Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2021, Passport to Wall Street 60 Film, Stage, and TV Crews Prepare for Monday Strike Deadline http://www.pws.io/film-stage-and-tv-crews-prepare-for-monday-strike-deadline <p class='black-text'>The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has set a strike deadline for Monday, October 18, pending the outcome of negotiations with production companies. IATSE's deadline comes after strikes by food production and auto industry unions.</p><p class='black-text'>Negotiations between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have been tense and protracted, with studios reportedly entrenching themselves after a weekend of talks.</p><p class='black-text'>"However, the pace of bargaining doesn't reflect any sense of urgency," IATSE President Matthew Loeb said in the union's <a href="https://iatse.net/strike-date-set-for-60000-film-and-television-workers/">press release</a>. "Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now."</p><p class='black-text'>The vote empowering Loeb to strike the deadline came last week; at 90% turnout, IATSE members voted overwhelmingly by a margin of over 98% to authorize the calling of a strike. A national strike is a first for the union, which has historically proven reluctant to take more drastic steps during negotiations.</p><p class='black-text'>If the vote margin wasn't enough, however, the social media accounts of many IATSE members have been active as of late. Members have taken to sites like Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and 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>, posting pictures of strike banners and signs and expressing readiness.</p><p class='black-text'>The motivation of the union's members to strike isn't surprising, given the increasingly grueling nature of media production amid pandemic-related disruptions. Many workers in 2020 went from weeks of downtime amid production shutdowns to production schedules far more demanding and exhausting than pre-pandemic. The rush to catch up with demand has been devastating to workers, many of whom are so exhausted that they see the looming strike as an opportunity to rest finally.</p><p class='black-text'>The conditions faced by production workers have caused a great deal of public support to form around IATSE, from actors and actresses such as Seth Rogen and Jane Fonda to politicians such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.</p><p class='black-text'>IATSE's strike also comes as many other unions have sought to leverage the shift in bargaining power amid the Coronavirus pandemic. <a href="https://www.pws.io/kelloggs-cereal-factory-workers-go-on-nationwide-strike">Workers of Kelloggs</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/K"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">K</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="K" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="K" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="K" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> unionized under the Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union are currently on strike for better pay and working conditions, while workers of Deere & Company <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> unionized through United Auto Workers <a href="https://www.pws.io/strike-looms-over-john-deere-after-union-rejects-contract">rejected a proposed contract</a>, setting the stage for a potential strike at John Deere plants across the country.</p> http://www.pws.io/film-stage-and-tv-crews-prepare-for-monday-strike-deadline Fri, 15 Oct 2021 16:52:29 -0400 Michael Mooney Market Update: Strong Third-Quarter Earnings Led to Winning Week http://www.pws.io/market-update-strong-third-quarter-earnings-led-to-winning-week <p class='black-text'>Stocks rose on Friday as investors were encouraged by better-than-expected third-quarter bank stock earnings reports helped boost Wall Street to an overall weeking week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 380 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed 0.75% and 0.50%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'>For the week, the Nasdaq outperformed, rising over 2% higher, while the S&P 500 increased 1.8% and the Dow rose 1.6%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled to close out the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +0.75% or +33.11 points to 4,471.37</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>: +1.09% or +382.20 points to 35,294.76</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +0.50% or +73.91 points to 14,897.34</p><p class='black-text'><b>Consumer sentiment unexpectedly declines in early October: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell in early October, sinking near its lowest level in a decade as coronavirus pandemic fears, supply chain challenges and U.S. economic policies impacted consumer outlooks.</p><p class='black-text'>The headline index in the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers fell to 71.4 in October from 72.8 in September, according to the institution's preliminary monthly report.</p><p class='black-text'>"The Delta variant, supply chain shortages, and reduced labor force participation rates will continue to dim the pace of consumer spending into 2022," Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers, said in a press statement. "There is another, less tangible factor that has contributed to the slump in optimism: confidence in government economic policies has significantly declined during the past six months."</p><p class='black-text'>"When asked about their confidence in economy policies, favorable evaluations fell to 19% in early OCtober from Biden's honeymoon high of 31% in April, while unfavorable policy evaluations rose to 48% in early October from 32% in April," he added, noting that this decline in confidence around economic policies was recorded across political affiliations.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Retail sales post a surprise jump in September: </b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. retail sales posted a surprise increase in September, rising for a second month as Delta variant related impacts on consumer spending show signs of easing.</p><p class='black-text'>Retail sales rose by 0.7% in September over August, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Last month's rise follows the upwardly revised 0.9% total for August. Over last year, retail sales increased by 13.9%.</p><p class='black-text'>Beneath the headline, sales gains were boosted by a broad array of categories: sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores sales increased by 3.7%, general merchandise stores sales jumped 2%, miscellaneous stores rose by 1.8%, gasoline stations sales climbed by 1.8%, and non-store retailers edged 0.6% higher.</p><p class='black-text'>Moreover, categories associated with reopening rose higher in September, with food services and drinking places sales increasing by 0.3%, clothing and clothing accessory stores sales rose by 1.1%, and motor vehicle and parts dealers sales increased by 0.5%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.41% or +18.32 points to 4,456.58</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.64% or +221.97 points to 35,134.53</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.24% or +30.59 points to 14,856.24</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-strong-third-quarter-earnings-led-to-winning-week Fri, 15 Oct 2021 16:50:19 -0400 Rachel Hemple JPMorgan Slightly Lower Despite Blowout Quarter http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-slightly-lower-despite-blowout-quarter <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> saw some profit-taking as the stock dipped 3% following a strong, third-quarter earnings report in which the company exceeded analysts' estimates for nearly every metric. One tailwind for JPMorgan and all bank stocks has been that the economy has done much better than feared more than a year ago.</p><p class='black-text'>Thus, the company is able to remove its loan-loss reserves which added $1.5 billion to earnings this quarter. JPMorgan is a well-diversified bank in terms of its exposure to Main Street and Wall Street. So, its earnings are considered an effective leading indicator for the financial sector and overall economy.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q3, JPMorgan generated $3.74 in earnings per share, topping expectations of $3 per share. Of the $3.74 in EPS, $0.19 came from a tax bonus while $0.52 came from releasing loan-loss reserves. Revenue increased by 2% and also topped expectations at $30.4 billion vs $29.8 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>In its conference call, management noted that the economy continued to grow despite some effects of supply chain disruptions and the Delta variant. Revenue growth was driven by strength in investment banking and asset and wealth management divisions. Net interest income was $13.2 billion, slightly topping estimates of $13 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Fixed income revenue declined 20% to $3.7 billion, below the $3.73 billion consensus estimate. However, equities trading contributed $2.6 billion, topping the $2.16 billion estimate.</p><p class='black-text'>Strength in the bank's Wall Street side isn't surprising given the robust M&A and IPO market. In total, investment banking revenue increased by 50% to $3.3 billion. This division carried the company through the pandemic, however, there have been concerns that growth would moderate, and it would face tough comps. However, this segment has shown no loss of momentum.</p><p class='black-text'>Its wealth management division also posted a 21% increase to $4.3 billion on higher management fees and growth in accounts. Assets under management rose 17% to $3 trillion largely due to rising equity markets.</p><p class='black-text'>Another bright spot is the company noted improving loan growth due to higher spending and increased revolving of debts by credit-card users.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan's earnings foreshadowed strong earnings by other Wall Street-centric banks. Overall, the stock is up about 28% on the year, outperforming 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>.</p><p class='black-text'>The financial sector is likely to grow with the economy, and JPMorgan is one of the highest-quality banks. It has a P/E of 13, cheaper than the S&P 500, and a 2.2% dividend.</p> http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-slightly-lower-despite-blowout-quarter Fri, 15 Oct 2021 11:00:59 -0400 Jaimini Desai Moderna To Build New Plant in Africa To Boost Vaccination Efforts http://www.pws.io/moderna-to-build-new-plant-in-africa-to-boost-vaccination-efforts <p class='black-text'>As of Thursday, October 7, less than 5% of Africans had been fully <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/moderna-plans-mrna-vaccine-factory-africa-2021-10-07/">vaccinated against the novel coronavirus</a>. While wealthier countries have been buying up COVID-19 shots en masse, poorer nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been pleading with pharmaceutical companies to start manufacturing drugs on the underserved continent.</p><p class='black-text'>"We expect to manufacture our COVID-19 vaccine as well as additional products within our mRNA vaccine portfolio at this facility," 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> CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'>The plant is expected to include both drug production and packaging capabilities, with the capacity to produce up to 500 million vaccine doses annually.</p><p class='black-text'>In response to questions about Moderna's plan, the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, said that he had not been consulted on the decision would welcome any assistance Moderna wished to give over the medium- to long-term. However, he also made clear that Moderna's new plant won't help the country get the vaccine doses that it needs right now.</p><p class='black-text'>"Ten countries in Africa have expressed an interest in vaccine manufacturing, (we) can actually bring them all together and put Moderna at the center of that," Nkengasong told <i>Reuters</i>. "That would really speak to the need to be transparent and also ... coordinate our effort."</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa are seen as the most likely candidates for <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/modernas-search-african-site-set-intensify-chairman-2021-10-12/">the new plant's location</a> thanks to their existing vaccine production and expertise. Since announcing its plans to build the African plant, Moderna has intensified its selection process, Noubar Afeyan, a biochemical engineer and co-founder of Moderna, told Reuters in an interview. Afeyan confirmed that the three countries mentioned above are on the company's list of potential locations.</p><p class='black-text'>"What matters to us most is the conditions under which we could operate. That is, the healthcare system ... the presence of trained folks who can actually at least help us on some of the clinical testing that needs to be done," said Afeyan.</p><p class='black-text'>While greater access to high-quality medication and treatments is unarguably a good thing for Africa, Moderna's plans to build a new plant could be seen as a way to avoid waiving intellectual property rights on the COVID-19 vaccine, something which health experts say could help bring an end to the pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>Moderna and other drug makers have faced criticism for refusing to give drug makers in poorer countries access to the information needed <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/exclusive-who-backed-vaccine-hub-africa-copy-moderna-covid-19-shot-2021-09-14/">to make their own vaccines</a>. Moderna has stated that it won't enforce its patent on its vaccine while the pandemic lasts, but that's not the same as giving drug producers the information they need to make the shot. The massive pharmaceutical company has been in talks with a WHO-affiliated vaccine research organization in South Africa to facilitate handing over that information, but no agreement has been reached.</p><p class='black-text'>"The talks have not yielded any results," WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research coordinator Martin Friede told Reuters. "This is not something that we are asking industry to give us for free."</p><p class='black-text'>Research hubs like Friede's offer royalties and territorial limitations to their pharmaceutical company partners. Even in cases in which big pharmaceutical companies have agreed to partner with African drug makers, the production of the doses was still done in European plants, meaning African drug makers still aren't able to produce their own vaccines.</p> http://www.pws.io/moderna-to-build-new-plant-in-africa-to-boost-vaccination-efforts Fri, 15 Oct 2021 10:57:47 -0400 Autumn McLain Sky to Launch New Glass Streaming TVs http://www.pws.io/sky-to-launch-new-glass-streaming-tvs <p class='black-text'>In recent Comcast <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CMCSA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CMCSA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CMCSA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CMCSA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CMCSA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> news, it has started to come out with a smart television, Sky Glass, that permits users to stream Sky TV and other such material via the Internet without the need for a satellite dish.</p><p class='black-text'>Sky, which maintains stiff competition with other companies such as 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> and Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, has made great strides in making this particular move. It is the largest hardware milestone that it has made since being taken by Comcast in 2018 for $39 billion. This product will come out in October in the United Kingdom.</p><p class='black-text'>"Sky Glass is the streaming TV with Sky inside, providing the total integration of hardware, software and content," said Dana Strong, group chief executive of Sky, in a press statement.</p><p class='black-text'>Sky TV will come in a few different sizes: 43-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch. Five color choices will be made available: white, pink, green, blue, and black. Monthly subscriptions can also be paid for. Some of the special features of the television are that it has "no dish, no box, no fuzz", according to Strong, while still including individuals' favorite apps.</p><p class='black-text'>Sky states that it will "transform how we chat, play games, workout and share entertainment at home." It will be supportive toward apps, like Zoom <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and also include features such as noise-cancellation. 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> and Sky TV are also partnering in order to make it possible to view television with others. There is a software experience where Sky offers the option to do this, as well as to observe others' reactions to sports in real life.</p><p class='black-text'>Sky Glass TV will soon also expand to other countries besides the United Kingdom, such as Australia. Sky states that it will be the "first of many collaborations as Sky Glass is scaled across the globe."</p><p class='black-text'>Comcast's creation of Sky Glass TV, while coming in a wide variety of options, provides customers the chance to enjoy television in an entirely new way. It will surely permit users to have more entertaining experiences that widen their horizons, and helps them to appreciate technology further.</p> http://www.pws.io/sky-to-launch-new-glass-streaming-tvs Fri, 15 Oct 2021 10:54:14 -0400 Stephanie Williams Global Energy Crunch Soon To Become a Crisis http://www.pws.io/global-energy-crunch-soon-to-become-a-crisis <p class='black-text'>Weather conditions, surging demand, and declining supply have driven up the price of natural gas across the globe. With winter incoming and a decrease in demand nowhere in sight, things <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/07/business/global-energy-crisis/index.html">aren't likely to get better</a> any time soon.</p><p class='black-text'>In Europe, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/23/business/europe-uk-energy-crisis/index.html">natural gas prices</a> are eight times higher than at this time last year, according to the Commodity Intelligence Services. In oil terms, natural gas is trading at $230 per barrel, up more than 130% since the start of September. Meanwhile, in East Asia, natural prices have risen by 85% to $204 per barrel</p><p class='black-text'>As a net exporter of natural gas, the U.S. hasn't seen the same price increases felt in other countries. Still, prices have increased to their highest point in 13 years, rising 47% since the beginning of August.</p><p class='black-text'>The increased cost of natural gas has led to an increase in the use and price of its alternatives: coal and oil. Along with being worse for the environment than natural gas, these alternatives may not be that much easier for energy companies to access.</p><p class='black-text'>In countries like India where coal is relied upon as a primary energy source, coal is now becoming scarce. Many <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/06/energy/india-energy-crisis-coal-hnk-intl/index.html">coal-powered plants in India</a> say they have enough coal to operate for two days or less. That increase in demand is expected to continue to inflate coal prices. Bank of America <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> predicts that the global benchmark for crude oil, Brent crude <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BNO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, could top $100, the highest price since 2014.</p><p class='black-text'>One of the key reasons for the increase in energy prices is the resurgence in demand being felt across the globe following the worst of the pandemic. That demand isn't likely to recede anytime soon. In fact, the incoming winter weather is likely to make things worse.</p><p class='black-text'>"The current surge in European energy power prices is truly unique," a Société Générale energy analysts told the bank's clients this week. "Never before have power prices risen so far, so fast. And we are only a few days into autumn - temperatures are still mild."</p><p class='black-text'>Energy and geopolitics expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Nikos Tsafos told <i>CNN</i> that he thinks that the energy market has broken away from the fundamentals of supply and demand thanks to rising consumer anxiety.</p><p class='black-text'>"A lot of it is feeding off of fear about what the winter's going to look like," Tsafos said.</p><p class='black-text'>That fear hasn't been helped by a decline in Russian gas exports. In China, efforts to convert to green energy have already led to <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/28/economy/china-power-shortage-gdp-supply-chain-intl-hnk/index.html">rolling blackouts</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Even in countries without blackouts, energy bills are expected to spike. Some governments are likely to place caps on energy prices or a ban on disconnections. The European Union has already <a href="https://twitter.com/beuc/status/1445702126336761865?s=20">received calls</a> to ban utility disconnections.</p><p class='black-text'>"This price shock is an unexpected crisis at a critical juncture," Kadri Simson, E.U. energy chief, said. "The immediate priority should be to mitigate social impacts and protect vulnerable households."</p><p class='black-text'>Increasing natural gas prices are exacerbating overall inflation, as well. As mentioned above, inflation was already a concern thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Jim Burkhard, head of the IHS Markit's research on crude oil, energy, and mobility, there's "no immediate relief in sight."</p> http://www.pws.io/global-energy-crunch-soon-to-become-a-crisis Fri, 15 Oct 2021 10:45:28 -0400 Autumn McLain Carnival Cruises Sells Off Following Earnings Report http://www.pws.io/carnival-cruises-sells-off-following-earnings-report <p class='black-text'>Carnival Cruises <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> opened 6% higher following its Q3 earnings report which was better than expected despite the company continuing to post big losses. However, shares quickly gave back these gains in ensuing trading sessions.</p><p class='black-text'>One clear, positive tailwind for Carnival is that the coronavirus situation is rapidly improving in the U.S. and across the world due to a combination of vaccinations and natural immunity. This is bringing us closer to the date when the world can return to normal, and Carnival's cruise ships can once again sail at full capacity.