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October to See 3 Bitcoin Futures ETFs? Let"s Explore

October 2021 will be long-remembered in the investing world for the launch of bitcoin futures ETFs. October 2021 will be long-remembered in the investing world for the launch of bitcoin futures ETFs. ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITO, the first US listed bitcoin ETF has started trading on Oct 19, making the world’s biggest cryptocurrency available in a tax-efficient wrapper to investors via any brokerage account.VanEck will join ProShares in launching a bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (XBTF). Plus, Valkyrie Investments’s bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund also won the green signal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund (BTFD) started trading from Oct 22.These are great success from the issuers’ point of view. Despite the humongous success witnessed lately, regulatory concerns have always been a hurdle for bitcoin. There have been repeated attempts in the past by ETF issuers to bring an exchange-traded-product on the cryptocurrency. But none received the SEC nod up until October 2021. The SEC was seemingly looking for more proof of safety in this trade (read: Bitcoin Matches SPY ETF in 1H: What Lies in 2H of 2021?).More Futures-Based ETF Launches Ahead?SEC Chair Gary Gensler indicated his preference for futures tracking ETFs, created under the existing 1940 Investment Company Act, which provide considerable investor protection. Futures-based products are however not as efficient as physically-based products in general since derivatives add another layer of complexity, with the need to rollover. They also are not very good at tracking spot prices (read: Bitcoin & Blockchain ETFs: What Investors Should Know).The likelihood the ETF’s listing appeared to push up the price of bitcoin over the past week. Bitcoin hit a record level of $66K on ETF news. Several companies, including Invesco have applied to bring about similar ETFs that could follow ProShares into the market in the weeks ahead.In the absence of an ETF before, investors used to track products like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) that can trade at a significant discount or premium to their NAV. But these are only available to qualified wealthy investors or in over-the-counter markets.Any More Downsides in the Cards?Environmental concerns may be a downside risk for the fund. Per a CNBC article, questions regarding the bitcoin’s impact on the environment could be another issue for the cryptocurrency. “Bitcoin mining equipment requires lots of electricity to run, and bitcoin’s energy consumption has risen considerably over the years in tandem with its price. While bitcoin’s critics have long warned of its huge carbon footprint, Tesla CEO Elon Musk brought the issue back to the fore this year,” the article noted.ETFs in Focus If you are still unsure about investing in BITO, XBTF and BTFD and want to wait for more futures-based ETF launches, stocks that are related to bitcoin mining or trading may entice you as they play an indirect role in betting on this crypto asset.Coinbase Global Inc. COIN is a U.S. company that operates a cryptocurrency exchange platform without an official physical headquarter. Coinbase has exposure to funds like VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF DAPP, Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF (VFIN) and Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO). Blockchain ETFs like Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF BLOK should also be watched by investors interested in bitcoin.Then there is crypto innovators ETF namely Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF BITQ. The underlying Bitwise Crypto Innovators 30 Index measures the performance of companies involved in servicing the cryptocurrency markets, including crypto mining firms, crypto mining equipment suppliers, crypto financial services companies, or other financial institutions servicing primarily crypto-related clientele. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK): ETF Research Reports Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN): Free Stock Analysis Report VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP): ETF Research Reports Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ): ETF Research Reports ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 27th, 2021

US stocks edge higher as investors struggle against Omicron volatility

Adding to Thursday's volatility was a report that Apple may be experiencing a drop in demand for its iPhones this holiday season. Trader Leon Montana works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange stocks NYSE worryAP Photo/Richard DrewUS stocks edged slightly higher on Thursday as investors continue to grapple with the Omicron variant.Adding to market concerns is Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggestion of tapering its bond purchases at a faster pace. A report on a drop in demand for Apple's iPhones this holiday season added to the volatility.US stocks traded slightly higher on Thursday as concerns surrounding the Omicron virus and hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell weighed on investors.On Wednesday, the CDC said it identified the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the US, which it found in California. With little known about how transmissible and deadly the new variant is, and whether current vaccines protect against it, investors are selling first and asking questions later.Adding to the volatility on Thursday was a report from Bloomberg that Apple is experiencing a decline in demand for its iPhones this holiday season. Shares of Apple traded down more than 3% in early Thursday trades.Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:S&P 500: 4,517.70, up 0.1%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,156.60 up 0.41% (144.69 points)Nasdaq Composite: 15,239.00, down 0.1%The metaverse investment theme is growing in popularity, with Ark Invest's Cathie Wood calling it a multi-trillion dollar opportunity that will infiltrate every sector.Sales of virtual land in the metaverse hit $106 million last week, with The Sandbox platform taking a big lead from other NFT platforms. Insider sales have soared to a record high this year, with Elon Musk selling more than $10 billion of Tesla last month. Jeff Bezos is also selling Amazon stock, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently sold half of his stake in the software giant.Fidelity is launching its own spot bitcoin ETF in Canada this week, even as the SEC continues to only favor futures-based bitcoin ETFs.West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell as much as 1.95% to $64.29 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, dropped as much as 1.89% to $67.57 per barrel.Gold fell as much as 0.29% to $1,779.10 per ounce.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory"

