Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2021, Passport to Wall Street 60 Robinhood Reportedly to IPO in Late March http://www.pws.io/robinhood-reportedly-to-ipo-in-late-march <p class='black-text'>When financial historians look back at this time period, they will certainly note the impact of Robinhood. The startup brokerage emerged onto the scene in 2013 and immediately drew attention with its revolutionary promise of commission-free trading.</p><p class='black-text'>In a way, it was similar to the previous generation of new brokerages like E-trade <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> and TD Ameritrade <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> by increasing access to trading and financial markets via low-commission trading and electronic trading. However, it was a shock to the brokerage industry as it forced nearly everyone to significantly reduce commissions.</p><p class='black-text'>And, it's influence has only magnified as trading has become more popular due to stimulus checks, lockdowns, and a decade-long bull market. So, it's not entirely surprising that the company is looking to go public later this month.</p><p class='black-text'><i>IPO Details</i></p><p class='black-text'>It's interesting that the company is pushing ahead with its IPO given the flack it took during the Gamestop <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GME"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GME</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GME" 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="GME" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> euphoria when the brokerage limited trading in certain issues. The company was hauled before Congress and lambasted by legislators on both sides. It also took some shrapnel online due to traders frustrated by these limits.</p><p class='black-text'>It's also taken criticism of its business model in which it sells "order flow" to institutions that can use this data to increase the profitability of their trades. Robinhood responds that its free trading is creating more value for users and that it had to shut down trading due to its clearinghouse. It also believes that as a public company, it would have greater access to liquidity which would prevent such occurrences.</p><p class='black-text'>So far, the experience only increased the popularity of the app as it shot higher on the app store. In total, it reported 13 million users in May of 2020 but many expect this could have hit 25 million by now. In contrast, Schwab has 25 million users.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>For many companies, going public is a negative for the underlying business as it dilutes ownership and distracts focus. Employees getting rich can also reduce motivation to maintain growth and ward off competitors. However, for Robinhood, going public is going to benefit their business as it will give them more liquidity.</p><p class='black-text'>The main risk to their business is that they would have to shut down trading during volatile market conditions. This risk would go down if it's a public company which makes the business better and more attractive to investors.</p><p class='black-text'>Some other reasons to be bullish on its prospects are that it's on pace to become the world's largest brokerage. The bigger it gets the more it will benefit from network effects. It has the ability to monetize further by offering higher-margin products and services.</p> http://www.pws.io/robinhood-reportedly-to-ipo-in-late-march Fri, 05 Mar 2021 11:11:12 -0500 Jaimini Desai Volvo to Become "Fully Electric" by 2030, Move Sales Online http://www.pws.io/volvo-to-become-fully-electric-by-2030-move-sales-online <p class='black-text'>Volvo Cars <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VLVLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VLVLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VLVLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VLVLY" 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="VLVLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced on Tuesday that it plans to become a "fully electric" car company by 2030. Meeting this particular goal will require the company to stop producing their car models with combustible engines, especially hybrids.</p><p class='black-text'>Volvo came out with its first all-electric car, the XC40 Recharge, last year, and made known that it would like for at least half of the sales to be electric by 2025, and for hybrids to consist of the other half.</p><p class='black-text'>"There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine. We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030," said Henrik Green, Volvo Cars' chief technology officer, in a press release.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, Volvo plans to move to an online only sales model, which is taking a page out of Tesla's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" 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="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> business model, with the electric carmaker shifting to online sales back in 2019. All fully electric models will be available online only.</p><p class='black-text'>"To remain successful, we need profitable growth," said CEO Hakan Samuelsson in a press release. "So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future--electric and online."</p><p class='black-text'>Volvo plans to be forward-thinking in the way that it moves toward a future of profitable growth and "to become a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment," according to Samuelsson.</p><p class='black-text'>One of the primary reasons that Volvo plans to become fully electric is that it wants to reduce the life cycle carbon footprint, so as to contribute to the overall better global climate by eliminating fuel emissions from its automobiles. Very soon, the company intends to unleash another fully electric car, a new model its 40 Series, with more models expected in the near future as the company sets out to meet its climate goal.</p><p class='black-text'>Volvo now, more than ever, is focusing on a future filled with promise and expectation in terms of the types of cars that it sells and the trends that it hopes to market to the public. As it takes a positive move toward fighting climate change through the usage of these electric cars, time will tell as to whether Volvo will succeed in accomplishing its initial goals.</p> http://www.pws.io/volvo-to-become-fully-electric-by-2030-move-sales-online Thu, 04 Mar 2021 18:42:33 -0500 Stephanie Williams Market Update: Nasdaq Turns Negative For the Year Follow Powell's Remarks on Inflation http://www.pws.io/market-update-nasdaq-turns-negative-for-the-year-follow-powells-remarks-on-inflation <p class='black-text'>The broader market declined sharply on Thursday following remarks Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made regarding the U.S. labor market and inflation expectations as the economy begins to reopen. Amid Thursday's sell-off, the Nasdaq turned negative for the year, now tracking a 1.3% loss as the tech-heavy index fell more than 10% from its recent 52-week high.</p><p class='black-text'>Powell stated during the Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit on Thursday that the economic reopening could "create some upward pressure on prices," adding to many investors worries about the recent spikes in 10-year U.S. Treasury yields. The 10-year yield jumped to 1.54% following Powell's remarks, sparking a sell-off as traders feared the rate will climb back to its recent high of 1.6%.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, weekly unemployment claims rose at a less-than-expected rate for the week ended Feb. 20, according to the Labor Department's latest report. Initial jobless claims totaled 745,000, coming in better than the 750,000 expected, but still worse that the prior week's upwardly revised total of 736,000.</p><p class='black-text'>Continuing jobless claims declined for the seventh week in a row to 4.295 million for the week ended Feb. 13. That total was in-line with what consensus economists expected, but declined from the 4.419 million reported during the previous week.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Thursday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: -1.34% or -51.14 points to 3,768.58</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.11% or -346.61 points to 30,923.48</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: -2.11% or -274.28 points to 12,723.47</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Stocks</i>, Square <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SQ" 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="SQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced on Thursday that the fintech will be buying a majority stake in the entertainment platform Tidal, paying $297 million in a both cash and stock deal. American musician Jay-Z, who purchased Tidal in 2015, will join the board of directors at Square.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, sectors on the S&P 500 closed mostly lower, with only Communication Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" 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="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Energy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" 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="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rising higher. Major losses were seen by Financials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLF" 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="XLF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Health Care <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLV" 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="XLV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Industrials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLI" 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="XLI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> following 1% lower, and Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" 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="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Materials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLB" 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="XLB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Information Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dropping over 2%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> jumped higher on Thursday after Powell's remarks drove bond yields higher, which increased demand for the greenback. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against several other global currencies, was up 0.53% at 91.561. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices dipped as the stronger dollar and rising treasury yields harmed the yellow metal's appeal. Spot gold slipped 0.9% to $1,695.26 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 0.9% lower at $1,700.70 per ounce. <b>Crude</b> oil futures popped higher after OPEC+ stated that it keep its current production levels steady through April. Additionally, Saudi Arabia stated that it would extend its voluntary production cuts throughout that same period. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> jumped 4.15% to $66.73 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> climbed 4% higher at $63.78 each.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Friday</i>, market participants will turn their attention to February jobs report as well as the updated unemployment rate for the Labor Department.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-nasdaq-turns-negative-for-the-year-follow-powells-remarks-on-inflation Thu, 04 Mar 2021 18:21:01 -0500 Rachel Hemple Company Profile: Bumble http://www.pws.io/company-profile-bumble <p class='black-text'>Bumble <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BMBL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BMBL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BMBL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BMBL" 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="BMBL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> finished 64% higher on its first day of trading, reflecting strong demand for the new issue. The stock opened at $76 which was significantly above the pre-IPO price of $43.</p><p class='black-text'>Even this was increased in the weeks leading up to the IPO from its original target range of $37 to $39. In total, the company sold 50 million shares and had a valuation of $7.7 billion. The offering was led by 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>, JPMorgan <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" 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="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and 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>.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Bumble Profile</i></p><p class='black-text'>Bumble is a dating app in which women have to initiate the first conversation. It was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, who is the youngest female founder to take a company public at 31. She was also a co-founder of Tinder. Bumble is free for anyone to use and join, but it earns revenue from in-app purchases and subscription offerings including Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium.</p><p class='black-text'>This business model is similar to other dating apps like Hinge and Tinder which allows users extra features and privileges for additional fees. These have proved remarkably successful like many businesses which boost people's status and mating prospects.</p><p class='black-text'>As of the last quarter, Bumble had 12.3 million monthly active users. According to Wolfe Herd, the company's current focus is on increasing the conversion to its paid product, continue growing the user base, and expand internationally.</p><p class='black-text'>According to its S-1, it generated $376.6 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2020, with a net loss of $84.1 million. In 2019, it generated $362.6 million in revenue and a net profit of $68.6 million. Currently, Bumble is significantly smaller than its primary competitor, Match Group <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MTCH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MTCH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MTCH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MTCH" 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="MTCH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> which has a market cap of $45.4 billion and generated $2.3 billion in revenue over the last 12 months. Match includes several dating apps including Hinge and Tinder.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>There's a lot to like about Bumble. It's on an impressive growth track. The online dating market continues to grow, and it's shown an ability to constantly increase revenue per user. Further, online dating is a fragmented market as many people are on multiple apps. Bumble also has a unique hook and is considered by many to be more female-friendly than other options.</p><p class='black-text'>Match has been one of the best-performing stocks of the past couple of years. However, Bumble is growing 3x as fast as Match. Online dating apps are relatively capital-light businesses with the main challenge being customer acquisition. Currently, 6% of Bumble's users are paying customers. Buying Bumble's stock is a bet that the company can continue growing, increase the percentage of paid users, and the amount paid per user. So far, this seems like a solid bet.</p> http://www.pws.io/company-profile-bumble Thu, 04 Mar 2021 14:25:33 -0500 Jaimini Desai Target Doubling Down on Ecommerce After Earnings Beat http://www.pws.io/target-doubling-down-on-ecommerce-after-earnings-beat <p class='black-text'>Target <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TGT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TGT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TGT" 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="TGT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was handed a stellar Q4 thanks to its ecommerce presence, which hasn't gone unnoticed by the company's CFO, who wants to increase ecommerce investment going forward.</p><p class='black-text'>An earnings beat is always something to be proud of. Still, Target should be especially proud of its earnings for the last quarter, considering that it helped drive sales so much that Target's 2020 performance outdid the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/business/target-earnings-sales-pandemic/index.html">previous 11 years combined</a>. Analysts projected earnings per share of $2.54, a 50% rise YTD, with sales in the ballpark of $27.5 billion. When the results came in, Target reported EPS of $2.67, which was up 58% YTD.</p><p class='black-text'>"Following years of investment to build a durable, scalable and sustainable business model, we saw record growth in 2020," CEO Brian Cornell said.</p><p class='black-text'>The Coronavirus Pandemic's sudden intensification caused a massive, seemingly inescapable disruption to most retailers' day-to-day operations. Stay-at-home orders and the fear of contracting COVID-19 drove down in-store traffic but caused an enormous spike in ecommerce traffic that properly equipped firms were able to capitalize on.</p><p class='black-text'>The trend towards ecommerce by most consumers was rapidly escalated by the pandemic. Even as foot traffic picks up, retailers are finding that both ecommerce and hybrid "curbside pickup" models are still popular with customers. Target was already capitalizing on the trend towards ecommerce, but after Target's success in 2020, CFO Michael Fiddelke is increasing its investment in ecommerce.</p><p class='black-text'>"If you go back a decade, we thought about digital wrong," <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/target-cfo-boosts-store-investments-as-pandemic-lifts-sales-11614725408">he said</a>. "We didn't invest enough because the margins didn't look good."</p><p class='black-text'>Target's hybrid model of allowing customers in stores while offering curbside pickup and in-store pickup, as well as home delivery, helped the company not only stay profitable during the pandemic but deliver it a landmark year. Yet, Target still hasn't issued any guidance on 2021, mostly because the company, like other retailers, isn't sure what to make of the near future.</p><p class='black-text'>"The crystal balls are still a bit cloudy depending on how the year plays out," Michael Fiddelke commented. The wide field of variables, from vaccine distribution to how the pandemic has changed spending habits, makes it hard to say with certainty where Americans will find themselves in a few months and how that will affect their spending.</p> http://www.pws.io/target-doubling-down-on-ecommerce-after-earnings-beat Thu, 04 Mar 2021 13:48:48 -0500 Michael Mooney Texas, Mississippi Governors Lift Statewide Mask Mandates http://www.pws.io/texas-mississippi-governors-lift-statewide-mask-mandates <p class='black-text'>Earlier this week, the governors of Texas and Mississippi announced separately that they are lifting the mask mandates in their respective state and are allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity, even as the coronavirus continues to spread through communities across the United States.</p><p class='black-text'>Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated during a press conference on Tuesday that he will be issuing a new executive order that recindes most of his prior coronavirus-related social restrictions, including the statewide mask mandate. Abbott had taken a longer time than many state governors to mandate the use of masks in public spaces,<a href="https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-establishes-statewide-face-covering-requirement-issues-proclamation-to-limit-gatherings"> waiting until July</a> when new infection rates in the state were climbing at an alarming rate.</p><p class='black-text'>"Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed," Abbott stated in his <a href="https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-lifts-mask-mandate-opens-texas-100-percent">address</a> to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.</p><p class='black-text'>"Today's announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year," Abbott added. "Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal aftery and the safety of others."</p><p class='black-text'>Abbott also stated that effective March 10, the state will allow all businesses to open at 100% capacity, with businesses allowed to limit capacity or implement additional public health and safety protocols at their own discretion.</p><p class='black-text'>In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves announced at about the same time that he will be taking actions similar to Abbott, stating at his own news briefing that he is rescinding all statewide mask mandates and removing restrictions on nearly all businesses.</p><p class='black-text'>"Starting [Wednesday], we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules," Reeves <a href="https://twitter.com/tatereeves/status/1366849019935412228">tweeted</a> on Tuesday. "Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccines is being rapidly distributed. It is time!"</p><p class='black-text'>Abbott and Reeves both cited declining coronavirus infection rates and the increasing availability of effective vaccines as the reason behind their decision to end government mandated social restrictions in their respective state.</p><p class='black-text'>Yet, health officials have warned that this is not a time to become complacent as new, highly transmissible COVID variants spread across the country and the decline in new infection rates appears to be plateauing. Those two factors mixed with a lack of public health restrictions may lead to another wave of infections.</p><p class='black-text'>President Joe Biden criticized the decisions made by Abbott and Reeves on Wednesday, calling the governors' new executive orders "a big mistake."</p><p class='black-text'>"Look, I hope everybody's realized by now these mask make a difference," Biden told White House reporters on Wednesday, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/03/03/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/">quoted by <i>The Washington Post</i></a>. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way it which we're able to get vaccines in people's arms."</p><p class='black-text'>"The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking--that, 'In the meantime, everything's fine. Take off your mask. Forget it," Biden added, referring to an extinct species of humans in a way that was meant to be an insult for unintelligent thinking. "It still matters."</p> http://www.pws.io/texas-mississippi-governors-lift-statewide-mask-mandates Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:53:15 -0500 Rachel Hemple Coinbase Files to Go Public via Direct Listing on the Nasdaq http://www.pws.io/coinbase-files-to-go-public-via-direct-listing-on-the-nasdaq <p class='black-text'>While the initial public offering market has slowed down since the end of February, this year's hottest listings still lay ahead, with cryptocurrency exchange <b>Coinbase Global, Inc.</b> filing to go public through a direct listing that could value the company at more than $5.4 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Coinbase is a San Francisco-based company that offers a digital currency exchange that has amassed over 43 million users worldwide and has facilitated more than $456 billion in transactions to date, according to the company's latest U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission <a href="https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1679788/000162828021003168/coinbaseglobalincs-1.htm">filing</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Coinbase is profitable, with the company generating a net income of $322.3 million from the roughly $1.3 billion in revenue for 2020, according to its filing, which was double the $534 million revenues totaled in 2019.</p><p class='black-text'>Since Coinbase's business model is focused on bringing cryptocurrency-based financial services to global smartphone users, the company is set to benefit from the increased interest and demand in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ethereum.</p><p class='black-text'>The company plans to trade under the ticker 'COIN' on the Nasdaq, but has no official listing date scheduled at this time.</p><p class='black-text'><i>IPO Market Update</i></p><p class='black-text'>Last week, while no traditional offerings priced, a whopping 29 special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) went public, raising $10.7 billion. The SPAC wave was led by <b>Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SRNGU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SRNGU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SRNGU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SRNGU" 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="SRNGU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which raised $1.5 billion in the largest blank check offering of the year so far.