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WarnerMedia execs mourn the Disney deal that never happened

Also, what agencies think of Apple's new ad, and advertisers battle misinformation. Hi and welcome to the Insider Advertising newsletter, where I go over the big news in advertising and media news, including:TimeWarner's alternate sce.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 25th, 2021

Greenwald: A Definitive Account Of The CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud Over Hunter Biden Emails

Greenwald: A Definitive Account Of The CIA/Media/BigTech Fraud Over Hunter Biden Emails Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com, (Watch Glenn's podcast on this fiasco here), A severe escalation of the war on a free internet and free discourse has taken place over the last twelve months. Numerous examples of brute and dangerous censorship have emerged: the destruction by Big Tech monopolies of Parler at the behest of Democratic politicians at the time that it was the most-downloaded app in the country; the banning of the sitting president from social media; and the increasingly explicit threats from elected officials in the majority party of legal and regulatory reprisals in the event that tech platforms do not censor more in accordance with their demands. CNN's Wolf Blitzer warns that emails and other documents reported on by The New York Post about Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine and China may be "Russian disinformation,” Oct. 16, 2020. But the most severe episode of all was the joint campaign — in the weeks before the 2020 election — by the CIA, Big Tech, the liberal wing of the corporate media and the Democratic Party to censor and suppress a series of major reports about then-presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. On October 14 and then October 15, 2020, The New York Post, the nation's oldest newspaper, published two news reports on Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine and China that raised serious questions about his integrity and ethics: specifically whether he and his family were trading on his name and influence to generate profit for themselves. The Post said that the documents were obtained from a laptop left by Joe Biden's son Hunter at a repair shop. From the start, the evidence of authenticity was overwhelming. The Post published obviously genuine photos of Hunter that were taken from the laptop. Investigations from media outlets found people who had received the emails in real-time and they compared the emails in their possession to the ones in the Post's archive, and they matched word-for-word. One of Hunter's own business associates involved in many of these deals, Tony Bobulinski, confirmed publicly and in interviews that the key emails were genuine and that they referenced Joe Biden's profit participation in one deal being pursued in China. A forensics analyst issued a report concluding the archive had all the earmarks of authenticity. Not even the Bidens denied that the emails were real: something they of course would have done if they had been forged or altered. In sum, as someone who has reported on numerous large archives similar to this one and was faced with the heavy burden of ensuring the documents were genuine before risking one's career and reputation by reporting them, it was clear early on that all the key metrics demonstrated that these documents were real. Despite all that, former intelligence officials such as Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led a group of dozens of former spooks in issuing a public statement that disseminated an outright lie: namely, that the laptop was "Russian disinformation.” Note that this phrase contains two separate assertions: 1) the documents came from Russia and 2) they are fake ("disinformation"). The intelligence officials admitted in this letter that — in their words — “we do not know if the emails are genuine or not,” and also admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.” Yet it repeatedly insinuated that everyone should nonetheless believe this: Letter from 60 former intelligence officials about the New York Post reporting, Oct. 19, 2020 But the complete lack of evidence for these claims — that even these career CIA liars acknowledged plagued their assertions — did not stop the corporate media or Big Tech from repeating this lie over and over, and, far worse, using this lie to censor this reporting from the internet. One of the first to spread this lie was the co-queen of Russiagate frauds, Natasha Bertrand, then of Politico and now promoted, because of lies like this, to CNN. “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say,” blared her headline in Politico on October 19, just five days after the Post began its reporting. From there, virtually every media outlet — CNN, NBC News, PBS, Huffington Post, The Intercept, and too many others to count — began completely ignoring the substance of the reporting and instead spread the lie over and over that these documents were the by-product of Russian disinformation. On October 21 — exactly one week after the Post's first report — The Intercept published a false story under the melodramatic headline “We're Not a Democracy” about these materials from former New York Times reporter James Risen. This propaganda assault masquerading as "news” mindlessly laundered the CIA's lies about the laptop. This is what appeared in this outlet that still claims to do “adversarial” reporting: Their latest falsehood once again involves Biden, Ukraine, and a laptop mysteriously discovered in a computer repair shop and passed to the New York Post….This week, a group of former intelligence officials issued a letter saying that the Giuliani laptop story has the classic trademarks of Russian disinformation. Note that even the intelligence officials, who acknowledged they had no evidence to support this claim, were more honest than The Intercept, which omitted that critical admission. Days later, this very same outlet — which I co-founded seven years earlier to be adversarial, not subservient, to evidence-free assertions from the intelligence community, and which was designed to be an antidote to rather than a clone of The New York Times — told me that I could not publish the article I had written about the Biden archive because it did not meet their lofty and rigorous editorial standards: the same lofty and rigorous editorial standards that led to uncritical endorsement of the CIA's lies just days earlier. It was that episode, as Matt Taibbi recounted at the time, that prompted my resignation from the outlet I created in protest of this censorship, in order to report instead only on free speech platforms such as this one. But the media disinformation about the Post's documents — obviously designed to protect Joe Biden in the lead-up to the election — were not the worst aspect of what happened here. Far worse was the decision by Twitter to prohibit any discussion of this reporting or posting of links to the story both publicly and privately on the platform. Worse still was the immediate announcement by Facebook through its communications executive Andy Stone — a life-long Democratic Party operative — that it would algorithmically suppress the story pending a "fact check” by "Facebook's third-party fact-check partners.” Despite multiple requests from me and others, Facebook never published the results of this alleged fact-check and still refuse to say whether it ever conducted one. Why? Because the documents they blocked millions of Americans from learning about were clearly true and authentic. While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform. — Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 14, 2020 As indicated, there was ample proof from the start that these documents were genuine and that the only ones engaged in "disinformation" and lies was this axis of the CIA, corporate media, and Big Tech. Yet the most dispositive proof yet emerged on Tuesday — not from a right-wing news outlet that liberals have been trained to ignore and disbelieve but from one of the most mainstream news institutions in the country. A young reporter for Politico, Ben Schreckinger, has published a new book entitled "The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power.” To his great credit, he spent months investigating the key documents published by The New York Post and found definitive proof that these emails and related documents are indisputably authentic. His own outlet, Politico, was the first to publish the CIA lie that this was "Russian disinformation,” but on Tuesday — without acknowledging their role in spreading that lie — they summarized Schreckinger's findings this way: the book “finds evidence that some of the purported Hunter Biden laptop material is genuine, including two emails at the center of last October’s controversy.” In his book, the reporter recounts in these passages just some of the extensive work he did to obtain this proof: A person who corresponded with Hunter in late 2018 confirmed to me the authenticity of an email in the cache. Another person who corresponded with Hunter in January 2019 confirmed the authenticity of a different email exchange with Hunter in the cache. Both of these people spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fears of being embroiled in a global controversy. A third person who had independent access to Hunter’s emails confirmed to me that the emails published by the New York Post related to Burisma and the CEFC venture matched the substance of emails Hunter had in fact received. (This person was not in a position to compare the published emails word-for-word to the originals.) The National Property Board of Sweden, part of the Swedish Finance Ministry, has released correspondence between Hunter and House of Sweden employees to me and to a Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, under the country’s freedom of information law. Emails released by the property board match emails in the cache. Excerpts from POLITICO reporter Ben Schreckinger's new book: "The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power”, Sept. 2020   Given what I regard as the unparalleled gravity of what was done here — widespread media deceit toward millions of American voters in the weeks before a presidential election based on a CIA lie, along with brute censorship of the story by Big Tech — and given that so much of what was done here took place on television, we produced this morning what I regard as the definitive video report of this scandal. I realize this report is longer than the standard video — it is just over an hour — but I really believe that it is vital, particularly with the emergence of this new indisputable proof, to take a comprehensive look at how the intelligence community, in partnership with Big Tech and the corporate media, disseminated massive lies and disinformation, using censorship and other manipulative techniques, to shape the outcome of what was a close election. (We will very shortly institute our new feature of producing transcripts for all videos above ten minutes in length, but I really hope that as many people as can do so will watch this video report). After observing what they did, I hope and believe you will have a similar reaction to the one I had after spending the day compiling and reporting it all. No matter how much you despise this sector of the corporate media, it is nowhere near close enough to the level of contempt and scorn they deserve. You can watch our video report on my Rumble page or on the player below. Watch: To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 22:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge14 hr. 8 min. ago

PayPal"s "super app" - JPM loses top tech exec - Merrill"s pay plans

The top finance news for Sept. 22, including the latest on PayPal's revamped app, JPMorgan's loss of a tech exec, and Merrill's plans for pay raises. Welcome to Insider Finance. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android.On the agenda today:PayPal is relaunching its "super app," which will pit it against Google Pay and Square.JPMorgan just lost its global head of AI technology.In a leaked recording, Merrill's president said advisors shouldn't expect more pay raises.Let's get started. PayPal is relaunching its "super app" Mike Blake/ Reuters PayPal announced a handful of new features - including bill payments, early paycheck deposits, and high-yield savings - as part of its app relaunch. The company's mission to reach 1 billion active daily users pits it against Google Pay and Square in the battle to become the go-to digital wallet. What we know about the upcoming super app.JPMorgan just lost a key tech exec Michel Euler/Pool/Reuters Apoorv Saxena, JPMorgan's global head of AI technology, is leaving the bank after three years. Saxena, who was responsible for building the bank's AI system, told Insider he's leaving because he got "an even better opportunity to make a larger impact."Merrill advisors won't see pay changes anytime soon Merrill Lynch In a leaked recording, Merrill Lynch President Andy Sieg said the firm's financial advisors should not expect a "large-scale change" to the structure that dictates their pay, even as the battle to retain talent rages on. Here's what he told staffers.Assembly to keep its acquisition spree rolling Assembly After securing a major investment from private-equity firm Advent International, e-commerce unicorn Assembly is looking to hire 200 people and acquire more companies. How it plans to use its "significant" investment.BlackRock's key Aladdin execs BlackRock; Marianne Ayala/Insider Aladdin - short for asset, liability, debt, and derivative-investment network - is BlackRock's portfolio-management and investment risk-analytics system, and has driven $1 billion in annual technology revenue last year. These nine BlackRock execs are powering the growth of Aladdin.Investors allocating billions for endowments explain what they're looking for in PE funds aimintang/Getty Images As valuations continue to climb, searching for private-equity managers has become more difficult, according to investment professionals at billion-dollar institutions. Three investors shared what they're looking for - and the challenges they're facing.US Treasury issued its first-ever sanctions against a crypto exchange Drew Angerer/Getty Images The US Treasury Department announced it will sanction Russian-owned Suex for its role in laundering financial transactions for ransomware actors. The move marks the first time the agency has blacklisted a cryptocurrency exchange.On our radar:According to Bloomberg, BNPL services are increasingly seen as competitors to debit and credit card issuers.Goldman Sachs' junior banker uprising was started by the son of a TPG leader, Bloomberg reports. What we know so far.Per WSJ, US Bancorp will buy MUFG Union Bank in an $8 billion cash-and-stock deal. The deal will boost US Bank's presence across the West Coast.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021