Futures Surge After Powell-Driven Rout Proves To Be "Transitory" Heading into yesterday's painful close to one of the ugliest months since March 2020, which saw a huge forced liquidation rebalance with more than $8 billion in Market on Close orders, we said that while we are seeing "forced selling dump into the close today" this would be followed by "forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close." Forced selling dump into the close today. Forced Dec 1 buying frontrunning after the close — zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 30, 2021 And just as expected, despite yesterday's dramatic hawkish pivot by Powell, who said it was time to retire the word transitory in describing the inflation outlook (the same word the Fed used hundreds of times earlier in 2021 sparking relentless mockery from this website for being clueless as usual) while also saying the U.S. central bank would consider bringing forward plans for tapering its bond buying program at its next meeting in two weeks, the frontrunning of new monthly inflows is in full force with S&P futures rising over 1.2%, Nasdaq futures up 1.3%, and Dow futures up 0.9%, recovering almost all of Tuesday’s decline. The seemingly 'hawkish' comments served as a double whammy for markets, which were already nervous about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and its potential to hinder a global economic recovery. "At this point, COVID does not appear to be the biggest long-term Street fear, although it could have the largest impact if the new (or next) variant turns out to be worse than expected," Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P and Dow Jones indices, said in a note. "That honor goes to inflation, which continues to be fed by supply shortages, labor costs, worker shortages, as well as consumers, who have not pulled back." However, new month fund flows proved too powerful to sustain yesterday's month-end dump and with futures rising - and panic receding - safe havens were sold and the 10-year Treasury yield jumped almost 6bps, approaching 1.50%. The gap between yields on 5-year and 30-year Treasuries was around the narrowest since March last year. Crude oil and commodity-linked currencies rebounded. Gold remained just under $1,800 and bitcoin traded just over $57,000. There was more good news on the covid front with a WHO official saying some of the early indications are that most Omicron cases are mild with no severe cases. Separately Merck gained 3.8% in premarket trade after a panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration narrowly voted to recommend the agency authorize the drugmaker's antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. Travel and leisure stocks also rebounded, with cruiseliners Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean rising more than 2.5% each. Easing of covid fears also pushed airlines and travel stocks higher in premarket trading: Southwest +2.9%, Delta +2.5%, Spirit +2.3%, American +2.2%, United +1.9%, JetBlue +1.3%. Vaccine makers traded modestly lower in pre-market trading after soaring in recent days as Wall Street weighs the widening spread of the omicron variant. Merck & Co. bucked the trend after its Covid-19 pill narrowly gained a key recommendation from advisers to U.S. regulators. Moderna slips 2.1%, BioNTech dips 1.3% and Pfizer is down 0.2%. Elsewhere, Occidental Petroleum led gains among the energy stocks, up 3.2% as oil prices climbed over 4% ahead of OPEC's meeting. Shares of major Wall Street lenders also moved higher after steep falls on Tuesday. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: Salesforce (CRM US) drops 5.9% in premarket trading after results and guidance missed estimates, with analysts highlighting currency-related headwinds and plateauing growth at the MuleSoft integration software business. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE US) falls 1.3% in premarket after the computer equipment maker’s quarterly results showed the impact of the global supply chain crunch. Analysts noted solid order trends. Merck (MRK US) shares rise 5.8% in premarket after the company’s Covid-19 pill narrowly wins backing from FDA advisers, which analysts say is a sign of progress despite lingering challenges. Chinese electric vehicle makers were higher in premarket, leading U.S. peers up, after Nio, Li and XPeng reported strong deliveries for November; Nio (NIO US) +4%, Li (LI US ) +6%, XPeng (XPEV US) +4.3%. Ardelyx (ARDX US) shares gain as much as 34% in premarket, extending the biotech’s bounce after announcing plans to launch its irritable bowel syndrome treatment Ibsrela in the second quarter. CTI BioPharma (CTIC US) shares sink 18% in premarket after the company said the FDA extended the review period for a new drug application for pacritinib. Allbirds (BIRD US) fell 7.5% postmarket after the low end of the shoe retailer’s 2021 revenue forecast missed the average analyst estimate. Zscaler (ZS US) posted “yet another impressive quarter,” according to BMO. Several analysts increased their price targets for the security software company. Shares rose 4.6% in postmarket. Ambarella (AMBA US) rose 14% in postmarket after forecasting revenue for the fourth quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Emcore (EMKR US) fell 9% postmarket after the aerospace and communications supplier reported fiscal fourth-quarter Ebitda that missed the average analyst estimate. Box (BOX US) shares gained as much as 10% in postmarket trading after the cloud company raised its revenue forecast for the full year. Meanwhile, the omicron variant continues to spread around the globe, though symptoms so far appear to be relatively mild. The Biden administration plans to tighten rules on travel to the U.S., and Japan said it would bar foreign residents returning from 10 southern African nations. As Bloomberg notes, volatility is buffeting markets as investors scrutinize whether the pandemic recovery can weather diminishing monetary policy support and potential risks from the omicron virus variant. Global manufacturing activity stabilized last month, purchasing managers’ gauges showed Wednesday, and while central banks are scaling back ultra-loose settings, financial conditions remain favorable in key economies. “The reality is hotter inflation coupled with a strong economic backdrop could end the Fed’s bond buying program as early as the first quarter of next year,” Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management, said in emailed comments. “With potential changes in policy on the horizon, market participants should expect additional market volatility in this uncharted territory.” Looking ahead, Powell is back on the Hill for day 2, and is due to testify before a House Financial Services Committee hybrid hearing at 10 a.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. Investors are also awaiting the Fed's latest "Beige Book" due at 2:00 p.m. ET. On the economic data front, November readings on U.S. private payrolls and manufacturing activity will be closely watched later in the day to gauge the health of the American economy. European equities soared more than 1.2%, with travel stocks and carmakers leading broad-based gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 index, all but wiping out Tuesday’s decline that capped only the third monthly loss for the benchmark this year.  Travel, miners and autos are the strongest sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Proximus shares rise as much as 6.5% after the company said it’s started preliminary talks regarding a potential deal involving TeleSign, with a SPAC merger among options under consideration. Dr. Martens gains as much as 4.6% to the highest since Sept. 8 after being upgraded to overweight from equal- weight at Barclays, which says the stock’s de-rating is overdone. Husqvarna advances as much as 5.3% after the company upgraded financial targets ahead of its capital markets day, including raising the profit margin target to 13% from 10%. Wizz Air, Lufthansa and other travel shares were among the biggest gainers as the sector rebounded after Tuesday’s losses; at a conference Wizz Air’s CEO reiterated expansion plans. Wizz Air gains as much as 7.5%, Lufthansa as much as 6.8% Elis, Accor and other stocks in the French travel and hospitality sector also rise after the country’s government pledged to support an industry that’s starting to get hit by the latest Covid-19 wave. Pendragon climbs as much as 6.5% after the car dealer boosted its outlook after the company said a supply crunch in the new vehicle market wasn’t as bad as it had anticipated. UniCredit rises as much as 3.6%, outperforming the Stoxx 600 Banks Index, after Deutsche Bank added the stock to its “top picks” list alongside UBS, and Bank of Ireland, Erste, Lloyds and Societe Generale. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also soared, snapping a three-day losing streak, led by energy and technology shares, as traders assessed the potential impact from the omicron coronavirus variant and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s hawkish pivot. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.3% Wednesday. South Korea led regional gains after reporting strong export figures, which bolsters growth prospects despite record domestic Covid-19 cases. Hong Kong stocks also bounced back after falling Tuesday to their lowest level since September 2020. Asia’s stock benchmark rebounded from a one-year low, though sentiment remained clouded by lingering concerns on the omicron strain and Fed’s potentially faster tapering pace. Powell earlier hinted that the U.S. central bank will accelerate its asset purchases at its meeting later this month.  “A faster taper in the U.S. is still dependent on omicron not causing a big setback to the outlook in the next few weeks,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, adding that he expects the Fed’s policy rate “will still be low through next year, which should still enable good global growth which will benefit Asia.” Chinese equities edged up after the latest economic data showed manufacturing activity remained at relatively weak levels in November, missing economists’ expectations. Earlier, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said he’s fully confident in the nation’s economic growth in 2022 Japanese stocks rose, overcoming early volatility as traders parsed hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Electronics and auto makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which closed 0.4% higher after swinging between a gain of 0.9% and loss of 0.7% in the morning session. Daikin and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 0.4% rise in the Nikkei 225, which similarly fluctuated. The Topix had dropped 4.8% over the previous three sessions due to concerns over the omicron virus variant. The benchmark fell 3.6% in November, its worst month since July 2020. “The market’s tolerance to risk is quite low at the moment, with people responding in a big way to the smallest bit of negative news,” said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management in Tokyo. “But the decline in Japanese equities was far worse than those of other developed markets, so today’s market may find a bit of calm.” U.S. shares tumbled Tuesday after Powell said officials should weigh removing pandemic support at a faster pace and retired the word “transitory” to describe stubbornly high inflation In rates, bonds trade heavy, as yield curves bear-flatten. Treasuries extended declines with belly of the curve cheapening vs wings as traders continue to price in additional rate-hike premium over the next two years. Treasury yields were cheaper by up to 5bp across belly of the curve, cheapening 2s5s30s spread by ~5.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 1.48%, cheaper by ~4bp, while gilts lag by additional 2bp in the sector. The short-end of the gilt curve markedly underperforms bunds and Treasuries with 2y yields rising ~11bps near 0.568%. Peripheral spreads widen with belly of the Italian curve lagging. The flattening Treasury yield curve “doesn’t suggest imminent doom for the equity market in and of itself,” Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co., said on Bloomberg Television. “Alarm bells go off in terms of recession” when the curve gets closer to inverting, she said. In FX, the Turkish lira had a wild session, offered in early London trade before fading. USD/TRY dropped sharply to lows of 12.4267 on reports of central bank FX intervention due to “unhealthy price formations” before, once again, fading TRY strength after comments from Erdogan. The rest of G-10 FX is choppy; commodity currencies retain Asia’s bid tone, havens are sold: the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower, as the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers. The euro moved in a narrow range and Bund yields followed U.S. yields higher. The pound advanced as risk sentiment stabilized with focus still on news about the omicron variant. The U.K. 10-, 30-year curve flirted with inversion as gilts flattened, with money markets betting on 10bps of BOE tightening this month for the first time since Friday. The Australian and New Zealand dollars advanced as rising commodity prices fuel demand from exporters and leveraged funds. Better-than-expected growth data also aided the Aussie, with GDP expanding by 3.9% in the third quarter from a year earlier, beating the 3% estimated by economists. Austrian lawmakers extended a nationwide lockdown for a second 10-day period to suppress the latest wave of coronavirus infections before the Christmas holiday period.  The yen declined by the most among the Group-of-10 currencies as Powell’s comments renewed focus on yield differentials. 10-year yields rose ahead of Thursday’s debt auction In commodities, crude futures rally. WTI adds over 4% to trade on a $69-handle, Brent recovers near $72.40 after Goldman said overnight that oil had gotten extremely oversold. Spot gold fades a pop higher to trade near $1,785/oz. Base metals trade well with LME copper and nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.2% to 4,620.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 467.58 MXAP up 0.9% to 191.52 MXAPJ up 1.1% to 626.09 Nikkei up 0.4% to 27,935.62 Topix up 0.4% to 1,936.74 Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 23,658.92 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,576.89 Sensex up 1.0% to 57,656.51 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,235.85 Kospi up 2.1% to 2,899.72 Brent Futures up 4.2% to $72.15/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,778.93 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 95.98 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.31% Euro down 0.1% to $1.1326 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Thursday, the first direct contact between officials of the two countries in weeks as tensions grow amid western fears Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine Oil rebounded from a sharp drop on speculation that recent deep losses were excessive and OPEC+ may on Thursday decide to pause hikes in production, with the abrupt reversal fanning already- elevated volatility The EU is set to recommend that member states review essential travel restrictions on a daily basis in the wake of the omicron variant, according to a draft EU document seen by Bloomberg China is planning to ban companies from going public on foreign stock markets through variable interest entities, according to people familiar with the matter, closing a loophole long used by the country’s technology industry to raise capital from overseas investors Manufacturing activity in Asia outside China stabilized last month amid easing lockdown and border restrictions, setting the sector on course to face a possible new challenge from the omicron variant of the coronavirus Germany urgently needs stricter measures to check a surge in Covid-19 infections and protect hospitals from a “particularly dangerous situation,” according to the head of the country’s DIVI intensive-care medicine lobby. A more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as regional bourses atoned for the prior day’s losses that were triggered by Omicron concerns, but with some of the momentum tempered by recent comments from Fed Chair Powell and mixed data releases including the miss on Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI. ASX 200 (-0.3%) was led lower by underperformance in consumer stocks and with utilities also pressured as reports noted that Shell and Telstra’s entrance in the domestic electricity market is set to ignite fierce competition and force existing players to overhaul their operations, although the losses in the index were cushioned following the latest GDP data which showed a narrower than feared quarterly contraction in Australia’s economy. Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) was on the mend after yesterday’s sell-off with the index helped by favourable currency flows and following a jump in company profits for Q3, while the KOSPI (+2.1%) was also boosted by strong trade data. Hang Seng (+0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) were somewhat varied as a tech resurgence in Hong Kong overcompensated for the continued weakness in casinos stocks amid ongoing SunCity woes which closed all VIP gaming rooms in Macau after its Chairman's recent arrest, while the mood in the mainland was more reserved after a PBoC liquidity drain and disappointing Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI data which fell short of estimates and slipped back into contraction territory. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid the gains in Japanese stocks and after the pullback in global fixed income peers in the aftermath of Fed Chair Powell’s hawkish comments, while a lack of BoJ purchases further contributed to the subdued demand for JGBs. Top Asian News Asia Stocks Bounce Back from One-Year Low Despite Looming Risks Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Shell Sees Hedge Funds Moving to LNG, Supporting Higher Prices Abe Warns China Invading Taiwan Would Be ‘Economic Suicide’ Bourses in Europe are firmer across the board (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.6%; Stoxx 600 +1.1%) as the positive APAC sentiment reverberated into European markets. US equity futures are also on the front foot with the cyclical RTY (+2.0%) outpacing its peers: ES (+1.2%), NQ (+1.5%), YM (+0.8%). COVID remains a central theme for the time being as the Omicron variant is observed for any effects of concern – which thus far have not been reported. Analysts at UBS expect market focus to shift away from the variant and more towards growth and earnings. The analysts expect Omicron to fuse into the ongoing Delta outbreak that economies have already been tackling. Under this scenario, the desk expects some of the more cyclical markets and sectors to outperform. The desk also flags two tails risks, including an evasive variant and central bank tightening – particularly after Fed chair Powell’s commentary yesterday. Meanwhile, BofA looks for an over-10% fall in European stocks next year. Sticking with macro updates, the OECD, in their latest economic outlook, cut US, China, Eurozone growth forecasts for 2021 and 2022, with Omicron cited as a factor. Back to trade, broad-based gains are seen across European cash markets. Sectors hold a clear cyclical bias which consists of Travel & Leisure, Basic Resources, Autos, Retail and Oil & Gas as the top performers – with the former bolstered by the seemingly low appetite for coordination on restrictions and measures at an EU level – Deutsche Lufthansa (+6%) and IAG (+5.1%) now reside at the top of the Stoxx 600. The other side of the spectrum sees the defensive sectors – with Healthcare, Household Goods, Food & Beverages as the straddlers. In terms of induvial movers, German-listed Adler Group (+22%) following a divestment, whilst Blue Prism (+1.7%) is firmer after SS&C raised its offer for the Co. Top European News Wizz Says Travelers Are Booking at Shorter and Shorter Notice Turkey Central Bank Intervenes in FX Markets to Stabilize Lira Gold Swings on Omicron’s Widening Spread, Inflation Worries Former ABG Sundal Collier Partner Starts Advisory Firm In FX, the Dollar remains mixed against majors, but well off highs prompted by Fed chair Powell ditching transitory from the list of adjectives used to describe inflation and flagging that a faster pace of tapering will be on the agenda at December’s FOMC. However, the index is keeping tabs on the 96.000 handle and has retrenched into a tighter 95.774-96.138 range, for the time being, as trade remains very choppy and volatility elevated awaiting clearer medical data and analysis on Omicron to gauge its impact compared to the Delta strain and earlier COVID-19 variants. In the interim, US macro fundamentals might have some bearing, but the bar is high before NFP on Friday unless ADP or ISM really deviate from consensus or outside the forecast range. Instead, Fed chair Powell part II may be more pivotal if he opts to manage hawkish market expectations, while the Beige Book prepared for next month’s policy meeting could also add some additional insight. NZD/AUD/CAD/GBP - Broad risk sentiment continues to swing from side to side, and currently back in favour of the high beta, commodity and cyclical types, so the Kiwi has bounced firmly from worst levels on Tuesday ahead of NZ terms of trade, the Aussie has pared a chunk of its declines with some assistance from a smaller than anticipated GDP contraction and the Loonie is licking wounds alongside WTI in advance of Canadian building permits and Markit’s manufacturing PMI. Similarly, Sterling has regained some poise irrespective of relatively dovish remarks from BoE’s Mann and a slender downward revision to the final UK manufacturing PMI. Nzd/Usd is firmly back above 0.6800, Aud/Usd close to 0.7150 again, Usd/Cad straddling 1.2750 and Cable hovering on the 1.3300 handle compared to circa 0.6772, 0.7063, 1.2837 and 1.3195 respectively at various fairly adjacent stages yesterday. JPY/EUR/CHF - All undermined by the aforementioned latest upturn in risk appetite or less angst about coronavirus contagion, albeit to varying degrees, as the Yen retreats to retest support sub-113.50, Euro treads water above 1.1300 and Franc straddles 0.9200 after firmer than forecast Swiss CPI data vs a dip in the manufacturing PMI. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are recovering following yesterday’s COVID and Powell-induced declines in the run-up to the OPEC meetings later today. The complex has also been underpinned by the reduced prospects of coordinated EU-wide restrictions, as per the abandonment of the COVID video conference between EU leaders. However, OPEC+ will take centre stage over the next couple of days, with a deluge of source reports likely as OPEC tests the waters. The case for OPEC+ to pause the planned monthly relaxation of output curbs by 400k BPD has been strengthening. There have been major supply and demand developments since the prior meeting. The recent emergence of the Omicron COVID variant and coordinated release of oil reserves have shifted the balance of expectations relative to earlier in the month (full Newsquawk preview available in the Research Suite). In terms of the schedule, the OPEC meeting is slated for 13:00GMT/08:00EST followed by the JTC meeting at 15:00GMT/10:00EST, whilst tomorrow sees the JMMC meeting at 12:00GMT/07:00EST; OPEC+ meeting at 13:00GMT/08:00EST. WTI Jan has reclaimed a USD 69/bbl handle (vs USD 66.20/bbl low) while Brent Feb hovers around USD 72.50/bbl (vs low USD 69.38/bbl) at the time of writing. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver trade with modest gains and largely in tandem with the Buck. Spot gold failed to sustain gains above the cluster of DMAs under USD 1,800/oz (100 DMA at USD 1,792/oz, 200 DMA at USD 1,791/oz, and 50 DMA at USD 1,790/oz) – trader should be aware of the potential for a technical Golden Cross (50 DMA > 200 DMA). Turning to base metals, copper is supported by the overall risk appetite, with the LME contract back above USD 9,500/t. Overnight, Chinese coking coal and coke futures rose over 5% apiece, with traders citing disrupted supply from Mongolia amid the COVID outbreak in the region. US Event Calendar 7am: Nov. MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 1.8% 8:15am: Nov. ADP Employment Change, est. 525,000, prior 571,000 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 59.1 10am: Oct. Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.4%, prior -0.5% 10am: Nov. ISM Manufacturing, est. 61.2, prior 60.8 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book Nov. Wards Total Vehicle Sales, est. 13.4m, prior 13m Central Banks 10am: Powell, Yellen Testify Before House Panel on CARES Act Relief DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap If you’re under 10 and reading this there’s a spoiler alert today in this first para so please skip beyond and onto the second. Yes my heart broke a little last night as my little 6-year old Maisie said to me at bedtime that “Santa isn’t real is he Daddy?”. I lied (I think it’s a lie) and said yes he was. I made up an elaborate story about how when we renovated our 100 year old house we deliberately kept the chimney purely to let Santa come down it once a year. Otherwise why would we have kept it? She then asked what about her friend who lives in a flat? I tried to bluff my way through it but maybe my answer sounded a bit like my answers as to what will happen with Omicron. I’ll test both out on clients later to see which is more convincing. Before we get to the latest on the virus, given it’s the start of the month, we’ll shortly be publishing our November performance review looking at how different assets fared over the month just gone and YTD. It arrived late on but Omicron was obviously the dominant story and led to some of the biggest swings of the year so far. It meant that oil (which is still the top performer on a YTD basis) was the worst performer in our monthly sample, with WTI and Brent seeing their worst monthly performances since the initial wave of market turmoil over Covid back in March 2020. And at the other end, sovereign bonds outperformed in November as Omicron’s emergence saw investors push back the likelihood of imminent rate hikes from central banks. So what was shaping up to be a good month for risk and a bad one for bonds flipped around in injury time. Watch out for the report soon from Henry. Back to yesterday now, and frankly the main takeaway was that markets were desperate for any piece of news they could get their hands on about the Omicron variant, particularly given the lack of proper hard data at the moment. The morning started with a sharp selloff as we discussed at the top yesterday, as some of the more optimistic noises from Monday were outweighed by that FT interview, whereby Moderna’s chief executive had said that the existing vaccines wouldn’t be as effective against the new variant. Then we had some further negative news from Regeneron, who said that analysis and modelling of the Omicron mutations indicated that its antibody drug may not be as effective, but that they were doing further analysis to confirm this. However, we later got some comments from a University of Oxford spokesperson, who said that there wasn’t any evidence so far that vaccinations wouldn’t provide high levels of protection against severe disease, which coincided with a shift in sentiment early in the European afternoon as equities begun to pare back their losses. The CEO of BioNTech and the Israeli health minister expressed similar sentiments, noting that vaccines were still likely to protect against severe disease even among those infected by Omicron, joining other officials encouraging people to get vaccinated or get booster shots. Another reassuring sign came in an update from the EU’s ECDC yesterday, who said that all of the 44 confirmed cases where information was available on severity “were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.” After the close, the FDA endorsed Merck’s antiviral Covid pill. While it’s not clear how the pill interacts with Omicron, the proliferation of more Covid treatments is still good news as we head into another winter. The other big piece of news came from Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, where the main headline was his tapering comment that “It is appropriate to consider wrapping up a few months sooner.” So that would indicate an acceleration in the pace, which would be consistent with the view from our US economists that we’ll see a doubling in the pace of reductions at the December meeting that’s only two weeks from today. The Fed Chair made a forceful case for a faster taper despite lingering Omicron uncertainties, noting inflation is likely to stay elevated, the labour market has improved without a commensurate increase in labour supply (those sidelined because of Covid are likely to stay there), spending has remained strong, and that tapering was a removal of accommodation (which the economy doesn’t need more of given the first three points). Powell took pains to stress the risk of higher inflation, going so far as to ‘retire’ the use of the term ‘transitory’ when describing the current inflation outlook. So team transitory have seemingly had the pitch taken away from them mid match. The Chair left an exit clause that this outlook would be informed by incoming inflation, employment, and Omicron data before the December FOMC meeting. A faster taper ostensibly opens the door to earlier rate hikes and Powell’s comment led to a sharp move higher in shorter-dated Treasury yields, with the 2yr yield up +8.1bps on the day, having actually been more than -4bps lower when Powell began speaking. They were as low as 0.44% then and got as high as 0.57% before closing at 0.56%. 2yr yields have taken another leg higher overnight, increasing +2.5bps to 0.592%. Long-end yields moved lower though and failed to back up the early day moves even after Powell, leading to a major flattening in the yield curve on the back of those remarks, with the 2s10s down -13.7bps to 87.3bps, which is its flattest level since early January. Overnight 10yr yields are back up +3bps but the curve is only a touch steeper. My 2 cents on the yield curve are that the 2s10s continues to be my favourite US recession indicator. It’s worked over more cycles through history than any other. No recession since the early 1950s has occurred without the 2s10s inverting. But it takes on average 12-18 months from inversion to recession. The shortest was the covid recession at around 7 months which clearly doesn’t count but I think we were very late cycle in early 2020 and the probability of recession in the not too distant future was quite high but we will never know.The shortest outside of that was around 9 months. So with the curve still at c.+90bps we are moving in a more worrying direction but I would still say 2023-24 is the very earliest a recession is likely to occur (outside of a unexpected shock) and we’ll need a rapid flattening in 22 to encourage that. History also suggests markets tend to ignore the YC until it’s too late. So I wouldn’t base my market views in 22 on the yield curve and recession signal yet. However its something to look at as the Fed seemingly embarks on a tightening cycle in the months ahead. Onto markets and those remarks from Powell (along with the additional earlier pessimism about Omicron) proved incredibly unhelpful for equities yesterday, with the S&P 500 (-1.90%) giving up the previous day’s gains to close at its lowest level in over a month. It’s hard to overstate how broad-based this decline was, as just 7 companies in the entire S&P moved higher yesterday, which is the lowest number of the entire year so far and the lowest since June 11th, 2020, when 1 company ended in the green. Over in Europe it was much the same story, although they were relatively less affected by Powell’s remarks, and the STOXX 600 (-0.92%) moved lower on the day as well. Overnight in Asia, stocks are trading higher though with the KOSPI (+2.02%), Hang Seng (+1.40%), the Nikkei (+0.37%), Shanghai Composite (+0.11%) and CSI (+0.09%) all in the green. Australia’s Q3 GDP contracted (-1.9% qoq) less than -2.7% consensus while India’s Q3 GDP grew at a firm +8.4% year-on-year beating the +8.3% consensus. In China the Caixin Manufacturing PMI for November came in at 49.9 against a 50.6 consensus. Futures markets are indicating a positive start to markets in US & Europe with the S&P 500 (+0.73%) and DAX (+0.44%) trading higher again. Back in Europe, there was a significant inflation story amidst the other headlines above, since Euro Area inflation rose to its highest level since the creation of the single currency, with the flash estimate for November up to +4.9% (vs. +4.5% expected). That exceeded every economist’s estimate on Bloomberg, and core inflation also surpassed expectations at +2.6% (vs. +2.3% expected), again surpassing the all-time high since the single currency began. That’s only going to add to the pressure on the ECB, and yesterday saw Germany’s incoming Chancellor Scholz say that “we have to do something” if inflation doesn’t ease. European sovereign bonds rallied in spite of the inflation reading, with those on 10yr bunds (-3.1bps), OATs (-3.5bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) all moving lower. Peripheral spreads widened once again though, and the gap between Italian and German 10yr yields closed at its highest level in just over a year. Meanwhile governments continued to move towards further action as the Omicron variant spreads, and Greece said that vaccinations would be mandatory for everyone over 60 soon, with those refusing having to pay a monthly €100 fine. Separately in Germany, incoming Chancellor Scholz said that there would be a parliamentary vote on the question of compulsory vaccinations, saying to the Bild newspaper in an interview that “My recommendation is that we don’t do this as a government, because it’s an issue of conscience”. In terms of other data yesterday, German unemployment fell by -34k in November (vs. -25k expected). Separately, the November CPI readings from France at +3.4% (vs. +3.2% expected) and Italy at +4.0% (vs. +3.3% expected) surprised to the upside as well. In the US, however, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure in November fell to its lowest since February at 109.5 (vs. 110.9 expected), and the MNI Chicago PMI for November fell to 61.8 9vs. 67.0 expected). To the day ahead now, and once again we’ll have Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Yellen appearing, this time before the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to that, the Fed will be releasing their Beige Book, and BoE Governor Bailey is also speaking. On the data front, the main release will be the manufacturing PMIs from around the world, but there’s also the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November in the US, the ISM manufacturing reading in the US as well for November, and German retail sales for October. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 07:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Ether"s surge is crushing bitcoin"s gain this year with a performance gap of more than 400 percentage points

Virtual land deals on ethereum's network and Facebook's metaverse commitment have helped drive up ether's price up in November. Bitcoin vs. EthereumAlain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images and Dado Ruvic/Reuters Ether has surged by 530% during 2021, a stronger gain than bitcoin's doubling in price.  The performance gap of more than 400 percentage points is the widest since 2015, according to Bloomberg data.  Ether's run in November has been strong on a number of business developments surrounding the ethereum network.  Ether is set to log a winning month for November and its advance of more than 500% during 2021 is running high above that of rival cryptocurrency bitcoin.  The token of the ethereum network popped up as much as 6% to trade above $4,700 on Tuesday. It was on track to rise by more than 8% for November, during which it first crossed above $4,600. That move was driven in part by growth prospects for the blockchain platform from a sharper focus on the metaverse as Facebook, now named Meta, ramped up its commitment to expand in the online, 3-D space. Ether also stood out on a year-to-date basis, rising by about 530% compared with bitcoin's increase of roughly 101%. The performance gap of more than 400 percentage points between the cryptocurrencies was the widest since 2015, when the ethereum network was launched, according to data from Bloomberg. Institutional investors pushed $23 million into ethereum products last week, logging the fifth consecutive week of inflows, according to a CoinShares update on Monday. Ether has benefitted from a series of developments this month. CME Group, the world's largest derivatives exchange, was preparing to launch micro ether futures on December 6. Sandbox, a metaverse gaming platform backed by ethereum, has been drawing in millions of dollars in funding including from Japanese heavyweight Softbank. Virtual land deals worth millions of dollars on Sandbox and ethereum-based platforms have also bolstered ether. The cryptocurrency still lags behind bitcoin in terms of market capitalization. It was valued at around $550 billion on Tuesday compared with bitcoin's valuation of $1.1 trillion. But investors are watching to see if ether will take bitcoin's market cap crown. Crypto hedge fund manager Rahul Rai told Insider he believes ether will outgrow bitcoin before the middle of 2022 in what experts call "the flippening".Bitcoin during Tuesday's session was down nearly 1% at $57,731. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

Should You Invest in Bitcoin ETFs Now?