</p><p class='black-text'>However, in order to survive, Carnival had to take on massive amounts of debt which will likely constrain EPS growth and limit the stock's underperformance. This factor is becoming increasingly important as evidenced by the share price's lack of reaction to a decline in case counts whereas such a catalyst previously would send shares soaring.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q3, Carnival posted a loss of $1.75 per share on revenue of $546 million. Both were significant improvements from a year ago when the majority of cruises were shutdown and on a sequential basis from a year ago.</p><p class='black-text'>However, investors are more concerned about the company's liquidity situation, cash holdings, bookings, and outlook for when cruising can fully resume. On these matters, the company was quite optimistic.</p><p class='black-text'>Carnival reported that 2022 bookings are running at higher rates than pre-pandemic. In terms of its liquidity situation, the company currently has $26 billion in debt. Prior to the pandemic, Carnival had $10 billion in debt.</p><p class='black-text'>However, there are some bright spots as the business was cash-flow positive in Q3 and for the full year. Additionally, 8 of its 9 cruise lines are currently in operation although running below full capacity.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>The bullish case for Carnival is increasingly clear as the company has clearly survived and made it through the other end of the pandemic. Becoming cash flow positive and seeing the majority of its ships in operation are milestones and stepping stones for the company to return to pre-pandemic levels.</p><p class='black-text'>Another positive for Carnival is that they sold off many of their lower-priced ships and routes which mean that margins should be higher in coming years. While Carnival's stock has done little in 2021, this positive news could be setting the stock up for a year-end rally, especially if these trends continue the stock could post between $1 and $2 in EPS in 2022 and between $2 and $3 of EPS in 2023.</p> http://www.pws.io/carnival-cruises-sells-off-following-earnings-report Fri, 15 Oct 2021 10:42:35 -0400 Jaimini Desai FDA Scientists Strike More Positive Tone on Johnson & Johnson COVID Booster Shots http://www.pws.io/fda-scientists-strike-more-positive-tone-on-johnson-johnson-covid-booster-shots <p class='black-text'>U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists on Wednesday gave a more positive view towards 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> booster shots--compared to their lack of stance on both third dose proposals from Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>--saying there may be a benefit to administering a second dose two months after the initial shot.</p><p class='black-text'>"Although not independently confirmed by FDA from datasets, summaries of the data suggest there are may be a benefit in a second dose administered approximately 2 months after the primary dose, when compared to the efficacy seen in the pivotal study COV3001," FDA staff wrote in a 54-page document released on the agency's website Wednesday.</p><p class='black-text'>FDA staff also noted that one dose J&J was consistently less effective compared to other authorized COVID vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in both clinical trials and real-world studies; J&J's vaccine was found to by 72% effecting in the U.S., while Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's vaccines boast efficacy rates around 90%. This can be due in part to the J&J shot using a different vaccine technology, with the company using a modified adenovirus to induce an immune response against COVID-19, while Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna use messenger RNA (mRNA), which "trains" the body's immune system to attack the COVID-19 virus.</p><p class='black-text'>A second dose of J&J's vaccine boosts the shot's effectiveness to be on par with its mRNA competitors, offering 94% protection against symptomatic infection when administered two months after the first dose in the U.S., <a href="https://www.pws.io/johnson-johnsons-covid-booster-is-94-in-us-two-months-after-first-dose">the company said recently</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Overall, as with both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's shots, FDA staff concluded that data shows a single dose of the J&J vaccine "still affords protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death in the United States," according to the report. The report is meant to brief the agency's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee ahead of their scheduled meeting on Friday to discuss the safety and effectiveness of an additional J&J COVID dose for adults.</p><p class='black-text'>If the agency's advisory panel votes to recommend a second dose, the FDA could make a final decision within the next few days following Friday's meeting. From there, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) own vaccine advisory committee will vote, and, if they approve, the CDC will make the final decision, which will likely happen next week.</p> http://www.pws.io/fda-scientists-strike-more-positive-tone-on-johnson-johnson-covid-booster-shots Thu, 14 Oct 2021 15:24:21 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Dow Jumps Over 530 Points on Strong Earnings Season Start http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-jumps-over-530-points-on-strong-earnings-season-start <p class='black-text'>Stocks rallied Thursday on the back of better-than-expected quarterly earning reports from major companies, including Walgreens Boots Alliance <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WBA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WBA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, UnitedHealth <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UNH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UNH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UNH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UNH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UNH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Bank of America <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 530 points, while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed over 1.7% each.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Thursday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.71% or +74.45 points to 4,438.25</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.56% or +534.75 points to 34,912.56</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.73% or +251.79 points to 14,823.43</p><p class='black-text'><b>Key FDA panel unanimously backs Moderna booster shots: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) independent vaccine advisory panel unanimously recommended Thursday booster shots of Moderna's <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> COVID-19 vaccine for people age 65 years and older and other vulnerable Americans.</p><p class='black-text'>The non-binding decision by the agency's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee brings Moderna's booster shot guidelines in-line with the FDA's authorized guidelines for Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and BioNTech's <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> third dose. Those shots were authorized for more vulnerable Americans, including the elderly, adults with underlying medical conditions and those who work or live in high-risk settings like healthcare.</p><p class='black-text'>A final FDA decision on Moderna boosters is expected to be reached within the next few days. From there, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) vaccine advisory committee will vote on the FDA's proposal next week. If the panel recommends approval and the CDC endorses it, Mondera booster shots could be available immediately for eligible Americans who completed their initial vaccine regimen at least six months prior.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Producer prices hold at historically high annual levels in September: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Prices paid to producers in the United States decelerated in September compared to August, but still held at historically high levels versus last year as inflationary pressures continue to impact the U.S. economy.</p><p class='black-text'>The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index (PPI) rose at a 0.5% monthly rate in September, slowing from August's 0.7% increase. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, last month's PPI ticked 0.2% high, slowing from August's 0.6% increase.</p><p class='black-text'>Compared to last year, the PPI still increased at a historically elevated rate, rising by 8.6% in September over the same month last year, accelerating from August's 8.3% annual rate and posting the fastest rate on record, with data spanning back to 2010. Excluding food and energy prices, last month's PPI rose by 6.8% compared to August's 6.7% increase.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Initial jobless claims fall to new pandemic-era low: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Initial jobless claims fell below 300,000 for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic back in March 2020 last week.</p><p class='black-text'>New unemployment claims totaled 293,000 for the week ended Oct. 9, according to the Labor Department's latest report published Thursday, falling lower than the previous pandemic-era low of 312,000 posted in the beginning of September. Last week's fresh total was also down from the prior week's 329,000 total claims, which were upwardly revised by 3,000.</p><p class='black-text'>Moreover, continuing jobless claims also reached a fresh pandemic-era low of 2.593 million for the week ended Oct. 2, falling from the previous week's total of 2.727 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.97% or +42.28 points to 4,406.08</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +1.24% or +425.25 points to 34,803.06</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.90% or +131.62 points to 14,702.84</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-jumps-over-530-points-on-strong-earnings-season-start Thu, 14 Oct 2021 14:33:15 -0400 Rachel Hemple Apple Appeals September Ruling From its Legal Fight with Epic Games http://www.pws.io/apple-appeals-september-ruling-from-its-legal-fight-with-epic-games <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> is seeking to keep its iron grip on the App Store for a few years longer, or at least keep its 30% commission on all in-app purchases.</p><p class='black-text'>On Friday, the iPhone maker said it would appeal September's ruling, which ordered it to allow apps to link to alternative payment systems outside the App Store. The appeal represents the latest in the much-watched legal drama between Apple and its long-time antagonist, Epic Games, the maker of 'Fortnite.'</p><p class='black-text'>Apple also asked Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers, who made the initial ruling, to hold off on her December 9 deadline for the App Store changes while the case makes its way through the courts. Pushing back the deadline for Apple could mean that its App Store business model could remain in place for a year or longer.</p><p class='black-text'>Billions are at stake for Apple. <i>Bloomberg Intelligence</i> estimates reduced commissions from the App Store could strain revenues at the company by $2-4 billion. Also at stake is the entire premise of Apple's digital ecosystem: that consumers need protection in the form of a walled garden where Apple decides what goes in and what goes out.</p><p class='black-text'>Friday's legal moves represent quite an about-face on Apple's part, given the vindication it initially expressed after the September ruling. That ruling cleared Apple on 9 of 10 counts of supposed "monopolistic activity." However, Judge Rogers ruled that Apple's "anti-steering" policies stifled consumer choice and said that Apple needed to amend those policies.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are very pleased with the Court's ruling and we consider this a huge win for Apple," said Kate Adams, Apple's lawyer, at the time.</p><p class='black-text'>The company said it filed the motion in light of a legal deadline this month which would've cut Apple off from further appeals. In its filing, the Cupertino-based tech giant said there was "no reason to expend resources" to make the required changes while the outcome of its case remains uncertain. The company also warned of "downstream consequences" should the initial injunction go into effect by the December deadline.</p><p class='black-text'>Epic had no formal comment about Apple's announcement.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted: "Apple filed a peel," referring to the 'Fortnite' character Agent Peel, whose nudity in the game Apple used to stir up controversy during the trial.</p><p class='black-text'>Apple has removed Fortnite from the App Store until all of Epic's legal options are exhausted, which could take up to five years should both sides bring their battle to the Supreme Court.</p><p class='black-text'>A hearing on Apple's request is set for November 16; however, Apple hopes to have the hearing set for November 2.</p><p class='black-text'>Apple said it will bring its motion to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should Judge Rogers deny its request.</p><p class='black-text'>Paul Gallant, an analyst at Cowen & Co, told <i>Bloomberg</i> that Apple's chance of winning a stay at the Ninth Circuit is high.</p><p class='black-text'>Even as the final outcome in the battle of 'Epic v Apple' remains unclear, a bipartisan Senate bill could force Apple to change its App Store model before any judge does. Apple already links users to outside payment sources in Japan in the case of certain apps, just not when it comes to games, which are the most profitable category of in-app purchases.</p> http://www.pws.io/apple-appeals-september-ruling-from-its-legal-fight-with-epic-games Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:20:25 -0400 David Fladger Warby Parker Slightly Lower Since Debut http://www.pws.io/warby-parker-slightly-lower-since-debut <p class='black-text'>Warby Parker <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WRBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WRBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WRBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WRBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WRBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> made its debut in late September, which continues a trend of many online-facing brands like Allbirds, Fabletics, and Rent the Runway recently going public or expected to soon. The company is well-known for pioneering a direct to consumer eyewear brand which typically features lower prices.</p><p class='black-text'>Many investors will avoid this group of stocks given their high multiples, for example, Warby Parker's price to sales is 13. Further, there is disagreement on whether these should be valued like tech companies with higher multiples or retail businesses with much lower ones given its direct-to-consumer (DTC) model.</p><p class='black-text'>Buying Warby Parker is an implicit bet that the company can continue delivering sales growth and margin growth. Its valuation shot up during the pre-IPO process which reflects well on the market's appetite for more speculative, growth stocks. However, it is unprofitable and many DTC brands have struggled like Casper <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CSPR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CSPR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CSPR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CSPR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CSPR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Revolve.</p><p class='black-text'>Warby Parker went public through a direct listing which tends to feature less institutional support and no lockup period to prevent insiders from selling shares, potentially leading to more volatility in the initial months of trading.</p><p class='black-text'>On the bullish side, the company says it only has 1% of the eyewear market and has the potential to expand internationally as well. The company is also looking to add more locations. Currently, it has 125 and is looking to add around 30 to 40 annually.</p><p class='black-text'>Prices start at an affordable $95 including prescription lenses. They can be purchased digitally, using a free home try-on system or virtual trial system, as well as at 145 Warby Parker shops. It had a net loss of $55.9 million in 2020 and revenue of $393.7 million.</p><p class='black-text'>Stock Price Outlook</p><p class='black-text'>On the whole, Internet brands that have IPO's this year are down but it's a mixed performance. Buying Warby Parker is betting that the company will be able to grow market share in the eyewear market.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the valuation already reflects significant growth, further, the growth is not impressive - 7% in 2021. Adding stores will also eat into margins.</p> http://www.pws.io/warby-parker-slightly-lower-since-debut Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:16:53 -0400 Jaimini Desai Uber Will Now Track Your Flight and Wait for You at the Airport http://www.pws.io/uber-will-now-track-your-flight-and-wait-for-you-at-the-airport <p class='black-text'>Uber Technologies <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBER"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBER</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced recently that customers will now have the option of booking rides up to 30 days beforehand or make potential flight reservations via the app. Those who wish to try out the Uber Black or Uber Black SUV choices will be able to place data about their flights into the app, which will then instantly make reservation changes if the flight is early or late.</p><p class='black-text'>In addition to this feature, it will establish machine learning in order to enhance curbside pickup experiences. The machine learning feature for curbside pickup can potentially pair travelers with drivers at a much faster pace. The utilization of machine learning can foretell the demand in advance for a fast, smooth experience. Some of the airports that the feature is available at are Chicago (MDW), Las Vegas (LAS), and Los Angeles (LAX).</p><p class='black-text'>Since airport traffic will ultimately expand because of the coronavirus, Uber views this as a chance to build up its reputation for pickups and drop-offs for those traveling. Ultimately, Uber would like to improve its system in terms of driving, given that many individuals have felt disgruntled about the present state of the system.</p><p class='black-text'>There are various choices in terms of when travelers can be picked up: 20 minutes, 10 minutes, or immediately. The system, "Ready When You Are," permits travelers to choose a pickup time that is most appropriate or useful for them, and provides the reassurance that a car is on the way to pick them up. This particular feature runs at six different locations: Nashville (BNA), New Orleans (MSY), Portland (PDX), Philadelphia (PHL), Seattle (SEA), and Toronto (YYZ).</p><p class='black-text'>The feature has been made available on Android <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> already, and will be accessible on iOS <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> starting in November.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber's new choices for various features concerning flight reservations will likely attract more travelers to its business. It will help travelers to further connect, as well as to build the notoriety of Uber as a company.</p> http://www.pws.io/uber-will-now-track-your-flight-and-wait-for-you-at-the-airport Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:13:32 -0400 Stephanie Williams Twitter To Sell Mobile Ad Platform MoPub for $1.05 Billion http://www.pws.io/twitter-to-sell-mobile-ad-platform-mopub-for-105-billion <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> has announced its plans to sell its mobile ad platform, MoPub, to marketing software company AppLovin <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/APP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">APP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="APP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="APP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="APP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> for $1.05 billion in cash. <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/06/twitter-mopub-applovin-deal/">The sale</a> is a part of the social media company's plan to double its annual revenue by 2023 by increasing its investment in commerce and revenue products.</p><p class='black-text'>"The sale of MoPub positions us to concentrate more of our efforts on the massive potential for ads on our website and in our apps," Ned Segal, Twitter CFO said in <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/twitter-enters-into-definitive-agreement-to-sell-mopub-to-applovin-for-1-05-billion-in-cash-301394571.html">a press release</a>. "We plan to...deliver on our previously stated goal of at least doubling total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023."</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter bought MoPub in 2013 for about $350 million. Last year, the platform brought in $188 million in revenue, according to Twitter, and is used by 45,000 mobile apps, reaching 1.5 billion users.</p><p class='black-text'>"This transaction increases our focus and demonstrates confidence in our revenue product roadmap, accelerating our ability to invest in the core products that position Twitter for long-term growth and best serve the public conversation," Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is quoted in a press release. "We thank the incredible teams and customers who have contributed to making MoPub a success within Twitter over the years."</p><p class='black-text'>"Increased focus" was mentioned repeatedly as the reason for the sale. In recent months, Twitter has introduced a number of new features to its app, including a <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/01/twitter-super-follows-monetization/">premium subscription service</a> and <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/26/twitter-starts-to-roll-out-paid-ticketed-spaces-on-ios/">live audio groups</a>, or clubhouses, though these features aren't available to all users.</p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/03/twitter-launches-its-premium-subscription-twitter-blue-initially-in-canada-and-australia/">premium subscription</a> includes additional tools like bookmark organization, an improved format, and an "Undo Tweet" button.</p><p class='black-text'>The additional features, which allow for interest-based communities to grow on the site, were reportedly created in an effort to reduce the level of toxicity present on Twitter's site currently.