The 5 best coolers of 2021

A quality cooler helps keep food and drinks chilled no matter if you're picnicking, tailgating, or camping in the woods. Here are our favorites. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Whether you're an occasional picnicker or an itinerant outdoorsperson, a cooler is a must-own item. The best coolers should retain ice for at least 24 hours, have a durable design, and be easy to transport. Our top pick, Yeti's Tundra 75, is durable and has the best ice and temperature retention of any cooler we've tested. Buying a cooler these days can be perplexing. Type "best cooler" into Google and amidst a sea of advertisements, you'll also find reviews and recommendations praising coolers that in some cases cost more than the refrigerator in your kitchen.Before you get carried away doing that, or you find yourself convinced a bear-proof cooler is all anyone should buy, consider your intended use for it. Firstly, what are you storing? If it's just drinks and pre-made sandwiches, then there's no need to spend a fortune. For a cooler to do its job, it's most important that it's loaded correctly; a 2:1 ice-to-beverage ratio is a good rule of thumb. And it's only going to be minimally effective if it's opened every 20 minutes or so for a fresh beverage or snack.For simple day trips and regular opening and closing, know this: you'll be perfectly fine with a budget-friendly option, especially if you're not slinging it around too much.But if you go on days-long fishing expeditions with no fridge or access to power, you'll need something with thick insulation to store your catch safely. You'll also want to consider its durability as you're probably going to knock the cooler around a bit.Having been a commercial and recreational fisherman on and off throughout my life, I've purchased, wrecked, and replaced more coolers and cooler parts than I can recount - and I can't stress enough how important it is to know how to choose and effectively use a cooler. I keep a supply of no less than five coolers and regularly depend on all of them. Below are five of the best coolers I've tested, each of which excels in a certain category. I've also included some insight into how I test coolers, as well as some tips on what to keep in mind while shopping. Here are the best coolers of 2021Best overall: Yeti Tundra 75Best on a budget: Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler Best backpack cooler: Yeti Hopper 24Best soft cooler: Yeti Hopper M30Best budget soft cooler: AO Coolers Carbon Soft Cooler How I test coolers Owen Burke/Insider Each cooler featured in this guide went through several field tests, be it fishing, camping, lounging in the backyard at home, or at the park, to see how well they fared across these four categories: Ice retention, durability, portability, and value. Specifically, here's how each category factored into which coolers ultimately made this guide:Ice retention: Perhaps a cooler's most impactful feature is how well it's able to keep ice. Though variables such as how often you open and close the cooler, how much ice you use, and what all is in the cooler impact ice retention, the differences shouldn't be so dramatic that you're able to confuse a poorly-designed cooler for a quality one. We judged ice retention in a number of ways, though mostly used each cooler as we normally would while keeping track of how much ice or ice water was left after one, two, and three days.Durability: A cooler's durability comes down to more than just its exterior quality but also how well its hinges or zippers hold up to constant use. If the cooler you buy gets a lot of run each summer and by fall you're already thinking you'll need to upgrade next year, then durability is a major concern. This is where spending more money on a premium cooler can save you quite a lot in the long run.Portability: Coolers are inherently portable (for the most part) but some are designed far better than others. Even the most cumbersome of coolers should still offer some method for it to be easily carried (via one or two people), and if it's a small cooler like a soft cooler or a backpack cooler, then these should have portability near the top of what list of what they do exceedingly well. Value: As mentioned above, coolers aren't always an inexpensive investment — especially the premium options like what Yeti offers. But if you're able to piece together how exactly you need to use the cooler and for what activities you'd use it most, then you're able to make a better decision on a cooler's true value. Consider the three categories above, as well, and keep in mind that it's better to invest a little more in a premium product that's designed to last than to spend less money, more often on something that's second-rate. The best cooler overall Best cooler for longterm use Yeti The Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler can keep ice frozen for more than a week even if you're using it in the middle of the summer.Pros: Amazing ice retention, rugged construction, great for boating or long road tripsCons: Very expensive, very heavyTo deal with the elephant in the room first, yes, this cooler costs almost five hundred dollars. That's a lot of money to spend on a cooler, no two ways about it. But for that price, you will get one of the absolute best coolers on the market today. Let's just rattle off a few highlights, shall we?The Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler's rugged rotomolded design makes it tough enough to be certified as bear-resistant. That's right, in a fight between a bear and this cooler, the cooler will probably win. Its three-inch-thick PermaFrost insulation and ColdLock gasket allow the cooler to keep ice frozen for days on end. You can expect at least a week of sub-zero temperatures within provided you loaded it up with sufficient ice.It has a 50-can capacity and also comes with a dry goods basket that holds a selection of foodstuffs above the ice. Its BearFoot non-slip feet and AnchorPoint tie-down points help you to secure the cooler in the bed of a truck or aboard a boat. Do most people need this level of cooler? Probably not. But if you're a serious fisherman, if you're on a road trip and you want to stay self-sufficient, or if you're stocking a cabin or campsite for an extended stay, you'll be glad you have the Yeti Tundra 75 at your disposal, no buyer's remorse involved. Just note that the cooler weighs 30 pounds even when empty, so if you have trouble lifting heavier loads, you might need to look elsewhere. The best budget cooler Coleman/Facebook The Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler is a classic hard-shelled cooler with multi-day ice retention and an all but indestructible design.Pros: Great price, sturdy construction, large capacity, trusted legacy brandCons: Hinges on lid prone to eventual breakingIf Coleman's cooler weren't such a simple, reliable, and all-around great piece of hardware, I would have called it the best low-cost cooler instead of the best overall cooler. It costs less than thirty dollars, but it will last you thirty years or more provided you take the time to wipe it clean now and then and you don't run over it with a truck.This is the cooler your dad brought on family camping trips, it's the cooler of your childhood, and it's still an awesome buy.Coleman's 48-quart cooler can hold 63 standard 12-ounce cans and is tall enough for two-liter soda bottles to stand upright with the lid closed. It's more than sturdy enough to double as a seat, yet still light enough for one rather fit person to heft alone or for two people to easily carry down the dock, into the park, or onto the beach. Empty, the cooler weighs about seven pounds, so you can easily lift it up onto the top shelf of the garage for storage, too.The Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler has a drain built into the bottom so you can let out any spilled beverages or ice melt without dumping the entire contents, but for the record, there won't be much meltwater provided you keep the lid secure most of the time. This cooler offers three-day ice retention even when the mercury tops 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Oh, and this cooler is made in America, too. The best backpack cooler Yeti Yeti's known for its incredibly high-quality products and the Hopper 24 backpack cooler is no different, featuring a durable exterior, a 100% leakproof zipper, and insulation designed to keep contents cold for days.Pro: Keeps ice cold for multiple days, ergonomic shoulder straps allow for easy and comfortable transport, high-quality and durable constructionCons: ExpensiveIt should be no surprise that Yeti shows up multiple times in this guide as the company's made its name manufacturing some of the best coolers on the market. With its Hopper 24, the brand delivers the same kind of durable construction and quality design its fans have come to expect in the form of a backpack cooler. With space enough to carry roughly 20 cans of beer or soda (with ice included), or 25 pounds of ice, the Hopper 24 is at no lack for available cooler space. And don't worry about a loaded pack feeling especially heavy either. Yeti designed it so weight distributes evenly, and its removable hip belt and ergonomic shoulder straps make it comfortable to tote around, whether it's down a long trail to the beach, a short jaunt to a campsite, or a few steps to a backyard. Yeti also includes its HydroLok Zipper which helps keep any contents from spilling out (i.e. water from melted ice), and its ColdCell Insulation is capable of keeping ice for several days (something we've tested and confirmed often). Similar to many of Yeti's products, the Hopper 24 isn't cheap, sporting a price tag of $300. However, Yeti consistently exceeds standards of quality and this backpack cooler is no different — it'll be one of your favorite pieces of go-to gear for several, several years. -- Rick Stella, fitness & health editor The best soft cooler Yeti Yeti's Hopper M30 is a highly durable, tote-style soft cooler that now features a better zipper closure system that made its already quality ice retention even better. Pros: Extremely durable, keeps ice anywhere from 15 to 20 hours, large capacity, highly portableCons: Expensive, requires two hands to unzip and closeIt should be apparent at this point that Yeti's coolers are worth every bit of the recognition of nabbing three spots in this guide, as its coolers are just that damn good. And when it comes to picking the best soft cooler, the Hopper M30 is a clear choice. With the brand's patented bomb-proof construction, some impressive ice retention, and surprisingly large capacity, this is the one you want for day trips to the beach or local park.Though the Hopper M30 gets a lot right, its best feature is how well it keeps ice throughout the day. During my tests, it reliably kept ice anywhere from roughly 15 hours on up to 20 hours, depending on how hot it was outside, how often I opened it for a drink, and whether I'd remember to fully zip it up or not. But even on its lower 15-hour days, that's more than enough time to get your fill of hanging at the park or lounging on the beach (it was even a nice supplemental cooler on two-day car camping trips). You'll be surprised at how much this cooler is able to house, too. Despite often stocking it with more cans of beer than I'd know what to do with, there was still plenty of room for a couple of sandwiches, some cheese sticks, and whatever other snacks seemed fit for the outing. It also comes with a padded should strap that makes lugging the thing either from car to beach or park a comfortable experience — I've even slung it over my shoulder while riding my bike and it was completely fine. Then there's its durability. The Hopper M30 can take an utter beating, whether it's getting tossed into the back of a car, dragged down a trail, or even falling completely off my bike (this only happened once and the cooler managed to avoid taking any damage at all). Its zipper closure system also seals the cooler airtight and not even melted ice (aka water) drips out if it's tilted upside down or laying on its side. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more high-quality soft cooler, which is why the Hopper M30 is our go-to whenever I want to leave my bulky, cumbersome cooler at home. — Rick Stella, fitness & health editor The best budget soft cooler Owen Burke/Insider The AO Coolers Carbon Soft Cooler is stuffed with insulation and a thick liner that keeps things plenty cold for over 24 hours and can handle a bit of abuse.Pros: Great insulation, tough exterior and interior linings, exterior pouch, comes in 12-, 24-, 36-, and 48-can sizesCons: Not the easiest to clean, zipper isn't airtight/leakproofYou don't need to spend a fortune to buy an effective soft cooler for general use and, in fact, this is one of the coolers I tend to use most. From lighter fishing excursions to an afternoon picnic, I haven't found a handier cooler, hands down.I've also been using it for well over two years — that's two years of sea time, being left outside through every season, and countless fruitful trips home from the fishing grounds. The vinyl hasn't so much as scratched, let alone torn, and as with any cooler I get my hands on, I've mistreated this thing every way possible.Aside from more methodical testing, which proved that it could hold ice for 24 hours even with four hours of direct sunlight in the dead of summer in New York City, I've also filled it with two-thirds ice and a couple of bottles of wine, left it in my unconditioned living room for three days, and found exceptionally chilled wine and a large iceberg still floating inside.While the brand touts its use of high-density insulation, it seems to be that the large air pockets between the insulation and the inner and outer linings are what give it its best retention qualities. High-density foam (or insulation) is actually a better conductor of heat than low-density foam (or insulation), while air is one of the worst conductors. So, while the insulation may seem curiously loose against the linings, all that space is actually helping to improve ice and temperature retention.Regarding features, there are more than you'd find in your average soft cooler. First, there are briefcase-style handles that velcro together and a padded shoulder sling, buckles on either end for strapping it down and making it more compact, and there's also an outside zipper pouch in which I keep utensils, a cutting board, a folded rag, a wine key, and still have room for a couple of other odds and ends.The only room for improvement with this cooler is an airtight zipper but that would probably drive the cost up too much. It's also a bit tougher to clean than some other options in this guide, but it's nothing a sponge and some dish soap can't handle (I like to fill it with warm soapy water, zip it, and give it a shake first). How to shop for a cooler Amazon When choosing the best cooler for your needs, first consider where you'll most often use it. If a cooler is too big to bring along on a camping or fishing trip, it's useless for those outings.The same goes for if it can't retain ice well enough to keep things fresh during a weeklong stay in a cabin or camper. If its only purpose is for convenient beverage chilling in your own backyard during cookouts, that's going to have a huge impact on how much you need to spend (which should be well south of $100 in that scenario).Consider how frequently you're going to be opening and closing your cooler open, too. If it's every 20-30 minutes, it won't much matter whether you have a Coleman Performance or a Yeti Tundra (save for a price tag difference of several hundred dollars), especially on hotter days. You'll also need to think about what you'll be keeping cold, and how much of it. It's easy to judge cooler capacity as almost all coolers explicitly list their interior quart size and how many cans they're able to hold. Don't forget to review the overall size of the cooler, as some are much larger on the outside than their interior dimensions might have you think.To really keep contents cold, you'll need to keep a ratio of somewhere around 2/3 ice to reach optimal efficacy. Even a rotomolded cooler simply won't do its job without you meeting it halfway. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