We highlight 3 bitcoin futures ETFs as cryptocurrencies rebound Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have rebounded after a sharp sell-off last week, along with other risky assets on concerns relating to omicron. The world’s largest cryptocurrency had tumbled into bear market briefly, down more than 20% from its all-time high of $69,000 touched earlier this month. It has now climbed back above $58,000 and is up almost 100% year-to-date.Investors can now easily buy bitcoin on crypto exchanges like Coinbase (COIN), and on platforms such as PayPal (PYPL) and Square (SQ). Many still prefer an ETF, so they don’t have to worry about custody issues. They can hold these ETFs in traditional investment accounts where they hold stocks and bonds.The first US-listed bitcoin ETF-- the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO)—had a very successful debut, thanks mainly to immense pent-up demand, but the two that came just a few days later have struggled to gather assets.Most investors are waiting for a spot bitcoin ETF given roll costs and liquidity issues associated with futures-based ETFs, but SEC Chairman Gary Gensler wants more clarity on regulatory jurisdictions over various parts of the crypto ecosystem. He has also mentioned the need for surveillance agreements with crypto trading platforms.To learn more about BITO, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) and the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF), please watch the short video above.  Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Square, Inc. (SQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN): Free Stock Analysis Report Robinhood Markets, Inc. (HOOD): Free Stock Analysis Report ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO): ETF Research Reports Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF): ETF Research Reports VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 30th, 2021

Risk Cracks After Moderna CEO Comments Spark Global Stock Rout

Risk Cracks After Moderna CEO Comments Spark Global Stock Rout Ask a drug dealer if methadone helps cure a cocaine addition and - shockingly - you will hear that the answer is "hell no", after all an affirmative response would mean the fixer needs to get a real job. Just as shocking was the "admission" of Moderna CEO, Stéphane Bancel, who in the latest stop on his media whirlwind tour of the past 48 hours gave the FT an interview in which he predicted that existing vaccines will be much less effective at tackling Omicron than earlier strains of coronavirus and warned it would take months before pharmaceutical companies could manufacture new variant-specific jabs at scale. “There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level . . . we had with [the] Delta [variant],” Bancel told the Financial Times, claiming that the high number of Omicron mutations on the spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells, and the rapid spread of the variant in South Africa suggested that the current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year. Here, the self-serving CEO whose sell-mode was fully engaged - after all what else would the maker of a vaccine for covid say than "yes, the world will need more of my product" - completely ignored the earlier comments from Barry Schoub, chairman of South Afruca's Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, who over the weekend said that the large number of mutations found in the omicron variant appears to destabilize the virus, which might make it less “fit” than the dominant delta strain. As such, it would be a far less virulent strain... but of course that would also reduce the need for Moderna's mRNA therapy and so Bancel failed to mention it. What is grotesque is that the Moderna CEO’s comments on existing vaccines’ effectiveness against the omicron variant is “old news so should be a fade,” says Prashant Newnaha, a senior Asia-Pacific rates strategist at TD Securities in Singapore. Indeed as Bloomberg notes, Bancel reiterated comments made by Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton during the weekend. Alas, the last thing algos care about is nuance and/or reading between the lines, and so moments after Bancel's interview hit, markets hit risk off mode on Tuesday, and yesterday’s bounce in markets immediately reversed amid fresh worries about the efficacy of currently available vaccines with U.S. equity futures dropping along with stocks in Europe. Bonds gained as investors sought havens. After dropping as much as 1.2%, S&P futures pared losses to -0.7%, down 37 points just above 4,600. Dow Eminis were down 339 points or 1% and Nasdaq was down -0.8%. Adding to concerns is Fed Chair Jerome Powell who today will speak, alongside Janet Yellen, at the Senate Banking Committee in congressional oversight hearings related to pandemic stimulus. Last night Powell made a dovish pivot saying the new variant poses downside risks to employment and growth while adding to uncertainty about inflation. Powell's comments dragged yields lower and hit bank stocks overnight. “The market’s reaction to reports such as Moderna’s suggest the ball is still very much in the court of proving that this will not escalate,” said Patrick Bennett, head of macro strategy for Asia at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Hong Kong. “Until that time, mode is to sell recoveries in risk and not to try and pick the extent of the selloff” U.S. airline and cruiseliner stocks dropped in premarket trading Tuesday, after vaccine maker Moderna’s top executives reiterated that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may require new vaccines. Most U.S. airline stocks were down: Alaska Air -5%, United -3.2%, American -3%, Spirit -2.7%, Delta -2.6%, JetBlue -2.6%, Southwest -1.7%. Here are some other notable movers today: U.S. banks decline in premarket trading following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that may push back bets on when the central bank will raise rates. Citigroup (C US) -2.4%, JPMorgan (JPM US) -2.2%, Morgan Stanley (MS US) -2.6% Vaccine manufacturers mixed in U.S. premarket trading after rallying in recent days and following further comments from Moderna about treating the new omicron Covid-19 variant. Pfizer (PFE US) +1.6%, Novavax  (NVAS US) +1.3%, Moderna (MRNA US) -3.8% U.S. airline and cruiseliner stocks dropped in premarket trading Tuesday, after vaccine maker Moderna’s top executives reiterated that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may require new vaccines. Alaska Air (ALK US) -5%, United (UAL US) -3.2%, American (AAL US) -3% Krystal Biotech (KRYS US) jumped 4.3% in postmarket trading on Monday, extending gains after a 122% jump during the regular session. The company is offering $200m of shares via Goldman Sachs, BofA, Cowen, William Blair, according to a postmarket statement MEI Pharma (MEIP US) gained 8% postmarket after the cancer-treatment company said it will hold a webcast Tuesday to report on data from the ongoing Phase 2 Tidal study evaluating zandelisib in patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma Intuit (INTU US) declined 3.4% postmarket after holder Dan Kurzius, co-founder of Mailchimp, offered the stake via Goldman Sachs In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index fell to almost a seven-week low. Cyclical sectors including retail, travel and carmakers were among the biggest decliners, while energy stocks tumbled as crude oil headed for the worst monthly loss this year; every industry sector fell led by travel stocks. Earlier in the session, the Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6% while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to finish at its weakest level since May 2016. Asian stocks erased early gains to head for a third day of losses on fresh concerns that existing Covid-19 vaccines will be less effective at tackling the omicron variant. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index extended its fall to nearly 1% after having risen as much as 0.8% earlier on Tuesday. The current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year, Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said in an interview with the Financial Times, adding that it may take months before pharmaceutical firms can manufacture new variant-specific jabs at scale. U.S. futures also reversed gains. Property and consumer staples were the worst-performing sectors on the regional benchmark. Key gauges in Hong Kong and South Korea were the biggest losers in Asia, with the Kospi index erasing all of its gains for this year. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 1.5% to finish at its weakest level since May 2016. The fresh bout of selling offset early optimism spurred by data showing China’s factory sentiment improved in November. “With the slower vaccination rate and more limited health-care capacity in the region, uncertainty from the new omicron variant may seem to bring about higher economic risks for the region at a time where it is shifting towards further reopening,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte. Asia’s stock benchmark is now down 3.5% for the month, set for its worst performance since July, as nervousness remains over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering schedule and the potential economic impact of the omicron variant. “Moderna is one of the primary mRNA vaccines out there, so the risk-off sentiment is justified,” said Kelvin Wong, an analyst at CMC Markets (Singapore) Pte. Liquidity is thinner going into the end of the year, so investors are “thinking it’s wise to take some money off the table,” he added Japanese equities fell, reversing an earlier gain to cap their third-straight daily loss, after a report cast doubt on hopes for a quick answer to the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Telecoms and electronics makers were the biggest drags on the Topix, which dropped 1%, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 1.5%. Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group were the largest contributors to a 1.6% loss in the Nikkei 225. The yen strengthened about 0.4% against the dollar, reversing an earlier loss. Japanese stocks advanced earlier in the day, following U.S. peers higher as a relative sense of calm returned to global markets. Tokyo share gains reversed quickly in late afternoon trading after a Financial Times report that Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said a new vaccine may be needed to fight omicron. “The report of Moderna CEO’s remarks has bolstered an overall movement toward taking off risk,” said SMBC Trust Bank analyst Masahiro Yamaguchi. “Market participants will probably be analyzing information on vaccines and the new virus variant for the next couple of weeks, so shares will likely continue to fluctuate on these headlines.” In FX, the dollar dropped alongside commodity-linked currencies while the yen and gold climbed and bitcoin surged as safe havens were bid. The yen swung to a gain after Moderna Inc.’s chief executive Stephane Bancel was quoted by the Financial Times saying existing vaccines may not be effective enough to tackle the omicron variant. Commodity-linked currencies including the Aussie, kiwi and Norwegian krone all declined, underperforming the dollar In rates, treasuries held gains after flight-to-quality rally extended during Asia session and European morning, when bunds and gilts also benefited from haven flows. Stocks fell after Moderna CEO predicted waning vaccine efficacy. Intermediates lead gains, with yields richer by nearly 6bp across 7-year sector; 10-year Treasuries are richer by 5.6bp at 1.443%, vs 2.5bp for German 10-year, 4.7bp for U.K. Long-end may draw support from potential for month-end buying; Bloomberg Treasury index rebalancing was projected to extend duration by 0.11yr as of Nov. 22. Expectations of month-end flows may support the market, and Fed Chair Powell is slated to testify to a Senate panel.       In commodities, crude futures are off their late-Asia lows but remain in the red. WTI trades close to $68.30, stalling near Friday’s lows; Brent is off over 2.5% near $71.50. Spot gold rises ~$11 near $1,796/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME zinc outperforms, rising as much as 1.6%.  To the day ahead now, and the main central bank highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. In addition, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Williams, the ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos, and the BoE’s Mann. On the data side, we’ll get the flash November CPI reading for the Euro Area today, as well as the readings from France and Italy. In addition, there’s data on German unemployment for November, Canadian GDP for Q3, whilst in the US there’s the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure for November, the FHFA house price index for September, and the MNI Chicago PMI for November. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.2% to 4,595.00 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.4% to 460.47 MXAP down 0.5% to 190.51 MXAPJ down 0.6% to 620.60 Nikkei down 1.6% to 27,821.76 Topix down 1.0% to 1,928.35 Hang Seng Index down 1.6% to 23,475.26 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,563.89 Sensex down 0.2% to 57,122.74 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.2% to 7,255.97 Kospi down 2.4% to 2,839.01 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.36% Euro up 0.6% to $1.1362 Brent Futures down 3.0% to $71.26/bbl Brent Futures down 3.0% to $71.26/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,796.41 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.65% to 95.72 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Euro-area inflation surged to a record for the era of the single currency and exceeded all forecasts, adding to the European Central Bank’s challenge before a crucial meeting next month on the future of monetary stimulus. If the drop in government bond yields on Friday signaled how skittish markets were, fresh declines are leaving them looking no less nervous. One of Germany’s most prominent economists is urging the European Central Bank to be more transparent in outlining its exit from unprecedented monetary stimulus and argues that ruling out an end to negative interest rates next year may be a mistake. The Hong Kong dollar fell into the weak half of its trading band for the first time since December 2019 as the emergence of a new coronavirus variant hurt appetite for risk assets. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded mixed with early momentum seen following the rebound on Wall Street where risk assets recovered from Friday’s heavy selling pressure as liquidity conditions normalized post-Thanksgiving and after some of the Omicron fears abated given the mild nature in cases so far, while participants also digested a slew of data releases including better than expected Chinese Manufacturing PMI. However, markets were later spooked following comments from Moderna's CEO that existing vaccines will be much less effective against the Omicron variant. ASX 200 (+0.2%) was underpinned by early strength across its sectors aside from utilities and with gold miners also hampered by the recent lacklustre mood in the precious metal which failed to reclaim the USD 1800/oz level but remained in proximity for another attempt. In addition, disappointing Building Approvals and inline Net Exports Contribution data had little impact on sentiment ahead of tomorrow’s Q3 GDP release, although the index then faded most its gains after the comments from Moderna's CEO, while Nikkei 225 (-1.6%) was initially lifted by the recent rebound in USD/JPY but then slumped amid the broad risk aversion late in the session. Hang Seng (-1.6%) and Shanghai Comp. (Unch) were varied in which the mainland was kept afloat for most the session after a surprise expansion in Chinese Manufacturing PMI and a mild liquidity injection by the PBoC, with a central bank-backed publication also suggesting that recent open market operations demonstrates an ample liquidity goal, although Hong Kong underperformed on tech and property losses and with casino names pressured again as shares in junket operator Suncity slumped 37% on reopen from a trading halt in its first opportunity to react to the arrest of its Chairman. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially contained following early momentum in stocks and somewhat inconclusive 2yr JGB auction which showed better results from the prior, albeit at just a marginal improvement, but then was underpinned on a haven bid after fears of the Omicron variant later resurfaced. Top Asian News China’s Biggest Crypto Exchange Picks Singapore as Asia Base SoftBank-Backed Snapdeal Targets $250 Million IPO in 2022 Omicron Reaches Nations From U.K. to Japan in Widening Spread Slump in China Gas Shows Spreading Impact of Property Slowdown Major European bourses are on the backfoot (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.5%; Stoxx 600 -1.5%) as COVID fears again take the spotlight on month-end. APAC markets were firmer for a large part of the overnight session, but thereafter the risk-off trigger was attributed to comments from Moderna's CEO suggesting that existing vaccines will be much less effective against the Omicron COVID strain. On this, some caveats worth keeping in mind - the commentary on the potential need for a vaccine does come from a vaccine maker, who could benefit from further global inoculation, whilst data on the new variant remains sparse. Meanwhile, WSJ reported Regeneron's and Eli Lilly's COVID antiviral cocktails had lost efficacy vs the Omicron variant - however, the extent to which will need to be subject to further testing. Furthermore, producers appear to be confident that they will be able to adjust their products to accommodate the new variant, albeit the timeline for mass production will not be immediate. Nonetheless, the sullied sentiment has persisted throughout the European morning and has also seeped into US equity futures: the cyclically bias RTY (-1.7%) lags the ES (-1.0%) and YM (-1.3%), whilst the tech-laden NQ (-0.5%) is cushioned by the slump in yields. Back to Europe, broad-based losses are seen across the majors. Sectors tilt defensive but to a lesser extent than seen at the European cash open. Travel & Leisure, Oil & Gas, and Retail all sit at the bottom of the bunch amid the potential implications of the new COVID variant. Tech benefits from the yield play, which subsequently weighs on the Banking sector. The retail sector is also weighed on by Spanish giant Inditex (-4.3%) following a CEO reshuffle. In terms of other movers, Glencore (-0.9%) is softer after Activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners called on the Co. to spin off its coal business and divest non-core assets. In a letter seen by the FT, Glencore was also asked to improve corporate governance. In terms of equity commentary, analysts at JPM suggest investors should take a more nuanced view on reopening as the bank expects post-COVID normalisation to gradually asset itself over the course of 2022. The bank highlights hawkish central bank policy shifts as the main risk to their outlook. Thus, the analysts see European equities outperforming the US, whilst China is seen outpacing EMs. JPM targets S&P 500 at 5,050 (closed at 4,655.27 yesterday) by the end of 2022 with EPS at USD 240 – marking a 14% increase in annual EPS. Top European News Omicron Reaches Nations From U.K. to Japan in Widening Spread ECB Bosses Lack Full Diplomatic Immunity, EU’s Top Court Says Adler Keeps Investors Waiting for Answers on Fraud Claims European Gas Prices Surge Above 100 Euros With Eyes on Russia In FX, the Greenback may well have been grounded amidst rebalancing flows on the final trading day of November, as bank models are flagging a net sell signal, albeit relatively weak aside from vs the Yen per Cit’s index, but renewed Omicron concerns stoked by Moderna’s CEO casting considerable doubt about the efficacy of current vaccines against the new SA strain have pushed the Buck back down in any case. Indeed, the index has now retreated further from its 2021 apex set less than a week ago and through 96.000 to 95.662, with only the Loonie and Swedish Krona underperforming within the basket, and the Antipodean Dollars plus Norwegian Crown in wider G10 circles. Looking at individual pairings, Usd/Jpy has reversed from the high 113.00 area and breached a Fib just below the round number on the way down to circa 112.68 for a marginal new m-t-d low, while Eur/Usd is back above 1.1350 having scaled a Fib at 1.1290 and both have left decent option expiries some distance behind in the process (1.6 bn at 113.80 and 1.3 bn between 1.1250-55 respectively). Elsewhere, Usd/Chf is eyeing 0.9175 irrespective of a slightly weaker than forecast Swiss KoF indicator and Cable has bounced firmly from the low 1.3300 zone towards 1.3375 awaiting commentary from BoE’s Mann. NZD/AUD/CAD - As noted above, the tables have turned for the Kiwi, Aussie and Loonie along with risk sentiment in general, and Nzd/Usd is now pivoting 0.6800 with little help from a deterioration in NBNZ business confidence or a decline in the activity outlook. Similarly, Aud/Usd has been undermined by much weaker than forecast building approvals and a smaller than anticipated current account surplus, but mostly keeping hold of the 0.7100 handle ahead of Q3 GDP and Usd/Cad has shot up from around 1.2730 to top 1.2800 at one stage in advance of Canadian growth data for the prior quarter and month of September as oil recoils (WTI to an even deeper trough only cents off Usd 67/brl). Back down under, 1 bn option expiry interest at 1.0470 in Aud/Nzd could well come into play given that the cross is currently hovering near the base of a 1.0483-39 range. SCANDI/EM - The aforementioned downturn in risk appetite after Monday’s brief revival has hit the Sek and Nok hard, but the latter is also bearing the brunt of Brent’s latest collapse to the brink of Usd 70/brl at worst, while also taking on board that the Norges Bank plans to refrain from foreign currency selling through December having stopped midway through this month. The Rub is also feeling the adverse effect of weaker crude prices and ongoing geopolitical angst to the extent that hawkish CBR rhetoric alluding to aggressive tightening next month is hardly keeping it propped, but the Cnh and Cny continue to defy the odds or gravity in wake of a surprise pop back above 50.0 in China’s official manufacturing PMI. Conversely, the Zar is struggling to contain losses sub-16.0000 vs the Usd on SA virus-related factors even though Gold is approaching Usd 1800/oz again, while the Try is striving to stay within sight of 13.0000 following a slender miss in Turkish Q3 y/y GDP. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are once again under pressure amid the aforementioned COVID jitters threatening the demand side of the equation, albeit the market remains in a state of uncertainty given how little is known about the new variant ahead of the OPEC+ confab. It is still unclear at this point in time which route OPEC+ members will opt for, but seemingly the feasible options on the table are 1) a pause in output hikes, 2) a smaller output hike, 3) maintaining current output hikes. Energy journalists have suggested the group will likely be influenced by oil price action, but nonetheless, the findings of the JTC and JMMC will be closely watched for the group's updated forecasts against the backdrop of COVID and the recently coordinated SPR releases from net oil consumers – a move which the US pledged to repeat if needed. Elsewhere, Iranian nuclear talks were reportedly somewhat constructive – according to the Russian delegate – with working groups set to meet today and tomorrow regarding the sanctions on Iran. This sentiment, however, was not reciprocated by Western sources (cited by WSJ), which suggested there was no clarity yet on whether the teams were ready for serious negotiations and serious concessions. WTI Jan resides around session lows near USD 67.50/bbl (vs high USD 71.22/bbl), while Brent Feb dipped under USD 71/bbl (vs high USD 84.56/bb). Over to metals, spot gold remains underpinned in European trade by the cluster of DMA's under USD 1,800/oz – including the 100 (USD 1,792/oz), 200 (USD 1,791/oz) and 50 (1,790/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper is modestly softer around the USD 9,500/t mark, whilst Dalian iron ore futures meanwhile rose over 6% overnight, with traders citing increasing Chinese demand. US Event Calendar 9am: 3Q House Price Purchase Index QoQ, prior 4.9% 9am: Sept. FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.2%, prior 1.0% 9am: Sept. Case Shiller Composite-20 YoY, est. 19.30%, prior 19.66%; S&P/CS 20 City MoM SA, est. 1.20%, prior 1.17% 9:45am: Nov. MNI Chicago PMI, est. 67.0, prior 68.4 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 111.0, prior 113.8 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Present Situation, prior 147.4 10am: Nov. Conf. Board Expectations, prior 91.3 Central Banks 10am: Powell, Yellen Testify Before Senate Panel on CARES Act Relief 10:30am: Fed’s Williams gives remarks at NY Fed food- insecurity event 1pm: Fed’s Clarida Discusses Fed Independence DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Just as we go to print markets are reacting negatively to an interview with the Moderna CEO in the FT that has just landed where he said that with regards to Omicron, “There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level... we had with Delta…… I think it’s going to be a material drop (efficacy). I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to . . . are like ‘this is not going to be good’.”” This is not really new news relative to the last 3-4 days given what we know about the new mutation but the market is picking up on the explicit comments. In response S&P futures have gone from slightly up to down just over -0.5% and Treasury yields immediately dipped -4bps to 1.46%. The Nikkei has erased gains and is down around -1% and the Hang Seng is c.-1.8%. This is breaking news so check your screens after you read this. In China the official November PMI data came in stronger than expected with the Manufacturing PMI at 50.1 (49.7 consensus vs 49.2 previous) and the non-manufacturing PMI at 52.3 (51.5 consensus vs 52.4 previous). The negative headlines above as we go to print followed a market recovery yesterday as investors hoped that the Omicron variant wouldn’t prove as bad as initially feared. In reality, the evidence is still incredibly limited on this question, and nothing from the Moderna CEO overnight changes that. However the more positive sentiment was also evident from the results of our flash poll in yesterday’s EMR where we had 1569 responses so very many thanks. The poll showed that just 10% thought it would still be the biggest topic in financial markets by the end of the year, with 30% instead thinking it’ll largely be forgotten about. The other 60% thought it would still be an issue but only of moderate importance. So if that’s correct and our respondents are a fair reflection of broader market sentiment, then it points to some big downside risks ahead if we get notable bad news on the variant. For the record I would have been with the majority with tendencies towards the largely forgotten about answer. So I will be as off-side as much as most of you on the variant downside risk scenario. When I did a similar poll on Evergrande 2 and a half months ago, only 8% thought it would be significantly impacting markets a month later with 78% in aggregate thinking limited mention/impact, and 15% thinking it would have no impact. So broadly similar responses and back then the 15% were most correct although the next 78% weren’t far off. In terms of the latest developments yesterday, we’re still waiting to find out some of the key pieces of information about this new strain, including how effective vaccines still are, and about the extent of any increased risk of transmission, hospitalisation and death. Nevertheless, countries around the world are continuing to ramp up their own responses as they await this information. President Biden laid out the US strategy for tackling Omicron in a public address yesterday, underscoring the variant was a cause for concern rather than panic. He noted travel bans from certain jurisdictions would remain in place to buy authorities time to evaluate the variant, but did not anticipate that further travel bans or domestic lockdowns would be implemented, instead urging citizens to get vaccinated or a booster shot. Over in Europe, Bloomberg reported that EU leaders were discussing whether to have a virtual summit on Friday about the issue, and Poland moved to toughen up their own domestic restrictions, with a 50% capacity limit on restaurants, hotels, gyms and cinemas. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel and Vice Chancellor Scholz will be meeting with state premiers today, whilst the UK government’s vaccination committee recommended that every adult be eligible for a booster shot, rather than just the over-40s at present. Boosters have done a tremendous job in dramatically reducing cases in the elder cohort in the UK in recent weeks so one by product of Omicron is that it may accelerate protection in a wider age group everywhere. Assuming vaccines have some impact on Omicron this could be a positive development, especially if symptoms are less bad. Markets recovered somewhat yesterday, with the S&P 500 gaining +1.32% to recover a large portion of Friday’s loss. The index was driven by mega-cap tech names, with the Nasdaq up +1.88% and small cap stocks underperforming, with the Russell 2000 down -0.18%, so the market wasn’t completely pricing out omicron risks by any means. Nevertheless, Covid-specific names performed how you would expect given the improved sentiment; stay-at-home trades that outperformed Friday fell, including Zoom (-0.56%), Peloton (-4.35%), and HelloFresh (-0.8%), while Moderna (+11.80%) was the biggest winner following the weekend news that a reformulated vaccine could be available in early 2022. Elsewhere, Twitter (-2.74%) initially gained after it was announced CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey would be stepping down, but trended lower throughout the rest of the day. The broader moves put the index back in positive territory for the month as we hit November’s last trading day today. Europe saw its own bounceback too, with the STOXX 600 up +0.69%. Over in rates, the partial unwind of Friday’s moves was even smaller, with yields on 10yr Treasuries moving up +2.6bps to 1.50%, driven predominantly by real rates, as inflation breakevens were a touch narrower across the curve. One part of the curve that didn’t retrace Friday’s move was the short end, where markets continued to push Fed rate hikes back ever so slightly, with the first full hike now being priced for September (though contracts as early as May still price some meaningful probability of Fed hikes). We may see some further movements today as well, with Fed Chair Powell set to appear before the Senate Banking Committee at 15:00 London time, where he may well be asked about whether the Fed plans to accelerate the tapering of their asset purchases although it’s hard to believe he’ll go too far with any guidance with the Omicron uncertainty. The Chair’s brief planned testimony was published on the Fed’s website last night. It struck a slightly more hawkish tone on inflation, noting that the Fed’s forecast was for elevated inflation to persist well into next year and recognition that high inflation imposes burdens on those least able to handle them. On omicron, the testimony predictably stated it posed risks that could slow the economy’s progress, but tellingly on the inflation front, it could intensify supply chain disruptions. The real fireworks will almost certainly come in the question and answer portion of the testimony. The bond moves were more muted in Europe though, with yields on 10yr bunds (+2.0bps), OATs (+1.0bps) and BTPs (+0.4bps) only seeing a modest increase. Crude oil prices also didn’t bounce back with as much rigor as equities. Brent gained +0.99% while WTI futures increased +2.64%. They are back down -1 to -1.5% this morning. Elsewhere in DC, Senator Joe Manchin noted that Democrats could raise the debt ceiling on their own through the reconciliation process, but indicated a preference for the increase not to be included in the build back better bill, for which his support still seems lukewarm. We’re approaching crucial deadlines on the debt ceiling and financing the federal government, so these headlines should become more commonplace over the coming days. There were some further developments on the inflation front yesterday as Germany reported that inflation had risen to +6.0% in November (vs. +5.5% expected) on the EU-harmonised measure, and up from +4.6% in October. The German national measure also rose to +5.2% (vs. +5.0% expected), which was the highest since 1992. Speaking of Germany, Bloomberg reported that the shortlist for the Bundesbank presidency had been narrowed down to 4 candidates, which included Isabel Schnabel of the ECB’s Executive Board, and Joachim Nagel, who’s currently the Deputy Head of the Banking Department at the Bank for International Settlements. Today we’ll likely get some further headlines on inflation as the flash estimate for the entire Euro Area comes out, as well as the numbers for France and Italy. There wasn’t much in the way of other data yesterday, though UK mortgage approvals fell to 67.2k in October (vs. 70.0k expected), which is their lowest level since June 2020. Separately, US pending home sales were up +7.5% in October (vs. +1.0% expected), whilst the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing activity index for November unexpectedly fell to 11.8 (vs. 15.0 expected). Finally, the European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator for the Euro Area dipped to 117.5 in November as expected, its weakest level in 6 months. To the day ahead now, and the main central bank highlight will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. In addition, we’ll hear from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, the Fed’s Williams, the ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos, and the BoE’s Mann. On the data side, we’ll get the flash November CPI reading for the Euro Area today, as well as the readings from France and Italy. In addition, there’s data on German unemployment for November, Canadian GDP for Q3, whilst in the US there’s the Conference Board’s consumer confidence measure for November, the FHFA house price index for September, and the MNI Chicago PMI for November. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/30/2021 - 07:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 30th, 2021