</p><p class='black-text'>SPACs have been super popular in 2021, with SPACs averaging over 3 deals per trading session, <a href="https://www.renaissancecapital.com/IPO-Center/News/78302/Year-of-the-SPAC-Blank-check-IPOs-are-on-track-to-complete-more-than-1000-o">according to </a><i><a href="https://www.renaissancecapital.com/IPO-Center/News/78302/Year-of-the-SPAC-Blank-check-IPOs-are-on-track-to-complete-more-than-1000-o">Renaissance Capital</a></i>. At that rate, the market can expect over 1,000 blank check offerings by the end of the year.</p><p class='black-text'>For this week, the market is staying pretty quiet at the moment, with only two health care sector listings scheduled to debut.</p><p class='black-text'>In the biggest deal of the week, <b>Oscar Health, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OSCR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OSCR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OSCR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OSCR" 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="OSCR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise about $1.35 billion from 31 million shares priced between $36 to $38 each. The online health insurer provides both health insurance products and services to over 529,000 members through its online platform.</p><p class='black-text'><b>InnovAge Holding Corp.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/INNV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">INNV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="INNV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="INNV" 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="INNV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise over $364 million from about 16.7 million shares priced between $17 to $19 each. The senior care provider gives care to over 6,600 seniors under the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly in five U.S. states.</p><p class='black-text'>24 SPACs are slated to debut this week, with the group expected to raise over $7.3 billion.</p> http://www.pws.io/coinbase-files-to-go-public-via-direct-listing-on-the-nasdaq Wed, 03 Mar 2021 22:45:47 -0500 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Stock Continue Declines on U.S. Inflation Concerns http://www.pws.io/market-update-stock-continue-declines-on-us-inflation-concerns <p class='black-text'>Stocks declined on Wednesday, extending the previous session's losses as investors were concerned about rising bond yields. Tech names were the led decliners throughout the session, pulling both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lower, while the Dow slightly dipped near its session low.</p><p class='black-text'>The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield resumed its recent gains on Wednesday, with the benchmark rate climbing more than 8 basis points to a high of 1.49% before retreating slightly.</p><p class='black-text'>U.S. private employers added fewer-than-expected jobs in February, according to the ADP's monthly employment report. Payrolls grew by 117,000 last month, following an upwardly revised gain of 195,000 in January. Consensus economists had forecasted a rise of 205,000 payrolls for February.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, U.S. service sector activity unexpected slowed in February, according to the Institute of Supply Management's monthly survey. The service sector purchasing managers' index PMI ticked down to 55.3 in February from 58.7 in January, which had been the highest level since early 2019. Readings about the neutral level of 50.0 indicate expansion of a sector.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Wednesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: -1.30% or -50.46 points to 3,819.83</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.38% or -119.08 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: -2.70% or -361.04 points to 12,997.75</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Stocks</i>, reopening names like American Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAL" 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="AAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Carnival Cruise <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CCL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CCL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CCL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CCL" 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="CCL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose following President Joe Biden's announcement that the U.S. will have enough coronavirus vaccines to inoculate every adult in the United States by the end of May. Rocket Companies <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RKT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RKT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RKT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RKT" 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="RKT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares dropped nearly 33% on Wednesday after a surprise rally in the previous session led by Reddit retail investors pushed shares up over 70%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, sectors on the S&P 500 ended mostly lower on Wednesday, with only Industrials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLI" 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="XLI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Financials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLF" 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="XLF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Energy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" 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="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> closing in positive territory. Losses were led by Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" 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="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Information Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> falling over 2%, and Materials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLB" 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="XLB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Real Estate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLRE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLRE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLRE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLRE" 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="XLRE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Utilities <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLU" 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="XLU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Health Care <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLV" 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="XLV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Communication Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" 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="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> falling over 1%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> gained on Wednesday as investors bet for strong U.S. growth compared to other global regions. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six other rival currencies, rose 0.22% higher at 90.997. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices declined to their lowest levels in nearly nine months on Wednesday as rising U.S. Treasury yields and a stronger dollar pressured the metal's inflation hedge appeal. Spot gold fell 1.2% to $1,717.67 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 1% lower at $1,715.80 per ounce. <b>Crude</b> oil futures climbed higher on Wednesday as investors bet that OPEC+ producers may decide against easing supply cuts at the group's meeting this week. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose 2.8% to $64.45 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was up 2.56% at $61.28 each.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Thursday</i>, market participants will turn their attention to fresh data for weekly unemployment claims, as well as remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stock-continue-declines-on-us-inflation-concerns Wed, 03 Mar 2021 19:37:39 -0500 Rachel Hemple Plug Power Drops 14% Following Wider Than Expected Loss http://www.pws.io/plug-power-drops-14-following-wider-than-expected-loss <p class='black-text'>Plug Power <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PLUG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PLUG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PLUG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PLUG" 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="PLUG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dropped by more than 14% following its worse than expected Q4 results that missed estimates by a significant degree. PLUG has been one of the best-performing stocks in the entire market due to the bull market for the EV sector.</p><p class='black-text'>Many believe that PLUG's fuel cell technology can be commercialized and applied for a variety of settings beyond forklifts like passenger transportation, commercial transportation, backup power, and power data centers. It's also benefited from Democrats winning the Presidency and control of Congress which should bring more favorable policy. However, shares are off by more than 40% over the last couple of weeks due to a risk-off sentiment for frothy stocks and signals that the Senate is going to be less progressive than anticipated.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q4, Plug Power reported a loss of $476.3 million, or $1.12 a share, which was a major increase from last year's $18.3 million loss or $0.07 a share. In contrast, analysts were expecting a loss of $0.12 per share.</p><p class='black-text'>Due to some accounting issues of customer warrants, revenue was actually negative $316.3 million while analysts were expecting a loss of $87.2 million. Costs were also higher than expected at $456 million.</p><p class='black-text'>Gross billings for the full year were $337 million including $96.3 million in Q4. The company also said that it exceeded its 2020 target and was raising its estimates for 2021 to $475 million from $450 million.</p><p class='black-text'>Plug Power also increased its 2024 billing target by more than 40% to $1.7 billion. The company also issued an update regarding its joint venture with South Korea's SK Group saying that it completed its $1.6 billion capital investment to bring its fuel cell technology to Asian markets. It also said that the company will likely pursue more joint ventures in 2021 similar to SK Group.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Plug Power has been selling off like a lot of high-multiple stocks in February. This isn't entirely surprising given that the stock was up 2,720% from its March 2020 low at its recent high. Even if Plug is going to continue gaining, it's likely to have some pullbacks and shakeouts on the way.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Plug Power has a $21 billion market cap with no clear path to profitability. This valuation cannot be sustained by its legacy forklift business but reflects investors' hopes that its fuel cell technology can be applied to other purposes. However, the recent results show that this is not guaranteed by any means.</p> http://www.pws.io/plug-power-drops-14-following-wider-than-expected-loss Wed, 03 Mar 2021 19:07:15 -0500 Jaimini Desai Twitter Plans to Double its User Base by 2023, Touts New Super Follow Subscription Feature http://www.pws.io/twitter-plans-to-double-its-user-base-by-2023-touts-new-super-follow-subscription-feature <p class='black-text'>At a recent event, Twitter's <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> top brass laid out the company's plans to swell Twitter's user base and implement a suite of new monetizable features.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, Twitter takes in 86% of its revenue from targeted advertising. And yet, the platform has struggled to keep pace with competitors like Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" 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="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Google <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>. As it stands, Twitter currently represents 0.8% of the digital ad space, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-08/twitter-considers-subscription-fee-for-tweetdeck-unique-content">according to EMarketer</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>In light of these facts, Twitter is looking to find new ways to compete with other social media platforms. Twitter plans to do this by giving content creators new ways to monetize their content through the use of the new "super follow" feature. The new feature would allow creators to offer their "super followers" access to exclusive tweets, audio tracks, and other content in exchange for a monthly fee. Of course, Twitter will then take a percentage of that fee.</p><p class='black-text'>"We also think that an audience-funded model where subscribers can directly fund the content they value most is a durable incentive model that aligns with the interests of creators and consumers," said Twitter's Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis at the event, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-08/twitter-considers-subscription-fee-for-tweetdeck-unique-content">quoted by </a><i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-08/twitter-considers-subscription-fee-for-tweetdeck-unique-content">Bloomberg</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter hopes that audiences will follow their favorite creators onto the platform, growing Twitter's user base and swelling its coffers with increased ad and subscription revenue. The "super follow" feature is due out later this year. And yet, Twitter is already making some very rosy projections about the platform's growth in the coming years.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Twitter's latest U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company plans to double its revenues, from $3.7 billion to $7.5 billion between now and the end of 2023.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter isn't only relying on its new subscription model to make those projections. Executives at the company believe there's room for Twitter to grow in the digital ad space. Currently, Twitter pulls in 85% of its ad revenues from brand advertising. This sort of advertising has declined in prominence due to the rise of online shopping. Today companies want ads that lead to direct sales rather than ads that build brand awareness. Twitter plans to increase direct response ad sales by targeting small to medium-sized advertisers.</p><p class='black-text'>At the event, Twitter also announced plans to accelerate the pace of innovation at the company. "We've been too slow," said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, quoted by <i>Bloomberg</i>. "If you compare us to our peers on the market, this is especially stark."</p><p class='black-text'>In line with these statements, Twitter plans to double "development velocity" at the company between now and 2023. Theoretically, this should quickly increase the number of new monetizable features available on Twitter.</p><p class='black-text'>Even before the announcement, investors had been betting hard on Twitter's growth. The stock has swelled by at least 33% since the beginning of 2021. Still- whether Twitter can double its user base, its revenues, and its stock price between now and 2023 remains anyone's guess.</p> http://www.pws.io/twitter-plans-to-double-its-user-base-by-2023-touts-new-super-follow-subscription-feature Wed, 03 Mar 2021 15:37:03 -0500 David Fladger UiPath Reportedly to File for IPO http://www.pws.io/uipath-reportedly-to-file-for-ipo <p class='black-text'>Large funding rounds are often precursors to IPOs. We saw this with Snowflake <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNOW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNOW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNOW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNOW" 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="SNOW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> raising nearly $500 million in a round that valued the company at $12.4 billion. Seven months later, it IPO'd at a $33 billion valuation.</p><p class='black-text'>So, it's interesting to note that UiPath raised $750 million at a $35 billion valuation. Some of the participants in UiPath's Series F were Alkeon Capital, Coatue, T. Rowe Price, Dragoneer, and Tiger Capital. The company is said to have 6,300 customers including companies like Verizon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VZ" 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="VZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and 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>. In 2020, it's estimated to have $360 million in revenues.</p><p class='black-text'><i>UiPath Profile</i></p><p class='black-text'>UiPath was founded in 2005 by Romanian engineers, Daniel Dines and Marcus Tirca. The company has become the leader in the field with an estimated 50% market share. It's considered to be one of the biggest and most successful startups to emerge from Eastern Europe.</p><p class='black-text'>UiPath is an AI-based, robotic, automation platform that helps companies "automate millions of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks for business and government organizations all over the world, improving productivity, customer experience and employee job satisfaction."</p><p class='black-text'>This is currently estimated to be a $2 billion industry but grow to over $20 billion by the end of the decade. The benefits for companies and employees are clear in that they would be able to focus on higher-value work while monotonous tasks can be completed by the AI. It's also likely that the AI would grow even more capable over time as the technology improves and it learns through various iterations.</p><p class='black-text'>Other companies have been investing in this space as well. For example, Microsoft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" 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="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> bought Softmotive and has been adding features to its Power Automate software. IBM <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IBM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IBM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IBM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IBM" 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="IBM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> acquired WDG Automation, while SAP <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SAP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SAP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SAP" 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="SAP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is launching its own automation features as well.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Other than valuation, there is a lot to like about UiPath. It's the leading company in a rapidly expanding industry. It's likely to have high margins given that it's a subscription-based software business. Customer retention will likely be high since it will increase profits and become integral to operations.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, the business will benefit from network effects as the AI will continually improve with the more tasks that it completes. History shows that in these types of businesses, first-mover advantages matter.</p><p class='black-text'>UiPath has a lot in common with some of the biggest winners of the past decade. On the downside, rising interest rates mean that the investing climate for high-multiple stocks may be less friendly. Additionally, large companies with big pockets are looking to compete in this space like SAP and Microsoft which could erode margins and market share. The lofty valuation also means there is more risk.</p><p class='black-text'>Overall, while these risks are real, the stock should do well especially as investors are eager for companies exposed to AI.</p> http://www.pws.io/uipath-reportedly-to-file-for-ipo Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:15:46 -0500 Jaimini Desai Biden Says U.S. Will Have Enough Vaccine Doses For Every Adult in May http://www.pws.io/biden-says-us-will-have-enough-vaccine-doses-for-every-adult-in-may <p class='black-text'>President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the United States has now secured enough vaccine doses for every adult in the country to be fully vaccinated by the end of May.</p><p class='black-text'>"Three weeks ago, I announced we would have enough vaccine supply for all Americans by the end of July. Now, with our efforts to ramp up production, we will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May," Biden <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/1366863233538228233">tweeted</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to meet this accelerated goal, the White House announced on Tuesday that the pharmaceutical giant Merck <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRK" 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="MRK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> will aim rival Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" 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="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> in production of the latter's one-dose coronavirus vaccine, which has been met with delays.</p><p class='black-text'>"Among the things that I learned when I came into office was the Johnson & Johnson was behind in manufacturing and production," Biden stated during a White House <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/03/02/remarks-by-president-biden-on-the-administrations-covid-19-vaccination-efforts/">press conference</a> announcing the production partnership. "While we had the potential of another highly effective vaccine to accompany the two existing ones, it simply wasn't coming fast enough. So my team has been hard at work to accelerate that effort."</p><p class='black-text'>Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of Johnson & Johnson, has run into two production issues that have delayed the manufacturing of its coronavirus vaccine: slow manufacturing of the vaccine drug substance and problems with its fill-finish capacity, which is putting the drug into its distribution vials.</p><p class='black-text'>Under the drugmaker's contract with the U.S., Janssen was expected to deliver 12 million doses of the vaccine by the end of February. However, the company was only able to produce 3.9 million doses for shipment this week following its emergency use authorization on Saturday, and does not plan to deliver any vaccines next week.</p><p class='black-text'>At its current manufacturing capacity, Janssen expects to deliver 16 million doses by the end of the month. The company is contracted to deliver 100 million doses to the U.S. throughout 2021 through the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, which Jassen plans to reach by the end of June.</p><p class='black-text'>The new partnership between Merck and Janssen, alongside other efforts the federal government is taking under the Defense Production Act to accelerate the vaccine's production, will help the company deliver its target of 100 million doses by the end of May, <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/03/02/biden-administration-announces-historic-manufacturing-collaboration-between-merck-johnson-johnson-expand-production-covid-19-vaccines.html">according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, the Biden administration will provide Merck with an initial investment of $105 million to upgrade its facilities in order to safely manufacture the vaccine, as well as expedite materials for vaccine production to the company and directed the Department of Defense to provide daily logistical support. President Biden has also called on Janssen's current manufacturing facilities to increase production to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the government's help.</p><p class='black-text'>An increase in supply of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine sooner than previously expected would speed up the nation's vaccination effort enormously, because this vaccine allows twice as many people to be inoculated with the same number of shots produced by Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Mondera <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Both mRNA vaccines currently in circulation require two doses given a few weeks apart.</p><p class='black-text'>"One of my first goals in office was to say that there will be 100 million vaccination shots administered in my first 100 days," Biden stated. " We've got halfway to that goal in 37 days, and I feel confident we'll make it all the way."</p><p class='black-text'>Just over 26 million Americans have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine to date, <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations">according to data </a>from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is about 8% of the nation's population.