</p><p class='black-text'>Along with the new options for casual users, Twitter also recently introduced a <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/twitter-launches-u-s-e-commerce-pilot-that-lets-users-shop-from-profiles/">new e-commerce module</a> with tools for businesses and nonprofits. According to the company's release, the sale of MoPub was explicitly made in order to allow Twitter to improve its offerings to small businesses and commerce initiatives, among other things.</p><p class='black-text'>The terms of the sale include a transition period during which Twitter will work with AppLovin to support the change in owners. That period is expected to end "in the coming months".</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/06/twitter-sells-its-mopub-mobile-ad-network-to-applovin-for-1point05-billion.html">Following the sale</a>, shares of AppLovin saw an 8% bump, while Twitter shares increased by more than 2%.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are excited by the opportunity to grow the AppLovin platform and further enhance our publisher monetization tools through this strategic transaction," AppLovin CEO Adam Foroughi said in a statement. "We welcome the MoPub team and together we will work diligently to combine the best of MoPub into the AppLovin software platform."</p><p class='black-text'>AppLovin's business falls into two categories: mobile games and marketing tools. The first is used to sell virtual items to users, and the second is used by other app developers to promote their apps.</p> http://www.pws.io/twitter-to-sell-mobile-ad-platform-mopub-for-105-billion Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:07:54 -0400 Autumn McLain Sherwin Williams Shares Lower Following Updated Guidance http://www.pws.io/sherwin-williams-shares-lower-following-updated-guidance <p class='black-text'>Sherwin Williams <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SHW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SHW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SHW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares fell 4% following the company downgrading its outlook for Q3 and the full-year due to inflationary pressures and challenges getting raw materials.</p><p class='black-text'>The company is expected to release its Q3 results later this month, but this is another sign that inflationary pressures are beginning to affect companies in a more tangible way. It's also another indication that inflationary pressures are finally starting to eat into corporate margins. In previous quarters, companies had been talking about the</p><p class='black-text'>Remarkably, Sherwin Williams was one of the best-performing stocks during the pandemic as the combination of stimulus payments and so many outlets for spending being unavailable meant that people were spending more on upgrading their homes. Additionally, the company is helped by rising home prices which is also supportive of remodeling.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally, another headwind for Sherwin Williams is rising oil prices given that so many paints are oil-based. For much of the last decade, this has been a bullish tailwind as falling oil prices meant that margins were improving. It's also notable because Sherwin Williams has been regarded as one of the best operators in terms of the company's reputation and financial performance, but the company also benefited from positive macro conditions which is no longer true.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Market Impact</i></p><p class='black-text'>Inflation has many negative effects. But for the overall economy, it's less than expected and moderate levels can even stoke economic activity. One reason that the overall economy does fine during inflationary periods is that Sherwin Williams' struggles will turn into increased profits for energy companies and the businesses that sell products and services to them. Of course, high and persistent levels of inflation can eventually erode consumer spending or cause the Fed to tighten policy to reduce economic activity.</p><p class='black-text'>This will be one of the major themes to watch this earnings season along with companies talking about supply chain issues. So far, 16 out of 21 companies reporting in 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> have topped their earnings estimates but an equal percent of companies have talked about inflation and supply chain challenges.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, S&P 500 earnings are expected to grow by 27% on a year-over-year basis this quarter while profit margins are expected to stay flat.</p> http://www.pws.io/sherwin-williams-shares-lower-following-updated-guidance Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:05:35 -0400 Jaimini Desai FDA Scientists Fail to Take Stance on Moderna Booster Shots Ahead of Key Panel Meeting http://www.pws.io/fda-scientists-fail-to-take-stance-on-moderna-booster-shots-ahead-of-key-panel-meeting <p class='black-text'>Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday did not take a stance on whether or not to support booster shots of Moderna's <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> COVID-19 vaccine, saying data shows two doses are enough to protect against severe disease and death in the United States.</p><p class='black-text'>"Some real world effectiveness studies have suggested declining efficacy of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine over time against symptomatic infection or against the Delta variant, while others have not," FDA scientists wrote in a 45-page document published on the agency's website. "However, overall, data indicates that current U.S.-licensed or authorized COVID-19 vaccine still afford protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death in the United States."</p><p class='black-text'>The scientists' report is meant to brief the agency's independent vaccine panel--Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee--which is scheduled to meet Thursday to review Moderna's request to authorize COVID vaccine boosters for American adults. The agency could make a final decision within days of the meeting, leaving the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its independent advisory committee--Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices--to make the final decision, likely next week.</p><p class='black-text'>FDA scientists also failed to take a stance on 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's <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> COVID-19 booster shots last month. However, the agency's vaccine advisory panel still recommended third doses of the vaccine for those more vulnerable to severe disease, including the elderly and people with other health conditions; this decision scaled down Pfizer's request for booster shots to be authorized for Americans aged 16 years and older.</p><p class='black-text'>Last month, the FDA and the CDC had <a href="https://www.pws.io/cdc-director-rules-against-advisory-panel-to-recommend-pfizer-biontech-boosters-to-most-vulnerable-a">authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for more at-risk Americans</a>, including the elderly, adults with underlying medical conditions and those who work or line in high-risk settings such as healthcare and other frontline positions.</p><p class='black-text'>Moderna applied for authorization of a third dose with the FDA on September 1. The biotech said its booster shot data is based on a clinical trial of about 170 adults--less than the 318 people who participated in Pfizer-BioNTech's booster shot trial. Moderna found that its booster dose was safe and produced a stronger immune response than seen after the second dose in its late-stage clinical trial.</p> http://www.pws.io/fda-scientists-fail-to-take-stance-on-moderna-booster-shots-ahead-of-key-panel-meeting Wed, 13 Oct 2021 17:18:57 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: S&P 500 Snaps Three-Day Losing Streak http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-snaps-three-day-losing-streak <p class='black-text'>The S&P 500 shook off a three-day losing streak Wednesday as the third quarter earnings season started with mostly strong reports and investors digested Federal Reserve insights as to when it will start tapering its asset-purchase program. The Nasdaq also gained by the session's end, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a flatline.</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>: +0.30% or +13.15 points to 4,363.80</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>: -0.00% or -0.53 points to 34,377.81</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>: +0.73% or +105.71 points to 14,571.64</p><p class='black-text'><b>Federal Reserve releases September policy meeting minutes: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The Federal Open Market Committee <a href="https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/fomcminutes20210922.pdf">released the minutes from its September meeting</a> Wednesday afternoon, further detailing policymakers' discussions surrounding the timing of asset-purchase tapering and the economy's progress towards recovery.</p><p class='black-text'>The meeting minutes showed that policymakers expect tapering to begin by mid-November or mid-December this year, and will continue through mid-2022. Policymakers also discussed whether or not the economy has reached key labor market recovery thresholds that will signal the need to tighten the current monetary policy.</p><p class='black-text'>"A number of participants assessed that the standard of substantial further progress toward the goal of maximum employment had not yet been attained by that, if the economy proceeded roughly as they anticipated, it may soon be reached," the minutes said. However, other participants said they believe the threshold had been met.</p><p class='black-text'>"Some of these participants also suggested that labor supply constraints were the main impediments to further improvement in labor market conditions rather than lack of demand," the minutes added. "They noted that adding monetary policy accommodation at this time would not address such constraints or that the costs of continuing asset purchases might be beginning to exceed their benefits."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Consumer prices rise at faster-than-expected pace in September: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Consumer prices in the United States rose at a faster-than-expected rate in September over August and the same month last year, driven by increases in food, housing and energy prices.</p><p class='black-text'>The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased at a 0.4% monthly rate in September, accelerating from August's 0.3% pace. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI jumped 5.4%, also increasing compared to the prior month's 5.3% gain and notching the fastest pace since 2008. Consensus economists were expecting CPI to increase by 0.3% and 5.3% on a month-over-month and annual basis, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'>Excluding volatile food and energy prices, September's CPI still rose 0.2% month-over-month, rising from August's 0.1% increase. Compared to last year, CPI increased by 4.0%, which matched August's rate.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.29% or +12.53 points to 4,363.18</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.08% or +28.50 points to 34,406.84</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.58% or +84.58 points to 14,545.13</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-snaps-three-day-losing-streak Wed, 13 Oct 2021 16:05:46 -0400 Rachel Hemple Netflix Breaks Out to New Highs Following Video Game Announcement http://www.pws.io/netflix-breaks-out-to-new-highs-following-video-game-announcement <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> has once again become an outperformer among its tech peers after underperforming for the last couple of years. This is underpinned as the stock made new, all-time highs this month, while many other tech stocks led the market on the downside.</p><p class='black-text'>This strength comes despite some skeptics seeing the company facing a tough time given more competition in the streaming space, the increased cost of content, and the company reaching saturation point in terms of subscriber growth. However, the company has proved to be durable in terms of retaining subscribers.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Video Games</i></p><p class='black-text'>Now, the company has a newest catalyst in the form of video games as the streamer is reportedly planning to launch video games in the near future. Recently, it bought a video game studio and rolled out 5 games to smaller markets as a pilot test.</p><p class='black-text'>For so long, the proposition behind Netflix's multiples and stock price was that the company would focus on growth and offering the best video library and then eventually focus on profits by raising prices. However, the proliferation of new streaming options has complicated this picture and eroded Netflix's pricing power.</p><p class='black-text'>Therefore, this move by Netflix has the potential to create another revenue and income stream. Netflix could monetize games by offering premium features or in-game purchases. Already, the company is launching games that complement content on the platform.</p><p class='black-text'>The company has 209 million customers, so it will be interesting to see what percent of customers engage with the new feature.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Netflix's stock price underperformed from July 2020 to July 2021 amid concerns of rising costs and slowing revenue growth. However, the video game market unlocks another way to increase revenue per subscriber and increase user growth and retention.</p><p class='black-text'>Further, the company's valuation continues to improve especially as its revenue and earnings increased while the stock price was flat. This is evident in its forward P/E of 49 with 19% revenue growth and 16% profit margins. Equally important, the company now has a pathway to growth and margin expansion that didn't seem likely a few months ago.</p> http://www.pws.io/netflix-breaks-out-to-new-highs-following-video-game-announcement Wed, 13 Oct 2021 15:10:40 -0400 Jaimini Desai Strike Looms Over John Deere After Union Rejects Contract http://www.pws.io/strike-looms-over-john-deere-after-union-rejects-contract <p class='black-text'>Deere & Company <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> could be facing a strike from its unionized workers after union members overwhelmingly voted down a tentative contract.</p><p class='black-text'>"The tentative agreement reached by the UAW and John Deere was rejected this evening by a majority of 90% of the membership." United Auto Workers (UAW) President Chuck Browning <a href="https://uaw.org/statement-uaw-vice-president-chuck-browning-ratification-vote-results-john-deere-contract/">said on Sunday</a>. "The UAW negotiating team will report immediately to Moline on Monday. A strike deadline has been set for 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, October 13th."</p><p class='black-text'>The last time the John Deere brand faced a strike was in 1986 when factory workers represented by UAW picketed for 163 days. The strike was devastating for the firm, which posted record losses and slashed dividend payments to investors as a result. The strike looms large over the company and the 10,100 workers currently represented by the UAW as negotiations continue in a last-ditch effort to avert Wednesday's deadline.</p><p class='black-text'>The steep margin of loss for the tentative agreement contrasts starkly with the UAW negotiating team's initial optimism, which itself contrasts with the first signs of worker dissatisfaction that had begun to surface as early as 2015 when the previous contract passed only by a slim margin. The rejected contract drew concern for proposed wages that didn't keep pace with inflation and a dissatisfactory alternative to requests for post-retirement healthcare.</p><p class='black-text'>The coronavirus pandemic has caused a dramatic shift in bargaining power to labor amid profound supply line disruptions, market volatility, and a generally unstable global economy. As illustrated by last week's strike by workers at <a href="https://www.pws.io/kelloggs-cereal-factory-workers-go-on-nationwide-strike">Kellogg's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/K"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">K</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="K" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="K" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="K" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> cereal factories</a> and the preceding strike at Nabisco (parent company Mondelez International, <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MDLZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MDLZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MDLZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MDLZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MDLZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>) factories, many unionized workers are leveraging their newfound bargaining power to secure long-sought concessions in negotiations. As illustrated by the "<a href="https://www.pws.io/we-all-quit-incident-should-be-very-concerning-for-low-wage-employers">we all quit</a>" incident, non-union workers in low-wage, high-stress jobs are simply departing for better paying work, which has prompted the ever-visible scramble for workers at many restaurants and shops.</p><p class='black-text'>The Union's Sunday announcement didn't cause a pre-market drop, but the strike still looks to be weighing heavily on John Deere stock. Shares lost 3% during trading on Monday, but appeared to have bottomed out during Tuesday trading, regaining a modest 0.2% by noon.</p> http://www.pws.io/strike-looms-over-john-deere-after-union-rejects-contract Wed, 13 Oct 2021 15:08:51 -0400 Michael Mooney World Leaders Reach Consensus on Global Minimum Corporate Tax http://www.pws.io/world-leaders-reach-consensus-on-global-minimum-corporate-tax <p class='black-text'>On Friday, the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) announced a new effective global minimum corporate tax of 15%, as part of a breakthrough agreement representing years of patient diplomacy by world leaders seeking to crack down on tax havens and bring in new revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>With 136 countries representing 90% of global GDP now in ascent, the new agreement should swell public coffers by $125 billion annually, OECD said in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'>"As of this morning virtually, the entire global economy has decided to end the race to the bottom on corporate taxation," said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Secretary Yellen later called Friday's breakthrough a "once-in-a-generation accomplishment for economic diplomacy."</p><p class='black-text'>The so-called "race to the bottom" refers to when countries slash corporate rates, attracting profits to their shores, all the while depriving corporations' home countries of much-needed funds.</p><p class='black-text'>The new agreement ends this "race" not only by imposing a minimum levy on corporate profits but also by taxing corporations based on where they operate, not just where they're headquartered. The move represents a sea-change for corporate taxation in the digital age, where behemoths like Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> have thus far been able to rake in billions tax-free across the globe.</p><p class='black-text'>"Today's agreement will make our international tax arrangements fairer and work better," said Mathias Cormann, OECD's Secretary-General, "We must now work swiftly and diligently to ensure the effective implementation of this major reform."</p><p class='black-text'>Friday's breakthrough largely sprang from newfound unity among Eurozone members, particularly Ireland and Hungary, both of whom use lower rates to lure in corporate investment and whose ascent was necessary for the agreement to move forward.</p><p class='black-text'>The original text of the accord was altered to stipulate that the global minimum will not be raised at a later date; this and an exemption for smaller businesses helped bring Ireland on board. Hungary was granted an exemption, allowing it to transition to the new minimum in ten years rather than the original five.</p><p class='black-text'>The new minimum rate should take effect in 2023, giving enough time for treaties to be ratified and for laws to be adjusted across the globe. However, Finance ministers from the so-called "Group of 20" are set to put final touches on the text of the agreement itself in Washington by the end of the week, with world leaders signing off on the deal by month's end.</p><p class='black-text'>Key provisions still need to be hammered out, in particular how countries will split the revenues earned from large companies, a point that could prove to be a source of contention.</p><p class='black-text'>However, political uncertainty casts a pall over the deal's future ratification, particularly in the U.S.</p><p class='black-text'>This year, the Biden Administration largely carried the momentum in the tax talks, which had stalled before the president entered office. Indeed, the global minimum is necessary for Biden's efforts to bring in offshore revenues, an effort which Senate Republicans remain obsequiously opposed. Democrats contend they can ratify the agreement along party lines through a process known as reconciliation; Republicans argue otherwise.</p><p class='black-text'>"I am confident that what we need to do to come into compliance with the minimum tax will be included in a reconciliation package," Secretary Yellen told <i>ABC's This Week</i>. I hope that we, that it will be passed and we will be able to reassure the world that the United States will do its part."</p> http://www.pws.io/world-leaders-reach-consensus-on-global-minimum-corporate-tax Wed, 13 Oct 2021 15:05:56 -0400 David Fladger Micron Stock Lower Following Micron Earnings Miss http://www.pws.io/micron-stock-lower-following-micron-earnings-miss <p class='black-text'>Micron Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is one of the largest memory chipmakers in the world. The stock had enjoyed massive gains as the pandemic and stimulus payments led to a boom in the purchase of PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Overall, Micron more than tripled between March 2020 and April 2021.</p><p class='black-text'>Since then, the stock is down by nearly 30% amid concerns of a decline in tech spending and increased production which is affecting the outlook for chip pricing. This was reflected in the stock's recent earnings report in which Micron topped analysts' estimates for earnings and revenue but issued weaker guidance than expected by a large margin, causing the stock to drop by 3%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In its fiscal Q4, Micron reported adjusted earnings per share of $2.42, beating consensus estimates of $2.33 per share. Revenue came in at $8.3 billion which beat estimates of $8.23 billion. Overall, this was a 124% increase in earnings and a 37% growth in sales.