Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2021, Passport to Wall Street 60 Market Update: Dow Closes Above 35,000 for First Time as Benchmarks Soar to Record Highs http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-closes-above-35000-for-first-time-as-benchmarks-soar-to-reach-highs <p class='black-text'>Stocks rose Friday with all three Wall Street benchmarks reaching new record closing highs as they overcame previous concerns about the economy's recovery earlier in the week. The Dow closed above 35,000 for the first time ever, while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose over 1%.</p><p class='black-text'>All three major averages closed the week in the green, rebounding from last week's losses and Monday's steep sell-off, which saw the Dow Jones plunging more than 700 points. The Nasdaq was that week's stand-out, rising by 2.8%, while the S&P 500 was up 2% and the Dow gained by 1%.</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>: +1.01% or +44.30 points to 4,411.78</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>: +0.68% or +238.20 points to 35,061.55</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>: +1.04% or +152.39 points to 14,836.99</p><p class='black-text'><b>Alphabet launches new robotics software venture Intrinsic: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Alphabet <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> announced its new venture on Friday: a robotics software company called Intrinsic which will operate under the tech giant's X segment.</p><p class='black-text'>Intrinsic is developing software tools to make industrial robots easier to use, cheaper and more flexible to expand their consumer reach. CEO Wendy Tan-White <a href="https://blog.x.company/introducing-intrinsic-1cf35b87651">wrote in a blog post</a> that the company "is working to unlock the creative and economic potential of industrial robotics for millions more businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers."</p><p class='black-text'>Intrinsic will operate within Alphabet's "Other Bets" segment.</p><p class='black-text'><b>July PMI grows at moderate pace:</b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. business activity grew at a modest pace for the second straight month in July, according to IHS Markit's Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index <a href="https://www.markiteconomics.com/Public/Home/PressRelease/5c13aaa0acb3461eb9acd7113cd2bb40">report released Friday</a>, suggesting that economic growth is cooling down.</p><p class='black-text'>July's Flash PMI, which tracks the manufacturing and services sector, declined to a four-month low of 59.7 from 63.7 in June. Reading above the neutral level of 50 indicate expansion.</p><p class='black-text'>"The provisional PMI data for July point to the pace of economic growth slowing for a second successive month, though importantly this cooling has followed an unprecedented growth spurt in May. Some moderation of service sector growth in particular was always on the cards after the initial reopening of the economy, and importantly we're now seeing nicely-balanced strong growth across both manufacturing and services," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, in a press statement.</p><p class='black-text'>"While the second quarter may therefore represent a peaking in the pace of economic growth according to the PMI, the third quarter is still looking encouragingly strong."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market started trading after opening bell:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.45% or +19.62 points to 4,387.10</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.62% or +214.67 points to 35,038.02</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.10% or +14.56 points to 14,699.16</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-closes-above-35000-for-first-time-as-benchmarks-soar-to-reach-highs Fri, 23 Jul 2021 15:00:10 -0400 Rachel Hemple Snap 16% Higher Following Strong Earnings Report http://www.pws.io/snap-16-higher-following-strong-earnings-report <p class='black-text'>Snap <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNAP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNAP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> jumped 16% in after hours trading following its strong Q2 earnings report. The company delivered strong figures well above expectations across numerous categories including revenue, earnings, and user growth. The company's stock should open at a new, all-time high following more than 8 months of sideways trading.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q2, Snap reported $0.10 per share in earnings which topped expectations of a loss of $0.01 per share. Revenue also beat at $982 million which topped expectations of $846 million. Global daily active users came in at 293 million, while analysts were looking for 290 million. The average revenue per user also handily beat expectations at $3.35 vs. $2.92.</p><p class='black-text'>One reason for Snap's better than expected report was that the company said there was a minimal impact from Apple's privacy changes which had been expected to negatively affect social media platforms reliant on delivering targeted ads. It could be due to 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> rolling out its new OS later than expected or more users opting into Snap's targeting.</p><p class='black-text'>So, it's still possible that the effect of these new changes could be felt in the next quarter, but the company said it is seeing higher opt-in rates than expected and now has more time to work with advertisers to navigate the transition.</p><p class='black-text'>Overall, the quarter was very positive for Snap and shows that the company's growth trajectory remains steep despite its stock price flattening out over the past couple of months. Snap's net loss was down 53% to $152 million, from a loss of $326 million a year ago. The number of daily active users increased by 5% compared to last quarter and 23% compared to last year.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of Q3, Snap anticipates revenue growth between 58% and 60% and hit 301 million daily active users. Both figures were slightly above expectations. This marks Snap's fifth straight quarter of beating earnings expectations.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Snap and 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> strong earnings results are driving the entire social media sector higher. The stock's consolidation since the fall of last year means that valuations have also come down. Equally important, the company is on pace to become profitable next year as well.</p><p class='black-text'>Although it's probably wise to not chase Snap here, the stock remains a buy and should be accumulated on weakness.</p> http://www.pws.io/snap-16-higher-following-strong-earnings-report Fri, 23 Jul 2021 13:12:58 -0400 Jaimini Desai YouTube's New Tip Jar: Super Thanks http://www.pws.io/youtubes-new-tip-jar-super-thanks <p class='black-text'>Online video sharing and social media platform, YouTube <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> has recently launched a new method for users to give money to creators. The feature is called "Super Thanks," and acts as a "permanent tip jar" for each video that is created, similar to other third-party platforms like Patreon. It is essentially a way for users to express their appreciation of videos that have been created and to support their favorite YouTube channels.</p><p class='black-text'>YouTube had been beta-testing the feature for several months, and, beginning this week, it will go to thousands of other creators. It will be available in 68 countries on desktop, Android, and iOS devices. Users will additionally be able to give money in four separate quantities, which are: $2, $5, $10, and $50.</p><p class='black-text'>Although these are the only payment choices that are currently available, the option of manually placing in other payment amounts is "definitely something that we would be interested in looking to add," said Barbara Macdonald, product manager of paid digital goods at YouTube,<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/20/22584330/youtube-tipping-feature-super-thanks"> to </a><i><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/20/22584330/youtube-tipping-feature-super-thanks">The Verge</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'>YouTube will ultimately take 30% of the money that has been earned from the Super Thanks tip jar. Super Thanks is now the fourth choice that YouTube has made in order to pay the creators firsthand. YouTube also provides channel memberships, which enables the creators to supply monthly subscriptions. Super Stickers and Super Chat are other options that YouTube has in order to leave tips in the chat throughout livestreams.</p><p class='black-text'>"Just like Super Chat and Super Stickers, Super Thanks does double duty for creators: keeping their connections with (super) fans meaningful, while also giving them a new way to make money," stated Neal Mohan, YouTube's chief product officer, in a blog post.</p><p class='black-text'>The Super Thanks tip jar, a new means of providing viewers to express their appreciation toward YouTube video content by paying the creators of the videos, will be a good way for YouTube creators to earn some extra income while enjoying the process of making their videos.</p> http://www.pws.io/youtubes-new-tip-jar-super-thanks Fri, 23 Jul 2021 13:10:30 -0400 Stephanie Williams Biden to pick Prominent Big Tech Critic for DOJ Antitrust Seat http://www.pws.io/biden-to-pick-prominent-big-tech-critic-for-doj-antitrust-seat <p class='black-text'>President Joe Biden announced this week that he is nominating Jonathan Kanter to head the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)'s antitrust division. Kanter's appointment furthers the growing push by regulators to break up big-tech.</p><p class='black-text'>Kanter is a well-known name among progressives, an antitrust lawyer with a great deal of experience against large tech firms. In particular, Kanter has spent much of his professional career assisting firms against one another in antitrust suits, having assisted 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> in its own lawsuit against 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>.</p><p class='black-text'>"Jonathan Kanter is a distinguished antitrust lawyer with over 20 years of experience. Throughout his career, Kanter has also been a leading advocate and expert in the effort to promote strong and meaningful antitrust enforcement and competition policy," The White House said of Kanter in a release.</p><p class='black-text'>Biden's step will likely receive a warm reception from fellow Democrats. However, Kanter's appointment is also drawing positive feedback from members of the Republic party. GOP Senator Mike Lee of Utah commented that he was encouraged by Kanter's professional background.</p><p class='black-text'>Kanter's appointment definitely falls in line with the trend of cabinet picks we've seen so far out of the Biden administration. <a href="https://www.pws.io/biden-nominates-gary-gensler-for-sec-rohit-chopra-for-cfpb">Earlier in the year</a>, the President nominated progressive favorites Gary Gensler and Rohit Chopra to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commision (SEC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) heads, respectively. Gensler, a former Obama-era veteran with an uncompromising stance towards regulation, was <a href="https://www.pws.io/gary-gensler-confirmed-as-sec-chair">confirmed</a> as the SEC chair in April.</p><p class='black-text'>With antitrust probes and actions picking up worldwide, Kanter's appointment will likely only be another step towards a wave of stricter regulation. Ultimately, however, the federal government appears to be more focused on breaking up large tech firms to reduce the daunting market shares that many possess.</p> http://www.pws.io/biden-to-pick-prominent-big-tech-critic-for-doj-antitrust-seat Fri, 23 Jul 2021 13:04:05 -0400 Michael Mooney Ackman's SPAC Drops Universal Music Group Deal Following SEC Pushback http://www.pws.io/ackmans-spac-drops-universal-music-group-deal-following-sec-pushback <p class='black-text'>Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Tontine Holdings <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PSTH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PSTH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PSTH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PSTH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PSTH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> slightly declined as the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) decided not to go through with its deal to purchase a stake in Vivendi's Universal Music Group following pushback from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Instead, Ackman's hedge fund - Pershing Square Holdings - will invest in Universal Music Group.</p><p class='black-text'>Ackman was attempting something unusual with his SPAC. SPACs are a blank check company, used to take a private company public. Ackman's SPAC was unusual in that he had a $4 billion blank check. This already limited his investment options given that there are so few private companies of this size. Many speculated that Ackman was focused on taking the fintech company, Stripe, public through his SPAC, and this was seemingly confirmed by Ackman following Stripe's founders on social media and trips made by his private jet.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the deal never materialized. Instead, Ackman pivoted and decided that he would do multiple deals within his SPAC. Pershing Square Tontine Holdings' Board of Directors unanimously agreed that it wouldn't go ahead with the deal after discussions with the SEC. Ackman added that his SPAC would continue hunting for targets and pursue a more traditional deal.</p><p class='black-text'>Basically, by pursuing multiple deals through one SPAC, the SEC indicated that Ackman's plans for his SPAC would be a violation of New York Stock Exchange rules as the SPAC would essentially be a fund. It wasn't a surprise for many veteran Wall Street analysts who have been suspicious of SPACs and believed that Ackman's SPAC would essentially create a conflict of interest with his current investors.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, this complicates things for Pershing Square Tontine Holdings shareholders, however, many might be relieved as the initial reaction to the Universal Music Group deal had been poor as the stock is 25% lower since the deal was announced. And, it's down 40% since the frenzy in SPACs peaked in mid-February.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, Ackman will still invest in Universal Music Group through his hedge fund. It remains a high-quality asset given that it represents some of the highest-profile musicians and owns song catalogs from some of the most iconic artists. Already, concerts are starting and benefitting from pent-up demand.</p> http://www.pws.io/ackmans-spac-drops-universal-music-group-deal-following-sec-pushback Fri, 23 Jul 2021 13:01:13 -0400 Jaimini Desai HBO Max's New Snapchat Partnership Lets Users Watch Shows With Friends http://www.pws.io/hbo-maxs-new-snapchat-partnership-lets-users-watch-shows-with-friends <p class='black-text'>HBO Max <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> has recently announced a collaboration with the social media platform of Snapchat <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNAP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNAP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. The goal of this partnership is to essentially offer free episodes from HBO Max's original programming to the Snapchat platform in the United States.</p><p class='black-text'>The Snap Mini, which is the company's bite-sized third party apps, will stream these episodes for users to enjoy. The streaming service will enable users to appreciate and watch television programs, such as "Gossip Girl" or "Game of Thrones," while communicating with friends at the same time.</p><p class='black-text'>The experience of streaming HBO Max through Snapchat is especially more interesting and engaging than the typical one because there are many interactive components that Snap Mini offers. Users can invite up to 63 Snapchat friends to view the television shows along with them as well. As soon as other users join the Snap Mini, the playback will instantly match up with that of their friends. Then they will be able to as they view the programs as well as share Bitmoji reactions with each other.</p><p class='black-text'>The experience of the Snap Mini, and streaming HBO Max services through it, has permitted many users to communicate about their favorite television programs. The experience is not strictly about communication, but also about utilizing a viewing experience in order to bring in sign-ups for paid subscriptions.</p><p class='black-text'>"People love to come together to watch their favorite HBO Max shows and talk about what's unfolding," stated HBO Max EVP, DTC Global Product Management, Sarah Lyons, in a press statement. "Our partnership with Snapchat is another step towards fulfilling that desire for human connection and providing our fans with co-viewing opportunities, while deepening their emotional relationship with the brand. We believe humans value recommendations that come from other humans, so having the opportunity for friends to suggest, and then subsequently watch content together paves the way for more meaningful discovery."</p><p class='black-text'>The partnership between HBO Max and Snapchat will surely bring together a sense of companionship and socialization as well as mutual interest and engagement. It will allow users to both enjoy their favorite television programs and to appreciate one another's online presences while doing so.</p> http://www.pws.io/hbo-maxs-new-snapchat-partnership-lets-users-watch-shows-with-friends Fri, 23 Jul 2021 12:58:05 -0400 Stephanie Williams Ford, Argo, and Lyft to Launch First Self-Driving Vehicle Network http://www.pws.io/ford-argo-and-lyft-to-launch-first-self-driving-vehicle-network <p class='black-text'>Ford Motor Company <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/F"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">F</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="F" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is joining forces with Argo AI and Lyft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LYFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LYFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LYFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LYFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LYFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> to deploy the first large-scale autonomous ride-hailing network.</p><p class='black-text'>The first network produced by the collaboration will be deployed in Miami as soon as this year, with Austin projected for 2022 and other markets within the following years. Rather than typical field tests akin to what Uber <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBER"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBER</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> had been conducting in San Francisco, the trio's project instead appears to be more of a "public beta" with the service being opened to consumers for use. Argo will utilize data from these early rides to further develop the service and address problems that arise.</p><p class='black-text'>"Argo and Ford are currently piloting, mapping and preparing for commercial operations of autonomous vehicles in more cities than any other AV collaboration, and this new agreement is a crucial step toward full commercial operations - the addition of Lyft's world-class transportation network," said CEO of Ford's Autonomous Vehicles division, Scott Griffith. "These three companies share a belief that autonomous vehicles will be a key enabler for a cleaner, safer, and more efficient urban mobility landscape. This is the beginning of an important relationship between three dynamic companies ultimately aiming to deliver a trusted, high-quality experience for riders in a multi-city large scale operation over time."</p><p class='black-text'>The collaboration seems to mark a turn in the approach companies such as Lyft are taking to autonomous vehicles. Where previous Lyft and Uber had been attempting their in-house research, the companies have since begun to spin off their autonomous vehicle research, likely due to the scaling costs of research and development. Lyft announced in April its plans to offload its AV unit to a Toyota <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> subsidiary, while <a href="https://www.pws.io/uber-to-hand-off-autonomous-vehicle-assets-to-startup">Uber sold</a> its own AV division to Aurora, a self-driving car startup. The reduced strain on Lyft is a likely contributor to the rapid scaling of the trio's deployment. The company has more resources for deployment now that it has handed off development to Ford and Argo.</p><p class='black-text'>Ford, meanwhile, owns a 40% stake in fellow partner Argo, being one of two major auto manufacturers that have invested in the autonomous vehicle firm (the other being Volkswagen <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VLKAF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VLKAF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VLKAF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VLKAF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VLKAF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>). Argo has already conducted road testing of its technology, running field tests in Pittsburgh, Dearborn, and Miami.</p> http://www.pws.io/ford-argo-and-lyft-to-launch-first-self-driving-vehicle-network Fri, 23 Jul 2021 12:41:57 -0400 Michael Mooney Netflix 3% Lower on Mixed Q2 Results http://www.pws.io/netflix-3-lower-on-mixed-q2-results <p class='black-text'>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> shares were down a little over 3% following the company's mixed Q2 results. The company missed on earnings but beat expectations in terms of revenue and new subscribers. It also confirmed reports that it plans to move into gaming.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q2, Netflix generated $2.97 in earnings per share which was lower than consensus expectations of $3.16 per share. Despite the miss, it was an 87% increase in EPS. Revenue slightly beat expectations at $7.34 billion vs $7.32 billion which was a 19% increase from last year. Global paid net subscriber additions came in 1.54 million, higher than expectations of 1.19 million expected. In total, the company had an 11% increase in streaming memberships and an 8% increase in average revenue per user.</p><p class='black-text'>The company's user growth has been slowing which has been expected by the company due to the pandemic "pulling forward" demand. Currently, the company has 209 million paid members. In its earnings release, the company said: "COVID has created some lumpiness in our membership growth (higher growth in 2020, slower growth this year), which is working its way through. We continue to focus on improving our service for our members and bringing them the best stories from around the world."</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of its Q3 forecast, Netflix expects 3.5 million new subscribers which fell short of expectations of 5.4 million new subscribers. This expectation in user growth is expected as the company is expected to release many new shows in the second half of the year as these releases were delayed due to the pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>The company noted in its conference call that its user growth was on track but "lumpy" due to the pandemic. Over the past 2 years, the company added 54 million new users which are consistent with its pre-coronavirus growth trend.