</p> http://www.pws.io/biden-says-us-will-have-enough-vaccine-doses-for-every-adult-in-may Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:15:31 -0500 Rachel Hemple Airbnb 13% Higher Following Q4 Results http://www.pws.io/airbnb-13-higher-following-q4-results <p class='black-text'>Airbnb <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ABNB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ABNB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ABNB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ABNB" 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="ABNB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> finished 13% higher following Q4 results which topped revenue expectations. The company posted a wider loss than expectations but attributed this to one-time events related to the IPO. Many bears consider Airbnb to be extremely overvalued, while others consider it the best way to take advantage of the economy's reopening.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q4, Airbnb reported a loss of $3.9 billion which translates to a loss of $11.24 per share. This was a steep fall from last year's Q4 loss of $352 million with most of the loss attributed to accounting changes following the IPO.</p><p class='black-text'>Revenue came in at $859 million which handily topped expectations of $748 million. This was a 22% decline from last year's $1.1 billion and a 36% decline from Q3's $1.3 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>In Q4, there were a total of 46.3 million "nights and experiences" bookings on the platform which was a 39% decline from 2019's Q4 with 61.8 million total bookings. Gross booking value was $5.9 billion, down 31% year over year. Gross booking value was also down more than 26% from $8 billion in the third quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>The company has clearly suffered a toll from the coronavirus pandemic. Q4 was materially worse as rising case counts forced many to even curtail shorter trips that they were taking. The platform did do much better than many other travel stocks which saw declines in the 40 to 60% range as many chose to take shorter road trips and took advantage of locations where they could work remotely.</p><p class='black-text'>The company didn't issue guidance due to "limited visibility" given variables like the vaccine rollout and people's willingness to travel. It did say that it expects Q1's revenue decline to be less than that of Q4. It also expects Q1 gross booking to be above 2020's Q1 but below 2019's Q1.</p><p class='black-text'>Given that Airbnb is a new company, there's little to anchor expectations so more focus is placed on management's comments. Interestingly, CEO Brian Chesky said the company learned that from the pandemic that it could cut marketing to zero and that 95% of traffic would remain.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Airbnb's stock is a Rorschach test for investors. It's easy to come up with a bullish scenario. As the economy reopens, there is going to be massive pent-up demand for people to take vacations and visit friends and family. Understandably, they will be hesitant and take short trips at first which is ideal for Airbnb. Airbnb is also very popular among Millennials and Generation Z.Additionally, the company has all the benefits of a capital-light, high-margin, platform business with little competition.</p><p class='black-text'>The bear case centers around valuation. The stock has a market cap of $122 billion. Yet, it only had $3 billion in revenue and is years away from profitability. If interest rates continue moving higher, it will be a headwind for all sorts of high-multiple stocks including Airbnb.</p><p class='black-text'>While the bearish argument is compelling, the stock's bullish reaction to a big earnings miss is more meaningful in the near-term. Investors have priced in the bad news and are looking forward. Given the plunge in coronavirus cases and the steady drumbeat of vaccinations, it's likely that the company will return to a growth track by the end of the year.</p> http://www.pws.io/airbnb-13-higher-following-q4-results Tue, 02 Mar 2021 19:53:49 -0500 Jaimini Desai Stock and Health Care ETFs Boosted by Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine E.U.A. http://www.pws.io/stock-and-health-care-etfs-boosted-by-johnson-johnsons-vaccine-eua <p class='black-text'>The regulatory approval of the Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" 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="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in people aged 18 years or older this past weekend has boosted both stock and health care related exchange-traded funds as investors looked to add more of Johnson & Johnson to their portfolio.</p><p class='black-text'>On Saturday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) approved the drugmaker's request for an emergency use authorization (E.U.A.) for the vaccine, following the unanimous recommendation from the health regulator's independant vaccine review board--known as the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee--which plays a key role in approving vaccines for use in the U.S.</p><p class='black-text'>The addition of a third vaccine, following the approvals of both two-shot mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, helped boost biotech ETFs like the <b>iShares U.S. Pharmaceticals ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IHE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IHE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IHE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IHE" 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="IHE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and <b>Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLV" 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="XLV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> higher. Johnson & Johnson is also apart of both the <b>S&P 500</b> <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> and <b>Dow Jones Industrial Average</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, giving these two stock ETFs a nice lift alongside the broader market rally sparked by reignited vaccine optimism.</p><p class='black-text'>Johnson & Johnson said that the vaccine's level of protection varies by the region its late-stage clinical trials were conducted, with the shot demonstrating 66% overall effectiveness, 72% in the United States, 66% in Latin America, and 57% in South Africa, where the concerning B.1.351 variant strain is rapidly spreading. However, the F.D.A. noted that the vaccine was found to be 64% effective in South Africa about a month after initial inoculation. The drugmaker also found that the vaccine prevented 100% of hospitalizations and deaths associated with severe infection.</p><p class='black-text'>The one-dose vaccine will help the United States' effort to control the virus before multiple variant strains can spread further. Johnson & Johnson has begun shipping 3.9 million doses of its vaccine to states this week, but additional supply will be halt initially as the company works to increase its manufacturing capacity. The company hopes to increase production of the one-dose vaccine by the end of the month, with 20 million total doses available to the public and 100 million delivered by June.</p><p class='black-text'>Investors that are looking to add more of Johnson & Johnson to their portfolio through ETFs can easily get high exposure through funds like <b>Vanguard Healthcare ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VHT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VHT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VHT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VHT" 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="VHT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and <b>First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceticals ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FTXH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FTXH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FTXH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FTXH" 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="FTXH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, both of which weight the drugmaker at about 8%.</p> http://www.pws.io/stock-and-health-care-etfs-boosted-by-johnson-johnsons-vaccine-eua Tue, 02 Mar 2021 19:53:34 -0500 Rachel Hemple Pepsi Launches Cocktail Mixers Amid at-Home Drinking Boom http://www.pws.io/pepsi-launches-cocktail-mixers-amid-at-home-drinking-boom <p class='black-text'>On Monday, PepsiCo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PEP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PEP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PEP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PEP" 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="PEP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> launched a new brand of non-alcoholic cocktail mixers called Neon Zebra. The brand has been in the works for the past two years, but is debuting at an opportune time when at-home drinking is booming to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>It has been estimated that around $304.6 million have been spent on cocktail mixers, which has risen about 36% from the past year, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/25/pepsico-to-launch-neon-zebra-cocktail-mixers-as-at-home-drinking-spikes.html?&qsearchterm=pepsico">according to Nielsen retail data</a>. Pepsico plans to tap into that growing market, with the company conducting research on the at-home drinking habits within Millennial and Gen-Z customers (aged 21 to 34 year) in order to produce popular drink mixers to create a better at-home drinking experience.</p><p class='black-text'>Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities of for PepsiCo's North American beverage business, stated in a press release that young adults are, "really looking for convenience and high-quality ingredients in their at-home experience. The traditional category norm is those big jugs, like those margarita mixers you might buy for a party and then it sits in your fridge."</p><p class='black-text'>The Neon Zebra cocktail mixer contains of real juice and comes in four flavors: Margarita Mix, Strawberry Daiquiri Mix, Mojito Mix, and Whiskey Sour Mix. One 7.5 ounce can is designed to make two cocktails, with recipes calling from the addition of three ounces of spirit per drink.</p><p class='black-text'>Now more than ever, consumers are searching for easy ways to make cocktails, especially in ways that are suitable to their own lifestyles and habits. This particular cocktail mixer differs from other cocktail mixers in that it is not offering outdated drink options or artificial flavors.</p><p class='black-text'>Linda Lagos, Sr. Director, Innovation and Capabilities, PepsiCo North America, believes that "consumption is at an all-time high," and thus, people are looking for more of a way to satisfy their cravings at home as bars and restaurants are shuttered due to the pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>The new drink mixer seems to have many advantages for the beverage maker when it comes to its level of sales and success during the pandemic. Only time will tell as to whether the success continues, but as long as individuals are investing in leisurely at-home activities, Neon Zebra will continue to benefit even after the pandemic has faded.</p> http://www.pws.io/pepsi-launches-cocktail-mixers-amid-at-home-drinking-boom Tue, 02 Mar 2021 19:50:56 -0500 Stephanie Williams Market Update: Stocks Swing Lower, Nasdaq Underperforms on Falling Tech Shares http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-swing-lower-nasdaq-underperforms-on-falling-tech-shares <p class='black-text'>Stocks ended lower on Tuesday as major indices swung from their rally in the previous session, with the Nasdaq being the worst performer as slumping tech stocks pressured the index. Vaccine optimism and easing U.S. Treasury yields benefitted Monday's session, but investors still fear that yields will trend higher this year as the economy reopens and the addition of more fiscal stimulus, which could lead to inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield declined below 1.41% on Tuesday, with the benchmark rate appearing to stabilize after rising to a high of 1.6% last week.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Tuesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: -0.81% or -31.46 points to 3,870.36</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.46% or -145.04 points to 31,390.47</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: -1.69% or -230.04 points to 13,358.79</p><p class='black-text'>For Stocks, Rocket Companies <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RKT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RKT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RKT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RKT" 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="RKT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> popped over 71% for its third straight session of gain as the heavily shorted stock was popularized by retail investors on social media platforms like Reddit. Kohl's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KSS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KSS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KSS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KSS" 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="KSS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares rose after the retailer announced that it brought in two million new customers, majority younger generations, last year due to its partnership with 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>.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, most sectors on the S&P 500 swung lower on Tuesday, with only Materials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLB" 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="XLB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> closing in positive territory. Information Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> led declines, with Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" 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="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Real Estate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLRE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLRE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLRE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLRE" 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="XLRE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Communication Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" 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="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rounding out the bottom four.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dipped lower on Tuesday as investors preferred riskier currencies as sentiment improved. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six rival global currencies, slipped 0.31% to 90.731. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices rose on the falling dollar and U.S. Treasury yields, which increased demand for the safe haven bullion. Spot gold increased 0.8% at $1,737.62 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 0.7% higher at $1,734.40 per ounce. <b>Crude</b> oil futures slid on Tuesday ahead of this week's OPEC+ where producers are expects to ease supply restrictions. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dropped 1.55% to $62.70 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> settled down at $59.75 each.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Wednesday</i>, market participants will turn their attention to fresh economic data for February, including the ADP's employment report.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-swing-lower-nasdaq-underperforms-on-falling-tech-shares Tue, 02 Mar 2021 19:08:24 -0500 Rachel Hemple AT&T, TPG Make Deal to Form Standalone Company to Operate AT&T's Video Business http://www.pws.io/att-tpg-make-deal-to-form-standalone-company-to-operate-atts-video-business <p class='black-text'>AT&T <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/T"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">T</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="T" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="T" 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="T" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> made a deal with private equity company, TPG. The deal calls for AT&T to sell a 30% stake in its video units including DirecTV, AT&T TV, and U-Verse to TPG for $1.8 billion in cash. The deal marks the end of AT&T's ill-fated purchase of DirecTV under former CEO Randall Stephenson.</p><p class='black-text'>Given the trend of cord-cutting and numerous customer complaints about the quality of DirecTV's service, AT&T's purchase of DirecTV could go down as one of the worst acquisitions in history. Current CEO John Stankey's move to rid AT&T of DirecTV continues his strategy of streamlining the business and reducing the company's $149 billion debt load. In a sign of the times, AT&T is getting out of the satellite TV business and doubling-down on its streaming venture.</p><p class='black-text'>The deal values DirecTV at $16.3 billion which is significantly less than the $48.5 billion that AT&T paid for it in 2015. For AT&T, the deal allows it to focus on the parts of the company that are growing such as HBO Max and its mobile services. The new venture will be known as DirecTV, and it will own and operate AT&T's legacy video business. AT&T's stake in the entity is estimated to be $7.8 billion, including the assumption of $200 million in debt.</p><p class='black-text'>It had been widely reported that AT&T was shopping around DirecTV prior to the pandemic but was unhappy with the offers it was receiving. AT&T chose to divest its stake to private equity groups to minimize regulatory concerns. Additionally, by keeping a stake, DirecTV will have a commercial agreement with AT&T to offer bundled services for AT&T's wireless and Internet customers in addition to giving DirecTV subscribers access to HBO Max.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>AT&T's stock has been a major underperformed for many years. Since 2016, the stock is down 37%, while the S&P 500 is nearly up 100% over that same period.</p><p class='black-text'>AT&T looks attractive based on traditional valuation metrics such as its PE of 8.6 and 7.4% dividend yield. While it does have a high debt load, its mobile and Internet business is steady cash cows. It also significantly underperformed its peers like Verizon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VZ" 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="VZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Comcast <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CMCSA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CMCSA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CMCSA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CMCSA" 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="CMCSA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Another strength is HBO Max which seems poised to become the third-largest streaming service.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the DirecTV episode explains some of the stock's troubles. The company was attempting to compete with Verizon's and Comcast's triple-play offering, but it ended up with an even bigger headache. It essentially bought DirecTV just as the cord-cutting trend started picking up steam. Additionally, satellite TV was great for rural areas, but this was less necessary due to the availability of mobile and broadband Internet and streaming services.</p><p class='black-text'>Looking ahead, the stock is more attractive after this move as it will be leaner and more profitable. Turning around DirecTV was siphoning away attention and resources that should be spent on growing HBO Max and investing in its wireless business.</p> http://www.pws.io/att-tpg-make-deal-to-form-standalone-company-to-operate-atts-video-business Tue, 02 Mar 2021 15:36:49 -0500 Jaimini Desai Square Drops Despite Modest Beat of Sales, Earnings Expectations, Adds to Bitcoin Reserves http://www.pws.io/square-drops-despite-modest-beat-of-sales-earnings-expectations-adds-to-bitcoin-reserves <p class='black-text'>Square <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SQ" 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="SQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> delivered better than expected Q4 results that showed a beat in terms of revenue and earnings. However, shares finished 6% lower as investors sold the news. Overall, Square is down nearly 20% from it's all-time high set a couple of days ago. The major factors, for this reason, are a general risk-off trading environment for high-growth stocks and weaknesses in cryptocurrencies.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>Square's results also revealed that crypto is becoming an increasingly essential part of Square's business as the company added 3,318 bitcoins to its balance sheet. Crypto trading continues to be a major source of growth and customer acquisition channel. Further, in public comments, CEO and founder Jack Dorsey has been outspoken in his belief that bitcoin is the "Internet's currency".</p><p class='black-text'>In Q4, Square reported earnings per share of $0.32 on total revenue of $3.2 billion which was a 141% increase. Analysts were looking for $0.24 per share and revenue of $3.1 billion in revenue. Gross profit increased by 52% to $804 million.</p><p class='black-text'>Covid has accelerated the adoption of digital wallets with the Cash app being one of the leaders in this segment. Currently, the service has 36 million active users which was a 50% increase from last year and a 20% increase from Q3.</p><p class='black-text'>The company didn't provide any guidance for 2021 given the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic. Square's small business customers have been devastated by the pandemic, however, this has been a boon for its consumer segment.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Square now has 5% of its balance sheet in bitcoin. In the near-term, this means that swings in crypto prices will likely be the biggest driver of its stock price. This will likely increase volatility but provide investors with good entry points.</p><p class='black-text'>The real way to think about Square is that these digital wallets are the future of banking. Cryptocurrency is simply a way to acquire customers at no cost. Additionally, economies reopening will be a huge boost for Square's small business customers which will see this part of the business return to a growth trajectory. Both businesses are dominant in expanding markets.</p><p class='black-text'>Therefore, investors should realize that the volatility of Square's stock is going to be amplified. However, the long-term promise of both of its units means that these swings will be opportunities to add exposure.</p> http://www.pws.io/square-drops-despite-modest-beat-of-sales-earnings-expectations-adds-to-bitcoin-reserves Mon, 01 Mar 2021 23:30:24 -0500 Jaimini Desai F.D.A. Approves Johnson & Johnson's One-Shot COVID Vaccine for Emergency Use http://www.pws.io/fda-approves-johnson-johnsons-one-shot-covid-vaccine-for-emergency-use <p class='black-text'>On Saturday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) <a href="https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-issues-emergency-use-authorization-third-covid-19-vaccine">granted</a> Johnson & Johnson's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" 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="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> request to allow the company's one-shot coronavirus vaccine to be approved for emergency use. This authorization gives the United States a third effective vaccine against the pandemic, even as highly contagious variants remain at play across the country.</p><p class='black-text'>The federal health regulator approved the use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine for people aged 18 years or older. Just like the emergency use authorizations (E.U.A.) given to the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, this is not a full approval from the F.D.A. In order for a vaccine to receive full approval, researchers would have to submit at least six months of safety data, whereas an E.U.A. only requires two months. The company plans to file for a Biologics Licenses Application later this year.</p><p class='black-text'>The F.D.A.'s decision was expected, following the unanimous recommendation to approve the one-shot vaccine for public use from the regulator's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. The group of independent scientists and health experts plays a key role in approving vaccines in the U.S.