France is escalating its disputes with Australia and the US, seeking to derail EU trade talks with both after being dumped from a submarine contract

France continues to react with fury to Australia's decision to cancel a multibillion-dollar submarine contract in favour of working with the US and UK. French President Emmanuel Macron on September 17, 2021 in Athens, Greece. Milos Bicanski/Getty Images France remains furious with Australia and the US after being ditched from a submarine contract. President Macron wants to delay an EU-Australia trade deal and EU-US talks in response, reports said. Other nations have been taken aback at the intensity of the French response to losing the deal. See more stories on Insider's business page. In the days since France discovered it was being ditched from a multi-billion deal with Australia to build its new fleet of submarines, its anger has only grown.The latest sign was a series of reports that French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to derail a planned EU-Australia trade deal to show its displeasure.France is also said to be trying to have talks canceled between the EU and US next week.The Guardian and Politico said that France was seeking support from other EU member states to push back on its behalf in the negotiations.The move was explicit retaliation for Australia dropping France from the $50 billion deal to replace its ageing submarines, announcing it would do so with help instead from the US and UK in a new alliance called AUKUS.The deal infuriated French officials, who said they had been given no warning of the announcement, accusing Australia of a "stab in the back" and of lying to them.France is also seeking retaliation against the US, whose decision to share secretive submarine technology with Australia helped to scupper the French deal, the Financial Times reported.An EU diplomat said France had requested to postpone EU-US talks which are planned for September 29 as part of the joint Trade and Technology Council.The official said other EU countries were reluctant to scupper important talks and would rather "help" France by other means. A European Commission official told the paper they were "analyzing the consequences of the AUKUS announcement" on the timing of the meeting. President Joe Biden is said to be seeking a phone call with Macron to make amends, per reports from outlets including The Washington Post and The Hill.But Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared less conciliatory, saying he would not have time to meet privately with Macron while both leaders are in New York for the UN General Assembly."Keeping one's word is the condition of trust between democracies and between allies," France's European affairs secretary Clément Beaune told Politico of the rift."So it is unthinkable to move forward on trade negotiations as if nothing had happened with a country in which we no longer trust."Talks between Australia and the EU have been hashing out the terms of a free-trade agreement since 2018, and the twelfth round of negotiations are due within months.Australia is said to have hoped to conclude negotiations by the end of this year.As one of the EU's most powerful member states, France could try to stop the deal in its tracks, but it remains to be seen whether Macron will garner enough support from other European countries.Bernard Lange, chair of the European Parliament's trade committee, said trade talks were now "much more complicated."Australia's trade minister Dan Tehan meanwhile insisted that the rupture in relations with France would not affect the outcome of the trade deal."It's just very much business as usual when it comes to our negotiations on that free trade agreement," he told Sky News Australia, per Reuters.The EU has condemned Australia's behavior and said it was "surprised" by the abrupt cancellation, but anger in other parts of Europe has been nowhere near the French level of fury.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Kraft Heinz has cut costs to the bone. Insiders say the strategy has hurt innovation, created employee turnover, and more.

