Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2019, Passport to Wall Street 60 Apple's Credit Card under Investigation for Sexism http://www.pws.io/apples-credit-card-under-investigation-for-sexism <p class='black-text'>With new technology comes new problems. Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/APPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">APPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="APPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="APPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="APPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> released their new credit card in August, but recent news suggests that the card may not be as great as it seems. Apple's new credit card is currently under investigation for discrimination. Recent complaints came to light claiming that the card is prejudice against women.</p><p class='black-text'>Last week on Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, David Heinemeier Hansson's tweet where he talked about his experience with the card went viral. Hansson, well-known software developer and technology entrepreneur, didn't specifically state income-related information, but explained that he got a credit limit 20 times higher than his wife even though she has a better credit score. "The Apple Card is a sexist program. My wife and I filed joint tax returns, live in a community-property state, and have been married for a long time. Yet Apple's black box algorithm thinks I deserve 20x the credit limit she does. No appeals work." <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-card-issuer-investigated-after-viral-tweet-accuses-it-of-sexist-practices/" target="_blank">Hanssen tweeted.</a> However, the issue didn't end there. Hansson revealed more evidence of the Apple card's discrimination.</p><p class='black-text'>Hansson added to his tweet a <a href="https://twitter.com/dhh/status/1192541763296276494" target="_blank">screenshot</a> showing his wife's fully paid off card. He explained that even though his wife's card was paid off she was still unable to use it until the next billing period. Eventually, Hansson raised the issue up with Apple's customer service. He said that the customer service representatives responded quickly to his complaints, but strongly blamed the algorithm and that there was nothing they could do. After that exchange, his wife's credit limit was quickly increased. These series of tweets definitely sparked within the Twitter community.</p><p class='black-text'>Hansson's first tweet about the matter <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/apple-credit-card-sexist-twitter-steve-wozniak-complaints-gender-discrimination-a9197826.html" target="_blank">received over 20,000 likes.</a> His tweets also produced a great number of replies. Soon, other Apple customers reported similar incidents that occurred to them. One surprising reply came from, Apple's co-founder, Steve Wozniak. Wozniak stated that he got a credit limit 10 times higher than his wife. Later, Wozniak called on the government to investigate the operation of such black-box algorithms.</p><p class='black-text'>New York's Department of Financial Services confirmed that they are currently looking into the problem. Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York DFS told reporters from Bloomberg, "The department will be conducting an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex." Goldman Sachs <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, a banking company that runs the Apple Card, denied that its algorithm is discriminatory. Goldman Sachs further claimed that the accounts are based on the individual and their credit history. Apple boasted that their card would bring clarity and simplicity to transactions of Apple products, but if complaints like these persist other Apple customers will become hesitant on acquiring the company's financial piece of plastic.</p> http://www.pws.io/apples-credit-card-under-investigation-for-sexism Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:34:05 -0500 Andrew Whyte Alibaba Preps $15 Billion Hong Kong Listing http://www.pws.io/alibaba-preps-15-billion-hong-kong-listing <p class='black-text'>Alibaba <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is planning on listing its shares on Hong Kong's stock exchange to raise $15 billion later this month. The e-commerce giant is pushing ahead with its plans despite the ongoing protests which are seen as a vote of confidence that the island will continue to be financially vital for Chinese companies. Initially, it had looked to list in August but delayed due to the intensifying protests.</p><p class='black-text'>The company is expected to receive approval this week from regulatory authorities. If it's successful, then it will mark the largest secondary offering in history for a company on multiple exchanges and possibly the largest this year depending on the outcome of the Saudi Arabia's Aramco IPO. CICC and Credit Suisse <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are lead bankers in the offering.</p><p class='black-text'>Alibaba's secondary offering is coming from a position of strength as its Singles' Day promotion topping $38 billion, and the company just blew out second-quarter earnings and raised guidance for the next year. This performance is remarkable given headwinds from the trade war and the protests which have had a serious impact on Hong Kong's economy.</p><p class='black-text'>The company is expected to use proceeds from the offerings to invest in its AI platform, food-delivery efforts, and travel offerings. Alibaba sees AI as the next big frontier and is looking to win market share in the latter categories.</p><p class='black-text'>Given this remarkable success, many are questioning why the company is so eager to tap markets for additional cash. As of November 11, the company had a market cap of $486 billion with $33 billion of cash and $21 billion of debt. Rather than financial, the primary reason for the company's listing is political.</p><p class='black-text'>Alibaba is looking to increase Chinese ownership of the company which follows an edict from the Chinese government for companies to move back to their home markets. Many Chinese companies are listed on U.S. exchanges, and they are looking to offer shares either in Shanghai or Hong Kong.</p><p class='black-text'>Alibaba's decision is actually a consequence of the trade war and increasing tensions between the US and China. Having shares listed on Hong Kong is insurance against the risk of shares on the New York Stock Exchange being delisted. This follows reports that the Trump Administration was looking to retaliate against Chinese companies listed on US exchanges.</p> http://www.pws.io/alibaba-preps-15-billion-hong-kong-listing Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:10:48 -0500 Jaimini Desai Xerox Proposes Offer to Buy HP http://www.pws.io/xerox-proposes-offer-to-buy-hp <p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/11/06/1942683/0/en/HP-Issues-Statement-Addressing-Market-Speculation.html?mod=article_inline">As confirmed in a recent press release</a>, Xerox <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XRX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XRX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XRX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has floated an offer to buy HP <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HPQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HPQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HPQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HPQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HPQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, an aging tech giant, and a former powerhouse in the field of personal computing. There is much speculation as to whether the deal will go through, and what benefits a potential merger of two aging tech companies will bring both to the market and themselves.</p><p class='black-text'>Little details are known about the potential deal as of the writing of this article, but in the days since the it was<a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/hp-inc-confirms-xerox-made-proposal-on-potential-combination-51573080177"> first announced that Xerox had considered the buyout</a>, there has been a great deal of speculation and commentary by industry experts.</p><p class='black-text'>Skepticism has been leveraged against the easily observable fact that HP dwarfs Xerox in sheer size and net worth; <a href="https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/xerox-hp-acquisition-merger.html">HP is worth $27 billion while Xerox clocks in at only $8 billion</a>. Xerox has received an influx of cash recently after <a href="https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/xerox-hp-acquisition-merger.html">selling off its stakes in Fujifilm</a> to the tune of $2.3 billion, but the company <a href="https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/xerox-hp-acquisition-merger.html">would still need an additional $25 billion in funding</a> to make any such deal possible. These simple facts make the transaction as proposed unlikely, but a merger isn't entirely ruled out. One potential possibility some have floated is a reversal of the current propose where <a href="https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/xerox-hp-acquisition-merger.html">HP seeks to acquire Xerox instead</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Additional criticism has been lobbed at whether the deal could bring any benefits. Some are convinced that the possible agreement would <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/a-xerox-hp-merger-would-do-little-to-help-two-struggling-companies-51573248485">pose no benefits to either company or even be outright detrimental</a>. Both companies are <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/a-xerox-hp-merger-would-do-little-to-help-two-struggling-companies-51573248485">benefiting from a recent rebound in stock price</a>, but the sober reality is that Xerox and HP aren't feeling the best either, <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/a-xerox-hp-merger-would-do-little-to-help-two-struggling-companies-51573248485">with both being forced to enact cost-cutting measures to trim down overhead</a>.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/08/hp-investors-see-xerox-bid-selling-opportunity.aspx">Some were at least somewhat optimistic about a potential merger</a>, feeling that at the very least, HP investors could see a possible merger as an opportunity to offload their shares and make a clean getaway of a company struggling to keep its relevance. Additionally, the two companies cover different ends of the printer market, and a merger could put them on<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-08/hp-feels-no-pressure-to-respond-quickly-to-xerox-takeover-offer"> equal footing against their competitors</a>, such as Canon or Ricoh. <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/xerox-considers-takeover-offer-for-hp-11573012201?mod=article_inline">The duo could also see this as an opportunity to cut costs</a>, a merger would allow redundant, unsuccessful, or otherwise burdensome divisions to be cut as more successful divisions from the newly acquired company are integrated.</p><p class='black-text'>As for HP itself, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-08/hp-feels-no-pressure-to-respond-quickly-to-xerox-takeover-offer">the company's Board of Directors doesn't seem to feel any urgency</a> when it comes to the deal. In general, the Board appears somewhat uncertain as of late. Citing knowledgeable sources (who requested that they remain unnamed), <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-08/hp-feels-no-pressure-to-respond-quickly-to-xerox-takeover-offer">Nico Grant of Bloomberg reported that </a>"HP's board is trying to create the most value for shareholders and isn't yet convinced a sale to Xerox is the right move."</p> http://www.pws.io/xerox-proposes-offer-to-buy-hp Tue, 12 Nov 2019 13:45:04 -0500 Michael Mooney Tobacco Manufacturer Altria Posts Large Writedown Related to Juul Acquisition http://www.pws.io/tobacco-manufacturer-altria-posts-large-writedown-related-to-juul-acquisition <p class='black-text'>Altria <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the maker of major cigarette brands such as Marlboro, is taking massive writedowns from the share it took in e-cigarette maker Juul last December. Since paying nearly $13 billion for the maker of electronic cigarettes last year, it has declined in value significantly in the face of scrutiny from local, state, and federal regulators. Juul has come under fire for its role in teenagers picking up the habit of vaping nicotine products, and this scrutiny has only intensified in the wake of several of these teenagers being sent to the hospital from tainted vapor products that have not been tested for safety. This is yet another hit to a major player in an industry that has desperately trying to turn itself around in the wake of changing tobacco use trends among Americans.</p><p class='black-text'>Late last year, Altria acquired a 35% stake in Juul in the hopes that it would diversify its portfolio. Cigarette use has declined by two-thirds since 1965 among adults and since youth smoking statistics were first reported in 1991, youth smoking rates have declined from 27% to less than 9%. This, combined with the Master Settlement Agreement reached in 1998 between the nation's largest tobacco manufacturers and almost all state governments in the U.S., has led tobacco manufacturers to try to diversify their holdings as tobacco use trends continue to decline.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite the decline in cigarette use among American adults, Altria was profitable as recently as last year. Four quarters ago, Altria posted a profit of $1.9 billion on the strength of its premium brands. However, the several billion dollars that Altria has written down as a consequence of the declining value of Juul has caused Altria's total profit to fall precipitously. Consequently, its most recent earnings report has a loss of $2.6 billion. A proposed federal law to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette flavors and making the only available flavors tobacco and menthol may complicate things further for this large nicotine manufacturer.</p> http://www.pws.io/tobacco-manufacturer-altria-posts-large-writedown-related-to-juul-acquisition Tue, 12 Nov 2019 13:38:21 -0500 Nicholas Ezyk Robinhood's Infinte Money Glitch http://www.pws.io/robinhoods-infinte-money-glitch <p class='black-text'>A glitch on Robinhood's trading app has allowed users to build positions that are worth millions. The "infinite leverage" loophole essentially allowed users to borrow almost limitless amounts of capital for trading. According to inside sources, Robinhood lost almost $100,000 as a result of this issue. The bug was discovered by members of the Reddit group called "WallStreetBets". One user posted that he was able to turn a $3,000 deposit into a $1.7 million position.</p><p class='black-text'>The unauthorized trade works as follows: users who pay a premium for Robinhood Gold sell their call options with money that they borrow on the app after which the app incorrectly adds the value of the sale to the user's cash value. Therefore, the more the user borrows, the more the app adds to their buying power. There were apparently no limits on how many times a user can exploit this bug. Robinhood has fixed the bug since and has stated that users will most likely not be able to realize their gains.</p><p class='black-text'>The traders could potentially be liable for securities fraud given that they knowingly exploited this bug. The company most likely discovered the bug due to the posts that users made on Reddit, bragging about their gains and their plans on how they plan to use the money. This glitch has also placed Robinhood on SEC's and Finra's (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) radar and it could be fined if they find compliance lapses. Although the loss was relatively low, this is a less than ideal timing for Robinhood as it is looking to apply for a banking license from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.</p><p class='black-text'>Founded in 2013, Robinhood found its popularity among millennials as it allows customers to trade for free unlike other brokerages such as Charles Schwab <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SCHW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SCHW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SCHW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, TD Ameritrade <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMTD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMTD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMTD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMTD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMTD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Fidelity Investments. Robinhood just closed a round of funding over the summer that valued the company at $7.6 billion. Most brokerages now offer commission free trading somewhat due to Robinhood's impact on the market.</p> http://www.pws.io/robinhoods-infinte-money-glitch Tue, 12 Nov 2019 12:02:37 -0500 Karina Petrunova Market Update: Hong Kong Protests Impact Businesses http://www.pws.io/market-update-hong-kong-protests-impact-business <p class='black-text'>Stocks pulled back from Friday's record-setting closings in early trading Monday due to comments President Donald Trump made over the weekend regarding the U.S-China trade war. Trump said that trade talks were moving more slowly than he wanted. Stocks in later trading pared their losses and the Dow Jones edged just over into positive territory in later trading from the closing highs of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WBA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WBA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Boeing Co. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the stock market closed Monday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): -0.2% or -6.07 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA): +0.04% or +10.25 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ): -0.13% or -11.04 points</p><p class='black-text'>Trump's statement caused stock futures to lower and cooled down investor trade optimism. Other news that has affected the markets today include increasingly violent demonstrations in Hong Kong. Footages surfaced Monday of a police officer shooting a protestor and a man being set on fire. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index plummeted down -2.6%, which is its largest drop since August.</p><p class='black-text'>Many major companies have stated that they have been <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/hong-kong-protests-how-theyre-affecting-big-companies-171604877.html">impacted by the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.</a> The corporations include Estée Lauder <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Coty <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COTY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COTY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COTY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COTY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COTY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Disney <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Tapestry <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TPR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TPR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TPR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TPR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TPR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Capri Holdings <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CPRI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CPRI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CPRI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CPRI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CPRI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, VF Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Crocs <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CROX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CROX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CROX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CROX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CROX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Levi Strauss <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LEVI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LEVI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LEVI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LEVI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LEVI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Fossil Group <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FOSL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FOSL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FOSL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FOSL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FOSL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Shake Shack (NSYE: SHAK), Marriott International <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MAR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MAR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MAR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MAR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MAR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Hilton Worldwide <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HLT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HLT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HLT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HLT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HLT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Hyatt Hotels <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/H"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">H</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="H" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="H" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="H" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Wynn Resorts <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WYNN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WYNN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WYNN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WYNN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WYNN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Melco Resorts <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MLCO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MLCO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MLCO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MLCO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MLCO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, MGM Resorts <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MGM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MGM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MGM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MGM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MGM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, United Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Delta Air Lines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, HSBC <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HSBC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HSBC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HSBC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HSBC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HSBC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Ferrari <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RACE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RACE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RACE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RACE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RACE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Stock Sector news, most sectors took a hit in trading on Monday. The few who gained include Real Estate +0.22%, Industrials +0.07%, and Information Technology +0.06%. Those who lost today include Utilities -0.68%, Energy -0.56%, Health Care -0.41%, Communication Services -0.39%, Consumer Discretionary -0.27%, Financials -0.26%, Consumer Staples -0.20%, and Materials -0.11%.