Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2020, Passport to Wall Street 60 BlackRock's New Climate Stance May Reshape Financial Markets http://www.pws.io/blackrocks-new-climate-stance-may-reshape-financial-markets <p class='black-text'>On Tuesday, BlackRock's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Larry Fink warned in his <a href="https://www.blackrock.com/uk/individual/larry-fink-ceo-letter">annual letter to corporate executives </a>that "climate change has become a defining factor in companies' long-term prospects...Awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance."</p><p class='black-text'>BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, best known for its iShares brand of ETFs, has $7 trillion under its management. Operating in more than 30 countries, BlackRock's clients include large sovereign wealth funds, state pension plans and financial advisors.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The Great Index Fund Takeover</i></p><p class='black-text'>BlackRock has gained its large management amount mainly through index funds, which are a newer market innovation. In the past, investors used to pay large fees to active stock pickers who often delivered lousy returns. With index funds, a portfolio of stocks or bonds are created to mimic the composition of performance of the financial market index. In other words, when the stock market has large returns index fund benefit greatly. Index fund have lower expenses and fees when compared to actively managed funds, making them a passive investment strategy that, depending on the risk and return of the current market, will outperform any single investment.</p><p class='black-text'>The global shift in investment towards index funds has sent trillions of dollars into passive funds run by BlackRock, State Street Corp. <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>, who has $2.9 trillion in assets, and privately managed Vanguard Group, who manages $5.6 trillion. Their success has had unintended consequences like the concentrating of shareholder power.</p><p class='black-text'>The three have also been blamed for the disappearance of smaller business, fewer startups and the loss of privacy. For example, the three own 18% of 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>, 20% of Citigroup <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 18% of 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>, 19% of J.P. Morgan <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and 19% of Wells Fargo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>The three also represent the key votes on matters such as mergers and shareholder activist campaigns. Antitrust worries surrounding index funds involve the common ownership, when the same large investors own large amount of shares in major corporations in the same industry.</p><p class='black-text'>Investors have also been flocking to large ETFs with ultra-low management fees, which has caused smaller ETFs to fail. BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street control about 80% of all ETF assets under management. <a href="https://www.etftrends.com/core-etf-channel/etf-investors-pay-a-lot-of-attention-to-name-brands/">According to research from CFRA</a>, in the past five years 20 ETFs accounted for 44% of the industry's total asset growth, with 18 of those funds being managed by BlackRock or Vanguard. In the same period, 24% of smaller ETFs have shutdown and an additional 30% have experiences a decline in assets.</p><p class='black-text'><i>BlackRock on Climate Change and Greater Impact</i></p><p class='black-text'>Climate activists have been calling on BlackRock to respond more to the climate crisis since it controls so much of the market, with groups including Amazon Watch, The Sunrise Project, and other prominent coalitions. Much of their concern centers on the company's investment in large fossil fuel companies.</p><p class='black-text'>"The asset management industry is uniquely placed to help drive global decarbonization efforts, but it requires a concerted effort from all, not just a few," Alex Bibani, manger of investment funds at Sarasin & Partners <a href="https://fortune.com/2020/01/14/blackrock-ceo-larry-fink-climate-change-investment-strategy-annual-letter/">stated.</a> "We are pleased to see BlackRock making these positive steps and hope that other , such as Vanguard, follow suit."</p><p class='black-text'>Fink's strategy of response towards climate change includes making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management, exiting investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, launching new investment products that screen fossil fuels, and strengthening the firm's commitment to sustainability and transparency in its investments.</p><p class='black-text'>This stance will make BlackRock "increasingly disposed" to cast critical proxy votes tied to sustainability. <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blackrock-fink/blackrock-vows-tougher-stance-on-climate-after-activist-heat-idUSKBN1ZD12B">In a separate letter </a>the firm stated that by mid-2020 it will sell off from its actively managed client portfolios stakes in companies that derive more than 25% of their revenues from fossil fuels.</p><p class='black-text'>"From Europe to Australia, South America to China, Florida to Oregon, investors are asking how they should modify their portfolios," Fink added.</p><p class='black-text'>BlackRock's new position of moving more of their investor portfolios away from fossil fuels and towards companies that have a better environmental impact can greatly shift global financial markets. Only time will tell who will impact market's first: Management Funds or Climate Change.</p> http://www.pws.io/blackrocks-new-climate-stance-may-reshape-financial-markets Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:08:28 -0500 Rachel Hemple FAA Seeks to Levy Fine for Southwest Miscalculations http://www.pws.io/faa-seeks-to-levy-fine-for-southwest-miscalculations <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> is staring down a potential fine of $3.9 million after the FAA found that the airline had flown over 20,000 flights with incorrect weight and balance data.