</p><p class='black-text'>The quarter also marked records for the company in terms of revenue and market share in several markets. It also initiated a quarterly dividend. Despite this, shares sold off on concerns about weakening prices for memory chips in Q4 and beyond due to high inventories and concerns of decreased demand next year due to a lack of stimulus payments and high levels of buying last year.</p><p class='black-text'>Micron expects $7.65 billion in revenue in Q1 which fell short of expectations of $8.6 billion. EPS also missed at $2.10 vs $2.33. Essentially, the company sees its growth trajectory as flattening while analysts were looking for further continuation.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Micron's lower guidance seems to confirm that investors were correct in anticipating some sort of slowdown in Micron's growth. Many tech stocks that experienced accelerating revenues during the pandemic are now underperforming due to tough comps and normalization in behavior.</p><p class='black-text'>Micron will also face these headwinds next year, as tech spending stayed strong in 2021 due to stimulus payments. It's likely to decelerate next year which could lead to continued underperformance in Micron especially given that pricing looks to be depressed next year.</p><p class='black-text'>However, even with a slowdown, Micron's stock looks attractively valued with a forward P/E of 7.3 which is significantly cheaper than the S&P 500's forward P/E of 22. Yet, it could be a "value trap" if Micron's earnings have peaked and then could move in the opposite direction.</p> http://www.pws.io/micron-stock-lower-following-micron-earnings-miss Wed, 13 Oct 2021 15:02:54 -0400 Jaimini Desai Merck Seeks Approval for First Pill To Treat COVID-19 http://www.pws.io/merck-seeks-approval-for-first-pill-to-treat-covid-19 <p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.merck.com/news/merck-and-ridgebacks-investigational-oral-antiviral-molnupiravir-reduced-the-risk-of-hospitalization-or-death-by-approximately-50-percent-compared-to-placebo-for-patients-with-mild-or-moderat/">Merck <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MRK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has announced</a> that it is seeking the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval for what could be <a href="https://apnews.com/article/merck-asks-fda-to-authorize-covid-pill-e731ada126414396b402c4dfc3cf8d2c">the first pill sold to treat COVID-19</a>. The <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/us/merck-applies-us-emergency-authorization-covid-19-pill-2021-10-11/">oral antiviral drug</a>, which in studies was shown to cut hospitalization and deaths by 50%, could provide a groundbreaking alternative to the current IV and injection COVID-19 treatments with FDA approval.</p><p class='black-text'>Merck's molnupiravir, developed in partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, is both cheaper to produce and easier to use than other medications currently being used to treat the coronavirus. The pharmaceutical company is seeking approval of emergency use of the drug for adult patients who are at risk of hospitalization for mild-to-moderate cases.</p><p class='black-text'>"The value here is that it's a pill so you don't have to deal with the infusion centers and all the factors around that," a vice president of Merck's unit on infectious diseases, Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, said. "I think it's a very powerful tool to add to the toolbox."</p><p class='black-text'>The FDA's approval could come within a few weeks. The approval process will include an analysis of the side effects of the drug. During studies, patients given the medication showed the same side-effects as patients given a placebo, but details of those effects have not been released by Merck.</p><p class='black-text'>If the drug does receive approval, it could support the country's two-pronged approach to the coronavirus pandemic: prevention, in the form of vaccines, and treatment, through medications. Still, according to health officials and experts, the best way to address the pandemic is still the vaccine.</p><p class='black-text'>"It's much, much better to prevent yourself from getting infected than to have to treat an infection," Dr. Anthony Fauci said regarding Merck's potential new drug.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, nearly 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated, but recent weeks have seen an increase in individuals getting the shot, largely due to workplace requirements and boosters. Both COVID-19 deaths and new reported cases have been down in the last few weeks. However, health experts are concerned that these gains could be lost once the winter weather hits.</p><p class='black-text'>While the vaccine may be the key to cutting cases, the U.S. government has committed to purchasing more than $1 billion worth of Merck's new drug if it gets approval, based on preliminary figures. The government has placed an order for treatment for 1.7 million people, with each round costing $700. That $700 figure is subject to change as the drug moves through the approval process.</p><p class='black-text'>"We set that price before we had any data, so that's just one contract," said Kartsonis. "Obviously we're going to be responsible about this and make this drug as accessible to as many people around the world as we can."</p><p class='black-text'>While $700 may seem steep, it's still cheaper than current antibody drugs that require difficult and costly production process. In order to help lower-income countries gain access to the new oral antiviral, Merck has authorized several Indian generic drug producers to sell low-cost versions of the drug. Prices will be determined on sliding scale based on the purchasing country's economic means.</p><p class='black-text'>It might be the first to reach the finish line, but Merck isn't the only company looking to produce an oral treatment for COVID-19. Both 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> & Roche <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RHHBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RHHBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RHHBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RHHBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RHHBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are looking into similar drugs and could show results in the next weeks or months.</p><p class='black-text'>AstraZeneca <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, meanwhile, is seeking approval for a <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/astrazenecas-covid-19-drug-cocktail-meets-main-goal-late-stage-trial-2021-10-11/">long-acting antibody drug</a> which is meant to be used to protect immunocompromised people who don't respond to the vaccine with an alternative preventive option.</p> http://www.pws.io/merck-seeks-approval-for-first-pill-to-treat-covid-19 Wed, 13 Oct 2021 14:27:00 -0400 Autumn McLain Market Update: Dow Falls for Third Straight Session on Investor Caution http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-for-third-straight-session-on-investor-caution <p class='black-text'>Stocks fell for a third consecutive session on Tuesday as investors remained cautious ahead of a key inflation reading and the start of the third-quarter earnings season later this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 117 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell by 0.24% and 0.14%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Tuesday:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.24% or -10.54 points to 4,350.65</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>: -0.34% or -117.72 points to 34,378.34</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>: -0.14% or -20.28 points to 14,465.93</p><p class='black-text'><b>U.S job openings fell by greater-than-expected margin in August: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Job openings in the United States fell by a greater-than-expected total in August, but were upwardly revised to a fresh record high for July, underscoring widespread demand across the labor market as the economy still works to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>Openings fell to 10.439 million by the end of August, according to the Labor Department's monthly report published Tuesday. In July, job openings were upwardly revised to 11.098 million from the 10.934 million previously posted. Consensus economists were expecting job openings to total 10.954 million in August.</p><p class='black-text'>Interestingly, the quits rate in August increased to a record high of 2.9%, suggesting that workers are more confident in their abilities to find new positions, signalling a healthier economy. Meanwhile, the layoffs and discharges rate remained little changed month-over-month at 0.9%; the pre-pandemic average was 1.2% throughout 2019.</p><p class='black-text'><b>IMF cuts global economic growth outlook for 2021: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its outlook for global economic growth in new projects released Tuesday, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as the reason behind slowing recovery.</p><p class='black-text'>The IMF now expects for global economic activity to expand at a 5.9% rate this year, down from its 6.0% rate forecasted in July. However, the IMF maintained its outlook for 4.9% growth in 2022.</p><p class='black-text'>For the United States, the IMF said it largely agrees with current Federal Reserve assessments that the current global price increases will eventually subside, but highlighted that there is "high uncertainty" surrounding these forecasts.</p><p class='black-text'>"While monetary policy can generally look through transitory increases in inflation, central banks should be prepared to act quickly if the risks of rising inflation expectations become more material in this uncharted recovery," Gita Gopinath, the IMF's economic counselor and director of research, said in executive summary accompanying the report.</p><p class='black-text'>"Central banks should chart contingent actions, announce clear triggers, and act in line with that communication," she added.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Small business optimism fell by larger-than-expected rate last month: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Small business optimism declined by a more-than-expected rate in September over August, with supply chain disruptions and shortages continuing to weigh on outlooks.</p><p class='black-text'>The National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index ticked down to 99.1 for September from 100.1 in August, falling lower than the 99.5 expected by consensus economists. Additionally, a record share of 51% of small business owners said they had job openings that they could not fill, according to the survey, marking a third straight month of record highs for this subindex. Meanwhile, 42% of owners said they raised compensations in September, also a record high.</p><p class='black-text'>"Small business owners are doing their best to met the needs of customers, but are unable to hire workers or receive the needed supplies and inventories," NFIB Chief Economists Bill Dunkelberg said in a press statement. 'The outlook for economic policy is not encouraging to owners, as lawmakers shift to talks about tax increases and additional regulations."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.25% or +10.81 points to 4,372.00</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.23% or +78.98 points to 34,575.05</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.16% or +29.50 points to 14,508.83</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-for-third-straight-session-on-investor-caution Tue, 12 Oct 2021 14:41:47 -0400 Rachel Hemple Southwest Battered by Three Day Weekend of Cancellations and Delays http://www.pws.io/southwest-battered-by-three-day-weekend-of-cancellations-and-delays <p class='black-text'>Thousands of Southwest Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LUV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LUV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LUV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LUV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LUV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> passengers found themselves stranded in airports across the United States over the weekend and into Monday following the cancellations of countless flights.</p><p class='black-text'>The airline's issues began over the weekend, with Southwest delaying and canceling thousands of flights over the weekend and into Indigenous Peoples' Day, leaving many travelers attempting to rebook amid holiday festivities and related disruptions. Cancellations and delays tapered off through the three days, only canceling 2% of its scheduled flights as opposed to Sunday's 30%.</p><p class='black-text'>What went wrong to cause a major carrier to cancel over a quarter of its flights? Southwest tweeted that the disruptions had been caused by "flight delays & cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday p.m. due to widespread severe weather, military training, & limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville en-route center" (a claim <a href="https://twitter.com/FAANews/status/1447249660884754441?s=20">disputed by the FAA</a>) Alternative theories range from a pilot protest in response to the <a href="https://www.pws.io/airlines-announce-sweeping-vaccine-mandates">airline's vaccine mandate</a> to the Southwest over-extending itself.</p><p class='black-text'>The former has been disputed by the Southwest Airline Pilots Association (SWAPA), which has instead suggested that the problem lies with Southwest itself.</p><p class='black-text'>"SWA has claimed that the immediate causes of this weekend's meltdown were staffing at Jacksonville Center and weather in the southeast U.S., but what was a minor temporary event for other carriers devastated Southwest Airlines because our operation has become brittle and subject to massive failures under the slightest pressure," the <a href="https://www.swapa.org/news/2021/swa-in-the-news/">Union wrote on Sunday</a> , "Our operation and our frontline employees have endured continuous and unending disruptions since the first time our airline made headlines in early June due to widespread IT failures."</p><p class='black-text'>Given Southwest's many public follies over the last year alone, from the IT debacle mentioned by SWAPA to the company staring down a <a href="https://www.pws.io/faa-seeks-to-levy-fine-for-southwest-miscalculations">$3.9 million fine</a> for improper pre-flight weight calculations, it would appear that the company's struggles are mainly internal. Given Southwest's decision to curtail its fall flight schedule, it can be assumed that the airline overextended itself and found its already strained workforce unable to carry the weight.</p><p class='black-text'>Southwest shares took a blow over the debacle, losing 3.5% in a pre-market drop on Monday. Shares slid a further 0.6% during trading on Monday but appeared to be in recovery on Tuesday, recovering 1% by 11 a.m.</p> http://www.pws.io/southwest-battered-by-three-day-weekend-of-cancellations-and-delays Tue, 12 Oct 2021 13:14:04 -0400 Michael Mooney Twitch Data Breach Was "Part One", Says Hacker http://www.pws.io/twitch-data-breach-was-part-one-says-hacker <p class='black-text'>Amazon's <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> streaming platform Twitch <a href="https://twitter.com/Twitch/status/1445770441176469512">has confirmed</a> that a recent data breach resulted in 125GB of data being posted anonymously on 4Chan for download. Twitch says that <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/10/06/1043735239/twitch-data-breach-hack">leaked information</a> included creator earnings since 2019, the platform's entire source code, and more, but that it had "no indication" that <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58829604">the leak</a> contained credit card or login information, "at this time".</p><p class='black-text'>However, the hacker called this leak "Part One" and suggested that more data was yet to come. <a href="https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/the-entirety-of-twitch-has-reportedly-been-leaked/">According to the hacker</a>, they accessed all of that information and "every other property that Twitch owns". Twitch <a href="https://blog.twitch.tv/en/2021/10/06/updates-on-the-twitch-security-incident/">has stated</a> that it doesn't store complete credit card numbers, so that sort of information could not have been accessed.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitch said the hacker was able to access its data thanks to an error made during a server configuration change, meaning the hack occurred due to human error. While it's unclear how long the fault in Twitch's privacy has existed, the time range of the creator data reportedly suggests that the servers storing Twitch's private data have been vulnerable for quite some time.</p><p class='black-text'>According to <i>Video Games Chronicle</i>, which first reported the leak, the hacker said that they hoped their actions would "foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space", a space which the hacker called a "disgusting toxic cesspool".</p><p class='black-text'>While Twitch has so far denied such claims, <a href="https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/twitch-leak-company-confirms/">some sources</a> say that the leaked information did include encrypted passwords. Twitch users are <a href="https://www.cnet.com/tech/the-latest-on-twitchs-data-breach-how-to-reset-your-password-and-what-else-to-do-right-now/">being encouraged</a> to change their passwords and to set up two-factor authentication for their accounts.</p><p class='black-text'>Following the breach, <a href="https://twitter.com/Twitch/status/1446033897234513920?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1446033897234513920%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.geekwire.com%2F2021%2Ftwitch-got-e-vandalized-overnight-photos-jeff-bezos-amid-fallout-data-breach%2F">Twitch reset the keys</a> that streamers use to begin their streams, "out of an abundance of caution".</p><p class='black-text'>Within days of the leak, Twitch underwent an <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2021/twitch-got-e-vandalized-overnight-photos-jeff-bezos-amid-fallout-data-breach/">unsanctioned redesign</a>, with some images being replaced by a closely cropped photo of Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and former chief executive officer. The photo is reportedly meant to resemble a popular emote used on the platform, known as a <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/6/22218088/twitch-bans-pogchamp-poggers-capitol-trump-violence-gootecks">"PogChamp"</a>. While the redesign hasn't been officially connected to the hack, it's unlikely to be a coincidence.</p><p class='black-text'>"The breach is already harming Twitch on all the fronts that count," Candid Wuest, of cyber-security company Acronis, told the <i>BBC</i>. "Releasing payout reports for streaming clients will not make the influencers happy either."</p> http://www.pws.io/twitch-data-breach-was-part-one-says-hacker Tue, 12 Oct 2021 13:11:12 -0400 Autumn McLain GM Lays Out Company's Roadmap http://www.pws.io/gm-lays-out-companys-roadmap <p class='black-text'>At its Investor Day, General Motors <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> laid out its roadmap for its future including its plan to double its revenues, increase profit margins, launch robotaxis, and suite of EV products.</p><p class='black-text'>Here are some highlights:</p><p class='black-text'><i>Doubling Revenues</i></p><p class='black-text'>The main topic was CEO Mary Barra discussing its plans to become a platform company and grow beyond the vehicle. In here opening statement, she said: "General Motors is delivering the technologies that redefine how people and goods are moved. Our commitment to a vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion has placed us ahead of much of the competition."</p><p class='black-text'>The company said that it wanted to remind investors of its long-term plans given that recent focus has been on the coronavirus pandemic and global semiconductor chip shortage.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Increasing Profit Margins</i></p><p class='black-text'>The company intends to increase its operating margin to between 12% and 14% by 2030. Currently, operating margins are at 7.9%. One reason that it expects higher margins is increased sales of recurring software revenue and service-based revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>Much of the investor day Wednesday was focused on the company expanding its business to generate recurring software- and service-based revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>To this end, its segments like OnSTar, Cruise, and BrightDrop currently account for $2 billion in revenue but it wants to grow to $80 billion by 2030 with most of the revenue growth coming in the back half of the decade.</p><p class='black-text'>Part of the plan is to offer remote, software-based upgrades for its vehicles with new technologies such as hands-free driving and an acceleration upgrade.</p><p class='black-text'><i>EVs</i></p><p class='black-text'>It also anticipates EV revenue to grow from $10 billion to next year to $90 billion by 2030 as it looks to launch 30 new EV models by 2025.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to meet this growth, it expects to spend around $10 billion over the next few years in capital spending for production facilities and joint ventures to build battery plants. And, the company says that it will be able to make these investments from its own revenues rather than tapping public or private markets.</p><p class='black-text'>It is also looking to spend $750 million by 2025 to increase the availability of EV chargers including home, workplace, and public charging stations across the country.</p><p class='black-text'>In total, it expects to spend $35 billion on EV and autonomous vehicles through 2025. This includes $20 billion for manufacturing EVs, $10 billion for batteries, and $6 billion for autonomous vehicles.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Robotaxis/ Autonomous Driving</i></p><p class='black-text'>The company also said it expects to start its robotaxi service for self-driving vehicles in San Francisco sometime next year pending state approval. In total, the company wants a fleet of 1 million or more self-driving vehicles on the road by 2030.