Kraft Heinz has been cutting costs across the board - and here's why critics say one of the biggest names in food has taken several steps back. Jell-O, Heinz ketchup, and Oscar Mayer hot dogs are among Kraft Heinz's best-known products. Kraft Heinz; Shutterstock; Marianne Ayala/Insider Kraft Heinz has gotten a sales lift from pandemic demand for food that people can eat at home. But the company has suffered under the private-equity owner 3G Capital since its 2015 creation. Here's a rundown of why critics say one of the biggest names in food has taken several steps back. See more stories on Insider's business page. Kraft Heinz owns some of the best-known brands in food, including Jell-O and Oscar Mayer hot dogs.But people familiar with the company's strategy say it's mismanaged them by focusing too much on maximizing profits instead of building up the business.Insiders also say Kraft Heinz and its private-equity owner, 3G Capital, have failed to invest enough in new products that would grow sales over the long haul.And while demand for more food Americans can eat at home has lifted Kraft Heinz's sales during the coronavirus pandemic, employees still left en masse this year, anticipating more problems after things return to normal.The danger for Kraft Heinz now is that while it has massive scale advantages over upstart brands like Beyond Meat, Hu chocolate, and Flow water, selling products under decades-old brands may become more complicated. Many consumers are looking for new and healthier options. If the company focuses too much on efficiencies, Kraft Heinz risks missing out on the next big food trend, according to food-industry analysts.Below is Insider's coverage of the fallout at Kraft Heinz resulting from the company's cost-cutting strategy:Kraft Heinz budget cuts created a dysfunctional companySince its 2015 inception, following the $50 billion merger of Kraft Foods and H.J. Heinz, Kraft Heinz has cut costs under a model that 3G Capital used to make operations leaner at Burger King and Tim Horton's.Kraft executives have told investors they would run the company more efficiently while finding new ways to grow sales. Attempts at the latter included selling blended versions of the company's condiments, which led to the release of a mix of its ketchup and ranch known as "Kranch."At the company's corporate offices, employees are feeling the squeeze of that strategy. Budgets for everything from travel to promoting new products were cut year after year. The company also went through annual reorganizations and rounds of layoffs, with those left behind forced to do more with less.Read more: 3G's merger of Kraft and Heinz is killing morale, causing burnout, and choking innovation, some employees say. Now, the company could get left behind as the economy reopens.Read more: Why the private-equity playbook failed Kraft HeinzRead more: Kraft Heinz just agreed to sell Planters for $3.4 billion. Here's how the deal fits into its broader culling of food brands.Read more: Kraft Heinz just unveiled a 'platform'-based strategy for managing its food brands. Here's how the top US executive hopes to finally get sales growing again. Kraft Heinz; Samantha Lee/Insider Kraft Heinz's investments in e-commerce may not be enough in the long runKraft Heinz has championed some high-growth areas of its business. The best example is its e-commerce division, which manages relationships with online retailers like Amazon. Kraft Heinz even tapped a 15-year veteran of Amazon as its most recent e-commerce chief.But even that part of the business has been beset by problems. Employees say recruits from the tech world have clashed with old-school food-industry employees, leading to turnover. In September, a leaked email revealed the company's e-commerce lead was headed out the door.Industry analysts also say investing in areas like e-commerce, even if done right, may not be enough to prop up the company.Read more: Kraft Heinz tried to supercharge its e-commerce strategy by looking to Amazon. Instead, it created 'a clash of cultures' between the old-school food industry and tech types.Read more: Leaked email reveals Kraft Heinz is losing its e-commerce chief, an Amazon hire who created 'a clash of cultures' between the old-school food industry and tech typesRead more: Experts say Kraft Heinz faces a real nightmare scenarioKraft Heinz is an extreme example, but other big food companies also face challenges as they try to stay relevantBig food companies have scale, but they aren't always nimble enough to respond to consumer demands. Kraft Heinz and its peers, including Kellogg, General Mills, Unilever, and Nestlé, have set up initiatives to work with small brands to stay on top of trends.Like Kraft Heinz, many have also benefited from an eating-at-home craze during the pandemic. As vaccines become more widespread and daily life moves toward normal, those companies are trying to keep as many of those pandemic-era customers buying as possible.Read more: CPG giants like Procter & Gamble and Mars are on the hunt for the next DTC breakout company. Here's what 4 execs say they're looking for.Read more: Shoppers flocked to packaged foods during the pandemic. Now, Kraft Heinz, General Mills, and Kellogg are supercharging marketing spend to keep them buying.Read more: Here's how to impress a VC with your food startup, according to the head of Kraft Heinz's $100 million venture fundRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 21st, 2021