</p><p class='black-text'>The company also confirmed rumors that it was entering gaming and sees it as a new category. Getting into gaming is no simple task even with deep pockets as Amazon's high-profile failure made clear. However, Netflix has defied convention before by successfully entering original films, animation, and unscripted TV.</p><p class='black-text'>In anticipation, Netflix has been hiring well-known executives from the industry and is initially planning on launching mobile games. Given the large amounts of time people spend on Netflix and its massive user base, the company will certainly get a chance to put its product in front of consumers although success is far from certain.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Although the market seems disappointed by Netflix's earnings miss, deceleration in user growth, and underwhelming outlook, the numbers are actually not bad given the tough comps and unique nature of the pandemic. In fact, many expected an increase in cancellations as people would be eager for new activities and also due to the proliferation of new streaming services.</p><p class='black-text'>Therefore, the fact that Netflix was able to continue growing is a positive sign. Additionally, the company is becoming increasingly attractive in terms of valuation based on its forward P/E and juicy margins. Additionally, the recent decline in rates likely means that the environment for growth stocks will continue improving.</p> http://www.pws.io/netflix-3-lower-on-mixed-q2-results Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:25:26 -0400 Jaimini Desai Tencent Buys British Game Developer Sumo Group for $1.26 Billion http://www.pws.io/tencent-buys-british-game-developer-sumo-group-for-126-billion <p class='black-text'>Tencent Holdings <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCHEY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCHEY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCHEY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCHEY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCHEY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> agreed to acquire British video game studio Sumo Group for a mind-boggling £919 million ($1.26 billion) on Monday. With a seemingly boundless appetite for nascent game developers, the Chinese tech behemoth reportedly paid a 43% premium on Sumo Group's remaining shares.</p><p class='black-text'>"Tencent intends to bring its expertise and resources to accelerate the growth of Sumo both in the U.K. and abroad," James Mitchell, chief strategy officer at Tencent, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/19/tencent-to-buy-uk-video-game-developer-sumo-group.html">told </a><i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/19/tencent-to-buy-uk-video-game-developer-sumo-group.html">CNBC</a></i>. "We believe this transaction benefits all stakeholders, and delivers compelling value for Sumo shareholders, while enhancing Sumo's capabilities for the future."</p><p class='black-text'>Tencent is the world's largest gaming company. It outright owns Riot Games, the company behind "League of Legends," and holds a 40% stake in Epic Games, the studio behind the ultra-popular "Fortnite." The company also has a 5% stake in Activision Blizzard <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ATVI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ATVI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ATVI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ATVI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ATVI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Ubisoft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBSFY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBSFY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBSFY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBSFY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBSFY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and the indie giant Paradox Entertainment.</p><p class='black-text'>Sumo Group was founded in 2003 and has since carved a space for itself in the gaming industry mainly by creating games for other publishers. One of its latest high-profile releases, "Sackboy: A Big Adventure," was published by Sony <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SONY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SONY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SONY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SONY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SONY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and the company is known for several racing games based on Sega's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SGAMY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SGAMY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SGAMY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SGAMY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SGAMY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> "Sonic the Hedgehog." According to the company's website, some of its other customers include 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>, Xbox Game Studios <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>, and Electronic Arts <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Tencent has come under fire for its outsized influence in the gaming industry. The week before the Sumo buyout, <i>the Guardian</i> published a lengthy report in which insiders at Riot Games alleged that Tencent told the developer to "consider the Chinese market's assumed preferences when designing characters."</p><p class='black-text'>The buyout also comes after Electronic Arts $1.2 billion acquisition in December of Codemasters, one of Britain's oldest names in gaming. Lately, regulators in the U.K. have stressed concerns about the pace of foreign acquisitions, particularly in the technology sector.</p><p class='black-text'>"Chinese deals may imply a higher regulatory risk, but we see no likely resistance or counterbid," wrote analysts at Jefferies in a note on Monday. "We always understood Tencent's interest in Sumo as being that Sumo has 'AAA potential' and might have seen the group's future pipeline as attractive."</p><p class='black-text'>Tencent's buyout spree did not stop with Sumo. On Tuesday, the Swedish game developer Stunlock Studios disclosed that Tencent had bought a majority stake in their company.</p><p class='black-text'>"With this new, deepened partnership, Stunlock Studios will continue to develop games independently, while being backed by Tencent's strategic support," wrote the developer in a statement.</p> http://www.pws.io/tencent-buys-british-game-developer-sumo-group-for-126-billion Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:23:31 -0400 David Fladger Square Looking to Build Defi System Integrating Bitcoin http://www.pws.io/square-looking-to-build-defi-system-integrating-bitcoin <p class='black-text'>Last week, 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> and 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> founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Square was launching a defi platform for developers to create projects around bitcoin. So far, most defi projects have been built on top of ethereum. Dorsey said the project's goal was to make "it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services." This follows an earlier announcement from Dorsey that Square was working on a bitcoin hardware wallet.</p><p class='black-text'>The announcement is making waves for two reasons. The first is that bitcoin has been lagging behind newer cryptocurrencies which are more adaptable for purposes beyond speculation or being a "store of wealth." Dorsey and Square's involvement could help unlock smart contracts with bitcoin and help it stay competitive with other coins for commercial purposes. It could lead to more businesses and apps being built on top of bitcoin just like ethereum.</p><p class='black-text'>The second reason is that Square's involvement with defi could be seen as a step closer to legitimizing this area which is often considered the "Wild West." This is because there's little institutional participation, and many are naturally distrustful. However, if a large and public company were backing the technology, then many players on the sidelines could look to get involved.</p><p class='black-text'><i>deFi Background</i></p><p class='black-text'>During the last phase of crypto-mania which peaked at the end of 2017, a huge surge in buying was driven by initial coin offerings (ICO). These were essentially offshoots of bitcoin and ethereum, and people were buying the coins in hopes of similar returns. It also fed into higher prices for bitcoin and ethereum as these coins were necessary to participate in ICOs.</p><p class='black-text'>This time, crypto buying has been driven by decentralized finance which is primarily built on top of ethereum. Defi has grown from $1 billion at the beginning of 2020 to an estimated $80 billion currently. Essentially, defi offers traditional financial services but with no intermediary so users can give or take loans, make trades, or participate in DAOs. Of course, there is tons of skepticism that these can function especially through enhanced periods of market volatility.</p><p class='black-text'>And many point to the fact that the vast majority of ICOs were nothing more than get rich quick schemes as a plausible endpoint for many defi protocols. However, it must be said that defi has continued to work despite a more than 50% drop in coin prices. Further, it also seems logical that cryptocurrencies can eliminate the middle-man as the Internet has done in so many industries.</p> http://www.pws.io/square-looking-to-build-defi-system-integrating-bitcoin Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:14:33 -0400 Jaimini Desai Xiaomi Surpasses Apple as #2 Phone Manufacturer http://www.pws.io/xiaomi-surpasses-apple-as-2-phone-manufacturer <p class='black-text'>Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XIACF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XIACF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XIACF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XIACF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XIACF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has overtaken 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> as the second-largest phone producer by market share, according to research from a leading global market analyst firm.</p><p class='black-text'>Xiaomi overtook Apple as of the second quarter, according to Canalys, putting the firm behind current industry leader Samsung <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SSNLF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SSNLF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SSNLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SSNLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SSNLF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. According to observers, Xiaomi's success is largely attributed to the company's mass-market appeal, as opposed to the higher-end markets that Apple exclusively tailors to.</p><p class='black-text'>Xiaomi is looking to penetrate that market, though in doing so, it not only faces resistance from titans such as Apple and Samsung but from domestic competitors similarly looking to gain shares of the premium market.</p><p class='black-text'>"It will be a tough battle, with Oppo and Vivo sharing the same objective, and both willing to spend big on above-the-line marketing to build their brands in a way that Xiaomi is not," Canalys research manager Ben Stanton wrote of Xiaomi's two prominent competitors. "All vendors are fighting hard to secure component supply amid global shortages, but Xiaomi already has its sights set on the next prize: displacing Samsung to become the world's largest vendor."</p><p class='black-text'>Whether or not Xiaomi will retain its #2 position remains uncertain; as others have pointed out, Q2 is typically weak for Apple due to the firm's preferred product development and release schedule. However, what is certain is that the low-cost manufacturer is rapidly becoming a considerable force in the global smartphone market.</p><p class='black-text'>The tit-for-tat Sino-American Trade War saw previous Chinese frontrunner Huawei lose ground to competitors. Xiaomi benefitted from relative insulation against the trade war, avoiding a blacklisting akin to Huawei. Even as negotiations continue to ease measures enacted during the trade war, Huawei is unlikely to recover from the immense damage inflicted, leaving Xiaomi plenty of room for growth.</p><p class='black-text'>OTC shares of Xiaomi were up on the news of the firm's accomplishment, gaining 7.6% in a pre-market rush on Friday.</p> http://www.pws.io/xiaomi-surpasses-apple-as-2-phone-manufacturer Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:12:22 -0400 Michael Mooney Gamer Alert: Netflix to Begin Offering Video Games http://www.pws.io/gamer-alert-netflix-to-begin-offering-video-games <p class='black-text'>With Disney+ <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Hulu, and Amazon Prime <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> on the rise, 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> is looking to expand upon its current status as the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/15/media/netflix-video-games/index.html">king of streaming</a> by adding video games to the platform. According to the company, games will be added and available without an additional charge within the next year.</p><p class='black-text'>According to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-14/netflix-plans-to-offer-video-games-in-expansion-beyond-films-tv">initial reporting by <i>Bloomberg</i></a>, video games will be shown as a new genre alongside existing categories like documentaries and dramas.</p><p class='black-text'>Netflix has been a pioneer in streaming, leading to its current user base of <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/20/media/netflix-earnings/index.html">200 million subscribers</a>. Those subscribers serve as the company's sole source of revenue, and they have so far been a reliable resource. However, with the pandemic coming to an end and potential users going back to work, recent subscriber growth reports have been dismal.</p><p class='black-text'>After giving forecasts that the platform would have 210 million subscribers by the first quarter of 2021, Netflix reported on July 13 that its global subscriber count stood at 208 million.</p><p class='black-text'>"We believe paid membership growth slowed due to the big Covid-19 pull forward in 2020," Netflix wrote in a letter to investors.</p><p class='black-text'>Netflix claimed that after last year's boom in the midst of the pandemic, it was hard for this year's numbers to hold up in comparison. It also argued that pandemic production delays are likely to lead to thin offerings throughout the first half of this year, but that the television and film lineup should recover by the second half.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite strong first-quarter profits, Netflix's share price fell by as much as 11% in after-hours trading following the disappointing subscriber announcement. Investors were clearly looking towards that subscriber growth count as a sign of the company's health.</p><p class='black-text'>Now, the company plans to take a page out of its competitors' books by diversifying. After all, Disney and NBCUniversal <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> already sell merchandise and theme park tickets. Unlike Netflix, they aren't fully reliant on their streaming platforms for a source of revenue. Video games might look like a good way for the company to shore up its bottom line.</p><p class='black-text'>This also isn't the first time that Netflix has gotten into gaming. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/12/media/netflix-stranger-things-video-game/index.html">In 2019</a>, the platform announced that it would be releasing a "Stranger Things"-based game for iPhones <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> and Androids <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 well as a "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" series-based game for the Nintendo Switch <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NTDOY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NTDOY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NTDOY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NTDOY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NTDOY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Playstation 4 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SONY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SONY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SONY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SONY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SONY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Xbox One <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>.</p><p class='black-text'>Mike Verdu has been brought on to serve as the vice president of game development. He previously worked as Facebook's vice president of content overseeing the company's foray into virtual reality. He has also served as the vice president of mobile for gaming giant Electronic Arts <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>There are some reasons to be wary of Netflix's upcoming video game venture: streaming games has historically been a flop. Ads for <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/tech/google-stadia-launch/index.html">Google's Stadia</a> were plastered across the internet prior to its launch, but Google recently announced that it would be abandoning the service <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/01/tech/google-stadia-sge-shutdown/index.html">after less than two years</a>. Amazon has also tried and failed to start a streaming platform as well as a free-to-play "Fortnite"-style game.</p> http://www.pws.io/gamer-alert-netflix-to-begin-offering-video-games Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:04:17 -0400 Autumn McLain Facebook to Pay $1 Billion to Creators Through 2022 http://www.pws.io/facebook-to-pay-1-billion-to-creators-through-2022 <p class='black-text'>By the end of the year 2022, social media giant 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> intends to place over $1 billion in investment programs that provide new methods to earn money for the material that they make on Facebook and Instagram. This includes artists, style experts, entertainers, and creators, who instill a good deal of passion and imagination throughout all that is seen in the apps.</p><p class='black-text'>As they continue to establish creative tools, such as Live Audio Rooms and Bulletin, in addition to revenue-generating items like Stars and Affiliate, they also would prefer to recognize creators, particularly those who are just initiating, for making material that their communities thoroughly enjoy and are passionate about.</p><p class='black-text'>This particular investment will involve new bonus programs that pay potential creators for reaching specific milestones when they utilize Facebook's imaginative and revenue-generating tools. Facebook will additionally offer money for creators to make their material.</p><p class='black-text'>Their main objective is to guide as many creators as possible in discovering lasting accomplishment on the Facebook apps. Facebook is now offering bonus programs that will recompense a vast amount of different creators for sharing their excellent material that individuals find to be enjoyable.</p><p class='black-text'>Bonuses will additionally enable creators to comprehend the content that works best for them. Bonus programs will occur on a seasonal basis, growing larger and larger with time. Whereas some bonus programs are already available to certain creators via invitation, such as the Badges and Stars Challenges, Facebook plans on coming out with a devoted place within the Instagram app over the summer, as well as in the Facebook app throughout the fall, which is where creators can learn more information concerning bonuses that would be available to them.</p><p class='black-text'>There are a few different bonuses that are readily available on Facebook and Instagram now. Some of them include: in-stream bonus, stars bonus, IGTV bonus, badges in Live bonus, and the Reels Summer bonus. All of these have the approaches of being authentic, attainable, simple, and actionable.</p><p class='black-text'>The new investments that Facebook hopes to employ toward content creators for both Facebook and Instagram will surely make an impact on both of these popular apps. New levels of originality and opportunity are on the rise for both of social media platforms, and creators will become motivated to become more imaginative than ever with the material that they present.</p> http://www.pws.io/facebook-to-pay-1-billion-to-creators-through-2022 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 12:00:31 -0400 Stephanie Williams WHO Head Warns of Another Pandemic Wave as Vaccines are Distributed Inequitably http://www.pws.io/who-head-warns-of-another-pandemic-wave-as-vaccines-are-distributed-inequitably <p class='black-text'>The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned that the world is currently in the early stages of another wave of coronavirus infections, and that the inequitable distribution of vaccines threatens to restart the pandemic all over again.</p><p class='black-text'>"The global failure to share vaccines, tests, and treatments--including oxygen--is fuelling a two-track pandemic: the haves are opening up, while the have-nots are locking down," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a <a href="https://www.who.int/director-general/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-keynote-speech-at-the-138th-international-olympic-committee-session">speech at the 138th International Olympic Committee Session</a>. "The longer this discrepancy persists, the longer the pandemic will drag on, and so will the social and economic turmoil it brings."</p><p class='black-text'>Tedros stated that more than 3.5 billion vaccines doses have been administered globally, with more than one-in-four people in the world receiving at least one dose. While that sounds like an encouraging milestone towards the end of the pandemic, the vaccines have been distributed in a very inequitable way, with 75% of vaccines being administered to just 10 countries.</p><p class='black-text'>"In low income countries, only 1% of people have recieved at least one dose, compared with the more than half of people in high-income countries," Tedros said. " Some of the richest countries are now talking about third booster shots for their populations, while health-workers, older people and other vulnerable groups in the rest of the world continue to go without."</p><p class='black-text'>While not only demonstrating a "horrifying injustice" in vaccine distribution, it is also leaving the world more vulnerable to the development of new and possibly worse COVID variant strains as the virus continues to mutate with ongoing transmission, Tedros said. The more variants, the more likely a new strain will emerge that evades this current generation of vaccines, which will move the pandemic back to where it started over a year and a half ago.</p><p class='black-text'>"The tragedy of this pandemic is that it could have been under control by now, if the vaccine had been allocated more equitably," Tedros said. "The pandemic is a test. And the world is failing."