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally in Commodity and Currency news, oil prices continue to lower. West Texas Intermediate dropping almost -0.20%, pricing barrels at just over $56.60. Brent Crude took a harder hit, with prices slipping -0.50% to price barrels just above $62. Natural Gas (UNG) futures closed -5.4% to $2.637/MMBtu, which is the lowest settlement since the end of October and is the <a href="https://www.fxempire.com/forecasts/article/natural-gas-price-prediction-prices-slide-on-weather-forecast-612190">steepest dollar and percentage decline since January.</a> The prices dropping following report form the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration that forecasted warmer than normal weather over the next 8-14 days. On the other hand, gold has begun to rise, with prices increasing almost 0.08%, pricing an ounce around $1,457. The U.S. dollar has begun to drop Monday, with the DXY index dropping almost -0.15%, pricing to $98.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-hong-kong-protests-impact-business Mon, 11 Nov 2019 19:53:11 -0500 Rachel Hemple Google's Gigantic Ad Machine http://www.pws.io/googles-gigantic-ad-machine <p class='black-text'>Google's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> ad machine is integral to the revenue generation of many small and big businesses, to the extent that not having it impacts profitability significantly.</p><p class='black-text'>For instance, Nexstar Media Group Inc., the largest local news company in the U.S., conducted a test to see what the effects of not using Google's services on its websites would be. What ensued was chaos, with the firm's ad sales dropping significantly: "That's a huge revenue hit," <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-google-edged-out-rivals-and-built-the-worlds-dominant-ad-machine-a-visual-guide-11573142071?mod=hp_lead_pos5">said</a> Tony Katsur, senior vice president at Nexstar.</p><p class='black-text'>Because of this immense influence that Google has over the various companies it provides tech to, The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the ad giant is abusing its power.</p><p class='black-text'>This wary disposition was established back in 2008, when Google acquired DoubleClick, a huge ad-tech company that endowed it with the necessary technical apparatus to gain significant market power. In fact, regulators who approved the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-google-edged-out-rivals-and-built-the-worlds-dominant-ad-machine-a-visual-guide-11573142071?mod=hp_lead_pos5">$3.1 billion deal </a>back then itself also said they would take swift action if this power became too great and unchecked later.</p><p class='black-text'>That said, Google is not the only ad player in town. Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also has a significant ad revenue machine that is growing, with CFO Brian Olsavsky <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/07/whats-behind-amazon-accelerating-ad-revenue.aspx">reporting</a> that "advertising grew at a rate higher than that 45%" last quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>In fact, Amazon's main ad sales come from search results on its marketplace. When a user enters a relevant search request, <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/07/whats-behind-amazon-accelerating-ad-revenue.aspx">Amazon displays sponsored brands and product listings from advertisers that bid on the keywords </a>that a customer types into the search bar. In this way, Amazon thus makes it more likely that consumers will actually purchase the product, by establishing associations between those keywords and that particular product.</p><p class='black-text'>Forbes reports that Google's 3 divisions , which include Google Advertising Revenues, Google Other Revenues and Other Bets Revenues, are<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2019/11/04/can-googles-non-advertising-revenue-streams-mitigate-impact-of-slowing-advertising-growth/#441747b22652"> expected to contribute $142.4 billion (83.3%), $27.9 billion (16.3%) and $0.7 billion (0.4%) respectively to the company's 2019 revenue of $171 billion.</a></p> http://www.pws.io/googles-gigantic-ad-machine Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:50:18 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar Brazil's Failed Oil Auctions http://www.pws.io/brazils-failed-oil-auctions <p class='black-text'>Brazil experienced a disappointing week as it suffered two failed oil auctions in two day where no major oil company from the U.S. or Europe even placed a bid. Only Petrobras, Brazil's state run oil company, and a few Chinese firms submitted bids in an auction that was supposed to be the largest oil auction in history according to the Brazilian government. So why did it go bust?</p><p class='black-text'>The auction failed mostly because the terms were too favorable for Petrobras and the government required those participating in the auction to pay too much money up front, just to partake. The government had asked for $28 billion in fees over the two-day auction but the total came out to $18.3 billion instead. Petrobras also has preferential rights in some of Brazil's offshore areas which pushes away competition.</p><p class='black-text'>Ivan Cima, a managing director at Welligence, referred to the auction as a "total disaster" and added that "The round was doomed by high signature bonuses, the overly complex and non-transparent Petrobras reimbursements, and marginal economics".</p><p class='black-text'>Especially with the currently low oil prices, it is simply not favorable for investors. Out of all the firms who were registered, only Petrobras and two Chinese state firms CNOOC and CNODC placed bids. Petrobras, alone, bid for the smallest block, Itapu, and both Petrobras and the aforementioned Chinese companies bid for the biggest block, Buzios. Oil blocks are geographical units of division on the continental shelf that define a company's drilling rights and ownership.</p><p class='black-text'>The government had hopes that this auction would help lift the economy into healthy growth levels. However, interest from the private sector was not as high as they had expected. Back in 2006, Brazil discovered large offshore oil reserves; however, for the next several years politicians couldn't agree on how to build Brazil's oil sector and how to spend the profits. This cost the country an estimated $300 billion in government revenue and investment as a result of the prolonged delays in exploration.</p><p class='black-text'>Brazil has been struggling to attract foreign investors due to issues of corruption, high taxes, and political instability; however, they are nonetheless eyeing the country's market as the US has placed sanctions on oil conglomerates in Iran and Venezuela, limiting their investment opportunities. Fernanda Delgado, a research coordinator at Fundação Getúlio Vargas university, stated that Brazil is still an attractive market because "Despite Brazil's difficulties in doing business and its political issues, it's still the safest area in terms of oil investments."</p> http://www.pws.io/brazils-failed-oil-auctions Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:43:33 -0500 Karina Petrunova The Cost of Californian Wildfires http://www.pws.io/the-cost-of-californian-wildfires <p class='black-text'>Pacific Gas & Electric <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PCG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PCG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PCG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PCG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PCG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has been held largely responsible for the Californian wildfires due to the existence of its outdated transmission lines. As a result, the utility company has reported huge losses in its latest earnings report, facing a hefty sum of <a href="%246%20billion%20to%20pay%20">$6 billion to pay </a>for the catastrophic nature of the fires.</p><p class='black-text'>Not only this, but also, PG&E logged a <a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2019-11-07/pg-e-expects-more-than-6b-in-wildfire-costs">$2.5 billion settlement </a>with insurance companies for the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, bringing its total charges for the fires during those years to $20 billion, according to a filing with regulators.</p><p class='black-text'>The company filed for bankruptcy in January in order to be able to start making progress on the $30 billion it has outstanding in liabilities since 2017. This also covers a major wildfire that occurred in November 2018 that <a href="https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/11/08/548015.htm">practically wiped out the Northern California town of Paradise and killed 85 people.</a></p><p class='black-text'>For context, according to the<a href="https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-11-07/pge-expects-6-billion-in-wildfire-costs-this-year"> LA Times</a>, "15 of the 20 most destructive California wildfires have occurred in the last 20 years. During that same period, 10 of the state's 20 deadliest wildfires have broken out, including four in just the last two years. Sixteen of the state's 20 largest wildfires have erupted since 1998."</p><p class='black-text'>To ameliorate the situation, PG&E is distributing remedial credits to affected stakeholders. Households will receive<a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2019-11-07/pg-e-expects-more-than-6b-in-wildfire-costs"> $100 per entity while businesses will get $250 per firm.</a> The company stated on Thursday that the credits will cost it <a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2019-11-07/pg-e-expects-more-than-6b-in-wildfire-costs">$65 million, after tax benefits.</a></p><p class='black-text'>A further cost has been persistent blackouts throughout California, which entailed the closure of businesses and schools for days on end. While some people accused the utility company of enforcing the blackouts as a way by which to cut costs and save money, PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson <a href="https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-11-07/pge-expects-6-billion-in-wildfire-costs-this-year">insists</a> that the blackouts were "well planned and executed" and done "solely in the interest of public safety."</p> http://www.pws.io/the-cost-of-californian-wildfires Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:30:10 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar IPO Update: Companies Stumble into the Market http://www.pws.io/ipo-update-companies-stumble-into-the-market <p class='black-text'>Initial Public Offerings (IPO) this week maintain the trend of slumping in debut in the current market. Many companies has been experiencing investor fears towards newly pubic companies that began to stir after the grandiose fall of the WeCompany, or WeWork. Though some have traded well in their initial week, many are suffering in current markets.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Recently Priced:</b></p><p class='black-text'>Merida Merger Corp. I <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCMJU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCMJU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCMJU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCMJU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCMJU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced on November 5 at $10 per share. The blank check company had an offering amount of $120 million and 12 million shares in its initial trading day. The stock closed on November 7.</p><p class='black-text'>Q&K International Group LTD <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also debuted on November 5, pricing at $17 per share with 2.7 initial shares. The Chinese based company had an offering amount of 45.9 million to trade globally on the Nasdaq. The stock began trading above its IPO in its first week of trading and current prices above $18.</p><p class='black-text'>Centogene B.V. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CNTG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CNTG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CNTG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CNTG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CNTG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced on November 7 at $14 per share on the global Nasdaq. The German provider of genetics tests for rare diseases company had an offering of $56 million and 4 million shares. The stock debuted slightly above its initial pricing before slipping below $14 currently.</p><p class='black-text'>Galera Therapeutics, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GRTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GRTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GRTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GRTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GRTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> debuted on the global Nasdaq on November 7 with share prices set at $12. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company had an offering amount of $60 million with 5 million shares. The stock traded below its IPO in its first day of trading and continues to slip in its first public week.</p><p class='black-text'>LGL Systems Acquisition Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DFNSU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DFNSU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DFNSU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DFNSU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DFNSU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also priced on November 7 at $10 per share with 15 million shares raised. The blank check company had an offering amount of $150 million. The stock traded slightly below its IPO in its first day and continues to decline into its first week.</p><p class='black-text'>Silvergate Capital Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced on November 7 with 3,333,333 shares pricing at $12 per share. The bank holding company had an offering amount of $39,999,996. The stock debuted above its IPO in its first and continues to climb above $13 into its first week.</p><p class='black-text'>36Kr Holdings Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KRKR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KRKR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KRKR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KRKR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KRKR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> started publicly trading on November 8 with share prices set at $14.50. The Chinese technology media site had an offering amount of $20,010,000 and 1.38 million shares. The stock plummeted in its debut and continues to drop in its first week of global trading.</p><p class='black-text'>CNS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CNSP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CNSP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CNSP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CNSP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CNSP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also priced on November 8 with a set price of $4 per share. The pharmaceutical company had an offering amount of $8.5 million and 2,125,000 shares. The started trading above its IPO in its first day and, though the stock is on the decline currently, it has maintained gains in its first week.</p><p class='black-text'>Ecmoho Ltd <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MOHO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MOHO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MOHO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MOHO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MOHO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced on November 8 with an offering amount of $43,750,000. The stock was prices at $10 per share with 4,375,000 shares. The Chinese personal care and household goods market's stock slumped in its first day of trading and continues to trade below its IPO.</p><p class='black-text'>Juniper Industrial Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: JIH'U) was priced on November 8 at $10 per share with 30 million shares. The blank check company had an offering amount of $300 million. The stock continues to trade around its initial pricing into its first week.</p><p class='black-text'>Stable Road Acquisition Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SRACU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SRACU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SRACU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SRACU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SRACU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> debuted on November 8 with share prices set at $10. The cannabis-focused SPAC had an offering amount of $150 million and 15 million shares.</p><p class='black-text'>Tela Bio, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TELA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TELA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TELA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TELA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TELA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> entered the market on November 8 with share prices set at $13 with 4 million shares. The biotechnological company had an offering amount of $52 million. The IPO entered the market above its set price, but continues to lose gains in its first week.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Upcoming: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Leaping Group Co., LD. is hoping to be prices on November 15 on the Nasdaq. The company currently has an offering amount of $20 million, with 4 million shares. The stock is estimated to price at $5 per share.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Recent Filings: </b></p><p class='black-text'>NowTransit Inc filed on November 4 with $100,000 in public offering.</p><p class='black-text'>Qilian International Holding Group LTD also announced its filing on November 4 with an offering amount of $32.2 million.</p><p class='black-text'>PropTech Acquisition Corp. filed on November 5 with an offering amount of $172.5 million.</p><p class='black-text'>F5 Finishes, Inc. announced its IPO on November 7 with an offering amount of $46 million.</p><p class='black-text'>NorthRidge Corp. filed on November 8 with an offering amount of $10 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Withdrawn</b></p><p class='black-text'>Hylete, Inc., who filed in August, has withdrawn its public offering on November 7. The company had an offering amount of $19,166,670 and 1,666,667 shares.</p> http://www.pws.io/ipo-update-companies-stumble-into-the-market Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:26:10 -0500 Rachel Hemple Blockchain & Cryptocurrency in Review: Week of November 10 http://www.pws.io/blockchain-cryptocurrency-in-review-week-of-november-10 <p class='black-text'>The first week of November has been exciting for the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Perhaps the biggest news of the week was that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/fbi-crypto-is-a-significant-problem-that-will-get-bigger-and-bigger">Christopher Wray</a> warned that cryptocurrency is a "significant issue" for law enforcement that will grow bigger. On Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee, Wray responded to questions from Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) about cryptocurrency, law enforcement, and terrorist deterrence, explaining: "Whether its cryptocurrency, whether it's default encryption on devices and messaging platforms; we are moving as a country and world in a direction where if we don't get our act together money, people, communication, evidence, facts, all the bread and butter for all of us to do our work will be essentially walled off from the men and women we represent." Wray supported Romney's question concerning terrorist financing, saying US adversaries are becoming more adept with technologies that boost anonymity. The FBI has long argued that encryption can be used by criminal actors for information and financial flows.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here is the rest of the week in review:</b></p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.coindesk.com/crypto-friendly-silvergate-bank-goes-public-on-new-york-stock-exchange">Silvergate Bank</a>, a notable crypto-friendly bank, officially began selling its shares on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. About a year after the bank first filed for its initdial public offering (IPO), Silvergate began its "IPO day" on the NYSE, according to the stock exchange's Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> account. The news came a day after Silvergate received a "notice of effectiveness" from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), indicating its longstanding IPO bid. Silvergate priced its stock offering at $12 per share on November 6 and is planning to offer 3,333,333 shares of Class A common stock. The bank is looking to sell the shares under the "SI" ticker by Tuesday, November 12. The bank currently serves more than 750 firms in the crypto space, as blockchain startups seek banking solutions outside of traditional institutions.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.coindesk.com/tencent-to-build-virtual-bank-after-hong-kong-regulator-approves-license">Tencent </a>is ready to launch a blockchain-based virtual bank after the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission approved a new license for the Chinese tech giant. Speaking at the World Blockchain Summit in Wuzhen, China on Friday, Tencent blockchain chief Yige Cai revealed the firm's virtual bank obtained a green light from regulators. Cai said Tencent will assemble a virtual bank team but did not give further details about the initiative. He emphasized the firm's existing blockchain projects, including the offering of supply chain financing for restaurant chain McDonald's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Cai currently leads the consortium blockchain group out of the three blockchain development groups at Tencent, with the other two focused on blockchain infrastructure and cloud services.</p><p class='black-text'>Crypto prices traded flat to around $246 billion this week. For the majors, Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), and EOS (EOS) posted strong gains, while Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin (BTC) slipped. In the top 100, the biggest losers were Chiliz (CHZ), down 18%, LUNA (LUNA), down 12%, and EDUCare (EKT), down 10%. The biggest gainers were DxChain Token (DX), up a whopping 193%, Aurora (AOA), up 50%, and Tezos (XTZ), up 45%. Next week traders will see if Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) can take back the key $10,000 and $200 levels.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author owns a small amount of BTC and LTC.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/blockchain-cryptocurrency-in-review-week-of-november-10 Mon, 11 Nov 2019 12:34:31 -0500 Eric Yao CVS Health Closes More Stores http://www.pws.io/cvs-health-closes-more-stores <p class='black-text'>CVS Health <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CVS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CVS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CVS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CVS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CVS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is making its way through a changing healthcare landscape as one of the nation's largest pharmacy companies. Despite optimizations in its real estate division, it still opted to close down 22 more stores that it deemed underperforming. This adds to 46 stores that had been closed earlier in the year and a planned 75 stores shutting down next year. This came on the heels of an earnings report that beat expectations in both earnings per share and revenue and an announcement from rival Walgreens <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WAG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WAG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WAG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WAG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WAG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> that it planned on shutting down 200 stores in the middle of its own cost optimization strategy.