</p><p class='black-text'>The Federal Aviation Administration said <a href="https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=24575">in a statement</a> issued on Friday that the agency was proposing a fine for Southwest for allegedly operating flights with incorrect data, which runs contrary to FAA regulations and could pose a danger to passengers. In the statement, the FAA <a href="https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=24575">says</a> that Southwest "operated 44 aircraft on a total of 21,505 flights with incorrect operational empty weights, and center of gravity or moment data." This is not the first trouble Southwest has run into with this particular issue; the airline is actually under investigation for <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2020/01/10/southwest-airlines-faa-proposed-3-9-million-fine-incorrect-weight-balance-data/4435651002/">separate incidents</a> involving weight and balance data.</p><p class='black-text'>FAA regulations are in place regarding weight and balance data because of the <a href="https://simpleflying.com/southwest-faa-data-fine/">dangers posed </a>by incorrect weight distribution. Weight calculations ensure that a plane is not too overloaded before attempting to fly; calculations dictate how many passengers a plane may carry along with fuel and cargo. Additionally, weight must be balanced to keep the plane's center of gravity from being too skewed in one direction.</p><p class='black-text'>The issues may stem from Southwest's previous <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2020/01/10/southwest-airlines-faa-proposed-3-9-million-fine-incorrect-weight-balance-data/4435651002/">antiquated practice</a> of manually counting and weighing passenger bags, which leaves room for human error. The FAA's investigation into Southwest's weight and balance practices prompted the carrier to switch to a <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2020/01/10/southwest-airlines-faa-proposed-3-9-million-fine-incorrect-weight-balance-data/4435651002/">computerized method</a> of scanning bags that most airlines currently use, and generally to refine its weight calculation methods to avoid further mishaps.</p><p class='black-text'>Southwest has <a href="https://simpleflying.com/southwest-faa-data-fine/">acknowledged</a> the allegations and stated that the issues had been resolved, stating, "The proposed FAA Civil Penalty pertains to data processing issues that occurred while transferring aircraft weight information from one Southwest computer system to other computer systems in the spring of 2018. The issues were identified and</p> http://www.pws.io/faa-seeks-to-levy-fine-for-southwest-miscalculations Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:54:05 -0500 Michael Mooney China Continues to Lead Global eSports http://www.pws.io/china-continues-to-lead-global-esports <p class='black-text'>A report published by research group<a href="https://www.ampereanalysis.com/"> Ampere Analysis</a> noted that 26% of Chinese Internet users watch eSports programs at least once per month, more than double the rate of audiences in the U.S. and Western Europe.</p><p class='black-text'>According to the report, the League of Legends 2018 World Championship drew a concurrent audience of 203 million from China, compared with just 2 million for the rest of the world.</p><p class='black-text'>In addition, the 2019 Fortnite World Cup drew 20 million global viewers on Twitch <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>; the FIFA 2019 eWorld Cup garnered 50 million global viewers across all platforms.</p><p class='black-text'>In the past few years, Chinese Internet giants have also doubled down on eSports. Tencent <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCEHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCEHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> subsidiary Riot Games, for example, specifically built its Pro View streaming service to carry League of Legends tournaments. In China, esports events also benefit from their apolitical nature. Unlike imported films or TV series, esports streams are unlikely to be censored by Beijing.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitch remains the principal eSports platform in the West, with some 65% of eSports viewers in North America and western Europe using the platform every month, according to <a href="https://www.ampereanalysis.com/">Ampere</a>. YouTube <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is a distant second, with around 35 percent of Esport fans reporting using the Google-owned video platform over the past month.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite of China's leading stance, audiences in Western countries are still substantial. Research by Ampere Analysis has discovered that between 5%- 9% of Internet users in developed Western markets typically watch esports on a monthly basis via online streaming services.</p><p class='black-text'>The audience for eSports appears to growing among demographics, as Ampere's study indicates. While the main demographic fo eSports is still males 18-34, females now make up 35% of viewers, while 40% are over 35 and 33% live with young children. China in particular is pretty well balanced, as 43% of its viewers are female.</p> http://www.pws.io/china-continues-to-lead-global-esports Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:51:10 -0500 Dexiang Gao Boeing Faces Continuing Crisis http://www.pws.io/boeing-faces-continuing-crisis <p class='black-text'>The Boeing <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> 737 Max crisis, which began nearly a year ago, is seeing new developments that could spell continued pain for the aerospace giant. The plane has been grounded across the globe after 2 fatal crashes early last year. First, on Thursday, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-737max-factbox/factbox-in-boeing-internal-messages-employees-distrust-the-737-max-and-mock-regulators-idUSKBN1Z90NP">Reuters </a>obtained a cache of internal emails from Boeing employees that sheds a negative light on the corporate culture. The hundreds of internal messages show Boeing's attempts to evade regulatory scrutiny during the development process of the 737 Max, as well as employees mocking the aircraft, aviation regulators, and the firm. One email noted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was not thorough or demanding enough with its review of the jet, and another blamed the broken company culture of choosing the lowest cost suppliers. Then on Friday, the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/10/faa-fines-boeing-5point4-million-for-defective-737-max-parts.html">FAA </a>proposed a fine of $5.4 million for Boeing for faulty wing parts on dozens of 737 Max planes. The agency's planned fine does not relate to the problematic flight control software that was implicated in the 2 deadly crashes.