</p><p class='black-text'>Tedros said that the heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, alongside the WHO, have called for a massive global push to vaccinate at least 10% of the population of every country by September, at least 40% by the end of the year, and 70% by mid-next year. If the world can reach those goals, Tedros continued, the pandemic will not only end, but the global economy will also recover.</p><p class='black-text'>"The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all many painful but important lessons. One of the most important is that when health is at risk, everything is at risk," Tedros said. "That's why WHO's top priority is universal health coverage. Our vision is a world in which all people can access the health services they need, where they need them, without facing financial hardship."</p><p class='black-text'>"The pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it," Tedros added. "It's in our hands. We have all the tools we need: we can prevent this disease, we can test for it, and we can treat it."</p> http://www.pws.io/who-head-warns-of-another-pandemic-wave-as-vaccines-are-distributed-inequitably Thu, 22 Jul 2021 11:52:10 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Nasdaq Outperforms Flat Market on Tech Optimism http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-open-flat-on-job-market-recovery-concerns <p class='black-text'>Stocks rose slightly on Thursday, as tech shares boosted the broader market as investors became concerned following an unexpected jump in weekly jobless claims. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outperformed in a relatively flat market, while the S&P 500 was not too far behind and the Dow Jones ended the session just in the green.</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>: +0.20% or +8.79 points to 4,367.48</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>: +0.07% or +25.35 points to 34,823.35</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>: +0.36% or +52.64 points to 14,684.60</p><p class='black-text'><b>Existing homes sales rise in June: </b></p><p class='black-text'>After four straight months of declines, sales of existing homes rose by 1.4% in June month-to-month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.86 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) <a href="https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-expand-1-4-in-june">latest report</a>. These sales represent closings, so they are based on contracts signed in April and May.</p><p class='black-text'>Sales were 22.9% higher year-over-year, but the NAR notes that the annual comparison is still slightly skewed due to pandemic lockdowns in parts of the United States last summer. Inventory at the end of the month was 1.25 million, representing a 2.6 month supply, an improvement from May's 2.5 month supply of homes for sale.</p><p class='black-text'>"At a broad level, home prices are in no danger of a decline due to tight inventory conditions, but I do expect prices to appreciate at a slower pace by the end of the year," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a press statement. "Ideally, the costs for a home would rise roughly in line with income growth, which is likely to happen in 2022 as more listings and new construction become available."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Uber Freight to buy Transplaces for $2.25 billion: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Uber Freight <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>, the rideshare company's trucking division, announced Thursday a deal to acquire Transplace for $2.25 billion from the private equity firm TPG. The deal consists of up to $750 million in Uber common stock and the remainder in cash.</p><p class='black-text'>The deal, according to the companies, will create one of the leading logistics technology platforms, as it comes at a time of accelerated transformation in logistics.</p><p class='black-text'>"The demands of a volatile market and the increasing complexity of globalized logistics are clashing with industrial-age transportation technology," the companies said in a <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210722005602/en/Uber-Freight-to-Acquire-Transplace">press statement</a>. "In the midst of capacity constraints and escalating transportation costs, shippers are adapting their operations at an increasing pace and looking for technology, support, and solutions that can modernize their supply chain and keep critical goods, and the economy, moving."</p><p class='black-text'>The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market started trading after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.11% or +4.83 points to 4,363.52</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.03% or -11.05 points to 34,786.95</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.27% or +38.79 points to 14,670.75</p><p class='black-text'><b>Job market hit with another setback: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Market sentiment took a hit this morning after initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose in the Labor Department's <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20211377.pdf">latest report</a>, demonstrating the continued choppiness of the job market's pandemic recovery.</p><p class='black-text'>Initial unemployment claims for the week ended July 17 totaled 419,000, up from the previous week's upwardly revised 368,000 and well above consensus expectations for a decline of 350,000. While claims have decreased from their April 2020 record of 6.149 million, they still remain above the 200,000 to 250,000 range that is seen as normal in healthy labor market conditions.</p><p class='black-text'>However, continuing jobless claims fell to their lowest level since late March 2020, declining to 3,236,000 for the week ended July 10. The previous week's total was revised higher to 3,265,000.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-open-flat-on-job-market-recovery-concerns Thu, 22 Jul 2021 08:32:51 -0400 Rachel Hemple U.S. and Allies tie Chinese Government to Microsoft Cyberattack http://www.pws.io/us-and-allies-tie-chinese-government-to-microsoft-cyberattack <p class='black-text'>On Monday, the Biden administration, along with a broad coalition of allies, formally accused hackers with ties to Chinese intelligence services of hacking into Microsoft's <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> email servers back in March. In addition to these charges, the coalition also roundly condemned Beijing for its alleged role in facilitating a wide variety of "malicious cyber activities" across the globe.</p><p class='black-text'>"The United States and countries around the world are holding the People's Republic of China accountable for its pattern of irresponsible, disruptive, and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace," U.S. Secretary of State Antony J Blinken told reporters Monday. China's Ministry of State Security, he added, "has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain."</p><p class='black-text'>The U.K., Canada, Japan, New Zealand, NATO, the European Union, and others also joined in attributing the Microsoft Exchange Server hack to actors with ties to China's leadership. However, the U.S. and its allies stopped short of formally sanctioning China for its alleged role in these and other activities.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, on Monday, the U.S. Justice Department also unsealed an indictment against three Chinese officials charged with using front companies to siphon data from U.S. government agencies, universities, and corporations from 2011 to 2018, data which included research on the Ebola virus.</p><p class='black-text'>By joining in the U.S.-led condemnation, both the E.U., NATO, and their member states, broke with their usual policy of strategic silence concerning one of their most integral trade partners.</p><p class='black-text'>"We call on all states, including China, to uphold their international commitments and obligations to act responsibly in the international system, including cyberspace," said the Treaty Organization.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Joesph Borrell Fontelles, the E.U.'s foreign policy chief, didn't go so far as to link the attacks to the Chinese government, at least not directly. Instead, he urged Chinese authorities not to allow their "territory to be used" for malicious cyber attacks.</p><p class='black-text'>"The U.S. has repeatedly made groundless attacks and malicious smear against China on cybersecurity," Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-administration-to-blame-hackers-tied-to-china-for-microsoft-cyberattack-spree-11626692401?mod=hp_lead_pos2">told the </a><i><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-administration-to-blame-hackers-tied-to-china-for-microsoft-cyberattack-spree-11626692401?mod=hp_lead_pos2">Wall Street Journal</a></i> on late Monday. "This another old trick, with nothing new in it."</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, China's Embassy in New Zealand released a statement on Tuesday calling the allegations "totally groundless and irresponsible."</p><p class='black-text'>"The Chinese government is a staunch defender of cybersecurity and firmly opposes and fights all forms of cyber attacks and crimes in accordance with law," read the statement. "Given the virtual nature of cyberspace, one must have clear evidence when investigating and identifying cyber-related incidents. Making accusations without proof is malicious smear."</p><p class='black-text'>In March, Microsoft attributed the breach of its email servers to Hafnium, a cyber-intelligence ring with supposed ties to the Chinese government. China's foreign ministry dismissed Microsoft's initial assessment. Since March, however, the U.S. has developed a high degree of confidence that actors with state ties were responsible for the wide-reaching attack.</p><p class='black-text'>"No one action can change China's behavior in cyberspace," a top White House official told reporters on Sunday, "And neither could just one country acting on its own."</p><p class='black-text'>The same official stressed that the administration sought to maximize diplomatic pressure on Beijing by corralling as many allies as possible. This approach likely meant that direct sanctions weren't on the table ahead of the announcement.</p><p class='black-text'>"We've made it clear that we'll continue to take actions to protect the American people from malicious cyber activity, no matter who's responsible," the official continued. "And we're not ruling out further actions to hold the PRC accountable."</p> http://www.pws.io/us-and-allies-tie-chinese-government-to-microsoft-cyberattack Wed, 21 Jul 2021 13:07:47 -0400 David Fladger U.S. Sues Amazon Over Thousands of Allegedly Hazardous Products http://www.pws.io/us-sues-amazon-over-thousands-of-allegedly-hazardous-products <p class='black-text'>A federal agency is alleging that 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 offering thousands of potentially dangerous products for sale on their website. In an effort to get the company to recall the products the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has filed <a href="https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/recall/lawsuits/abc/001-In-re-Amazon-com-Inc__.pdf?TvLLxHy1UMfiz3BpfXaKjQy1ibQbYAiU">a suit against Amazon</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>"The named products include 24,000 faulty carbon monoxide detectors that fail to alarm [when gas is present], numerous children's sleepwear garments that are in violation of the flammable fabric safety standard risking burn injuries to children, and nearly 400,000 hairdryers sold without the <a href="https://cpsc.gov/Business--Manufacturing/Business-Education/Business-Guidance/Household-Electrical-Products/Hand-Supported-Hair-Dryers/">required</a> immersion protection devices that protect consumers against shock and electrocution," CPSC wrote in <a href="https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2021/CPSC-Sues-Amazon-to-Force-Recall-of-Hazardous-Products-Sold-on-Amazon-com">a press release</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The Commission hopes that this new administrative complaint will push the company to cooperate with them on a full recall and refund for affected products.</p><p class='black-text'>"Although Amazon has taken certain action with respect to some of the named products, the complaint charges that those actions are insufficient," the release continues.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Amazon, it has already removed and refunded the majority of the products listed in the suit. The company says it's confused by the suit which is apparently asking them to "take actions almost entirely duplicative of those we've already taken."</p><p class='black-text'>"For the remaining few products in question, the CPSC did not provide Amazon with enough information for us to take action and despite our requests, CPSC has remained unresponsive," an Amazon spokesperson <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/07/15/1016512896/us-consumer-agency-sues-amazon-to-recall-dangerous-products">told reporters</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The CPSC's criticisms seem to fall on Amazon's efforts to notify the public about these hazardous products, as well as their efforts to recover and destroy the products without charging consumers.</p><p class='black-text'>The majority of the products sold on Amazon are sold through its Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program which allows third-party merchants to sell products on their platform.</p><p class='black-text'>"Today's vote to file an administrative complaint against Amazon was a huge step forward for this small agency," Acting Chairman Robert Adler said in the CPSC release. "But it's a huge step across a vast desert-we must grapple with how to deal with these massive third-party platforms more efficiently, and how best to protect the American consumers who rely on them."</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/07/business/peloton-treadmill-recall-safety-regulators/index.html">In the past</a>, the CPSC has failed to hold much sway with companies that sell hazardous products, even when those products have been connected to <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/12/us/fisher-price-rock-n-play-sleeper-recall/index.html">dozens of infant deaths</a>. Companies hold the majority of the power when it comes to product safety, a fact that has put consumers in danger.</p><p class='black-text'>"The CPSC faces a nearly insurmountable hurdle each and every time the agency wants to warn the public about a hazardous product," Adler said in a May recall of Peloton <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PTON"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PTON</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PTON" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PTON" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PTON" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> treadmills. "It is plain to see how bad it is for consumers that we are so limited in how we can protect them."</p> http://www.pws.io/us-sues-amazon-over-thousands-of-allegedly-hazardous-products Wed, 21 Jul 2021 13:03:37 -0400 Autumn McLain Elon Musk Says He Doesn't Care if Cybertruck "Flops" http://www.pws.io/elon-musk-says-he-doesnt-care-if-cybertruck-flops <p class='black-text'>Tesla <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> CEO Elon Musk stated this past Thursday to 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> fans that there is "always some chance" that his business' soon-to-be-released upcoming Cybertruck will "flop." Nevertheless, Musk intends to maintain the Cybertruck "production design" almost precisely the same as its show car, which is a big metal trapezoid.</p><p class='black-text'>He also stated, however, that he "doesn't care" regarding any potential that the Cybertruck could fail, given that he personally enjoys its design.</p><p class='black-text'>"To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else. I don't care. I love it so much even if others don't. Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future," Musk tweeted.</p><p class='black-text'>The launch event of the Cybertruck 2019 caused quite a commotion because of the atypical design of the car and since Musk asked Tesla design leader Franz von Holzhausen to attempt to break the car's windows, which he ended up doing. Von Holzhausen tossed a metal ball toward one of the windows, much to Musk's surprise, given that the glass shattered, although remained in place.</p><p class='black-text'>In spite of the launch disarray and mass confusion, as well as the uncertainty regarding when Tesla will be able to begin coming out with the Cybertruck, the $100 orders began coming forward. Musk gloated that the business saw 250,000 within a week of the Cybertruck's launching.</p><p class='black-text'>This past September, at Tesla's yearly shareholder meeting and Battery Day event, Musk revealed that had obtained such a high amount of Cybertruck orders that the business was no longer keeping track. "The orders are gigantic," he said, "... well over half a million orders. I think maybe six hundred thou- it's a lot, basically. We stopped counting."</p><p class='black-text'>Musk also wrote, "In end, we kept production design almost exactly same as show car. Just some small tweaks here & there to make it slightly better. No door handles. Car recognizes you & opens door. Having all four wheels steer is amazing for nimble handling & tight turns!"</p><p class='black-text'>Although Musk seems indifferent regarding whether or not his new Cybertruck will succeed, he nevertheless still seems to be enjoying some level of accomplishment, given that he had lost count on the amount of Cybertruck orders this past September. Musk seems to have the right attitude in some ways, since he values design and purpose of the vehicle before popularity. But it seems to be proving its level of success in spite of any attitude of complacency that Musk may have toward it.</p> http://www.pws.io/elon-musk-says-he-doesnt-care-if-cybertruck-flops Wed, 21 Jul 2021 13:00:59 -0400 Stephanie Williams Kanzhun Slightly Higher Following IPO http://www.pws.io/kanzhun-slightly-higher-following-ipo <p class='black-text'>Kanzhun <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> went public in early June at $33 which was above its pre-IPO price of $19. Since then, shares have mostly traded and are about 7% above its opening price. This is impressive considering that many Chinese tech stocks and IPOs have been quite weak in the past couple of weeks as the government has taken a much tougher stance on regulating tech companies.</p><p class='black-text'>Many believe that Chinese authorities were alarmed by U.S. tech companies' power, which they flexed by banning President Donald Trump from platforms following the January 6th insurrection. China's recent moves seem to be about reducing the power of tech companies, and many fear that the structure used to list IPOs in foreign markets could be rescinded.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Kanzhun Profile</i></p><p class='black-text'>Kanzhun is known as Boss Zhipin in China and is an online recruitment platform. In its IPO, the company was able to raise $912 million from investors such as UB Asset Management and Tiger Global. Some of its prominent early backers include Tencent <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCEHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCEHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, NetEase <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NTES"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NTES</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NTES" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NTES" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NTES" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Capital Today, a prominent Chinese venture capital firm.</p><p class='black-text'>Kanzhun is the largest online job site in China with 25 million monthly active users. The website attempts to connect job seekers directly to job hunters by using AI and analytics. Employers and prospective employees can chat on the platform with Kanzhun charging employers for placement, listings, and access to various features. In this regard, Kanzhun has some similarities with a recent IPO - ZipRecruiter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZIP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZIP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZIP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZIP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZIP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Kanzhun has been remarkably successful in terms of its metrics with users growing from 11.5 million in 2019 to 24.9 million in March. In Q1, the number of job seekers grew by 12%. Revenue increased by 95% in 2020 to $298 million with the bulk of it coming from enterprise customers who total 2.2 million. This growth continued in Q1 as revenue grew 179%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>The company has more upside as it only has 1% market share of the total recruitment industry in China. Additionally, this total market should grow especially as recruitment continues to move online. Further, the company has an early-mover advantage in its particular niche of recruitment and should benefit from network effects.</p><p class='black-text'>The major known risk of Kanzhun is that its not yet profitable as it continues to invest in user growth and quite expensive. However, this risk is common with IPOs and growth stocks and tends to be intrinsic in high-reward opportunities. However, the unknown risk is whether the Chinese government will continue its crackdown on tech companies. They have specifically cited protecting user data as a priority, so it wouldn't be surprising if Kanzhun felt some effects of this. Additionally, some believe that there is some risk that all Chinese companies listed in the U.S. could be de-listed as a consequence of the heightened tensions between the two countries.</p> http://www.pws.io/kanzhun-slightly-higher-following-ipo Wed, 21 Jul 2021 12:48:05 -0400 Jaimini Desai “We All Quit” Incident Should be Very Concerning for Low-Wage Employers http://www.pws.io/we-all-quit-incident-should-be-very-concerning-for-low-wage-employers <p class='black-text'>"We all quit," a Lincoln, Nebraska Burger King (parent company 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>) announced to passersby after the vast majority of the store's employees had resigned.</p><p class='black-text'>The incident quickly went viral, with members of the press eventually catching up to the former employees for comment. "We became essential; and then we weren't treated essential by upper management." said Kylee Johnson. While the viral status of an incident will likely have little effect for Yum! or Burger King, the incident and Johnson's reason for her and her co-workers' mass resignation should be much more concerning not just for the restaurant operators but also for the restaurant operators low-wage employers in general.</p><p class='black-text'>The employees of the Lincoln Burger King are just a few of the countless low-wage workers in the United States acting out against employers over the nature of their work. Many low-wage jobs, especially those in foodservice, demand long hours of their employees for unlivable wages and a dearth of benefits. As it had been, the status quo was to take multiple jobs and simply endure the high-stress nature of low-wage work, as it has become the only means of employment for many workers.</p><p class='black-text'>The sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic has triggered the deployment of stimulus benefits that would allow low-wage workers to stay at home while making livable wages and seems to have caused a mass questioning of the nature of low-wage jobs by workers. It's the questioning of the very nature of high-stress, low-wage work that should be of utmost concern for low-wage employers; even when stimulus measures fully expire, workers have shown that their tolerance for such employment has been greatly diminished.