Futures, Oil, Cryptos Soar As Omicron Panic Fades

Futures, Oil, Cryptos Soar As Omicron Panic Fades It appears that Goldman was right again. As we reported yesterday, the bank's traders (not the worthless research analysts whose output is evaluated by the pound not P&L) blasted a report to their best clients, claiming that "we can have reasonable degree of confidence that this mutation is unlikely to be more malicious and that the existing vaccines will most likely continue to be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths. As such, while we would monitor the situation in Gauteng closely over the next month, we do not think that the new variant is sufficient reason to make major portfolio changes." That position was bolstered overnight by two of South Africa's top doctors (not worthless propaganda quacks like Anthony Fauci) including the one who first discovered the so-called "Omicron", said that the latest strain was "Extremely mild" and speculated that the numerous mutations in the spike protein "destabilize" the virus. And at least in early Sunday night trading, after suffering their worst post-Thanksgiving plunge since 1941, futures are euphorically ramping higher, unwinding a substantial portion of the Friday puke, with Eminis trading as high as 4630 after trading as low as 4577 on Friday... ... oil surging, with WTI spiking as much as 5.7% even if it clearly still has a ways to go recover its Friday losses when WTI plunged $10 as international travel restrictions were reimposed by many countries and airline stocks plummeted. And yet, as Goldman explained on Friday, even with a worst Omicron case scenario, Brent below $80 is a steal here: Meanwhile, in FX we are seeing safe havens such as the Yen and Swiss Franc slide more than 0.2%, with epicenter pairs like the ZAR surging. Peter Tchir, head of macro at Academy Securities Inc., said he’s watching emerging-market currency and bond markets, and Bitcoin, “as leading indicators of potentially more risky asset unwinds to come.” Well, in that case Peter should be happy because in in crypto both bitcoin... ... and ethereum... ... are storming higher, maybe because they are finally realizing that they live in the best of all worlds, one where new Omicron lockdowns would lead to much more money printing (bullish for cryptos which are a hedge to central bank idiocy) while the quick elimination of negative Omicron consequences would just lead to more inflation (also bullish for cryptos which have emerged as inflation hedges). Still, confusion remained. “We really need some more answers to figure out the impact on growth,” said Priya Misra, global head of rates strategy at TD Securities. “Risk assets are pricing in uncertainty.” Naturally, Moderna’s chief medical officer - sniffing out an opportunity to buy an even bigger yacht - said a reformulated shot to combat the new strain could be available early in the new year. In other words, everything that has been done so far has been for nothing, because science, and because let's do more of what hasn't worked to fight what is coming. Tyler Durden Sun, 11/28/2021 - 18:51.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 28th, 2021

Anthony Scaramucci says the COVID-driven sell-off is a buying opportunity in stocks and crypto — and calls it a "mini March of 2020"

The SkyBridge Capital boss said the Federal Reserve is now less likely to tighten aggressively, making this plunge in stocks a buying opportunity. Anthony Scaramucci runs investment company SkyBridge Capital.The Washington Post/Getty Images Anthony Scaramucci said Friday's brutal selloff is a buying opportunity for stocks and crypto. Stocks slumped as investors ran for cover after a new COVID-19 variant was detected in South Africa. Yet Scaramucci said the variant may inspire the Fed to be more patient about an interest rate hike. Friday's brutal market sell-off is a buying opportunity for both stocks and crypto assets, Anthony Scaramucci of investment firm SkyBridge Capital said on CNBC.Global stocks and oil prices cratered Friday as investors ran for cover following the discovery of a new, highly mutated COVID-19 strain in South Africa, which has raised the prospect of further lockdowns and travel bans. The S&P 500 was last down 2%, while oil futures dropped more than 10%.Scaramucci, who was briefly President Donald Trump's White House communications director, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the Federal Reserve is now less likely to tighten monetary policy as aggressively as it had planned."If the Fed is not tapering, this is a buying opportunity," he said, referring to the central bank cutting back on monthly asset purchases. "It's Black Friday, and things are on sale."The Skybridge Capital boss added that he sees the situation as a "mini March of 2020." Markets saw a steep sell-off as coronavirus first hit the world economy in the spring of last year, after which stocks rose again.Scaramucci, a long-time bitcoin bull, said the declines in crypto represented a good chance to scoop up digital assets on the cheap. Bitcoin was last down 7.9% at $54,391 on Coinbase, while ether was down 9.1% at $4,066."If you believe in the long-term fundamentals as we do, this is the time to be buying," he said."I just think this is a risk-off situation right now. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies being volatile, that's taking people out of the game. That's also washing out some of the leverage, which I think sets up a pretty nice first quarter."A strong "buy-the-dip" mentality has set in among institutional investors and retail traders alike over the last year and a half.Stocks suffered their biggest falls since 1987 in March 2020, but huge stimulus packages from governments and central banks have since helped set them soaring. The S&P 500 has roughly doubled from its March 2020 low.However, the outlook clouded over on Friday as investors were left in the dark as to the infectiousness and lethality of the new coronavirus variant, known as B.1.1.259.The UK has moved to curb air travel from the affected southern African countries, with the European Union likely to follow suit.Investors are concerned that the variant could cause the re-imposition of lockdowns and mark the start of another recession for the global economy. Scientists are racing to find out more about the new strain, with few firm details as of yet.Read more: Top money managers and wealth funds pay to see what hidden gems are on Jon Boyar's buy list. Here are 3 stocks he says are set to soar at least 38% or more.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 26th, 2021

Bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz warns Jerome Powell"s second Fed stint could bring pain for crypto prices

Jerome Powell may now be freer to raise interest rates, which would hurt risky assets like bitcoin, Mike Novogratz said. Mike Novogratz is a big name in the crypto world.Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images Jerome Powell's second term as Fed chair may bring some pain for crypto assets, Mike Novogratz has said. Novogratz said Powell may now feel freer to tackle inflation by tightening monetary policy. The bitcoin bull said this would slow all assets down, including crypto and tech stocks. Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz has said Fed Chair Jerome Powell could be about to slow down the crypto market now he's been nominated for a second term.Novogratz told CNBC on Wednesday the "macro story has changed a little bit" and that "people are getting pretty bearish" on cryptocurrencies."Powell gets reappointed, and so maybe it allows him to act more like a central banker than a guy that wants to be reappointed," Novogratz said on CNBC's "Crypto Night In America.""And we have inflation showing up, you know, in pretty bad ways in the US," he said. "And so we can see, is the Fed going to have to move a little faster?"That would slow all assets down. It would slow the Nasdaq down. It would slow crypto down, if we have to start raising rates much faster than we thought."President Joe Biden nominated Powell to serve for a second term as Fed chair earlier this week.Powell has overseen the biggest monetary stimulus in US history to help the economy cope with the coronavirus crisis.But the Fed is now grappling with the strongest inflation in 31 years. It has already trimmed the rate at which it is purchasing bonds, and minutes from its last monetary policy decision, released Wednesday, showed officials are open to dialling down quantitative easing even faster.Read more: Here's a bank-by-bank rundown of how Wall Street is getting in on the crypto craze, from bitcoin futures trading to digital-asset teamsFinancial markets show investors now think it's the Fed could raise interest rates in May, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as ether and dogecoin are among the many assets that have been lifted by the flood of money from the Fed in the last year and a half.Novogratz has previously predicted bitcoin would hit $100,000 by the end of the year, but said that now looks unlikely. Bitcoin was up 3.83% on Thursday to $58,667 on the Bitstamp exchange.However, the former hedge fund manager, who now runs crypto investment company Galaxy Digital, said there is still lots to be excited about in the world of digital assets."The amount of institutions Galaxy sees moving into this space is staggering. I was on the phone with one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world today, and they've made the decision on a go-forward basis to start putting money into crypto. I've had the same conversations with big pension funds in the United States," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2021

Citi (C) to Add Staff in Crypto Unit to Boost Market Exposure

Citigroup (C) is set to hire 100 additional people to its digital assets division in an effort to enhance its presence in the cryptocurrency space. In an effort to strengthen and enhance its presence in the digital asset space, Citigroup Inc. C is set to hire 100 additional people to its blockchain and digital assets division. The move comes amid increasing institutional investor demand for exposure to the cryptocurrency market.Per a memo shared by Citigroup with CoinDesk, the company is appointing Puneet Singhvi as head of the division of the Institutional Clients Group (“ICG”) segment, which will come into effect on Dec 1, 2021.Singhvi will now report to Emily Turner, who is in charge of business development at the ICG. Shobhit Maini and Vasant Viswanathan will co-head Global Markets' blockchain and digital assets.Singhvi was the head of Citigroup’s blockchain and digital assets division for Global Markets.Citigroup has been contemplating offering digital assets to clients.Turner stated, “Prior to offering any products and services, we are studying these markets, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape and associated risks in order to meet our own regulatory frameworks and supervisory expectations.”Citigroup, which has been long planning to enter the crypto space, became one of the latest global banks to offer digital assets services for its wealthy clients when in June 2021, it announced the launch of the business offshoot — Digital Assets Group.The division, part of the bank’s wealth management division, focuses on cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, stablecoins and central bank digital currencies.Notably, Citigroup’s long-term strategy to increase fee-based business mix and shrink its non-core assets bodes well for long-term growth. The bank has been investing in growth opportunities across wealth and commercial banking, treasury and trade solutions, and securities service businesses to grow fee revenues across the ICG segment.The efforts are expected to bolster Citigroup’s position in the booming digital industry and help the bank diversify its revenue stream.Over the past year, shares of Citigroup have rallied 19.3% compared with 43.7% growth recorded by the industry. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchCitigroup currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Our TakeUntil July 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency did not grant permission to banks to hold cryptocurrencies. The amendment post-July gave banks the go-ahead to begin exploring cryptocurrency operations.In fact, a few years ago, banks were also not very interested in the crypto and digital asset space. But now, after witnessing an increase in demand for the emerging market, banks and financial institutions are slowly embracing cryptocurrencies.This July, JPMorgan JPM became the first major bank in the United States to allow its financial advisors to give all its wealth-management clients access to cryptocurrency funds. Next month, it came to light that JPMorgan was offering its Private Bank wealth management customers access to an in-house passively managed bitcoin fund. The offering was being made in partnership with bitcoin powerhouse New York Digital Investment Group.JPMorgan has now launched a division focused on digital assets named Onyx. The Wall Street giant has even launched its own digital currency, JPM Coin.Among others, Goldman Sachs GS launched trading with non-deliverable forwards, i.e. derivatives tied to Bitcoin’s price, which will be cash-settled. Goldman Sachs is shielding itself from the cryptocurrency’s fluctuations by trading Bitcoin futures in block trades on CME Group Inc., with Cumberland DRW as its trading partner.The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation BK has been working on offering custodial services to clients. This February, BNY Mellon became the first global custody bank to announce plans to form a new unit called Digital Assets to help its institutional clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets. 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 The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS): Free Stock Analysis Report JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): Free Stock Analysis Report Citigroup Inc. (C): Free Stock Analysis Report The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 24th, 2021