</p><p class='black-text'>Against analyst expectations of $1.77 a share, CVS beat those expectations by 7 cents a share for a total of $1.84 in earnings per share. Additionally, the drugstore giant posted revenues of $63.81 billion, nearly $1 billion higher than estimations of $62.99 billion. CVS Health's large increase in revenue it owed in part to the acquisition of healthcare company Aetna, which took place last November. The retailer is trying to hold on in the face of a rapidly changing retail environment that has led to thousands of store closures in all sorts of industries over the past few years. This includes plans from Costco <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COST"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COST</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COST" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and delivery service Instacart to roll out a prescription delivery service in several states.</p><p class='black-text'>In that recent earnings report, CVS reported a "store rationalization charge" of $96 million that resulted from the closure of these 22 stores. This followed a charge of $135 million that it had reported earlier in the year from the closure of the aforementioned 46 stores. In addition to these store closures, CVS is opening up a new line of stores they call HealthHUB, which emphasize a greater range of healthcare services than the typical CVS location. With these recent store closures and changes to the way it runs business, CVS hopes to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing market for health services.</p> http://www.pws.io/cvs-health-closes-more-stores Mon, 11 Nov 2019 12:15:30 -0500 Nicholas Ezyk Saudi Aramco Prepares to Go Public http://www.pws.io/saudi-aramco-prepares-to-go-public <p class='black-text'>After months of hyped anticipation, the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/03/saudi-aramco-ipo-domestic-listing-set-to-begin-trading-in-december.html">Kingdom of Saudi Arabia</a> finally announced last week that its state-owned energy company the Saudi Arabian Oil Company will publicly debut on the country's Tadawul stock exchange on December 11. The country's market regulator formally approved Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) of up to $60 billion, and the firm released its <a href="https://www.saudiaramco.com/-/media/images/investors/saudi-aramco-prospectus-en.pdf?la=en&hash=8DE2DCD689D6E383BB8F4C393033D8964C9F5585">IPO prospectus</a> documents on Saturday. But the energy giant declined to reveal crucial specific details on the size and scope of the transaction, including information about the final IPO price, the number of shares to sell, and the percentage of the firm's shares that will be sold. The mysterious nature of what could become one of the world's largest ever public debuts is pushing some global investors raise questions about the process and motivation.</p><p class='black-text'>At first glance, Saudi Aramco is the most profitable company in the world and a corporate behemoth, as Saudi Arabia insists its valuation should be around a lofty figure of $2 trillion. While it is a privately held and state-owned firm with no obligation to report results, it has recently released several earnings reports ahead of the IPO plans. Its last <a href="https://www.saudiaramco.com/en/investors/investors/reports-and-presentations">earnings report</a> from June revealed a massive net profit of $46.9 billion for the first half of 2019, even though it fell 12% from $53 billion in the prior year period. Revenue was a whopping $146.86 billion, slipping $2 billion from 2018. The firm generated $38 billion in free cash flow, spent $14.5 billion in capital expenditure, paid $45.4 billion in dividends, and produced an average of 10 million barrels of crude oil per day. The firm's total assets were valued at $379.8 billion, and it boasted cash and equivalents of $39.5 billion. At least on paper, Saudi Aramco seems a financially strong company that will be generating large cash flows and profits into the future.</p><p class='black-text'>However, many Western investors and media outlets are becoming increasingly skeptical of Saudi Aramco's public debut. <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/the-risks-surrounding-saudi-aramco-s-ipo-4775623">Some of the risks</a> include the firm's promise to pay a minimum dividend of $75 billion, Saudi government interference in corporate strategy, and the country's inability to protect critical energy infrastructure from attacks. But there remains a more <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/16e1a7f8-0229-11ea-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47">fundamental question</a> around the IPO: If Saudi Aramco is so lucrative, then why go public at all? The world is largely on a path toward renewable energy, as climate movements and green policies sprout up in boardrooms and legislatures. Saudi Arabia itself is looking to diversify its economy with other sources of revenue. That means investors are afraid Saudi Arabia will pull a move like Uber <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBER"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBER</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, where it cashes out with a public debut and leaves retail investors holding shares worth less than the previous private valuation. Western investors like pension funds and other institutions are doubting Saudi Aramco's public debut so much that the kingdom is currently pushing wealthy Saudi and Chinese investors to buy IPO shares.</p> http://www.pws.io/saudi-aramco-prepares-to-go-public Mon, 11 Nov 2019 11:57:17 -0500 Eric Yao Alibaba Stock: Will Singles' Day Bring Gains? http://www.pws.io/alibaba-stock-will-singles-day-bring-gains <p class='black-text'>Known as the Chinese Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Alibaba <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is gearing up for its biggest sales day of the year. Last year, the holiday posted a record $30 billion in transaction sales, and plans to exceed that amount on Monday. Singles' Day, which has been commercially celebrated by the company since 2009, has become a large conglomerate of sales and entertainment. Various companies join the 24-hour extravaganza, ranging in retail from cars to cosmetics. Jiang Fan, president of Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/08/more-us-retailers-to-participate-in-alibabas-singles-day-this-year.html">sees</a> Singles' Day as the "Super Bowl for brands. It's an opportunity to pull out all the stops to wow Chinese consumers."</p><p class='black-text'>One way that Alibaba has been leading the Chinese online sales market has been through celebrity endorsements and live streaming. Becoming a normal sight on Chinese e-commerce platforms, online personalities and celebrities have hosted live streams actively viewed by consumers about the products they are marketing. Within the livestream, there is an option to buy the good, sometimes at an exclusively lower rate. Senior analyst at Forrester, Xiaofeng Wang, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/08/alibaba-singles-day-2019-preview.html">explains </a>that live streams "might be a few minutes or 30 minutes long, within the time they provide exclusive offers. That is another motivation for consumers." Alibaba kicks off every Singles' Day with a live stream celebration before the day that reviews the sales that are to come and encourages consumers to pre-order.</p><p class='black-text'>Alibaba is also opening this year up to expansion. Recently, the e-commerce giant has been pushing its business overseas. Alibaba's own AliExpress this coming Singles' Day will let local merchants from Russia, Spain, Italy, and Turkey participate in the sale.</p><p class='black-text'>Due to the grand scale of the sales day, many investors may think this is a great time to buy into Alibaba. Alibaba shares were up over the past week, but history says that that gains around Singles' Day does not necessarily mean overall growth of the stock. Over the past five years for the week that ends on Singles' Day, shares of Alibaba are shown to sell off, dropping an average of 1.3% and trading negatively 80% of the time, according to the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/06/singles-day-not-a-reason-to-buy-alibaba-market-history-says.html">hedge fund trading tool Kensho.</a> Alibaba during this time always underperforms.</p><p class='black-text'>Alibaba this year has been trading on the higher side leading up to the big day, but shares have not touched its all time or even 52-week highs. Despite all the excitement surrounding this 24-hour event, Alibaba shares most likely will maintain their initial price from the weeks prior, meaning no real growth or loss.</p> http://www.pws.io/alibaba-stock-will-singles-day-bring-gains Fri, 08 Nov 2019 19:37:27 -0500 Rachel Hemple Market Update: U.S. Consumer Confidence Increases in November http://www.pws.io/market-update-us-consumer-confidence-increases-in-november <p class='black-text'>Stocks took a dive earlier in trading but ended the day slightly higher. The losses came after President Donald Trump told White House reporters that the administration had not agreed to reduce tariffs on Chinese imports. However, each of the three major indexes regained their losses in later trading and posted record highs for Friday, ending higher for the week.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market closed out the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): +0.26% or +7.9 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) +0.02% or +6.44 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ): +0.48% or +40.8 points</p><p class='black-text'>Earlier this week, China's Ministry of Commerce had said that both parties of the trade war had agreed to reduce tariffs after the passage of a tentative trade deal. This news flooded the markets with increased optimism and sent stocks to record highs. However, it seems that that was not the actual conclusion, with <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-split/rollback-of-china-tariffs-faces-fierce-opposition-in-white-house-idUSKBN1XH2QH">Reuters</a> reporting that reducing levies had not been part of the original deal.</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Economy news, consumer confidence has increased for November, with the <a href="http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/">University of Michigan's preliminary Survey of Consumers</a> reading 95.7. This is an ever so slight gain from October's report of 95.5. Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, wrote that "consumers did voice a slightly more positive outlook for the economy, which was offset by a slightly less favorable outlook for their own personal finances...Although consumers have become somewhat more cautious spenders, they see no reason to engage in the type of retrenchment that causes recessions."</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sector news, most sectors closed out the week with gains. Those that trade slightly better today include Health Care +0.80%, Information Technology +0.59%, Materials +0.39%, Communication Services +0.37%, Industrials +0.16%, Consumer Discretionary +0.03%, Consumer Staples +0.02%, and Financials +0.02%. Those that ended the day with losses include Energy -0.81%, Utilities -0.38%, and Real Estate -0.23%.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally, in Commodity and Currency news, oil prices have slightly increased at the end of the week. West Texas Intermediate climbed roughly 0.65%, making the price of a barrel oil around $57. Brent Crude also saw slight gains, with prices increasing almost 0.30% to price around $62. Gold has not been as lucky, with pricing still dropping. Currently, the metal's price per ounce has dropped almost 0.70%, leaving prices around $1,458.75. On the other hand, the U.S. dollar has been increasing despite the murky trade waters; the DXY index has soared almost 0.30%.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-us-consumer-confidence-increases-in-november Fri, 08 Nov 2019 18:13:38 -0500 Rachel Hemple Trump Weekly: Impeachment News, Turning Virginia Blue http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-impeachment-news-turning-virginia-blue <p class='black-text'>The world of President Donald Trump news is always hectic, and this week was no different. Trump's 2017 tax cut bill <a href="https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2019/11/04/trump-corporate-tax-cut-bill">isn't resulting</a> in the economic growth the administration promised; the EPA under Trump is <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776174139/trump-administration-proposes-relaxing-rules-on-waste-from-coal-plants">rolling back</a> Obama-era regulations on waste from coal plants; Trump <a href="https://time.com/5717679/e-jean-carroll-trump-defamation/">is being sued</a> for defamation by a woman who accused him of rape; and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals <a href="http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/58e408e9-0748-4e6d-b330-23df304e855a/1/doc/19-3204_opn.pdf#xml=http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/58e408e9-0748-4e6d-b330-23df304e855a/1/hilite/">ruled</a> on Monday that Trump's accountants <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776065565/appeals-court-rules-trump-must-turn-over-tax-records-to-manhattan-prosecutor">must turn over his tax returns</a> to the Manhattan District Attorney.</p><p class='black-text'>This week saw little new information in the impeachment inquiry beyond corroboration of testimony given by earlier witnesses and the release of transcripts of the closed door hearings.The new information includes the revised testimony of Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland who returned to Capitol Hill this week after his <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/06/politics/impeachment-watch-november-6/index.html">memory was jogged</a> by the version of events presented by <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/11/06/776834806/transcript-of-ambassador-william-taylors-impeachment-probe-testimony-released">other Trump officials</a>. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/05/politics/impeachment-watch-november-5/index.html">Among other things</a>, Sondland now admits that he himself established the quid pro quo with Ukranian Officials. Again, this is in line with testimony given by Bill Taylor, Lt. Col. Alexander Lindeman, and others.</p><p class='black-text'>Speaking of Bill Taylor, he is currently the first person scheduled to be deposed in public hearings in the coming week. Others on the list include former Ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yovonovich and an assistant of Mike Pompeo. Of course, Pompeo himself has not appeared before Congress. The Trump administration is unlikely to allow either Pompeo, John Bolton, or Mick Mulvaney to comply with any subpoenas issued to them by the Committee despite the importance of their insight into U.S. foreign policy and Trump's actions regarding aid that was withheld from Ukraine. Trump <a href="https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/impeachment-inquiry-11-08-2019/h_e314e544b05c3a36e68f2a03d84f724c">says</a> allowing his aids to testify would merely "give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt", and it is possible the administration will also use <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/11/05/776496229/how-president-trump-is-defending-himself-during-the-impeachment-inquiry">executive privilege</a> in order to avoid complying with the investigation</p><p class='black-text'>While impeachment was certainly dominating the news cycle, there were several key elections this week that may offer an insight into Trump's chances in 2020. Overall, Democrats won big taking control of both chambers of Virginia's state legislature officially turning the state blue. In Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear beat incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin by around 5,000 votes; although, Bevin has yet to concede the race. He is claiming there were irregularities in the voting process but has given no evidence for this claim. This loss comes after President Trump campaigned for Bevin. At a rally in Kentucky, Trump told voters that if Bevin lost, the media would call this the "greatest defeat in the history of the world" for Trump himself. So far, no one seems to think this was the greatest defeat in the history of the world, but these elections are bad news for Trump's campaign for 2020. From these races <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/11/06/776723751/tuesdays-elections-show-impeachment-might-not-be-what-the-gop-hoped-for">we learned</a> that the impeachment has not fired up rural voters as Republicans had hoped and that there may be a swing left on issues such as gun reform and health care.</p> http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-impeachment-news-turning-virginia-blue Fri, 08 Nov 2019 16:39:49 -0500 Autumn McLain Why the Stock Market Doesn't Care About Bad Manufacturing Data http://www.pws.io/why-the-stock-market-doesnt-care-about-bad-manufacturing-data <p class='black-text'>The stock market has steadily rallied since early October. Overbought conditions have been worked off by sideways trading rather than dips. Over this period, the S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is 8% higher and has moved decisively to all-time highs.</p><p class='black-text'>One strange circumstance of this rally is that manufacturing data and the broader economy continue to slow and lose momentum. Based on recent data, Q4 GDP is expected to come in at 1% which would be close to a cycle-low. Manufacturing continues to be contractionary in the US and across the globe with almost nine months of sub 50 ISM readings.</p><p class='black-text'>Stocks dropped immediately dropped following the report, however, the weakness was quickly bought, and the S&P 500 finished almost 1% higher off the day's lows. This dynamic of sell-offs on bad news immediately being bought is a sign that markets have priced in the bad manufacturing news and art anticipating future improvements. If those improvements don't materialize, stocks will certainly give back these gains.</p><p class='black-text'>Stocks are behaving as if this is the nadir of the manufacturing slowdown, and growth is going to pick up in future quarters. In this context, the price action along with the newsflow makes sense. This is confirmed by the price action of leading cyclical stocks like Caterpillar <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CAT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CAT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CAT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CAT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CAT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> which missed earnings and lowered guidance but saw its stock rally. This indicates capitulation and often correlates to turning points in individual stocks and broader markets.</p><p class='black-text'>Supporting the above possibility is improvements in manufacturing data at a deeper level. New orders after leading on the downside for the past 12 months are back into expansion territory. This is a <i>necessary</i> but not <i>sufficient </i>condition to mark a bottom in manufacturing. Additionally, inventories are at three-year lows which kicked off the previous risk-on trade from mid-2016 to late 2018.</p><p class='black-text'>Another positive is continued progress in trade talks between the U.S. and China with expectations of a 'Phase 1' deal being signed sometime before the year ends. And, it seems likely that some portion of tariffs will be peeled back as a concession.</p><p class='black-text'>The trade war intensified late last year. Before the imposition of tariffs, there was a frenzy of buying as companies stocked up on items that were going to be affected. Due to this effect, comps are elevated and not giving an accurate picture as they are computed based on data from the same month last year. This is another factor why the weak manufacturing data has been met with a collective shrug by the market.</p> http://www.pws.io/why-the-stock-market-doesnt-care-about-bad-manufacturing-data Fri, 08 Nov 2019 13:53:18 -0500 Jaimini Desai FOMC to Get More Dovish in 2020 http://www.pws.io/fomc-to-get-more-dovish-in-2020 <p class='black-text'>Following the October Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the rate decision was often characterized as a 'hawkish cut'. The FOMC cut the Federal Reserve funds rate to between 1.50 and 1.75%, but Chairman Jerome Powell also made it clear that this was the last cut unless the economy materially got worse. Following the meeting, odds for rate cuts have fallen severely at the next couple of meetings.</p><p class='black-text'>Going forward, the Fed is in wait and see mode. It's betting that three cuts will be enough to firm the economy and is holding onto its firepower in case the economy gets worse. Despite this shift, the Fed is going to be even more dovish in 2020 than it was in 2019. This might not mean <i>rate cuts</i> since the economy is in much better shape with less potent tail risks due to improvements in the trade war and Brexit negotiations. Instead, it will translate into not choosing to hike rates even if the economy and inflation improve.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Change in Composition</b></p><p class='black-text'>The biggest headline change in the FOMC will be rotation among voting members. While eight voting members of the FOMC carryover ever year, four votes rotate among eight regional Fed boards. Due to this change, two of the most hawkish FOMC members - Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Kansas City Fed President Esther George - will be losing their votes.</p><p class='black-text'>One of their replacements will be Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari who is the most dovish member. At the last meeting, both Rosengren and George dissented against cuts, while it's possible Kashkari would have been in favor of a 50 basis points rate cut. They have consistently warned about financial stability risks, while Kashkari has emphasized the persistent underperformance in inflation.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Election</b></p><p class='black-text'>Another reason to expect the Fed to stay on the sidelines even if the economy improves in the upcoming election. Chair Powell and the FOMC have not enjoyed President Donald Trump using his bully pulpit to influence policy. The Fed is committed to its independence and institutional credibility even above the goals of price stability and low inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>Being seen as tilting the playing field by raising rates in an election year is simply not going to happen. It also would count as the Fed's second "U-turn" with three rate cuts in 2019 following four hikes in 2018.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Change in Thinking</b></p><p class='black-text'>Another reason to expect the Fed to not hike under any circumstance in 2020 is the increasing acknowledgement at the FOMC that monetary policy may have been too tight over the last decade. This is due to the continued underperformance in inflation and lack of wage growth. It raises the possibility that the Fed could have deployed more ammunition without any adverse impacts.