</p><p class='black-text'>Complicating matters currently is the ongoing competition between low-wage employers and stimulus unemployment, which keeps low-wage workers at home despite a reduction in payment size to $300. The competition between many businesses has triggered a blitz of wage increases, newly instituted benefits, and signing bonuses. This will likely become the trend going forward, especially as workers exercise more caution in taking historically taxing low-wage work.</p><p class='black-text'>Reconciliation with low-wage workers only appears to be beneficial for employers going forward. The nature of low-wage work meant that many high-stress jobs such as fry cooking or convenience retail experienced high turnover due to the poor conditions and unlivable wage. Addressing concerns of work conditions could help reduce the expenditures for employers while increasing employee satisfaction and retention.</p><p class='black-text'>If the trend holds, the inevitable outcome is the failure of many businesses that cannot afford higher wages. As many experts have pointed out, though, there is a considerable saturation of small businesses in the United States. The likely inevitable outcome will see companies that can adjust their business model attracting workers, while many others fail. While dismal, equilibrium between labor supply and demand could be immensely beneficial for economic recovery post-pandemic, especially if employers can adequately address the complaints of low-wage workers.</p> http://www.pws.io/we-all-quit-incident-should-be-very-concerning-for-low-wage-employers Wed, 21 Jul 2021 12:44:36 -0400 Michael Mooney COVID Recession is Officially the Shortest on Record http://www.pws.io/covid-recession-is-officially-the-shortest-on-record <p class='black-text'>The coronavirus pandemic-induced recession is on record as one of the deepest--but also the shortest---in United States history, according to the official documentor of economic cycles.</p><p class='black-text'>The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) concluded in its <a href="https://www.nber.org/news/business-cycle-dating-committee-announcement-july-19-2021">official report</a> released Monday that the COVID-19 economic contraction only lasted two months, from February 2020 to the following April, making it the shortest recession on record.</p><p class='black-text'>"The NBER's traditional definition of a recession involves a decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months," the institution said in a statement. "Nonetheless, the committee concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warranted the designation of this episode as a recession, even though the downturn was briefer than earlier contractions."</p><p class='black-text'>And that economic drop was staggering, with U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) plunging 31.4% lower in the second quarter of 2020, only to massively recover in the following quarter, with output rising by 33.4% on the back of unprecedented stimulus from the Federal Reserve.</p><p class='black-text'>The NBER said it also based its decision on trends on both GDP and gross domestic income, with most economic indicators returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, employment, which is arguably the most important economic indicator, still lags behind in recovery, with roughly 7 million fewer Americans at work now than before February 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>Though devastating, the COVID recession is the briefest in U.S. history, with the second shortest recession being the period between January and July in 1980 following the period of economic stagflation in the late 1970's. The longest ever downturn on record spanned from October 1873 to March 1879, a duration of 65 months.</p><p class='black-text'>The decision that the pandemic-induced recession ended more than a year ago did not surprise Wall Street, as many economists have estimated it to be over following the economy's rise in annualized GDP for the past two quarters.</p> http://www.pws.io/covid-recession-is-officially-the-shortest-on-record Wed, 21 Jul 2021 12:42:25 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Stocks Continue Comeback From Monday's Rout http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-open-higher-wednesday <p class='black-text'>Stocks climbed higher Wednesday as the broader market moved to continue its comeback from the one-day plunge at the start of the week. All three benchmarks rose higher, with the Dow Jones now sitting about 1% from it's all-time high.</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>: +0.82% or +35.60 points to 4,358.66</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>: +0.83% or +286.01 points to 34,798.00</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>: +0.92% or +133.08 points to 14,631.95</p><p class='black-text'><b>Wedbush calls Netflix's move into videogames "ill-advised": </b></p><p class='black-text'>Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note on Wednesday that Netflix's move into video games may end up being an "ill-advised foray."</p><p class='black-text'>"While Netflix commented that it will initially focus on mobile games, we question whether the company has any idea how difficult the mobile games business has become," Pachter wrote. "The business graveyard is littered with the corpses of content companies that have failed at making mobile games, with Disney <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> the most prominent failure. Even video game publishers like Activision <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AVTI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AVTI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AVTI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AVTI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AVTI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, EA <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Take-Two <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TTWO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TTWO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Ubisoft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBSFY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBSFY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBSFY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBSFY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBSFY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Nintendo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NTDOY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NTDOY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NTDOY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NTDOY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NTDOY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> have tried for years to create compelling mobile content, and each has had lasting success only through acquisition."</p><p class='black-text'>Pachter added that Netflix could face "significant hurdles" trying to attract new audiences for its games, especially as its subscriber growth has declined in the recent quarter.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Microsoft to acquire security start-up CloudKnox: </b></p><p class='black-text'>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> announced Wednesday it's acquiring the security start-up CloudKnox, whose software helps companies reduce the amount of access they provide to their cloud resources.</p><p class='black-text'>CloudKnox's software is compatible with Microsoft's Azure public cloud, as well as clouds developed by 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 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>. The company's software spots, and can remover, cases of permissions for employees and virtual identities that aren't being actively uses. It can also show alerts about unusual activity.</p><p class='black-text'>This acquisition marks another move by the tech giant to amp up its security offerings. Last week, Microsoft announced the acquisition of another security company, RiskIQ, which can spot threats across a company's entire internet footprint.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Johnson & Johnson expects to sell $2.5 billion of COVID vaccine in 2021: </b></p><p class='black-text'>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> said Wednesday it expects to sell $2.5 billion of its COVID-19 vaccine this year, despite concerns surrounding the shot's effectiveness against the Delta variant.</p><p class='black-text'>In the second quarter, J&J's pharmaceutical arm generated $12.59 billion in revenue, a 17.2% increase year-over-year. The business segment's chairman, Jennifer Taubert, says the unit expects to continue to see strong sales regardless of COVID variants and any other "blips" related to the pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market started trading after open: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.44% or +18.87 points to 4,341.93</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.55% or +188.94 points to 34,700.93</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.29% or +42.65 points to 14,541.53</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-open-higher-wednesday Wed, 21 Jul 2021 10:50:02 -0400 Rachel Hemple Apple Plans to Enter "Buy Now, Pay Later" Industry http://www.pws.io/apple-plans-to-enter-buy-now-pay-later-industry <p class='black-text'>Recently,<i> <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-13/apple-goldman-plan-buy-now-pay-later-service-to-rival-paypal">Bloomberg</a></i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-13/apple-goldman-plan-buy-now-pay-later-service-to-rival-paypal"> reported </a>that 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> is working on a service to let iPhone users pay for purchases in installments, an announcement that sent shockwaves throughout the nascent "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) industry.</p><p class='black-text'>The world's richest company will use 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> as a lender for these installment loans, an unnamed source told <i>Bloomberg</i>. The new service, called Apple Pay Later by insiders, won't be tied to the Apple Card and won't require one, paving the way for Apple to earn billions in transaction fees.</p><p class='black-text'>After all, Apple Pay is accepted by 85% of retailers, according to the company.</p><p class='black-text'>The application process for this new service will take place within the iPhone's Wallet app. After approval, users can split their payments into four interest-free installments, or chose to pay off their balance over several months, with interest, whenever they use Apple Pay.</p><p class='black-text'>Sources didn't disclose how much interest would be charged on these loans, but rates are expected to be competitive. BNPL giant Affirm Ltd charges as much as 30% on its monthly loans, but its rivals often charge less.</p><p class='black-text'>The news sent shares of the aforementioned Affirm Ltd <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AFRM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AFRM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AFRM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AFRM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AFRM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> tumbling by as much as 10%. Meanwhile, in Sydney, shares of Afterpay Ltd <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AFTPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AFTPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AFTPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AFTPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AFTPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> closed down 9.6% in the wake of the <i>Bloomberg</i> story.</p><p class='black-text'>The BNPL sector has been booming as a crush of post-pandemic online shopping slams into digital storefronts. The BNPL has primarily boiled down to a few names whose dominance has gone unchallenged. However, if<i> Bloomberg</i> is to be believed, the likes of Zip Co <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZIZTF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZIZTF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZIZTF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZIZTF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZIZTF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Sezzle Inc, Klarna Bank, and even PayPal <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PYPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PYPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> will have to square off against Apple with its considerable resources.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Truist analyst Andrew Jeffery indicates that it's too early to count out smaller players like Affirm. According to Jeffery, the 10% drop in that stocks price is an overreaction. The terms of Apple's new service remain subject to change, and Jeffery notes that it will debut with a much smaller total addressable market if it remains confined to the Apple Card.</p><p class='black-text'>When it comes to Affirm specifically, Mr. Jeffery notes its superiority over its "split pay" competitors in terms of merchant integration and underwriting abilities.</p><p class='black-text'>As of this writing, shares of Affirm are down 40.87% year to date. Meanwhile, Shares of Apple hit a record high last week.</p> http://www.pws.io/apple-plans-to-enter-buy-now-pay-later-industry Tue, 20 Jul 2021 15:11:43 -0400 David Fladger Taiwan Semiconductor Lower Following Margin Compression http://www.pws.io/taiwan-semiconductor-lower-following-margin-compression <p class='black-text'>Taiwan Semiconductor's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> earnings reports have become highly anticipated as it is the largest semiconductor producer in the world, handling production for companies like AMD <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and 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>. Shares were lower, following the company's Q2 results which showed it meeting expectations for earnings but dropping on profit margin concerns.</p><p class='black-text'>Many tech stocks have been weak since mid-February including Taiwan Semiconductor. Since then, the stock is down by nearly 20% along with most other semiconductor stocks. In recent weeks, some tech stocks have put together decent rallies to retest and in some cases exceed their February highs, however, Taiwan Semiconductor has remained range-bound.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q3, Taiwan Semiconductor reported $0.93 per share in earnings, an 18% increase from last year's Q2 and in line with analysts' expectations. Revenue increased by 28% to $13.3 billion in the quarter. However, shares were lower as its outlook came in below expectations, and there were indications of compression in profit margins.</p><p class='black-text'>For the next quarter, Taiwan Semiconductor forecasts revenue between $14.6 billion and $14.9 billion. This compares to last year's Q3 revenue of $12.4 billion and last year's Q3 revenue of $12.4 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>The company attributed its increase in revenue due to strength in high-performance computing and automotive-related demand. In the earnings release, Chief Financial Officer Wendell Huang said: "Moving into third quarter 2021, we expect our business to be supported by strong demand for our industry-leading 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer technologies, driven by all four growth platforms, which are smartphone, HPC, IoT (Internet of Things) and automotive-related applications."</p><p class='black-text'>One of the reasons that Taiwan Semiconductor was able to displace Intel <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/INTC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">INTC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="INTC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="INTC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="INTC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as the leading semiconductor company as it was the first to develop 5nm and 7nm chips. In Q2, 5nm chips accounted for 18% of revenue, while 7nm chips accounted for 31% of revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of sales and earnings, Taiwan Semiconductor's results were quite strong, so its weakness is related to lower than expected margins in Q2 and lower guidance for gross margins. Gross margins in Q2 came in at 50% below expectations of 51%. The company also expects 50% gross margins in Q3.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Taiwan Semiconductor is expected to get a boost from sales of the iPhone 13 <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> over the next couple of quarters as it produces many different chips used in the phone. The company is also aggressively investing in capacity to help reduce the chip crunch.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of its stock, Taiwan Semiconductor is a high-quality, leading company. It remains favorably valued with a forward price to earnings ratio of 24 which is cheaper than the S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Investors should keep the stock on their radar and use weakness to accumulate.</p> http://www.pws.io/taiwan-semiconductor-lower-following-margin-compression Tue, 20 Jul 2021 12:22:05 -0400 Jaimini Desai Lordstown Motors Admits to Federal Investigation http://www.pws.io/lordstown-motors-admits-to-federal-investigation <p class='black-text'>Electric vehicle (EV) startup Lordstown Motors <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RIDE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RIDE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RIDE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RIDE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RIDE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has admitted that it is under investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ). The admission comes after initial reports by the <i>Wall Street Journal</i> regarding the initial probe into the company.</p><p class='black-text'>"We have in the past been and may in the future be subject to, or become a party to, litigation, regulatory actions, and government investigations and inquiries," the company said vaguely in a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. "We have cooperated, and will continue to cooperate, with these and any other regulatory or governmental investigations and inquiries."</p><p class='black-text'>Lordstown Motors also admitted that it had received subpoenas from the SEC demanding the production of documents and information and that the full scope of its business, from the initial special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal to vehicle pre-orders, is under investigation.</p><p class='black-text'>The SEC's attention was drawn to Lordstown Motors by short-seller Hindenburg Research, which alleged that the startup was lying to investors and faking pre-order numbers. While Lordstown countered with allegations that Hindenburg itself was misleading, the SEC's interest was still piqued.</p><p class='black-text'>The flurry of federal activity around Lordstown Motors is only some of the trouble facing the startup, which has suffered from dwindling finances to the point of warning investors. Whether or not the company will be able to launch a product successfully is a matter of uncertainty for investors. Despite assurances from the company that the September launch of its Endurance model of pickups will proceed as planned, confidence in Lordstown Motors' ability to do so remains middling.</p><p class='black-text'>Shares of Lordstown Motors have declined 7.6% since last Monday, mainly in response to the confirmation of the probe. The downward trend may also be affected in part by a Monday selloff, which began shortly after market open.</p> http://www.pws.io/lordstown-motors-admits-to-federal-investigation Tue, 20 Jul 2021 12:18:38 -0400 Michael Mooney Delta Variant Leading to Rise in Covid Cases http://www.pws.io/delta-variant-leading-to-rise-in-covid-cases <p class='black-text'>While there has been substantial progress in terms of battling the coronavirus, it still seems that we are on the verge of another outbreak in the United States due to the Delta variant and people unwilling to be vaccinated. The virus is even infecting people who are vaccinated, however, they tend to have minimal symptoms with extremely low odds of hospitalization or death.</p><p class='black-text'>It's leading to increased urgency in terms of reaching unvaccinated people and in distributing vaccines to countries that are dealing with the virus. The Delta variant is said to be even more contagious than the original coronavirus.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Scott Gottlieb, former Chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. may be undercounting the Delta variant so we don't have a true handle on the numbers. He attributes this to vaccinated people who catch the virus and assume they have a cold or don't realize they are sick. According to Gottlieb: "There's no clear evidence that this is more pathogenic, that it's causing more serious infections. It's clearly more virulent. It's clearly far more contagious."</p><p class='black-text'>In recent weeks, the Delta variant strain has become the dominant coronavirus, accounting for 57% of cases. For the U.S., the good news is that 79% of people older than 65 are vaccinated, while 68% of adults have had at least one shot. However, the rate of vaccinations has slowed, and it doesn't seem easy to convince unvaccinated people to get a shot.</p><p class='black-text'>In some states, we are seeing the return of mask mandates. The irony is that unvaccinated people are likely most opposed to mask-wearing.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Market Impact</i></p><p class='black-text'>We are certainly seeing an impact on the stock market on this breakout. Travel and tourism stocks have been underperforming. Since early June, the U.S. Global Jets ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JETS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JETS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JETS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JETS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JETS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is down by more than 20%. Hotel stocks have largely been down around 10%, over the past 4 months, while other indices are up more than 10%. Right now, the outbreak is a place where it's accelerating, and there's little idea of how much it can spread. Therefore, investors are in a profit-taking mood in these stocks especially as they have rallied so much over the past year.</p> http://www.pws.io/delta-variant-leading-to-rise-in-covid-cases Tue, 20 Jul 2021 12:16:04 -0400 Jaimini Desai Millions to Receive Expanded Child Tax Credits http://www.pws.io/millions-to-receive-expanded-child-tax-credits <p class='black-text'>Starting on the 15th of July, <a href="https://apnews.com/article/how-child-tax-credits-work-fa15590a2c60fc665ddc59ced78dacfe">expanded child tax credits</a> averaging $423 per month will begin rolling into the bank accounts of parents of children below the age of 18. These expanded credits are covered under the Biden Administration's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and will continue through the end of the year. <a href="https://apnews.com/article/child-tax-credit-bank-accounts-0715-24023ed3ffba98e4a65dd6006518da7a">35 million families</a> across the country are expected to receive payments.