</p><p class='black-text'>Johnson & Johnson found that it's vaccine's level of protection varied by region studied in its late stage clinical trials, the company outlines in the vaccine data it submitted to the F.D.A. The drugmaker found that the shot was overall 66% effective at preventing severe coronavirus infection, while in the U.S. it was 72%, in Latin America is was 66%, and in South Africa--where the concerning B.1.351 variant strain is rapidly spreading--it was 57%. However, the vaccine demonstrated that it was 64% effective in South Africa a month after initial inoculation in later data analysis.</p><p class='black-text'>Comparatively, Pfizer's vaccine was found to be 95% effective at preventing norovirus infection, while Moderna's demonstrated roughly 94% efficiency. Both mRNA vaccines require two doses administered about 21 to 28 days apart.</p><p class='black-text'>Importantly, Johnson & Johnson found that the vaccine prevented 100% hospitalizations and deaths, meaning that while it may not be fully effective at preventing infection, it will still help combat the virus overall.</p><p class='black-text'>"We believe the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine is a critical tool for fighting this global pandemic, particularly as it shows protection across countries with different variants. A vaccine that protects against COVID-19, especially against the most dire outcomes of hospitalization and death, will help ease the burden on people and the strain on health systems worldwide," said CEO Dr. Paul Stoffels in a <a href="https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-covid-19-vaccine-authorized-by-u-s-fda-for-emergency-usefirst-single-shot-vaccine-in-fight-against-global-pandemic">statement</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The F.D.A. did not identify any safety concerns with the one-shot vaccine, with its most common side effects being headaches, fatigue, muscle pain.</p><p class='black-text'>Johnson & Johnson stated that it plans to ship its vaccine, which contains five doses per vial, at average refrigerator temperatures, about 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 8 degrees Celsius). For comparison, Pfizer's vaccine needs to be shipped and stores at ultra-cold freezer temperatures ranging from -112 to -76 degrees (-80C to -60C) and Moderna's vaccine needs to be shipped at -13 to 5 degrees (-13C to -15C).</p><p class='black-text'>The Biden administration has already moved to distribute the one-shot vaccine, with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Rochelle Walensky tweeting on Sunday that the federal health agency has recommended the use of the vaccine in those 18 years of age and older.</p><p class='black-text'>"Today marks an encouraging step toward an end to the #COVID19 pandemic," Walensky wrote on Twitter. "I have now signed CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' (ACIP) recommendation that endorse the safety and effectiveness of Janssen's COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 & up."</p> http://www.pws.io/fda-approves-johnson-johnsons-one-shot-covid-vaccine-for-emergency-use Mon, 01 Mar 2021 23:27:12 -0500 Rachel Hemple The Market is Still Nervous after Jerome Powell's Testimony http://www.pws.io/the-market-is-still-nervous-after-jerome-powells-testimony <p class='black-text'>Despite Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's attempts to calm nervous lawmakers last week during a regular senatorial address, investors and markets still appear to be anxious over inflation and recovery as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy.</p><p class='black-text'>Last week, Jerome Powell issued a regular testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, speaking on the United States' economic recovery and topics such as inflation and the stimulus measures sought by congressional Democrats. In general, Powell warned that the U.S. has a long way to go in terms of unemployment but expressed optimism that the U.S. was on a good track for recovery. Powell also didn't appear to be worried about inflation, stating that the government has the tools to address it, even if it does become a problem.</p><p class='black-text'>Powell's Tuesday address was overshadowed by a spike in bond yields on Thursday, which dealt a blow to Wall Street and stressed investors across the country, reigniting fears of inflation and economic recovery even after Powell's reassurances. The drop began around 2:30 in the afternoon, with all three major indices turning south at about the same time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> slid 2.3% through Thursday afternoon before bottoming out Friday morning, while the Nasdaq Composite <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> and 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> sliding 2.2% and 2.1%, respectively in the same period.</p><p class='black-text'>The spike in bond yields came due to still ongoing inflation fears, with the prevailing fear being that the Federal Reserve won't act in time if inflation starts to get out of control. The market, essentially, doesn't seem to have accepted Powell's assertions that there is no reason to sweat inflation. The prevailing is that while the government has the tools it needs to combat inflation, the Fed won't be able to react in time to stop it.</p><p class='black-text'>Going forward, it's likely that markets will continue to edge lower every time bond yields jump without any likewise reports of overall economic improvement to match. Relief for the stock market is likely tied to the economic stimulus package currently making its way through Congress, as the massive relief package could put enough spending power back into the hands of consumers to boost the economy to match bond yields.</p> http://www.pws.io/the-market-is-still-nervous-after-jerome-powells-testimony Mon, 01 Mar 2021 19:42:52 -0500 Michael Mooney Market Update: Stocks Rise Higher on Vaccine Optimism and Improved Risk Sentiment http://www.pws.io/market-update-stock-rise-higher-on-vaccine-optimism-and-improved-risk-sentiment <p class='black-text'>Stocks jumped on Monday in a broad-market rally as investors were encouraged by renewed vaccine optimism and risk sentiment rose on retreating U.S. Treasury yields. The Dow Jones International Average popped over 600 points, which the S&P and Nasdaq both shook off last week's slump.</p><p class='black-text'>The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield slipped lower to 1.41% on Monday, down from its 1.6% high last week, encouraging investors that the rise in rates is slowing.</p><p class='black-text'>Vaccine optimism also help boost the broader market following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization of Johnson & Johnson's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" 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="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> one-shot coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine is now the third approved for use in the U.S., following the approvals of both two shot mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Johnson & Johnson expects to deliver more than 100 million doses in the first half of 2021.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, the U.S. House passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill over the weekend, which includes $1,400 direct checks to individuals and $350 billion in state and local government aid, among other measures. The Senate will now vote on the legislation.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled to start the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: +2.38% or +90.67 points to 3,901.82</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.95% or +603.21 points to 31,535.58</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: +3.01% or +396.48 points to 13,588.83</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Stocks</i>, 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> shares gained on Monday after 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> announced that the commercial airline will buy 25 additional 737 Max aircrafts and taking its delivery of other orders earlier than previously planned.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, all sectors on the S&P rose higher as less than 40 stocks on the index ended lower on Monday. Leading gains, Financials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLF" 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="XLF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Informational Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> jumped over 3%, while Utilities <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLU" 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="XLU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" 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="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Communication Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" 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="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Industrials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLI" 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="XLI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Materials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLB" 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="XLB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Energy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" 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="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> climbed over 2%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose on Monday as investors bet on faster growth following the approval of a third effective coronavirus vaccine the the U.S. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six rival currencies, rose 0.28% to 91.024 in later trading after earlier reaching 91.139, its highest level in almost a month. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices were pressured by the stronger dollar as increased risk appetite dimmed the yellow metal's safe haven appeal. Spot gold was down 0.6% at $1,723.30 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 0.3% lower at $1,723.00 per ounce. <b>Crude</b> oil futures fell lower on Monday as concerns over slowing Chinese crude consumption overshadowed global demand optimism. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> slipped 1.3% to $63.61 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> fell 1.58% to $60.53 each. Both contracts began to recover from their pandemic lows in February, rising 18% higher.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Tuesday</i>, market participants will focus on headlines surrounding the fate of the latest stimulus package in the U.S. Senate, as well as more corporate quarterly earnings from companies like Target <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TGT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TGT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TGT" 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="TGT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Kohl's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KSS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KSS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KSS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KSS" 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="KSS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stock-rise-higher-on-vaccine-optimism-and-improved-risk-sentiment Mon, 01 Mar 2021 18:42:39 -0500 Rachel Hemple Spotify Plans to Reach 1 Billion New Customers, as Podcast Growth Lags http://www.pws.io/spotify-plans-to-reach-1-billion-new-customers-as-podcast-growth-lags <p class='black-text'>Spotify <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPOT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPOT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPOT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPOT" 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="SPOT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> , the world's largest music streaming service, announced Monday to double its geographic footprint. The service will expand into some 85 new markets, giving the platform access to 1 billion potential customers.</p><p class='black-text'>The announcement helped power Spotify's share price to a record high. But greater questions remain about Spotify's long-term value, especially given the anemic returns of its two-year-long podcast push.</p><p class='black-text'>Spotify announced the expansion during an event entitled #StreamOn. The company made clear its ambitions to launch its service in some of the world's poorest and undeveloped corners.</p><p class='black-text'>Whether someone in Niger or Papua New Guinea has the funds to fork over for a Spotify subscription seems incidental. "Some of the places we're going like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nigeria have the fastest growing internet populations in the world," Chief Premium Business Officer Alex Nordstrom <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spotify-tech-expansion/spotify-to-launch-in-85-new-markets-reach-more-than-a-billion-listeners-idUSKBN2AM22N">told </a><i><a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spotify-tech-expansion/spotify-to-launch-in-85-new-markets-reach-more-than-a-billion-listeners-idUSKBN2AM22N">Reuters</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'>But perhaps the larger question for Spotify isn't whether it can get more users but whether it can hold onto those users by offering them enough compelling and original content.</p><p class='black-text'>This question isn't lost on the companies leadership. Since 2019 Spotify has absorbed podcast companies Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Paracast. It's thrown blank checks at the likes of Joe Rogan and Michelle Obama for exclusive rights to their audio content.</p><p class='black-text'>And since 2019, investors seem to have bought into Spotify's vision hook line and sinker. Its share price rocketed 110% last year, despite anemic revenue growth over that same period. But in 2021, investors are looking for returns from Spotify's efforts to rebrand itself.</p><p class='black-text'>And so far, there haven't been any returns to speak of, according to Citigroup. "We have not seen a material positive inflection in-app downloads or ad revenue," wrote analysts. "Our fear is that if podcasting doesn't provide a way for Spotify to shift away from music label dependence, the Street may reassess the underlying value of the business. And, that would be bad for Spotify's multiple and equity value," <i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/15/spotifys-big-bet-on-podcasts-is-failing-citi-says.html">CNBC </a></i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/15/spotifys-big-bet-on-podcasts-is-failing-citi-says.html">reports</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>One of the problems for Spotify is that podcasting currently isn't a lucrative business. Until recently, Advertisers had no way to gauge their ads' effectiveness due to an absence of data. However, last year Spotify launched its dynamic "Streaming Ad Insertion Tool" which enables advertisers to glean crucial information about who is hearing their ads.</p><p class='black-text'>Spotify plans to expand this capability to third-party content with technology from the recently acquired firm Megaphone. Third-party monetization will be crucial for Spotify in the future, as the company currently spends millions acquiring the rights to exclusive content.</p><p class='black-text'>In short, it's going to take time for Spotify's strategies to pay off. It might hearten investors to see Spotify's user base expand as people in Mongolia and Uganda hurriedly download the app for the first time. Spotify has taken the right steps on the podcast end by making it easier for brands to engage in targeted ad buys.</p><p class='black-text'>But convincing brands to buy ads is going to take more time. Whether those on Wall Street are willing to give Spotify more time remains to be seen.</p> http://www.pws.io/spotify-plans-to-reach-1-billion-new-customers-as-podcast-growth-lags Mon, 01 Mar 2021 12:34:53 -0500 David Fladger JPMorgan Hints Investors Can Use Cryptos to Diversify Their Portfolios http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-hints-investors-can-use-cryptos-to-diversify-their-portfolios <p class='black-text'>Last week, <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jpmorgan-says-investors-could-bitcoin-145941471.html">JPMorgan</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" 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="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> hinted that investors can use Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptos as a way to diversify their portfolios. The financial giant's analysts wrote in a note Wednesday: "In a multi-asset portfolio, investors can likely add up to 1% of their allocation to cryptocurrencies in order to achieve any efficiency gain in the overall risk-adjusted returns of the portfolio."</p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan conceded that digital coins have limits to their usefulness as well, explaining: "Cryptocurrencies are investment vehicles and not funding currencies. So when looking to hedge a macro event with a currency, we recommend a hedge through funding currencies like the yen or U.S. dollar instead." With the suggestion, Wall Street seems to be warming to the idea of a tiny exposure to crypto since it is largely uncorrelated with stocks, bonds, and other traditional asset classes and can thus help hedge against volatility in equities.</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/coinbase-calls-out-binance-as-it-bemoans-compliance-burden">Coinbase </a>criticized rival major exchange Binance in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The U.S. exchange slated to go public this year said that compliance with a changing regulatory landscape is a crucial risk to its business. Coinbase noted that compliance is particularly burdensome because it must compete with unregulated companies in other jurisdictions that escape enforcement, naming Asia-based Binance specifically. Coinbase wrote: "We also compete with a number of companies that solely focus on the crypto market and have varying degrees of regulatory adherence, such as Binance." Coinbase argued that offshore companies sell crypto exchange services and products to consumers located in the US and Europe while ignoring licensing requirements "seemingly without penalty." Namely, Coinbase cited anti-money laundering rules being imposed on crypto exchanges by the Financial Action Task Force, which it believes would create "substantial compliance costs" and could hurt the user experience.</p><p class='black-text'>The<a href="https://www.coindesk.com/mits-digital-currency-initiative-bitcoin"> MIT Media Lab's</a> Digital Currency Initiative is starting a multi-year effort dedicated to Bitcoin research and development, as the program raised $4 million from prominent investors including 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> CEO Jack Dorsey, MicroStrategy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSTR" 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="MSTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Michael Saylor, and Fidelity Digital Assets. MIT Media Lab aimed to raise $8 million, but it fell short of the goal. MIT Media Lab will spend resources on its Bitcoin Software and Security Effort, which aims to answer long-standing questions regarding Bitcoin's core attributes, including the stability of the network after the 21 million BTC mining subsidy ends. The Media Lab stated: "As the use of Bitcoin grows, and as it becomes more deeply embedded into our societies, the security of the network must grow and strengthen alongside it." The group has supported Bitcoin development since 2015.</p><p class='black-text'>Crypto prices fell to $1.326 trillion due to the large correction. For the majors, all except Cardano (ADA) and stablecoins declined, and Binance Coin (BNB) and Chainlink (LINK) posted outsized losses. In the top 100, the biggest losers were PancakeSwap (CAKE), down 50%, Huobi Token (HT), down 46%, and Horizen (ZEN), down 46%. The biggest gainers were Fantom (FTM), up 29%, UNUS SED LEO (LEO), up 26%, and Polygon (MATIC), up 19%. Next week traders will watch if crypto can bounce back from the correction.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author owns a small amount of BTC.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-hints-investors-can-use-cryptos-to-diversify-their-portfolios Mon, 01 Mar 2021 12:29:13 -0500 Eric Yao Chicken Wars Adds Another Contender: Taco Bell's Chicken Taco http://www.pws.io/chicken-wars-adds-another-contender-taco-bells-chicken-taco <p class='black-text'>Yum! Brands' <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/YUM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">YUM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="YUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="YUM" 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="YUM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Taco Bell announced this week that it would become yet another contender for the now infamous, and very crowded, Chicken Wars. The fast food chain plans to create a taco that contains a chicken sandwich inside of it, thus attracting chicken loving consumers in the process.</p><p class='black-text'>This brand new taco takes on the same twist or Mexican feel as the rest of the Taco Bell menu, composed of flatbread with pieces of crispy tortilla chicken and chipotle sauce, sold at the price of $2.49.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to become even further competition for the Chicken Wars, Taco Bell hinted that there would be more chicken sandwiches and chicken-related types of food at a later time. These items will likely reflect past popular attractions, such as the Crispy Chicken Chickstar, star-shaped tortilla wrap filled with crispy chicken; the Naked Chicken Chips,chip-shaped crispy chicken pieces that come with nacho dipping sauce; and the Naked Chicken Chalupa, a piece of chicken shaped like a tortilla stuffed with typical taco fillings.</p><p class='black-text'>Although Taco Bell seems to be a high contender in the Chicken Wars, there are no guarantees, given that there are many other fast food chains that are in the process of adding chicken-related items to their menus, including 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>, Burger King <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QSR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QSR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QSR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QSR" 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="QSR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Wendy's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WEN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WEN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WEN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WEN" 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="WEN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Shake Shack <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SHAK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SHAK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SHAK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SHAK" 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="SHAK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. With all this competition, it's getting hard to remember that the chicken wars started between Popeye's and Chick-fil-A over a year ago over a chicken sandwich social media frenzy.</p><p class='black-text'>Taco Bell has a growing habit of catching the tailwinds of other competitors successful marketing tactics. For example, Taco Bell launched program called 'Build Your Own Cravings,' which is a promotion tool that allows customers to choose their own menu items on a more personal level and choose celebrity favorites in response to McDonald's Travis Scott burger promotion this past summer. The company also came out with a Taco Bell rewards program, as well as a service that enables users to send tacos as gifts, also mirroring the success of other fast food chains like Burger King.</p><p class='black-text'>All in all, Taco Bell seems to be bringing the Chicken Wars to their peak, but can be a strong competitor due to the company's reputation in the past for its unique menu items. This quality of uniqueness will likely give Taco Bell a boost or a sense of strength that the other fast food chains do not have, which may propel it to the top of the Chicken Wars - or at least, higher than expected.</p> http://www.pws.io/chicken-wars-adds-another-contender-taco-bells-chicken-taco Fri, 26 Feb 2021 22:49:28 -0500 Stephanie Williams Pfizer and BioNTech to Study COVID Vaccine Booster Shots http://www.pws.io/pfizer-and-biontech-to-study-covid-vaccine-booster-shots <p class='black-text'>Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced on Thursday that the pair have begun testing a third dose of their mRNA coronavirus vaccine to better understand the effect of a booster the immune response against emerging variants.