</p> http://www.pws.io/fomc-to-get-more-dovish-in-2020 Fri, 08 Nov 2019 11:56:51 -0500 Jaimini Desai Walgreens Boots Alliance Testing Waters for LBO http://www.pws.io/walgreens-boots-alliance-testing-waters-for-lbo <p class='black-text'><a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2019/11/5/20950519/walgreens-boots-drugstores-exploring-buyout">According to several sources</a>, Walgreens CEO and majority shareholder Stefano Pessina and senior executives have supposedly been testing the waters for a potential leveraged buyout of the Walgreens Boots Alliance <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WBA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WBA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, in what would be the largest LBO in stock market history if the deal actually goes through as it has supposedly been planned.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/walgreens-billionaire-spies-even-greater-riches/2019/11/06/474319ea-008a-11ea-8341-cc3dce52e7de_story.html">WBA recently had closed meetings with private equity firms</a>, including KKR & Co, supposedly to discuss the financing of an LBO of the mammoth Walgreen Boots Alliance. While details of the actual meeting are scarce, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/walgreens-billionaire-spies-even-greater-riches/2019/11/06/474319ea-008a-11ea-8341-cc3dce52e7de_story.html">Pessina may likely have been present</a>, as any such deal would be impossible without his backing. There is also speculation that Pessina may be at the forefront of the deal as such a move would be within character, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/walgreens-billionaire-spies-even-greater-riches/2019/11/06/474319ea-008a-11ea-8341-cc3dce52e7de_story.html">or as Andrea Felsted of Bloomberg puts it</a>, "right out of the Stefano Pessina playbook."</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2019/11/5/20950519/walgreens-boots-drugstores-exploring-buyout">Experts are curious about what benefits such a move would bring</a>, however. While Walgreens has a <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2019/11/5/20950519/walgreens-boots-drugstores-exploring-buyout">significant presence on the pharmaceutical market</a>, it has seen stymied growth due to <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2019/11/5/20950519/walgreens-boots-drugstores-exploring-buyout">increasing backlash over rising prescription drug costs</a>, with the company stating it <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2019/11/5/20950519/walgreens-boots-drugstores-exploring-buyout">expects little growth in the coming year</a>. Currently, there seems to be no conceivable benefit in a transition to private ownership that would help the company alleviate its woes.</p><p class='black-text'>With the WBA discussing financing with equity firms and <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2019/11/5/20950519/walgreens-boots-drugstores-exploring-buyout">hiring experts to review possibilities for an LBO</a>, how likely is it that the deal will go through? <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/lbo-walgreens-boots-alliance-skeptics-doubts-costs-51573069034">According to the consensus of financial experts</a>: unlikely. Many financial experts have cast their doubts on the possibility of such a significant transaction; put by Bloomberg, <a href="t%20https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-06/walgreens-boots-leveraged-buyout-seen-as-a-long-shot-by-street">the numbers don't add up</a>. Primary concerns revolve around the <a href="t%20https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-06/walgreens-boots-leveraged-buyout-seen-as-a-long-shot-by-street">sheer financial requirements of such a deal</a>, which would require considerable capital and a great deal of restructuring and cost-cutting to reduce overhead after a potential deal went through. <a href="t%20https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-06/walgreens-boots-leveraged-buyout-seen-as-a-long-shot-by-street">The estimated amount of the transaction alone would be $75 Billion</a>, almost twice the size of the current largest LBO, a considerable number that has <a href="t%20https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-06/walgreens-boots-leveraged-buyout-seen-as-a-long-shot-by-street">experts questioning the "sanity" of such a deal</a>.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="t%20https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-06/walgreens-boots-leveraged-buyout-seen-as-a-long-shot-by-street">Sluggish markets also pose a significant danger to the deal</a>; the UK based Boots chain has seen slow sales figures that have required considerable cost-cutting. Additionally, WBA is already facing the consequences for even floating the decision, <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/lbo-walgreens-boots-alliance-skeptics-doubts-costs-51573069034">primarily a fluctuating stock price</a> reflective of the skepticism Wall Street has over the massive buyout.</p><p class='black-text'>As of this article, few reliable details are known. <a href="https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2019/11/5/20950519/walgreens-boots-drugstores-exploring-buyout">The WBA has yet to comment</a> on the deal, and much of what was discussed during the closed meetings between the WBA and equity firms <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/walgreens-billionaire-spies-even-greater-riches/2019/11/06/474319ea-008a-11ea-8341-cc3dce52e7de_story.html">have yet to be released</a>. More key details may help experts better understand how the pharmaceutical giant plans to make the deal work. Still, as of right now, many experts have pointed out that the reality of the company's situation makes the deal untenable.</p> http://www.pws.io/walgreens-boots-alliance-testing-waters-for-lbo Fri, 08 Nov 2019 11:44:30 -0500 Michael Mooney Market Update: Positive Trade News From China Hits Markets http://www.pws.io/market-update-positive-trade-news-from-china-hits-markets <p class='black-text'>All three major U.S. stock averages hit intraday record highs today after positive reports from China regarding U.S. trade. A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce Thursday <a href="https://world.huanqiu.com/article/9CaKrnKnEyp#">stated</a> that the "leaders of China and the United States have carefully resolved their core concerns in the past two weeks and have carried out serious constructive discussion, agreeing to cancel the tariff increase in stages with progress of the agreement.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the U.S. stock market closed Thursday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): +0.27% or +8.42 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA): +0.66% or +182.44 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ): +0.28% or +23.89 points.</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Economic news, the U.S. Labor Department estimated that 211,000 Americans field new unemployment claims in the week ending November 2, which is a low for the month and below the 215,000 predicted by <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-fall-to-one-month-low-of-211000-labor-market-stays-strong-2019-11-07">economists</a>. It seems that the labor market is going strong despite domestic and international economic slowdowns.</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sector news, sectors continue mixed gains and losses as investors grapple with various Q3 earnings. Energy +1.58% saw a major increase today after the sectors slumped throughout the week. Other gainers include Information Technology +0.67%, Communication Services +0.67%, Financials +0.67%, Materials +0.65%, Industrials +0.23%, and Health Care +0.14%. Those that paired losses Thursday include Utilities -1.35%, Real Estate -1.08%, Consumer Discretionary -0.56%, Consumer Staples -0.38%.</p><p class='black-text'>In Commodity and Currency news, oil prices experienced mixed gains during trading today. West Texas Intermediate saw a price drop of almost -0.05%, bringing the price per barrel to slightly over $57. On the other hand, Brent Crude increased just under 1%, with barrel prices increasing to around $62.30. Gold has been dropping amid positive trade news, with Thursday being no different. The metal declined just over -0.10%, making the cost per ounce around $1,467.25. The dollar continues to increase, with the DXY index gaining almost 0.20%.</p><p class='black-text'>As the U.S.-China trade war seems to be cooling down, investors and consumers may find some newfound confidence to close out 2019. Only time will tell if this news will be the end of the war, or just be another report to add to the sea of mixed information that has washed over markets for almost two years.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-positive-trade-news-from-china-hits-markets Thu, 07 Nov 2019 18:46:27 -0500 PWS.IO Mid-Week ETF Update: Major Averages Reaching New Heights http://www.pws.io/mid-week-etf-update-major-averages-reaching-new-heights <p class='black-text'>U.S. major averages have been trading considerable well this week, with both the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) hitting 52-week highs. Much of the gains have been spurred by investor confidence towards trade and tariff outlooks as positive news continues to surface from China and the Trump administration.</p><p class='black-text'>In the ETF sector market, sectors had to digest all the Q3 reports from the past few weeks to plan their course of action towards business for the final fiscal quarter. Energy (XLE) appeared to be the weakest sector at the start of the Q3 earnings cycle. Though much of this sector's revenue reports were down, U.S. oil producers Exxon Mobil and Chevron beat expectations. Analyst Mark Newton, founder of Newton Advisors, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/06/the-energy-sector-is-making-a-stealthy-comeback-this-month.html">says </a>that a rally for this underperforming sector may be around the corner.</p><p class='black-text'>Utilities (XLU) continues to trade below its 52-week high dues to ongoing Q3 misses. Health Care (XLV) has grown due to favorable earnings from stocks within the sector. Consumer Staples (XLP) and Consumer Discretionary (XLY) have dropped during the earnings season, with U.S. consumer confidence declining recently.</p><p class='black-text'>Financials (XLF) hit a 52-week high this week, increasing about 34.4%. Soaring on the back of upbeat U.S. economic data, the Federal Reserve's third rate cut, and progress in trade relations, this ETF continues to see gains in recent markets. Industrials (XLI) have also reached a new 52-week high, with this sector performing robustly despite the manufacturing slowdown. Technology (XLK) also reached a new high this week.</p><p class='black-text'>In Commodity ETFs, Gold (GLD) has begun to slide with futures falling to <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-prices-skid-lower-as-yields-climb-on-signs-of-progress-us-china-trade-talks-2019-11-07">their lowest settlement in three months</a>. The decline has come for the newfound optimism around the 'phase one' trade deal that has been dominating the markets for over a year. United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), though currently dropping, has seen a recent push towards the positive territory from cold weather moving in. United States Oil (USO) has also shown gains this week.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally, in Currency ETFs, the Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) has made gains this week. The Euro (FXE) has not had the same luck, with continued Brexit uncertainty and contraction from Germany's economy lowering values. The Pound (FXB) has also continued its volatility as politics continues to swing the currency.</p> http://www.pws.io/mid-week-etf-update-major-averages-reaching-new-heights Thu, 07 Nov 2019 17:30:18 -0500 Rachel Hemple Airbnb Banning Party Houses Due to Mass Shooting http://www.pws.io/airbnb-banning-party-houses-due-to-mass-shooting <p class='black-text'>Airbnb, the marketplace for arranged temporary lodging in popular tourist locations, has banned party houses due to a shooting that took place at one of its locations. The shooting took place at a Halloween party on Thursday that was hosted by renters of the location and resulted in the death of five people. The Orinda, California police department stated that the party was held without the knowledge of the renter host.</p><p class='black-text'>Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky expressed deep sorrow for the families of the deceased and later stated that the company's ban on "party houses" is the first step in a series of steps that will be taken to ensure guests and hosts that this will never happen again. Chesky made this announcement on Saturday, just two days following the horrific event. More than 100 partiers frightened by the scene, stood in gatherings all over the property.</p><p class='black-text'>This mass shooting will result in the company forming a rapid response team for renters that cause complaints from neighbors of the properties.</p><p class='black-text'>Jessica Black, Texas attorney and founder of Moms against STRs said that this wasn't the first shooting that took place in an Airbnb location, but it was one of more than thirty shootings that have occurred since May of this year.</p><p class='black-text'>Black has experienced many negative and disturbing incidents in her own neighborhood from Airbnb renters and has fought for months to get Chesky's attention.</p><p class='black-text'>Black conveyed to the media that the sudden interest setting stricter company policies are due to Airbnb's plan to have an initial public offering next year.</p><p class='black-text'>"Is this about them trying to put lipstick on the pig for the IPO?" Black later stated after expressing her fears of an opened policy to terrorists and sex offenders.</p><p class='black-text'>Airbnb will begin screening all reservations that are made from now on and will remove users that violate any company policies.</p> http://www.pws.io/airbnb-banning-party-houses-due-to-mass-shooting Thu, 07 Nov 2019 15:45:04 -0500 Rebecca Coram Recent Economic Data Confirms Chairman Powell's Pivot http://www.pws.io/recent-economic-data-confirms-chairman-powells-pivot <p class='black-text'>Last week, the Federal Reserve delivered a third rate cut. More importantly, it signaled that it was done cutting for the time being. It sees these rate cuts as insurance against a slowing in the economy rather than the beginning of a rate cut cycle.</p><p class='black-text'>Just like the Fed's decision to go from hiking rates in December 2018 to cutting them early this year revealed concern about the effects of the trade war, its current shift reveals confidence in the economy. Going forward, all data will be intensely scrutinized to evaluate whether the central bank got it right and to anticipate its next move.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Jobs and Services Report</b></p><p class='black-text'>The Fed is on hold for the time being as it anticipates the economy improving. Although the decision is only a week-old, early returns are positive. <a href="ttps://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/01/jobs-report-october-2019.html">Friday's jobs report</a> was stronger than expected with the economy adding 128,000 jobs above the consensus expectations of 75,000. This was despite the GM <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> strike which resulted in a loss of nearly 50,000 jobs.</p><p class='black-text'>Even more encouraging were positive revisions to job figures in August and September totaling almost 95,000 jobs. This report is consistent with the Fed's decision to stop at three rate hikes. The jobs report reflects an economy that continues to grow albeit at a slower pace. Wage growth came in at 3% on an annual basis which is in-line with expectations and consistent with current Fed policy.</p><p class='black-text'>The ISM's non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Report climbed to 54.7 in October. This marks continued expansion in the services sector of the economy and is another indication that the weakness in manufacturing is not spreading to other parts of the economy. Another signal that the Fed is on the right track.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Looking Forward</b></p><p class='black-text'>Besides the recent data which continues to show that the broader economy remains immune to a manufacturing slowdown, there are other reasons for the Fed to move to the sidelines. Part of its cuts was insurance against the trade war, and the uncertainty it was creating. Currently, trade tensions are easing as China and the US look ready to make 'Phase One' of the trade deal. It even seems possible that tariffs could be lifted which would lead to a burst of activity. Another factor is the Brexit situation has also shown improvement with a disastrous "no-deal Brexit" seemingly off the table for now.</p><p class='black-text'>Given that these two tail risks are no more and the economy remains solid, it makes sense that the need for 'insurance cuts' has also faded.</p> http://www.pws.io/recent-economic-data-confirms-chairman-powells-pivot Thu, 07 Nov 2019 15:33:53 -0500 Jaimini Desai Bitmain IPO: Mining for More than Cryptocurrency http://www.pws.io/bitmain-ipo-mining-for-more-than-cryptocurrency <p class='black-text'>Cryptocurrency mining company, Bitmain Technologies Ltd. Is reportedly relaunching its initial public offering plans. However, this time the coin is launching in the United States instead of Hong Kong. According to a report from Tencent News, Bitman has filed its application with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with Deutsche Bank as the sponsor. It is estimated that the company is looking to raise approximately $300 - $500 million. This is much lower than the $3 billion that it intended to raise from its IPO in Hong Honk that was planned for September 2018.</p><p class='black-text'>The company made recent headlines as one of its co-founders came back from exile to oust the other co-founder from the company. Wu Jihan, who previously stepped down from his role at the company, has returned to remove Micree Ketuan Zhan as executive director. The two have disagreed over strategy and where to focus Bitmain's efforts for future development. Mr. Jihan believes the company should focus on bitcoin Cash as he support a decentralized currency which cannot be traced while Mr. Zhan is in support of AI chip development - an investment which has not yielded great successes yet for the company.</p><p class='black-text'>Matthew Graham, a chief executive of Sino Global Capital, commented the following: "Wu is Bitmain's visionary founder and one of the giants of China blockchain. We'll have to see if it works out, but this is a Steve Jobs coming back to save Apple situation".</p><p class='black-text'>Wu Jihan sent employees the following email: "Bitmain's co-founder, chairman, legal representative and executive director Jihan Wu has decided to dismiss all roles of Ketuan Zhan, effective immediately. Any Bitmain staff shall no longer take any direction from Zhan, or participate in any meeting organized by Zhan. Bitmain may, based on the situation, consider terminating employment contracts of those who violate this note."</p><p class='black-text'>According to an internal email sent to staff, Jihan Wu, Bitmain's other co-founder and now chairman of the board, sent an email all employees on Tuesday, saying:</p><p class='black-text'>"Bitmain's co-founder, chairman, legal representative and executive director Jihan Wu has decided to dismiss all roles of Ketuan Zhan, effective immediately. Any Bitmain staff shall no longer take any direction from Zhan, or participate in any meeting organized by Zhan. Bitmain may, based on the situation, consider terminating employment contracts of those who violate this note."</p><p class='black-text'>Bitmain controls about 75% of the world market for bitcoin mining machines. President Xi Jinping has also endorsed blockchain and has called for support of the sector. However, due to these internal issues, the company has lost its spot as the top mining pool. This could have potential repercussions by the time the company's IPO date rolls around.</p> http://www.pws.io/bitmain-ipo-mining-for-more-than-cryptocurrency Thu, 07 Nov 2019 15:16:15 -0500 Karina Petrunova Uber Falling Under Increasing Scrutiny http://www.pws.io/uber-falling-under-increasing-scrutiny <p class='black-text'>Uber <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBER"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBER</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has fallen under scrutiny after a <a href="https://investor.uber.com/news-events/news/press-release-details/2019/Uber-Announces-Results-for-Third-Quarter-2019/default.aspx">rather concerning quarterly report</a> that revealed the ride-sharing company has suffered losses topping $1 billion. Uber remains confident that it can become profitable, but when queried by industry experts, Uber flounders on its responses, raising additional concerns.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber's Q3 report is <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/uber-uber-q3-2019-earnings.html">gloomy news for the company's investors</a> as <a href="https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/uber-profitability/">Uber struggles to become profitable</a>. The ride-sharing giant has struggled to become profitable despite explosive growth, both domestically and internationally. Its rapid growth has at least partly negated the mounting losses, <a href="https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/uber-profitability/">as some experts report</a>, but the <a href="https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/uber-profitability/">slowing of Uber's growth</a> may pose a threat to the company. In response to the report, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/uber-uber-q3-2019-earnings.html">stated that the company intends</a> "total company EBITDA profitability for the full year 2021."</p><p class='black-text'>Uber's Q3 report prompted increased investigation from experts who are becoming increasingly curious as to how the company intends to reverse its years-long issue with profitability. For the most part,<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/uber-uber-q3-2019-earnings.html"> Uber has not fared well</a> when questioned over its business practices and how it plans to change its fortunes. For example, Uber CFO Nelson Chai was recently <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/uber-uber-q3-2019-earnings.html">questioned by Goldman Sachs Analyst Heath Terry</a>, who asked if there was "a level of revenue or a level of scale that is assumed in that math for the company that you'd be willing to share that's implied for that degree of profitability?" <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/uber-uber-q3-2019-earnings.html">Chai did not answer the question directly</a>, opting instead to insist that overhead would grow more slowly.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/uber-uber-q3-2019-earnings.html">Similar events have played out since the report was released</a>. Details were in short supply, and often, questions were outright avoided when experts tried to seek answers. Uber's inability to address problems facing its profitability stands in stark contrast to the practices of its contemporary Lyft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LYFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LYFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LYFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LYFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LYFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which is suffering from similar issues of profitability but has been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/30/technology/lyft-earnings-profitability.html">decidedly more communicative</a> in how it plans to address the problems facing it.