</p><p class='black-text'>Then on Tuesday morning, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/14/american-airlines-cuts-boeing-737-max-from-schedules-until-june.html">American Airlines</a> <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> announced it is delaying the Boeing 737 Max from its schedules until early June as the date of the troubled plane's return to service becomes more uncertain. American has taken the 737 Max off its schedules through June 3, more than a full year later than it first expected. Boeing recently added a requirement of time-consuming simulator training for pilots before they can resume flying the aircraft. It is becoming increasingly unclear when the planes will be able to fly again, after Boeing said it plans to temporarily shut down production of the planes this month while it tries to assuage regulators on new fixes. American Airlines believes the grounding already cost it $540 million in pretax income last year, and other airlines also estimated similar losses.</p><p class='black-text'>Boeing took a $4.9 billion charge for the 737 Max crisis last July, but it is still feeling the negative impact. On Tuesday <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/14/reuters-america-update-2-boeing-net-orders-slump-to-lowest-in-decades.html">Boeing </a>reported its worst annual net orders in decades, along with its lowest numbers for plane deliveries in 11 years, making it fall behind main French competitor Airbus Group <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EADSY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EADSY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EADSY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EADSY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EADSY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Boeing revealed gross orders cratered 77% to 246 in 2019, while net orders after cancellations or conversions plunged from 893 a year ago to just 54 airplanes. Total deliveries fell by 53% to 380 planes over the whole of last year, as the Max's grounding made it impossible to deliver the aircraft. After an accounting adjustment representing jets ordered in previous years but now unlikely to be delivered, Boeing reported its net total orders this year tumbled to a negative 87 airplanes, far worse than Airbus' 768 orders. Boeing's ongoing crisis, coupled with regulatory uncertainty, are the main reasons why Wall Street analysts and investors are worried about the firm's fiscal 2020 earnings results going forward.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author does not hold any positions in any of the securities above.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/boeing-faces-continuing-crisis Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:46:04 -0500 Eric Yao Top Online Fantasy Sports Betting Company 'DraftKings' To Go Public http://www.pws.io/top-online-fantasy-sports-betting-company-draftkings-to-go-public <p class='black-text'>DraftKings, the online gambling and fantasy sports betting company, will go public during the first half of 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>This move will make DraftKings the "<a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fantasy-sports-and-online-gambling-company-draftkings-is-going-public-2019-12-23" target="_blank">only publicly traded pure-play sports betting and online gaming company in the U.S.</a>" The company will trade on Nasdaq <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielmarcus/2019/12/23/draftkings-announces-plans-to-go-public-in-2020/#783e9a065279" target="_blank">has $3.3 billion in expected market value</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Going public will be made possible due to an acquisition by Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DEAC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DEAC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DEAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DEAC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DEAC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, a <a href="https://www.onlinepokerreport.com/39457/draftkings-sbtech-acquisition/" target="_blank">special purpose acquisition company</a> (SPAC), which is a blank check company with the sole business purpose of acquisition.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fantasy-sports-and-online-gambling-company-draftkings-is-going-public-2019-12-23" target="_blank">Diamond Eagle will acquire both DraftKings and SBTech</a>, a business-to-business (B2B) gambling technology company, and will change its name to Draft Kings Inc.</p><p class='black-text'>Founding investor of Diamond Eagle Harry E. Sloan said the SPAC is "pleased to bring DraftKings and SBTech together as one public company. DraftKings is already a<a href="https://www.draftkings.com/about/latest-press-release/" target="_blank"> premier online fantasy sports and betting platform</a>," Sloan pointed out. "With the full integration of SBTech's technology and innovative product expertise coupled with the right capitalization, DraftKings will be in a great position to continue its ambitious expansion plans in the United States."</p><p class='black-text'>Also seeming to have high hopes for the merger and future of the new public company is Gavin Isaacs, SBTech's Chairman. "The combination of DraftKings and SBTech brings together two tech-native companies with the customer at their cores," Isaacs said. "We are excited about the opportunity to join a company with a similar innovation DNA and <a href="https://www.draftkings.com/about/latest-press-release" target="_blank">create a unique and differentiated player in global sports betting and online gaming</a>."