</p><p class='black-text'>The pair are planning for two separate studies: the first which involves participants from the Phase I study in the United States receiving a booster of the current vaccine 6 to 12 months after receiving their initial two-dose regimen, and the second evaluating a new variant-specific vaccine using a modified mRNA sequence.</p><p class='black-text'>For the second study, Pfizer and BioNTech are in talks with regulatory authorities,including the U.S Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) and the European Medicines Agency, to create a new vaccine to combat the new, highly transmissible variant first discovered in South Africa, known as B.1.351.</p><p class='black-text'>The companies hope that the two studies will help them be better prepared to modified their vaccine's mRNA technology as needed to protect against all currently circulating and possible future variants.</p><p class='black-text'>"While we have not seen any evidence that the circulating variants result in a loss of protection provided by our vaccine, we are taking multiple steps to act decisively and be ready in case a strain becomes resistant to the protection afforded by the vaccine. This booster study is critical to understanding the safety of a third dose and immunity against circulating strains," said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in a <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210225005515/en/Pfizer-and-BioNTech-Initiate-a-Study-as-Part-of-Broad-Development-Plan-to-Evaluate-COVID-19-Booster-and-New-Vaccine-Variants">statement</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>"At the same time, we are making the right investments and engaging in the appropriate conversations with regulators to help position us to potentially develop and seek authorization for an updated mRNA vaccine or booster if needed," Bourla added.</p><p class='black-text'>The companies are hoping to pursue easier authorization for their potential future modified mRNA vaccines with a shorter regulatory path, like the one for the annual flu vaccine update. Last Monday, the F.D.A. <a href="https://www.pws.io//fda-will-not-require-long-clinical-trials-for-coronavirus-vaccines-modified-for-variant-strains">announced</a> that it will not be requiring drugmakers to conduct lengthly safety and efficiency trials for modified versions of their coronavirus vaccines.</p><p class='black-text'>Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <a href="https://www.pws.io/moderna-to-develop-vaccine-booster-shots-against-south-african-covid-variant">announced</a> in late January that the biotech had begun developing a booster shot for its mRNA coronavirus vaccine that will be designed to also protect against the mutation first found in South Africa.</p> http://www.pws.io/pfizer-and-biontech-to-study-covid-vaccine-booster-shots Fri, 26 Feb 2021 22:35:32 -0500 Rachel Hemple Coupang Files for IPO in United States http://www.pws.io/coupang-files-for-ipo-in-united-states <p class='black-text'>Mini Amazons <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> have been springing up all over the world. China has 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> and JD.com <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JD" 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="JD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, while India has Flipkart. In Latin America, there is MercadoLibre <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MELI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MELI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MELI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MELI" 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="MELI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Africa has Jumia <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JMIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JMIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JMIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JMIA" 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="JMIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. All of these companies have been experiencing massive growth due to COVID, although they were growing quite fast prior to the coronavirus as well. COVID simply accelerated their growth timeline.</p><p class='black-text'>Another e-commerce and delivery giant, Coupang, which is based in South Korea is now filing to go public in the United States. Coupang has performed quite well in private markets as its valuation increased by many multiples over the past couple of years. It's raised money from well-regarded investors such as Sequoia Capital and Softbank <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SFTBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SFTBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SFTBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SFTBY" 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="SFTBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Softbank owns 37% of the company, and it seems to be repeating the success it had with its Alibaba investment.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>The company is looking to raise $1 billion, and some believe the company could fetch a valuation over $50 billion which would make it the second-most valuable IPO in the past year. Unlike many IPOs and SPACs which are pre-revenue, Coupang has an established business with revenues over $10 billion in 2020 with a double-digit, accelerating growth rate.</p><p class='black-text'>Coupang's S1 gives considerable insight into the company. Maybe the most impressive stat is its quarterly revenues quadrupling from 2018's Q4 to 2020's Q4 from $900 million to $3.8 billion. While the company had nearly $11 billion in revenue in 2020, it still is capturing a tiny slice of total consumer spending in South Korea which $470 billion in 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>This means the company still has room to grow especially as consumer spending is projected to increase by 15% over the next 5 years. Given its focus on growth, the company has been investing in growth rather than optimizing profits. In 2019, it lost $1.1 billion, while it lost $530 million in 2020.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Coupang is at the intersection of several bullish trends. Ecommerce stocks, particularly platform-based stocks, have done very well. The company also has exposure to payments which is another sector where stocks have also outperformed.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally, the stock's valuation seems fair especially given its accelerating growth rate. Another source of upside for Coupang is that eCommerce penetration hasn't reached the levels it has in the US and China, although it seems inevitable. Additionally, given its headstart on logistics, it's likely that new eCommerce companies may elect to sell on Coupang rather than build their own fulfillment system.</p> http://www.pws.io/coupang-files-for-ipo-in-united-states Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:24:08 -0500 Jaimini Desai Wells Fargo to Sell Asset Management Division http://www.pws.io/wells-fargo-to-sell-asset-management-division <p class='black-text'>Wells Fargo & Co <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFC" 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="WFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is set to slim down considerably with its asset management division's selloff to private equity firms. The divestiture is part of a larger effort to downsize and streamline the bank.</p><p class='black-text'>Wells Fargo Asset Management is set to be sold to GTCR LLC and Reverence Capital Partners to the tune of $2.1 billion, the bank announced on Tuesday. At the time of the announcement, the division had around $603 billion in assets under its control. As part of the deal, Wells Fargo will retain a 9.9% stake in the resulting independent company.</p><p class='black-text'>"This transaction reflects Wells Fargo's strategy to focus on businesses that serve our core consumer and corporate clients, and will allow us to focus even more on growing our wealth and brokerage businesses," said the head of Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management Barry Sommers.</p><p class='black-text'>The aftermath of the accounts scandal hasn't been kind to Wells Fargo, which has seen significant divestitures by clients such as the State of California and the cities of Chicago and Philadelphia and being hit with an asset capacity of $2 trillion by the Federal Reserve. The growth cap, in particular, has stunted Wells Fargo's recovery and has been a driving force behind the bank's downsizing operations.</p><p class='black-text'>Wells Fargo made its first significant downsizing decision in December when the company spun off its student loan division to Apollo Global Management <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/APO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">APO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="APO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="APO" 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="APO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and The Blackstone Group <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BX" 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="BX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. The company's asset management division's recent divestment may not be the last division to be spun off or reduced to help the company recover. However, the Fed has approved Wells Fargo's <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/wells-fargo-moves-closer-to-escaping-limit-on-growth-51613585968?mod=article_inline">plans for an overhaul</a>, which is another step towards removing the recovery-hampering growth cap.</p><p class='black-text'>Wells Fargo's announcement drove shares down slightly on Tuesday, by a slim .32%, but the rest of the week didn't pan out much better for the bank. Shares reached a peak for the five-day period on Thursday at $38.63 before sliding 6.9% to a low of $35.98 on Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/wells-fargo-to-sell-asset-management-division Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:18:58 -0500 Michael Mooney Facebook and Australian Lawmakers Make Peace, but Facebook's Tactics May Backfire http://www.pws.io/facebook-and-australian-lawmakers-make-peace-but-facebooks-tactics-may-backfire <p class='black-text'>Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" 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="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> started 2021 under fire. From data sharing controversies with WhatsApp to antitrust probes from governments virtually on every continent.</p><p class='black-text'>And in every one of these battles, Facebook has primarily been on the offensive. Last week, in an act of aggression, Facebook shut down its news service in Australia ahead of upcoming legislation. Google <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> followed Facebook's suit and threatened to pull out of Australia entirely.</p><p class='black-text'>Eventually, this saber-rattling forced all parties to the negotiating table, and an agreement was reached-for now. But the fact remains that by using heavy-handed tactics, both Google and Facebook were effectively able to rewrite legislation in their favor.</p><p class='black-text'>From the start, Facebook claimed the legislation was "unworkable." Under the initial law, Facebook and Google would've had to pay Australian publishers for linking to their content.</p><p class='black-text'>In a <a href="https://about.fb.com/news/2021/02/the-real-story-of-what-happened-with-news-on-facebook-in-australia/">blog post</a>, Facebook's VP of global affairs, Nick Clegg, claimed that Facebook had been negotiating with Australian MPs for three years. And he said that the news blackout was "legally necessary" once the passage of the law became imminent.</p><p class='black-text'>"We neither take nor ask for the content for which we were being asked to pay a potentially exorbitant price," Clegg elaborated. He likened the legislation to "forcing carmakers to fund radio stations because people might listen to them in their car."</p><p class='black-text'>Eventually, though, both sides came to an agreement. The legislation was amended so that "fair negotiations are encouraged without the looming threat of heavy-handed and unpredictable arbitration."</p><p class='black-text'>The post ends with Clegg describing a third way of sorts. Facebook plans to spend $1 billion over the next three years on partnerships with news organizations. These partner publications will get paid when their stories are featured in the news section of Facebook's app. Google also plans to spend $1 billion on similar partnerships over the next three years.</p><p class='black-text'>But such moves are unlikely to deter criticism. Facebook and Google's scorched earth tactics against the Australian government are already prompting publishers in the E.U. to lobby for similar legislation.</p><p class='black-text'>"It has become clear that without the full force of an Australian style approach, gatekeeper tech companies threaten to walk away from negotiations or exit markets entirely," Angela Mills Wade, director of the European Publishers Council, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-19/europe-publishers-turn-up-heat-on-facebook-after-australia-spat">told </a><i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-19/europe-publishers-turn-up-heat-on-facebook-after-australia-spat">Bloomberg</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'>It's unknown whether an Australian-style arbitration clause will feature in the E.U.'s upcoming Digital Markets Act. It's also unclear whether Facebook would enforce another news blackout across an entire continent should such a regulation come into force.</p><p class='black-text'>It wouldn't be unprecedented. In 2014 Google shut down its news service in Spain after their government passed a law akin to the Australian one.</p><p class='black-text'>The question remains: Can tech giants like Facebook effectively set government policy by simply threatening to pull their services? Such questions will only grow in importance as governments worldwide take steps to curb big tech's outsized influence.</p> http://www.pws.io/facebook-and-australian-lawmakers-make-peace-but-facebooks-tactics-may-backfire Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:16:23 -0500 David Fladger Market Update: Stocks End Mixed Amid Volatile Session http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-end-mixed-amid-volatile-session <p class='black-text'>Stocks ended Friday's session mixed, with investors both encouraged by improving U.S. economic data but rising interest rates stoked negative sentiment and inflation fears. All three major averages posted weekly losses, with the S&P 500 dropping 2.5% for its second negative week in a row. The Dow also declined 1.8%, while the Nasdaq underperformed, cratering 4.9%.</p><p class='black-text'>The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield declined by 10 basis points to about 1.42% on Friday, after rising above 1.6% during Thursday's trading session, spooking investors as outlooks became more fearful towards inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, U.S. consumer spending rose in January by 2.4%, according to fresh data from the Commerce Department on Friday; its first increase in three months. Additionally, personal incomes increase by 10%, while the savings rate jumped 20%.</p><p class='black-text'>Moveover, Consumer sentiment rose slightly in February to 76.8, according to the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers final reading for the month, above the 76.4 expected and preliminary estimates of 76.02, and down from the 79.0 reading in January.</p><p class='black-text'>"Despite a small gain in late February, consumer sentiment was slightly lower for the entire month than in January. All of February's loss was due to households with incomes below $75,000, with the declines mainly concentrated in future economic prospects. The worst of the pandemic may be nearing its end, but few consumers anticipate the type of persistent and robust economic growth that restores employment conditions to the very positive pre-pandemic levels," said Richard Curtin, surveys of consumers chief economist, in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled to close out the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: -0.48% or -18.47 points to 3,810.87</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.51% or -474.25 points to 30,927.76</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: +0.56% or +72.91 points to 13,192.34</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Stocks</i>, megacap tech stocks swung higher on Friday, with 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>, Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" 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="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Microsoft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" 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="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> gaining over 1% higher.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, sectors on the S&P 500 ended Friday's session mostly lower, with only Information Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" 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="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Communication Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" 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="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> settling in positive territory. Most sectors fell over 1%, with Energy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" 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="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> leading declines at over 2%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose on Friday as U.S. government bond yields remained near one-year highes. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six other global currencies, increased 0.59% to 90.847, its highest level in a week. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices dropped on the strengthening dollar and heighted U.S. Treasury yields, which dimmed the yellow metal's safe haven appeal. Spot gold declined 2.5% to $1,726.31 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 2.6% lower at $1,728.80 per ounce. <b>Crude </b>oil futures also declined as the stronger U.S. dollar and increased supply concerns. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> slipped over 1% at $66.13 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dropped over 2% to $61.50 each.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For the week ahead</i>, market participants will focus on headlines surrounding the fate of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that the House is set to approve later Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-end-mixed-amid-volatile-session Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:09:31 -0500 Rachel Hemple Big Tech Takes Steps to Solve America's Affordable Housing Crisis http://www.pws.io/big-tech-takes-steps-to-solve-americas-affordable-housing-crisis <p class='black-text'>Covid-19 has only exacerbated the longstanding affordable housing shortage in America. The National Low Income Housing Coalition <a href="https://blog.google/inside-google/company-announcements/1-billion-investment-bay-area-housing/">found</a> that there's a shortage of 7 million units priced for "extremely low" income renters.</p><p class='black-text'>Many see the Silicon Valley elite as far removed from such issues, churning out code in glass boxes in the sky. But contrary to such caricatures, big tech is actually doing something to help America's affordable housing crisis. And nowhere is this crisis more acute than in the Bay Area, the home base of both Google <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> and 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>.</p><p class='black-text'>To help solve the epidemic of homelessness in the Bay Area, Google has committed $1 billion to develop 15,000 new homes across the Bay Area over the next ten years. If Google stays on track, the 1,500 new homes will account for at least half of the 3,000 new homes constructed in the region each year.</p><p class='black-text'>And it's not like Google's investment hasn't made headway. In partnership with the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley, financing has already been set aside for 150 homes in San Jose and Alameda county. Not to mention how Google's aid will help the group construct 4,000 affordable homes over the next ten years.</p><p class='black-text'>But Google is only part of the solution. For its part, Apple has pledged $2.5 billion to alleviate the housing shortage in the Bay Area crisis and California as a whole. Apple has since become a critical partner with the California Housing Finance Agency in the agency's attempts to resolve the state's housing crisis.</p><p class='black-text'>Already funding from Apple has also helped the non-profit, Destination: Home. The organization recently broke ground on a thousand units of "deeply affordable housing," reserved for the most vulnerable populations. Apple's grants also helped Destination: Home expand its lending capacity by 65%, which could save 1,500 people from homelessness every year.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, the affordable housing crunch isn't just confined to the state of California. With central hubs in Seattle, Arlington, and Nashville, 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> is also doing its part to alleviate the burden. Much of Amazon's 2 billion in funding is reserved for what it calls "below-market capital." These are loans, credit lines, and grants which will give underserved borrowers access to funds needed to purchase or save their homes.</p><p class='black-text'>In addition to these lending efforts, Amazon also helped fund the Washington Housing Conservancy's purchase of the Crystal House development in Arlington, Virginia. The group's acquisition will help them keep rents affordable for the building's many residents. Furthermore, Amazon's partnership with the King County Housing Authority, based in Seattle, will help the agency maintain its 7,000 affordable housing units for at least the next century.</p><p class='black-text'>There's a lot more to be done to solve America's affordable housing crisis. But no one faults an ant for the small steps he takes when he's building an anthill. And no one can fault Apple, Amazon, or Google for the small but steady steps they've taken to fix the nation's housing shortage.</p> http://www.pws.io/big-tech-takes-steps-to-solve-americas-affordable-housing-crisis Thu, 25 Feb 2021 22:38:34 -0500 David Fladger Roku Tops Top and Bottom-Line Consensus, Shares 8% Higher http://www.pws.io/roku-tops-top-and-bottom-line-consensus-shares-8-higher <p class='black-text'>Roku <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ROKU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ROKU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ROKU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ROKU" 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="ROKU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> finished 8% higher following its better than expected Q4 results. The company, originally a spinoff of Netflix <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NFLX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NFLX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NFLX" 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="NFLX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, has been one of the big winners as people cut the cord and are signing up for streaming services.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q4, Roku topped Wall Street expectations for sales and earnings and issued forecast above expectations. The company reported $0.49 per share in earnings, while analysts were expecting a loss of $0.05 per share. Revenue was $649.9 million, while analysts were expecting $617.7 million. In Q4 2019. Roku lost $0.13 per share on revenue of $411.2 million.</p><p class='black-text'>This marks Roku's first profitable quarter as the company has been in growth mode as it is investing in international expansion and its ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) services. The company's growth was certainly facilitated by the coronavirus which caused an uptick in the time people spent at home watching streaming content.</p><p class='black-text'>In Q1 2021, Roku forecasts revenue of $485 million, a 51% increase from last year. Analysts were expecting $463 million. The company also said that its advertising business was strong in Q4 as total ad impressions doubled on a year-over-year basis. They also said that the average revenue per user increased by 24% year over year to $28.76. Most of Roku's revenue comes from ad revenue.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Roku is certainly in the category of frothy, high-growth, tech stocks. Currently, it has a $47 billion market cap and $1.5 billion in sales. Additionally, the company's growth is slowing, and there are concerns that it could underwhelm compared to 2020's inflated numbers.