</p><p class='black-text'>The company is targeting 2023 for its new hands-free system that can drive in 95% of scenarios and is more capable than the current systems which has limitations. This will be available on more than 2 million miles of road in the U.S. and Canada, while the current system is only truly autonomous on 200,000 miles of roads in the U.S.</p> http://www.pws.io/gm-lays-out-companys-roadmap Tue, 12 Oct 2021 13:07:26 -0400 Jaimini Desai Growers in a Grind: Why Your Coffee Might Be Getting More Expensive http://www.pws.io/growers-in-a-grind-why-your-coffee-might-be-getting-more-expensive <p class='black-text'>In July, the <a href="https://www.nasdaq.com/market-activity/commodities/kt:nmx">price of coffee futures</a>, the amount that large-order buyers pay for their coffee, <a href="https://apnews.com/article/why-coffee-could-cost-more-fe05cb4ce02fd31393042a5985eb696d">doubled to $2 per pound</a>. While futures have since receded slightly to $1.92, consumers may be facing higher prices in coffee shops and grocery stores in the coming months.</p><p class='black-text'>Coffee is already pricey for the average consumer, but the price increases seen by large-volume buyers don't always affect the prices seen by individual coffee drinkers. However, the price increases seen this year have been "unprecedented" according to Alexis Rubenstein, the managing editor of Coffee & Cocoa for StoneX Group.</p><p class='black-text'>"It's never been this perfect storm before. It's usually just been a supply-and-demand scenario," Rubenstein said. "We've never been dealing with a supply and demand issue on top of a logistics issue, on top of labor issues, on top of a global pandemic."</p><p class='black-text'>The first stage of that perfect storm was actually a drought: in Brazil, the world's largest supplier of the most commonly used coffee bean, coffee growers were hit by two <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/frosts-hit-brazils-cane-coffee-orange-crops-says-weather-expert-2021-07-20/">July frosts</a> following a period of the worst drought seen in 91 years, cutting the country's output of the popular Arabica bean significantly.</p><p class='black-text'>Industry experts like Robobank's Carlos Mera say that Brazil may have lost between 2 million and 6 million bags of coffee due to weather problems, roughly 12% of the country's total coffee output. Mera says those frosts are likely to impact the harvests in 2022 and 2023, as well.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, like every other sector, coffee producers faced supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and skyrocketing shipping costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, driving prices higher.</p><p class='black-text'>With such extreme increases, analysts are confident that consumers will also be seeing higher prices, but maybe not everywhere: according to Mera, while around half of the cost of a bag of coffee comes from the beans themselves, beans make up just 5% of the price tag on a cup of coffee in most large coffee shops.</p><p class='black-text'>Because of this, you might not need to fork up more cash for your latte, but you probably will pay more for your Folgers <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SJM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SJM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SJM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SJM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SJM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p> http://www.pws.io/growers-in-a-grind-why-your-coffee-might-be-getting-more-expensive Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:59:48 -0400 Autumn McLain E-Commerce ETF Plays as Holiday Shoppers are Expected to Spend 10% More in 2021 http://www.pws.io/e-commerce-etf-plays-as-holiday-shoppers-are-expected-to-spend-10-more-in-2021 <p class='black-text'>The 2020 holiday shopping season broke records. This year is expected to be another record year of growth, <a href="https://www.salesforce.com/resources/research-reports/retail-holiday-insights/">according to Salesforce <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CRM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CRM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CRM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CRM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CRM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> forecasts</a>, especially when it comes to online shopping.</p><p class='black-text'>This holiday shopping season--which typically runs between November and December--is expected to top last year by 10% in the United States and 7% worldwide, according to Salesforce's insight, which is based on data from over 1 billion shoppers in more than 40 countries. In other words, online shoppers this season are expected to spend $259 billion in the United States and $1.2 trillion globally.</p><p class='black-text'>Beyond online shopping, consumers are also expected to be met with increased costs this holiday season due to rising global labor, freight, and manufacturing costs from the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Salesforce forecasts that shoppers will pay 20% more for gifts this year as both retailers and manufacturers are pressured with an additional $233 billion in costs.</p><p class='black-text'>This pressure in global supply chains is leading major holiday retailers like Target <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TGT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TGT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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>, Walmart <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Macy's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/M"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">M</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="M" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="M" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="M" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Best Buy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> to launch pre-season deals in October to help offset the holiday shipping crunch that occured last year. Salesforce predicts that consumers will spend $31 billion online shopping in the U.S. and $141 billion globally before the seasonally Black Friday and Cyber Week discount events even begin.</p><p class='black-text'>With inventory scare and global supply chains still playing catch-up, we predict consumers will be extra eager for pre-sales. That means Black friday, while still important for you, will give way to something like a pre-Cyber Week with multiple Black Friday-like events. this should result in $31 billion in U.S. online spending and $141 billion globally before Cyber Week even begins.</p><p class='black-text'>For the investor looking to add e-commerce plays to your portfolio, exchange-traded funds (ETF) are the better option to gain exposure with less risk that can come from trying to pick-and-choose potential winners.</p><p class='black-text'>Great e-commerce ETFs include <b>Amplify Online Retail ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IBUY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IBUY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IBUY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IBUY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IBUY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which follows an index of globally-diverse companies that obtain 70% of more revenue from online sales; <b>Global X E-Commerce ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EBIZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EBIZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EBIZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EBIZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EBIZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which holds global companies positioned to benefit form the increased adoption of e-commerce as a distribution model; and<b> ProShares Online Retail ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ONLN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ONLN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ONLN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ONLN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ONLN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which invests in global companies that mainly sell online or through other non-store sales channels, such as mobile or app purchases.</p> http://www.pws.io/e-commerce-etf-plays-as-holiday-shoppers-are-expected-to-spend-10-more-in-2021 Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:55:29 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Dow Falls Over 250 Points on Continued Economic Concerns http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-over-250-points-on-continued-economic-concerns <p class='black-text'>Stocks fell at the start of the week on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping about 250 points, as investors were concerned with rising oil prices, ongoing economic conditions and the upcoming third-quarter earnings season.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled to start the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.69% or -30.29 points to 4,361.05</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>: -0.72% or -250.19 points to 34,496.06</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>: -0.64% or -93.34 points to 14,486.20</p><p class='black-text'><b>Amazon to let team leds decide work-from-home schedules: </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> plans to give its employees more work-from-home flexibility moving forward, allowing individual team directors to decide how often their employees work in the office.</p><p class='black-text'>"We expect that there will be teams that continue working mostly remotely, others that will work some combination of remotely and in the office, and still others that will decide customers are best served having the team work mostly in the office," CEO Andy Jassy <a href="https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/workplace/amazon-offering-teams-more-flexibility-as-we-return-to-office">wrote in a public memo to employees on Monday</a>. "We're intentionally not prescribing how many days or which days--this is for Directors to determine with their senior leaders and terms."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Goldman Sachs economists cut 2021, 2022 GDP growth forecast:</b></p><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> economists cut their forecast for U.S. growth this year and in 2022, citing a delayed recovery in consumer spending. The investment bank's economists now forecast that U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) will expand by just 5.6% this year, down from its prior estimates of 5.7%.</p><p class='black-text'>"After updating our estimates of the key growth impulses that drive our consumption forecast-reopening, fiscal stimulus, pent-up savings, and wealth effects and incorporations a longer-lasting virus drag on virus-sensitive consumer services spending, we now expect a more delayed recovery in consumer spending," the economists wrote in a note on Monday.</p><p class='black-text'>Goldman also cut its 2022 growth forecast from 4.3% to 4.0%, citing that the summer and fall COVID infection surges are still affecting the economy and will likely contribute to slower growth.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Southwest shares drop amid weekend flight canceling spree: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Southwest Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LUV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LUV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LUV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LUV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LUV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares slipped lower on Monday after the commercial airline canceled more than 2,000 flights over the weekend. The airline dropped 363 flights on Monday, down from 1,124 on Sunday, which was 30% of its planned schedule, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.</p><p class='black-text'>The company had previously announced that it would cut its fall schedules in effort to avoid the cancellations and delays that occurred during the summer.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: -0.13% or -5.89 points to 4,385.45</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.15% or +52.37 points to 34,798.62</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: -0.38% or -56.00 points to 14,525.98</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-over-250-points-on-continued-economic-concerns Mon, 11 Oct 2021 14:53:07 -0400 Rachel Hemple Bed Bath & Beyond Shares Down More Than 20% Following Earnings Miss http://www.pws.io/bed-bath-beyond-shares-down-more-than-20-following-earnings-miss <p class='black-text'>Bed Bath & Beyond <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BBBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BBBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BBBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BBBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BBBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was down more than 20% following the company's fiscal Q2 earnings. The retailer is doing a U-turn of sorts as the share price had climbed from under $4 to over $50 from April 2020 to January 2021. Since then, share prices have fallen to a low of $14.</p><p class='black-text'>Many of the issues that negatively impacted the company wouldn't be surprising for anyone who has been paying attention to the news. Store traffic was declining, while the company's inventory and sales were crimped by supply chain issues. As a result, the company lowered its revenue and earnings outlook for the rest of the year, warned of rising costs, and issued Q3 guidance below analysts' estimates.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In Q2, the company earned $0.04 per share, badly missing expectations of $0.52 per share. Revenue also fell short at $1.99 billion vs. $2.06 billion expected and was a sharp drop from last year's $2.7 billion. Overall, the company lost $73 million in the quarter which was a sharp turn lower from its income of $218 million in last year's fiscal Q2.</p><p class='black-text'>The company's turnaround strategy involved shuttering certain locations, remodeling stores, and launching in-house brands for a variety of items including towels, cooking utensils, and decorations. This initially sparked an increase in sales but they have tapered off in recent quarters.</p><p class='black-text'>The company is attributing this to coronavirus fears and noted a drop in sales in areas with rising cases. This led to a weaker than normal back to school season for all retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond. Another issue for the retail industry is that inventories are smaller than normal, while shipping costs and transit times have increased.</p><p class='black-text'>These challenges are evident in the company's Q3 guidance as it expects EPS between breakeven and $0.05 per share and sales between $1.96 billion and $2 billion. Both are below expectations of $0.28 per share and sales of $2.02 billion.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Outlook</i></p><p class='black-text'>Another issue clouding the outlook for retail stocks like Bed Bath & Beyond is that the outlook for consumer spending is getting worse especially with rising rents and gas prices. Due to these issues, investors should be patient given these considerable challenges.</p><p class='black-text'>However, some short-term bounce is certainly possible given that coronavirus cases are dropping, this could help supply chain issues and port backlogs get sorted out, and the stock is very oversold.</p> http://www.pws.io/bed-bath-beyond-shares-down-more-than-20-following-earnings-miss Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:31:07 -0400 Jaimini Desai Best Buy Launches Nationwide Membership Program with Holiday Season Perks http://www.pws.io/best-buy-launches-nationwide-membership-program-with-holiday-season-perks <p class='black-text'>Best Buy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> recently made the announcement that it will come out with a new annual membership program throughout the holidays, and will also unleash a perk that will encourage individuals to discover items that are tough finds.</p><p class='black-text'>Totaltech, the new Best Buy program that is in the process of being implemented, will cost around $199.99 per year. Those who partake in the program will receive limitless, 24/7 technical support, exclusive member deals on various items, product protection, and many other rewards.</p><p class='black-text'>This particular benefit program will take place as COVID-19 continues to create difficulties in global supply chains. The pandemic has caused temporary closures of factories and ports, which in turn has led to a lack in semiconductor chips in cars, laptops, and other such technologies.</p><p class='black-text'>In creating this membership program, Best Buy is striving to compete with other services, such as 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 Walmart <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Peter Keith, retail analyst of Piper Sandler, stated this past week in a research note that the coming opening of Totaltech could be "a potential game-changer" for Best Buy and its stock.</p><p class='black-text'>Keith added that the program is "one of the most intriguing initiatives" for Best Buy in over five years. He believes that Best Buy will bring in another three million members in addition to the three million who already belong to the membership program that is slowly being eliminated. Keith also stated in the research note that he anticipates Best Buy to expand the membership from between 6 million to 10 million members with time.</p><p class='black-text'>Best Buy's new membership program, Totaltech, will surely offer benefits and rewards that are unmatched. Although Best Buy is competing with other companies such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, it seems to be holding its own as a place of business. If it continues to do so, then even more customers will be attracted to its membership program as well as its retail chain as a whole.</p> http://www.pws.io/best-buy-launches-nationwide-membership-program-with-holiday-season-perks Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:24:20 -0400 Stephanie Williams September Jobs Report Badly Misses Expectations http://www.pws.io/september-jobs-report-badly-misses-expectations <p class='black-text'>In a continuation of last month's trend and another alarming development which seem to indicate that the economy is rapidly slowing, the U.S. Department of Labor came out with the September jobs report which showed that the U.S. economy only added 194,000 jobs during September. This figure fell well short of analysts' expectations that the economy would be adding around 500,000 jobs in the month.</p><p class='black-text'>The unemployment rate slid further to 4.8%, which was more than expectations of 5.1% although this was more due to people dropping out of the labor force. Sectors contributing to jobs growth were leisure and hospitality and services, while government jobs saw sharp cuts. Overall, the jobs report raises several, interesting questions - how much of the weak jobs number was due to elevated coronavirus fears? will this and last month's weakness in the labor market alter the Federal Reserve's timetable for tapering and eventually hiking rates? and why was there such a muted, positive impact from the expiration of unemployment benefits?</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>The jobs report only raises these questions rather than answer them. The optimistic interpretation of the jobs report is that it was adversely impacted by the coronavirus, some forward-looking growth indicators like Treasury yields are moving higher, and case counts look like they have made a major peak as we are down more than 50% from recent highs. Therefore, it's possible that Q4 could see more hiring as this headwind is no longer an issue.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, the biggest loss of jobs - government at 123,000 is unlikely to repeat, while private payrolls increased by a healthier 317,000. The underwhelming report is also surprising as all anecdotal evidence indicates that employers are desperate to find workers.</p><p class='black-text'>Wages were a bright spot, up 0.6% on a monthly basis and 4.6% on an annual basis. Wages are now higher than they were pre-pandemic by a decent margin. However, the total available workforce remains 3.1 million short of where it was in February 2020 and it declined by 183,000 in September. It was expected that this would expand given the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits.</p><p class='black-text'>Some reopening tailwinds were evident in the report with leisure and hospitality adding 74,000 positions and the unemployment rate for the sector falling to 7.7% from 9.1%. Services added 60,000 jobs and retail gained 54,000. Due to seasonal adjustments, we saw local government education jobs decline by 144,000.</p><p class='black-text'>Another factor is that the survey week came just when coronavirus cases were parking at around 180,000 per day. Currently, the measure is around 80,000.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Stock Price Impact</i></p><p class='black-text'>Despite the miss, stocks were mostly unchanged with Treasury yields finishing higher on the day. Currently, the market is bouncing off its 4,300 low and 3.2% off from it's all-time highs.</p> http://www.pws.io/september-jobs-report-badly-misses-expectations Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:20:29 -0400 Jaimini Desai U.S. Bank Launches Crypto Custody Service Paving the Way for Institutional Investors http://www.pws.io/us-bank-launches-crypto-custody-service-paving-the-way-for-institutional-investors <p class='black-text'>U.S. Bank <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="USB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> recently opened up a new front in the effort to cater to the growing institutional appetite for digital currencies after it announced a new cryptocurrency custodial service aimed at fund managers based in the United States and the Cayman Islands.</p><p class='black-text'>"Investor interest in cryptocurrency and demand from our fund services clients have grown strongly over the last few years," said Gunjan Kedia, vice-chair of U.S. Bank Wealth Management and Investment Services in a press release. "Our fund and institutional custody clients have accelerated their plans to offer cryptocurrency and, in response, we made it a priority to accelerate our ability to offer custody services."</p><p class='black-text'>Launched in collaboration with NYDIG, the first sub-custodian to partner with U.S. Bank, the service will act as a repository for private keys tied to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, with Ethereum support not far off on the horizon.