</p><p class='black-text'>The inability of Uber leadership to adequately address concerns of profitability or even provide details into its supposed solutions is especially worrisome as Uber's stocks have <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-stock-is-in-crisis-heres-the-biggest-problems-right-now-204232468.html">fared poorly since its May IPO</a>. Since its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-stock-is-in-crisis-heres-the-biggest-problems-right-now-204232468.html">the company's shares have dropped 38%</a>, a sobering figure for investors. The inability for the company to become profitable raises grim questions for Uber's future as a publicly-traded company, with some media outlets even <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-stock-is-in-crisis-heres-the-biggest-problems-right-now-204232468.html">referring to Uber's stock problems as a "crisis"</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>As Uber continues to be tight-lipped about how it intends to address the mounting financial problems it faces, <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/uber-stock-is-in-crisis-heres-the-biggest-problems-right-now-204232468.html">confidence in the company continues to decline</a>. With leadership that is unable even to answer basic questions about their company, it is unlikely that Uber will come out of its financial problems anytime soon.</p> http://www.pws.io/uber-falling-under-increasing-scrutiny Thu, 07 Nov 2019 14:57:33 -0500 Michael Mooney Market Update: Eurozone's PMI is on the Rise http://www.pws.io/market-update-eurozones-pmi-is-on-the-rise <p class='black-text'>The U.S. stock market had to digest after market news Tuesday that the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign the interim trade deal could be delayed until December to continue discussions over terms. An anonymous senior official tied to the Trump administration told <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-prospects-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-china-trade-deal-signing-could-be-delayed-to-december-london-a-possible-venue-source-idUSKBN1XG2GG">Reuters</a> that it is still possible for the "phase one" agreement to not be reached, but a deal is more likely than not.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the stock market closed out on a murky Wednesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): +0.07% or +2.15 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA): -0.00% or -0.07 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ): -0.29% or -24.05 points</p><p class='black-text'>For global markets,<a href="https://www.markiteconomics.com/Public/Home/PressRelease/a227956fa7c844cf8ed86ca390c59214"> IHS Markit's October Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)</a> for the eurozone rose to 50.6, slightly up from September's reading of 50.1. The European economies tracked outperformed in the services sector against the contracting manufacturing. Germany, which is the largest economy in the eurozone, is the only country to have its individual PMI remain below the neutral 50, which shows ongoing contraction for October.</p><p class='black-text'>Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said: "The euro area remained close to stagnation in October, with falling order books suggesting that risks are currently tilted towards contraction in the fourth quarter. While the October PMI is consistent with quarterly GDP rising by 0.1%, the forward looking data points to a possible decline in economic output in the fourth quarter...As for the immediate outlook, much depends on geopolitical issues such as US tariff developments and Brexit."</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Stock Sector news, most have been gaining steadily as the week heads towards its end. Those that saw modest increases Wednesday include Health Care +0.56%, Consumer Staples +0.52%, Real Estate +0.41%, Financials +0.41%, Utilities +0.26%, Consumer Discretionary +0.06%, and Industrials +0.05%. Those that continue to slide include Energy -2.29%, Communication Services -0.20%, Materials -0.09%, and Information Technology -0.01%.</p><p class='black-text'>In Commodity news, oil prices have started to decrease following the trade uncertainty and the growing investor fear over future global demand. West Texas Intermediate dropped over -1.40%, lowing the price per barrel to around $56.50. Brent Crude saw steeper declines, with prices dropping almost -1.80%, to bring the price to around $61.80. Gold sought to gain back Tuesday's losses, with the metal price increasing +0.45% to price around $1,490.50 per ounce. The US Dollar Index paired small gains today amid trade uncertainty, with the currency increasing just over +0.05% with price a bit below $98.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-eurozones-pmi-is-on-the-rise Wed, 06 Nov 2019 16:51:46 -0500 Rachel Hemple Chinese Shoppers May Break Up with American Goods this Singles' Day http://www.pws.io/chinese-shoppers-may-break-up-with-american-goods-this-singles-day <p class='black-text'>As Alibaba Group Holding's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> biggest sales day of the year approaches, Chinese consumers surveyed by AlixPartners may not be so quick to shop American made goods and brands. According to a survey of 2,000 adult Chinese consumers, <a href="https://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/3035584/chinese-shoppers-say-they-would-shun-american-brands-during">almost 80% of shoppers plan to boycott American goods</a> on Single's Day on November 11.</p><p class='black-text'>With more than half of the respondents citing "patriotism" as the main reason behind their avoidance, it seems that U.S. retail will be heavily excluded from the largest e-commerce day of the year. Last year, a record <a href="https://fortune.com/2019/11/04/china-singles-day-us-brand-boycott/">$30 billion of goods were purchased</a>, which is its largest haul since 2009. To put that number in perspective, in 2018, Black Friday sales in the U.S. were $6.2 billion, Cyber Monday sales reached $7.9 billion and shoppers in July spent approximately $4.2 billion on Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Prime Day. This Chinese anti-Valentine's day encourages consumers to treat themselves to personal gifts and enjoy time with friends. Also known as Double 11, this day of online shopping is hosted by Alibaba's Taobao, Tmall, and AliExpress.</p><p class='black-text'>Chinese consumers are becoming <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-brief-history-of-corporate-apologies-to-china-2019-10-09">more sensitive </a>to any perceived slight on their culture or sovereignty amid a multi-year trade conflict between U.S. and China. As Western firms increasingly look to China for future growth given the size of the market, shoppers are holding them up to scrutiny. Citizens are becoming more vocal in support of China's sovereignty over its territories as the government confronts pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the continuous trade war that has greatly impacted the price of imports. Chinese consumers are estimated to account for at least a third of current luxury sales and two-thirds of the industry's growth, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-17/dior-feels-china-s-nationalism-heat-after-map-excludes-taiwan">according to Bain &Co.</a></p><p class='black-text'>The avoidance of American brands does not mean that Chinese consumers are going to ignore other foreign brands, including those from Europe, Japan, and South Korea, especially those of higher quality. The survey showed that 30% of consumers expect to purchase from foreign brands.</p><p class='black-text'>China's slowing economic growth this year is not going to slow down consumers either, for those surveyed in big cities said that they plan to spend 54% more this year.</p><p class='black-text'>Alibaba<a href="https://www.scmp.com/tech/e-commerce/article/3035966/alibaba-quarterly-revenue-jumps-40-cent-ahead-singles-day-shopping"> reported a 40% revenue increase</a> for the quarter that ended in September. This improvement has been made on the back of strong sales at its China retail platforms and growth in annual active consumers. "Our digital economy continues to thrive and prosper," said Daniel Zhang Yong, executive chairman and chief executive of Alibaba. "We aim to serve over one billion annual active consumers and help our merchants achieve over 10 trillion yuan in annual gross merchandise volume by the end of fiscal 2024."</p><p class='black-text'>More than 200,000 domestic and foreign products and more than a million new products will be on sale this coming Single's day. Zhang described the company's Singles' Day festival as the commercial Olympic Games, which enables more brands to market their products and engage more consumers in China and around the world. Over the past year, Alibaba has focused on reaching smaller cities in China, with a majority of new-user growth coming from the country's less-developed areas.</p> http://www.pws.io/chinese-shoppers-may-break-up-with-american-goods-this-singles-day Wed, 06 Nov 2019 16:22:08 -0500 Rachel Hemple McDonald's Fires CEO Over Policy Violation, Faces Uncertain Future http://www.pws.io/mcdonalds-fires-ceo-over-policy-violation-faces-uncertain-future <p class='black-text'>The McDonald's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> board of directors voted to <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/341785">remove CEO Steve Easterbrook from his position last week</a> after revelations arose that he violated company policy regarding inter-company relationships. In the wake of Easterbrook's dismissal, the fast-food giant faces an uncertain future as its stock prices drop and the newly appointed CEO already faces scrutiny.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/business/mcdonalds-ceo-fired.html">Easterbrook was dismissed from his position</a> after the McDonalds board of directors determined that he had violated company policy after it was discovered that he had been engaging in a consensual relationship with a subordinate. The dismissal of Easterbrook demonstrates <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/business/mcdonalds-ceo-fired.html">a change in the views regarding workplace relationships</a>, and whether it is indicative of a more extensive, potentially industry-wide attitude remains to be seen.</p><p class='black-text'>Easterbrook, who took the helm of McDonald's in 2015, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/new-mcdonald-s-ceo-doesn-t-own-a-single-share-of-the-company">led McDonald's on a path of modernization to target a new generation of consumers</a> that would result in the company's stock price doubling and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/new-mcdonald-s-ceo-doesn-t-own-a-single-share-of-the-company">McDonald's previously falling same-store sales recovering strongly</a> during his tenure. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/new-mcdonald-s-ceo-doesn-t-own-a-single-share-of-the-company">Easterbrook was considered by experts</a> to be a true pioneer in his field. Based on his reputation, it is no surprise that McDonald's has faced immediate and robust blowback for Easterbrook's dismissal.</p><p class='black-text'>Days after the announcement of Easterbrook's dismissal, <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/341785">McDonald's stock price tumbled 2.3%</a>. The timing of the firing also coincides with <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonalds-falls-short-on-profit-11571745670">a slump in McDonald's expected earnings growth</a>; while it is concerning that the firing could have adverse effects on the company's growth in the near future, whether or not the firing has affected the recent slump remains unclear.</p><p class='black-text'>Scrutiny has already been heaped upon Easterbrook's successor, Chris Kempczinski, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/new-mcdonald-s-ceo-doesn-t-own-a-single-share-of-the-company">who noticeably lacks any stock in the very company he now leads</a>. The lack of stock places Kempczinski in a precarious position; <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/new-mcdonald-s-ceo-doesn-t-own-a-single-share-of-the-company">it is common practice</a> for large companies like McDonald's to require that senior executives possess shares so that their financial success is tied to the success of the company. While Kempczinski currently lacks ownership of any McDonald's stock, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/new-mcdonald-s-ceo-doesn-t-own-a-single-share-of-the-company">he has many avenues available to him to acquire it</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Kempczinski has also been left with some of the consequences of Easterbrook's decisions, such as the complaints of some franchisees <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/05/business/mcdonalds-new-ceo-chris-kempczinski/index.html">concerning the costs of implementing Easterbrook's changes</a>, such as store renovations and order kiosks. Kempczinski, in general, may be a contentious choice for franchisees, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/05/business/mcdonalds-new-ceo-chris-kempczinski/index.html">as the new CEO has a reputation for being hard on them</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>There remains a fair number of unknowns around Kempczinski, however. While Kempczinski was instrumental in implementing Easterbrook's decisions, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/05/business/mcdonalds-new-ceo-chris-kempczinski/index.html">he has mostly stayed out of the public eye</a>. Investors looking to his past see mixed results, and it will be up to Kempczinski to prove that he can continue Easterbrook's practices or that he can innovate the company in his own unique way in the coming months.</p> http://www.pws.io/mcdonalds-fires-ceo-over-policy-violation-faces-uncertain-future Wed, 06 Nov 2019 14:24:42 -0500 Michael Mooney Hong Kong Enters Recession http://www.pws.io/hong-kong-enters-recession <p class='black-text'>The Hong Kong economy entered a recession for the first time in 10 years as third-quarter economic data showed a 3.2% decrease in GDP. This follows a 0.5% decrease in the second quarter, officially marking a recession.</p><p class='black-text'>Hong Kong's economy is suffering from unique, domestic reasons and from the effects of a trade war that has hindered global trade and affected China's export-oriented economy. Given Hong Kong's role in the region as a financial center, its fortunes are typically linked to its neighbors while also having more extreme booms and busts.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Domestic Unrest </b></p><p class='black-text'>This time, Hong Kong's weakness is primarily due to its own combustible, political circumstances. Until May 2019, the Hong Kong 30 Stock Index traded basically with other stock exchanges in the region in terms of direction and percent moves. Since the protests began, Hong Kong stocks have struggled to make any ground. Currently, they sit closer to their December lows, while other indexes are above May highs or even at new highs.</p><p class='black-text'>There have been months of protests with some estimating that 1 out of 3 Hong Kong residents has participated in the protests. The protests have resulted in shops closing, public transportation being shut down, airport delays, and tourism sharply declining. There doesn't seem to be any easy resolution. It's not in China's nature to give in to political demonstrations or unrest. The threat of a brutal crackdown persists, adding more tension to the situation.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Government Support</b></p><p class='black-text'>"Frankly, there is no room for optimism," embattled Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a business conference last week. While there is little hope that the situation is going to improve, one silver lining is recent improvements in the trade war.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, the government has taken aggressive steps to bolster struggling businesses. Some steps include lowering rents at properties owned by the government, fuel subsidies, available funding for small businesses, a stimulus package to create jobs, and measures to bolster liquidity in funding markets.</p><p class='black-text'>Another bright spot for Hong Kong is that companies continue to choose the locale as a place to list their companies. So far, it's had the third most listings after the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. This is an indication that businesses believe that Hong Kong will continue to be a good place to do business in the future.</p> http://www.pws.io/hong-kong-enters-recession Wed, 06 Nov 2019 13:56:47 -0500 Jaimini Desai Taylor Swift to Headline Singles' Day http://www.pws.io/taylor-swift-to-headline-singles-day <p class='black-text'>American pop superstar Taylor Swift will headline Alibaba's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Singles' Day on November 11. She will be participating in a live-streamed television and online event in the run-up to the promotion that will certainly bring in a large, global audience. For many, it will be their first introduction to Alibaba and Singles' Day. It will certainly bring more attention to the company's self-created shopping holiday in which over 200,000 brands are expected to participate with over 500 million shoppers.</p><p class='black-text'>Taylor Swift's presence is notable given her recent comments on her own political beliefs and the increasing tension between the China and the US. Alibaba has close ties to the government as revealed by Ali Baba CFO and Brooklyn Nets' owner Joe Tsai's comments following Daryl Morey's tweet on the Hong Kong controversy. Swift should expect criticism in the same way NBA players who are outspoken about domestic politics were targeted for not speaking up about China due to financial reasons.</p><p class='black-text'>Singles' Day started in 2009 and has quickly become the Chinese version of Black Friday. Sales went from under $10 million in its inaugural year to expecting a gross nearly $50 billion in revenue this year. The success of this specific promotion is linked to the explosion of online shopping in China and Alibaba's strong positioning in this market.</p><p class='black-text'>Now the company is attempting to turn this into a global phenomenon exemplified by featuring the world's biggest pop star. Previous years featured stars like Kobe Bryant, Scarlet Johansson, Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman. This time, the company is looking to make a bigger splash with a performance by Swift and multiple performances by other popular acts. The company says it will combine elements of a pop concert, variety show, countdown, and home-shopping show.</p><p class='black-text'>Beyond the Singles' Day excitement, Alibaba's stock has been doing very well. Year-to-date, the company's stock is 42% higher. Compare this to a 19.7% gain for the Shanghai Stock Exchange <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FXI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FXI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FXI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FXI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FXI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and a 29% gain for the Nasdaq <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Its recent earnings report also reveals a company that is achieving its growth targets. Since early 2018, the company's stock price has basically traded between $120 and $200. Not coincidentally, this is when the trade war started. Despite this potent headwind, the company's sales grew from $33.8 billion to $64.9 billion over a 12-month trailing basis.</p><p class='black-text'>Over this time period, the company has maintained its margins and continues its growth trajectory. Now that the trade tensions are decreasing and a deal seems imminent, the stock could finally see a breakout to new, all-time highs.</p> http://www.pws.io/taylor-swift-to-headline-singles-day Wed, 06 Nov 2019 13:52:08 -0500 Jaimini Desai Exxon Mobile Profits and Revenue Down in Q3 http://www.pws.io/exxon-mobile-profits-and-revenue-down-in-q3 <p class='black-text'><a href="https://apnews.com/cffd688288934d0fb76733c34f53343c">According to its Q3 report</a>, Exxon Mobile <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has experienced a rather dramatic downturn in profits compared to last year's Q3 report. The Texas-based oil giant reported a shocking 49% drop in earnings from Q3 of 2018 and a 15% drop in overall revenue. Despite this, the company beat expectations in terms of its stock price.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/-/media/Global/Files/investor-relations/quarterly-earnings/earnings-announcements/2018-earnings-announcements/news_release_earnings_3q18.pdf">At Q3 of 2018</a>, Exxon Mobile reported $6.24 billion in earnings. <a href="https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/-/media/Global/Files/investor-relations/quarterly-earnings/earnings-announcements/2019-earnings-announcements/3q-earnings-release.pdf">A year later</a>, the company reported $3.17 in earnings, a roughly $3.07 billion difference. While shocking, the losses that Exxon has faced are not entirely unprecedented. <a href="https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/-/media/Global/Files/investor-relations/quarterly-earnings/earnings-announcements/2018-earnings-announcements/news_release_earnings_3q18.pdf">In its report</a>, Exxon identifies unfavorable oil prices as one of the key culprits behind its dour year.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://apnews.com/cffd688288934d0fb76733c34f53343c">Exxon's stock price is down considerably as well</a>. Exxon earned $.75 per share, a 49% decrease from last year. The news for Exxon's stock is not all bad, however, <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/exxon-mobil-shares-higher-sell-193650530.html">as the company has beat expectations</a> as estimates initially projected a net profit of $.69 per share.</p><p class='black-text'>Exxon is just one of many companies suffering ill side-effects as a result of the <a href="https://www.newser.com/story/282556/exxon-mobil-profit-falls-49.html">prolonged trade war between the United States and China</a>. Oil prices have been <a href="https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Oil-Tumbles-As-Trade-War-Hopes-Fade.html">directly affected by the trade war</a>, which has been causing an increase in supply as less oil is exported overseas and demand remains low. Exxon's natural gas sales have also been affected, as the domestic market continually floods with an increasing supply due to a lack of exports.</p><p class='black-text'>Regardless of the unexpected downturn in profits, Exxon leadership remains optimistic. Profits and revenue aside, the company has been experiencing <a href="https://apnews.com/cffd688288934d0fb76733c34f53343c">healthy growth in its crude oil production</a>, aided by growth in extraction operations in the Permian Basin, as well as significant undersea discoveries in Guyana and Cyprus. Additionally, Exxon has continued to expand its investment in green technologies, <a href="https://apnews.com/cffd688288934d0fb76733c34f53343c">such as an agreement with Mosaic Materials</a> to develop carbon capture technology to reduce emissions.</p><p class='black-text'>Exxon leadership's optimism seems at least somewhat founded as the company experienced <a href="https://www.equities.com/news/exxon-mobil-corporation-xom-closes-2-97-up-on-the-day-for-november-04">a bump in its stock price at the end of the day on Monday</a>, with Exxon's stock up 2.97% as trading concluded for the day.</p> http://www.pws.io/exxon-mobile-profits-and-revenue-down-in-q3 Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:16:42 -0500 Michael Mooney Morgan Stanley's Guide to 2020 Election Trading http://www.pws.io/morgan-stanleys-guide-to-2020-election-trading <p class='black-text'>Morgan Stanley <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has put together a <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/morgan-stanley-has-a-simple-guide-on-how-to-trade-the-2020-election.html">cheat sheet</a> for trading different election outcomes, based on evaluating factors affecting certain stocks that are most associated with Republican and Democrat policies respectively.</p><p class='black-text'>The firm has split up potential stock outcomes based on different political scenarios.