%); commodities inflation of 4.5% (significantly up from 2.5% estimated earlier) and total restaurant labor inflation of 5.5%, which includes hourly wage inflation of 7% (compared with 6% anticipated earlier). 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 Janus Henderson Sustainable & Impact Core Bond ETF (JACK): Free Stock Analysis Report Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI): Free Stock Analysis Report Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA): Free Stock Analysis Report El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (LOCO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks18 hr. 52 min. ago

Capital Bancorp (CBNK) Is a Great Choice for "Trend" Investors, Here"s Why

Capital Bancorp (CBNK) could be a solid choice for shorter-term investors looking to capitalize on the recent price trend in fundamentally sound stocks. It is one of the many stocks that passed through our shorter-term trading strategy-based screen. While "the trend is your friend" when it comes to short-term investing or trading, timing entries into the trend is a key determinant of success. And increasing the odds of success by making sure the sustainability of a trend isn't easy.The trend often reverses before exiting the trade, leading to a short-term capital loss for investors. So, for a profitable trade, one should confirm factors such as sound fundamentals, positive earnings estimate revisions, etc. that could keep the momentum in the stock alive.Investors looking to make a profit from stocks that are currently on the move may find our "Recent Price Strength" screen pretty useful. This predefined screen comes handy in spotting stocks that are on an uptrend backed by strength in their fundamentals, and trading in the upper portion of their 52-week high-low range, which is usually an indicator of bullishness.There are several stocks that passed through the screen and Capital Bancorp (CBNK) is one of them. Here are the key reasons why this stock is a solid choice for "trend" investing.A solid price increase over a period of 12 weeks reflects investors' continued willingness to pay more for the potential upside in a stock. CBNK is quite a good fit in this regard, gaining 17.6% over this period.However, it's not enough to look at the price change for around three months, as it doesn't reflect any trend reversal that might have happened in a shorter time frame. It's important for a potential winner to maintain the price trend. A price increase of 11.2% over the past four weeks ensures that the trend is still in place for the stock of this company.Moreover, CBNK is currently trading at 96.1% of its 52-week High-Low Range, hinting that it can be on the verge of a breakout.Looking at the fundamentals, the stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), which means it is in the top 20% of more than the 4,000 stocks that we rank based on trends in earnings estimate revisions and EPS surprises -- the key factors that impact a stock's near-term price movements.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Another factor that confirms the company's fundamental strength is its Average Broker Recommendation of #1 (Strong Buy). This indicates that the brokerage community is highly optimistic about the stock's near-term price performance.So, the price trend in CBNK may not reverse anytime soon.In addition to CBNK, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our "Recent Price Strength" screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. 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 Capital Bancorp, Inc. (CBNK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks18 hr. 52 min. ago

Recent Price Trend in Veritex Holdings (VBTX) is Your Friend, Here"s Why

Veritex Holdings (VBTX) made it through our "Recent Price Strength" screen and could be a great choice for investors looking to make a profit from stocks that are currently on the move. Most of us have heard the dictum "the trend is your friend." And this is undeniably the key to success when it comes to short-term investing or trading. But it isn't easy to ensure the sustainability of a trend and profit from it.The trend often reverses before exiting the trade, leading to a short-term capital loss for investors. So, for a profitable trade, one should confirm factors such as sound fundamentals, positive earnings estimate revisions, etc. that could keep the momentum in the stock alive.Our "Recent Price Strength" screen, which is created on a unique short-term trading strategy, could be pretty useful in this regard. This predefined screen makes it really easy to shortlist the stocks that have enough fundamental strength to maintain their recent uptrend. Also, the screen passes only the stocks that are trading in the upper portion of their 52-week high-low range, which is usually an indicator of bullishness.Veritex Holdings (VBTX) is one of the several suitable candidates that passed through the screen. Here are the key reasons why it could be a profitable bet for "trend" investors.A solid price increase over a period of 12 weeks reflects investors' continued willingness to pay more for the potential upside in a stock. VBTX is quite a good fit in this regard, gaining 26.4% over this period.However, it's not enough to look at the price change for around three months, as it doesn't reflect any trend reversal that might have happened in a shorter time frame. It's important for a potential winner to maintain the price trend. A price increase of 14.5% over the past four weeks ensures that the trend is still in place for the stock of this bank holding company.Moreover, VBTX is currently trading at 95.9% of its 52-week High-Low Range, hinting that it can be on the verge of a breakout.Looking at the fundamentals, the stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), which means it is in the top 20% of more than the 4,000 stocks that we rank based on trends in earnings estimate revisions and EPS surprises -- the key factors that impact a stock's near-term price movements.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Another factor that confirms the company's fundamental strength is its Average Broker Recommendation of #1 (Strong Buy). This indicates that the brokerage community is highly optimistic about the stock's near-term price performance.So, the price trend in VBTX may not reverse anytime soon.In addition to VBTX, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our "Recent Price Strength" screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. 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 Veritex Holdings, Inc. (VBTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks18 hr. 52 min. ago