</p><p class='black-text'>Custody banks safeguard trillions in assets and secure the flow of institutional money, and US Bank is a giant among these institutions, safeguarding $8.6 trillion in assets according to the FDIC.</p><p class='black-text'>Yet it was only last year that the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency certain banks approval to act as custodians of crypto assets on behalf of their clients. The regulation paved the way for US Bank's new service and other competing offerings from State Street <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/STT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">STT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="STT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="STT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="STT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Bank of New York Mellon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Northern Trust <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NTRS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NTRS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NTRS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NTRS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NTRS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>The burgeoning market for crypto custodial services signals the asset classes growing legitimacy among institutional investors for the asset class itself.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our clients are getting very serious about the potential of cryptocurrency as a diversified asset class," Kedia told <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/05/bitcoin-custody-us-bank-launches-service-as-institutions-race-to-cater-to-crypto-demand.html">CNBC in an interview</a>. "I don't believe there's a single asset manager that isn't thinking about it right now."</p><p class='black-text'>After the OCC approval, Keida told the network that she put feelers out among her biggest clients to gauge their interest in such a service and found that interest was widespread, genuine, and urgent.</p><p class='black-text'>"What we were hearing across the board, is that while every currency might not survive... there's something about the potential of this asset class and the underlying technology that would be prudent for us to stand up support for it," she told <i>CNBC</i>.</p><p class='black-text'>She said some clients already have stakes in Bitcoin, adding that others were waiting for crypto-custody services to come online. Others still, she said, were waiting for a service from a pedigreed institution like U.S. Bank in hopes that the branding might assuage wary clients.</p><p class='black-text'>Kedia noted that any fund manager who signs up for the service must prove the origin of their client's money according to normal anti-money laundering standards.</p><p class='black-text'>While Crypto-custody represents a whole new financial service, regulatorily speaking, a Bitcoin-based ETF is a whole new class of investment. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is still weighing approval for such an ETF.</p><p class='black-text'>If and when the green light is given, Keida expects demand for the service to rise even further.</p><p class='black-text'>"We have a lot of funds who are hoping to invest in ETFs," she said in the interview. Some literally want custody contracts signed the day the SEC approves an ETF."</p> http://www.pws.io/us-bank-launches-crypto-custody-service-paving-the-way-for-institutional-investors Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:10:54 -0400 David Fladger Life Time Group Raises $702 Million to Led 6 IPO Week http://www.pws.io/life-time-group-raises-702-million-to-led-6-ipo-week <p class='black-text'>The initial public offering (IPO) market remained active last week, with six traditional IPOs and ten special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) joining public markets. However, two companies postponed--fitness equipment brand iFIT Health & Fitness and drug developer AEON Biopharma--both citing market conditions.</p><p class='black-text'><i>In the biggest offering of the week</i>, <b>Life Time Group Holdings, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TDCX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TDCX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TDCX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TDCX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TDCX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> raised $702 million in its debut after pricing its downsized offering at the low end of its range. The fitness chain operates more than 150 locations across 29 states in the United States and one province in Canada, serving nearly 1.4 million member as of 7/31/21. The stock ended the week down 4%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>In the week's best performance</i>, <b>Volcon, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VLCN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VLCN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VLCN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VLCN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VLCN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> finished the week up 66% after pricing its upsized offering at its midpoint to raise $17 million. The company currently offers two off-road motorcycles, and plans to expand its offering with a UTA in 2022, following by a high-performance long-rance UTA in 2023.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Here's the rest of the week's listings in order of offering amount: </i></p><p class='black-text'><b>Pyxis Oncology, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PYXS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PYXS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PYXS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PYXS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PYXS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its upsized offering at the high end of its range to raise $168 million. The tumor-focused biotech is developing a broad portfolio of novel ADC candidates and mAb preclinical discovery programs for difficult-to-treat solid and hematologic tumors, and plans to submit Investigational New Drug (IND) forms to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by mid-2022 and 2023. The stock finished down 18%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Theseus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/THRX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">THRX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="THRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="THRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="THRX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its upsized offering at the high end to raise more than $160 million. The biotech's lead candidate is a pan-variant inhibitor of all major classes of activating/resistance mutations of the KIT kanase for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). The company recently submitted an IND for advanced GIST. The stock ended the week up 5%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>IsoPlexis Corp.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ISO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ISO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ISO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ISO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ISO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at its midpoint to raise nearly $125 million. The company says its platform is the first to employ both proteomics and single cells biology to characterize and link cellular function to patient outcomes. The stock ended the week down 23%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Cognition Therapeutics, Inc.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CGTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CGTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CGTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CGTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CGTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> raised $45 million after pricing its upsized offering at the midpoint. The Alzheimer's focused biotech's lead program, CT1812, is a small molecule antagonist designed to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and bind selectively to the S2R complex, and is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial. The stock finished the week up 6%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Here's what's coming in the week ahead: </i></p><p class='black-text'><b>Gitlab, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GTLB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GTLB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GTLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GTLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GTLB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise more than $686 million from 10.4 million shares priced between $55 to $60 each. The platform provides an end-to-end DevOps platform to accelerate the software development cycle from weeks to minutes and enable fast, continuous updates.</p><p class='black-text'><b>AvidXchange Holdings, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AVDX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AVDX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AVDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AVDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AVDX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise nearly $633 million from 22 million shares priced between $23 to $25 each. The business-to-business payments platform provides an end-to-end billing and payment software platform to over 7,000 mid-market businesses.</p><p class='black-text'><b>IHS Holding Ltd.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IHS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IHS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IHS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IHS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IHS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise $621 million from 22.5 million shares priced between $21 to $24 each. The telecom is Africa's largest independent operator and developer of shared telecom infrastructure, operating over 30,000 towers.</p> http://www.pws.io/life-time-group-raises-702-million-to-led-6-ipo-week Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:08:02 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Stocks End the Week in the Green on Debt Ceiling Deal http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-end-the-week-in-the-green-on-debt-ceiling-deal <p class='black-text'>Stocks ended Friday's session in the red, but ended the week in the green as market optimism about a <a href="https://www.pws.io/#:~:text=Democrats%20and%20Republican%27s%20Strike%20Short%20Term%20Deal%20on%20Debt%20Ceiling">short-term debt ceiling deal</a> in Washington outweighed a lackluster jobs report for September.</p><p class='black-text'>All major Wall Street averages ended the week higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 1.2% for its best week since June. The S&P 500 increased by about 0.8%, posting its best week since August after a volatile September, and the Nasdaq climbed up 0.1% higher.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled to close out the week:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.19% or -8.34 points to 4,391.42</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>: -0.02% or -8.23 points to 34,746.71</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>: -0.51% or -74.48 points to 14,579.54</p><p class='black-text'><b>OECD agrees on 15% corporate tax rate: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Friday announced a major breakthrough on corporate tax rates, agreeing to a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.</p><p class='black-text'>"The landmark deal, agreed by 136 countries and jurisdictions representing more than 90% of global GDP, will also reallocate more than USD 125 billion of profits from around 100 of the world's largest and most profitable MNEs to countries worldwide, ensuring that these firms pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate and generate profits," the OECD said in a statement Friday.</p><p class='black-text'><b>U.S. crude futures rise above $80 per barrel: </b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> crude oil futures rose to $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014, extending its one month and year-to-date rally in energy and commodity prices, which are both up around 15% and 65%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'>WTI crude settled at $79.35 on the day, pushing energy stocks like Exxon Mobil <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Chevron <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CVX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CVX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CVX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CVX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CVX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and ConocoPhillips <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> higher.</p><p class='black-text'><b>U.S. economy added less jobs than expected in September: </b></p><p class='black-text'>The United States economy created jobs at a much slower-than-expected rate in September, as a sharp decline in government employment outweighed gains in other industries.</p><p class='black-text'>Nonfarm payrolls rose by 194,000 last month, according to the Labor Department's monthly report published Friday, dramatically falling short of consensus economists expectations of 500,000. However, the unemployment rate fell to a better-than-expected 4.8%, which is the lowest level since February 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>Beneath the headline, government paypalls slid by 123,000, while private payrolls added 317,000 positions. Leisure and hospitality led job creation, adding 74,000 positions, as the unemployment rate for the sector decreased to 7.7% from 9.1%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.15% or +6.75 points to 4,406.51</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.01% or +2.63 points to 34,757.57</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.28% or +40.70 points to 14,694.72</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-end-the-week-in-the-green-on-debt-ceiling-deal Fri, 08 Oct 2021 15:55:23 -0400 Rachel Hemple White House Mulling Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release and Export Ban to Soothe Market http://www.pws.io/white-house-mulling-strategic-petroleum-reserve-release-and-export-ban-to-soothe-market <p class='black-text'>The White House is considering a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as well as a ban on the export of oil products, according to remarks made by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The measures have been proposed as potential options to soothe a tumultuous oil market.</p><p class='black-text'>The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was the result of the gas crisis of the 1970's, an attempt to equip the federal government with a means to prevent or at least relieve supply interruptions. Filled to near capacity just after September 11, the SPR has been "uncapped" occasionally to raise funds or to alleviate short-term disruptions (such as production shutdowns from hurricanes). The last, and only, large-scale use of the SPR was in 2011 by the Obama Administration, a similar effort to stabilize the market.</p><p class='black-text'>The prompt to "uncap" the reserve in this instance appears to have been Biden Administration National Security Advisor James Sullivan's recent rebuff by OPEC+. Sullivan had been attempting to convince OPEC+ to increase production more quickly but found representatives unreceptive.</p><p class='black-text'>"Everybody was hoping that there would be additional supply made available so that prices would not be jacked up," commented Granholm.</p><p class='black-text'>A release from the SPR would direct add to the domestic oil supply to bring prices down. An export ban, also being considered by the Biden administration, would indirectly add to the supply by constraining sales to domestic clients.</p><p class='black-text'>Beyond supply, oil markets (like most industries) face a growing logistics crisis, the result of an already strained global network inching closer towards its breaking point amid the pandemic. A slice of this wider crisis was captured in the <a href="https://www.pws.io/uk-gas-crisis-highlights-a-growing-global-logistics-problem">U.K.'s disastrous gas shortage</a>; an industry plagued by terrible entry-level working conditions for abysmal pay, and Boomer/Gen X drivers aging out with few Millenial/Gen Z showing interest in replacing them.</p> http://www.pws.io/white-house-mulling-strategic-petroleum-reserve-release-and-export-ban-to-soothe-market Fri, 08 Oct 2021 15:24:57 -0400 Michael Mooney Growth Stocks Drop as Rates Rise http://www.pws.io/growth-stocks-drop-as-rates-rise <p class='black-text'>Short-term rates have more than doubled from their June levels albeit from low levels. Over this period, the 2-year Treasury note yield has risen from 0.14% to 0.30% with the most prominent reason being expectations of the Fed tapering asset purchases. Even the 10Y yield has increased from 1.15% to 1.5%. Longer-duration yields are more tied to perceptions of economic growth and inflation expectations vs shorter-term instruments more influenced by Fed policy.</p><p class='black-text'>The last time that we saw a sharp rise in short-term rates was from mid-January to late March when the 10Y rose from 1.05% to 1.7%. It wasn't a coincidence that this coincided with a brutal period for growth stocks that sustained heavy losses. Since then, some growth stocks have recovered and gone on to make new highs while others remain near their lows.</p><p class='black-text'>The last decade has seen a consistent downtrend in rates despite large fiscal deficits and generous monetary policy. It's also featured outperformance from growth stocks and constant inflows into the stock market. When rates are rising, bonds are competing for capital so market pullbacks tend to be more volatile.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, growth stocks' high multiples can be more easily justified during periods of low rates. However, projections about future profitability have to take interest rates into account. When the risk-free rate of return increases, it makes the projected return on a speculative investment less attractive.</p><p class='black-text'>Earlier this year, we saw major pullbacks in terms of cloud computing, work-at-home, e-commerce, electric vehicles, and other growth categories of between 20% and 40%. Currently, we are seeing about 10% corrections in many growth stocks but these could easily compound if rates rise more.</p><p class='black-text'>And, there are some good reasons to expect rates to rise - despite the public rancor, it still seems more likely that some sort of infrastructure and reconciliation package is passed; coronavirus case counts continue to plummet; and longer-term inflationary indicators continue to perk up even if, in the short-term, inflation could recede as supply chain issues get sorted out.</p> http://www.pws.io/growth-stocks-drop-as-rates-rise Fri, 08 Oct 2021 15:21:58 -0400 Jaimini Desai Democrats and Republican's Strike Short Term Deal on Debt Ceiling http://www.pws.io/democrats-and-republicans-strike-short-term-deal-on-debt-ceiling <p class='black-text'>On Thursday, Senate Democrats moved forward with a stop-gap proposal that would raise the debt ceiling until at least December, deferring a brutal fight over the nation's finances, at least until the end of the year.</p><p class='black-text'>After Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) floated the proposal on Wednesday, Senate Democrats adjourned behind closed doors to hammer out the details of the deal, late into Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning.</p><p class='black-text'>"We've reached an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December," announced Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "It is our hope to get this deal done as soon as today."</p><p class='black-text'>The deal allows the Treasury to raise $480 billion in funds, allowing the nation to pay its bills till December 3. It's worth noting that the temporary increase doesn't authorize new spending but allows the Treasury to issue new bonds to maintain existing spending levels, thus heading off the risk of default. However, the deal is still contingent on House approval.</p><p class='black-text'>Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned that the department's cash conservation measures would falter by October 18, saying on Wednesday that the nation was "staring into a catastrophe."</p><p class='black-text'>The same day, The White House Council of Economic Advisors warned of two simultaneous disasters facing the nation in the event of default: an economy crippled by U.S. debt downgrades and rising interest rates and a federal government unable to raise funds to respond to it.</p><p class='black-text'>The deal only pushes back such a potential outcome by a few months.</p><p class='black-text'>Schumer's efforts to get the 10 Republican votes needed to move the debt-ceiling bill beyond the filibuster failed twice previously, with his third attempt only headed off only by McConnell's offer.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are willing to take this offer to stave off fiscal ruin, but we are all beside ourselves that the only thing Republicans are willing to do is prevent disaster for three months and put us right back in this position," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), of the deal.</p><p class='black-text'>Democrats have insisted that raising the debt limit is a bipartisan issue, as it maintains spending that both parties have authorized.</p><p class='black-text'>Republicans have insisted that Democrats raise the debt ceiling alone through reconciliation, a lengthy and arcane means to advance legislation through a simple majority. However, lifting the debt ceiling before October 18 would've required the fastest reconciliation bill in U.S. history, thus the timing of McConnell's offer.</p><p class='black-text'>Leaving discussions on Wednesday, Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT), said: "there's not going to be a reconciliation." Sanders's thoughts were echoed by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who said that Democrats would "never" use reconciliation to raise the debt ceiling.