</p><p class='black-text'>With long-term rates rising, it's starting to put pressure on high-multiple stocks. So far, Roku is down nearly 20% from its highs, yet it remains more than 500% above its March 2020 lows around $60.</p><p class='black-text'>While many growth stocks have been underperforming for many months, Roku is an exception as it's steadily been making higher highs and higher lows since March 2020. In part, this is due to many believing that the streaming trend is insulated from the economy returning to normal.</p><p class='black-text'>However, there's good reason to be cautious on shares over the next couple of months as interest rates are likely to keep rising given the passage of fiscal stimulus and economic activity being unleashed when the economy reopens.</p> http://www.pws.io/roku-tops-top-and-bottom-line-consensus-shares-8-higher Thu, 25 Feb 2021 22:34:13 -0500 Jaimini Desai LVMH Buys 50% of JayZ's Champagne Brand Armand de Brignac http://www.pws.io/lvmh-buys-50-of-jayzs-champagne-brand-armand-de-brignac <p class='black-text'>One of America's most influential hip-hop artists, Jay-Z, has recently sold 50% of his champagne brand LVMH <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LVMUY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LVMUY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LVMUY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LVMUY" 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="LVMUY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the luxury goods conglomerate and world's largest producer of champagne. LVMH's champagnes are renowned for their pricey bottles, metallic coatings, and sparkling wine.</p><p class='black-text'>The goal for the collaboration and investment that LVMH will place is geared toward growing the brand of Jay-Z's Armand de Brignac, which is occurring at an especially difficult time because of the pandemic. The pandemic has caused many inconveniences, such as the cancellation of weddings, soirees, and other such events that would require champagne, which has caused sales to go down by 20%.</p><p class='black-text'>Jay-Z said in an <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/jay-z-and-lvmh-pop-the-cork-in-champagne-tie-up-11613994900">interview with the </a><i><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/jay-z-and-lvmh-pop-the-cork-in-champagne-tie-up-11613994900">Wall Street Journal</a></i>: "We were working really hard to maintain a brand that was growing faster than the staff we had and bigger than some of the expertise we had. We'ved been in this [industry for] 15 years, not a hundred."</p><p class='black-text'>The collaboration between LVMH and Jay-Z is also demonstrating the significance of diversity, given that European luxury brands is now proven to be more accepting of other cultures and ethnic backgrounds, particularly black musicians who are part of the hip-hop culture.</p><p class='black-text'>LVMH, which also owns other champagne brand names such as Dom Perignon and Veuve Cliquot, plans to establish a partnership with Jay-Z in which he will prove to help the company grow significantly. The financial details of the partnership still remain undisclosed, but some specific valuations have been hinted at by Jay-Z in his lyrics.</p><p class='black-text'>Jay-Z has been invested in the brand LVMH since 2006, with the brand name of the Ace of Spades on a metallic silver bottle in the music video for "Show Me What You Got." Jay-Z also bought out Sovereign Brands for the company in 2014.</p><p class='black-text'>This particular deal is the cause of a connection between Jay-Z and Alexandre Arnault, who is the son of LVMH's founder, Bernard Arnault.</p> http://www.pws.io/lvmh-buys-50-of-jayzs-champagne-brand-armand-de-brignac Thu, 25 Feb 2021 21:53:53 -0500 Stephanie Williams Market Update: Nasdaq Posted Worst Session Since October as Rising Treasury Yields Spooked Investors http://www.pws.io/market-update-nasdaq-posted-worst-session-since-october-as-rising-treasury-yields-spooked-investors <p class='black-text'>Stocks traded lower on Thursday, with a major tech sell off leading to the Nasdaq underperforming with a drop of 3.5% for its worst session since October. Investors were concerned about a rapid rise in U.S. Treasury yields rose to their highest levels since Feb 2020, with 10-year yields climbing as high as 1.6% before settling around 1.52%.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, weekly unemployment claims for the week ended Feb. 20 fell by a more-than-expected rate at 730,000, according to the Labor Department's latest reading. Last week's jobless claims total was better than the 825,000 expected and was an improvement from the prior week's downwardly revised reading of 841,000. Moreover, continuing jobless claims also declined, with claims falling to 4.419 million, down from the upwardly revised 4.520 million from the previous week.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Thursday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: -2.45% or -96.18 points to 3,829.25</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.76% or -561.36 points to 31,400.50</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: -3.52% or -478.54 points to 13,119.43</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Stocks</i>, GameStop <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GME"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GME</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GME" 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="GME" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares surged again on Thursday after rising by more than 100% in the previous session. The video game retailer's stock rose by over 18% during the session, with other social media favorites like AMC Entertainment <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMC" 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="AMC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Koss <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KOSS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KOSS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KOSS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KOSS" 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="KOSS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> gaining as well. 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> shares also jumped on Thursday after the social media company unveiled new growth goals for its revenue and monthly active users. Twitter expects to double its revenue by the end of 2023.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, all sectors on the S&P 500 fell lower by at least 1%. Lead decliners included Energy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" 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="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Materials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLB" 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="XLB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Communication Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" 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="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> falling over 2% and Information Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" 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="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dropping over 3%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose after 10-year U.S. Treasury yields jumped as high as 1.6% on Thursday. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against other global currencies, was up 0.27% in afternoon trading after falling as much as 0.26% to 89.677 earlier in the session. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices fell to a near one-week low on Thursday as U.S. Treasury yields and better-than-expected U.S. economic data dimmed the yellow metal's appeal. Spot gold dropped 1.8% to $1,772.86 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 1.3% lower at $1,775.40 per ounce. <b>Crude</b> oil futures ended mixed on Thursday as prices remained close to 13-month highs. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> declined 0.24% to $66.88 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose 0.49% to settle at $63.53 each.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Friday</i>, market participants will turn their attention to fresh economic data on consumer spending, personal income, core inflation, and consumer sentiment.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-nasdaq-posted-worst-session-since-october-as-rising-treasury-yields-spooked-investors Thu, 25 Feb 2021 21:33:33 -0500 Rachel Hemple SpaceX's Starlink Plans Deliver Double Download Speeds Ahead of Spin-off IPO http://www.pws.io/spacexs-starlink-plans-deliver-double-download-speeds-ahead-of-spin-off-ipo <p class='black-text'>It's been four months since SpaceX began beta-testing for its Starlink internet service. Since then, Elon Musk has promised customers the moon and the stars regarding the service's speed and performance.</p><p class='black-text'>The magnate recently tweeted to his roughly 47 million followers that the service would soon offer download speeds of 300 Mbps and near-global coverage.</p><p class='black-text'>But the larger question is whether SpaceX's can deliver on these promises, especially in light of an eventual Starlink IPO.</p><p class='black-text'>Starlink will be a flagship product for SpaceX in the coming years. It marks the most ambitious attempt to provide a space-based internet service-a service that could theoretically beam high-speed internet to virtually any location on earth.</p><p class='black-text'>Already at least 10,000 have ponied up the $500 hardware cost and are currently paying $99 monthly for the Starlink service. According to a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission filing, SpaceX claims that Starlink is "meeting and exceeding 100/20 Mbps throughput to individual users," <i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/22/elon-musk-spacex-will-double-starlink-internet-speed-later-this-year.html">CNBC</a></i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/22/elon-musk-spacex-will-double-starlink-internet-speed-later-this-year.html"> reports</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Not bad. But it's easy to deliver that kind of speed on a network with only 10,000 users.</p><p class='black-text'>But reaching Musk's promised speeds of 300 Mbps is going to prove difficult as Starlink's user base expands. On top of that, Starlink's technology remains untested on a large scale. Even with existing technology, consisting of fixed cell towers, mobile providers can only deliver average download speeds of 50 Mbps here in the U.S.</p><p class='black-text'>SpaceX's answer to these challenges of both scale and speed is simple-launch more satellites. The company aims to quadruple its satellite fleet to 4,425 by 2024.</p><p class='black-text'>"As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations, and improve our networking software, data speed, latency, and uptime will all improve dramatically" according to SpaceX senior engineer Kate Tice, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-22/musk-targets-telecom-for-next-disruption-with-starlink-internet">according to </a><i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-22/musk-targets-telecom-for-next-disruption-with-starlink-internet">Bloomberg</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'>Others aren't so sure, especially when it comes to Starlink's ability to compete with mobile providers. "It's hard to see the satellite trajectory keeping pace with the improvements coming in cellular," John Byrne, an analyst at Global Data, told <i>Bloomberg</i>.</p><p class='black-text'>Challenges aside, SpaceX believes the Starlink service could rake in as much as $30 billion from the service. For context, that's roughly ten times the revenue SpaceX currently pulls in from its rocket business. Armed with these projections, SpaceX has made assurances about a future Starlink IPO.</p><p class='black-text'>"Right now, we are a private company, but Starlink is the right kind of business that we can go ahead and take public," said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX COO, last February, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-06/spacex-likely-to-spin-off-starlink-business-and-pursue-an-ipo">according to </a><i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-06/spacex-likely-to-spin-off-starlink-business-and-pursue-an-ipo">Bloomberg</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'>For his part, CEO Elon Musk has been hesitant to bring SpaceX as a whole public. Given his cadre of loyal fans, the stock would surely surge on its debut. But Musk has been hesitant about the financial scrutiny SpaceX would come during an IPO.</p><p class='black-text'>Nevertheless, Musk believes that Starlink will one day be ready for primetime. After Starlink finds its way out of the "deep chasm of negative cashflows," Musk tweeted. "Once we can predict cash flow reasonably well, Starlink will IPO."</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, Musk himself notes that "every new satellite constellation in history has gone bankrupt. We hope to be the first that does not."</p><p class='black-text'>As it stands, it remains anyone's guess if Elon Musk and SpaceX's reach for the stars will be in vain.</p> http://www.pws.io/spacexs-starlink-plans-deliver-double-download-speeds-ahead-of-spin-off-ipo Thu, 25 Feb 2021 14:39:49 -0500 David Fladger U.S. Retail Sales Expected to Rise as Much as 8.2% in 2021, says NRF http://www.pws.io/us-retail-sales-expected-to-rise-as-much-as-82-in-2021-says-nrf <p class='black-text'>U.S. retail sales are expected to rise as much as 8.2% to more than $4.33 trillion this year as the economy begins to fully reopen and more people get the coronavirus vaccine, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said Wednesday.</p><p class='black-text'>The trade group's preliminary reading for retail sales in 2020 show sales grew 6.7% to $4.06 trillion, above the NRF's forecast for at least 3.5% growth. The unexpected boost in sales growth was largely due to a nearly 22% growth to $969.4 billion in online sales, which became a popular shopping option for consumers throughout the pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>For 2021, the NRF expects sales to rise between 6.5% and 8.2%, with online sales expected to increase between 18% and 23% to as much as $1.19 trillion as consumer trends continue to rely on online shopping.</p><p class='black-text'>"Despite the continuing health and economic challenges COVID-19 presents, we are very optimistic that healthy consumer fundamentals, pent-up demand and widespread distribution of the vaccine will generate increased economic growth, retail sales and consumer spending," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a <a href="https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/nrf-forecasts-retail-sales-exceed-433t-2021-vaccine-rollout-expands">statement</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The trade group also expects that overall economy to gain between 220,000 and 300,000 jobs per month, depending on the pace of the overall economy in the second and third quarters. The NRF forecasts real GDP growth to be between 4.5% and 5.0%, taking into account the economy's stagnant growth at the end of last year.</p><p class='black-text'>"The trajectory of the economy is predicated on the effectiveness of the vaccine and its distribution," NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. "Our principal assumption is that that the vaccination will be effective and permits accelerated growth during the mid-year. The economy is expected to see its fastest growth in over two decades."</p><p class='black-text'>Kleinhenz highlighted that 2021 will closely follow consumer trends seen throughout 2020, making it the second year of savings, record high stock valuations, rising housing prices, additional government aid and low interest rates.</p><p class='black-text'>The Biden administration has been working to expand the nation's weekly distribution of coronavirus vaccines since President Joe Biden took office in late January. <a href="https://www.pws.io//the-us-surpasses-500000-coronavirus-death-toll-in-one-year">Earlier this week</a>, the White House announced that it will now supply states with 14.5 million doses of either the Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> or Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> vaccines per week, up about 69% since late January.</p><p class='black-text'>Moveover, a third vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" 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="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> may be approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the coming days, adding a third shot to the nation's supply.</p> http://www.pws.io/us-retail-sales-expected-to-rise-as-much-as-82-in-2021-says-nrf Thu, 25 Feb 2021 14:32:45 -0500 Rachel Hemple Company Profile: SoFi http://www.pws.io/company-profile-sofi <p class='black-text'>Fintech startup SoFi is going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IPOE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IPOE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IPOE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IPOE" 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="IPOE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> which is backed by Chamath Palihapitiya. The deal values SoFi at $8.65 billion and marks another private company that Palihapitiya will take public.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>SoFI was previously valued at $5.7 billion in 2020 and has been funded by VC luminaries such as Peter Thiel and Softbank. Following the deal's announcement, the SoFi SPAC has nearly doubled which gives it a valuation of nearly $15 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>SPACs have become an increasingly common and popular way for companies to go public. And, Palihapitiya is the leader of this movement, having declared his intention to bring 25 companies public via the method. Some of his most well-known SPACs are Virgin Galactic <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPCE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPCE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPCE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPCE" 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="SPCE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Clover Health <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IPOC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IPOC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IPOC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IPOC" 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="IPOC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and OpenDoor <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OPEN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OPEN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OPEN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OPEN" 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="OPEN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>SPACs raise money through a shell company to buy an existing, private company. For private companies, it's a cheaper and quicker way to go public and raise money. Additionally, it enables them to bypass the complications and risks of the grueling IPO process.</p><p class='black-text'>SoFi offers a variety of financial products such as student loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, etc. It's become quite popular as a way for people to manage and lower their student loans. From this, it has a platform to sell more products and services such as stock and cryptocurrency trading. The company is run by Anthony Noto who was formerly Twitter's <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> COO.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Through this, SoFi has amassed an impressive user base and has high margins due to having lower costs than traditional financial institutions. The company's ambition is to be the 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> of banking. Its next step is to launch a national bank. The company is just over a decade old, and 2021 is expected to be its first year of profitability with $27 million in EBITDA. It projects an EBITDA profit of $1.8 billion by 2025.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, lending accounts for 75% of revenue, but this is expected to decline in the coming years as financial services take an increasing share. In terms of SoFi's price, the current market environment is extremely friendly for fintech companies. Additionally, fintech seems to be developing similarly to consumer-based Internet companies, where the total addressable market (TAM) was much bigger than expected.</p><p class='black-text'>SoFi also has a unique hook in that it's providing value to people by helping them organize and lower their student loan payments. Once, SoFi has them on its platform, they can sell them higher-margin products and services.</p> http://www.pws.io/company-profile-sofi Wed, 24 Feb 2021 21:02:45 -0500 Jaimini Desai Market Update: Dow Rallies to Record High as Major Indices Shook Off Recent Losses http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-rallies-to-record-high-as-major-indices-shook-off-recent-losses <p class='black-text'>The stock market rose higher on Wednesday as each of the three major indices shook off some recent losses and the Dow rising to a record closing high as investors looked past some inflation concerns and rising interest rates. Market rotations from high growth names into more cyclical and value stocks that led market trends throughout last year have started to impact Wall Street again throughout this week.</p><p class='black-text'>In Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's Wednesday testimony before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Powell stated that inflation can become volatile as the economy reopens and there is increased demand. However, he does not expect inflation to be high and said that the central bank will be able to combat spikes in inflation if they arise.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (F.D.A.) staff stated in new documents released on Wednesday that Johnson & Johnson's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" 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="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> single-shot coronavirus vaccine candidate demonstrated both a safe and effective profile. Last month, the drugmaker found that its vaccine was 66% effective overall at protecting against severe COVID infection in its global late-stage clinical trial. In the U.S., the vaccine was 72% effective.</p><p class='black-text'>The F.D.A.'s advisory panel is set to discuss the approving the vaccine for public use on Feb. 26, with the regulator set to approve the company's request for an emergency use authorization soon after.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Wednesday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: +1.13% or +44.03 points to 3,925.40</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.35% or +424.78 points to 31,962.13</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: +0.99% or +132.77 points to 13,597.97</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Stocks</i>, shares of GameStop <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GME"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GME</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GME" 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="GME" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> surged more than 100% on Wednesday in late afternoon trading which had no known catalyst. The video game retailer ended the session up 103.9% higher, which trading halting at one point, closing at $91.71. MicroStrategy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSTR" 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="MSTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares rose over 18% after the enterprise software company announced that it had purchased $1 billion worth of Bitcoin.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, sectors on the S&P 500 rose higher alongside the broader market on Wednesday, with only Consumer Staples <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLP" 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="XLP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Utilities <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLU" 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="XLU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> falling lower. Energy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" 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="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was the lead gainer, rising over 3.6%, and Financials gained over 2% and Industrials <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLI" 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="XLI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Information Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rounded out the top four.