</p><p class='black-text'>Prior to the expansion, the credits totaled $2,000 per child per year, and claims were restricted to parents who had owed income taxes the previous year. Now, the credit is set at $3,600 for children below the age of six, and $3,000 for those between the ages of six and 17; and claims can now be made by parents who did not owe income taxes during the year prior.</p><p class='black-text'>Due to the established norm of restricting recipients to those owing income tax, many low income families have reportedly never even heard of the child tax credit. According to the Biden Administration, this new expanded credit should help cut child poverty in half.</p><p class='black-text'>"This would be the largest ever one-year decrease in child poverty in the history of the United States of America," Biden said at a speech marking the first round of payments. "Millions of children and their families, starting today, their lives are about to change for the better. And our country would be better off for it as well."</p><p class='black-text'>To proponents of the program, it represents a groundbreaking step towards economic growth, income equality, and improved adult outcomes. To critics, it gives parents an excuse not to work, extending their poverty in the long-term. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Republican, called the expanded credit a "anti-work welfare check."</p><p class='black-text'>"Not only does Biden's plan abandon incentives for marriage and requirements for work, but it will also destroy the child-support enforcement system as we know it by sending cash payments to single parents without ensuring child-support orders are established," Rubio wrote in a statement released the day before the payments began.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the Biden Administration pushed back against Rubio's claims, reporting Treasury Department estimates showing that 97% of recipients of the credit are likely to either have a job or be self employed with the remaining 3% being made up of grandparents and those with health issues.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, the expansion is set to expire at the end of the year, but the Administration is pushing to have the program lengthened through 2025, if not permanently.</p><p class='black-text'>The credit is still restricted to households making below a certain income: payments begin to phase out at the $150,000 income range for married couples, $112,500 for heads of household, and $75,000 for individuals. However, individuals with incomes of up to $200,000 and married couples with up to $400,000 can still claim a reduced credit.</p><p class='black-text'>For those who filed taxes in the past year, the child tax credit payments should be deposited into your account on the 15th of each month. If you did not file taxes in the previous year, you can apply for the credit on the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-non-filer-sign-up-tool">Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Some parents are reportedly choosing to opt out of the monthly payments in favor of receiving a refund on their taxes. You can request to opt out of the payments on the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-update-portal">IRS site</a>, as well.</p> http://www.pws.io/millions-to-receive-expanded-child-tax-credits Tue, 20 Jul 2021 12:13:42 -0400 Autumn McLain Biden Walks Back Facebook Comments, but Continues to Pressure Tech Companies to Curb Vaccine Misinformation http://www.pws.io/biden-walks-back-facebook-comments-but-continues-to-pressure-tech-companies-to-curb-vaccine-misinfor <p class='black-text'>President Joe Biden retracted some of his previous criticisms of 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> made last week, saying Monday that he meant to accuse social media users, not the platform itself, of spreading COVID-19 misinformation.</p><p class='black-text'>"Facebook isn't killing people," Biden said, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/19/facebook-isnt-killing-people-biden-says-as-he-walks-back-attack-over-vaccine-lies.html">quoted by </a><i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/19/facebook-isnt-killing-people-biden-says-as-he-walks-back-attack-over-vaccine-lies.html">CNBC</a></i>, adding that he hopes the social media giant will do more to combat misinformation about COVID vaccines on its platform "instead of taking it personally that somehow I'm saying Facebook is killing people."</p><p class='black-text'>However, Biden <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/16/white-house-says-facebook-needs-to-do-more-to-fight-vaccine-misinformation.html">appeared to say just that last week</a>, telling White House reporters on Friday that "the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated," and that social media platforms like Facebook are "killing people," through the circulation of misinformation by their users.</p><p class='black-text'>"We will not be distracted by accusations which aren't supported by the facts," Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever said in a <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-biden-facebook-social-media-killing-people-covid/story?id=78890692&cid=social_twitter_abcn">statement to </a><i><a href="https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-biden-facebook-social-media-killing-people-covid/story?id=78890692&cid=social_twitter_abcn">ABC News</a> </i>in response to the President's comments. "The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine."</p><p class='black-text'>"The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives," Lever added. "Period."</p><p class='black-text'>Recently, the White House has increased its pressure on Facebook and other social media platforms to combat COVID vaccine misinformation as the Delta variant, which first emerged in India, becomes the dominant strain in the United States. The U.S. is still behind on Biden's self-imposed goal to have 70% of the U.S. adult population having at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4. Two weeks later, only 68.3% of that demographic has at least one dose and 59.5% are fully vaccinated, <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations">according to CDC data</a>, meaning they have received both doses of either 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 or one dose 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> shot.</p><p class='black-text'>Health officials estimate that all current COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated populations, since vaccine data demonstrates that those who are fully vaccinated are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms if they contract the Delta variant. This is why combating vaccine misinformation is so important, because COVID deaths are now pretty much preventable.</p><p class='black-text'>"We're dealing with a life or death issue here, and so everybody has a role to play in making sure there's accurate information," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said before Biden's remarks on Friday during a press conference. "[Facebook] is a private sector company. They're going to make decisions about additional steps they can take. It's clear there are more that can be taken."</p><p class='black-text'>Before Biden's comments were made, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on social media companies to curb misinformation related to the pandemic and vaccines in his <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-misinformation-advisory.pdf">first health advisory </a>since being confirmed to the position, saying "health misinformation is a serious threat to public health."</p><p class='black-text'>In a <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2021/07/15/press-briefing-by-press-secretary-jen-psaki-and-surgeon-general-dr-vivek-h-murthy-july-15-2021/">press conference </a>accompanying the health advisory, Murthy said that while health misinformation did not begin with the COVID-19 pandemic, tech companies have changed that "speed and scale" at which the false information is spreading.</p><p class='black-text'>"Modern technology companies have enabled misinformation to poison our information environment with little accountability to their users," Murthy stated. "They've allowed people who intentionally spread misinformation to have extraordinary reach."</p><p class='black-text'>"They've designed product features, such as 'Like' buttons, that reward us for sharing emotionally-charged content, not accurate content. And their algorithms tend to give us more of what we click on, pulling us deeper and deeper into a well of misinformation," Murthy added, asking tech companies to operate with greater transparency and accountability, and to consistently take action against misinformation "super-spreaders" on their platform.</p> http://www.pws.io/biden-walks-back-facebook-comments-but-continues-to-pressure-tech-companies-to-curb-vaccine-misinfor Tue, 20 Jul 2021 12:11:11 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Dow Jumps Over 500 Points as Investors Buy the Dip http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-look-to-recover-from-mondays-steep-losses <p class='black-text'>Stocks rebounded Tuesday as investors bought the dip from the Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst day in eight months on renewed COVID concerns.</p><p class='black-text'>Many stocks that were hit the hardest on Monday regained their losses Tuesday, with airlines and cruise operators both climbing higher throughout the session. Shares of 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 Delta Air Lines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, both of which fell over 4% on Monday, rallied 8% and 5%, respectively, on Tuesday, while 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> and Royal Caribbean <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RCL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RCL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RCL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RCL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RCL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> both soared over 7%, after falling over 4% in the previous session.</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>: +1.52% or +64.57 points to 4,323.06</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>: +1.62% or +549.95 to 34,511.99</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>: +1.57% to 223.89 points to 14,498.88</p><p class='black-text'><b>Delta variant is now the dominant variant in the United States: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The more transmissible Delta variant, which first emerged in India, now accounts for about 83% of sequenced COVID-19 cases in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky told Senate lawmakers during a hearing on Tuesday.</p><p class='black-text'>That is a "dramatic increase" from 50% reported on July 3, Walensky said, with COVID-related deaths rising by nearly 48% since last week to an average of over 200 per day.</p><p class='black-text'>"To date, our data indicates that vaccines are available to neutralize the circulating variants in the United States and provide protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death," Walensky added. "The message from CDC remains clear: the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants is to prevent the spread of disease and vaccination is the more powerful tool we have."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Jeff Bezos returns to Earth: </b></p><p class='black-text'>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 richest man in the world Jeff Bezos took to space on Tuesday, flying with three crew mates abroad his space venture, Blue Origin's New Shepard, before soon returning to earth.</p><p class='black-text'>"This is a tiny step of what Blue Origin is going to do. What we're really trying to do is build reusable space vehicles. It's the only way to build a road to space, and we need to build a road to space so that our children can build the future," Bezos told<i> <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/20/blue-origin-jeff-bezos-launch-watch-video-stream-live-updates.html">CNBC</a></i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/20/blue-origin-jeff-bezos-launch-watch-video-stream-live-updates.html">'s Morgan Brennan</a> after the flight. "If you want to be a space entrepreneur today, you have to do everything from the beginning. There's no real infrastructure that's at an affordable cost. So that's what we have to do, is build that kind of infrastructure and then future generations will get to rest of top of it."</p><p class='black-text'>Bezos said Tuesday that sales of Blue Origin space tourism flight tickets are "approaching $100 million" during a presentation after the flight.</p><p class='black-text'>Many estimate the new billionaire space movement, with Bezos joined by Virgin Galactic's <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> Richard Branson and SpaceX's Elon Musk, will by the next big market.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market started trading soon after opening bell:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.34% or +14.49 points to 4,272.98</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.60% or +202.34 points to 34,164.38</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.09% or +12.81 points to 14,287.80</p><p class='black-text'><b>Housing data comes in mixed: </b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. homebuilding increased at a more-than-expected rate in June despite the high cost of lumber and the shortgages of both land and labor. However, building permits for the month sharply fell, demonstrating the market's current constraints.</p><p class='black-text'>Housing starts rose 6.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.643 million units in June, according to the Commerce Department's report on Tuesday. Data for May was revised lower to a rate of 1.546 million units from the previous 1.572 million units reported. Building permits for future projects fell 5.1% to a rate of 1.598 million units in June.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-look-to-recover-from-mondays-steep-losses Tue, 20 Jul 2021 08:45:41 -0400 Rachel Hemple Blue Origin's First Paying Customer Will be the Youngest to Fly to Space http://www.pws.io/blue-origins-first-paying-customer-will-be-the-youngest-to-fly-to-space <p class='black-text'>Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin recently made the announcement that Oliver Daemen will to be the first paying consumer to fly aboard the New Shepard, signifying the start of commercial operations for this program. He will come alongside Bezos, Mark Bezos, and Wally Funk for the space company's first human flight on July 20.</p><p class='black-text'>Daemen, at 18 years, and Funk, at 82 years, both stand for the youngest and oldest astronauts to fly out into space.</p><p class='black-text'>The individual who originally won Blue Origin's auction, who has requested to have his or her identity to remain undisclosed at this present time, has decided to fly on a New Shepard Mission in the future because of present conflicts in schedule.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, Club for the Future revealed this week that the auction gift has permitted the Club to offer $1 million to 19 non-profit organizations, who are all working to establish the future of living and working in space.</p><p class='black-text'>"We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honored to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard," stated Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, in a press statement. "This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space."</p><p class='black-text'>For Daemen, this flight to space will "fulfill a lifelong dream." He has been forever interested in space, the moon, and rockets, ever since he was a toddler. A high school graduate of the year 2020, Daemen took a gap year off in order to further his studies in private pilot licensing. This coming September, Daemen plans to go to the University of Utrecht to continue studying in the topics of physics and innovation management.</p><p class='black-text'>The future of flying on the New Shepard, marked by a willingness to experience new ventures and feats, will be proven by Oliver Daemen to hopefully pave the road success, given that he will be the youngest individual to fly into space. He will surely serve as an inspiration to those who wish to fulfill their dreams of going into space, against any odds or obstacles that may present themselves.</p> http://www.pws.io/blue-origins-first-paying-customer-will-be-the-youngest-to-fly-to-space Mon, 19 Jul 2021 18:06:02 -0400 Stephanie Williams IPO Market Stays Red Hot with 12 Listings Set to Raise Over $4.1 Billion in Week Ahead http://www.pws.io/ipo-market-stays-red-hot-with-12-listings-set-to-raise-over-41-billion-in-week-ahead <p class='black-text'>The initial public offering market is expected to maintain its red hot momentum in the week ahead, with 12 companies set to raise more than $4.1 billion in their debuts.</p><p class='black-text'><i>In the largest deal of the week</i>, <b>Ryan Specialty Group Holdings, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RYAN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RYAN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RYAN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RYAN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RYAN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $1.6 billion from about 57 million shares priced between $22 to $25 each. The specialty insurance brokerage assists in the placement of hard-to-place risks for retail insurance brokers, and the souring, onboarding, underwriting, and servicing of those hard-to-place risks for insurance carriers.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Paycor HCM, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PYCR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PYCR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PYCR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PYCR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PYCR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $446 million from 18.5 million shares priced between $18 to $21 each. The company provides HR management software to small- and medium-sized businesses, aiding with the payroll process and key HR functionality.</p><p class='black-text'><b>VTEX</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VTEX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VTEX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VTEX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VTEX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VTEX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $371 million from 19 million shares priced in the range of $15 to $17 each. The Latin American e-commerce company operates a business-to-consumer platfrom to enterprise customers that combines commerce, order management, and marketplace functionality.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Instructure Holdings, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/INST"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">INST</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="INST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="INST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="INST" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $301 million from 12.5 million shares priced between $19 to $21 each. The company provides a next-generation Learning Management System, which includes assessments, actionable analytics, and dynamic content. The company boasts over 6,000 global customers across 90 countries.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Zevia, PBC</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZVIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZVIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZVIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZVIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZVIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $246 million from about 14.3 million shares priced in the range of $13 to $15 each. The organic beverage brand offers six product lines of zero calorie, zero sugar, naturally sweetened beverages in the United States and Canada.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Outbrain, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="OB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $239 million from 8 million shares priced between $24 to $26 each. The company's content marketing platform enables over 7,000 online properties, aiding in user engagement and monetizing their visits by gathering over 1 billion data events each minute.</p><p class='black-text'><b>CS Disco, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LAW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LAW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LAW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LAW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LAW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise over $223 million from 7 million shares priced between $26 to $29 each. The company provides a cloud-native, AI-powered legal solution that simplifies ediscovery, legal document review, and case management for enterprises, law firms, legal services providers, and governments.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Zenvia, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZENV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZENV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZENV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZENV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZENV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $199 million shares from over 11.5 million shares priced between $13 to $15 each. The Brazilian company's software platfrom facilitated communication flows for over 10,000 Latin American customers as of March 31, 2021.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Kaltura, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KLTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KLTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KLTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KLTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KLTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise over $189 million from 15 million shares priced between $9 to $11 each. The company provides live, real-time, and on-demand video products to a range of businesses includes educational institutions, media, and telecom companies.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Couchbase, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BASE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BASE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BASE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BASE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BASE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $185 million from 7 million shares priced in the range of $20 to $23 each. The company provides a NoSQL database that enables enterprise and developers to build and run applications across the cloud, on-premise, hybrid, or mobile and edge environments.</p><p class='black-text'><b>HCW Biologics, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HCWB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HCWB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HCWB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HCWB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HCWB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise $64.4 million from 5.6 million shares priced between $8 to $10 each. The preclinical biopharmaceutical company is focused on discovering and developing novel immunotherapies to lengthen health spans by disrupting the link between chronic, low-grade inflammation and age-related diseases. The company plans to initiate a clinical trial of its lead candidate by the end of the year.