</p><p class='black-text'>The first scenario is if the Democrats win the White House, but there is a split Congress. In this case, MS recommends buying emerging market and alternative energy stocks, and selling US energy, big banks, tech and drugmakers. This is driven by the idea that one of the democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren, has outlined an ambitious climate change plan over the years. It involves spending <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/morgan-stanley-has-a-simple-guide-on-how-to-trade-the-2020-election.html">$3 trillion as part of a 10-year plan to move the U.S. to 100% clean energy and protect poorer communities at the mercy of the production of fossil fuels.</a></p><p class='black-text'>The second scenario involves President Donald Trump getting reelected, but Congress remaining divided. Under this, one should buy energy, big banks and telecom companies and sell the US dollar. This is a less radical scenario, and is based more on what we see happening now. For instance, Trump already signed a bill in 2018 that eased regulations on smaller banks and implemented a<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/morgan-stanley-has-a-simple-guide-on-how-to-trade-the-2020-election.html"> $250 billion threshold on entities considered too important to fail. </a></p><p class='black-text'>The third instance is called the "<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/morgan-stanley-has-a-simple-guide-on-how-to-trade-the-2020-election.html">Blue Wave</a>" and involves a full democratic sweep of the congress and house. In this case, one should sell big pharma, treasuries, banks, tech and energy, because Democrats have consistently criticized large drug companies and banks for ethical misconduct and having too much market power. One should thus buy the US dollar, transportation and alternative energy stocks.</p><p class='black-text'>"While it would be reasonable to deduce from our survey that moves toward a Democratic victory could initially weigh on risk markets, we wouldn't have confidence in the durability of such a reaction. The 2016 election serves as a cautionary tale here," <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/morgan-stanley-has-a-simple-guide-on-how-to-trade-the-2020-election.html">wrote</a> Michael Zezas, head of policy strategy at Morgan Stanley and lead analyst on the 130-page report.</p><p class='black-text'>The final scenario involves a full republican sweep, which would be good for <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/morgan-stanley-has-a-simple-guide-on-how-to-trade-the-2020-election.html">U.S. oil and gas, financial firms and telecommunication companies because of increased deregulation</a>. However, this would hurt emerging markets stocks and alternative energy.</p><p class='black-text'>"It is a very reasonable statement that if Warren were elected, and these policies were enacted, it would be negative for the stock market in the extreme, because share prices are an expectation of future earnings," Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/26/investors-guide-to-stock-picking-under-president-elizabeth-warren.html">wrote</a>. "These policies would hurt corporate earnings universally, although they would likely improve quality of life for many demographics at the expense of corporate profits," he added. "Whether that trade off is positive, or negative, I'll leave you to decide."</p> http://www.pws.io/morgan-stanleys-guide-to-2020-election-trading Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:08:39 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar Market Update: Investors Continue Trade Optimism http://www.pws.io/market-update-investors-continue-trade-optimism <p class='black-text'>U.S. stocks continued their gains into Tuesday, with the Dow Jones and Nasdaq closing for the day at record highs. Optimism towards the negotiations between the U.S. and China coupled with better-than-expected reports from this batch of earnings are the main driving factors behind the recent wave of record highs that the benchmark indexes have been climbing to.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled Tuesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): -0.11% or -3.5 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA): +0.11% or +30.83 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ): +0.02% or +1.48 points</p><p class='black-text'>In a speech given Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed his goal of opening up the country's economy and increasing imports. "We will ensure a free yet orderly flow of both international and domestic factors of production, improve the efficient allocation of resources, and deepen integration of markets," Xi <a href="https://www.shine.cn/biz/event/1911055333/">stated in Shanghai.</a></p><p class='black-text'>In the U.S., the Trump administration announced that they are considering removing some tariffs on Chinese goods to help finalize the initial trade deal. According to the <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/4f6580dc-ff53-11e9-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47">Financial Times</a>, there would involve the tariffs on $112 billion of consumer goods imports that were affected by the 15% rate that took effect September 1.</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Economic news, the <a href="https://www.instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/NonMfgROB.cfm?navItemNumber=12943&SSO=1">Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index (ISM)</a> increased more-than-expected in October. The index reported at 54.7 form the month, above September's reading of 52.6. Both indicate an expansion over the neutral level of 50.0, albeit a slow expansion.</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sector news, sectors remain mixed as the market heads into the mid-week. The few that saw gains today include Energy +0.45%, Financials +0.42%, Materials +0.25%, Consumer Staples +0.25%, Industrials +0.20%, and Consumer Discretionary +0.14%. Those that had lost gains include Real Estate -1.76%, Utilities -1.02%, Health Care -0.89%, Information Technology -0.14%, and Communication Services -0.07%.</p><p class='black-text'>In Commodity news, oil continues to soar today, with West Texas Intermediate's barrel prices increasing over 1%, to make the price per barrel just over $57. Brent Crude saw similar gains, with the fossil fuel's price increasing over 1.20%, pricing the barrel just under $63. On the other hand, Gold continues its plummet, with the precious metal sinking below -1.60% to cost around $1,484 per ounce.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-investors-continue-trade-optimism Tue, 05 Nov 2019 16:57:17 -0500 Rachel Hemple Apple is Laying the Groundwork for an iPhone Subscription http://www.pws.io/apple-is-laying-the-groundwork-for-an-iphone-subscription <p class='black-text'>For years, Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has considered selling its iPhones through a subscription model rather than a transactional model, which is what it currently employs.</p><p class='black-text'>Now, that notion may become a reality as outlined in a recent earnings call with the company. Through the new model, Apple may <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/30/apple-lays-groundwork-for-iphone-or-apple-prime-subscription.html">bundle</a> its hardware products with its software ones, to offer combo packages that allow customers to pay a single monthly fee. Some of the combinations could include extra iCloud storage or more streaming on Apple TV.</p><p class='black-text'>″In terms of hardware as a service or as a bundle, if you will, there are customers today that essentially view the hardware like that because they're on upgrade plans and so forth," CEO Tim Cook <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/30/apple-lays-groundwork-for-iphone-or-apple-prime-subscription.html">said</a> during an earnings call. "So to some degree that exists today."</p><p class='black-text'>Apple actually already offers some subscription-based services, such as the iPhone Upgrade Program, which covers i<a href="https://marketrealist.com/2019/11/is-apples-iphone-subscription-model-a-good-idea/">Phone costs for two years.</a> After users finish their first year's payment, they can opt for an upgraded iPhone. The service is more convenient for buyers who upgrade their iPhones every year. Another such program is the iPhone Forever Program by Sprint (S). Through this, <a href="https://marketrealist.com/2019/11/is-apples-iphone-subscription-model-a-good-idea/">Sprint</a> allows subscribers to upgrade to a new iPhone each year. Note that it does not offer warranty or device protection like the iPhone Upgrade Program.</p><p class='black-text'>"We're cognizant that there are lots of users out there that want a sort of a recurring payment like that and the receipt of new products on some sort of standard kind of basis, and we're committed to make that easier to do than perhaps it is today," Cook <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/30/apple-lays-groundwork-for-iphone-or-apple-prime-subscription.html">said</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, a program called AppleCare also allows customers to spread out iPhone costs over the course of <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/30/apple-lays-groundwork-for-iphone-or-apple-prime-subscription.html">two years. </a></p><p class='black-text'>The subscription model may solve Apple's commoditization problem, which has worsened as it has had to sell higher volumes of phones at <a href="https://www.telecomtv.com/content/business-models/apple-mulls-subscription-models-for-iphone-ownership-36832/">lower</a> prices in order to compete in a frenzied market at the cost of stifled profits.</p> http://www.pws.io/apple-is-laying-the-groundwork-for-an-iphone-subscription Tue, 05 Nov 2019 15:33:37 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar Blizzard Apologizes for Poor Handling of Hong Kong Controversy http://www.pws.io/blizzard-apologizes-for-poor-handling-of-hong-kong-controversy <p class='black-text'>In the past month, Blizzard Entertainment, an operating branch of Activision Blizzard <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ATVI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ATVI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ATVI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ATVI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ATVI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, has gotten a lot backlash for their actions towards a Hong Kong protest sympathizer. A professional Hearthstone player named Ng Wai Chung, or better known as Blitzchung, is a resident of Hong Kong. Ng was recently punished by Blizzard for speaking out during a post-match interview. During the interview, the Hearthstone gamer shouted a popular protest slogan "<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/10/08/an-esports-player-spoke-out-support-hong-kong-protests-he-was-suspended-year/" target="_blank">Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!</a>" while wearing a gas mask. Blizzard claimed that Ng was in violation of the company's competition rules. As a result, Ng received a year-long ban and was stripped of his potential winnings.</p><p class='black-text'>This controversy caused an uproar among the internet and Blizzard fans. Social Media was outraged after the news broke out. Players and gamers around the world posted images and comments of themselves uninstalling and unsubscribing from Blizzard games. Eventually, Blizzard shortened Ng's ban and returned his winnings to him. However, the drama doesn't end there.</p><p class='black-text'>On Friday, Nov. 1 during Blizzcon, Blizzard's annual gaming event, the company announced new upcoming game titles like Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV. However there were a few other surprises that came from the event. Outside the event, protesters gathered to support the Hong Kong protests and demand an apology from Blizzard for their actions taken towards players who engaged in protests. Freedom Hong Kong movement handed out "Free Hong Kong" t-shirts to attendees outside the event.</p><p class='black-text'>With this, the Blizzcon fan expo started off with a <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/01/tech/blizzcon-overwatch-2/index.html" target="_blank">direct apology from Blizzard President J. Allen Brack.</a> "We moved too quickly in our decision and then to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk with all of you," said Brack during the opening ceremony. "I am sorry and I accept accountability." Aware of the protesting out the convention, Brack addressed the situation head-on. He made a promise on behalf of the company and himself to do better in the future. He added, "We will do better going forward. But our actions are going to matter more than any of these words. As you walk around this weekend, I hope it's clear how committed we are to people expressing themselves."</p><p class='black-text'>Brack's apology was Blizzard's attempt to move past the controversy. However, some speculate if this really was a sincere apology. Brack was careful not to mention Hong Kong at all in his apology. Some critics believe that this display encouraged more so by <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/at-blizzcon-2019-blizzard-apologizes-for-poor-handling-of-hearthstones-hong-kong-protesters/" target="_blank">Tencent (OTCMKTS: TCEHY), the massive Chinese company that owns 5% of Activision Blizzard.</a> However, Blizzard denied their relationship with China and stated that the decision to ban the Hearthstone player was the company's alone. However the recent walkout of several Blizzard employees and a post on Blizzard's official Weibo account seem to contradict this claim.</p><p class='black-text'>Even if Blizzard wants to move forward from this controversy, it's obvious that this is something that can't be swept under the rug so easily. How much this situation will truly affect Blizzard's popularity and future, time will tell.</p> http://www.pws.io/blizzard-apologizes-for-poor-handling-of-hong-kong-controversy Tue, 05 Nov 2019 15:30:15 -0500 Andrew Whyte Major Automobile Merger on the Cards http://www.pws.io/major-automobile-merger-on-the-cards <p class='black-text'>Fiat Chrysler Automobiles <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FCAU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FCAU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FCAU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FCAU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FCAU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and PSA-owned Peugeot have announced a potential merger that would eventually amount to approximately <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/31/business/fiat-chrysler-psa-group/index.html">$48 billion</a> and place the new auto behemoth as the world's<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/fiat-chrysler-peugeot-owner-psa-in-talks-to-combine-11572373519?mod=hp_lead_pos1"> fourth largest by volume.</a></p><p class='black-text'>As per the deal, shareholders associated with either automaker would own a total of <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/31/business/fiat-chrysler-psa-group/index.html">50%</a> of the merger. However, shareholders of Fiat Chrysler will be entitled to a one-time dividend worth<a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/31/business/fiat-chrysler-psa-group/index.html"> $6.1 billion also</a>. A binding agreement will be finalized and released soon.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of leadership, Peugeot Chief Executive Carlos Tavares will serve as the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/fiat-chrysler-peugeot-owner-psa-in-talks-to-combine-11572373519?mod=hp_lead_pos1">CEO of the new auto behemoth.</a> Meanwhile, John Elkann, Fiat Chrysler chairman and the head of the Agnelli family, which controls the Italian-U.S. auto maker, would also serve as joint CEO.</p><p class='black-text'>This merger could be a way by which Fiat Chrysler improves its relationship with the United Auto Workers union, by opting to move most of its<a href="https://time.com/5715804/fiat-chrysler-psa-peugeot/"> tech production to the United States.</a> Note that this could be hindered by the fact that Americans are increasingly buying more SUVs and larger vehicles, contrary to the smaller cars Fiat sells. Thus, either way, the company may end up downsizing.</p><p class='black-text'>Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of industry analysis, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/31/business/fiat-chrysler-psa-group/index.html">said</a> the planned merger of Fiat Chrysler and France's PSA "isn't really about product or expanding to new markets."</p><p class='black-text'>"The electrified, autonomous future everyone is waiting for just isn't feasible without automakers merging and forming strategic alliances to share research and development costs," she <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/31/business/fiat-chrysler-psa-group/index.html">continued</a>. "This is a smart move by both Fiat Chrysler and PSA to ensure their companies continue to be viable and relevant as the industry evolves."</p><p class='black-text'>Thus, combining both the companies' capabilities, the new entity can take advantage of economies of scale and invest more in productive research and development. The innovation process will be more <a href="https://time.com/5715804/fiat-chrysler-psa-peugeot/">efficient</a> due to both companies being able to share parts and plans with each other.</p><p class='black-text'>The merger may also help the automakers make their entry into China, which is the largest car market in the world: "As a global automaker, you can't ignore China. It's the biggest market in the world, by a very wide margin," <a href="https://time.com/5715804/fiat-chrysler-psa-peugeot/">says</a> Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst for Autotrader. "It's also the largest market for electric vehicles. So if you're going to be a true global automaker, you need to have strength in China."</p> http://www.pws.io/major-automobile-merger-on-the-cards Tue, 05 Nov 2019 14:15:27 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar Market Update: Optimism Surrounds Trade http://www.pws.io/market-update-optimism-surrounds-trade <p class='black-text'>U.S. markets saw positive gains today following more optimistic news toward the "Phase One" trade agreement between U.S. and China. On Sunday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-03/ross-optimistic-on-china-trade-deal-says-huawei-licenses-coming"> Bloomberg</a> that he is confident that the trade deal will be completed this month and licenses for the agreement would be coming "very shortly" for American companies to sell components to Huawei Technologies Co. "We're in good shape, We're making good progress, and there's no natural reason why it couldn't be," Ross stated. Though he stoked the continuous trade uncertainty by saying: "But whether it will slip a little bit, who knows. It's always possible."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the stock markets settled Monday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): +0.37% or 11.37 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA): +0.42% or 114.89 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ): +0.56% or 46.8 points.</p><p class='black-text'>In furtherance of positive trade news, Goldman Sachs economists <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/goldman-sachs-we-dont-expect-more-tariffs-against-china-153031182.html">announced </a>Monday that they believe that the tariffs on imports from China have peaked. The analysts estimating that "tariffs on imports from China will remain at current levels through 2020," which is extremely positive towards raising investor confidence towards trading in riskier stocks.</p><p class='black-text'>In stock news, Saudi Aramco, the world's most profitable company, <a href="https://www.saudiaramco.com/en/news-media/news/2019/announcement-of-intention-to-float-on-tadawul">announced on Sunday</a> its formal plans for going public. The company is estimated to value close to $1 trillion and will initially trade locally on the Tadawul stock exchange before entering global markets.</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Sector news, most of the eleven sectors has seen gains today in the more positive trade climate. Gainers for the day include Energy +3.15%, Industrials +1.20%, Financials +0.89%, Materials +0.78%, Informational Technology +0.55%, Communication Services +0.40%, and Consumer Discretionary +0.11% Losers include Utilities -1.28%, Real Estate -1.05%, Consumer Staples -0.94%, and Health Care -0.35%.</p><p class='black-text'>In Commodity news, the price of oil continues to rise in the beginning of the week. West Texas Intermediate increased around 0.80%, making the price per barrel almost $57. Brent Crude also continued to climb, with the USD per barrel soaring over 1% to price just above $62. On the other hand, Gold is on the decline today, with prices dropping over -0.20% to price around $1,510.</p><p class='black-text'>As November 2019 enters its first full week of trading, it seems that the market is going towards a more promising future after the positive trade announcements made over the weekend. Stable expectations around trade are needed to help restore investor confidence in the market.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-optimism-surrounds-trade Mon, 04 Nov 2019 16:57:48 -0500 Rachel Hemple IPO Update: Companies Enter a Kinder Market http://www.pws.io/ipo-update-companies-enter-a-kinder-market <p class='black-text'>In recent weeks, the IPO market has seen newly public companies stumbling into a harsh investor climate due to market fears surrounding economic slowdowns and trade uncertainties. The market rallies of last week seemed to have increased investor confidence in new companies, with the latest public companies trading modestly in their first few days.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Recently Priced:</b></p><p class='black-text'>Oyster Point Pharma, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OYST"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OYST</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OYST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OYST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="OYST" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> entered on the market on October 31 at the lower end of its shares at $16. The biotech company had raised an offering amount of $80 million and had 5 million initial shares. In the company's first day of trading, it opened slightly above its IPO pricing and closed at $18.48. The stock in its first week has slightly lost its gains, but it is currently trading in the $18 range.</p><p class='black-text'>Rapt Therapeutics, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RAPT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RAPT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RAPT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RAPT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RAPT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also priced on October 31 offering 3 million shares and an amount of $36 million. The biopharmaceutical company's stock price was initially $12 per share. In the stock's first day, it opened a couple cents above its IPO pricing and has continued a steady increase into its announce closing on November 4.</p><p class='black-text'>FangDD Network Group LTD. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DUO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DUO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DUO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DUO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DUO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced at $13 per share on November 1. With and offering amount of $78 million and 6 million shares, the Chinese based property technology company opened slightly above their initial pricing, but have continued to decline in its first week of trading.