Flood and Disaster Disclosures: Law, Precedent and Grades for All 50 States

As more and more climate change-fueled extreme weather events—from historic hurricanes to unexpected summer downpours—affect homes, one issue anyone selling or buying a home needs to be aware of is disclosure. While some states require a seller to expansively detail any history of flood damage, flood zone designation or other natural disaster threats, others have […] The post Flood and Disaster Disclosures: Law, Precedent and Grades for All 50 States appeared first on RISMedia. As more and more climate change-fueled extreme weather events—from historic hurricanes to unexpected summer downpours—affect homes, one issue anyone selling or buying a home needs to be aware of is disclosure. While some states require a seller to expansively detail any history of flood damage, flood zone designation or other natural disaster threats, others have little or no disclosure requirements or provide only vague guidelines on what needs to be disclosed A recent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) panel rated all 50 states on the transparency of their flood disclosure policies on a letter grade from “A” for very transparent to “F” for failing to provide adequate policies or guidance. With 21 states receiving an “F” grade, the FEMA panel recommended the creation of a nationwide database of flood events, flood insurance claims and disaster claims. Though most local REALTOR® associations offer a voluntary form which can be provided to clients—all of which include some flood or disaster disclosures—every real estate professional should be aware of the legal requirements and precedents around flood and disaster disclosure in their state. ALABAMA — GRADE: F Alabama has no statutory or regulatory requirements for disclosure of flood risk, federal flood insurance requirements or past flood damages. Sellers must disclose a “material defect or condition that affects health or safety [when] the defect is not known to or readily observable by the buyer,” and a jury found in the 2000 court case Cooper & Co. v. Lester that this applies to “misrepresentations and suppression of material facts” related to flooding. ALASKA — GRADE: C Sellers in Alaska must disclose the flood zone designation and any floods they are aware of on the property, as well as damage caused from “landslide, avalanche, high winds, fire, earthquake or other natural causes.” It also requires that sellers disclose water or leakage in the basement along with frozen pipes or drains. ARIZONA — GRADE: F Arizona state statute requires licensed real estate agents to notify buyers through a written affidavit whether or not the property is on a FEMA-designated floodplain. Arizona also offers a list of other items to disclose, including fissures and environmental hazards affecting, but this report is explicitly not mandatory. Licensed real estate agents must also disclose any water that is a “feature” of the property, and whether it fluctuates “substantially in size or volume.” The in the 2011 court case Barton v. Boesen ruled that a real estate agent and his brokerage could not be held responsible for selling a new house with a defective, regularly leaking foundation because the buyers could not prove he “knew or should have known any information about the construction of the home.” ARKANSAS — GRADE: F Arkansas’s real estate commission explicitly states that no state law requires disclosure of specific information about their property, including floods and natural disasters. However, licensed real estate agents have to make “reasonable efforts” to obtain and disclose information that is “material to the value or desirability” of the property. In the 2011 court case Worley v City of Jonesboro, buyers sued a seller and her brokerage for allegedly understating flooding issues ruled in favor of the seller, with a judge saying that sellers can only be held responsible for nondisclosure in “special circumstances” when they have knowledge a buyer is relying on incorrect or misleading information in a transaction. CALIFORNIA — GRADE: C California has a specific and detailed mandatory form that statutorily requires property sellers to disclose a variety of past damages or potential future hazards, including major flood damage, flood zones, historic forest fire risk and earthquake fault lines. Whether or not a property will require flood insurance does not need to be disclosed. Two new laws passed in 2021 also require sellers to disclose certain fire hazard risks, including any fire hazard zone the property is part of and specific mitigation steps taken to defend against wildfires—everything from ember-resistant roof vents to non-combustible landscaping buffer zones. COLORADO — GRADE: F Real estate brokers are required by the state Department of Regulatory Agencies (DRE) to use state-approved disclosure forms “when appropriate.” While certain disclosures are codified in state law, disaster disclosure—whether a property has been damaged by “hail, wind, fire, flood or other casualty”— is not. The DRE vaguely warns on its website that real estate brokers are “responsible to make all required disclosures to all parties under applicable laws, rules and regulations governing real estate brokers.” In Jehly v. Brown, a 2014 court case involving buyers who were not informed their newly constructed house was built in a floodplain, saw a judge rule in favor of the seller (who did not fill out the disaster disclosure form) despite the fact that the third-party builder of the home knew about the floodplain. CONNECTICUT — GRADE: D Connecticut requires by law that sellers disclose flood hazard and inland wetland designations along with fire and smoke damage, but does not mandate anything regarding past flooding events or damage, or whether flood insurance is required on that property. DELAWARE — GRADE: C Delaware has a mandatory seller disclosure form that includes flood damage, drainage problems and flood zone or wetland designations. Flood insurance, and the current annual premium cost, must also be disclosed when applicable. The state also requires sellers to disclose if the property owner is responsible for repairing nearby streets or sidewalks, and the estimated cost if they are. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — GRADE: C The district does have a mandatory disclosure form that asks if there are any exterior drainage problems or if there has been previous flood, fire or wind damage to a property. There are no requirements to disclose flood insurance or floodplain designations. FLORIDA — GRADE: F While Florida has no statutory requirements regarding flood or disaster disclosure, courts have sometimes found that sellers can be held liable for not disclosing “facts or conditions about the property that could have a substantial impact on its value or desirability.” In the 1985 court decision in Johnson v. Davis, a seller was held responsible for not disclosing that a window regularly “gushed” water during rainstorms after they had told the buyer leaking issues had been mitigated, with the judge saying that enough omissions or misrepresentations by sellers could “amount to fraud in the legal sense.” On the other hand, a 1997 decision in Nelson v. Wiggs ruled in favor of a seller who had not disclosed regular property flooding, faulting the buyers for not asking questions of the seller or doing their own research. GEORGIA — GRADE: F Georgia has no codified or statutory mandatory disclosures for flooding. A 2010 appeals court ruling in Shaw v. Robertson faulted a homebuyer and their agent after they discovered significant flooding on a newly-purchased property, saying they “failed to act diligently” by doing more research or observing land conditions before making an offer. HAWAII — GRADE: D Sellers in Hawaii must disclose if a property is in a flood hazard area, but not any flood damage or flood insurance requirements. A mandatory form also asks sellers to disclose “material facts” that “are within the knowledge or control of the seller” or “can be observed from visible, accessible areas,” though how and when this would include flood damage or other natural disaster concerns is not defined. IDAHO — GRADE: F Idaho does not have disclosures for flood damage, flood zones or flood insurance, though a mandatory form does ask if there are “specific problems” with drainage or basement water. That form also has a space requiring “legal, physical, or other” disclosures, though it is not clear if flooding would be included. A 1997 court ruling in Enright v. Jonassen held a seller partially responsible after he failed to disclose a floodplain designation after he was asked explicitly by the buyer about additional building restrictions on the property. ILLINOIS — GRADE: C Sellers must disclose in Illinois whether there has been flooding or leaking in a basement, or whether it is located in a flood plain or currently has flood insurance. Sellers must also disclose if the property has “earth stability defects.” Licensed real estate agents must also disclose “latent material adverse facts pertaining to the physical condition of the property that are actually known by the licensee and that could not be discovered by a reasonably diligent inspection,” but cannot be held liable for passing on false information from a client if they did not have “actual knowledge the information was false.” INDIANA — GRADE: C Sellers in Indiana must disclose if there is any damage to the property due to “wind, flood, termites or rodents,” along with floodplain designations and current flood insurance. That mandatory form also includes “hazardous conditions,” including mine shafts or radioactive material on site. IOWA — GRADE: C Iowa does have mandatory disclosures, though how they are presented can vary. A recommended form requires sellers to disclose past flooding, drainage, grading issues, or floodplain designations, along with “water or other problems” in the basement or foundation. Iowa law specifically allows sellers to draw up their own disclosure form as long as it “contain[s] at a minimum the information required by” the recommended form, and complies generally with state statutes. NAR guidance warns that “no particular language is required provided all mandatory items are included” in a disclosure. KANSAS — GRADE: F Kansas generally requires that a seller discloses “[a]ny environmental hazards affecting the property which are required by law to be disclosed.” This does not explicitly mention flooding or any other natural disaster, though according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), courts have provided some precedent that sellers can be held responsible for certain material omissions, which might include flooding. In the 2013 court case Stechschulte v. Jennings, which involved a seller who had misrepresented repairs he made to windows—leaving behind a can of paint expressly designed to conceal water damage that buyers discovered—the court ruled the seller could be held liable. The seller’s real estate agent, who was also his fiance could be held liable as well, the court ruled, even though she did not live in the home at the time and claimed she had no direct knowledge of leaks or flooding. KENTUCKY — GRADE: C Kentucky requires mandatory disclosure of “draining, flooding, or grading,” as well as its flood hazard designation and flood insurance. It also requires sellers to disclose nearby bodies of water adjoining the property. Kentucky also sets specific sanctions against licensed real estate agents who do not disclose these things, including revoking licenses and levying fines of up to $1,000. LOUISIANA — GRADE: A As a state that has seen some of the worst flooding disasters in recent memory, Louisiana’s disclosures are extensive. The state’s mandatory disclosure form includes any past “flooding, water intrusion, accumulation or drainage problem” as well as its nature and frequency. This information must be provided for every structure on the property, and explicitly includes the time period before the seller owned the property. Flood designations and hazard zones must be disclosed, and the seller must also provide the source and date for these designations—FEMA flood maps, surveys or other third-party oversight. Whether the property is in a wetland, or even has a pending wetland designation, must also be included in the form. Apart from floods, sellers must also disclose “property damage, including, but not limited to, fire, wind, hail, lightning,” that occurred both before and during the seller’s ownership of the property. MAINE — GRADE: F Maine has no mandatory disclosure form, and state statute simply states that that sellers “shall disclose in a timely manner to a prospective buyer all material defects pertaining to the physical condition of the property of which the seller agent knew or, acting in a reasonable manner, should have known” without mentioning floods. Seller’s agents are “not obligated to discover latent defects in the property,” and cannot be held liable if they pass on false information that was provided by a client. The 1999 court case Kezer v. Mark Stimson Assocs. held that sellers and their agents could not be held liable for failing to disclose neighborhood environmental hazards that had not significantly affected the property in question. MARYLAND — GRADE: D While Maryland does have a mandatory disclosure form, the only flood-related item asks if the property is located in a “flood zone, conservation area, wetland area, [or] Chesapeake Bay critical area.” The form also asks for the disclosure of “material defects,” though whether that applies to flooding or flood damage is not explicit. MASSACHUSETTS — GRADE: F State statute requires that a seller “disclose known material defects in real property” but provides no other guidance on floods and no mandatory form. In 2008, the Massachusetts Supreme Court case Grossman v. Pouy saw a seller leave blank sections on a voluntary disclosure form related to roof and other structural deficiencies when the roof needed to be immediately replaced and walls were filled with mold and rodents. The court in this case found that failure to disclose serious defects that rose to the level of fraud could render sellers liable. MICHIGAN — GRADE: C Michigan does have mandatory disclosures, including for flood insurance, drainage or grading issues, and any “major damage to the property from fire, wind, floods or landslides.” Interestingly, the state explicitly allows counties or towns to add their own additional forms or disclosures, meaning some areas have potentially more stringent flood disclosure requirements for sellers or their agents. MINNESOTA — GRADE: D Though Minnesota does not have a mandatory disclosure form, state statute requires that a licensed real estate agent “disclose to a prospective purchaser all material facts of which the licensee is aware, which could adversely and significantly affect an ordinary purchaser’s use or enjoyment of the property, or any intended use of the property of which the licensee is aware.” According to NAR, this would include flooding or flood damage. Ghost hunters, however, will be disappointed to learn that Minnesota explicitly exempts sellers from disclosing if there was any “perceived paranormal activity” on the property. MISSISSIPPI — GRADE: A Boasting one of the most comprehensive mandatory flood disclosure laws alongside Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, Mississippi requires sellers to detail, including dates and descriptions, of “damage to any portion of the physical structure resulting from fire, windstorm, hail, tornados, hurricane or any other natural disaster.” Additionally, the form asks for any “malfunction or defects” with windows or other infrastructure related to leaking. Flood plan hazard designations, including the FEMA map number must be disclosed, as well as current flood insurance and the price of the current premium. If the property has experienced standing water in the yard for more than 48 yards after a rain, that must also be disclosed. Sellers must also detail any water damage