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Ocean Biomedical, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OCEA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OCEA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OCEA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OCEA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="OCEA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $63 million from over 3.22 million shares priced between $14 to $17 each. The biopharmaceutical company seeks to bridge the gap between medical research discoveries and patient solutions by licencing inventions and technologies with the goal of developing products that address diseases with unmet needs.</p> http://www.pws.io/ipo-market-stays-red-hot-with-12-listings-set-to-raise-over-41-billion-in-week-ahead Mon, 19 Jul 2021 17:59:49 -0400 Rachel Hemple Goldman Sachs Lower Despite Strong Earnings Report http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-lower-despite-strong-earnings-report <p class='black-text'>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> continued its streak of strong earnings report by handily topping expectations on the top and bottom-line. For six straight quarters, the company has topped earnings expectations and often by a significant margin. These results have propelled the stock to a 70% gain over the past year.</p><p class='black-text'>Goldman Sachs' surge isn't surprising as the company benefited from the Federal Reserve's ultra low rates which led to lots M&A, debt issuance, and IPOs. However, recent results indicate that the company's momentum remains intact despite a lower growth rate for bond trading revenue.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q2, Goldman Sachs reported $15.02 in earnings per share which was higher than $10.24 expected by analysts due to strength in investment banking and several IPOs. This was more than a 100% gain from last year's $6.26 per share in earnings. Revenue came in at $15.4 billion which beat analysts' expectations of $12.2 billion in revenue. Shares closed 1% lower despite the strong report due to a weak market and selling in financial stocks.</p><p class='black-text'>Investment banking revenue was the second-highest ever at $3.6 billion, following last quarter's record performance due to a strong IPO market. So far, $135 billion has been raised via IPOs which is significantly higher than the average of $53 billion over the last 5 years. The IPO pipeline remains full for the remainder of the year as well.</p><p class='black-text'>Goldman's trading businesses slowed down due to lower volatility. This unit accounted for $4.9 billion in revenue, a decrease from $7.6 billion in 2020's Q2. Asset management beat expectations at $5.1 billion which marked a record.</p><p class='black-text'>Goldman also announced a 60% increase in the company's dividend to $2 per share, starting in the next quarter. This follows many financial companies also raising dividends and increasing buybacks as a result of the Fed loosening its capital requirements.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Goldman Sachs has performed very well, however its earnings growth has outpaced the recovery in its stock price. This is also reflected in its price to earnings ratio of 6.7 and forward price to earnings ratio of 9.9. Both are significantly below the broader market and make the stock even more attractive.</p><p class='black-text'>Given its earnings momentum and cheap valuation, investors should continue to look to add shares on weakness.</p> http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-lower-despite-strong-earnings-report Mon, 19 Jul 2021 15:13:24 -0400 Jaimini Desai U.S. Treasury set to Discuss Stablecoins This Week http://www.pws.io/us-treasury-set-to-discuss-stablecoins-this-week <p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://www.coindesk.com/us-presidential-advisory-group-to-discuss-stablecoins">U.S. Treasury</a> announced Friday the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, a new interagency entity, will discuss stablecoins at a July 19 meeting.</p><p class='black-text'>Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is convening the group of major regulatory agency heads in order to examine stablecoin rules and risks and make policy suggestions. She said the meeting would help protect users, markets, and the financial system from the risks of stablecoins, while still enabling the U.S. to "assess the potential benefits": "In light of the rapid growth in digital assets, it is important for the agencies to collaborate on the regulation of this sector and the development of any recommendations for new authorities."</p><p class='black-text'>Potential stablecoin risks include end user rights, know-your-customer and anti-money laundering matters, market integrity, and monetary stability. Besides Yellen, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Acting Chair Rostin Behnam will attend the meeting. The Working Group aims to publish its written recommendations.</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/terra-attracts-150m-for-defi-ecosystem-fund">Terraform Labs</a> said it has raised $150 million from several major crypto investors, including Arrington XRP Capital, Pantera Capital, Galaxy Digital, and BlockTower Capital. The Korean firm behind the Terra blockchain will use the fresh capital to fund the Ecosystem Fund, which is used to sponsor projects built on Terra, over 2 years. CEO and founder Do Kwon said: "We're thrilled to have the continued support of many long-time, early investors in the Terra ecosystem." Terra is a Tendermint-based blockchain that deploys a number of stablecoins based on its dollar-pegged TerraUSD (UST). Terra uses an algorithm to maintain a steady value for UST and its derivatives, incentivizing traders to buy excess supplies of UST in exchange for Terra's native governance token LUNA. Earlier this year, Pantera Capital and Coinbase Ventures <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COIN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COIN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COIN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> participated in a $25 million funding round to help Terraform Labs build more UST-backed applications, like popular mobile payments decentralized app CHAI with over 2.5 million South Korean users. The explosion of DeFi has led to investors to search for a truly decentralized stablecoin that is scalable.</p><p class='black-text'>The<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/14/the-ecb-starts-work-on-creating-a-digital-version-of-the-euro-.html"> European Central Bank</a> announced Wednesday it is working to create a digital euro (EUR) currency. ECB President Christine Lagarde said: "Our work aims to ensure that in the digital age citizens and firms continue to have access to the safest form of money, central bank money." The new project is expected to take 2 years with the aim to design a digital version of the currency used by the euro zone. But the central bank's actual implementation of the digital euro could take another 2 years in addition to the design and investigation stage. In March Lagarde projected a timeline of at least 4 years for full implementation of a digital euro. The new digital euro would allow E.U. consumers to pay electronically, without banknotes or coins. It would complement the existing monetary system instead of replacing physical cash or erasing commercial lending.</p><p class='black-text'>Crypto prices fell to $1.29 trillion this week amid more selling. For the majors, all ended in the red. In the top 100, the biggest losers were THORChain (RUNE), down 31%, Synthetix (SNX), down 29%, and Telcoin (TEL), down 25%. The biggest gainers were NEM (XEM), up 17%, Ravencoin (RVN), up 13%, and OKB, up 10%. Next week traders will watch if Bitcoin (BTC) breaches the key $30,000 level.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author owns a small amount of BTC.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/us-treasury-set-to-discuss-stablecoins-this-week Mon, 19 Jul 2021 15:10:58 -0400 Eric Yao Market Update: Dow Plunges Over 700 Points on Renewed COVID Fears http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-plunges-over-700-points-on-renewed-covid-fears <p class='black-text'>Stocks posted steep declines on Monday as investors grew concerned that the U.S. economic rebound may have already peaked and rising COVID cases may further slow global economic growth. The Dow Jones fell over 700 points, marking its worst day since last October as traders pulled money out of the broader market.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Monday: </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>: -1.58% or -68.53 points to 4,258.63</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>: -2.09% or -726.34 points to 33,961.51</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>: -1.06% or -152.25 points to 14,274.98</p><p class='black-text'><b>Last year's recession is now the shortest on record: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The COVID-19 recession is now the deepest, but also shortest, in U.S. history, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Officials found that the contraction lasted just two months, from February 2020 to the following April.</p><p class='black-text'>While the nation's GDP plunged 31.4% during that two month span in the second quarter, it also epically rebounded the next period, rising 33.4% on the back of unprecedented fiscal stimulus.</p><p class='black-text'>"In determining that a trough occurred in April 2020, the committee did not conclude that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity," the NBER said in a press release. "The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession associated with the February 2020 peak. The basis for this decision was the length and strength of the recovery to date."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Homebuilder confidence falls to lowest level in nearly a year: </b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. homebuilder confidence for the single family home market declined in July to its lowest level since August 2020 as higher construction costs begin to outweigh strong demand.</p><p class='black-text'>The National Association of Home Builders monthly sentiment index fell by 1 point to 80 in July from 81 in June. The index stood at 72 in July 2020, with reading above 50 considered positive. The index reached an all-time high of 90 back in November 2020.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Robinhood now seeks $35 billion market valuation: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Popular retail investing app Robinhood is now seeking a market valuation of as much as $35 billion in its highly anticipated upcoming initial public offering, according to an amended U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing released Monday.</p><p class='black-text'>The company plans to sell 55 million shares in the range of $38 to $42 per share, setting the stock to raise as much as $2.3 billion in its Nasdaq debut under the ticker "HOOD."</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, Robinhood now estimates that it has 22.5 million funded accounts on its stock trading platform as of the second quarter, up from 18 million in the first quarter of 2021.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market opened to start the week: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: -1.17% or -50.52 points to 4,276.64</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: -1.29% or -448.89 points to 34,238.96</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: -1.33% or -191.74 points to 14,235.50</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-plunges-over-700-points-on-renewed-covid-fears Mon, 19 Jul 2021 15:00:01 -0400 Rachel Hemple Twitter Shutters Fleets Less than One Year After Launch http://www.pws.io/twitter-shutters-fleets-less-than-one-year-after-launch <p class='black-text'>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> is shuttering its Fleets feature less than a year after its debut, citing a lack of interest among users.</p><p class='black-text'>Fleets was Twitter's answer to the popular "disappearing" post feature popularized by Snapchat <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNAP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNAP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and picked up by the likes of 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 Instagram. The company <a href="https://www.pws.io/twitter-fleets-a-snapchat-like-feature-that-stumbled-at-launch">added the feature in November</a> to attract new users by providing a less intimidating means to approach the platform.</p><p class='black-text'>"Twitter's purpose is to serve the public conversation - it's where you go to see what's happening and talk about it. But some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there's so much pressure to rack up Retweets and Likes," Twitter said at the time.</p><p class='black-text'>Unfortunately, fleets didn't pick up much traction, with the vast majority of users being already established Twitter users. As the feature hasn't achieved its intended goals, Twitter will be taking it offline on August 3. The company isn't too bothered by the failure of Fleets, seeing it as a learning experience.</p><p class='black-text'>"Bets are risky and speculative, so by definition, a number of them won't work. If we're not having to wind down features every once in a while, then it would be a sign that we're not taking big enough swings," Twitter head of consumer products Kayvon Beykpour tweeted.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter has since stated that it intends to analyze Fleets' failure and continue developing new features to address concerns keeping skeptical consumers from joining the platform.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter shares have trended down since Wednesday when the announcement was first made, though this likely has little to do with the failure of Fleets. Twitter stock ended the week 4.4% down.</p> http://www.pws.io/twitter-shutters-fleets-less-than-one-year-after-launch Mon, 19 Jul 2021 13:12:02 -0400 Michael Mooney Fed Chair Powell Catches Fire From Both Sides in Congressional Testimony http://www.pws.io/fed-chair-powell-catches-fire-from-both-sides-in-congressional-testimony <p class='black-text'>Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before Congress and provided an update on monetary policy and his outlook for the economy. He was grilled by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. Republicans were focused on rising inflation and whether Fed policy, high deficits or excessive stimulus was part of the problem.</p><p class='black-text'>Democrats were more focused on the potential for another outbreak, continued gap in employment figures, the Fed's previous tendency to overshoot in terms of expectations for hikes and inflation, and the potential that the Fed could be repeating that mistake with its recent nod to inflationary pressures. Adding to the mix were rumors that President Biden may look to replace Powell as Federal Open Market Committee Chair due to an insufficient focus on financial regulation.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here are some highlights from Powell's testimony:</b></p><p class='black-text'>- In his remarks to the House Financial Services Committee, he noted the improvements from the start of the crisis but added that the labor market remains weaker than it was pre-pandemic. He added that there is substantial progress towards their goals, and officials are now talking about tapering asset purchases. He said that inflation was "elevated" but that it would likely prove transitory.</p><p class='black-text'>- In some comments on cryptocurrencies, he was unsure about whether the Fed would ever need to create its own digital currency. He also called for the need to regulate stable coins. Stablecoins play an important role in the crypto and defi ecosystem, however, there is concern that there is nothing backing these coins, so there is a vulnerability to a sudden decline in price.</p><p class='black-text'>- In terms of the timing to begin tapering, Powell was clear that he felt it was a "ways off". This comment caused the 10Y yield to decline.</p><p class='black-text'>- Powell cited three reasons for higher inflation readings: "base effects" as last year's comps were extremely weak due to the coronavirus and shutdowns; supply chain issues, and a stronger than expected surge in demand. He said that a small portion of the economy is generating most of the inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>- Powell also said it would be a mistake for the Fed to act prematurely on these inflation numbers given that they are most likely transitory.</p> http://www.pws.io/fed-chair-powell-catches-fire-from-both-sides-in-congressional-testimony Mon, 19 Jul 2021 12:39:54 -0400 Jaimini Desai Apple Introduces a $99 MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone 12 http://www.pws.io/apple-introduces-a-99-magsafe-battery-pack-for-the-iphone-12 <p class='black-text'>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> recently announced the launch of the MagSafe Battery Pack for the new iPhone 12. To pay for one of these new batteries costs $99 and can be ordered directly from the Apple site.</p><p class='black-text'>With past iPhones, battery cases have been issued, but this type of pack connects to iPhone 12 cases because of embedded magnets. It will work for all four of the phones within the iPhone 12 category: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Whereas the iPhone 11 battery cases contained a physical camera shortcut button, because this particular item is simply an attachable pack, this means that it does not come along with any other attributes for the phone besides providing some extra charging power.</p><p class='black-text'>If it works, however, like the MagSafe wireless charger, then using the pack to top up AirPods or other devices that work in conjunction with Qi wireless charging might be doable. Apple states that the battery pack charges up to 5W of power, so it will not be the quickest way to charge one's phone. Apple also reveals that the battery is in need of iOS 14.7, which is a software update that has not yet been released.</p><p class='black-text'>Because the Apple website is conveying that delivery times for the battery pack will be out as early as July 22nd, it appears as though the software update will be out soon in order to accommodate it. Ultimately, the goal for the MagSafe Battery Pack is for individual phones to obtain more battery life if they are getting ready to die.</p><p class='black-text'>Although Apple has not revealed battery life approximations or charge capacity, one particular item photo insinuates that the MagSafe battery contains 1,460 milliampere per hour, or about half of an iPhone 12's 3,110 mAh battery. All in all, this new battery pack that is being released by Apple will surely become a commodity that challenges older models or forms of technology that they have released.</p> http://www.pws.io/apple-introduces-a-99-magsafe-battery-pack-for-the-iphone-12 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 12:37:26 -0400 Stephanie Williams J&J Recalls 5 Neutrogena, Aveeno Sunscreens Due to Carcinogen Traces http://www.pws.io/jj-recalls-5-neutrogena-aveeno-sunscreens-due-to-carcinogen-traces <p class='black-text'>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> <a href="https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-consumer-inc-issues-voluntary-recall-of-specific-neutrogena-and-aveeno-aerosol-sunscreen-products-due-to-the-presence-of-benzene">has announced</a> the recall of five Neutrogena and Aveeno brand aerosol sunscreens after internal testing reportedly showed "low levels of benzene in some samples of the products." <a href="https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/benzene/basics/facts.asp#:~:text=Benzene%20is%20a%20chemical%20that,float%20on%20top%20of%20water.">Benzene</a> is a sweet-smelling carcinogen that vaporizes in the air.</p><p class='black-text'>The company recall announcement includes "NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense® aerosol sunscreen, NEUTROGENA® Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen, NEUTROGENA® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol sunscreen, NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® aerosol sunscreen, and AVEENO® Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen."</p><p class='black-text'>The recall includes canisters of all sizes and SPF levels of the sunscreens listed above, and consumers are advised to stop using the products immediately. According to J&J, benzene is not an ingredient in its sunscreens, and it is now conducting an investigation into how the contamination occurred. The company further stated that the contamination was limited to these aerosol sunscreens.</p><p class='black-text'>Benzene occurs naturally in volcanoes and forest fires, as well as cigarette smoke and crude oil. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-term exposure can damage the bone marrow and immune system.</p><p class='black-text'>"Based on exposure modeling and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) framework, daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol sunscreen products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences." J&J wrote in its statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling all lots of these specific aerosol sunscreen products."</p><p class='black-text'>Consumers can call JJCI Consumer Care Center to request a refund or ask questions. Any adverse reactions can be reported to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) <a href="http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm">MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting portal</a>. The FDA releases a concurrent announcement of the product recalls.</p><p class='black-text'>These recalls are just the most recent examples of products J&J has pulled from the shelves due to cancer concerns. In late 2019, the company <a href="https://www.drugwatch.com/talcum-powder/recalls/">recalled 33,000 bottles</a> of Baby Powder after the FDA discovered trace amounts of asbestos in samples of the product.</p><p class='black-text'>More than 17,000 federal lawsuits have been filed against the company regarding allegations that J&J knowingly sold products that cause cancer.</p> http://www.pws.io/jj-recalls-5-neutrogena-aveeno-sunscreens-due-to-carcinogen-traces Mon, 19 Jul 2021 12:30:14 -0400 Autumn McLain 13 IPOs Raise Over $3.58 Billion Last Week Led by Stevanato Group http://www.pws.io/13-ipos-raise-over-358-billion-last-week-led-by-stevanato-group <p class='black-text'>The initial public offering (IPO) market posted a busy week last week after a slow start to the month with 13 traditional IPOs raising over $3.58 billion.</p><p class='black-text'><i>In the biggest deal of the week</i>, <b>Stevanato Group S.p.A.