</p><p class='black-text'>FinServ Acquisition Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FSRVU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FSRVU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FSRVU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FSRVU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FSRVU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also debuted on the public market on November 1, pricing at $10 per share. With an offering amount of $220 million and 22 million shares raised, the black check company continues to make small gains in its first couple days of trading.</p><p class='black-text'>Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SFTW.U"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SFTW.U</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SFTW.U" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SFTW.U" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SFTW.U" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> opened for public trading on November 1, with the technology-focused special purpose acquisition firm raising $257 million from 27.5 shares. The IPO priced at $10 and continues to trade at that price.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Upcoming: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Q&K International Group LTD. is set to trade globally on the Nasdaq November 5. The stock price is estimated to be between $17-$19. The Chinese real estate company has an offering amount of $58,995,000 and 2.7 million raised shares.</p><p class='black-text'>89Bio, Inc. is set to debut on November 6 to trade on the global Nasdaq with a stock price between $15-$17. The biotechnology company has an offering amount of $85,531,250 and currently 4,375,000 shares.</p><p class='black-text'>36KR Holdings Inc. is set to debut on the global Nasdaq November 7 with a stock price between $14.50-$17.50. The Chinese fundraising start-up has raised an offering of $72,450,000 and currently has 3.6 million shares.</p><p class='black-text'>Centogene B.V. is set to trade on the global Nasdaq also on November 7 with share prices between $14-$16. The company focused on rare diseases has a public offering amount of $73.6 million and 4 million shares.</p><p class='black-text'>Galera Therapeutics, Inc. also set to trade globally on the Nasdaq on November 7 with share prices pricing between $14-$15. The biopharmaceutical firm currently had 5 million shares and $92 million raised for public offering.</p><p class='black-text'>GFL Environmental Holdings, Inc. on November 7 on the New York Stock Exchange. With stock prices in the range of $20-$24 and 87,572,500 shares, North America's fourth-biggest waste hauler has raised a large offering amount of $2,417,001,000.</p><p class='black-text'>Silvergate Capital Corp. is also set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange with a range of $13-$15 on November 7. The bank has raised 4,305,952 shares and an offering amount of $64,589,280.</p><p class='black-text'>CNS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. debuting on November 8 with a stock price set between $4-$5. Set to trade on the Nasdaq, the pharmaceutical company has raised 2,125,000 shares and an offering amount of $12,218,750.</p><p class='black-text'>Tela Bio, Inc. is also slated to trade globally on the Nasdaq on November 8. The biotechnology company is set to have shares pricing between $14-$16. The company has 4 million shares and and offering amount of $73.6 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Filings</b></p><p class='black-text'>Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp. filed on November 1 with an offering amount of $258,750,000.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Withdrawn</b></p><p class='black-text'>Hoverink Biotechnologies, Inc. filed on December 20, 2018 and withdrew on October 31.</p> http://www.pws.io/ipo-update-companies-enter-a-kinder-market Mon, 04 Nov 2019 16:22:00 -0500 Rachel Hemple Mondelez Beats Expectations But Crumbles Despite Improved Outcome http://www.pws.io/mondelez-beats-expectations-but-crumbles-despite-improved-outcome <p class='black-text'>Food conglomerate Mondelez International <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MDLZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MDLZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MDLZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MDLZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MDLZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> recently beat earnings expectations and strengthened its outlook for the future, but still has suffered in the days since its October 29 earnings announcement. Mondelez, an Illinois-based company that took control of many former Kraft brands in a 2012 spinoff of the Chicago food titan, earned 64 cents per share in its most recent earnings report, a few cents over the projection of 60 cents. The maker of Oreos and other such popular snack foods closed at $52.02 a share the Friday after its earnings report, slightly down from where it was prior to the earnings announcement. A steady stream of investment into its global brands has boosted Mondelez's expectations recently, with good institutional money backing a buy and hold strategy.</p><p class='black-text'>Future outlooks for Mondelez look rather optimistic. The company is expecting a 5 to 7% increase in earnings per share for the next year and analysts have stock price targets between the present value of $52 per share and $64 a share. Much of this growth is expected to come from emerging markets, a place where Mondelez has put a lot of money in recent years. This past year alone, Mondelez invested $150 million in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Latin America. They hope to build brand loyalty in places where free trade has recently opened up economies, especially considering their lagging growth in developed markets like the United States and Canada.</p><p class='black-text'>Mondelez is in a unique position to succeed in the packaged food industry, with other companies like Kraft Heinz <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KHC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KHC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KHC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KHC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KHC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> suffering from an aging portfolio that is unappealing to younger consumers. Mondelez, unlike Kraft Heinz, has pursued aggressive investment in emerging markets, in stark contrast to the cost-cutting paradigm that Kraft Heinz has followed recently. Even with the slight decline in share price from the earnings announcement, Mondelez's improved long-term outlook should lead investors to take a second look at this massive food company.</p> http://www.pws.io/mondelez-beats-expectations-but-crumbles-despite-improved-outcome Mon, 04 Nov 2019 14:18:53 -0500 Nicholas Ezyk GrubHub Crushed Following Earnings Miss http://www.pws.io/grubhub-crushed-following-earnings-miss <p class='black-text'>In a <a href="https://www.pws.io//labor-market-tightness-is-hurting-gig-powered-start-ups">previous article</a>, we discussed the challenging environment for gig-powered startups. These startups were conceived in the early part of the decade with high levels of underemployment and unemployment. Their business model is predicated on the availability of cheap, fungible workers.</p><p class='black-text'>Now that the economy is entering late-cycle mode with lower amounts of labor slack, they are facing the challenge of recruiting and retaining workers or having to pay them more. Of course, this threatens their bottom line and even the viability of their businesses.</p><p class='black-text'><b>GrubHub Earnings</b></p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, as the recent GrubHub <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GRUB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GRUB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GRUB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GRUB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GRUB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> earnings show, it also makes these businesses less attractive to investors. GrubHub was down more than 40% following its third-quarter results when the company missed on revenue, earnings, and decreased guidance for the fourth quarter. Over the last year, the stock is down nearly 80%.</p><p class='black-text'>It's common knowledge by now that food delivery is not a great business. Investors were hoping that GrubHub would be able to leverage their existing customers into ordering higher-priced items. However, these results indicate that customers have no loyalty to food-delivery apps as GrubHub has lost nearly half of its market share over the past year.</p><p class='black-text'><b>The Competition</b></p><p class='black-text'>The company blamed competition from its competitors including Postmates, Uber Eats, and DoorDash. This highlights another challenge for GrubHub, as it competes with companies with deeper pockets or more patient investors. Uber Eats is owned by Uber <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBER"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBER</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> which has a market cap over $50 billion, putting the company in a good place to survive a war of attrition to be the last surviving delivery app.</p><p class='black-text'>The other food delivery companies remain in the private markets, where they don't have to make public investors happy every quarter. In fact, prior to its IPO, GrubHub notoriously ran aggressive promotions to gain market share, even if it were losing money on its new customers. These companies are now following the same playbook which is no longer available to GrubHub.</p><p class='black-text'>For investors, this is a valuable lesson in the dangers of being in an industry with <i>no barriers to entry.</i> GrubHub's quick success early on led it to attract competitors who are now plundering the company's margins and customers. Restaurants also took advantage of the situation by constantly hopping between apps to take advantage of the latest promotion just like customers and drivers.</p> http://www.pws.io/grubhub-crushed-following-earnings-miss Mon, 04 Nov 2019 13:53:23 -0500 Jaimini Desai House Passes Trump Impeachment Procedures http://www.pws.io/house-passes-trump-impeachment-procedures <iframe width="100%" height="400" src="House of Representatives" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><iframe width="100%" height="400" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SfBg4gYPK50">House" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p class='black-text'>A month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump, on October 31, the voted on a resolution establishing procedures for public hearings during the impeachment proceedings. Pelosi and Democratic lawmakers asserted that the Constitution does not require the House to formally vote in order to initiate impeachment, but they eventually relented and agreed to hold a vote for the whole House. Trump and Republicans had criticized the closed-door nature of hearings and depositions and attacked Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff for his handling of evidence and testimony. But the House passed HR 660, the rules resolution, in a vote of 232 to 196. All Republicans and 2 conservative Democrats voted against, while former Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash voted in favor. The Trump administration expressed pleasure at Republicans' show of unity.</p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://www.vox.com/2019/10/31/20940176/impeachment-house-vote-resolution-procedures">rules resolution</a> was sponsored by Democrats in response to Republicans' critique of the initial impeachment proceedings. Trump and company repeatedly claimed that Pelosi's first announcement was illegitimate and unconstitutional, despite the Constitution's provision that the House enjoys the sole power of impeachment. They have slammed the proceedings as secretive, biased, and unfair to the president in terms of due process. The new resolution addresses those concerns, setting up explicit procedures. Schiff and the Intelligence Committee will hold open hearings, summarize the findings, and send a report to the Judiciary Committee. Both Republicans and Democratic lawmakers will receive equal time to question witnesses. Republicans can subpoena their own witnesses, as long as Schiff or the Committee approves. The Judiciary Committee will draft articles of impeachment and vote on them. Once the articles are voted out of committee, the House will take a final floor vote on impeachment charges before forwarding approved articles to the Senate for trial, likely before the year end.</p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/11/03/775152421/fact-check-is-the-trump-impeachment-process-different-from-nixon-and-clinton">resolution</a>, in addition to giving Republicans powers enjoyed by minority parties during the Nixon and Clinton impeachments, also invites Trump to personally participate in the impeachment hearings. The president and his attorneys can cross-examine witness and subpoena their own, again with the approval of Schiff or the Committee. But Trump's participation could lead to a bad outcome for him if he incriminates himself or opens new avenues of investigation. As <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/03/nearly-half-want-trump-impeached-removed-nbc-wsj-poll.html">polls</a> continue to show growing support for Trump's impeachment among the American people, the strategy of Trump and his allies becomes more difficult. After the rules resolution, Republicans can no longer attack the procedure, and they must address the substance. That probably means more Republicans will argue that the quid pro quo of Ukrainian military aid for a Biden investigation is not impeachable, a claim that will be awkward to defend in public hearings. History shows that open hearings can hurt the popularity of politicians, and Trump should not be much different.</p> http://www.pws.io/house-passes-trump-impeachment-procedures Mon, 04 Nov 2019 13:44:14 -0500 Eric Yao Federal Open Market Committee Cuts Rates http://www.pws.io/federal-open-market-committee-cuts-rates <p class='black-text'>On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) cut rates for the third time this year to set the Federal Funds rate between 1.50 and 1.75%. In Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments, he made it clear that the Fed would only cut rates further if the economy materially weakened.</p><p class='black-text'>Powell also commented that the economic data has modestly strengthened since September. Additionally, many of the risks which the Fed was combatting, when it decided to start cutting rates, have failed to materialize. These include economic risks like slowing global growth affecting broader parts of the economy and political risks like the trade dispute or Brexit. Both situations have shown signs of significant improvement over the last couple of months.</p><p class='black-text'><b>On the Sidelines</b></p><p class='black-text'>The instant reaction to the statement was a drop in stocks and a spike in bonds as many were hoping that the Fed was embarking on a new hiking cycle rather than a "midcyle adjustment". Instead, rate cuts were characterized as insurance against recession.</p><p class='black-text'>A rate hike is also not coming anytime soon for a variety of reasons including the Fed not wanting to lose credibility, not wanting to look like its choosing sides in the midst of an election, and continued underperformance in inflation. In recent months, Powell has also mentioned the need to let inflation run above target levels to undo the many years it has run below target.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Two Dissents</b></p><p class='black-text'>Two of the more hawkish FOMC members - Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and KC Fed President Esther George - continued to dissent against rate cuts, expressing concern about financial stability risks. Notably, both are due to become nonvoting FOMC members in 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>One of their replacements will be Minneapolis Fed Chair Neel Kashkari who has consistently been one of the most dovish voices on the Fed with this insistence that the labor market is far from full employment.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Positive Situation for Stocks</b></p><p class='black-text'>In a sense, this FOMC stance is liberating for stocks <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as investors can temporarily focus on fundamentals and economic data instead of obsessively focusing on monetary policy. A more, marginally dovish FOMC will also reduce downside risks and increase upside potential.</p><p class='black-text'>Stocks rallied to close out the week at new, all-time highs following better than expected labor market and manufacturing data. The data continues to paint a picture of an economy with solid fundamentals but a manufacturing sector in recession.</p> http://www.pws.io/federal-open-market-committee-cuts-rates Mon, 04 Nov 2019 13:30:37 -0500 Jaimini Desai Blockchain & Cryptocurrency in Review: Week of November 3 http://www.pws.io/blockchain-cryptocurrency-in-review-week-of-november-3 <p class='black-text'>Big news happened in the closing week of October for the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Perhaps the biggest event is that <a href="https://www.coindesk.com/bitmain-seeking-u-s-ipo-with-confidential-sec-filing-report">Bitmain </a>reportedly confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A new Tencent News report <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCEHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCEHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> says that the Chinese mining giant's application, sponsored by Deutsche Bank <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, was filed with the SEC earlier this week before a recent management shakeup resulted in the ousting of Bitmain cofounder and executive director Micree Ketuan Zhan. Bitmain will now answer questions from the US regulator before submitting a F1, a certification required for foreign firms before listing in US markets. Bitmain's American IPO dreams follow a failed attempt to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2018, but the new plan comes along notable blockchain investments in the Asian region. It is unclear how much capital Bitmain is seeking to raise through the public offering.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here is the rest of the week in review:</b></p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://static.coindesk.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/middleton.pdf">U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission</a> said it reached a settlement with Reggie Middleton, organizer of the contentious $14.8 million Veritaseum (VERI) initial coin offering (ICO). In an October 31 filing with the New York Eastern District Court dated, Middleton agreed to the consent decree of the final judgment, without having to admit or deny allegations, while waiving a right to appeal. The settlement came three weeks after the court announced that it had entered into settlement discussions. According to the SEC filing, Middleton must pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $8.47 million, plus a civil penalty of $1 million. The settlement concludes the drama that began in 2017, after the SEC accused Middleton of raising millions of dollars through an ICO without registering with regulators, while misleading investors with false information. The SEC also accused Middleton of manipulating the securities' value and misappropriating at least $520,000 of investor funds for personal use. Besides EOS (EOS) and Siacoin (SC), the Veritaseum case is one of a handful of recent fraudulent ICO settlements.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.coindesk.com/tzero-tezos-foundation-to-tokenize-500-million-in-uk-real-estate">tZERO</a>, Overstock's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OSTK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OSTK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OSTK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OSTK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="OSTK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> security token platform, and the Tezos (XTZ) Foundation have partnered on a project that will tokenize £500 million in planned British real estate development. The two firms announced Wednesday that the blockchain startups will tokenize portions of properties financed by UK-based Alliance Investments, which will then be open to investors. Rani Zahr, CIO of Alliance Investments, said: "Raising funds through an STO is more efficient, cost-effective, autonomous and democratic than traditional financing." The first offering is due in first quarter 2020, when tZERO will issue security tokens that represent £20 million in equity of a waterfront development currently under construction in Manchester.</p><p class='black-text'>Cryptocurrency prices slipped slightly to $246.5 billion this week. For the majors, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Stellar (XLM), and Binance Coin (BNB) posted gains, while Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) saw declines. In the top 100, the biggest losers were Swipe (SXP), down 32%, ABBC Coin (ABBC), down 17%, and Crypterium (CRPT), down 12%. The biggest gainers were ILCoin (ILC), up a whopping 110%, Lambda (LAMB), up 69%, and Chiliz (CHZ), up 60%. Next week traders will again watch the important $250 billion level.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author owns a small amount of BTC and LTC.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/blockchain-cryptocurrency-in-review-week-of-november-3 Mon, 04 Nov 2019 12:20:23 -0500 Eric Yao Market Update: Stocks Charge into November http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-charge-into-november <p class='black-text'>U.S. markets closed high on Friday, mostly due to the October jobs <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics </a>showing employment gains well above analysts' consensus. The S&P 500 ending at 3,066.91, which is another record close. The NASDAQ also posted a record closing of 8,386.4,</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the markets closed Friday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): +0.97% or +29.34 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA): +1.11% or +300.31 points</p><p class='black-text'>NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ): +1.13% or +94.04 points</p><p class='black-text'>The jobs reported stated that the U.S. economy had added 128,000 jobs for the month of October, which was way above the 85,000 gains that were expected. The unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.6%, which is reflecting a still tight labor market.</p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://www.instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm?SSO=1">October ISM manufacturing index </a>also released Friday showed more contraction for the sector. Though the reading of 40.3 was above the expected consensus of 48.9, manufacturing is still under the neutral level of 50, which indicates contraction and shows an underlying economic weakness.</p><p class='black-text'>On the U.S. and China trade front, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated Friday that the Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a call with China's Vice Premier Liu He about the trade deal. The statement read that "they made progress in a variety of areas and are in the process of resolving outstanding issues.</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sector news, all but two sectors saw gains at the end of the week, reflecting the current upswing of the market. The gainers for the day include Energy +2.51%, Industrials +2.21%, Materials +1.45%, Financials +1.42%, Information Technology +1.22%, Communication Services +0.83%, Consumer Discretionary +0.65%, Health Care +0.17%. The losers for the day include Real Estate -0.28%, Utilities -0.21% and Consumer Staples with a neutral change.