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> slipped lower on Wednesday following Powell's remarks that ignited fears of inflation. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six other global rivals, fell 0.07% lower at 90.058. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices pared some losses from their more than 1% dropped earlier on Wednesday, helped by Powell's dovish comments, but elevated U.S. Treasury yields harming the yellow metal's appeal as an inflation hedge. Spot gold was 0.3% lower at $1,800.27 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled down 0.3% at $1,800.00. <b>Crude </b>oil prices rose on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed a decline in crude outputs after the winter storm in Texas disrupted production last week. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> climbed 2.1% to $66.74 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> gained 2.1% to $62.94 each.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Thursday</i>, market participants will turn their attention to fresh unemployment data from the Labor Department.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-rallies-to-record-high-as-major-indices-shook-off-recent-losses Wed, 24 Feb 2021 20:32:49 -0500 Rachel Hemple Kroger Becomes Latest Accellion Breach Victim http://www.pws.io/kroger-becomes-latest-accellion-breach-victim <p class='black-text'>Kroger <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KR" 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="KR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has announced that it is one of several confirmed victims of a December data breach targeting security software company Accellion and its clients. Kroger has announced that customers of its pharmacies may have been compromised, as well as some employees.</p><p class='black-text'>Accellion was first breached back in December by the hacker groups Clop and FIN11. The hackers' program was explicitly targeted by Accellion's File Transfer Appliance, a secure file transfer service created 20 years ago, initially created to help companies overcome data limits on email attachments.</p><p class='black-text'>While Accellion has mostly kept the technical details of the data breach under wraps--to prevent more vulnerabilities from being discovered until they can be patched--the company's chief marketing officer revealed a few key details to <i><a href="https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/blogs/accellion-mess-what-went-wrong-p-2989">Bank Info Security,</a></i> including that the FTA has been attacked multiple times as hackers attempt to find new vulnerabilities, with attacks occurring as recently as last week.</p><p class='black-text'>Kroger was first notified that it had been a victim of the breach on January 23, though Kroger's data breach's exact timing has yet to be determined or released to the press, a new vulnerability was discovered on the day Kroger was notified.</p><p class='black-text'>Immediately after being notified, Kroger discontinued its use of Accellion's products and alerted the U.S. federal government to the data breach. Kroger has also begun its own digital forensic investigation to establish the full scope of the breach. Thanks to the hack targeting the FTA specifically, Kroger found that its own IT infrastructure was unaffected.</p><p class='black-text'>"Kroger's own IT systems have not been affected by this incident. No grocery store data or systems, credit or debit card (including digital wallet) information, or customer account passwords were impacted. However, Kroger believes certain associate HR data, certain pharmacy records, and certain money services records have been affected," the company said in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'>Luckily, it would appear that not many customers have been affected by the breach, with the company citing a figure of "less than 1%". It is also believed that the hackers may have had access to and viewed some employees' personnel records. Kroger has offered free credit monitoring to anyone who may have been affected by the breach.</p><p class='black-text'>Kroger is one of several known victims and is only the most recent company to have been confirmed as such. Other victims include the University of Colorado, Singapore Telecommunications <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNGNF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNGNF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNGNF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNGNF" 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="SNGNF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and Fugro NV <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FURGF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FURGF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FURGF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FURGF" 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="FURGF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p> http://www.pws.io/kroger-becomes-latest-accellion-breach-victim Wed, 24 Feb 2021 15:40:13 -0500 Michael Mooney Shopify Drops 2% Following Strong Q4 Earnings http://www.pws.io/shopify-drops-2-following-strong-q4-earnings <p class='black-text'>Shopify <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SHOP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SHOP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SHOP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SHOP" 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="SHOP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> finished 2% lower following its Q4 earnings that topped analysts' expectations for sales and earnings. Prior to the earnings reports, Shopify had been breaking out to new highs and still sports a 30% gain in February which implies the post-earnings reaction is profit-taking.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q4, Shopify reported $1.58 per share in earnings which were above consensus expectations of $1.29. It was also a significant improvement from last year's $0.43 per share. Revenue increased 94% to $978 million, which handily beat the expectations of $913 million.</p><p class='black-text'>Gross merchandise volume (GMV) sharply rose 99% to $41.1 billion while analysts were forecasting $38.21 billion. This marks a slight deceleration from the past two quarters as Q2 had 119% growth in GMV, while Q3 had 109% growth. Subscription revenue rose 53% to $279 million, which beat the consensus of $265 million. Merchant solutions revenue climbed 117% to $698 million while analysts were looking for $649 million.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of 2021, the company didn't issue firm guidance but said it expects revenue growth to slow due to the vaccine's distribution and the economy reopening which should result in higher levels of in-person spending. However, it still expects to maintain growth albeit at a smaller pace. Currently, analysts are looking for 2021 revenue of $3.82 billion which would be 301% growth from 2020.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Shopify's business has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic as it helps small businesses sell online. As a result, the stock is up more than 250% since the March bottom. While it was a leader during the first few months of the rally, the stock had been range-bound over the past few months.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the stock has been quite strong in February, breaking out to new highs. Despite these recent gains, the stock is going to face some more significant challenges in the coming months. For one, it will be compared to 2020 comps which were significantly inflated due to the coronavirus. Additionally, the company plans to increase spending on sales and marketing as well as R&D. The company is also planning to invest in its own fulfillment network in the US which should lead to faster deliveries, create a new revenue stream, and remain competitive with 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>.</p> http://www.pws.io/shopify-drops-2-following-strong-q4-earnings Wed, 24 Feb 2021 15:37:11 -0500 Jaimini Desai Consumer Reports Names Mazda Best Car Brand, Tesla Slips Lower http://www.pws.io/consumer-reports-names-mazda-best-car-brand-tesla-slips-lower <p class='black-text'>According to Consumer Reports' latest round of automaker rankings, Mazda (TYO: 7261) is the <a href="https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-driving/which-car-brands-make-the-best-vehicles/">car brand to beat</a>. In contrast, stock market darling and current EV frontrunner Tesla fell several spots; the third time in recent memory, the EV maker received low rankings.</p><p class='black-text'>Mazda's rise to the top saw the company dethrone the previous #1 Porsche, with BMW <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BMWYY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BMWYY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BMWYY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BMWYY" 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="BMWYY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> leaping ahead several spots to secure second place and Subaru <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FUJHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FUJHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FUJHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FUJHY" 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="FUJHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> maintaining its third-place spot. Mazda's considerable jump higher on Consumer Reports' is mainly due to a massive spike in predicted reliability, a metric based on "the problems reported by members in 17 trouble areas in CR's auto surveys".</p><p class='black-text'>In contrast, Tesla fell several spots on Consumer Reports' list due to a decrease in predicted quality. Tesla's fall to the middle of the pack at 16th place isn't entirely surprising, as this isn't the first time that the quality of the company's lineup has been called into question. Tesla ranked <a href="https://www.pws.io/tesla-ranks-second-to-last-in-consumer-reports-reliability-survey">second to last</a> in Consumer Reports' 2019 Reliability Survey, and had previously been ranked as the <a href="https://www.pws.io/tesla-ranked-last-on-jd-power-initial-quality-survey">worst in initial quality</a> by J.D. Power (unofficially, due to Tesla not sharing data with J.D. Power in states where participation of the company itself is required by law).</p><p class='black-text'>Tesla's vehicles have reportedly been shipped with a myriad of problems, from poorly fitted body panels to touchscreen controls failing early in the car's life. Only the Model 3 carried Consumer Reports' recommendation, with all other models being below average quality. On the inverse, Mazda was reported to have improved considerably in terms of vehicle reliability since last year's survey.</p><p class='black-text'>For comparison against Consumer Reports' results, Tesla fared much worse on J.D. Power's 2021 dependability study, coming fourth from last place between Chrysler <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 Jaguar. Mazda, meanwhile, was just at the industry average for 121 problems per 100.</p> http://www.pws.io/consumer-reports-names-mazda-best-car-brand-tesla-slips-lower Wed, 24 Feb 2021 15:35:12 -0500 Michael Mooney The U.S. Surpasses 500,000 Coronavirus Death Toll in One Year http://www.pws.io/the-us-surpasses-500000-coronavirus-death-toll-in-one-year <p class='black-text'>In about one year into the coronavirus pandemic, the United States death toll has surpassed the grim milestone of 500,000. Currently, the U.S. has reported more deaths than any other nation, and on a per capita basis only follows behind that United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy and Portugal.</p><p class='black-text'>The staggering death toll has but the coronavirus as one of the leading causes of death in the nation, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm">according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>, with the virus killing at least 100,000 people in the past five weeks and reducing the country's life expectancy by one year.</p><p class='black-text'>Fortunately, the U.S. coronavirus death rate has begun to fall from its winter peak, when the pandemic's deadliest day on Jan. 12 took about 4,400 lives. Now, about 2,000 Americans die from their infections on average each day, <a href="https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map">according to data from Johns Hopkins University</a>. This rate has improved from the nation's high of over 3,000 per day in mid-January.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Vaccine Improvements </i></p><p class='black-text'>Since President Joe Biden took office in late January, his administration has been working to increase the amount of vaccines shipped weekly to states as the nation continues its massive nationwide roll out. On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that it will now supply states with 14.5 million doses of either the Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> or Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> vaccines per week. The increase comes just a week after the administration stated it would ship 13.5 million doses per week.</p><p class='black-text'>"Today on his weekly governors call with America's governors, our COVID coordinator Jeff Zients announced the fifth consecutive week of supply increases," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated during a press conference on Tuesday. "States will now receive 14.5 million doses this week, up from 8.6 million doses per week when the president took office."</p><p class='black-text'>Moveover, the supply of coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. is also expected to substantially increase next month as manufacturers increase the pace of their production, company executives from the major vaccine developers Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" 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="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> told members of Congress in prepared remarks on Tuesday.</p><p class='black-text'>Pfizer's Chief Business Officer John Young told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee in <a href="https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20210223/111226/HHRG-117-IF02-Wstate-YoungJ-20210223.pdf">written testimony</a> that the drugmaker expects to deliver over 13 million doses per week of its vaccine to the U.S. by mid-March. That is more than double the roughly 4 to 5 million weekly doses the company delivered at the beginning of February.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are on track to make 120 million doses availed for shipment by the end of March and an additional 80 million doses by the end of May," Young stated. "We anticipate all 300 million contracted doses will be made available for shipment by the end of July, enabling the vaccination of up to 150 million Americans."</p><p class='black-text'>Moderna's President Dr. Stephen Hoge told Congress that the company expects to deliver 40 million doses per month by April, which will be about double the drugmaker's current production rate.</p><p class='black-text'>"As we work to meet these goals, we are continually learnings and working closed with our partners and the federal government to identify ways to address bottleneck and accelerate out production," Hoge stated in his <a href="https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20210223/111226/HHRG-117-IF02-Wstate-HogeS-20210223.pdf">written testimony</a>, highlighting on how the company has recently proposed to the FDA to allow 15 doses to be drawn from each vial to address constraints in its production lines.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally, Johnson & Johnson's Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Richard Nettles <a href="https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20210223/111226/HHRG-117-IF02-Wstate-NettlesR-20210223.PDF">told Congress</a> that the company is able to ship more than 20 million doses to the U.S. by the end of March, pending the one-shot coronavirus vaccine candidate's emergency use authorization approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which could happen by the end of the week.</p> http://www.pws.io/the-us-surpasses-500000-coronavirus-death-toll-in-one-year Wed, 24 Feb 2021 15:32:39 -0500 Rachel Hemple Nvidia to Produce Ether Cryptocurrency Mining Microchip http://www.pws.io/nvidia-to-produce-ether-cryptocurrency-mining-microchip <p class='black-text'>Nvidia <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NVDA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NVDA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NVDA" 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="NVDA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced last week that it will come out with a new set of semiconductors that have been made just for mining the cryptocurrency, ether, and this new type of chip is referred to as 'CMP,' or Cryptocurrency Mining Processor.</p><p class='black-text'>The process of ether mining, like the mining of other cryptocurrencies, occurs when computers are able to solve mathematical equations to help run the Ethereum network, with the miners rewarded with ether digital coins for the work. Most ether mining runs best on graphic cards by PC gamers that are in real scarcity due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions and increased demand.</p><p class='black-text'>Nvidia's plans to release the new chip, as part of the gaming graphics cards series (RTX 3060), would not be introduced until later in the year, so the way that it mines ether would not be completely effective just yet. But this type of ether mining differs from that of other ether mining in many ways.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to pertain to the desires, needs, and wants of the Ethereum mining industry, the Nvidia CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) has most recently been introduced. CMP products differ from other forms of mining, in that they do not display any type of graphics, and are utilized for the optimum levels of performance and effectiveness. They do not have any display outputs, thus improving the amount of airflow during the mining process (and overall level of performance).</p><p class='black-text'>Having these new types of chips will surely change the type of business of Nvidia as well as the level of gaming that is coming about. It will provide a higher demand for the gaming process as a whole, as well as evoke more curiosity concerning its marketability and ability to remain popular.</p><p class='black-text'>"CMP products - which don't do graphics - are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency," said Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at Nvidia, in a press release.</p><p class='black-text'>Ultimately, Nvidia's vision for success will be proven with time, performing in unexpected ways that challenge consumers to either commit or back away from the product lines.</p> http://www.pws.io/nvidia-to-produce-ether-cryptocurrency-mining-microchip Tue, 23 Feb 2021 21:09:18 -0500 Stephanie Williams Market Update: S&P 500 and Dow Reverse Losses on Powell's Positive Remarks http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-and-dow-reverse-losses-on-powells-positive-remarks <p class='black-text'>Stocks ended mixed on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones reversing earlier losses and ending in positive territory after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell relieved some market fears about rising interest rates and inflation amid the central bank's loose monetary policy. The Nasdaq, however, continued its multi-session decline as investors rotated away from tech names.</p><p class='black-text'>Powell delivered his semiannual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, reaffirmed that the Fed is planning to maintain its current loose policy as long as the economy needs the extra support, keeping benchmark rates near zero and asset purchases at $120 billion per month.</p><p class='black-text'>"The economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be achieved," Powell stated in prepared remarks. "We will continue to clearly communicate our assessment of progress towards our goals well in advance of any change in the pace of purchases."</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, consumer confidence improved at a greater-than-expected pace in February, according to the Conference Board's monthly index. Headline consumer confidence index increased to 91.3, up from a downwardly revised 88.9 in January.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market closed on Tuesday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: +0.12% or +4.80 points to 3,881.30</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" 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="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +0.05% or +14.87 points to 31,536.56</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <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>: -0.50% or -67.85 points to 13,465.20</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Stocks</i>, AMC Entertainment <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMC" 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="AMC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares rose on Tuesday after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theaters in New York City will be able to open with limited capacity next month. Workhorse Group <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WKHS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WKHS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WKHS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WKHS" 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="WKHS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> fell more than 47% on Tuesday after the company was not chosen for a key contract from the U.S. Postal Service.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Sector Performance</i>, sectors on the S&P 500 ended mostly in positive territory by the end of Tuesday's session, with only Consumer Staples <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLP" 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="XLP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Health Care <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLV" 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="XLV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Information Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" 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="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Consumer Discretionary <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" 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="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> falling lower. The day's lead gainers were Energy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLE" 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="XLE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Communication Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLC" 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="XLC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rising over 1%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Commodities and Currency</i>, the <b>U.S. Dollar</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UUP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UUP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UUP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UUP" 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="UUP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose slightly after Powell's speech on Tuesday after the Fed chair stated that the central bank's loose monetary policy won't lead to unchecked inflation. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against other global currencies, increased 0.11% higher at 90.141. <b>Gold</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" 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="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> fell slightly lower on the rising dollar on Tuesday. Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,803.62 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 0.1% lower at $1,805.90 per ounce. <b>Crude</b> oil prices stayed relatively steady on Tuesday as global coronavirus restrictions eased but economic recovery concerns increased. International benchmark Brent Crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" 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="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rose 0.28% to $65.42 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" 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="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> slipped slightly lower at $61.67 each.</p><p class='black-text'><i>For Wednesday</i>, market participants will continue to focus on the second and final day of Powell's testimony before Congress.