US regulators will issue guidance for banks dealing with cryptocurrencies in 2022

They analyzed crypto activities banks may be interested in such as crypto custody, sales of cryptoassets, and holding these on their balance sheets. Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images US regulators said they plan to issue guidance next year on the role of traditional banks when it comes to dealing with cryptos. The agencies include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the OCC. They analyzed digital asset activities banks may be interested in such as custody and sales of crypto assets. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. US regulators said they plan to issue guidance next year on the role of traditional banks in cryptocurrencies to promote consumer protection and compliance.The Federal Reserve's board of governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency revealed they recently conducted a series of interagency "policy sprints" focused on digital asset activities banks may be interested in, according to a joint statement Tuesday. They include crypto custody, sales of crypto assets, loans collateralized by crypto assets, holding these on their balance sheets, and stablecoins, among others.Thus far, the three federal agencies said they have focused on developing a consistent crypto vocabulary, identifying key risks related to safety and compliance, and analyzing the applicability of existing regulations and guidance."Throughout 2022, the agencies plan to provide greater clarity on whether certain activities related to cryptoassets conducted by banking organizations are legally permissible, and expectations for safety and soundness, consumer protection, and compliance with existing laws," they said in a statement dated November 23.In May, the three agencies first announced the formation of an interagency team for crypto regulation, The Block reported.Despite the lack of regulatory clarity, major US banks have not shied away from offering services related to digital assets.US Bank in October launched a crypto custody service for fund managers amid growing demand. JPMorgan Chase in July allowed all its wealth management clients access to crypto funds. Citigroup, a month after, announced it is considering trading bitcoin futures, following Goldman Sachs's lead in May.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2021

Oil & Gas Stock Roundup: ConocoPhillips & Eni Grab the Headlines This Week

Apart from ConocoPhillips (COP) and Eni (E), there was news regarding TechnipFMC (FTI), ExxonMobil (XOM) and Viper Energy Partners (VNOM) during the week. It was a week wherein oil prices lost some more steam but natural gas futures reclaimed the $5 threshold.On the headline front, upstream biggie ConocoPhillips COP vowed to go ahead with its contentious Willow development project in Alaska, while Italy’s energy behemoth Eni SpA E launched a partnership to develop biofuels from agricultural products. News related to TechnipFMC plc FTI, ExxonMobil XOM and Viper Energy Partners VNOM also made it to the top stories.Overall, it was a mixed seven-day period for the sector. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost 5.8% to close at $76.10 per barrel, while natural gas prices rose 5.7% to end at $5.065 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). In particular, the oil market extended its decline from the previous three weeks.Coming back to the week ended Nov 19, oil prices dipped as investors looked past the Energy Information Administration’s bullish inventory report and turned their attention to the possible release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (“SPR”) into the commercial market.In an all-out effort to keep a lid on soaring pump prices, President Biden could reportedly order an emergency drawdown of oil from the SPR for a little relief. The SPR is a massive supply of government crude that is used in unforeseen circumstances. There also seemed to be some rumors that China and the United States might be mulling a joint release of supplies to clamp down on high fuel prices. In fact, it’s the SPR story (or the possibility of more oil) that sent the market lower yesterday despite an encouraging government release.Meanwhile, natural gas finished up despite a higher-than-expected increase in supplies. The uptick in price is the result of an encouraging weather outlook (and the subsequent pickup in heating demand) and the ongoing strength in U.S. LNG exports.Recap of the Week’s Most-Important Stories1.  ConocoPhillips will proceed with its massive Willow development project on the Alaska North Slope, despite a recent court ruling that revoked the project’s approval.ConocoPhillips — carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) — is the largest crude producer in Alaska. It has been a leader in oil and gas exploration and development in the state for decades. Willow holds about 600 million barrels of recoverable oil. If developed, the project is expected to produce more than 160,000 barrels per day (bpd). It will become the westernmost operating oil field on the North Slope.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.ConocoPhillips cited that the legal setbacks have not affected the Willow timeline. COP plans to spend $4-$6 billion on the Willow project. The upstream player continues its technical planning and cost analysis to reach a final investment decision next year. (ConocoPhillips to Proceed With the Willow Oil Project)2.   Eni formed a joint venture with the BF Group partner to develop renewable agricultural products for the production of biofuels. The initiative is part of its plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The companies, through their 50/50 joint venture, will develop projects to explore and examine agricultural seeds from oil plants, which will be used as feedstock at Eni's bio-refineries.Eni produces advanced biofuels at its bio-refineries in Gela and Venice Porto Marghera. Advanced biofuels play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. From 2023, Eni will no longer use palm oil in its manufacturing procedures.Beside this, the agreement enables Eni to acquire a minority stake in the subsidiary of BF Bonifiche Ferraresi, which is the largest Italy-based farm that utilizes agricultural surface area. The partnership marks Eni’s entry into BF's share capital through a reserved capital increase. (Eni, BF Form Joint Venture to Develop Renewable Products)3   At its 2021 Analyst Day last week, oilfield services provider TechnipFMC presented a summary of its 2025 operational targets. The company’s intermediate-term financial performance will be largely driven by its Subsea unit, which constitutes some 85% of its adjusted EBITDA and 95% of backlog. FTI also looks poised to prioritize shareholder distribution and improve free cash flow conversion.TechnipFMC said it expected subsea inbound orders (including services) to reach nearly $8 billion by 2025 — in line with or eclipsing the 2019 peak levels. In particular, FTI sees subsea services orders to grow approximately 35% (from $1.1 billion this year) through the middle of this decade.Subsea revenues are set to reach $7 billion during that time frame, while adjusted EBITDA is likely to jump more than 85% from the 2021 guidance midpoint to $1.05 billion. The adjusted EBITDA margin is forecast to be around 15%, expanding from the 10.5% targeted for 2021, primarily built on the company’s increased productivity and utilization. (All You Need to Know About TechnipFMC's Analyst Day)4.   The latest oil and gas lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico successfully attracted interest from several energy companies. With rising energy prices amid renewed demand, energy companies have sufficient incentives to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.ExxonMobil was one of the top bidders at the federal oil lease auction in the Gulf of Mexico. XOM bid for about one-third of the tracts for $14.9 million, making it the highest bidder by acreage.ExxonMobil submitted bids for 94 drilling leases in shallow waters along the Texas coastline. Most analysts opine that XOM’s acquisition of shallow water blocks could be a possible initiative for its carbon capture project in the region. The proposed facility will store 50 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030 and double that by 2040. (Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale Draws a Combined $192M From Bidders)5.  Viper Energy Partners announced that the board of directors of its General Partner recently raised the authorized amount of its common unit repurchase program to $150 million.Viper Energy Partners intends to employ its cash on hand, free operating cashflows and proceeds from assets divestments for repurchasing units under the buyback program. VNOM added that the authorization has been extended indefinitely.Viper Energy Partners also recently rewarded unitholders by increasing cash distribution. VNOM increased cash distribution sequentially by 15% to 38 cents per unit. This reflects the royalty-focused oil and gas player’s strong focus on returning capital to unit holders. Banking on its strong operations, VNOM is also focusing on reducing debt load. (Viper Energy Raises Unit Buyback Plan Authorization)Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some major oil and gas players over the past week and during the last six months.Company    Last Week    Last 6 MonthsXOM                 -4.9%               +3%CVX                  -0.9%              +7.5%COP                 -3.8%               +25.1%OXY                  -9.2%               +15.9%SLB                  -8.3%               -6%RIG                  -12.6%             -18.1%VLO                  -8.7%               -10.5%MPC                 -7.6%               +1.2%The Energy Select Sector SPDR — a popular way to track energy companies — was down 5% last week. But over the past six months, the sector tracker has increased 4.8%.What’s Next in the Energy World?As the global oil consumption outlook strengthens amid tightening fundamentals, market participants will closely track the regular releases to watch for signs that could further validate the upward momentum. In this context, the U.S. government’s statistics on oil and natural gas — one of the few solid indicators that come out regularly — will be on energy traders' radar. Data on rig count from the oilfield service firm Baker Hughes, which is a pointer to trends in U.S. crude production, is closely followed too. News related to coronavirus vaccine approval/rollout/distribution will be of utmost importance.  Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 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 Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report Eni SpA (E): Free Stock Analysis Report TechnipFMC plc (FTI): Free Stock Analysis Report Viper Energy Partners LP (VNOM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 23rd, 2021