</p><p class='black-text'>In commodity news, oil prices increased today after their consecutive slump this week. West Texas Intermediate soared almost 3.90%, raising price per barrel to $56.23. Brent Crude also saw gains, though not as impressive. The price per barrel increased around 2.45%, making the price around $61.70. Gold also continues a slight increase of 0.11%, making the metal cost just about $1,514 per ounce.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-charge-into-november Fri, 01 Nov 2019 15:38:02 -0400 Rachel Hemple Brazil May Have Found Culprit Behind Oil Spill http://www.pws.io/brazil-may-have-found-culprit-behind-oil-spill <p class='black-text'>Over the past few months oil has been washing up on thousands of kilometers of Brazil's coastline with seemingly no origin. This week, Brazilian authorities have stated that they might have identified a ship they believe to be responsible for the crude oil that has been covering beaches in north-east Brazil since early September.</p><p class='black-text'>Due to crude oil having distinct characteristics from its origins, Brazilian environment ministry said the oil is not from Brazil but testing shows that it's "very likely from Venezuela." On Friday, investigators said that the Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of the spill.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-oil-spill/brazil-federal-police-investigate-greek-ship-in-connection-with-oil-spill-idUSKBN1XB47T">According to Reuters</a>, the ship has been identified as the Bouboulina, who is owned by Greece's Delta Tankers Ltd. There have yet to be official statements from the company. Reports said that the tank appears to have spilled the crude about 420 miles (700 kilometers) off the South American coast in July. The oil tanker was headed for Singapore with oil from Venezuela's San Jose terminal.</p><p class='black-text'>"There is strong evidence that the company, the captain and the vessel's crew failed to communicate with authorities about the oil spill/release of the crude oil in the Atlantic Ocean," Brazilian <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-oil-spill/brazil-federal-police-investigate-greek-ship-in-connection-with-oil-spill-idUSKBN1XB47T">prosecutors issued in a statement. </a></p><p class='black-text'>Though the country has not planed to bring charges for the environmental damage to the source country, Brazil is upset that no one has yet to claim the spill and alert authorities before it reached shores. If Brazil was better prepare for the crude, they may have been able to mitigate the amount of wildlife and coastal damage the sludge caused.</p><p class='black-text'>Brazil so far has collected more than 2,000 tonnes of sludge from its beaches, the crude being detrimental to the environment. Many within the country had begun to protest the government's handling of the clean up.</p><p class='black-text'>Speaking at an <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-petrobras-oilspill/oil-spill-may-be-worst-environmental-attack-in-brazils-history-petrobras-ceo-idUSKBN1X81Q9">event in Rio de Janeiro,</a> Roberto Castello Branco, chief executive of state-run oil giant Petrobras <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PBR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PBR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PBR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> said on Tuesday that Petrobras continues to work with the navy to tackle the spill and is analyzing the oil collected from beaches as well as trying to mitigate the damage.</p><p class='black-text'>Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said that the spill should not impact the upcoming Transfer of Rights oil auctions set to take place in November, an event that is expected to attract billions of dollars of foreign investment.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Brazilian authorities, the bidders who win exploration and production rights in Brazil next week will be obliged to pay the government a combined signing bonus of the reais equivalent of $26 billion.</p> http://www.pws.io/brazil-may-have-found-culprit-behind-oil-spill Fri, 01 Nov 2019 14:47:54 -0400 Rachel Hemple Trump Weekly: House Votes to Formalize Impeachment Inquiry http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-house-votes-to-formalize-impeachment-inquiry <p class='black-text'>House Democrats voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Thursday, beating out Republican opposition 232 to 196. While every Republican showed their willingness to toe the party line, two Democrats went across the aisle to vote against the resolution. It's worth noting that both <a href="https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/impeachment-inquiry-10-31-2019/h_0952020e4a9a6970cfa2d7c26674fe45">Democratic Congressmen</a> come from districts that were won by Trump in 2016; although, they have both released statements condemning the inquiry for other reasons.</p><p class='black-text'>As expected, GOP Congressmen came out to voice their objections to the vote and proceedings, largely claiming formalizing impeachment shows that the inquiry was "fundamentally tainted" from the start. In a <a href="https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/impeachment-inquiry-10-31-2019/h_00f4dc5b2edbc7b88274d04ef3927eae">statement</a> released following vote, the Trump Campaign predicted Democrats who "support this farce" will be punished by voters in the polls. Echoing Republican talking points, the statement reads, "Today's vote merely proves that the entire impeachment process was a sham from the beginning."</p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/774777869/house-to-vote-to-formalize-outline-impeachment-inquiry">text of the resolution</a> itself establishes some rough guidelines for the inquiry from here on: hearings will be made public; the minority will be allowed to issue subpoenas as well as call witnesses. The resolution also laid out the specifics of how the inquiry hearing should be held including new time constraints on questioning.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/30/politics/state-department-staff-trump-impeachment-reaction/index.html">Meanwhile</a>, diplomats are in a tough spot as their colleagues are called to testify and face the President's vengeful wrath in response. The most prominent example of this currently is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman who appeared before Congress on Tuesday. Having been on the infamous call to Ukraine, Vindman has first-hand knowledge of the conversation between Presidents Trump and Zelinsky.</p><p class='black-text'>Vindman testified that there were phrases missing from the call transcript released by the Whitehouse, though none of the added content changes the meaning of the call. According to the Lt. Colonel, the President explicitly mentioned both Biden and the energy company where his son served on the board. Vindman was <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/10/28/774266978/top-ukraine-expert-reported-concerns-about-trumps-july-call-with-ukraine-preside">so concerned</a> by the language used on the call that he reported it to a superior.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/30/politics/what-vindman-testimony-shows-us-about-trump-loyalty/index.html">In preparation</a> for Vindman's testimony, pundits took to Twitter and TV to undermine his evidence. The President called him a "Never Trumper", calling his impartiality into question without evidence. Because Vindman was born in the former Soviet Union, some were alleging that the Lt. Colonel's true loyalty lies with Ukraine. Vindman and his family moved to the U.S. when he was three years old, and he is a Purple Heart recipient in active service. He returned to his work in the Whithouse on Wednesday.</p><p class='black-text'>One Whitehouse staffer who <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/10/30/774815627/trumps-russia-director-to-leave-national-security-council-amid-impeachment-inqui">will not be sticking around</a> after his testimony is Timothy Morrison, director of European affairs for the National Security Council. Morrison announced his resignation on Wednesday and appeared before Congress on <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/775121967/white-house-policy-official-corroborates-ukraine-narrative-but-saw-nothing-illeg">Thursday</a>. Morrison confirmed the public outlines of the Ukraine call and the events surrounding it; although, he says he wasn't as concerned about illegality as he was geopolitics. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/774513460/as-impeachment-inquiry-moves-into-open-phase-heres-what-to-expect-next">In the coming weeks</a>, the House will start holding public hearings. Not only does this mean that the impeachment process will become more transparent, it also means that Republicans can no longer use secrecy and informality as attacks against the proceedings. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has been appointed to oversee the proceedings, but he has yet to announce which witnesses he will call.</p> http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-house-votes-to-formalize-impeachment-inquiry Fri, 01 Nov 2019 13:34:47 -0400 Autumn McLain Boeing CEO in the Hotseat http://www.pws.io/boeing-ceo-in-the-hotseat <p class='black-text'>Boeing <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Dennis Muilenburg was grilled on Tuesday regarding <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-poised-to-toughen-jetliner-certification-11572352185?mod=hp_lead_pos3">flight-control system failures</a> that have led to two fatal crashes in the past.</p><p class='black-text'>Flight-control test results conducted by experts during simulator tests of the MAX jetliner were described as "<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-poised-to-toughen-jetliner-certification-11572352185?mod=hp_lead_pos3">egregious</a>."</p><p class='black-text'>The way Muilenburg conducted himself during the hearing raised questions regarding the first crash that occurred this time last year. His direct admission of the problems riddling the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-poised-to-toughen-jetliner-certification-11572352185?mod=hp_lead_pos3">MCAS</a>- the automated system- has warranted further investigation into the matter and made officials concerned.</p><p class='black-text'>In particular, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. pressed Muilenburg with respect to his personal morality in the situation, implicating him for refusing him to take the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/30/boeing-ceo-grilled-over-salary-accountability-on-capitol-hill.html">fallout from the crashes, which killed 346 people in total. </a></p><p class='black-text'>"You're saying you're not giving up any compensation at all," Cohen <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/30/boeing-ceo-grilled-over-salary-accountability-on-capitol-hill.html">asked</a> Muilenburg. "You're continuing to work and make $30 million a year after this horrific two accidents that caused all these people's relatives to go, to disappear, to die."</p><p class='black-text'>More specifically, Cohen was referring to the following incidents: the Lion Air crash of a 737 MAX in Indonesia that killed 189 people and an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people<a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/in-five-hour-grilling-over-737-max-crashes-house-panel-reveals-boeing-memos-and-calls-on-ceo-muilenburg-to-resign/"> 3 months later.</a> Boeing is under pressure for letting pilots continue to fly such planes after the first crash, even though the company knew about the faulty activation.</p><p class='black-text'>"I think it's pretty clear to me, to the families of the victims and to the American public that you should resign and do it immediately," <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/in-five-hour-grilling-over-737-max-crashes-house-panel-reveals-boeing-memos-and-calls-on-ceo-muilenburg-to-resign/">said</a> Rep. Jesus Garcia, D-Ill.</p><p class='black-text'>Paul Njoroge, an indirect victim of the crash who lost his wife, their three children, and his mother-in-law in the Ethiopian accidenr, said Mr. Muilenburg was evading many of the questions and owed it to the victims' families to be straightforward.</p><p class='black-text'>"Why did they continue allowing the planes to fly?" Mr. Njoroge<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-poised-to-toughen-jetliner-certification-11572352185?mod=hp_lead_pos3"> said in an interview </a>outside the hearing room. "Mr. Muilenburg is very good in beating around the bush. He never answers the questions unequivocally."</p> http://www.pws.io/boeing-ceo-in-the-hotseat Fri, 01 Nov 2019 13:29:20 -0400 Tamanna Chhibbar Market Update: Trade War's Future Continues to be Uncertain http://www.pws.io/market-update-trade-war-future-continues-to-be-uncertain <p class='black-text'>In normal U.S.-China trade war fashion, Chinese officials Thursday were reported to have doubts surrounding the tentative trade deal. The news caused U.S. markets to fall Thursday, with investors aiming to sell all risk assets in an unstable trade climate.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the U.S. market settled Thursday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index (SPY): -0.30% or -9.21 points</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA): -0.52% or -140.46 points</p><p class='black-text'>NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ): -0.14% or -11.62 points</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-31/china-said-to-doubt-long-term-trade-deal-possible-with-trump?srnd=premium">According to a Bloomberg report,</a> Chinese officials have suggested that they will not be willing to make concessions on some of the major reforms the Trump administration has called for to reach a deal. The officials were concerned that President Donald Trump go back on the phase one trade agreement that was set to be signed by both parties in November.</p><p class='black-text'>Trump <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1189895935721197570">tweeted </a>on the manner that: "China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement, about 60% of total deal, after APEC in Chile was canceled do to unrelated circumstances. The new location will be announced soon. President Xi and President Trump will do signing!" Because the two messages contradict, it is unclear really where the trade deal is headed as the market enters November.</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Economic news, the weekly unemployment claims increased more-than-expected in a report for the <a href="https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf">Department of Labor</a>. Separately, personal income growth decelerated by the economics expected amount according to a report from the <a href="https://www.bea.gov/news/2019/personal-income-and-outlays-september-2019">Bureau of Economic Analysis</a>. Finally, the <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.chaptermanager.com/chapters/b742ccc3-ff70-8eca-4cf5-ab93a6c8ab97/files/mni-chicago-press-release-2019-10.pdf">ISM Chicago Business Barometer</a> reading for October fell to a reading of 43.2 from September's 47.1. This reading reflects the lowest level of regional manufacturing activity in four years.</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sectors, all but two of the eleven sectors fell today, demonstrating investment fear in the current market. The only two sectors that saw gains today were Utilities +0.46% and Communication Services +0.27%. The losers decreases that included Industrials -1.14%, Materials -1.10%, Financials -0.55%, energy -0.47%, Consumer Discretionary -0.46%, Real Estate -0.36%, Consumer Staples -0.21%, Health Care -0.13%, and Information Technology -0.21%.</p><p class='black-text'>In Commodity news, the price of oil continues to drop, with West Texas Intermediate falling over -1.30% to a price per barrel that sits just above $54. Brent Crude also continues to slide, with prices slipping just about -0.70% to price barrels at about $60. In contrast, gold has been on the rise today due to the poor current trade conditions. The price per ounce increased over 1% with prices ranging around $1,512.</p><p class='black-text'>As October comes to a close, it is just to reflect on such a historic month. This month has been clouded with trade uncertainties, impeachment inquiries, Brexit votes and extensions, and weak economic data that is showing signs of a weak global economy. Despite the global woes, the S&P 500 has hit record highs during earnings season and many investors still have confidence that the trade war will come to an end soon. Only time will tell as the market moves into November.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-trade-war-future-continues-to-be-uncertain Thu, 31 Oct 2019 14:37:53 -0400 Rachel Hemple JetBlue Tech Ventures: A New Norm? http://www.pws.io/jetblue-tech-ventures-a-new-norm <p class='black-text'>JetBlue Airways <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JBLU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JBLU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JBLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JBLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JBLU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is perhaps the first airline ever to make its foray into venture capitalism, even instituting an <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-jetblue-is-doing-in-silicon-valley-11572184801?mod=hp_lead_pos9">official hub in Silicon Valley</a> to invest in startups that bring novel ideas to air travel.</p><p class='black-text'>JetBlue Technology Ventures, the airline's venture capital arm, aims to use technology to improve customer service. These efforts are an attempt to differentiate the company in a market that is usually driven by pricing. Some of the new innovations include testing ways to more efficiently predict weather surrounding an <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-jetblue-is-doing-in-silicon-valley-11572184801?mod=hp_lead_pos9">airport</a> to redirect flights in a more timely manner, as well as personalizing travel by having in-flight entertainment clock when a passenger left off in a movie. Further <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-jetblue-is-doing-in-silicon-valley-11572184801?mod=hp_lead_pos9">initiatives look into automating check-in, bag drop and boarding via biometrics, such as facial recognition.</a></p><p class='black-text'>Reminiscing about how the airline became involved in the venture, head of JetBlue Technology Ventures, Bonny Simi <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/innovators-bonny-simi-jetblue-ventures">said</a>: "How is air travel going to be disrupted? How might we participate in that?" I was working as head of JetBlue talent at the time, and honestly startups are more about the "who"rather than the "what," so I was asked to take on the initiative to build out the corporate venture arm here in Silicon Valley. It's been a fabulous experience. We get to see thousands of startups. We've seen 5,500 startups overall, and we've invested in 25."</p><p class='black-text'>Some of JetBlue's existing technology is also immensely useful. For instance, flight attendants have in-flight tablets that can cross-check transfer flights, delays for people in transit etc. and offer such passengers free <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/jetblue-to-take-customer-service-tech-to-the-skies-11569968137">beverages</a> or food as a way to temper their experience.</p><p class='black-text'>Moreover, existing softwares can allow crew members to identify and give perks such as more leg room to passengers who have something wrong with their seat, or those who are <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/jetblue-to-take-customer-service-tech-to-the-skies-11569968137">frequent fliers</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Speaking on the topic of some of the recent investments JetBlue has made, Simi <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/innovators-bonny-simi-jetblue-ventures">says</a>: "Where we believe massive disruption is about to happen, and what we're participating in as investors, is in regional travel-think a thousand miles or less, short haul. On roads, there's already congestion because of the ridesharing apps. People are going to want to move away from that and not go through large congestion into large airports. So go one foot up in the air. We're thinking about electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (or flying taxis). We've invested in a company called Joby, which is really leading in that space, where it takes off like a helicopter, and then flies like an airplane and lands again, and it's very efficient because it's electric. I see that happening in less than five years."</p><p class='black-text'>It would be unsurprising to see local, smaller airlines revert to this model of disruption soon, especially if JetBlue turns out to be successful. The investment arm can serve as a cash generator for the airline arm, which can then continue to lower its price point for higher quality experiences.</p> http://www.pws.io/jetblue-tech-ventures-a-new-norm Thu, 31 Oct 2019 12:38:57 -0400 Tamanna Chhibbar Is Manufacturing Starting to Bottom? http://www.pws.io/is-manufacturing-starting-to-bottom <p class='black-text'>For the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has experienced a deceleration although growth has remained firmly positive. However, the deceleration is largely due to a slowdown in manufacturing which has become outright recessionary in some sub-industries and regions. Of course, this slowdown has been exacerbated by the uncertainties of the trade war.</p><p class='black-text'>It's ironic yet inevitable that the trade war between the U.S. and China is hurting manufacturing the most, since that's precisely the industry it's supposed to help the most in the long-run. The common fear for the last year has been the weakness in manufacturing infecting the rest of the economy would result in a recession. For anyone invested in this narrative, there has been <i>some </i>supporting evidence but certainly nothing decisive.</p><p class='black-text'>Another perspective on the same data would be to marvel at the economy's resilience especially in terms of major indicators like the S&P 500 (SPY) at an all-time high, retail spending, housing, and the jobs market which have slowed but continue to trend higher despite the multitude of threats. If these continue to trend higher and manufacturing went from a headwind to a tail wind then there is the possibility for an acceleration in economic growth.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Positive Developments</b></p><p class='black-text'>Some leading indicators are beginning to act as if this outcome is not possible. It seems as if the current rally in stocks is discounting the increasing odds of this possibility. This can be seen in the strength of transportation stocks, semiconductor stocks, and industrial stocks. These have gone from underperforming the broader markets since late 2018 to now outperforming.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of manufacturing data, there some very small green shoots in terms of lower inventory readings and an uptick in new orders. This could simply be just noise or it could indicate that trade is going to tick higher as inventories are replenished. On top of these more-speculative, leading indicators, there has been meaningful progress in terms of a trade deal with expectations that a 'Phase 1' deal will be signed within the next month. Resolution of even marginal progress could unleash trade as well. Prior to the imposition of tariffs, there was a burst of activity, and it's possible there could be another burst if tariffs are lifted especially given the low level of inventories.</p><p class='black-text'>The Institute for Supply Management's report on Thursday is going to be hugely anticipated to see whether it confirms the recent, constructive signals from other manufacturing surveys and regional Fed boards.</p> http://www.pws.io/is-manufacturing-starting-to-bottom Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:54:22 -0400 Jaimini Desai