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-and-dow-reverse-losses-on-powells-positive-remarks Tue, 23 Feb 2021 19:11:06 -0500 Rachel Hemple Google, Amazon Investing in Databricks http://www.pws.io/google-amazon-investing-in-databricks <p class='black-text'>Databricks raised $1 billion at a $28 billion valuation. Many believe the company will go public later this year. Databricks' CEO, Ali Ghodi, said that they are considering all options including a direct listing. It will be the most highly anticipated IPO since Snowflake <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNOW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNOW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNOW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNOW" 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="SNOW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Both companies are in the 'big data' space and help companies derive insights from the massive amounts of data that is produced by modern firms. Another similarity is that both companies are cloud-based and run on top of other systems.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Google, Amazon Investments</i></p><p class='black-text'>Databricks' software helps companies process large sets of data for analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Participants in its latest funding round included Google <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOG" 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="GOOG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Microsoft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" 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="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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>, and Salesforce <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CRM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CRM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CRM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CRM" 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="CRM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Given that these are three of the leading cloud companies, their participation is a vote of confidence in Databricks' business model.</p><p class='black-text'>It's also a departure from Snowflake which is built on top of these cloud platforms but also competes with the cloud providers who have similar offerings in terms of data warehousing. Until Databricks, companies stored data with Hadoop, however, it's implementing Apache Spark which leads data to be better organized, sorted, and analyzed. Apache Spark is also better to deploy artificial intelligence models.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>It's likely that Microsoft, Amazon, and Google were aware of Snowflake and Databricks' popularity given that both are built on top of their platforms. They chose not to invest in Snowflake which could be construed as a conflict of interest. However, they are enthusiastically investing in Databricks which indicates they are less likely to compete directly.</p><p class='black-text'>This is certainly a positive for Databricks and means that it could have a monopoly on this niche of 'data analysis'. Taking companies' data, processing it for analysis, and then developing AI models around the data is likely to benefit from 'network effects' and 'economies of scale'.</p><p class='black-text'>Basically, the more processes they run, the better they will get at running these processes which will put distance between themselves and any upstarts. It likely means that Databricks will be a very attractive stock when it debuts as it's in a fast-growing niche with a durable, competitive advantage. Further, it will be a way for investors to gain direct exposure to AI which is going to be another sector with major potential over the next decade.</p> http://www.pws.io/google-amazon-investing-in-databricks Tue, 23 Feb 2021 12:24:31 -0500 Jaimini Desai Texans Face Power Bills in the Thousands after Winter Storm Outages http://www.pws.io/texans-face-power-bills-in-the-thousands-after-winter-storm-outages <p class='black-text'>Some Texans, already reeling from the devastating winter storm that swept through the state, are now finding themselves with power bills in the thousands of dollars due to a price surge. However, Governor Greg Abbott has stepped in to prevent Texans from being left without power during the ongoing crisis.</p><p class='black-text'>The storm system crashed through North America last week, affecting parts of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cold temperatures and power outages have been reported across much of the southern United States and Northern Mexico. In addition to the storm system and its predecessors from the last few weeks covering about three fourths of the continental United States in snow, a flurry of tornados was unleashed across parts of Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. The focal point of the damage was Texas, where record-breaking temperatures that at times were lower than temperatures in Alaska resulted in mass power outages, water outages, and shortages of goods.</p><p class='black-text'>What many Texans didn't anticipate, however, was the massive power bills that would follow. Due to the deregulated Texan energy market, many consumers, who pay wholesale prices for power, were left with bills up to $5,000 for a week's worth of power. Wholesale pricing typically means that rates are cheaper than the fixed rates offered by regulated utility providers, but when demand surges and drives up the price of power, consumers are left footing the bill.</p><p class='black-text'>In response to the sudden price surge, Governor Abbott announced on Sunday that the state government would be intervening to help Texans still struggling with the effects of the storm. Under the governor's orders, utility providers are temporarily prohibited from issuing invoices and shutting off utilities due to unpaid bills. The measure is a temporary solution to give the Texan government time to address the crisis's financial implications.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our absolute top priority as a commission and a state is protecting electricity customers from the devastating effects of a storm that already affected their delivery of power," said Public Utility Commission of Texas Chairperson DeAnn Walker.</p><p class='black-text'>A great deal of criticism has circled the storm's handling, especially by the state government and utility companies. Before last week's massive storm system, severe winter weather has caused mass power outages at least twice previously. Despite previous attempts by regulators to push more responsibility to power companies, very few changes had been made to shore up Texas' massive yet vulnerable power grid. Many have accused the state Government of catering to the wills of utility providers over consumers.</p><p class='black-text'>"Too often, power companies get exactly what they want out of the PUC," Associate Director Tim Morstad of AARP Texas<a href="https://www.propublica.org/article/power-companies-get-exactly-what-they-want-how-texas-repeatedly-failed-to-protect-its-power-grid-against-extreme-weather"> told </a><i><a href="https://www.propublica.org/article/power-companies-get-exactly-what-they-want-how-texas-repeatedly-failed-to-protect-its-power-grid-against-extreme-weather">ProPublica</a></i>. "Even well-intentioned PUC staff are outgunned by armies of power company lawyers and their experts. The sad truth is that if power companies object to something, in this case simply providing information about the durability of certain equipment, they are extremely likely to get what they want."</p> http://www.pws.io/texans-face-power-bills-in-the-thousands-after-winter-storm-outages Tue, 23 Feb 2021 12:16:29 -0500 Michael Mooney Uber 4% Lower as Q4 Results Show Losses Declining http://www.pws.io/uber-4-lower-as-q4-results-show-losses-declining <p class='black-text'>Uber Technologies <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> was one of the companies most negatively affected by the pandemic as the total halt in travel and nightlife reduced demand for its services. It has recently been in the news due to its Q4 earnings and the<a href="https://www.pws.io//uber-drivers-are-employees-not-contractors-uk-supreme-court-rules"> U.K. Supreme Court ruling </a>that classified drivers as workers which makes them eligible for benefits.</p><p class='black-text'>This ruling caused shares to slip, however, the stock has been doing well overall with a 16% gain YTD. The primary catalyst has been optimism around the vaccine and falling case counts which has lifted all sorts of "reopening" stocks.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>Given these more important drivers, it's not surprising that Uber's Q4 earnings didn't have a material impact on share prices. The major takeaway is that its losses are narrowing, and its food delivery business continues to gain steam.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber posted a loss of $0.54 per share which was slightly better than expectations of $0.56. Revenue came in at $3.17 billion versus $3.58 billion consensus. Overall, Uber lost $968 million on a GAAP basis which was a slight improvement from last year's $1.1 billion. In total, Uber lost $6.8 billion in 2020 which was an improvement from 2019's $8.5 billion loss.</p><p class='black-text'>Given the coronavirus, it's not surprising that ride-sharing revenue dropped by 50% to $6.8 billion, while food-delivery revenue increased by 130% to $10.1 billion for the full year. However, in Q4, ride-sharing revenue did show some strength and exceeded food-delivery revenue for the first time since the pandemic started. If the world does return to normal by the second half, ride-sharing should explode higher, while food-delivery growth will likely see some short-term slippage.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber CEO on the conference call said that he expects demand to be strong for ride-sharing especially as cities return to normal. One challenge could be having enough drivers to meet this demand. Another announcement was the <a href="https://www.pws.io/uber-to-buy-alcohol-delivery-services-drizly-for-11-billion">acquisition of Drizly</a>, an on-demand alcohol delivery app, which it will integrate into UberEats. It's also adding non-food deliveries to the platform like pharmacies and retailers.</p><p class='black-text'>Overall, UberEats has 35% of the market in food-deliveries with DoorDash <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DASH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DASH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DASH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DASH" 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="DASH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as the only company with more market share. It also says that the number of paying members for Uber Eats Pass is 5 million which gives customers a discount and shorter delivery times.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>On the surface, Uber's results aren't too encouraging especially as shares are at close to all-time highs. It continues to lose money, and investing in the company is an implicit bet that the company will be able to continue treating its drivers like independent contractors.</p><p class='black-text'>Looking ahead, the story is more constructive. The pandemic enabled UberEats to grow into a $10 billion business. Ride-sharing revenue will likely rebound to pre-pandemic levels when the economy reopens and likely more if there is pent-up demand as expected. Additionally, the pandemic caused many smaller ride-sharing companies, around the world, to have to shutdown. This means it'll likely face less competition and have more pricing power in the coming years.</p> http://www.pws.io/uber-4-lower-as-q4-results-show-losses-declining Tue, 23 Feb 2021 12:09:44 -0500 Jaimini Desai F.D.A. Will Not Require Long Clinical Trials for Coronavirus Vaccines Modified for Variant Strains http://www.pws.io/fda-will-not-require-long-clinical-trials-for-coronavirus-vaccines-modified-for-variant-strains <p class='black-text'>The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) announced on Monday that modified coronavirus vaccines developed to protect against new, emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 may be authorized for use without needing data from large clinical trials. This decision, similar to the annual approval of flu vaccines, helps ensure that an effective booster shot is available to soon after it is developed.</p><p class='black-text'>The federal health regulator stated in a <a href="https://www.fda.gov/media/142749/download">24-page document</a> that drug developers will only need to submit data that demonstrates that a modified vaccine candidate produces a similar immune response to the vaccine's original formula and is safe for broad use. From there, the F.D.A. will approve the new vaccines with an amendment to the developer's original approved emergency use application.</p><p class='black-text'>The new guidance comes as global health officials have become concerned that the coronavirus will soon mutate to such a degree that already developed vaccines will not be as effective at preventing infection. Currently, it appears that the variant B.1.351, which was first discovered in South Africa, is too genetically different from the original SARS-CoV-2 strain for vaccine to protect against its infection as well as against other mutations.</p><p class='black-text'>"Preliminary reports from clinical trials evaluating COVID-19 vaccine candidates in multiple countries, including South Africa, have added to concerns that vaccine efficiency against the B.1.351 variant may be lower than against the orginal virus," the F.D.A. wrote in the document. "Thus, these is an urgent need to initiate development and evaluation of vaccines against these SARS-CoV-2 variants.</p><p class='black-text'>Only two vaccines, one developed by Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" 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="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" 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="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and the other made by Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" 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="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, are approved for emergency use from the regulator in December. Since then, the Pfizer-BioNTech shot has demonstrated lower efficiency against the South African strain. Additionally, Moderna has announced plans to develop a booster shot to complement its vaccine against current and future strains.</p><p class='black-text'>Both vaccines are developed using messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology, which can be modified more quickly than other vaccine technologies and is able to be produced at mass rapidly.</p><p class='black-text'><i>More Vaccines </i></p><p class='black-text'>Britain's GlaxoSmithKline <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GSK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GSK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GSK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GSK" 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="GSK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and France's Sanofi <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNY" 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="SNY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced on Monday that the pair have begun a new clinical trials of their coronavirus vaccine candidate, with the drug expected to reach it final rounds of testing in the second quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>If the results are positive, the drugmakers plan to submit for emergency use approval by the fourth quarter. This new round of clinical trials comes after the pair's initial vaccine had demonstrated insufficient immune system responses in older, and more vulnerable to severe infection, participants.</p><p class='black-text'>The drugmaker's protein-based vaccine requires two doses administered approximately 21 days apart.</p> http://www.pws.io/fda-will-not-require-long-clinical-trials-for-coronavirus-vaccines-modified-for-variant-strains Tue, 23 Feb 2021 00:59:04 -0500 Rachel Hemple February's IPO Market Cools Off as the Month Comes to a Close http://www.pws.io/februarys-ipo-market-cools-off-as-the-month-ends <p class='black-text'>The initial public offering (IPO) market lulled to a near halt as the month of February comes to a close, with only one traditional IPO pricing last week and one looking to debut in the week ahead. However, blank check activity remains highly active, with 16 special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) debuting and five planning to price in the days ahead.</p><p class='black-text'>For last week's sole listing, <b>GreenBox POS</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GBOX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GBOX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GBOX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GBOX" 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="GBOX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> raised an offering of $44 million by pricing its 4.2 million shares at $10.50 each. The blockchain-based application developer offers solutions for a range of industries with the company's five current products. The stock finished the week up 36%.</p><p class='black-text'>16 blank check companies raised $3.4 billion last week, led by the $300 million listings made by <b>CF Acquisition Corp. VI </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CFVIU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CFVIU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CFVIU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CFVIU" 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="CFVIU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, <b>Pathfinder Acquisition Corp </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFDRU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFDRU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFDRU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFDRU" 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="PFDRU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, <b>Simon Property Group Acquisition Holdings, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPGSU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPGSU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPGSU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPGSU" 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="SPGSU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, <b>Tailwind International Acquisition Corp. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWNIU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWNIU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWNIU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWNIU" 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="TWNIU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>For the week ahead, <b>IDEX Biometrics ASA </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IDBA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IDBA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IDBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IDBA" 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="IDBA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise $19.8 million from 800,000 shares priced at $24.75 each. The biometrics company specializes in the design, development and sale of fingerprint identification and authentication solutions for a broad range of markets including payments, identifications, access control, healthcare and the Internet of Things.</p><p class='black-text'>Five blank check companies also plan to list this week to raise over $1.6 billion, led by <b>Slam Corp </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SLAMU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SLAMU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SLAMU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SLAMU" 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="SLAMU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which plans to raise $575 million to acquire an unspecified type of business.</p> http://www.pws.io/februarys-ipo-market-cools-off-as-the-month-ends Mon, 22 Feb 2021 23:48:30 -0500 Rachel Hemple Amazon Launches Alexa Build It Program http://www.pws.io/amazon-launches-alexa-build-it-program <p class='black-text'>Over the past several years, and months especially, 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> has been working to find ways to become more appealing to customers so as to snag their attention and gain more business. Throughout this period of the pandemic, Amazon has been particularly aware of the nature of their business and ways in which it can be improved upon.</p><p class='black-text'>One way that Amazon desires to keep business rolling is through the creation of a program called Build It, which allows customers to have a significant say in the types of products that Amazon creates. With this Kickstater-like program, Amazon will take true ownership over what they envision for their customers.</p><p class='black-text'>The key concepts behind the launch of the Build It program include items such as smart sticky note printers ($89.99), smart nutrition scales ($34.99), and smart cuckoo clocks ($79.99), all working in conjunction with the built-in device of Alexa. As part of the process of coming up with these inventive ideas, the consumers will only be responsible for paying for the items if the product is successfully developed and is able to ship. If all of these premade concepts reach their pre-order goals voted by consumers, then the items will likely be built and shipped out to the preorder backers. The amount of time that consumers are required to have to receive support for their products is 30 days in order for them to be successful and to ship.</p><p class='black-text'>The Build It program will additionally gauge popularity or level of interest among consumers. And although Amazon will not state the amount of monetary value that that these items need in order to be brought about, progress bars will be demonstrated in order to exemplify how much progress is being made. Although this is just a fresh start for Amazon in terms of innovation, creativity, and productivity, they are taking on an entirely new level in the business world, ensuring both the satisfaction of customers as well as the effectiveness of the company.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazon-launches-alexa-build-it-program Mon, 22 Feb 2021 22:50:32 -0500 Stephanie Williams Colin Kaepernick to Co-Found SPAC http://www.pws.io/colin-kaepernick-to-co-found-spac <p class='black-text'>Former San Fransisco 49er and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick is set to become the latest athlete to join the recent SPAC craze. Kaepernick has partnered with a venture capital firm to create a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, to take public a company at "the intersection of consumer and impact."</p><p class='black-text'>Regular readers of Passport to Wall Street are probably extremely familiar with <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/spac.asp">SPACs</a> by now, thanks to their rapidly increasing popularity and the high level of media attention they have received. The SPAC craze has seemingly gripped everyone, from athletes like Kaepernick, Shaquille O'neal, and Alexander Rodriguez to hedge funds such as <a href="https://www.pws.io//elliott-management-considering-forming-spac">Elliott Management</a>. The SPAC craze hit its peak in 2020, which saw SPACs account for 165 of the year's 480 IPOs. SPACs raised just under $80 billion in funding over the course of last year.</p><p class='black-text'>Kaepernick's SPAC, Mission Advancement Corp, is supposedly out to find a company that is "purpose driven" and could have a sizable social impact. There were numerous references to "ESG", or Environmental, Social, Governance in the company's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) filings. The SPAC is supposedly seeking a company that can provide investors with "mission-driven, meaningful financial and societal value." The goal of taking a socially impactful company public very much suits Kaepernick, who has more or less become a full-time social activist since he stopped playing in the NFL in 2016.</p><p class='black-text'>"We believe Mr. Kaepernick's substantial business experience combined with his long-term leadership on racial equity and justice issues will support our success in identifying a prospective target company and adding transformational value to the combined entity," the company's S.E.C. filings read.</p><p class='black-text'>Kaepernick is joined by co-founder Jahm Najafi of the Najafi Companies hedge fund. Najafi will serve as CEO for Mission Advancement Corp. Among the company's board of directors is Google <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> veteran Attica Jaques and Birchbox co-founder and CEO Katia Beauchamp.</p> http://www.pws.io/colin-kaepernick-to-co-found-spac Mon, 22 Feb 2021 22:36:55 -0500 Michael Mooney