regardless of source or reason, as well as steps taken to remedy those issues. MISSOURI — GRADE: F There are no mandatory flood disclosures or required forms in Missouri. Though licensed real estate agents must “disclose to any customer all adverse material facts actually known or that should have been known by the licensee,” they also “owe no duty to conduct an independent inspection or discover any adverse material facts for the benefit of the customer.” In Keefhaver v. Kimbrell—a 2001 court case in which a buyer accused a seller of understating flood risk and basement leaks—the court ruled in favor of the buyer, even though she had only spent 30 minutes on the property before making an offer and waived her right to an inspection. The buyer was entitled to rely on the seller’s representations, the court ruled, due to their superior knowledge of facts that were “latent and…not easily ascertainable.” MONTANA — GRADE: F Though there are no mandatory forms or disclosures required of sellers, Montana state statute dictates that sellers must disclose “adverse material facts,” and defines those as “a fact that should be recognized by a broker or salesperson as being of enough significance as to affect a person’s decision to enter into a contract to buy or sell real property.” At the same time, a licensed real estate agent must “ascertain all pertinent facts concerning each property in any transaction…so that the licensee may fulfill the obligation to avoid error, exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts.” A 2015 court ruling in Rutterud v. Gilbraith stated that that a real estate agent could not be held liable for failing to investigate a mold problem caused by known flooding under that law. NEBRASKA — GRADE: C State law requires sellers to provide a written statement that “substantially” follows the format of a standard disclosure form, which includes whether the property is in a flood hazard zone, a “floodway,” or if there are any “flooding, drainage or grading problems.” The law also requires disclosure of “adverse material facts,” which NAR states would likely include other flood or natural disaster related issues. NEVADA — GRADE: C Nevada requires a mandatory disclosure form for sellers that includes “previous or current moisture conditions and/or water damage,” along with “drainage, flooding, water seepage or high-water table.” Sellers must also disclose floodplain designations, along with “earth stability” and other landslide or earthquake-related issues. NEW HAMPSHIRE — GRADE: F The “Live Free or Die” state unsurprisingly has minimal requirements for seller disclosures around flooding. Real estate agents must disclose “material physical, regulatory, mechanical or on-site environmental condition[s] affecting the subject property of which the licensee has actual knowledge,” but the law explicitly states that it “shall not create an affirmative obligation on the part of the licensee to investigate material defects.” Snierson v. Scruton, a 2000 court Supreme Court Case, ruled that a seller who used a voluntary disclosure form could still be held liable for fraud and negligent misrepresentation over septic tank leaching, even though that form “expressly warned that it did not constitute a warranty and was not a substitute for a buyer’s inspection.” The buyer still had to prove, however, that the seller demonstrated “conscious indifference to [the] truth with the intention to cause another to rely upon it.” NEW JERSEY — GRADE: F New Jersey’s code requires licensed real estate agents to provide a disclosure form that includes whether the property has flood or drainage problems or is located in a flood hazard. Agents are also specifically empowered to add or request more disclosures when appropriate, and are exempted from liability if they made a “reasonable and diligent inquiry” to discover if information given to them by a seller was false. There is no requirement that unlicensed sellers provide this disclosure. The 1974 court case Weintraub v. Krobatsch held a seller and their agent responsible for not disclosing a cockroach infestation, which the FEMA panel posited could also apply to non-disclosure of flooding. NEW MEXICO — GRADE: F New Mexico requires licensed agents and brokers to disclose “any adverse material facts actually known by the associate broker or qualifying broker about the property or the transaction,” but makes no mention of flood or disasters and has no mandatory forms. A 1984 court ruling in Gouveia v. Citicorp Person-to-Person Fin. Ctr., Inc. determined a broker could be held liable in a case where a property was listed as “All Top Shape” despite the fact that parts of the home had no foundation, could not be heated and had other major structural deficiencies. In this case, the broker had not even interacted directly with the buyer, but had simply provided a description of the property to an MLS. NEW YORK — GRADE: F New York’s mandatory flood disclosure law has an odd loophole: the penalty for not including the disclosure form is a paltry $500 credit due at closing. Both NAR and FEMA found that many attorneys have advised home sellers to simply pay this penalty rather than disclose potentially deal-sinking information about standing water on the property, historic flooding issues or floodplain designations. A bill currently stalled in the state legislature would repeal the $500 penalty system and add significant new flood disclosure requirements. Simply paying the penalty, however, does not exempt a seller or agent from being held liable for “active concealment of a defect,” according to the 2018 court case Pesce v. Leimsider, in which a seller allegedly concealed water damage during a sale and inspection. Another court case in 2005 (Gabberty v Pisarz) in which a seller withheld information about chronic basement flooding ruled that a buyer can be awarded damages when there is a “willful failure” to disclose these things. NORTH CAROLINA — GRADE: D North Carolina does have a mandatory disclosure form that asks narrowly if the property is “subject to a flood hazard or…located in a federally-designated flood hazard area.” It also asks about water seepage or standing water in the basement, but does not require any disclosures related to flood damage or historic flooding. NORTH DAKOTA — GRADE: C State statute in North Dakota requires significant disclosures around flooding, including whether it was ever damaged by a flood, has drainage issues or is in a flood zone. It also asks whether the property has been “damaged by fire, smoke, wind, floods, hail, snow, frozen pipes or broken water line…condensation or ice buildup,” and requires explanations for those issues. A 1985 court case (Holcomb v. Zinke) also explicitly exempted certain real estate transactions from the “buyer beware” doctrine of common law, ruling that “passive concealment” by a seller could constitute fraud. OHIO — GRADE: C A mandatory Ohio disclosure form asks if there are previous or current water leaks, rain gutter issues, water accumulation, moisture, or other material damage related to flooding or any other water intrusion. Fire or smoke damage is also included, and any mitigation or repairs over the last five years to address these things must also be divulged. It also requires disclosure of historic flooding, as well as if the property is in a designated floodplain or Lake Erie Coastal Erosion Zone. OKLAHOMA — GRADE: A Any seller who has occupied a property in Oklahoma must fill out a mandatory disclosure form and must disclose a variety of specific flood zone designations, flood insurance, historic flooding and interior leakage or drainage issues. They must also disclose “major fire, tornado, hail, earthquake or wind damage.” An additional stipulation requires licensed real estate agents to disclose property defects they know of that are not stated on the seller’s disclosure form, and they can be disciplined by the state if they fail to do so. OREGON — GRADE: C Oregon has a mandatory form that must be proactively delivered to each person that makes an offer on a property. That disclosure includes whether there has been “material damage to the property or any of the structure from fire, wind, floods, beach movements, earthquake, expansive soils or landslides.” There are also questions as to floodplain designation or “geologic hazard zone.” There is no requirement to disclose flood insurance mandates, though the form does advise buyers that any floodplain designation could result in the need for insurance. PENNSYLVANIA — GRADE: C A mandatory form in Pennsylvania asks sellers about leaky roofs, basement leakage or dampness or repairs to mitigate those issues. It also requires floodplain disclosure, as well as past or present flooding issues affecting the property generally. RHODE ISLAND — GRADE: D Rhode Island mandates certain disclosures without providing a form. Among the required information is the vague directive that sellers include “Basement (Seepage, Leaks, Cracks, etc.)” along with “Flood Plain (Flood Insurance)” and  “Fire,” without further defining what any of this means. Location of nearby wetlands, or if the property is on wetlands, must also be disclosed. . A 2003 court ruling in Stebbins v. Wells, involving undisclosed severe erosion on a coastal property, stated that sellers and their agents could be held liable for “passive concealment” in some circumstances and explicitly pushed back against the “buyer beware” doctrine. SOUTH CAROLINA — GRADE: C South Carolina’s mandatory disclosure form includes specific statutory language requiring sellers to report flood problems, flood hazards or designations, all FEMA claims and the dates they were filed, as well as current flood insurance. Fire, smoke or other water “problems” must be divulged as well. It also requires a real estate agent to disclose known “adverse facts” about the property even if the seller omitted them. South Carolina also explicitly allows waiving all these disclosure requirements as long as both parties agree to do so in writing. Certain time-sharing and vacation home plans are also exempt from disclosure. SOUTH DAKOTA — GRADE: C South Dakota has a mandatory disclosure form laid out in state statute that includes “water penetration” issues, standing water on the property, roof leaks and any water damage that was repaired or not repaired. Sellers must also disclose previous flood insurance claims made on the property. TENNESSEE — GRADE: B Tennessee offers a disclosure form that is technically not mandatory, but state statute warns that any real estate transaction must include all items and provisions laid out in that form. Those items and provisions include “flooding, drainage, or grading problems,” flood insurance requirements, and property damage from fire, earthquakes, floods or landslides, as well as if that damage has been repaired. Sellers must also disclose any recent surveys conducted of the property, which could include information about flooding or flood risk. TEXAS — GRADE: A A state that has seen more than its share of flooding and disasters, Texas’s disclosure laws require comprehensive declarations regarding flooding and other adverse natural events. Water damage, fire damage, flooding from a “controlled or emergency release” of a reservoir, or from natural flood event, and six specific floodplain designations must all be disclosed by law. Sellers must also divulge current flood insurance and past flood insurance claims. Additionally, the law explicitly allows a buyer to terminate a contract if the seller does not provide the mandatory disclosures when entering into a purchase agreement. UTAH — GRADE: F With no flood or mandatory disclosure rules, Utah only generally asks real estate agents to divulge “known material facts” regarding “a defect in the property.” A 2002 court case involving a real estate agent who was selling property owned by her husband found that the agent and her brokerage were liable for failing to disclose “chocolate pudding-like” mud that made the land untenable for development. VERMONT — GRADE: F There are no mandatory flood disclosure forms or requirements in Vermont. A state statute regarding “unprofessional conduct” by licensed real estate agents allows the state to discipline those who fail “to fully disclose…all material facts within the licensee’s knowledge concerning the property being sold.” A 1998 court case (Carter v. Gugliuzzi) held a seller’s brokerage responsible for failing to disclose regular dangerous wind on a property, even though the broker was only aware of this fact because he happened to live in the area. VIRGINIA — GRADE: F The FEMA panel excoriated Virginia’s flood disclosure laws as “the opposite of buyer friendly.” While the state does have a mandatory disclosure form, that form explicitly exonerates the seller from disclosing flood-related items and warns the buyer to “exercise whatever due diligence they deem necessary” to learn about flood risks, flooding or flood designations on the property. An update to the relevant statute scheduled to go into effect in 2022 will “make available” a flood information sheet to buyers that speaks generally about flooding and insurance requirements under federal law. In the 2015 court case Devine v. Buki, a seller was held liable for fraudulently lying about leaks and water damage in the foundation of a 200-year-old house, with a judge rescinding the sale and awarding the buyer $100,000 in attorney’s fees. WASHINGTON — GRADE: C Washington’s disclosure rules are applied differently to “improved” residential real estate—properties that have a structure or structures on them—and “unimproved” properties that do not. For both types of properties, sellers must disclose flooding events, material damage from “floods, beach movements, earthquake, expansive soils or landslides” and “shorelines, wetlands, floodplains or critical areas” on the property. “Improved” properties must also include basement flooding events, while “unimproved” properties must specifically disclose federal floodplain designations. WEST VIRGINIA — GRADE: F West Virginia does not even have a state law that generally governs real estate disclosures—though at least two have been introduced by the legislature since 1996. Thacker v. Tyree, a 1982 court case provided some precedent that “defects or conditions which substantially affect the value or habitability of the property” must be disclosed by a seller, and another court case (Darrisaw v. Old Colony Realty Co.) in 1997 applied that doctrine in part to a home with an undivulged “high water problem.” That ruling added that a misrepresentation like this must be proven a “substantial factor in inducing the purchaser to buy the property” in order to hold the seller liable. WISCONSIN — GRADE: D Wisconsin has two mandatory disclosure forms: one for vacant land containing no buildings, and one for property with dwelling units. The form dealing with inhabited structures only asks if the property is in a floodplain, wetland or shoreland zoning area, along with a specific question about basement defects which “may include items such as flooding.” The vacant land disclosure form includes the same floodplain disclosures, but additionally asks if the property has suffered “material damage from fire, wind, flood, earthquake, expansive soil, erosion or landslide,” or if there is “water diversion, water intrusion or other irritants emanating from neighboring property.” WYOMING —GRADE: F With no mandatory form or flood disclosures, licensed real estate agents must still disclose “adverse material facts actually known by the licensee” to buyers, including “material defects in the property and any environmental hazards.” In the 2006 court case Reed v. Cloninger the court stated that buyers could pursue legal claims against real estate agents “for misrepresenting the condition of the property, provided they knew or reasonably should have known of the defect.” Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Flood and Disaster Disclosures: Law, Precedent and Grades for All 50 States appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaSep 21st, 2021