Transcript: Edwin Conway

   The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edwin Conway, BlackRock Alternative Investors, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS:… Read More The post Transcript: Edwin Conway appeared first on The Big Picture.    The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Edwin Conway, BlackRock Alternative Investors, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, man, I have an extra special guest. Edwin Conway runs all of alternatives for BlackRocks. His title is Global Head of Alternative Investors and he covers everything from structured credit to real estate hedge funds to you name it. The group runs over $300 billion and he has been a driving force into making this a substantial portion of Blackrock’s $9 trillion in total assets. The opportunity set that exists for alternatives even for a firm like Blackrock that specializes in public markets is potentially huge and Blackrock wants a big piece of it. I found this conversation to be absolutely fascinating and I think you will also. So with no further ado, my conversation with Blackrock’s Head of Alternatives, Edwin Conway. MALE VOICEOVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is Edwin Conway. He is the Global Head of Blackrock’s Alternative Investors which runs about $300 billion in assets. He is a team of over 1,100 professionals to help him manage those assets. Blackrock’s Global alternatives include businesses that cover real estate infrastructure, hedge funds private equity, and credit. He is a senior managing director for BlackRock. Edwin Conway, welcome to Bloomberg. EDWIN CONWAY, GLOBAL HEAD OF ALTERNATIVE INVESTORS, BLACKROCK: Barry, thank you for having me. RITHOLTZ: So, you’ve been in the financial services industry for a long time. You were at Credit Suisse and Blackstone and now you’re at BlackRock. Tell us what the process was like breaking into the industry? CONWAY: It’s an interesting on, Barry. I grew up in a very small town in the middle of Ireland. And the breakthrough to the industry was one of more coincident as opposed to purpose. I enjoyed the game of rugby for many years and through an introduction while at the University, in University College Dublin in Ireland, had a chance to play rugby at a quite a – quite a decent level and get to know people that were across the industry. It was really through and internship and the suggestion, I’ve given my focus on business and financing things that the financial services sector may be a great place to traverse and get to know. And literally through rugby connections, been part of a good school, I had an opportunity to really understand what the service sector, in many respects, could provide to clients and became absolutely intrigued with it. And what – was it my primary ambition in life to be in the financial services sector? I can definitively say no, but through the circumstance of a game that I love to play and be part of, I was introduced to, through an internship, and actually fell in love with it. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. And alternative investments at Blackrock almost seems like a contradiction in terms. Most of us tend to think of Blackrock as the giant $9 trillion public markets firm best known for ETFs and indices. Alternatives seems to be one of the fastest-growing groups within the firm. This was $50 billion just a few years ago, it’s now over 300 billion. How has this become such a fast-growing part of BlackRock? CONWAY: When you look at the various facets which you introduced at the start, Barry, we’ve actually been an alternatives – will be of 30 years now. Now, the scale, as you know, which you can operate on the beta side of business, far surpasses that on the alpha side. For us, throughout the years, this was very much about how can we deliver investment excellence to our clients and performance? Therefore, going an opportunity somewhere else to explore an alpha opportunity in alternatives. And I think being so connected to our clients understanding, that this pivots was absolutely taking place at only 30 years ago but in a very pronounced way today, you know, we continue to invest in this business to support those ambitions. They’re clearly seeing this as the world of going through a tremendous amount of transformation and with some of the challenges, quite frankly, in the traditional asset classes, being able to leverage at BlackRock, the Blackrock muscle to really explore these alpha opportunities across the various alternative asset classes that in our mind wasn’t imperative. And the imperative, really, is from the firm’s perspective and if you look at our purpose, it’s to serve the client. So the need was coming from them. The necessity to have alternatives and their whole portfolio was very – was very much growing in prominence. And it’s taken us 30 years to build this journey and I think, Barry, quite frankly, we’re far from being done. As you look at the industry, the demand is going to continue to grow. So, I think you could expect to see from us a continued investment in the space because we don’t believe you can live without alternatives in today’s world. RITHOLTZ: That’s really – that’s really interesting. So let’s dive a little deeper into the product strategy for alternatives which you are responsible for at BlackRock. Our audiences is filled with potential investors. Tell them a little bit about what that strategy is. CONWAY: So we’re – I think as you mentioned, we’re in excess of 300 billion today and when we started this business, it was less about building a moat around private equity or real estate. I think Larry Fink’s and Rob Kapito’s vision was how do we build a platform to allow us to be relevant to our clients across the various alternative asset classes but also within the – within the confines of what they are permitted to do on a year-by-year basis. So, to always be relevant irrespective of where they are in their journey from respect of liabilities, demand for liquidity, demand for returns, so we took a different approach. I think, Barry, to most, it was around how do we scale into the business across, like you said, real estate equity and debt, infrastructure equity and debt. I mean, we think of that as the real assets platform of our business. Then you take our private equity capabilities both in primary investing, secondary et cetera, and then you have private credits and a very significant hedge fund platforms. So we think all of these have a real role and depending on clients liquidities and risk appetite, our goal was, to over the years, really build in to this to allow ourselves for this challenging needs that our clients have. I think as an industry, right, and over the many years alternatives have been in existence, this is been about return enhancement initially. I think, fundamentally, the changes around the receptivity to the role of alternatives in a client’s portfolio has really changed. So, we’ve watched it, Barry, from this is we’re in the pursuit of a very total return or absolute return type of an objective to now resilience in our portfolio, yield an income. And so things that probably weren’t perceived as valuable in the past because the traditional asset classes were playing a more profound role, alternatives have stepped up in – in many respects in the need to provide more than just total return. So, we’re taking the approach of how do you have a more holistic approach to this? How do we really build a global multi-alternatives capability and try to partner and I think that’s the important work for us. Try to partner with our clients in a way that we can deliver that outperformance but delivered in a way that probably our clients haven’t been used to in this industry before. Because unfortunately, as we know, it has had its challenges with regard to secrecy, transparency, and so many other aspects. We need to help the industry mature. And really that was our ambition. Put our client’s needs first, build around that and really be relevant in all aspects of what we’re doing or trying to accomplish on behalf of the people that they support and represent. RITHOLTZ: So, we’ll talk a little bit about transparency and secrecy and those sorts of things later. But right now, I have to ask what I guess is kind of an obvious question. This growth that you’ve achieved within Blackrock for nonpublic asset allocation within a portfolio, what is this coming at expense of? Are these dollars that are being moved from public assets into private assets or you just competing with other private investors? CONWAY: It’s really both. What – what you are seeing from our clients – if I take a step back, today, the institutional client community and you think about the – the retirement conundrum we’re all facing around the world. It’s such an awful challenge when you think how ill-prepared people are for that eventual stepping back from the workplace and then you know longevity is your friend, but can also be a very, very difficult thing to obviously live with if you’re not prepared for retirement. The typical pension plan today are allocating about 25 percent to 28 percent in alternatives. Predominantly private market. What they’re telling us is that’s increasing quite substantially going forward. But you know, the funding for that alpha pursue for that diversification and that yield is coming from fixed-income assets. It’s coming from equity assets. So there’s a real rebalancing that’s been taking place over the past number of years. And quite frankly, the evolution, and I think the innovation that’s taken place particularly in the past 10 years, alternatives has been really profound. So the days where you just invest in any global funds still exist. But now you can concentrate your efforts on sector exposure, industry exposures, geographic exposures, and I think the – the menu of things our clients can now have access to has just been so greatly enhanced at and the benefit is that but I think in some – in some respects, Barry, the next question is with all of those choices, how do you build the right portfolio for our client’s needs knowing that each one of our client’s needs are different? So, I would say it absolutely coming from the public side. We’re very thankful. Those that had a multiyear journey with us in the public side are now allocating capital to is now the private side to because I do think the – the industry given that change, given that it evolution and given the complexity of these private assets, our clients are looking to, quite frankly, do more with fewer managers because of the complexion of the industry and complexity that comes with it. RITHOLTZ: Quite – quite interesting. (UNKNOWN): And attention RIA’s. Are your clients asking for crypto? At interactive brokers, advisers can now offer crypto to their clients and you could trade stocks, options, futures currencies, bonds and more from the same platform. Commissions on crypto are just 12-18 basis points with no hidden spreads or markups and there are no ticket charges, custody fees, minimums platform or reporting fees. Learn more at IBKR.com/RIA crypto. RITHOLTZ: And I – it’s pretty easy to see why large institutions might be rotating away from things like treasuries or tips because there’s just no yield there. Are you seeing inflows coming in from the public equity side also? The markets put together a pretty good string of years. CONWAY: Yes. It absolutely has. And many respects, I think, we’ve had a multiyear where there was big questions around the alpha that can be generated, for example, from active equities? The question was active or passive? I think what we’ve all realized is that at times when volatility introduces itself which is frequent even independent of what’s been done from a fiscal and monetary standpoint, that these Alpha speaking strategies on the traditional side still make a lot of sense. And so, as we think about what – what’s happening here, the transition of assets from both passive and active strategies to alternative, it – it’s really to create better balance. It’s not that there’s – there’s a lack of relevance anymore in the public side. It’s just quite frankly the growth of the private asset base has grown so substantially. I moved, Barry, to the U.S. in 1998. And it’s interesting, when you look back at 1998 to today, you start to recognize the equity markets and what was available to invest in. The number of investable opportunities has shrunk by 40 plus percent which that compression is extraordinarily high. But yet you’ve seen, obviously, the equity markets grow in stature and significance and prominence but you’re having more concentration risk with some of the big public entities. The converse is true, though on the – on the private side. There’s this explosion of enterprise and innovation, employment creation, and then I believe opportunities has been real. So, I look at the public side, the investable universe is measured in the thousands and the private side is measured in the millions. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: And I think part of the – part of the part of the thing our clients are not struggling with but what we’re really recognizing with – with enterprises staying private for longer, if not forever, and with his growth of the opportunities that open debt and equity in the private market side, you really can’t forgo this opportunity. It has to be part of your going forward concerns and asset allocation. And I think this is why we’re seeing that transformation. And it’s not because equities on fixed income just aren’t relevant anymore. They’re very relevant but they’re relevant now in a total portfolio or a whole portfolio context beside alternatives. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s discuss this opportunity set of alternatives where you guys at Blackrock scene demand what sectors and from what sorts of clients? Is this demand increasing? CONWAY: We’re very fortunate, Barry. Today, there isn’t a single piece of our business within – within Blackrock alternatives that isn’t growing. And quite frankly too, it’s really up to us to deliver on the investment objectives that are set forth for those clients. I think in the back of strong absolute and relative performance, thankfully, our clients look to us to – to help them as – as they think about what they’re doing and as they’re exploring more in the alternatives areas. So, as you know, certainly, the private equity and real estate allocations are quite mature in many of our client’s portfolios but they’ve been around for many decades. I think that the areas where we’re seeing – that’s called an outside demand and opportunity set, just but virtue of the small allocations on a relative basis that exist today is really around infrastructure, Barry, and its around private credits. So, to caveat that, I think all of the areas are certainly growing, and thankfully, for us that’s true. We’re looking at clients who we believe are underinvested, we believe they’re underinvested in those asset classes infrastructure both debt and equity and in private credit. And as you think about why that is, the attributes that they bring to our client is really important and in a world where your correlation and understanding those correlations is important that these are definitely diversifying assets. In a world where you’re seeing trillions of dollars, quite frankly, you’re providing little to no or even there’s negative yield. Those short falls are real and people need yield than need income. These assets tend to provide that. So the diversification, it comes from these assets. The yield can come from these assets and because of the immaturity of the asset classes, independence of the capital is flowing in, we still consider them relatively white space. You’re not crowded out. There’s much room for development in the market and with our client’s portfolios. And to us, that’s exciting because it presents opportunities. So, at the highest level, they’re the areas where I believe are most underdeveloped in our clients. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about both of those areas. We’ll talk about structured credit in a few minutes. I think everybody kind of understands what – what that is. What – when you see infrastructure as a sector, how does that show up as an investment are – and obviously, I have infrastructure on the brink because we’re recording this not too long after the giant infrastructure bill has been passed, tell us a little bit about what alternative investments in infrastructure looks like? CONWAY: Yes. It’s really in its infancy and what the underlying investments look like. I think traditionally, you would consider it as – and part of the bill that has just been announced, roads, bridges, airports. Some of these hard assets, some of the core infrastructure investments that have been around for actually some time. The interesting thing is the industry has evolved so much and put the need for infrastructure. It’s so great across both developed and emerging economies. It’s become something that if done the right way, the attributes we just spoke of can really have a very strong effect on our client’s portfolios. So, beyond the core that we just mentioned, well, we’ve seen a tremendous demand as a result of this energy transition. You’re really seeing a spike in activity and the necessity transition industry to cleaner technologies, a movement, not away completely from fossil fuel but integrating new types of clean energy. And as a result, you’ve seen a lot of demand on a global basis for wind and solar. And quite frankly, that’s why even us at BlackRock, albeit, 10-12 years ago, we really established a capability there to help with that transition to think about how do we use these technologies, solar panels, wind farms, to generate clean forms of energy for utilities where in some cases they’re mandated to procure this type of this type of – this type of power. And when you think about pre-contracting with utilities for long duration, that to me spells, Barry, good risk mitigation and management and ability to get access to clean forms of energy that throw off yield that can be very complementary to your traditional asset classes but for very long periods of time. And so, the benefits for us of these – these assets is that they are long in duration, they are yield enhancing, they’re definitely diversifying. And so, for us, where – we’ve got about, let’s call this 280 assets around the world that we’re managing that literally generate this – this clean electricity. I think to give the relevance of how much, I believe today, it’s enough to power the country of Spain. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: And that’s really that’s really changing. So you’re seeing governments – so from a policy standpoint, you’re seeing governments really embracing new forms of energy, transitioning out of bunker fuels, for example, you know, burning diesels which really spew omissions into the – into the into the environment. But it’s really around modernizing for the future. So, developed and emerging economies alike, want to retain capital. They want to attract new capital and by having the proper infrastructure to support industry, it’s a really, really important thing. Now, on the back of that too, one things we’ve learned from COVID is that the necessity to really bring e-commerce into how you conduct your business is so important and I think from the theme of digitalization within infrastructure to is a huge part. So, it’s not just the energy transition that you’re seeing, it’s not just roads and bridges, but by allowing businesses to connect to a global consumer, allowing children be educated from home, allowing experiences that expand geographies and boundaries in a digital form is so important not just for commerce but in so many other aspects. And so, you think about cable, fiber optics, if you think about all the other things even outside of power, that enable us to conduct commerce to educate, there are many examples where, Barry, you can build resilience into your portfolio because that need is not measured in years. Actually, the shortfall of capital is measured in the trillions so which means this is – this is a multi-decade opportunity set from our vantage point and one of which our clients should really avail of. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. And I mentioned in passing, structured credit, tell us a little bit about what that opportunity looks like. I think of this as a space that is too big for local banks but too small for Wall Street to finance. Is that an oversimplification? What is going on in that space. CONWAY: I probably couldn’t have set it better, Barry. It’s – if we go back to just the even the investable universe, in the tens of thousands of companies, just if we take North America that are private, that have great leadership that really have strategic vision under – at the – in some cases, at the start of their growth lifecycles are even if they maintain, they have a very credible and viable business for the future they still need capital. And you’re absolutely right. With the retreat of the banks from the space to various regulations that have come after the global financial crisis, you’re seeing the asset managers in many respects working behalf of our clients both wealth and institutional becoming the new lenders of choice. And – and when we – when we think about that opportunity set, that is really understanding the client’s desire for risk or something maybe in a lower risk side from middle-market lending or midmarket enterprises where you can support that organization through its growth cycle all the way to some higher-yielding, obviously, with more risk assets on the opportunistic or even the special situations side. But it – it expands many things. And going back of the commentary around the evolution of the space, private credit today and what you can do has changed so profoundly, it expands the liquidity spectrum, it expands the risk spectrum. And the great news is, with the number of companies both here and abroad, the opportunities that is – it’s being enriched every single day. And were certainly seeing, particularly going back to the question are some of these assets coming from the traditional side, the public side. When we think of private credit, you are seeing private credit now been incorporated in fixed-income allocations. This is a – it’s a yelling asset. This is – these are debt instruments, these are structures that we’re creating. We’re trying to flexible and dynamic with these clients. But it really is an area where we think – it really is still at its – at its infancy relevant to where it can potentially be. RITHOLTZ: That’s really quite – quite interesting. (UNKNOWN): It’s Rob Riggle. I’m hosting Season 2 of the iHeart radio podcast, Veterans You Should Know. You may know me as the comedic actor from my work in the Hangover, Stepbrothers or 21 Jump Street. But before Hollywood, I was a United States Marine Corps officer for 23 years. For this Veterans Day, I’ll be sitting down with those who proudly served in the Armed Forces to hear about the lessons they’ve learned, the obstacles they’ve overcome, and the life-changing impact of their service. Through this four-part series, we’ll hear the inspiring journeys of these veterans and how they took those values during their time of service and apply them to transition out of the military and into civilian life. Listen to Veterans You Should Know on the iHeart radio app, Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcast. RITHOLTZ: Let’s stick with that concept of money rotating away from fixed income. I have to imagine clients are starved for yields. So what are the popular substitutes for this? Is it primarily structured credit? Is it real estate? How do you respond to an institution that says, hey, I’m not getting any sort of realistic coupon on my bonds, I need a substitute? CONWAY: Yes. It’s all of those in many respects. And I think to the role, even around now a time where people have questions around inflation, how do substitute this yield efficiency or certainly make up for that shortfall, how do you think about a world where increasingly seeing inflation, not of the transitory thing it feels certainly quasi-permanent. These are a lot of questions we’re getting. And certainly, real estate is an is important part of how they think about inflation protection, how client think about yield, but quite frankly too, we’ve – we’ve gone through something none of us really had thought about a global pandemic. And as I think about real estate, just how you allocate to the sector, what was very heavily influenced with retail assets, high street, our shopping behaviors and habits have changed. We all occupied offices for obviously many, many years pre the pandemic. The shape of how we operate and how we do that has changed. So, I think some of the underlying investment – investments have changed where you’ve seen heavily weighted towards office space to leisure, travel in the past. Actually, now using a rotation in some respects out of those, just given some of the uncertainties around what the future holds as we come – come through a really difficult time. But the great thing about this sector is between senior living, between student housing, between logistics and so many other parts, there are ways in real estate to capture where there’s – where there’s demand. So still a robust opportunity set and it – and we do think it can absolutely be yield enhancing. We mentioned infrastructure. Even if you think about – and we mention OECD and non-OECD, emerging and developed, when I think about Asia, in particular, just as a subset of the world in which we’re living in, that is a $2.6 trillion alternative market today growing at a 15 percent CAGR. And quite frankly, the old-growth is driven by the large economic growth in the region. So, even from a regional perspective, if we pivot, it houses 57 percent of the world’s population and yet delivers 47 percent of the world’s economic growth. So, think of that and then with regard to infrastructure and goes back to that, this is truly a global phenomenon. So if we just even take that sector, Barry, you’ll realize that the way to maintain that type of growth, to attract capital, to keep capital, it really requires an investment of significant amount of money to be able to sustain that. And when you have 42 million people in a APAC migrating to cities in the year going back to digitalization, that’s an important thing. So, when I say we’re so much at the infancy in infrastructure, I really mean it. It can be water, it can be sewer systems, it can be digital, it can be roads, there’s so much to this. And then even down to the regional perspective, it’s a – it’s a need that doesn’t just exist in the U.S. So, for these assets, this tend to be long in duration. There’s both equity and debt. And on the debt side, quite frankly, very few outside of our insurance clients and their general account are taking advantage of the debt opportunity. And – and as we both know, to finance these projects that are becoming more plentiful every single day, across the world, including like, I said, in APAC in scale, there’s an opportunity in both sides. And I think that’s where the acid mix change happen. It’s recognizing that the attributes of these assets can have a role, the attributes of these assets can potentially replace some of these traditional assets and I think you’re going to see it grow. So, infrastructure to us, it’s really equity and debt. And then on the credit side, like I mentioned, again, too, it’s a very, very big and growing market. And certainly, the biggest area today from our vantage point is middle-market lending from a scale opportunity standpoint. So, we think much more to come in all of those spaces. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. And let’s just stay with the concept of public versus private. That line is kind of getting blurred and the secondary markets is liquidity coming to, for lack of a better phrase, pre-public equities, tells little bit about that space. Is that an area that is ripe for growth for BlackRock? CONWAY: Yes. We absolutely think it is and you’re absolutely correct. The secondary market is – has grown quite substantial. If you even look at just the private equity secondary market and what will transact this year, I think it will be potentially in excess of 100 billion. And that’s what were clear, not to mention what will be visible and what will be analyzed. And that speaks to me what’s really happening and the innovation that we mentioned earlier. It’s no longer about just primary exposure. It’s secondary exposure. When we see all sort of interest and co-investment opportunities as well, I think the available sources of alpha and the flexibility you can now have, albeit if directed and advised, I believe the right way, Barry, can be very helpful and in the portfolio. So, your pre-IPO, it is a big part of actually what we do and we think about growth equity. There is – it’s a significant amount of capital following that space. Now, from our vantage point, as one of the largest investors in the public equity market and now obviously one of the largest investors and they in the private side, the bridge between – between private to public – there’s a real need. IPOs are not going away. And I think smart, informed capital to help with this journey, this journey is really – is really a necessity and a need. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about this recent restructuring. You are first named Global Head of Blackrock Alternative Investors in April 2019, the entire alternatives business was restructured, tell us a little bit about how that restructuring is going? CONWAY: Continues to go really well, Barry. When you look at the flow of acid from our clients, I think, hopefully, that’s speaks to the performance we’ve been generating. I joined the firm, as you know, albeit, 11 years ago and being very close to the alternative franchise as a critical thing for me and running the institutional platform. To me, when you watched this migration of asset towards alternatives, it was obviously very evident for decades now that this is a critical leg of the stool as our clients are thinking about their portfolios. We’re continuing to innovate. We’re continuing to invest, and thankfully, we’re continuing to deliver strong performance. We’re growing at about high double digits on an annual basis but we’re trying to purposeful too around where that growth is coming from. I think the reality is when you look at the competitive universe, I think the last number I saw, it was about 38,000 alternative asset managers out there today, obviously, coming from hedge funds all the way to private credits and private equity. So, competition is real and I do think the outcomes for our clients are starting to really grow. Unfortunately, some – in some cases, obviously, very good, and in some cases, actually not great. So our focus, Barry, is really much on how can we deliver performance, how can we be a partner? And I think we been rewarded with a trust and the faith our clients have in us because they’re seeing something different, I think, from us. Now, the scale of the business that you mentioned earlier really gives us tentacles into the market that I believe allows us to access what I think is the new alpha which is in many respects, given the heft of competition sourcing and originating new investments is certainly harder but for us, sitting in or having alternative team, sitting in 50 offices around the world, really investing in the markets because that – the market they grew up with and have relationships within, I think this network value that we have is something that’s quite special. And I think in the world that’s becoming increasingly competitive, we’re going to continue to use and harness that network value to pursue opportunities. And thankfully, as a result of the partnership we’ve been pursuing with her clients, like, we’ve – we’re certainly looking for opportunities and investments in our funds. But because of the brand, I think because of the successes, opportunities seeks us as much as we seek opportunity and that has been something that we look at an ongoing basis and feel very privileged to actually have that inbound flow as well. RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. There was a quote of yours I found while doing some prep for this conversation that I have to have you expand on. Quote, “The relationship between Blackrock’s alternative capabilities and wealth firms marked a large opportunity for growth in the coming years.” This was back in 2019. So, the first part of the question is, was your expectations correct? Did you – did you see the sort of growth you were hoping for? And more broadly, how large of an opportunity is alternatives, not just for BlackRock but for the entire investment industry? CONWAY: Yes. It’s been very much an institutional opportunity set up until now. And there’s so much to be done, still, to really democratize alternatives and we certainly joke around making alternatives less alternative. Actually, even the nomenclature we use and how we describe it doesn’t kind of make sense anymore. It’s such a core – an important allocation to our clients, Barry, that just calling it alternative seems wrong. Just about the institutional clients. It ranges, I think, as I mentioned on our – some of our more conservative clients which would be pension plans which really have liquidity needs on a monthly basis because of the liabilities they have to think about. At about 25 plus percent in private markets, to endowments, foundations, family offices, going to 50 percent plus. So, it’s a really important part and has been for now many years the institutional client ph communities outcomes. I think the thing that we, as an industry, have to change is alternatives has to be for the many, not for the few. And quite frankly, it’s been for the few. And as we talked about some of the attributes and the important attributes of these asset classes to think that those who have been less fortunate in their careers can’t access, things they can enrich their future retirement outcomes, to me, is a failing. And we have to address that. That comes from regulation changes, it comes from structuring of new products, it comes from education and it comes from this knowledge transmission where clients in the wealth segment can understand the role of alternatives and the context of what can do as they invest in equities and fixed income too. And we think that’s a big shortfall. So, the journey today, just to give you a sense, as we look at her clients in Europe on the wealth side, on average, as you look from what we would call the credited investors all the way through to more ultra-high-net worth individuals, their allocation to alternatives, we believe, stands at around two to three percent of their total portfolio. In the U.S., we believe it stands at three to five. So, most of those intermediaries, we speak to our partners who were more supporting and serving the wealth channel. They have certainly an ambition to help their clients grow that to 20 percent and potentially beyond that. So, when I look at that gap of let’s call it two to three to 20 percent in a market that just given the explosion in wealth around the world, I think the last numbers I saw, this is a $65 trillion market. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: That speaks to the shortfall relative to the ambition. And how’s it been going? We have a number of things and capabilities we’ve set up to allow for this market to experience, hopefully, private equity, hedge funds, credit, and an infrastructure in ways they haven’t in the past. We’ve done this in the U.S., we’re doing it now in Europe, but I will say, Barry, this is still very much at the start of the journey. Wealth is a really important part of our future given our business, quite, frankly is 90 plus percent institutional today, but we’re looking to change that by, hopefully, democratizing these asset classes and making it so much more accessible in that of the past. RITHOLTZ: So, we hinted at this before but I’m going to ask the question outright, how significant is interest rates to client’s risk appetites, how much of the current low rate environment are driving people to move chunks of their assets from fixed income to alternatives? CONWAY: It’s really significant, Barry. I think the transition of these portfolios is quite profound, So you – and I think the unfortunate thing in some respects as this transition happens that you’re introducing new variables and new risks. The reason I say it’s unfortunate and that I think as an industry, this goes back to the education around the assets you own, understanding the role, understanding the various outcomes. I think it’s so incredibly important and that this the time where complete transparency is needed. And quite frankly, we’re investing capital that’s not ours. As an industry, we’re investing our client’s assets and they need to know exactly the underlying investments. And in good and bad times, how would those assets behave? So certainly, interest rates are driving a flow of capital away from these traditional assets, fixed-income, and absolutely in towards real estate, infrastructure, private creditors, et cetera, in the pursuit of this – this yield. But I do – I do think one of the things that’s critically important for the institutional channel, not just the wealth which are newer entrants is this transmission of education, of data because that’s how I think you build a better balanced portfolio and that’s a – that’s a real conundrum, I think, that the industry is facing and certainly your clients too. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. So let’s talk a little bit about the differences between investing in the private side versus the public markets, the most obvious one has to be the illiquidity. When you buy stocks or bonds, you get a print every microsecond, every tick, but most of these investments are only marked quarterly or annually, what does this illiquidity do when you’re interacting with clients? How do you – how do you discuss this with them in and how do perceive some of the challenges of illiquid investments? CONWAY: Over the – over the past number of decades, I think our clients have largely held too much liquidity in their portfolios. Like, so what we are finding is the ability to take on illiquidity risk. And obviously, in pursuit of that premium above, the traditional markets, I mean, I think the sentiment they are is it an absolute right one. That transition towards private market exposure, we think is an important one just given the return objectives, the majority of our clients’ need but then also again, most importantly now, with geo policy, with uncertainty, with interest rate uncertainty, inflation uncertainty, I mean, the – going back to the resilience point, the characteristics now by introducing these assets into the mix is important. And I think that’s – that point is maybe what I’ll expand on. As were talking to clients, using the Aladdin systems, and as you know, we bought eFront technologies, albeit a couple of years ago, by allowing, I think, great data and technology to help our clients understand these assets and the context of how they should own them relative to other liquidity needs, their risk tolerances, and the return expectations are really trying to use tech and data to provide a better understanding and comprehension of the outcomes. And as we continue to introduce these concepts and these approaches, by the way, that there is, as you know, so used to in the traditional side, it – it gives them more comfort around what they should and can expect. And that, to me, is a really important part of what we’re doing. So, we’ve released recently new technology to the wealth sector because, quite frankly, we mentioned it before, the 60-40 portfolio is a thing of the past. And that introduction of about 20 percent into alternatives, we applaud our partners who are – who are suggesting that to their clients. We think it’s something they have to do. What we’re doing to support that is really bringing thought leadership, education, but also portfolio construction techniques and data to bear in that conversation. And this goes back to – it’s no longer an alternative, right? This is a core allocation so the comprehension of what it is you own, the behavior of the asset in good and bad times is so necessary. And that’s become a very big thing with regard to our activities, Barry, because your clients are looking to understand better when you’re talking about assets that are very complex in their nature. RITHOLTZ: So, 60-40 is now 50-30-20, something along those lines? CONWAY: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Really, really intriguing. So, what are clients really looking for these days? We talked about yield. Are they also looking for downside protection on the equity side or inflation hedges you hinted at? How broad are the demands of clients in the alternative space? CONWAY: Yes. It ranges the gamut. And even – we didn’t speak to even hedge funds, we’ve had differing levels of interest in the hedge fund world for years and I, quite frankly, think some degree of disappointment too, Barry, with regard to the alpha, the returns that were produced relevant to the cost. RITHOLTZ: It’s a tough space to say the very least exactly. CONWAY: Exactly right. But when you start to see volatility introducing itself, you can really see where skill plays a critical factor. So, we are absolutely seeing, in the hedge fund, a resurgence of interest and demand by virtue of those who really have honed in on their scale, who have demonstrated an up-and-down markets and ability to protect and preserve capital, but importantly, in a low uncorrelated way build attractive risk-adjusted returns. We’re starting to see more activity there again too. I think with an alternatives, you’ve really seen a predominant demand coming from privates. These private markets, like a set of growths so extraordinarily fast and the opportunities that is rich, the reality too on the public side which is where our hedge funds operate, they continue to, in large part, do a really good job. The issue with our industry now with these 38,000 managers is how do you distill all the information? How do you think about your needs as a client and pick a manager who can deliver the outcomes? And just to give you a sense, the difference now between a top-performing private equity manager, a top quartile versus the bottom quartile, the difference can be measured in tens of percent. RITHOLTZ: Wow. CONWAY: Whereas if you look at the public equity side, for example, a large cap manager, top quartile versus bottom quartile is measured in hundreds of basis points. So, there is definitely a world that has started where the outcomes our clients will experience can be great as they pursue yield, as they pursue diversification, inflation protection, et cetera. I think the caveat that I would say is outcomes can vary greatly. So manager underwriting and the importance of it now, I think, really is this something to pay attention to because if you do have that bottom performing at the bottom quartile manager, it will affect your outcomes, obviously. And that’s what we collectively have to face. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about real estate. There are a couple of different areas of investment on the private side. Rent to own was a very large one and we’ve seen some lesser by the flip algo-driven approaches. Tell us what Blackrock is doing in the real estate space and how many different approaches are you bringing to bear on this? CONWAY: Yes, we think it’s both equity and debt. Again, no different to the infrastructure side, these projects need to be financed. But on the – as you think about the sectors in which you can avail of the opportunity, you’ve no doubt heard a lot and I mentioned earlier this demand for logistics facilities. The explosion of shopping online and having, until we obviously have the supply chain disruption, an ability to have nearly immediate satisfaction because the delivery of the good to your home has become so readily available. It’s a very different consumer experience. So the explosion and the need for logistics facilities to support this type of behavior of the consumer is really an area that will continue to be of great interest too. And then you think about the transformation of business and you think about the aging world. Unfortunately, you can look at various economies where our populations are decreasing. And quite frankly, we’re getting older. And so, were you’re thinking of the context of that senior living facilities, it becomes a really important part, not just as part of the healthcare solution that come with it, but also from living as well. So, single-family, multifamily, opportunities continue to be something that the world looks at because there is really the shortfall of available properties for people to live in. And as the communities evolve to support the growing age of the population, tremendous opportunity there too. But we won’t give up on office space. It really isn’t going away. Now, if you even think about our younger generation here in BlackRock, they love being in New York, they love being in London, they love being in Hong Kong. So, the shape and the footprint may change slightly. But the necessity to be in the major financial centers, it still exists. But how we weighed the risks has definitely changed, certainly, for the – for the short-term and medium-term future. But real estate continues to be, Barry, a critical part of how we express our thought around the investment opportunity set. But clients largely do this themselves too. The direct investing from the clients is quite significant because they too see this as still as a rich investment ground, albeit, one that has changed quite a bit as a result of COVID. RITHOLTZ: Well, I’m fascinated by the real estate issue especially having seen some massive construction take place in cities pre-pandemic, look over in Manhattan at Hudson Yards and look at what’s taking place in London, not just the center of London but all – but all around it and I’m forced to admit the future is going to look somewhat different than the past with some hybrid combination of collaborative work in the office and remote work from home when it’s convenient, that sort of suggests that we now have an excess of capacity in office space. Do you see it that way or is this just something that we’re going to grow into and just the nature of working in offices is changing but offices are not going away? CONWAY: Yes. I do think there’s – it’s a very valid point and that in certain cities, you will see access, in others we just don’t, Barry. And quite frankly, as a firm, too, as you know, we have adopted flexibility with our teams that were very fortunate. The technologies in which we created at BlackRock has just become such an amazing enabler, not just to help us as we mention manage the portfolios, help us a better portfolio construction, understand risks, but also to communicate with our clients. I think we’ve all witnessed and experienced a way to have connectivity that allows them to believe that commerce can exist beyond the boundaries of one building. However, I do look at our property portfolios and even the things that we’re doing. Rent collections still being extraordinarily high, occupancy now getting back up to pre-pandemic levels, not in all cities, but in many of the major ones that have reopened. And certainly, the demand for people to just socialize, that the demand for human connectivity is really high. It’s palpable, right? We see it here too. The smiles on people’s faces, they’re back in the office, conversing together, innovating together. When people were feeling unsafe, unquestionably, I think the question marks around the role of office space was really brought to bear. But as were coming through this, as you’ve seen vaccine rates change, as you’ve seen the infection rates fall, as you’ve seen confidence grow, the return to work is really happening and return to work to office work is really happening, albeit, now with degrees of flexibility. So, going back to the – I do believe in certain areas. You’re seeing a surplus. But in many areas you’re absolutely seeing a deficit and the reason I say that, Barry, is we are seeing occupancy in certain building at such a high level. And frankly, the demand for more space being so high, it’s uneven and this goes back to then where do you invest our client’s capital, making sense of those trends, predicting where you will see resilience versus stress and building that into the portfolio of consequences as you – as you better risk manage and mitigate. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. And so, we are seeing this transition across a lot of different segments of investing, are you seeing any products that were or – or investing styles that was once thought of as primarily institutional that are sort of working their way towards the retail side of things? Meaning going from institutional to accredited to mom-and-pop investors? CONWAY: Well, certainly, in the past, private equity was really an asset class for institutional investors. And I think that’s – that has changed in a very profound way. I mentioned earlier are the regulation has become a more adaptive, but we also have heard, in many respects, in providing this access. And I think the perception of owning and be part of this illiquid investment opportunity set was hard to stomach because many didn’t understand the attributes and what it could bring and I think we’ve been trying to solve for that and what you’re seeing now with – with regulators, understanding that the difference between if we take it quite simply as DD versus DC, the differences between the options you as a participant in a retirement plan are so vastly different that – and I think there’s a broad recognition now that there needs to be more equity with regard to what happens there. And private equity been a really established part of the alternatives marketplace was once, I think, really believed to be an institutional asset class, but albeit now has become much more accessible to wealth. We’ve seen it by structuring activities in Europe working with the regulators. Now, we’re able to provide private equity exposure to clients across the continent and really getting access to what was historically very much an institutional asset class. And I do think the receptivity is extraordinarily high just throughout people’s careers, they have seen wealth been created as a result of engineering a great outcome with great management teams integrate business. And I do believe the receptivity towards private equity is high as an example. In the U.S., too, working with the various intermediaries and being able to wrap now private equity in a ’40 Act fund, for example, is possible. And by being able to deliver that to the many as opposed to the few, we think has been a very good success story. And I think, obviously, appreciated by our clients as well. So, I would look at that were seeing across private equity as well as private credit and quite frankly infrastructure accuracy. You’re seeing now regulation that’s becoming more appreciative of these asset classes, you’re seeing a more – a greater level of openness and willingness to allow for these assets to be part of many people’s experiences across their investment portfolio. And now, with innovation around structures, as an industry, were able to wrap these investments in a way that our clients can really access them. So, think across the board, it probably speaks the innovation that’s happening but I do think that accessibility has changed in a very significant way. But you’ve really seen it happen in private equity first and now that’s expanding across these various other asset classes. RITHOLTZ: Quite intriguing. I know I only have you for a relatively limited period of time, so let’s jump to our favorite questions that we ask all of our guests. Starting with tell us what you’ve been streaming these days. Give us your favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime shows. CONWAY: That is an interesting question, Barry. I don’t a hell of a lot of TV, I got to tell you. I am – I keep busy with three wonderful children and a beautiful wife and between the sports activities. When I do watch TV, I have to tell you I’m addicted to sports and having – I may have mentioned earlier, growing up playing rugby which is not the most common sport in the U.S., I stream nonstop the Six Nations that happens in Europe where Ireland is one of those six nations that compete against each other on an annual basis. Right now, they’re playing a lot of sites that are touring for the southern hemisphere. And to me, the free times I have is either enjoying golf or really enjoying rugby because I think it’s an extraordinary sport. Obviously, very physical, but very enjoyable to watch. And that, that truly is my passion outside of family. RITHOLTZ: Interesting stuff. Tell us a bit about your mentors, who helped to shape your early career? CONWAY: Well, it even goes back to some of the aspects of sports. Playing on a team and being on a field where you’re working together, there’s a strategy involved with that. Now, I used to really appreciate how we approach playing in the All-Ireland League. How we thought about our opponents, how we thought about the structure, how we thought about each individual with on the rugby field and the team having a role. They’re all different but your role. And actually, even starting from an early age, Barry, thinking about, I don’t know, it’s sports but how to build a great team with those various skills, perspective, that can be a really, really powerful combination when done well. And certainly, from an early age, that allowed me to appreciate that – actually, in the work environment, it’s not too different. You surround yourself with just really great people that have high integrity that are empathetic and have a degree of humility that when working together, good things can happen. And I will say, it really started at sports. But I think of today and even in BlackRock, how Larry Fink thinks about the world and I think Larry, truly, is a visionary. And then Rob Kapito who really helps lead the charge across our various businesses. Speaking and conversing with them on a daily basis, getting their perspectives, trying to get inside your head and thinking about the world from their vantage point. To me, it’s a huge thing about my ongoing personal career and development and I really enjoy those moments because I think what you recognize is independent of how much you think you know, there’s so much more to know. And this journey is an ever evolving one where you have to appreciate that you’ll never know everything and you need to be a student every single day. So, I’d probably cite those, Barry, as certainly the two most important mentors in my life today, professionally and personally quite frankly. RITHOLTZ: Really. Very interesting. Let’s talk about what you’re reading these days. Tell us about some of your favorite books and what you’re reading currently? CONWAY: Barry, what I love to read, I love to read history, believe it or not. From a very small country that seems to have exported many, many people, love to understand the history of Ireland. So, there’s so many books. And having three children that have been born in the U.S. and my wife is a New Yorker, trying to help them understand some of their history and what made them what they are. I love delving into Irish history and how the country had moments of greatness and moments of tremendous struggle. Outside of that, I really don’t enjoy science fiction or any of these books. I love reading, you name any paper and any magazine on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I wake at about 4:30, 5 o’clock every day. I spent my first two hours of the day just consuming as much information as possible. I enjoy it. But it’s all – it’s really investment-related magazines, not books. It’s every paper that you could possibly imagine, Barry, and I just – I have a great appreciation for certainly trying to be a student of the world because that’s what we’re operating in an I find it just a very interesting avenue to get an appreciation to for the, not just the opportunities, but the challenges we’re collectively facing as a society but also as a business. RITHOLTZ: I’m with you on that mass consumption of investing-related news. It sounds like you and I have the same a morning routine. Let’s talk about of what sort of advice you would give to a recent college graduate who was interested in a career of alternative investments? CONWAY: Well, the industry has – it’s just gone through such extraordinary growth and the difference, when I’ve started versus today, the career opportunity set has changed so much. And I think I try to remind anyone of our analysts who come into each one of our annual classes, right, as we bring in the new recruits. I think about how talented they are for us, Barry, and how privileged we all are to be in this industry and work for the clients that we do. It’s just such an honor to do that. But I kind of – I try to remind them of that. At the end of the day, whether you’re supporting an institution, that institution is the face of many people in the background and alternatives has really now become such an important part of their experience and we talked about earlier just this challenge of retirement, if we do a good job, these institutions that support the many, they can have, hopefully, a retirement that involves dignity and they can have an ability to do things they so wanted to do as they work so hard over their lives. Getting that that personal connection and allowing for those newbies to understand that that’s the effect that you can have, an alternatives whether it’s private equity, real estate, infrastructure, private credit, hedge funds, all of these now, with the scale at which they’re operating at can allow for a great career. But my advice to them is always don’t forget your career is supporting other people. And that comes directly to how we intersect with wealth channel, it comes indirectly as a result of the institutions. And it’s such a privilege to do that. I didn’t envision when I grew up, as I mentioned, my first job, milking cows and back in a small town in the middle of Ireland that I would be one day leading an alternatives business within BlackRock. I see that as a great privilege. So, for those who are joining afresh, hopefully, try to remind them that it is for all of us and show up with empathy, dignity, compassion, and do the best you can, and hopefully, these people be sure will serve them well. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what you know about the world of alternative investing today you wish you knew 25 years or so ago when you were first getting started? CONWAY: I think if we had invested much more heavily as an industry in technology, we would not be in the position we are today. And I say that, Barry, from a number of aspects. I mentioned in this shortfall of information our clients are dealing with today. They’re making choices to divest from one asset class to invest in another. To do that and do that effectively, they need great transparency, they needed real-time in many respects, it can’t be just a quarterly line basis. And if we had been better prepared as an industry to provide the technology and the data to help our clients really appreciate what it is they own, how we’re managing the assets on their behalf, I think they would be so much better served. I think we’re very fortunate at this firm to have built a business on the back of technology for albeit 30 plus years and were investing over $1 billion a year in technology as I’m sure you know. But we need to see more of that in the industry. So, the client experience is so important, stop, let’s demystify alternatives. It’s not that alternative. Let’s provide education and data and it’s become so large relative to other asset classes, the need to support, to educate, and transmit information, not data, information, so our client understand it, is at a paramount now. And I think it certainly as an industry, things have to change there. If I knew how big the growth would have been and how prominent these asset classes were becoming, I would oppose so much harder on that front 30 years ago. RITHOLTZ: Thank you, Edwin, for being so generous with your time. We’ve been speaking with Edwin Conway. He is the head of Blackrock Investor Alternatives Group. If you enjoy this conversation, please check out all of our prior discussions. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, wherever you get your podcast at. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at MIB podcast@Bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily reads at ritholtz.com. Check out my weekly column at Bloomberg.com/opinion. Follow me on Twitter, @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps put these conversations together each week. Mohammed ph is my audio engineer. Paris Wald is my producer, Michael Batnick is my head of research, Atika Valbrun is our project manager. I’m Barry Ritholtz, you’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Edwin Conway appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureNov 22nd, 2021