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/STVN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">STVN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="STVN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="STVN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="STVN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its downsized offering at the low end to raise $672 million. The Italian drug container supplier produces glass vials, syringes, and other containers for over 700 companies within the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. The stock ended the week down 6%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>In the week's best performance</i>,<b> Sight Sciences, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SGHT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SGHT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SGHT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SGHT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SGHT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> finished the week up 36% after pricing its upsized offering at the high end to raise $240 million. The company develops and sell medical and surgical devices for eye diseases.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Here's the rest of the week's debuts in order of offering amount: </i></p><p class='black-text'><b>Phillips Edison & Company, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PECO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PECO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PECO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PECO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PECO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its offering at the low end to raise $476 million. The REIT owns equity interests in 300 shopping centers across the United States, focusing on locations owned by grocers like 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> and Publix. The stock ended the week relatively flat.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Membership Collective Group, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at the low end to raise $420 million. The luxury social club operator boasts a large and loyal member base and is known for its member-only hotel brand Soho Hotel. The stock finished down 11%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Blend Labs, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLND"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLND</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLND" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at the high end to raise $360 million. The company provides a software platform to financial services companies that offer mortgages and consumer loans. The stock finished the week up 16%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>F45 Training Holdings, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FXLV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FXLV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FXLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FXLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FXLV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at its midpoint to raise $325 million. The Mark Wahlberg-backed fitness franchise offers 45-minute workouts across a global network of studios. The stock ended the week up 1%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Bridge Investment Group Holdings, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BRDG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BRDG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BRDG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BRDG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BRDG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at the midpoint to raise $300 million. The real estate investment manager specializes in equity and debt across multiple sectors. The stock ended the week down 2%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Erasca, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ERAS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ERAS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ERAS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ERAS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ERAS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its upsized offering at the high end to raise $300 million. The oncology-focused biotech is developing therapies for RAS/MAPK pathway-driven cancers, with its lead candidate currently in Phase 2 trials for solid tumors. The stock finished up 9%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Rapid Micro Biosystems, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RPID"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RPID</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RPID" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RPID" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RPID" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its upsized offering at the high end to raise $158 million. The company provides an automated microbial testing device and platfrom for use within the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. The stock ended the week up 21%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Imago BioSciences, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IMGO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IMGO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IMGO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IMGO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IMGO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its upsized offering at the high end to raise $134 million. The biotech is developing small molecule therapies for the treatment of bone marrow diseases and cancer, with its lead candidate currently in Phase 2 trials for essential thrombocythemia. The stock finished up 2%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>TScan Therapeutics, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCRX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCRX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCRX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at the low end to raise $100 million. The cancer-focused biotech is genetically engineering T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, with the company planning to submit Investigative New Drug (IND) forms for its lead two liquid tumor candidates by the end of this year and INDs for at least three of its four solid tumor candidates in the second half of 2022. The stock ended the week down 30%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Sera Prognostics, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SERA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SERA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SERA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SERA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SERA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at the midpoint to raise $75 million. The pregnancy diagnostic company uses its proteomics and bioinformatics platform to develop biomarker tests designed to improve pregnancy outcomes. The stock finished down 31%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Regencell Bioscience Holdings Ltd. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RGC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RGC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RGC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RGC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RGC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at the midpoint of its range to raise $22 million. The Chinese drug company is developing traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) for the treatment for neurocognitive disorders, with three TCM formula candidates in development. The stock finished the week up 11%.</p> http://www.pws.io/13-ipos-raise-over-358-billion-last-week-led-by-stevanato-group Mon, 19 Jul 2021 12:26:47 -0400 Rachel Hemple Microsoft buys RiskIQ in a bid to Boost its Security Offerings http://www.pws.io/microsoft-buys-riskiq-in-a-bid-to-boost-its-security-offering <p class='black-text'>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> confirmed it's buying RiskIQ, an upstart cloud security firm based in San Francisco. The acquisition will be another notch in Microsoft's belt as it seeks to expand its security offering in the wake of this year's unprecedented cyber-attacks.</p><p class='black-text'>Microsoft did not directly disclose the terms of the deal. However, people familiar with the matter <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-11/microsoft-is-said-to-be-buying-cybersecurity-company-riskiq">told </a><i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-11/microsoft-is-said-to-be-buying-cybersecurity-company-riskiq">Bloomberg</a></i> that Microsoft paid $500 million in cash to complete the purchase.</p><p class='black-text'>"We're thrilled to add RiskIQ's Attack Surface and Threat Intelligence solutions to Microsoft's Security portfolio," said the company's CEO Elias Manousos. "Our combined capabilities will enable best-in-class protection, investigations, and response against today's threats."</p><p class='black-text'>RiskIQ's cloud security solutions help its clients identify and take action against emerging vulnerabilities across the whole of their internet-facing architecture. The company's website boasts an impressive roster of current and former customers, including 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>, BMW AG <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>, American Express Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AXP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AXP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AXP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AXP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AXP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and the U.S. Postal Service.</p><p class='black-text'>"With more than a decade of experience scanning and analyzing the internet, RiskIQ can help enterprises identify and remediate vulnerable assets before an attacker can capitalize on them," writes Microsoft VP of Cloud Security Eric Doerr in a blog post.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Mr.Doerr, the addition of RiskIQ will help Microsoft bolster its "end-to-end-cloud-native security" offerings such as its Microsoft 365 Defender, Microsoft Azure Defender, and Microsoft Azure Sentinel and help the company continue its mission of helping customers "defend their growing digital estate against increasing cyber threats."</p><p class='black-text'>Recent cyber attacks have brought home the need for a more comprehensive approach to network security. In May, a ransomware attack crippled operations along the 5,500 mile Colonial Pipeline, severing a critical artery in the nation's energy network and sparking gas shortages all along the east coast. A month later, the world's largest meat processor, JBS, faced a nearly identical attack that sent shockwaves throughout the world's supply chains.</p><p class='black-text'>"The threat landscape has never been more complex or challenging, and security has never been more critical to our customers," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella over a conference call in April. "This is driving increased demand for our end-to-end capabilities across identity, security, compliance and management."</p><p class='black-text'>The acquisition is the latest in a series of steps Microsoft has taken to advance its security credentials. Last year the Windows-maker scooped up CyberX to bolster its Azure Internet of Things (IoT) Business, and just last month, Microsoft bought out ReFirm Labs, another IoT security firm.</p> http://www.pws.io/microsoft-buys-riskiq-in-a-bid-to-boost-its-security-offering Fri, 16 Jul 2021 15:11:30 -0400 David Fladger JPMorgan Slightly Higher Following Earnings Beat http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-slightly-higher-following-earnings-beat <p class='black-text'>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> shares were slightly higher, following the company topping earnings and revenue expectations for Q2. The earnings beat was driven by strength in equities and the release of loan loss reserves. While bank shares have been strong overall since the March 2020 bottom, in recent weeks, they have underperformed with the flattening of the yield curve.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>While this may affect the outlook for its stock price, it's not affecting near-term results as Q2 earnings indicate. JPMorgan reported $3.78 in earnings per share and $30.5 billion in revenue. Both were above analysts' expectations of $3.18 per share and $29.7 billion in revenue. The results were impressive on a year-over-year basis as EPS was 174% higher but revenue was down by 8%. This is due to the company's revenue surging as the Federal Reserve implemented its emergency programs.</p><p class='black-text'>Some of the negatives in the report were its bond trading revenue coming in below expectations, the downgrade of its outlook for net interest income given the decline in longer-term yields, and a lack of pickup in loan growth. The biggest catalyst for JPMorgan's earnings continues to be the economic recovery as loan loss reserves are a tailwind for earnings. Spending on credit and debit cards increased by 45%. Travel spending is also rebounding is back to 2019 levels but is showing signs of acceleration as June 2021 spending was 11% higher than June 2019. This part of the economy coming back is one of the final pieces of the recovery bubble in addition to the reopening of schools.</p><p class='black-text'>Consumer balance sheets are quite strong given the boost in incomes. Many paid off debt and are in a position to leverage themselves which is typical in later-stage recoveries and bull markets. This continued economic recovery is one of the biggest reasons to remain bullish on JPMorgan.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>The stock market has been interesting in recent weeks as many stocks are down 20-30%, while the indices are close to all-time highs. Another fact is that many stocks have rallied in line with earnings growth but haven't seen multiple expansion.</p><p class='black-text'>This describes JPMorgan as it has a forward P/E of 13 despite a 55% rally over the past year. It also pays a 2.3% dividend which is attractive given low Treasury yields. Therefore, shares remain attractive at current levels.</p> http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-slightly-higher-following-earnings-beat Fri, 16 Jul 2021 15:07:46 -0400 Jaimini Desai Market Update: Stocks Fall on Increased Inflation Fears http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-fall-on-increased-inflation-fears <p class='black-text'>Stocks fell on Friday as inflation fears outweighed strong retail sales and another batch of better-than-expect second quarter earnings reports.</p><p class='black-text'>Market benchmarks closed the week lower, each breaking 3-week winning streaks. The Dow ended the week down 0.52%, while the S&P 500 fell by 0.97% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.87%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market closed out the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <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>: -0.75% or -32.87 points to 4,327.16</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>: -0.86% or -299.17 points to 34,687.85</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>: -0.80% or -115.90 points to 14,427.24</p><p class='black-text'><b>Xiaomi becomes second-largest smartphone maker in Q2, topping Apple: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi overtook 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> to be the second-largest smartphone market in the second quarter, according to analyst firm Canalys.</p><p class='black-text'>During the quarter, Xiaomi had a 17% share of global smartphone shipments, ahead of Apple's 14% and behind Samsung's 19%. Moreover, Xiaomi posted a year-on-year smartphone shipment growth of 83% versus 15% for Samsung and Apple's 1%.</p><p class='black-text'>"Xiaomi is growing its overseas business rapidly," Canalys research manager Ben Stanton said in a press statement, highlighting Xiaomi's shipments rose 300% year-over-year in Latin America and 50% in Western Europe.</p><p class='black-text'>"All vendors are fighting hard to secure component supply amid global shortage, but Xiaomi already has its sights set on the next prize: displacing Samsung to become the world's largest vendor," Stanton added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Consumer sentiment unexpectedly dropped in July on inflation concerns: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey posted a surprise decline in the first half of July, dropping to 80.8 from 85.5 in June in the month's preliminary report. Consensus economists had expected a rise to 86.5.</p><p class='black-text'>The month's decline came as consumers began to expect higher inflation levels into the next year. Consumers now anticipate inflation will rise 4.8% in the next 12 months, up from consumers' previous outlook for one-year inflation to rise by 4.3%.</p><p class='black-text'>"Inflation has put added pressure on living standards, especially on lower and middle income households, and caused postponement of large discretionary purchased, especially among upper income households," Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, said in a press statement.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market started trading after opening bell:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.32% or +13.97 points to 4,374.00</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.25% or +86.45 points to 35,073.47</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.44% or +63.28 points to 14,605.85</p><p class='black-text'><b>Retail sales unexpectedly rose in June: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Retail sales unexpectedly increased in June after falling in May, the Commerce Department said Friday, demonstrating still-strong consumer demand as the U.S. economy continues its choppy recovery.</p><p class='black-text'>U.S. retail sales rose by 0.6% month-over-month in June, rising from May's downwardly revised 1.7% drop and reversing the expected course for more declines in June.</p><p class='black-text'>By category, department store sales gained 5.9% month-on-month, e-commerce sales rose 1.2%, food services and bars gained 2.3%, motor vehicles and parts dealers dropped 2%, and furniture and home goods sales declined 3.6%.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-fall-on-increased-inflation-fears Fri, 16 Jul 2021 15:03:40 -0400 Rachel Hemple Google Given €500 million Fine by French Competition Authority http://www.pws.io/google-given-500-million-fine-by-french-competition-authority <p class='black-text'>Last Tuesday, 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> was hit with a €500 million ($593 million) fine by France's Competition Authority after it failed to reach definitive agreements with several publishers over the use of their content.</p><p class='black-text'>"When the Authority imposes orders on companies, they are required to apply them scrupulously, respecting their letter and spirit. In this instance, unfortunately, this was not the case," said the Authority's president, Isabelle de Silva. The fine, the second-largest ever levied against a single company in the history of the Authority, represents "the exceptional seriousness of the breach concerned," she added.</p><p class='black-text'>In April 2020, the Authority ordered Google to negotiate with publishers for the right to preview portions of their articles across its news and search services. Google has since hammered out deals with a number of prominent French broadsheets, including Le Monde and Le Figaro. Nevertheless, Google's negotiations with Agence France-Presse, a prominent newswire, remain ongoing.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are very disappointed with this decision," said a Google spokeswoman. "The fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement, and the reality of how new works on our platforms." However, the company also said that it wants to "turn the page with a definitive agreement," and that it remains open to feedback from regulators.</p><p class='black-text'>France was the first to implement the European Union's 2019 Digital Copyright Directive, which governs "neighboring rights" aimed at remunerating publishers for the reuse of their material.</p><p class='black-text'>As a result, Google began to omit European publishers from its news services search results. In short, publishers were threatened with digital irrelevance if they didn't allow Google to use their content for free. Feeling that Google was abusing its market position, two prominent newsgroups, including AFP, filed a complaint with the Competition Authority.</p><p class='black-text'>Google says that the Authority's decision doesn't reflect its conduct after September 2020. Since then, it says it has finalized deals with several prominent French news outlets, including a group of French newspapers, the Alliance de la Presse d'Information Générale.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Ms. de Silva said that regulators disregarded these efforts, claiming that the compensation offered by Google was "negligible." She complained that Google offered to pay news publishers the same rate that it paid weather forecasters and online dictionaries.</p><p class='black-text'>In its decision, the Authority highlighted a few specific breaches on Google's part. Regulators claim that Google pressured publishers into its News Showcase service and that it withheld information which prevented publishers from determining how much compensation they should receive.</p><p class='black-text'>As a result, French publishers can now renegotiate any deals they may have struck with Google. And If negotiations are not completed within two months of a formal request, Google could face fines of up to $365,000 a day for each deal that remains on the table.</p><p class='black-text'>AFP Chief Executive Fabrice Fries said that the decision clarified the rights of publishers to remuneration under French law and noted that "AFP is confident it can soon find a deal with Google."</p> http://www.pws.io/google-given-500-million-fine-by-french-competition-authority Fri, 16 Jul 2021 12:41:56 -0400 David Fladger These 3 Sectors are Underperforming http://www.pws.io/these-3-sectors-are-underperforming <p class='black-text'>It's always interesting to look at stocks and sectors that are under accumulation during strong markets and look at stocks under distribution during weak markets. When market conditions change, these areas often provide the best opportunities as the accumulation or distribution are harbingers of institutional activity.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, the stock market is quite strong from a top-down perspective with the S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Nasdaq <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> at new, all-time highs. However, a deeper look under the surface shows that many parts of the market are not participating in this move higher. Within this group, certain stocks are quite vulnerable to selling pressure that would emerge with a broad-based market, and markets with weak breadth are more vulnerable to sharp reversals.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here are 3 sectors that could experience steeper declines:</b></p><p class='black-text'><i>Travel Stocks</i></p><p class='black-text'>Many travel stocks such as airlines and cruises have had spectacular recoveries at their stock price especially given that the coronavirus basically took their businesses offline for most of the past 15 months. While these stocks remain below their pre-coronavirus levels, they are trading higher on an enterprise value basis given that they raised debt and issued equity to raise cash to make it through the downturn.</p><p class='black-text'>This will be a headwind in terms of eroding EPS. Further, it's possible that many of these stocks have priced in the economy bouncing back with increasing vaccinations. Now, they face challenges in terms of rising fuel prices and labor costs. So, they may find it challenging to even meet higher levels of demand by increasing capacity.