</p><p class='black-text'>Looking ahead, Democrats plan to advance President Joe Biden's ambitious $3.5 trillion special spending bill using reconciliation, potentially leaving them with little time to advance the debt ceiling bill by the same means. Marathon amendment sessions, called vote-o-ramas, could stall the process as Democrats work through the tensions between their left and center.</p><p class='black-text'>Priorities may shift unless the filibuster rules do, which is an unlikely prospect since Democrats remain stubbornly short the votes of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) needed to carve out an exemption.</p><p class='black-text'>Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) warned that if Democrats change the filibuster rule, "they'll permanently change the Senate...and institute the idea that 50 of you plus a Vice President of your party you can always do whatever you want to do."</p><p class='black-text'>"I don't think that's healthy for the country," he added, echoing the sentiments of many Republicans. "It certainly wouldn't be healthy for the Senate."</p> http://www.pws.io/democrats-and-republicans-strike-short-term-deal-on-debt-ceiling Fri, 08 Oct 2021 15:19:34 -0400 David Fladger Kellogg’s Cereal Factory Workers go on Nationwide Strike http://www.pws.io/kelloggs-cereal-factory-workers-go-on-nationwide-strike <p class='black-text'>The Kellogg Company <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/K"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">K</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="K" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="K" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="K" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is facing a nationwide strike after workers at its four U.S. plants walked out on Tuesday. The company is currently considering the use of salaried and non-union hourly workers to restart production.</p><p class='black-text'>"I agreed to work here for certain things that they promised they would do with benefits and wages," striker Travis Huffman, a worker at Kellogg's Battle Creek, Michigan factory, told the <i><a href="https://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/story/news/2021/10/05/kellogg-co-union-workers-battle-creek-strike-after-contact-expires/6001321001/">Battle Creek Enquirer</a></i>. "You work weekends and occasionally get forced over 16 hours a day, and now they want to take those things away from me. Missed enough time with my family and friends because of those things, and I'm not going to work here for less."</p><p class='black-text'>Huffman joined thousands of co-workers in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Nebraska in protest after the firm's five-year contract with the Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union expired. Contract negotiations have been tense, marked by layoffs and the looming threat of outsourcing to Mexico.</p><p class='black-text'>"The majority of employees working under this Master Contract enjoy a CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry-leading level of pay and benefits, which include above-market wages and pension or 401(k). The average 2020 earnings for the majority of RTEC employees was $120,000. Most employees under this contract have unparalleled, no-cost comprehensive health insurance, while less senior employees have the same health insurance as our salaried employees, but with much lower employee contributions," a Kellogg's spokesperson said.</p><p class='black-text'>The Union, however, is only one component of a larger problem facing many employers. While not directly related to the ongoing labor shortage, the strike by Kellogg's workers is a symptom of the same issue that has perpetuated it; a growing antipathy towards low-wage, high-stress work (best illustrated by the <a href="https://www.pws.io/we-all-quit-incident-should-be-very-concerning-for-low-wage-employers">"we all quit"</a> incident). Many workers, emboldened by the harsh experiences of attempting to navigate the pandemic, have taken greater initiatives to seek out higher paying employment, have begun to abandon and ignore low-wage jobs.</p> http://www.pws.io/kelloggs-cereal-factory-workers-go-on-nationwide-strike Fri, 08 Oct 2021 15:17:15 -0400 Michael Mooney Blue Origin is Sending Star Trek's William Shatner to Space http://www.pws.io/blue-origin-is-sending-star-treks-william-shatner-to-space <p class='black-text'>Billionaire Jeff Bezos, as Chief Executive Officer of Blue Origin, has recently made the decision that he will send out William Shatner, better known as Captain James T. Kirk from Star Trek, out to space on the New Shepard rocket. Shatner, at 90 years of age, will be the eldest individual to fly to space, going beyond even the age of latest spaceflight sensation, Wally Funk, who flew aboard the New Shepard this past summer.</p><p class='black-text'>This particular New Shepard flight is scheduled to launch on October 12 out of the Blue Origin facility in Texas. Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations, will also be going along with Shatner on the ride. The other two individuals who aim to join Shatner will be Planet Labs co-founder, Chris Boshuizen, and Medidata co-founder, Glen de Vries.</p><p class='black-text'>Intended and designed to take off vertically from Earth, the New Shepard can potentially hold up to four passengers. It can also go above altitudes of around 62 miles past the Earth, where space vacuums are located. The capsule and the rocket come apart from one another while in the sky, and the passengers within the rocket may experience a few moments during which they feel weightless. After that, both the capsule and the rocket will naturally go back to Earth.</p><p class='black-text'>The space flight will, in total, run for about eleven minutes, from the time that it goes off the Earth until its return.</p><p class='black-text'>"We talk about space and what weightless conditions are, the enormity of the universe and the absolute jewel of a little thing we call the Earth by comparison," Shatner informed <i>NBC's</i> today show regarding this experience. "I'm going to feel that with the same enormity that I felt this electrical storm last night."</p><p class='black-text'>William Shatner, aboard the New Shepard, will surely bring a great deal of attention to the spaceflight that is to come. Beginning on October 12, the New Shepard rocket will launch out of the Blue Origin in West Texas, which will mark the time during which the oldest individual will ever fly into space. These milestones will create strong memories for space advocates, which will help them to further understand exactly what it takes to enter into space, especially for the first time.</p> http://www.pws.io/blue-origin-is-sending-star-treks-william-shatner-to-space Fri, 08 Oct 2021 15:15:15 -0400 Stephanie Williams Pfizer, BioNTech Request COVID Vaccine EUA to Include Younger Children http://www.pws.io/pfizer-biontech-request-covid-vaccine-eua-to-include-younger-children <p class='black-text'>Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and development partner 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> <a href="https://twitter.com/pfizer/status/1446082946335715334">announced </a>Thursday that the pair has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children between the ages of 5- to 11-years-old.</p><p class='black-text'>If approved, the vaccine, known as Corminaty, would become the first COVID vaccine for children. This is welcomed news for anxious parents as kids are going back in in-person learning amid the rapid spread of the Delta variant across the United States. The highly contagious strain has led to a surge in U.S. hospitalizations, including among children, with the <i><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/09/09/us/covid-children-cases-icu.html">New York Times</a></i><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/09/09/us/covid-children-cases-icu.html"> reporting</a> nearly 30,000 children were admitted to hospitals with the virus in August, which the <i>Times</i> called a record high.</p><p class='black-text'>Last month, Pfizer and BioNTech <a href="https://www.pws.io/pfizer-biontech-covid-vaccine-for-children-ages-5-11-is-safe-and-effective-data-shows">released new data</a> that showed a two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms, which is a third of the dosage used for teens and adults--is safe and generates a strong immune response in children.</p><p class='black-text'>The shots were also well tolerated by clinical trial participants and produced an immune response comparable to those seen in the companies' study of people aged 16- to 26-years-old. Moreover, the side effects of the shot were similar to those in older participants, with common side effects including pain at injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html">according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID vaccine has been fully approved for use in Americans ages 16 years and older, and has received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for use in adolescents between the ages of 12- to 15-years-old.</p><p class='black-text'>If the FDA spends as much time reviewing the children's clinical trial data as it did for the adolescent age group--Pfizer and BioNTech requested to expand its EUA of their vaccine to adolescents on April 9 and were authorized by the FDA on May 10--the shots won't be available for use until at least November.</p><p class='black-text'>The FDA has scheduled a meeting of its key vaccine advisory group, the Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, on Oct. 26 to discuss Pfizer-BioNTech's new data. The shots could be approved shortly after that meeting, similar to how the FDA has acted on other COVID vaccines, depending decisions by the FDA and CDC.</p> http://www.pws.io/pfizer-biontech-request-covid-vaccine-eua-to-include-younger-children Fri, 08 Oct 2021 14:03:40 -0400 Rachel Hemple Big Pharma Buyout: Merck to Buy Acceleron for $11.5 Billion http://www.pws.io/big-pharma-buyout-merck-to-buy-acceleron-for-115-billion <p class='black-text'>Merck & Co. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MRK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, one of the <a href="https://www.drugwatch.com/manufacturers/merck/">largest pharmaceutical companies on the planet</a>, has announced that it plans on <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/merck-buy-acceleron-about-115-bln-rare-disease-drugs-push-2021-09-30/">purchasing Acceleron Pharma Inc.</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLRN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLRN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLRN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLRN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLRN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> for $11.5 billion. With its rare disease drug candidate, sotatercept, Acceleron represents a new source of sales for Merck as one of its biggest moneymakers approaches the end of its market exclusivity.</p><p class='black-text'>Keytruda, a lung cancer medication, brought in $4.18 billion in the second quarter of 2021 alone, making up more than a third of Merck's total sales for that quarter. However, in 2028, Keytruda will lose its market exclusivity, something that <a href="https://www.pharmexec.com/view/loss-exclusivity-strategies-maximize-product-value">pharmaceutical insiders</a> say "could mean the end of a product's value". At that point, generic versions of the drug <a href="https://www.fda.gov/files/drugs/published/Exclusivity-and-Generic-Drugs--What-Does-It-Mean-.pdf">can be put on the market</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Acceleron's sotatercept, used to treat a certain high blood pressure disease called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), could bring in billions of dollars in revenue once it goes on the market, according to Merck.</p><p class='black-text'>PAH is a <a href="https://www.ajmc.com/view/stable-pulmonary-arterial-hypertension-patient">fatal disease</a> that currently has no cure. Potential treatment sotatercept is currently still undergoing late-stage testing, but the <a href="https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/with-acceleron-acquisition-merck-stock-is-likely-to-see-a-multiple-revision-2021-10-05">NASDAQ reported</a> that peak sales of the drug are estimated at $2 billion. Merck says it foresees the total PAH treatment market being worth $7.5 billion by 2026.</p><p class='black-text'>Sotatercept isn't the only promising drug in Acceleron's portfolio. Another drug that the NASDAQ estimates will bring in $2 billion at its peak is Acceleron's Rebozyl, marketed in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BMY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BMY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BMY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BMY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BMY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Rebozyl is used to treat anemia in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).</p><p class='black-text'>Some Acceleron shareholders say that Merck's offer of $180 in cash per share, 2.6% above Acceleron's closing price the day before the offer was made, is too low given the potential money to be made off of this <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2024277">potentially life-changing</a> drug.</p><p class='black-text'>"We believe there should be no urgency to sell at a low price now since the value of the company will only increase as additional clinical trial data is released," Avaro Capital, which owns 7% of Acceleron, wrote in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'>Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen wrote in a note to the investment firm's clients that, while sotatercept isn't likely to make up for the loss of revenue Merck will suffer when generic versions of Keytruda hit the market, it will help soften the blow.</p><p class='black-text'>Merck is planning for a 2024-2025 launch date for the PAH treatment, meaning the company's exclusivity on the drug would likely last through 2036 or 2037.</p><p class='black-text'>The NASDAQ reports that Merck's shares have been likely undervalued over the past year, given that they've fallen in value despite increases in the company's revenue. Share prices hit their 52-week high in September of last year.</p> http://www.pws.io/big-pharma-buyout-merck-to-buy-acceleron-for-115-billion Thu, 07 Oct 2021 16:12:17 -0400 Autumn McLain Market Update: Stocks Continue Positive Momentum on Debt Ceiling Increase http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-continue-positive-momentum-on-debt-ceiling-increase <p class='black-text'>Stocks rallied on Thursday as lawmakers reached a deal to increase the U.S. debt ceiling for now, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 300 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose about 0.85% and 1%, respectively, by the end of the trading session.</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>: +0.83% or +36.21 points to 4,399.76</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>: +0.98% or +337.95 points to 34,754.94</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>: +1.05% or +152.10 points 14,654.02</p><p class='black-text'><b>Pfizer and BioNTech seek FDA approval of COVID vaccine for children:</b></p><p class='black-text'>Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced Thursday that they submitted data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to seek emergency use authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5- to 11-years-old.</p><p class='black-text'>The U.S. health regulator had previously set an advisory committee meeting date on Oct. 26 to discuss the use of the two-dose mRNA-based vaccine in children. The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in individuals aged 16 years and older, and has given an emergency use authorization for adolescents between the ages of 12- to 15-years-old.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Jobless claims fall at lower-than-expected rate last week: </b></p><p class='black-text'>New weekly unemployment claims came in at a lower-than-expected rate last week, as labor market impacts like the Delta variant and Hurricane Ida began to ease.</p><p class='black-text'>Initial jobless claims totaled 326,000 for the week ended Oct. 2, according to the Labor Department's <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20211815.pdf">latest report published Thursday</a>, coming below the previous week's upwardly revised print of 364,000.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, continuing jobless claims totaled 2.714 million for the week ended Sept. 25, reaching the lowest level since March 2020. That total was also below the previous week's upwardly revised level of 2.811 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell:</b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: +0.95% or +37.28 points to 4,405.18</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: +1.07% or +372.34 points to 34,789.33</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: +1.04% or +150.61 points to 14,652.31</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-continue-positive-momentum-on-debt-ceiling-increase Thu, 07 Oct 2021 16:05:14 -0400 Rachel Hemple Airlines Announce Sweeping Vaccine Mandates http://www.pws.io/airlines-announce-sweeping-vaccine-mandates <p class='black-text'>Southwest <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LUV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LUV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LUV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LUV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LUV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced its company-wide vaccine mandate on Tuesday, joining the likes of JetBlue <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JBLU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JBLU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JBLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JBLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JBLU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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 Alaska Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ALK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ALK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ALK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ALK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ALK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>The flurry of mandates come after United Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <a href="https://www.pws.io/united-airlines-reports-almost-all-workers-vaccinated-others-to-be-fired">announced that 99% of its workforce was vaccinated</a>. At the time, around 600 employees remained un-exempt and un-vaccinated, with that number now at 232. Should those workers not receive vaccines, United has said that it will terminate them.</p><p class='black-text'>Southwest's Tuesday announcement presented a similar requirement to its employees, as did American, Alaska, and JetBlue in their respective announcements previously; receive at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by a deadline or face termination.</p><p class='black-text'>"Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government's COVID-19 vaccination directive," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told Employees. "I encourage all Southwest Employees to meet the federal directive, as quickly as possible, since we value every individual and want to ensure job security for all."</p><p class='black-text'>Under President Joe Biden's mandate, all federal employees must be vaccinated by December 8, a rule that applies to contractors as well. Given the litany of federal contracts that major airlines operate, non-compliance isn't really an option.</p><p class='black-text'>As a result, airlines are largely ceasing opt-out programs such as masking and testing. While employees may still apply for exemptions on religious and medical grounds, whether or not this will allow them to remain actively at work remains to be seen. United is placing its exempted workers on leave until infection rates decline, for example.</p><p class='black-text'>The potential for adjustments and even expansions of the mandate also remains a possibility. Proposals to require vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for passengers have been pitched in Congress; meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci has floated the idea of applying a similar requirement to foreign travelers. While airlines have balked at such a mandate, the White House has kept an open dialog with industry leaders, as evident by a recent call between an aide and several CEOs, according to<i> Reuters</i>.</p> http://www.pws.io/airlines-announce-sweeping-vaccine-mandates Thu, 07 Oct 2021 12:06:19 -0400 Michael Mooney AvalancheCoin 101 http://www.pws.io/avalanchecoin-101 <p class='black-text'>Avalanche is one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies and platforms in recent months. Its cryptocurrency trades under the symbol AVAX. The currency has come of note following interest in Solana. Currently, most attention is being paid to the number of NFT and defi apps that are being built on top of ethereum.</p><p class='black-text'>However, this has also drawn attention to the drawbacks of ethereum which can result in slow transaction times, diminished liquidity, and high fees especially when markets get volatile. For these reasons, there are some doubts about its ability to keep scaling higher with its current structure.</p><p class='black-text'>This has led to interest in competing blockchain platforms like Solana and Avalanche which were more created for these types of applications. They also promise more speed and lower fees which would be necessary for it to achieve ambitions of having hundreds of millions of users.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Avalanche Background</i></p><p class='black-text'>It was launched in 2020 by Cornell Professor Emin Gün Sirer, Ph.D. candidate Kevin Sekniqi, and Maofan Yin and can handle decentralized applications and enterprise blockchain deployments more effectively than legacy systems.</p><p class='black-text'>Avalanche can confirm smart contract transactions in under one second. It differs in that it uses validators rather than a proof-of-stake mechanism. The platform also supports ethereum developer tools which means that developers can quickly start building for the platform.</p><p class='black-text'>One recent catalyst for Avalanche has been a $230 million private investment through the sale of its tokens from Polychain and Three Arrows Capital.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Trading History</i></p><p class='black-text'>This has resulted in Avalanche being one of the best-performing tokens of the last week as it's up 13%, while other coins like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin are down 10%, 13%, and 15%. There's been selling in the cryptocurrency market following China's ban on all cryptocurrency trading.