US stock futures edge higher on economic optimism, despite soaring European COVID cases

US stocks have stayed strong throughout the year and are still near record highs, but investors are keeping an eye on the situation in Europe. Stocks are close to record highs on Wall Street.Angela Weiss/Getty Images US futures edged higher on Monday in an atmosphere of cautious optimism about the recovery. Yet investors were keeping a wary eye on Europe, where coronavrius cases are soaring again. Elsewhere, oil prices ticked higher after falling on Friday and bitcoin resumed its slide. US stock futures inched higher Monday as investors remained cautiously optimistic about the economic recovery, at the start of a trading week shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday.S&P 500 futures were up 0.27%, after the benchmark index slipped slightly Friday. Nasdaq 100 futures were 0.31% higher, and Dow Jones futures were up 0.25%, indicating a positive start to trading later. US stock markets will be shut Thursday for Thanksgiving Day and will close early on Friday.The tone was somewhat positive in Europe, even as investors weighed the reimposition of pandemic restrictions by governments as COVID-19 cases soar. The continent-wide Stoxx 600 climbed 0.16% in early trading.In Asia overnight, China's CSI 300 stock index rose 0.46%, while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed 0.09% higher. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.39%.Stocks have remained strong even though inflation has hit a 31-year high in the US and is rising sharply in other advanced economies, prompting central banks to consider cutting back their stimulus packages.On Friday, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said the US economy is in a "very strong position." He raised the possibility that the Fed may start reducing its asset purchases more quickly. Investors will closely watch the minutes from the central bank's November meeting, due for release Wednesday.Also in focus is President Joe Biden's pick for the next Fed chair, with the choice seen as between incumbent Jerome Powell and noted dove Fed Governor Lael Brainard. Biden is expected to announce his decision this week.However, soaring coronavirus cases in Europe are increasingly on the radar of investors, who worry the trend could be replicated around the world and impact the global economy. Fresh restrictions keeping people at home could hit not just re-emerging sectors such as hospitality but also holiday shopping, as well as businesses in general.Germany, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland are among the countries to bring in tough new rules to try to curb the fourth wave of the virus. Austria's fourth lockdown kicked in Monday, and the country is planning to make vaccinations mandatory for all citizens.Read more: David Iben's deep value fund is tripling his peers' returns this year as the veteran investor burnishes his reputation. He told us about his top stock picks, and why he thinks gold and crypto can work together.Oil futures recovered somewhat from a sharp fall on Friday, when prices were driven lower by concerns about a demand drop in Europe and signs the US and Japan might give in to calls to release strategic reserves.Brent crude ticked 0.23% higher on Monday to $79.11 a barrel, but remained well below recent highs of $86 a barrel. WTI crude rose 0.33% to $76.17 a barrel.US bond yields, which move inversely to prices, gained slightly. The key 10-year Treasury note yield was up 2.7 basis points to 1.563%. The 2-year yield, which is the most sensitive to interest-rate changes, rose 2.4 basis points to 0.529%.The dollar index climbed 0.05% to 96.08. It has risen sharply in recent months as the Fed has publicly weighed raising interest rates in 2022.In crypto markets, bitcoin 2.5% to $57,423 on the Bitstamp exchange, after inching back up to around $60,000 over the weekend. Analysts have said crypto markets have been affected by a number of factors, including tax changes in President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill; renewed negative attention from Chinese authorities; and a natural pullback after hitting record highs.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 22nd, 2021

The cryptocurrency market has shrunk by $500 billion since bitcoin hit an all-time high, as investors have cashed in on the rally

The cryptocurrency market has lost $500 billion in value in the week since bitcoin hit an all-time high, as investors have cashed in on recent gains. Bitcoin balloonAndriy Onufriyenko The crypto market has lost $500 billion since bitcoin hit record highs a week ago. Bitcoin was heading for its biggest weekly fall in six months on Friday, having slid by 13%. Concern about US crypto taxes and a lukewarm launch of a new ETF has fed into the selling pressure. Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. The cryptocurrency market has lost $500 billion since bitcoin hit an all-time high last week, as investors have cashed in on the recent rally that took it to as much as $69,000.Bitcoin has since fallen 18%, having fallen near $55,000 at one point on Friday. It's lost 13% in the last seven days alone, putting it on course for its biggest weekly slide in six months.  "If the downtrend continues, the 14 day relative strength index will register an oversold reading for the first time since May when BTC fell below $30,000," Will Morris, Sales Trader at UK based digital asset broker GlobalBlock said. In technical analysis, if the relative strength index, which goes from 0 to 100, falls to 30 or below, this would indicate an asset has been oversold and would, in theory, be due for a bounce.The Cryptocurrency Market Fear and Greed index - an informal measure of investor sentiment - has dropped to its lowest since early October, and, at 34, signals "fear", Morris said. A reading above around 60 would point to "greed. "The amount of BTC and ETH on exchanges continues to fall to lower levels and whales continue to accumulate," Morris said in an emailed response. The VanEck bitcoin strategy exchange traded fund (XBTF) is the third publicly traded bitcoin futures ETF. At its market debut on Tuesday, the fund logged trading volume worth $4.8 million, compared with the roughly $1 billion that ProShares' ETF drew on the day of its launch in late October, according to CoinDesk.In addition, the new $1 trillion US infrastructure bill, which passed into law on Monday, now requires crypto brokers to report any transactions above a certain level to the tax authorities, but offered little clarity over what constitutes a "broker".Ethereum's ether token has also lost around 18% since touching a high of almost $4,9000 last Wednesday. It was last trading around $4,162, down around 1.4% on the day, and down nearly 10% on the week, marking its biggest seven-day drop since early September. With bitcoin under pressure, smaller altcoins have dropped in value too. Dogecoin has lost 11% on the week, while shiba inu has fallen 15%, according to Coinmarketcap. The solana and cardano tokens have also both dropped by around 9.5%. "Many market participants are taking advantage of the situation and rushing to stock up on cryptocurrencies from the top-10 list on a drawdown, as indicated by various indicators," Johnny Lyu, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin, said.  "It is therefore too early to talk about a general market transition into a bearish phase, since institutional investors are maintaining their cryptocurrency portfolio positions," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 19th, 2021

US futures trade mixed after stocks hit record highs, while bitcoin continues to slide

Stocks have remained buoyant on the back of strong earnings and economic optimism. But crypto has taken a hit in recent days. A strong earnings season has boosted optimism on Wall Street.JOHANNES EISELE/Getty Images US futures were trading mixed on Friday, after stocks rose to close at record highs the prior day. Equities have stayed remarkably strong despite soaring inflation, with economic data lifting investors' spirits. Yet cryptocurrencies have taken a tumble in recent days, after a breakneck rally. US stock futures were mixed Friday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs the previous day, as investors became more optimistic about the economic outlook.Elsewhere, however, bitcoin fell for the fifth day in a row. It traded at around $56,878, well below a record high of above $68,000 touched just over a week ago.S&P 500 futures were down 0.1%, and Dow Jones futures slipped 0.33%, signaling a downbeat start to trading later in the day. Meanwhile, Nasdaq 100 futures were 0.35% higher.The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both finished at new highs Thursday, as corporate earnings continued to impress investors and a fall in weekly jobless claims cooled fears about the US economy.Overnight, China's CSI 300 closed 1.08% higher, while Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.5%. In the early going Friday, Europe's continent-wide Stoxx 600 slipped 0.14%. Cases of COVID-19 are surging in Europe, and Austria said Friday it will go into full lockdown on Monday and introduce compulsory vaccinations.Global stocks have remained buoyant despite investors' worries about surging inflation and the likelihood that central banks will soon cut back on their support for economies. This is in part because bond yields have stayed low, making the equity market look more attractive.Earnings season has helped support US stocks in particular. Nvidia on Thursday jumped 8.25% after posting record revenue, while stock in Macy's and Kohl's jumped after the department store chains released strong earnings.New US jobless claims fell to a pandemic low of 268,000 last week, data showed Thursday, in the latest sign that the economic recovery is broadly on track."The US economy is still looking pretty good after weekly jobless claims showed the labor market recovery continues," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at trading platform Oanda.Investors will be keeping a close eye on Washington, where the House is expected to pass President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" bill later Friday. The bill lays out plans to spend $1.85 trillion on education, healthcare and the climate.Also in focus is Biden's choice for leader of the Federal Reserve — whether to keep Jerome Powell as Fed chair or to put Fed Governor Lael Brainard in his place. Earlier this week, Biden said he could announce the decision by Friday.Read more: 2022 will be 'the year of the stock picker' as index gains stall, Morgan Stanley says. Here are 27 high-quality growth stocks they're most bullish on for the new year.Cryptocurrencies continued to slide Friday, with bitcoin down 4.4% to $56,878 on the Bitstamp exchange. The world's biggest cryptocurrency has fallen around 17% from the record high of above $68,600 reached November 10.Analysts have put forward numerous reasons for its sharp decline, such as the new crypto tax rules included in Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a recent warning from Beijing about crypto mining in China. Some suggest the fall is a natural pullback after the token surged to new heights.Other digital currencies — such as ether, binance coin, and solana — have fallen sharply in recent days, but were paring those losses on Friday.Oil prices fell as the new surge of coronavirus cases in Europe raised concerns about economic recovery and as traders weighed the chances of countries' releasing strategic reserves in response to strong inflation. Brent crude was down 1.83% to $79.77 a barrel, while WTI crude was 1.7% lower at $77.12 a barrel.Bond yields slipped, with the yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note down 2.9 basis points to 1.558%. Yields move inversely to prices.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 19th, 2021

Bitcoin and ether slide for a second day, weighing on altcoins, as investors cash in on crypto record highs

Bitcoin dipped below $59,000, while ether neared $4,000, as investors sold cryptocurrencies for a second day. Bitcoin and EthereumNurPhoto / Getty Images Bitcoin dipped below $59,000, while ether headed towards $4,000, as investors sold crypto for a second day. The selloff has been fueled by China's warning to state firms mining crypto, as well as the new US infrastructure bill. Polkadot and solana have also fallen in the last week, along with meme token shiba inu and others.  Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. Cryptocurrencies came under fire for a second day on Wednesday, as investors cashed in on recent record highs in the likes of bitcoin, ether and shiba inu, wiping more than $300 billion off the size of the total market in the space of a week.Bitcoin has lost about 8% in two days and was last trading at $60,970, unchanged over the last 24 hours by 07:25 a.m. ET, having hit an earlier low of $58,994, according to Coingecko. Ether, meanwhile, has fallen 10.5% in two days and was last down 1% on the day around $4,265, having dropped to as little as $4,109.Both tokens have hit record highs this month, which has encouraged some investors to take profit, particularly in light of a number of more bearish developments in the last week. This most recent selloff has cut around $340 billion from the total market value, which hit almost $3 trillion exactly a week ago.The Securities and Exchange Commission rejected an application from VanEck for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The fund's bitcoin futures ETF met with lukewarm reception when it launched on Tuesday, in sharp contrast to the blockbuster market debut from rival ProShares' ETF in late October. Furthermore, President Joe Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure bill that was signed into law this week contained specifics on how crypto transactions above a certain size would have to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, but offered little clarity about who would be liable to pay the ensuing taxes. "The IRS might well push back and say that this is not enforceable," James Butterfill, an investment strategist at CoinShares, said, adding that the IRS would have to determine not just the rate at which crypto brokers were taxed, but also how widely it would apply."What happens if there is some kid in the background who is mining - how do you identify that individual?" he said.China issued another warning to state firms on Tuesday to stop all crypto mining activity, as it seeks to tighten its grip on digital assets as part of its clampdown on the technology sector. The news initially added to the pressure on the crypto market, but analysts said this factor would likely prove temporary, given that very little crypto mining takes place in China at all after repeated government crackdowns this year.Twitter chief financial officer Ned Segal told the Wall Street Journal this week that it didn't make much sense to use the social media's corporate cash to buy crypto right now given its volatility.The smaller altcoins have also succumbed to profit-taking this week and eased again on Wednesday. In the last week, polkadot's dot has fallen by 17%, while solana's sol has shed 7.5% in value, and shiba inu has lost almost 10%.Despite the recent decline, analysts were still optimistic about the market outlook."There remain multiple technical indicators that suggest this is not the end of the current bull market and so this continued correction might not last long," Freddie Evans, sales trader at digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said in a note on Wednesday.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021

VanEck"s "lowest-cost" bitcoin linked ETF is down Tuesday but it"s outperforming ProShares and Valkyrie funds down 5%

The VanEck Bitcoin Strategy Fund on Tuesday is seeing its first day of trading, with the bitcoin futures-pegged exchange-traded fund, which bills itself as the "lowest-cost" option, compared against rivals, outperforming "spot" bitcoin values . VanEck's ETF was down less 1%, at last check, on Tuesday afternoon, in its first day of trading on Cboe Global Markets Inc.'s Cboe BZX exchange. By comparison, spot bitcoin was down more than 5%, in line with the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF and Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF , which also are pegged to bitcoin futures traded on the CME Group's Chicago Mercantile Exchange . The VanEck offering has billed itself as a cheaper option to ProShares and Valkyrie funds, which came out before it. The VanEck's expense ratio is 0.65%, which translates to an annual cost of $6.50 for every $1,000 invested, compared with 0.95% for its two rivals. VanEck also claims that its ETF can be more tax-efficient than its rivals due to its C-corp structure. The outperformance of XBTF on Tuesday may provide some modest solace to the folks at VanEck who saw a spot bitcoin ETF rejected last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission on the grounds that it doesn't properly prevent fraud and market manipulation. However, first-mover advantage on bitcoin futures may ultimately carry the day, with ProShares boasting assets of around $1.4 billion, Valkyrie's bitcoin futures market looking after $60 million and VanEck likely to end Tuesday's session well below that, even considering its outperformance. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchNov 16th, 2021

SIGN UP FOR OUR LIVE EVENT ON NOVEMBER 17: The future of crypto and its path to mass adoption

Join us live on November 17 as four experts discuss the investing opportunities and challenges that arise as bitcoin and altcoins go mainstream. Caitlin Long; Christopher Giancarlo; Beniamin Mincu; Grayscale; Insider Bitcoin and smaller altcoins continue to advance from the fringes into the mainstream of finance.  As adoption grows, investment opportunities will grow — and so will regulatory roadblocks.  Join us on November 17 at 1 p.m. ET for a live event on the future of crypto adoption and the role regulation will play. You can sign up here if you're a subscriber.  Cryptocurrencies continue to advance from the fringes into the mainstream of global finance and investing.But for the uninitiated, crypto investing is a complicated minefield. And even for those who are familiar, the legitimacy of the various options out there is a major concern. That's where regulation comes in, both as a green light that could pave the way for wider crypto adoption, and as a threat that could pull the plug on several crypto projects. There's no shortage of demand for regulated investment avenues. For proof, look no further than the recent launch of ProShares' Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund. On its first trading day, the futures-linked fund quickly pulled in $1 billion in assets at the fastest pace on record for an ETF. And after the second launch of an ETF by Valkyrie last week, firms like VanEck and WisdomTree are waiting for the coveted green light from regulators to launch their own. What do these product launches signal about the future of crypto, including the thousands of altcoins that are jostling for relevance and investor cash? How can regulation do more good for investors than harm? What kinds of opportunities will open up once the Securities and Exchange Commission approves various spot ETFs in its pipeline? And, what are the risks to investors if the SEC and other regulators take a harder stance to protect investors?  Please join us for a live virtual conversation on these topics and more, moderated by Insider's Laila Maidan, reporter, and Akin Oyedele, senior editor for investing. The hour-long chat is scheduled for November 17 at 1 p.m. ET, (10 a.m. PT). The experts will also be taking audience questions.Our guests include: Christopher Giancarlo, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading CommissionCaitlin Long, founder and CEO at Avanti Financial GroupBeniamin Mincu, founder and CEO of Elrond NetworkMichael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale InvestmentsYou can sign up here if you're a subscriber.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 16th, 2021

US stock futures hold near record highs as investors eye Biden-Xi talks, while Beijing"s mining warning pounds crypto

Stocks on Wall Street looked set for a lower open, with US-China talks in focus, while a new warning on crypto mining from Beijing slammed bitcoin. US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their virtual meeting.Tingshu Wang/Reuters US stock futures drifted, as investors focused on talks between US President Joe Biden and Chinese premier Xi Jinping. Stocks have been rattled of late by concerns over inflation that pushed up government bond yields. The crypto market took a beating after China warned state firms about mining, with bitcoin sliding below $60,000. US stock futures edged lower Tuesday as investors assessed a key meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, while cryptocurrencies took a battering from warnings from Beijing.Futures on the S&P 500, the Nasdaq 100 and the Dow Jones fell around 0.1-0.2%, echoing the softer tone on the benchmark indices on Monday, but were still within sight of November's record highs.Biden and Xi reiterated their role in avoiding conflict during hours of talks on Monday. "It seems to me our responsibility as leaders of China and the United States is to ensure that our competition between our countries does not veer into conflict, whether intended or unintended," Reuters quoted Biden as saying.The world's two biggest economies disagree on a number of key issues, such as trade, China's pressure on Taiwan and how the Covid-19 pandemic started."It's now over, with the first press statement from the White House a pretty bland reflection of topics covered at the meeting without suggesting any major announcements are likely," Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid said."There has been no mentions of tariffs being discussed, but we'll likely hear more detail later on, so keep your eyes peeled on the screens for that.""At first glance, it seems like it was a co-operative meeting, but with little of substance likely to have come out of it. We will see," he added.The offshore yuan hit a five-month high against the dollar Tuesday, reflecting growing investor confidence in the strength of US-China relationships. Given that yuan strength, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.3% lower, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.3%.The MSCI All-World index was last trading flat on the day, having hit record highs a week ago. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose 0.2%, having touched all-time highs earlier thanks to gains in telecoms, banks and travel stocks. UK blue chips were little moved by data showing a swifter pick-up in the British labor market, which could prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates sooner than expected. The FTSE 100 was last flat on the day, while sterling gained broadly, rising 0.3% against both the dollar and the euro.Another inflation-driven spike in government bond yields the previous day took some wind out of the equity market's sails. US 2-year Treasury yields, the most sensitive to shifts in investor expectations for inflation, have been cranking higher for the last three months. They are now at their loftiest since March last year, yielding 0.524%, unchanged on the day."The market was very surprised by the very strong inflation print in the US last week," Bank of America strategist Athanasios Vamvakidis said."We expect the Fed to change its communication to a more hawkish tone. The Fed will have to prepare markets for an earlier and faster tightening cycle, in our view."On Monday, Biden signed a massive $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law, bringing fresh federal money for roads and bridges, and a blow to the cryptocurrency market. Furthermore, the Chinese government warned state companies about crypto mining, and said it was considering taking punitive steps, according to a Bloomberg report.Bitcoin was last down 9.9% at around $59,425 — heading for its biggest one-day fall since early September and dropping below the key $60,000 level for the first time in November, based on Coinmarketcap data. Losses mounted across other cryptocurrencies, with ether down 11%, and cardano down 12%."Even if the comments aren't entirely new, negative crypto-related comments from Chinese authorities have historically led to a selloff in the crypto market," FXEmpire analyst Olumide Adesina said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 16th, 2021

Monday"s Market Minute: Earnings Roll On As Greenback Strengthens

U.S. indices and bitcoin futures remain a focal point as they hold near all-time highs to begin the week, and both are testament that the risk-on environment we’ve seen this fall remains alive and well. Meanwhile, we have U.S. interest rates holding in a well-defined range and supportive of the conditions that have fueled investors’ appetites for American equities. This week we have some closely watched economic data. First, Retail Sales will provide further insight into consumer trends on Tuesday, as well as the Housing Market Index, Industrial Production, a handful ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaNov 15th, 2021