Strong Start to the Week as Stocks Jump Over 1%

Strong Start to the Week as Stocks Jump Over 1% SPECIAL ALERT: The latest episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session will be available for viewing no later than this Wednesday, September 16. Kevin Matras, Kevin Cook, Dan Laboe, Ben Rains and Sheraz Mian will cover the investment landscape from several angles in this informative event. Don’t miss your chance to hear: • Ben and Dan Agree to Disagree on market valuation - is it still overvalued after this correction? Or is it harder to compare because of historically high valuations and a different interest rate environment? And does this tech-driven rally play a part? • Kevin Matras answers your questions in Zacks Mailbag • Sheraz and Dan choose one portfolio to give feedback for improvement • And much more   So be sure to mark your calendar then log on to Zacks.com and bookmark this page. The market just took a great first step toward ending its two-week losing streak, as each of the major indices jumped by more than 1% to kick things off on Monday. Technology hasn’t been so cool lately, as we finally saw the pullback that many investors were waiting for. The NASDAQ plunged by more than 4% last week and over 3% the week before that. But on Monday the index was once again leading the way with a surge of 1.87% (or about 203 points) to 11,056.65. Interestingly, only one of the FAANGs were positive in the session, but it just so happened to be Apple (AAPL) gaining a very solid 3% after seeing a double-digit plunge since its stock split. Meanwhile, the S&P rose 1.27% to 3383.54 and the Dow advanced 1.18% (or about 327 points) to 27,993.33. These indices are coming back from a week that saw declines of 2.6% and 1.7%, respectively. You know it’s probably going to be a good day when we get some encouraging vaccine news. The market loves to hear any type of progress on this front, such as AstraZeneca's resumption of Phase III trials in the U.K. after a short delay (though the candidate is still on hold here in the U.S.). It was also nice to talk about a few deals on Monday, including Oracle’s (ORCL, +4.3%) partnership with TikTok’s U.S. business and NVIDIA’s (NVDA) plan to buy Arm Holdings from SoftBank for $40 billion (more on that below). Looking forward, the Fed could have a say in whether the market breaks this two-week skid. The Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday with Chair Powell speaking on the second day. Nobody expects a change in interest rates, but there doesn’t have to be any such action to have an impact.   The market dropped last month when the Fed minutes warned that the pandemic could “weigh heavily” on the economy, but then advanced just a week later when Powell outlined a new policy for inflation that will keep rates historically low for even longer than originally expected. So it was a nice start to the week, but there are four days left and some big comments from the Fed coming up. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Stocks Under $10: This portfolio had no exposure to the metals & mining space when the day began, but Brian quickly took care of that problem by adding Hecla Mining (HL) in the morning. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) is primarily a miner in the silver space and will further help to diversify the service. As its strong Zacks Rank attests, earnings estimates are on the rise for this year and next. But the editor also noticed a “huge turnaround” in margins, which could be a great thing for the stock price if it continues. Read the complete commentary for a lot more on today’s addition of HL… and be ready for more moves tomorrow. By the way, Maxar Technologies (MAXR) jumped nearly 10.6% on Monday, which was one of the best performers of the day among all ZU names.  Surprise Trader: Shares of H.B. Fuller (FUL) are well off their coronavirus lows, but have yet to reach the highs seen earlier this year. Dave sees potential in such a situation, especially for a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that beat by nearly 26% last time. Looking forward, this specialty chemical company has a positive Earnings ESP for its next report, which comes after the bell on Wednesday, September 23. The editor added FUL on Monday with a 12.5% allocation, while also selling Eaton Vance (EV). Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves and be ready for another addition later this week.  TAZR Trader: One of the big stories on Monday was NVIDIA (NVDA) announcing its plan to buy Arm Holdings from SoftBank for approximately $40 billion. One analyst said this deal creates a “landscape-changing entity”. Though Kevin loves NVDA and its groundbreaking graphics chips, he calls this combination “a tantalizing but probably unrealistic quest”. It’s already drawing a quick backlash in the chip industry and will have to face a “gauntlet of regulators”. And even if it gets through all that, it would be one to two years before its finalized. Therefore, the editor trimmed some of his beloved NVDA position today for a nearly 140% return in about 6 months! Read the complete commentary for tons of analyst comments on this deal. Black Box Trader: The portfolio changed half of its positions in this week’s adjustment and cashed in a double-digit winner along the way. The stocks that were sold today included: • Berry Global (BERY, +10.7%) • Owens Minor (OMI, +1,2%) • Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH) • Lumber Liquidators (LL) • Vista Outdoor (VSTO) The new buys that filled these open spots were: • BMC Stock Holdings (BMCH) • DaVita (DVA) • Tapestry (TPR) • Target (TGT) • TRI Pointe Group (TPH) Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service designed to take the emotion out of investing. All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

NASDAQ Jumps 4%+ This Week, While S&P, Dow Rise Over 3%

NASDAQ Jumps 4%+ This Week, While S&P, Dow Rise Over 3% SPECIAL ALERT: Electric vehicles (EVs), specifically their production and sale, has been one of the hottest industries among investors lately. The very nature of the business is changing quickly, and like most new industries, a lot of money will be made for investors who understand the technology and consumer preferences, and who avoid the hype. That’s why in our newest Special Report, Electric Vehicles: Profiting from the Wave of the Future, we give you a broad overview of the history of the technology, current state of the industry and reveal the players, in addition to Tesla, who are poised to dominate the EV business into the future. Log on to Zacks.com to read the report now. Stimulus odds really ran the gamut this week from ‘hopeful’ through ‘pretty much dead’ and back to ‘somewhat possible’. And through all these ups and downs, the market managed to gain in four of the past five days and put together one of its better weekly performances of late. The NASDAQ jumped 4.6% over the five days for its third straight week of gains. The S&P rose 3.8% and the Dow increased 3.3%, giving these indices back-to-back weekly wins. The stimulus yo-yo finished on Friday with President Trump raising his offer to $1.8 Trillion from $1.6 Trillion. Just for fun, let’s recap all that happened this week. On Tuesday, POTUS abruptly called off negotiations of a big stimulus deal, but the next day he floated a smaller package targeting airlines and small businesses. Then on Thursday, Speaker Pelosi said “no” to a standalone deal. Now on Friday, we’ve got the President tweeting out “Go big!” If your head hurts, you’re not alone. TGIF! The bottom line is that the week finished on a positive note, giving the major indices a solid session to finish off all this craziness. The NASDAQ jumped 1.39% (or about 158 points) on Friday to 11,579.94, while the S&P was up 0.88% to 3477.14. The Dow increased 0.57% (or around 161 points) to 28,586.90. The market has enough to deal with right now, but there’s another big factor on the horizon… and we’re not talking about the election yet. Earnings season begins next week with several of the major financials kicking things off. JPMorgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) report on Tuesday, followed by Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) the rest of the week. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of non-financials going to the plate next week as well. So let’s hope we get some clarity on stimulus moving forward, because the market will have its hands full with the beginning of earnings season. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Blockchain Innovators: You know how you can check into or out of a hotel on your phone? Or pretty much do anything during your stay without personal contact with another person? That’s what Agilysys (AGYS) is all about. The company is in the hospitality software business, and it has partnered with payment platform (and major blockchain user) Adyen. Such contactless services were a convenience before the pandemic, but many will see it as a necessity afterwards. So expect blockchain to become even more integrated into AGYS. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) had a big earnings surprise last time and is expected to grow revenue more than 23% next year. Read the full write-up for more. Healthcare Innovators: It was a great week for the CRISPR stocks as the “dynamic duo” that discovered this gene-editing game changer were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry. As a result, Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA) was once again the top performer among all ZU names on Friday with a rise of 14.7%. It was up more than 30% this week, which made it one of the biggest movers over the past 30 days as well. NTLA is now the best performer in Healthcare Innovators by climbing nearly 96% since last November The portfolio’s other CRISPR names also had good weeks with Editas Medicine (EDIT) up more than 18% and CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) advancing approximately 25%. By the way, this portfolio also had another winner today as Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO) rose 9.5%. Counterstrike: "I am not a fan of these headline bombs that come throughout the day. (T)hey are very reminiscent of the China Trade deal headlines we saw over a year ago. I still have no idea if there will be a deal, but the market seems to think so and stocks were bid... I would guess there is some clarity over the weekend on any stimulus and the market will react Sunday night. "Looking past the stimulus, we will start to get some earnings coming our way next week. The financials will be reporting along with some other familiar names. "This market is on fire once again. Its not just tech this time as many sectors are finding a bid. Solar, cannabis and miners are all very strong. I'm looking to add two stocks on Monday and from there we will focus on earnings." -- Jeremy Mullin, who had the second best performer among all ZU names on Friday with Turtle Beach (HEAR) rising nearly 10.5%. Have a Great Weekend! Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Tech Slips Again, but Dow Adds Another 260 Points

Tech Slips Again, but Dow Adds Another 260 Points The market calmed down quite a bit from yesterday’s exuberance as it continues to reposition after the recent blockbuster vaccine update, which hopefully signals that we're nearing the end of this pandemic.  On Tuesday, money was still moving out of the “stay home” names and into the “recovery” ones. As a result, the indices were again mixed. Everyone’s still buzzing about Monday’s encouraging vaccine news out of Pfizer (PFE) and partner BioNTech, stating that the treatment was 90% effective in preventing Covid. Two of the major indices briefly hit new records yesterday after the announcement, but came back to earth amid a tech selloff. The same thing pretty much happened today, but without the Dow surging past 1500 at its peak. Instead, the index cooled off and added ‘only’ 0.90% to 29,420.92. It may seem odd to say a more than 250-point gain constitutes a “cooling off” period, but it’s actually the Dow’s smallest advance this month. The index soared more than 1800 points last week despite a small loss on Friday, and then added on another 830 points yesterday. So we’re talking about a gain of more than 2900 in November... and the month isn't even half over. The S&P couldn’t keep yesterday’s momentum going. It slipped 0.14% to 3545.53 after rising more than 1.1% on Monday. The NASDAQ did manage to keep the momentum moving, but it was in the wrong direction. The tech-heavy index slipped 1.37% (or about 160 points) today to 11,553.86. That marks a two-day slide of nearly 3%. But don’t feel too bad. It soared approximately 9% last week.    “Since the vaccine has been announced, there has been a violent rotation out of tech growth and into value,” said Jeremy in Counterstrike. “I think this is a massive overreaction by the quants, but it does make sense to see the money move into the companies that would benefit from the virus being gone.” Today's Portfolio Highlights: Surprise Trader: Since reporting a solid third quarter late last month, shares of Altra Industrial Motion (AIMC) have soared. Dave wants to let this winner run a bit longer, but would also like to secure some of those gains. Therefore, he sold half of AIMC on Tuesday for a more than 32% return in a little under a month. The new buy is Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN), which beat by more than 50% last time and is part of the highly-ranked Building Products industry (Top 15%). This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) has a positive Earnings ESP of 3.38% for the quarter coming after the bell on Thursday, November 19. The editor added BECN on Tuesday with a 12.5% allocation. See the complete commentary for more on today’s action. Counterstrike: With the market finally calming down a bit after six days of sharp rallies, Jeremy felt it was time to make some additions. He had “multiple alerts going off” but managed to narrow it down to these three buys: • Stamps.com (STMP) – provider of Internet-based postage services • Pinterest (PINS) – popular social media platform • Camping World (CWH) – provides services/products for RV fans The editor added each name with a 6% allocation. STMP and CWH are Zacks Rank #1s (Strong Buys), while PINS is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Read the full write-up for more details on each of these names, including recent earnings, potential stops and double-down areas. TAZR Trader: Regulatory risk is always a big deal for a company like Alibaba (BABA), but its all the more concerning when China begins making it an even bigger issue. And it looks like that might be happening. Therefore, Kevin sold more of BABA on Tuesday for a nice return of approximately 36% in about six months. If this seems familiar, it’s because the editor sold a third of BABA less than a week ago for a profit of more than 60%! Read the full write-up for more on this sell, as well as an update on Alteryx (AYX). Zacks Short Sell List: This week's adjustment replaced half of the portfolio. The stocks that were short-covered include: • BioMarin Pharma (BMRN, +2.5%) • Illumina (ILMN, +1.3%) • American Tower (AMT, +0.15%) • Las Vegas Sands (LVS) • Hexcel (HXL) The new buys that replaced these names were: • A-Mark Precious Metals (AMRK) • ConocoPhillips (COP) • Marriott Int'l (MAR) • StoneCo (STNE) • Sysco (SYY) Learn more about this emotion-free portfolio that takes advantage of falling and volatile markets by reading the Short Sell List Trader Guide. Options Trader: "There's still a lot more work to be done. But given the increasing number of coronavirus cases, it's nice to see that more treatments are hitting the market, and that a vaccine could be here sooner rather than later. "Adding to the market's favorable tone is a continuing strong earnings season. It's winding down now. But we've seen a strong performance so far. "And after Q3's unprecedented GDP growth, and forecasts for a strong Q4, not to mention expectations for 2021 to have the strongest full-year GDP in 38 years, you can see why expectations are high for more earnings gains, and market gains to come." -- Kevin Matras All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Big Weekly Gains and a Couple New Highs