</p><p class='black-text'>Since it started trading in September 2020, AVAX is up 1,322%. If the coin can keep growing, attract investors, and have commercially viable applications built on top of its platform, then it could certainly keep going higher.</p><p class='black-text'>While many analogize cryptocurrencies to stocks, a better analogue would be real estate or digital real estate. If there is commercial development around some piece of land, then the value of the land would go up. This is the same type of logic that investors should apply to coins at the platform level.</p> http://www.pws.io/avalanchecoin-101 Thu, 07 Oct 2021 12:03:52 -0400 Jaimini Desai Twitter Now has a Professional Account Option http://www.pws.io/twitter-now-has-a-professional-account-option <p class='black-text'>In the world of the social media platform of 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>, both businesses and creators will be able to choose to have a "professional account," which will provide tools for their profiles, the ability to obtain content promotion through advertisements, and the potential to take advantage of Twitter's future e-commerce attempts.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter has not yet put out various types of profiles for businesses, although it has launched various monetization choices for tweeters.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter categorizes those who utilize the platform for any sort of work purpose as "professionals." In order to be eligible for a professional account, Twitter users should have little to no background of going against community guidelines and be authentic users (proven to be no fictional, parody, or pet accounts).</p><p class='black-text'>While not every user has the ability to go from a regular to a professional account at this time, users will soon be able to discover a Twitter for Professionals account through the Home timeline. It is always possible to go back to a regular account after switching to a professional one. Users can do this by going to "edit profile," then "edit professional profile," then "switch account type." Since it can be challenging to tell the difference between a business or creator account, it is always possible to switch between the two.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter has additionally made it known (specifically in its FAQ) that only pre-made Twitter accounts can be changed into professional ones. The professional profiles essentially showcase the nature of the profile (what type of professional that the users identify as), as well as what is most significant to them.</p><p class='black-text'>With these professional accounts, users will have the chance to grow and to build their presences on the platform of Twitter as a whole. Twitter for Professionals is an option that is provided on the platform of Twitter in order to provide both businesses and creators the opportunity to build and strengthen their online presences.</p> http://www.pws.io/twitter-now-has-a-professional-account-option Thu, 07 Oct 2021 11:59:34 -0400 Stephanie Williams OPEC+ Opts to Gradually Ramp Up Production, Sending Oil Prices to a 7-Year High http://www.pws.io/opec-opts-to-gradually-ramp-up-production-sending-oil-prices-to-a-7-year-high <p class='black-text'>On Monday, OPEC+ decided to continue gradually ramping up oil production by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) through November, even as natural gas shortfalls and climate disasters strain oil supplies across the globe.</p><p class='black-text'>After the meeting, West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the benchmark for U.S. oil, shot up to its highest price in seven years, to 73.83 a barrel.</p><p class='black-text'>Oil watchers had expected OPEC+ to increase its monthly production targets given the risk that rival producers might swoop in to take advantage of ongoing high prices. But increased demand is being met with a distinct lack of supply on the part of said rivals.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Vitol Group, an oil trader, Saudi Arabia and company will have a singular role in setting oil prices over the coming months.</p><p class='black-text'>Meaning that the kingdom is "keen to tweak the current OPEC+ deal of monthly increases as little as possible, "Amrita Sen, co-founder of consulting firm Energy Aspects, told <i>Bloomberg</i>.</p><p class='black-text'>According to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi officials privately told some delegates it hoped to take advantage of higher prices for deficits felt last year. According to OPEC statistics issued last week, oil export revenue to the kingdom fell by almost half on year to year basis in 2020, to $119 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Oil supplies remain strained across the globe. Dwindling natural gas inventories in Europe and North America have sent the price of the commodity roaring to $190 a barrel.</p><p class='black-text'>As a result, more and more gas plants are switching over to oil, a trend which could increase demand by 500,000 bpd, according to Amin Nasser, CEO of Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-run oil concern.</p><p class='black-text'>Oil markets are also contending with Hurricane Ida's climactic devastation. Last month, the storm knocked 32 million barrels out of production, roughly equivalent to two months of OPEC increases. Ida's toll on U.S. oil production is expected to linger until early next year, to the tune of a loss of 300,000 bpd.</p><p class='black-text'>Monday's agreement "will allow us to continue to normalize the market situation," said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak during the meeting, part of which aired on Russian state TV.</p><p class='black-text'>The remarkable unity between Riyadh and Russia seen today stands in stark contrast to their brutal price war last year, which turned oil prices negative for the first time. For the time being, both continue to stand by their recent agreement to ramp up production by 400,000 bpd per month. And both expect production to return to pre-COVID levels by next year.</p><p class='black-text'>In the meantime, Saudi Arabia and company expect that the post-COVID economy can weather higher oil prices despite currently strained supplies.</p><p class='black-text'>"The kingdom is comfortable with the current price range and feels it won't weigh on demand for oil," one Saudi official told the <i>Wall Street Journal</i>.</p><p class='black-text'>Whether that contention holds or whether OPEC+ can even hold to its current production schedule remains to be seen. The group's African coalition struggles to boost output, while sanctions continue to plug up pipelines flowing out of Venezuela and Iran.</p> http://www.pws.io/opec-opts-to-gradually-ramp-up-production-sending-oil-prices-to-a-7-year-high Thu, 07 Oct 2021 11:53:24 -0400 David Fladger The Next Supply Chain Victim: Plastic, Paint, and Other Petrochemicals http://www.pws.io/the-next-supply-chain-victim-plastic-paint-and-other-petrochemicals <p class='black-text'>Supply chain issues persist across the globe. <a href="https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-technology-business-health-hurricanes-46bce9cc36dab2b330309dae0354cf53">The latest victim</a> appears to be the petrochemical industry, producing everything from plastic to paint.</p><p class='black-text'>Plastic is one of the ubiquitous substances on the planet, with plastic pellets being used to manufacture a plethora of everyday products, from medical equipment and bike helmets to cereal bags and kids' toys.</p><p class='black-text'>At this point, the description of businesses struggling due to the pandemic is a familiar one. Like nearly every other industry, the petrochemical sector faced supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and pandemic restrictions. However, along with <a href="https://www.pws.io/lumbers-finally-going-down-but-not-all-that-far">lumber producers</a> and <a href="https://www.pws.io/semiconductor-chip-shortage-check-in-intel-plans-to-invest-20-billion-in-us-foundries">semiconductor chip manufacturers</a>, the plastics companies have been facing <a href="https://trinitylogistics.com/shortages-are-affecting-the-chemical-industry/">their own unique issues</a>, as well.</p><p class='black-text'>According to the <i>Associated Press</i>, problems have been arising consistently, from a freak winter freeze to lightning strikes and hurricanes.</p><p class='black-text'>"There isn't one thing wrong," Jeremy Pafford, head of Independent Commodity Intelligence Services' (ICIS) North American market development. "It's kind of whack-a-mole - something goes wrong, it gets sorted out, then something else happens. And it's been that way since the pandemic began."</p><p class='black-text'>First, hurricanes Laura and Zeta battered petrochemical production plants in Louisiana. Then, a freak winter storm in Texas that killed more than 100 people took out power and heating in areas across the state, shutting down the many chemical plants in the state. In July, lightning shut down a plant, followed by hurricane Ida in August.</p><p class='black-text'>"Some of these downstream petrochemical plants in the Gulf Coast regions are still shut down from Hurricane Ida," said a professor of plastics engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Bridgette Budhlall.</p><p class='black-text'>Based on energy and chemical market analysis from ICIS, Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, has jumped in price by 70%. Meanwhile, epoxy resin prices have skyrocketed 170%. Finally, ethylene prices have risen 43%.</p><p class='black-text'>PVC is used in the production of medical devices, pipes, credit cards, records, and more. Epoxy resins, on the other hand, are used for adhesives and paints. Ethylene, according to the <i>AP</i>, is the most important chemical in the world, used to make everything from packaging to antifreeze.</p><p class='black-text'>The price jumps have been driven by supply issues that began at the same time as the pandemic. Like many other industries, petrochemical manufacturers cut production in order to offset their pandemic losses. However, when demand spiked thanks to economic recovery and stimulus payments, manufacturers were blindsided.</p><p class='black-text'>"It's such a bizarre scenario," said Hassan Ahmed, a chemicals analyst with research firm Alembic Global Advisors. "Inventories are lean, and supply is low. Demand will exceed supply growth."</p><p class='black-text'>Paint giants Sherwin-Williams <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SHW"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SHW</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SHW" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SHW" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and PPG <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PPG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PPG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PPG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PPG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PPG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> have both raised prices in an effort to combat the shortfalls. Despite the changes, the companies don't have much hope for improvement. After raising paint prices by 11% in the past two months, Sherwin-Williams says it may need to raise prices more in the coming year.</p><p class='black-text'>"The consumer is going to have to pay," said chemicals analyst for Argus Research, Bill Selesky. Selesky predicts that consumers will be willing to meet the higher prices thanks to government aid and savings.</p><p class='black-text'>However, those facing the largest supply issues are those with the biggest projects to cover. Decorating contractors are struggling to find the paint they need to complete jobs, with lower-grade paints seeing the most significant shortages.</p><p class='black-text'>Unfortunately, experts don't see things getting better any time soon. Given the wide range of issues that petrochemical companies will need to resolve, it's going to be a long time before things can even get close to "back to normal".</p> http://www.pws.io/the-next-supply-chain-victim-plastic-paint-and-other-petrochemicals Thu, 07 Oct 2021 11:50:59 -0400 Autumn McLain Johnson & Johnson Submits Data to FDA for Booster Shots http://www.pws.io/johnson-johnson-submits-data-to-fda-for-booster-shots <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> announced on Tuesday that it has submitted data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization of a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine in Americans aged 18 years and above.</p><p class='black-text'>The pharmaceutical giant said its submission includes data from a late-stage clinical trial that found that a booster dose given 56 days after the initial dose provided 94% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection in the United States and 100% protection against severe disease, at least 14 days after the booster shot was administered.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our clinical program has found that a booster of our COVID-19 vaccine increases levels of protection for those who have received our single-shot vaccine to 94%. We look forward to our discussions with the FDA and other health authorities to support their decisions regarding boosters," said Dr. Mathai Mammen, global head at Janssen Research & Development, in a <a href="https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-announces-submission-of-emergency-use-authorization-amendment-to-the-u-s-fda-to-support-booster-of-its-single-shot-covid-19-vaccine">press statement</a>. "At the same time, we continue to recognize that a single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that provides strong and long-lasting protection remains a crucial component to vaccinating the global population."</p><p class='black-text'>Johnson & Johnson's filing comes as the FDA's vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet on Oct. 15 to discuss whether or not to authorize a second dose of the company's vaccine.</p><p class='black-text'>About 15.1 million Americans have received Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID vaccine, according to <a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-total-admin-rate-total">latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>. That total compares to Pfizer-BioNTech's nearly 231 million and Moderna's 152 million doses administered, meaning roughly 116 million and 76 million Americans, respectively, getting inoculated with the two-dose regimens.</p><p class='black-text'>The FDA has only authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>-BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> vaccine for Americans aged 65 years and older, people at high risk of severe disease and frontline workers. Pfizer-BioNTech also sought to authorized booster doses for all Americans aged 16 years and older, but health regulators decided to limit booster shots to just population groups that are at more risk. That means that the Johnson & Johnson shot will most likely only been authorized for the more vulnerable, not the broader American adult population.</p><p class='black-text'>Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has also submitted an emergency use authorization application for a booster shot of its two-dose vaccine to the FDA last month, and the health regulator's advisory panel will hold a meeting on Oct. 14 to rule on the extra dose.</p><p class='black-text'>Johnson & Johnson added that it plans to submit the data to other global health regulators, including the World Health Organization.</p> http://www.pws.io/johnson-johnson-submits-data-to-fda-for-booster-shots Wed, 06 Oct 2021 16:31:32 -0400 Rachel Hemple Microsoft to Open its Windows Store to Third-Party App Stores http://www.pws.io/microsoft-to-open-its-windows-store-to-third-party-app-stores <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> recently made the decision to open up its app store to third-party vendors, which will allow both 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 Epic Games Stores to be available within the Microsoft Store in upcoming months.</p><p class='black-text'>"Just like any other app, third-party storefront apps will have a product detail page - which can be found via search or by browsing - so that users can easily find and install it with the same confidence as any other app in the Microsoft Store on Windows," said Giorgio Sardo, general manager of the Microsoft Store, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/28/22698196/microsoft-store-third-party-app-stores-epic-games-amazon">quoted by </a><i><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/28/22698196/microsoft-store-third-party-app-stores-epic-games-amazon">The Verge</a></i>. "Today, we are sharing that Amazon and Epic Games will bring their storefront apps to the Microsoft Store over the next few months, and we look forward to welcoming other stores as well in the future."</p><p class='black-text'>The decision was made directly after Epic Games and Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> had been in the midst of a legal battle. This had been occurring since last year, when the "Fortnite" creator attempted to get around Apple's 30% fee on certain in-app purchases on the App Store by coming out with its very own in-app payment system.</p><p class='black-text'>At the moment, Microsoft is focused on being an "open Store for an open platform" that will permit third-party storefront applications to be listed in the Windows Microsoft Store. Microsoft will implement these apps Windows 11, which involves the capability of looking up the Amazon Appstore straight from the Microsoft Store.</p><p class='black-text'>Some of the other renowned apps that are now included in the Microsoft Store are Discord, Zoom <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ZM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ZM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ZM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ZM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ZM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, VLC, TeamViewer, and Visual Studio Code. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) will additionally be included, such as Reddit, Wikipedia, TikTok, Tumblr, and so on. Windows, by including third-party apps to the Microsoft Store, will widen the horizons of many users who especially wish to make use of platforms such as Amazon and Epic Games Stores. This will, in turn, attract further usage of Microsoft across the spectrum, whether it is from third-party users, or from those who are typical Microsoft users.</p> http://www.pws.io/microsoft-to-open-its-windows-store-to-third-party-app-stores Wed, 06 Oct 2021 16:00:55 -0400 Stephanie Williams Market Update: Stocks Rise Higher as Investors Debt Ceiling Fears Ease http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-rise-higher-as-investors-debt-ceiling-fears-ease <p class='black-text'>Wall Street staged a late-day rally on Wednesday as investors brushed off concerns about Congress's debt ceiling deal and bought technology stocks at their dip. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 100 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both climbed over 0.4% higher.</p><p class='black-text'>Stocks started to rise on news that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a closed meeting of Republicans that he would offer a short-term debt ceiling extension, which would relieve some pressure for lawmakers to avoid a U.S. default.</p><p class='black-text'>"To protect the American people from a near-term Democrat-created crisis, we will also allow Democrats to use normal procedures to pass an emergency debt limit extension at a fixed dollar amount to cover current spending levels into December," McConnell said in a statement posted 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>.</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>: +0.41% or +17.83 points to 4,363.55</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>: +0.30% or +102.32 points to 34,416.99</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>: +0.47% or +68.08 points to 14,501.91</p><p class='black-text'><b>Target to offer 'Buy Now, Pay Later' to holiday shoppers through Affirm, Sezzle: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Target <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TGT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TGT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Affirm <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> and Sezzle to offer 'Buy Now, Pay Later' options to consumers for the holiday season. The retail giant will offer online customers Affirm's and Sezzle's installment loan service for purchases of over $100.</p><p class='black-text'>"We know our guests want easy and affordable payment options that work within their family's budget," says Gemma Kubat, Target's president of financial and retail services, <a href="https://corporate.target.com/article/2021/10/buy-now-pay-later">in a blogpost</a>. "Through our partnerships with Affirm and Sezzle, Target is investing in new financial tools that make our shopping experiences more flexible and personalized to guests' needs, right in time for the holiday season."</p><p class='black-text'>Affirm shares rose nearly 20% by the end of the trading session.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Bitcoin rises above $55,000 for first time since May:</b></p><p class='black-text'>Bitcoin jumped to a nearly five-month high above $55,000 on Wednesday, crossing the threshold for the first time since May as the token extended its rally from the previous session.</p><p class='black-text'>The rally comes as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said in a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that he has no plans to ban cryptocurrency, and will leave that decision up to Congress.</p><p class='black-text'>Bitcoin rose as high as $55,499 during the session, making it up 13% for the week and 87% for the year.</p><p class='black-text'><b>U.S. private payrolls added more jobs than expected in September: </b></p><p class='black-text'>U.S. private employers added more jobs than expected in September as moderating COVID-19 cases alleviated some stress on the nationwide labor market.</p><p class='black-text'>Private payrolls increased by 568,000 last month, according to the ADP's monthly report published Wednesday, beating out consensus economists expectations for 430,000 additions. For August, private employers grew by a 340,000 print, which was downwardly revised from the 374,000 previously reported.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index: -0.87% or -37.96 points to 4,307.76</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.75% or -255.89 points to 34,058.78</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index: -0.95% or -137.49 points to 14,298.00</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-rise-higher-as-investors-debt-ceiling-fears-ease Wed, 06 Oct 2021 15:32:56 -0400 Rachel Hemple