</p><p class='black-text'><i>SPACs</i></p><p class='black-text'>The market went through a period of weakness with growth stocks and tech stocks from mid-February to mid-May. Since then, many stocks in this group have posted spectacular rallies with a handful even managing to make new highs. However, one laggard has been the SPACs, whether they are still hunting for a target, announced their buyout target, or already completed the process.</p><p class='black-text'>The sector has not delivered great returns for investors. We can see its underperformance with the EXOS SPAC Originated ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPXZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPXZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPXZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPXZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPXZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> which is up 15% from its May lows and nearly 30% off its February highs. Given this underperformance, it's fair to say that if the market turns lower, SPACs could be making lower lows.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Crypto Stocks</i></p><p class='black-text'>For the past few years, many crypto stocks achieved incredible valuations due to a lack of investment options and the bull market in cryptocurrencies. However, these stocks remain overvalued by many measures. Investors would simply be better off buying the underlying currency rather than buying companies at a high multiple - mining a cryptocurrency.</p><p class='black-text'>Thus, we can expect weakness to continue as more liquid options and ETFs become available to investors. Additionally, more institutional methods to buy crypto assets is also increasing. Therefore, many of the crypto stocks could see steep losses if cryptocurrencies continue to slide and even if they remain solid, many of these will underperform as investors will invest in the underlying asset rather than miners.</p> http://www.pws.io/these-3-sectors-are-underperforming Fri, 16 Jul 2021 12:35:13 -0400 Jaimini Desai Grubhub will use Russian-made Robots to Deliver Food on College Campuses http://www.pws.io/grubhub-will-use-russian-made-robots-to-deliver-food-on-college-campuses <p class='black-text'>The food delivery giant Grubhub <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GRUB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GRUB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GRUB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GRUB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GRUB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, along with Yandex Self-Driving Group, a type of autonomous vehicle developer within the company of Yandex (one of Europe's biggest internet companies), recently announced that they will have a multi-year collaboration with Yandex as Grubhub's robot delivery service provider to provide robo-food-deliveries on U.S. college campuses.</p><p class='black-text'>Grubhub will presently offer campus partners the capability of establishing campus robots on-site for quicker, more economical deliveries to go along with prior abilities that have been customized for colleges and universities.</p><p class='black-text'>Signifying its entrance into the United States market, Yandex's delivery robots will use the business' autonomous driving technologies, especially navigation of pavements, pedestrian areas, and crosswalks, making the potential to get to places that are not reachable by cars. These types of technology help the robot to deal with delivery responsibilities without human assistance, offering effective automaton for last mile planning scenarios. "</p><p class='black-text'>Together with Yandex, we're changing the way college students experience food delivery," said Brian Madigan, vice president of corporate and campus partners at Grubhub, in a press statement. "We're excited to offer these cost-effective, scalable and quick food ordering and delivery capabilities to colleges and universities across the country that are looking to adapt to students' unique dining needs. While college campuses are notoriously difficult for cars to navigate, specifically as it relates to food delivery, Yandex robots easily access parts of campuses that vehicles cannot - effectively removing a major hurdle universities face when implementing new technology."</p><p class='black-text'>Grubhub collaborates with over 250 college campuses in order to provide students the capability of putting together meal plans into their Grubhub accounts and to attain access to restaurants that are both on- and off-campus for both pick-up and delivery.</p><p class='black-text'>Through the Yandex SDG collaboration, colleges will be able to provide this technology to their campuses and to change the typical dining experience. With Grubhub and Yandex's partnership, some of the highest in-class technology through delivery robots will be offered to college campuses. In turn, these particular assets will meet the one-of-a-kind demands of campus clientele.</p> http://www.pws.io/grubhub-will-use-russian-made-robots-to-deliver-food-on-college-campuses Fri, 16 Jul 2021 12:32:18 -0400 Stephanie Williams ByteDance Cancels IPO Following Regulatory Concerns http://www.pws.io/bytedance-cancels-ipo-following-regulatory-concerns <p class='black-text'>ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, put its IPO plans on hold following the Chinese government's crackdown on data security risks. Given that ByteDance holds a considerable amount of user data, they certainly could be a victim of the government's increased scrutiny.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, ByteDance wants to avoid DiDi's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIDI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIDI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIDI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIDI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIDI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> unpleasant experience of going public, <a href="https://www.pws.io//didi-lower-following-ipo-regulatory-probe">only to see its shares drop by 25%</a>, and generate suspicion among investors about how much the company knew about these investigations. This also follows chatter that Beijing may be looking to end the loophole which allows Chinese companies to list overseas.</p><p class='black-text'>ByteDance is one of the fastest-growing companies in the world and is by some measures, the second-largest social media platform in the world. Further, it appeals to a younger demographic, and its videos are tailor-made and better optimized for ads than other social media which is evident in TikTok's revenue growth. The company's value reached $180 billion in its last funding round.</p><p class='black-text'>During the Trump Administration, it seemed that the company would be forced to divest TikTok, yet this is no longer the case. Since then, the company was rumored to be preparing an IPO, however, these plans have been shelved following recent developments in China and ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming's meetings with cyberspace and securities regulators.</p><p class='black-text'>China has been harshly targeting many of the country's tech giants as it seeks to reassert its dominance. Some have speculated that the Chinese Communist Party was concerned following U.S. tech companies' successfully de-platforming former President Donald Trump following the events of January 6. Therefore, regulators have been aggressively targeting companies for monopolistic practices, data security, and concerns over overseas listings.</p><p class='black-text'>Chinese regulators are concerned about the data security compliance of ByteDance's apps in China. ByteDance has TikTok-like services in China which are also very popular such as Douyin and Jinri Toutiao. Some of the personal information collected includes phone numbers, birthdays, real names, and ID numbers. Of course, this follows concern in the U.S. about TikTok's security and data collection and worries that this data would be stored in servers that were accessible by the Chinese government.</p><p class='black-text'>However, ByteDance doesn't face any immediate pressure to go public as it is a cash-generating machine. Last year, the company more than doubled revenue to $34 billion which makes it one of the highest revenue-generating, tech companies in the world. The company's gross profit reached $19 billion.</p> http://www.pws.io/bytedance-cancels-ipo-following-regulatory-concerns Fri, 16 Jul 2021 12:17:01 -0400 Jaimini Desai Goldman Sachs Now Offers an All-Caps ESG Investing ETF http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-now-offers-an-all-caps-esg-investing-etf <p class='black-text'>Goldman Sachs's <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> Asset Management arm announced the launch of the <b>Goldman Sachs Future Planet Equity ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GSFP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GSFP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GSFP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GSFP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GSFP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> on Thursday, the firm's first transparent, actively managed equity exchange-traded fund. The new fund is hoping to stand out in the expanding environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing market by providing exposure to global companies of all sizes and not being based on an index.</p><p class='black-text'>"Rapid change is disrupting the status quo across industries and around the world. We believe we are on the cusp of a sustainability revolution that could have the scale of the industrial revolution and the speed of the digital revolution," said Katie Koch, co-head of the Fundamental Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210715005612/en/Goldman-Sachs-Asset-Management-Announces-Launch-of-Goldman-Sachs-Future-Planet-Equity-Exchange-Traded-Fund">in a press statement</a>. "In our view, this may give rise to a unique wealth creation opportunity for investors over the next decade."</p><p class='black-text'>Koch says that GSFP will invest in companies that are "on the right side of the climate transition," meaning they are actively adapting their business models and strategies to benefit from a more sustainable future.</p><p class='black-text'>The fund is structured to invest in companies that "seek to provide solutions to environmental problems" within five key theme: clean energy, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption, the circular economy, and water sustainability. GSFP will also actively select companies with the potential to drive more sustainable business practices and deliver strong returns across an array of sectors, geographies, and market capitalizations.</p><p class='black-text'>"We believe we're at a key inflection point: for the first time ever, governments, corporates and consumers are all aligned in driving a global sustainability revolution, but the scale of the challenge is so large that a holistic approach is necessary," said Alexis Deladerrière, portfolio manager of GSFP and head of international developed equity markets for Goldman Sachs Asset Management's Fundamental Equity team, in a press statement. "GSFP will seek to invest in companies providing solutions to a variety of environmental challenges that are critical to supporting our planet for future generations."</p><p class='black-text'>While the ESG ETF field is becoming overpopulated, especially with U.S. large-cap ETF offered by big names like BlackRock <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Vanguard, Goldman's global, all-cap focus helps the ETF stand out from competitors that typically hold large amounts of tech stocks like 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>, 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>, Koch <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-sachs-launches-an-esg-etf-with-a-go-anywhere-any-size-approach-11626362288">told </a><i><a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-sachs-launches-an-esg-etf-with-a-go-anywhere-any-size-approach-11626362288">MarketWatch</a></i>.</p><p class='black-text'>Instead, GSFP's top five holdings are Enel SpA (OTC) ENLY), Ecolab <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ECL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ECL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ECL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ECL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ECL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Daikin Industries <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DKILY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DKILY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DKILY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DKILY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DKILY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Xylem <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XYL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XYL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XYL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XYL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XYL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Ball <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and its top three sectors are 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 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>; the fund offerings a different angle for global ESG ETF investing with the benefit of transparency and active management.</p><p class='black-text'>GSFP has an expense ratio of 0.75% and offers a concentrated portfolio of 40 to 60 companies at a time.</p> http://www.pws.io/goldman-sachs-now-offers-an-all-caps-esg-investing-etf Fri, 16 Jul 2021 12:12:15 -0400 Rachel Hemple June CPI Comes in at 5.4% Above Expectations http://www.pws.io/june-cpi-comes-in-at-54-above-expectations <p class='black-text'>Stocks weakened following the biggest inflation reading in nearly 13 years.</p><p class='black-text'>June Consumer Price Index (CPI) came in at 5.4%, according to the Labor Department's report on Tuesday, which was above analyst expectations of a 4.8% increase. On a monthly basis, June CPI was 0.9% higher than May. Core CPI, which strips out food and energy, also came in above expectations at 4.5%.</p><p class='black-text'>One of the biggest debates among market participants is whether the rise in inflation is a new trend or simply transitory. Those in the transitory camp point to the pandemic and its effects on the supply chain as the primary culprits behind the rise in inflation. Therefore, they are not in favor of the Federal Reserve changing policy as they believe that inflation will fall as these issues are addressed.</p><p class='black-text'>Another camp believes that the rise in inflation is structural and is a consequence of the sky-high deficits and loose monetary policy. This report provides evidence for both arguments as we have high inflation readings but structurally, most inflation is due to used cars, hotel room prices, and other areas affected by the pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>Most importantly, the Fed and Wall Street are in the "transitory" camp. This is evident from the Fed sticking to its policy, while yields on Treasuries remaining low which is inconsistent with an outlook for higher inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>In fact, this report could mark a peak in terms of inflation with the 0.9% monthly gain following May's 0.6% increase. However, one-third of the gain was due to used cars and trucks which saw an increase of 10.5%. A variety of dynamics are leading to rising prices in used cars and trucks. The chip shortage has slowed the production of new cars, while consumers are flush with cash due to the stimulus and increased savings last year. On an annual basis, used car and truck prices have risen by 45%. We had similar dynamics with lumber, but prices are down by more than 50% as demand ebbed with high prices, while mills increased production to take advantage of higher prices.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of the stock market and Fed, the report is unlikely to have a drastic impact. This could change if inflationary pressures start to spread into other categories or if the increase in certain categories continues. However, this seems unlikely as companies and people are incentivized to act in the face of higher prices.</p> http://www.pws.io/june-cpi-comes-in-at-54-above-expectations Thu, 15 Jul 2021 14:59:18 -0400 Jaimini Desai Dollar General Hires CMO and Boosts Healthcare Offerings for Rural Americans http://www.pws.io/dollar-general-hires-cmo-and-boosts-healthcare-offerings-for-rural-americans <p class='black-text'>In a bid to reinvent itself as a healthcare destination, Dollar General <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced last Wednesday that it would hire its first-ever chief medical officer, Dr. Albert Wu, and stock its shelves with a broader variety of health products.</p><p class='black-text'>"At Dollar General, we are always looking for new ways to serve, and our customers have told us that they would like to see increased access to affordable healthcare products and services in their communities," said Todd Vasos, Dollar General's CEO, in a press release. "Our goal is to build and enhance affordable healthcare offerings for our customers, especially in the rural communities we serve."</p><p class='black-text'>With 17,400 locations, nearly 75% of the U.S. population lives within five miles of a Dollar General. Many rural areas with a Dollar General often lack drug stores and grocery outlets, giving the company a unique entry point into the healthcare space.</p><p class='black-text'>Dollar General plans to build 1,000 expanded locations and to renovate 1,750 others this year alone. The new and refreshed locations will undoubtedly provide more shelf space to stock the promised health products Dollar General will be offering.</p><p class='black-text'>In the meantime, the company's new CMO, Dr. Albert Wu, will develop relationships with health partners as the company expands its offerings. Additionally, Dr. Wu's prior experience in building out a cost of care model for 250,000 rural patients could prove invaluable as the company works to meet healthcare needs in remote areas.</p><p class='black-text'>Reception on the Street to Dollar General's push has been largely positive, with the stock price ticking up slightly on the day of the announcement. Jefferies analyst Corey Tarlowe expects that Dollar General will continue to leech market share from drug stores, whose prices are often 40% higher. Dollar General's efforts will "further solidify the company's moat" in the discount retail space, he wrote in a research note.</p><p class='black-text'>Dollar General has also been working with public health officials to address the pandemic. Last month the company offered free Covid testing at select locations in a partnership with the Virginia Department of Public Health. Dollar General has also been in discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about delivering vaccines at some of its locations. Although so far, talks seem to have stalled with a CDC spokesperson <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-citylab-covid-vaccines-dollar-store-locations/">telling </a><i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-citylab-covid-vaccines-dollar-store-locations/">Bloomberg</a></i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2021-citylab-covid-vaccines-dollar-store-locations/"> in May</a> that the two had decided not to pursue "a formal partnership."</p><p class='black-text'>Yet such a partnership might be necessary, according to new research from Judith Chevalier and Jason Schwartz and their colleagues at the Yale University schools of management and public health. Their analysis compared the locations of pharmacies partnered with the federal government to deliver vaccines to the locations of Dollar General stores. When they expanded vaccination sites to include Dollar General, the team found that vaccine access went up by double digits in some areas where inoculation rates continue to lag.</p><p class='black-text'>In Arkansas, which has one of the nation's lowest vaccination rates, the research found that only 31% of low-income households live within one mile of a state-run vaccination site or an authorized pharmacy. However, when the researchers added Dollar General stores to the mix, that number shot up to 48%.</p><p class='black-text'>"The dollar store footprint...lends itself to thinking about this broader aim of making vaccines available right where people are located, and the people that are disproportionately under-vaccinated in so many of our cities and communities right now," Professor Schwartz told<i> Bloomberg</i>.</p> http://www.pws.io/dollar-general-hires-cmo-and-boosts-healthcare-offerings-for-rural-americans Thu, 15 Jul 2021 14:54:52 -0400 David Fladger Gold Outlook Deteriorating http://www.pws.io/gold-outlook-deteriorating <p class='black-text'>Gold <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> had been one of the best-performing assets during the initial months following the coronavirus bottom. Like most assets, gold tumbled during the liquidation in February and March with the metal declining by 15% in a few weeks.</p><p class='black-text'>However, this turned out to be a fantastic buying opportunity as gold rallied by 41% over the next five months to hit a new, all-time high above $2,000 in August. It's easy to understand gold's strength as there was a tremendous amount of political, economic, and social uncertainty due to the coronavirus, dovish monetary policy, sky-high deficits, and political turmoil with the George Floyd tragedy and President Donald Trump's erratic leadership.</p><p class='black-text'>The two largest drivers of gold prices are real interest rates and faith in the political system. The Federal Reserve's aggressive policy moves and weak economic outlook led to a collapse in real interest rates. However, gold prices topped in August and began falling as the economy was more resilient than expected. Then, prices weakened with the successful development of a vaccine and have remained weak while economic momentum has picked up.</p><p class='black-text'>Basically, gold prices dropped from $2,050 in August 2020 to $1,700 in March 2021. Prices have slightly rebounded to $1,800. What's interesting is that gold prices have had a tepid reaction to some positive developments in terms of long-term rates dropping by a significant margin over the past few weeks. Further, inflation data has continued to be strong, and oil prices are hitting multi-year highs. Additionally, deficits remain high as the government continues to support the economy with the passage of the infrastructure bill looming, while President Joe Biden looks to pass a $6 trillion spending bill later this year. Fed policy remains supportive with the current policy expected to continue at least for the next 6 months.</p><p class='black-text'>It's a market maxim that it's bearish when assets don't react positively to good news. It's a reflection that the good news is priced in. Thus, gold bull's should be concerned by gold's lack of response to all these positive developments. Further, it's possible that more negative news could be coming in as the Fed seems to be prepping the market for a taper announcement. Additionally, the economy continues to recover and looks to be in the early stages of a sustainable rally. Finally, leading measures of inflation data are showing signs of cooling which might mean that inflation has already peaked.</p> http://www.pws.io/gold-outlook-deteriorating Thu, 15 Jul 2021 14:50:16 -0400 Jaimini Desai