Big Weekly Gains and a Couple New Highs This month’s jobs report was nothing to write home about, but this week’s market gains certainly were! The NASDAQ jumped 6% over the past five days, while the S&P was up 4.6% and the Dow increased 3.9%. Furthermore, the first two indices closed at all-time highs for the second straight session. The market was making up for lost ground from last week, when SqueezeMania caused each of the major indices to drop more than 3%. All that ground has been recovered… and then some. But investors are also feeling pretty good about earnings season. In fact, growth has resumed a quarter earlier than expected. Check out Director of Research Sheraz Mian’s article “Q4 Earnings Growth Turns Positive” for more details. The FAANGs have been especially noteworthy this season with Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) both recording sales of more than $100 billion in a single quarter for the first time. And the market’s good mood is rounded out by more stimulus and more vaccines on the horizon. The week ended with the NASDAQ rising 0.57% (or about 78 points) on Friday to 13,856.30, while the S&P was up 0.39% to 3886.83. The Dow advanced 0.30% (or around 92 points) to 31,148.24. The latter two indices didn’t have a negative close all week and now have five-day winning streaks. The Government Employment Situation for January was better than December, but still a modest disappointment. The economy added 49,000 jobs, which was way better than the downwardly revised 227,000 that were lost in the previous month. But it still missed expectations, though the unemployment rate improved to 6.3%. Like last month though, the report didn’t break the market’s momentum. Such lackluster data keeps the need for more stimulus on the minds of investors and Washington. However, the new administration and Congress really don’t need much more convincing as they work to push through a nearly $2 trillion package. Next week we’ll have more than 800 companies going to the plate as earnings season continues. Today's Portfolio Highlights:   Counterstrike: We’ve been told all week that more buys were on the way... and today it finally happened! On Friday, Jeremy bought a 5% allocation in Qorvo (QRVO) and a 10% allocation in FedEx (FDX). QRVO is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that provides core technologies and radio frequency for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications. The company beat by 15% in its most recent report and even raised its Q4 guidance, yet the stock sold off. The editor is starting a position and might add more on further selling. Meanwhile, you know what FDX does. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) doesn’t report until March, but it’s starting to grind upward and might be able to get back to recent highs over the next month. Read the full write-up for more specifics on today’s moves. Surprise Trader: Less than a month ago, the portfolio sold Altra Industrial Motion (AIMC) for a profit of more than 37%. Dave is hoping for more when the company reports again on Friday, February 12 before the bell. AIMC has beaten for three consecutive quarters now and has a positive Earnings ESP heading into the print. The editor added AIMC on Friday with an 11.5% allocation. He also sold the laggard Renasant (RNST) for a slight loss amid a sea of green in the portfolio, including four double-digit winners. See the complete commentary for more. In other news, this service had a top performer today as Century Communities (CCS) rose 19.5%. Blockchain Innovators: Shares of Rekor Systems (REKR) pulled back recently after this provider of advanced vehicle recognition systems announced an offering of approximately 5 million shares. Dave’s been watching this name for a while now and finally got an opportunity to pick it up at a good price. The company partnered with Cygnet to use blockchain for an end-to-end solution that simplifies parking permitting, electronic citation management and parking enforcement. Revenue is expected to come in at 176% year over year with EPS growth of 81.36%. The editor also decided to sell Axcelis Tech (ACLS) after the semiconductor equipment company slipped to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and came down off its highs. The stock still brought a gain of 49.6% in less than six months. Read the full write-up for more. Insider Trader: The market is pretty much ignoring Lantheus Holdings (LNTH)... but Tracey isn’t! The company focuses on diagnostic medical imaging agents and products. Through its purchase of Progenics, it has a product called PyL that could replace the MRI in diagnosing prostate cancer in some cases. Analysts expect it to be approved. Shares of LNTH are up 59% in the past three months, and yet one director still bought three times in January through a 10b5-1 plan. The editor really likes to see insiders accumulate stock that’s going higher. LNTH will be trying for a third straight positive surprise when it reports again later this month. Tracey likes what she sees and wants to get involved before the rest of the market catches up. She bought LNTH on Friday with a 10% allocation. Get a lot more info on this new buy in the full write-up. TAZR Trader: Earlier this week, Kevin added Vaxart (VXRT) in his Healthcare Innovators portfolio. The company has the only tablet-form covid vaccine candidate. The recent Phase 1 trial has earned kudos and criticism from analysts. On the one hand, several adults who took the treatment did not develop a neutralizing antibody response. On the other hand, 75% of one-dose patients had a strong T-cell response. Perhaps most importantly though, the trial said that the vaccine was safe. Kevin thinks this innovative company has earned a 5% allocation for now. Make sure to read his in-depth analysis in the complete commentary, which includes both bullish and bearish cases. Value Investor: Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) have done really well in the portfolio since Tracey bought the stock back in November 2019. However, they won’t be moving anymore. As you’ve probably already heard, Jazz Pharmaceuticals agreed to acquire GWPH for $7.2 billion in cash and stock. It’s expected to close sometime in the second quarter of 2021. However, until the deal closes, it’s basically “dead money” in the portfolio. So the editor sold GWPH on Friday for a 98.4% return. Now she can relocate the cash into another position. Read the complete commentary for more on her decision. Have a Great Weekend! Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

A routine commercial flight from Athens to Lithuania spiraled into a dramatic international incident that has world leaders outraged. Here"s what happened, and why it"s a huge deal.

European leaders are outraged. They are meeting today to discuss taking action against Alexander Lukashenko's .....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 24th, 2021

The US is readying sanctions against Russia over the SolarWinds cyber attack. Here"s a simple explanation of how the massive hack happened and why it"s such a big deal

Federal investigators and cybersecurity experts say that Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service is probably responsible for the attack. SolarWinds.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 15th, 2021

Amazon"s recent spate of Twitter feuds happened because Jeff Bezos told execs to "fight back" against critics, report says

Amazon accounts sent combative tweets at Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren last week amid a uni.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 29th, 2021

Two years after Ethiopian Boeing 737 Max crash, victims’ relatives mourn, protest

“This crash should never have happened, and the people at Boeing should be held accountable for their terrible actions,” said Linet Mwirigi, whose husband Cedrick Asiavugwa was killed aboa.....»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneMar 11th, 2021

Hyundai execs are reportedly "agonizing" over whether to make Apple"s electric car. Some are reluctant to become a contractor for the US tech giant.

Some execs at Hyundai are reluctant to become a contract manufacturer for Apple's electric cars, which could scupper a deal, Reuters re.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 31st, 2021

What happened last week? The Capitol riots led to Twitter suspending Trump, while Parler erupted with talk of violence, and Simon & Schuster cancelled a senator"s book.

What happened last week? Twitter suspended President Trump, Parler erupted with violence talk, and Simon & Schuster cancelled a senator's book deal. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 10th, 2021

Behind the deal: Huntington, TCF merger follows years of friendship between two execs

The two executives were on a phone call regarding a project this summer when a possible combination came up......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsDec 14th, 2020

Seattle bank recruits Wells Fargo execs to expand commercial business in Tucson

The Wells Fargo execs were recruited by WaFd Bank to set up its first brick-and-mortar commercial banking office in southern Arizona. Bank executives spoke to the Business Journal about how the deal came together to snag the Wells Fargo bankers......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsFeb 28th, 2020

Trump takes time in China deal signing to lament his Fed chair pick, again

A funny thing happened on the way to the U.S.-China trade deal signing: President Donald Trump may have tipped his next pick for head of the Federal Reserve -- if he gets the chance......»»

Category: topSource: reutersJan 15th, 2020

Amazon"s 4th big deal in this county happened without any incentives. Here"s why that matters.

The fulfillment center is expected to bring 500 jobs to Polk County......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 29th, 2019