</p><p class='black-text'>DraftKings was founded in 2012 by Jason Robins, Matt Kalish, and Paul Liberman and claims to have had a <a href="https://fortune.com/40-under-40/2015/jason-robins/" target="_blank">valuation of nearly $1.5 billion</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Robins, the company's CEO, commented on the merger with high regards, highlighting the best qualities of both companies moving forward blended to transform the online gambling world.</p><p class='black-text'>"The combination of DraftKings' leading and trusted brand, deep focus on customer experience and data science expertise and SBTech's highly innovative and proven technology platform creates a vertically-integrated powerhouse," Robins said. "I look forward to building significantly upon our goals of <a href="https://www.draftkings.com/about/latest-press-release" target="_blank">continuing our state-by-state rollout</a> and creating the most entertaining and engaging customer experiences for sports fans globally."</p><p class='black-text'>DraftKings' largest competitor is FanDuel which has also been looking to go public.</p> http://www.pws.io/top-online-fantasy-sports-betting-company-draftkings-to-go-public Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:41:57 -0500 Rebecca O'Bern JPMorgan Posts Record Profit for 2019 http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-posts-record-profit-for-2019 <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> posted a full-year profit of $36.4 billion in 2019 which sent shares soaring by as much as 3% to a new, all-time high. Since then, the stock has given up these post-earnings gains, but it remains higher on nearly every timeframe and is outperforming against other bank stocks <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and 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'>JPMorgan's strong earnings and share price gain is surprising given the compression in the yield curve over the past 12 months. Typically, bank earnings are linked to the yield curve which approximates the spread between borrowing and lending. However, JPMorgan's success indicates that the company has been able to diversify its revenues across multiple segments, allowing it to thrive in multiple environments.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Earnings in Focus</i></p><p class='black-text'>Profits in 2019 were up 12% compared to 2018. Major contributors were increases in credit card spending and consumer borrowing which is an indication of strength in the labor market. Revenue from bond trading and investment banking were also above expectations, no doubt a reflection of the buoyancy in financial markets. Revenue in the markets and securities division increased by more than 55% with bond trading growing at 85% and stock trading increasing by 15%.</p><p class='black-text'>The strength in these areas intensified in the fourth quarter and should spill over into the new year. CEO Jamie Dimon attributed this to "market activity" and resolution of U.S.-China trade issues. He also said that JPMorgan's data indicates that the consumer remains in strong position with no indication of weakness in leading indicators like delinquencies. He added that the holiday season was also exceptionally strong.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Looking Ahead</i></p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan is coming off a 42% gain in 2019. The stock is actually slightly lower on the year despite broader equity strength and these record earnings above consensus. In the near-term, it may be an indication that the stock's bullish trend may be exhausted. Traders and investors should wait for some sort of dip or consolidation to add given the recently failed breakout. Bears can consider shorting with a stop at its December highs if they are expecting the market to move lower.</p> http://www.pws.io/jpmorgan-posts-record-profit-for-2019 Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:37:51 -0500 Jaimini Desai Quibi: the New Mobile-Only Streaming Service http://www.pws.io/quibi-the-new-mobile-only-streaming-service <p class='black-text'>There were many exciting announcements at this year's CES in Las Vegas. One of them was the announcement of a <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/08/ces-2020-meg-whitman-debuts-quibi-streaming-service.html">new streaming service</a> named Quibi. With streaming services becoming more ubiquitous everyday, Quibi has a plan to differentiate itself.</p><p class='black-text'>The company name, Quibi, hints at the niche the platform is trying to fill: Quibi is a mashup of the phrase "quick bites". These shorter videos are meant to attract mobile users which CEO Meg Whitmman seems to see as something of an untapped market.</p><p class='black-text'>Whitman told conference goers that the new service will launch on April 6 with at least 175 original shows and 8,500 new short episode coming in the following 12 months. The platform will focus on videos of 10 minutes or less and will release at least 3 hours of new content everyday. Membership will cost $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 without. The company's target audience is 25-to-35-year-olds.</p><p class='black-text'>"Today we are living through another revolution in entertainment, this time on our mobile phones... Innovations in mobile technology and network capability mean that we now have billions of users watching billions of hours of content every day on their mobile phones." Whitman said in a statement Wednesday. While some are skeptical that there is a market for minutes-long content which can only be watched on a phone, but advertisers seem content to make the gamble. The first-year ad space on the app <a href="https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/quibi-sells-out-advertising-inventory-150-million-1203380540/">sold out in October for $150 million</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are seeing a tremendous response from advertising partners who recognize the value of Quibi's premium, brand-safe, mobile platform that is focused on the highly coveted millennial audience," Whitman said in October.</p><p class='black-text'>The app has several high-profile partnerships lined up, including one with the tech giant Google <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Google will provide the platform with the streaming technology it needs to share content. Other partnerships revolve around who will be producing content for Quibi and includes everything from television networks to celebrities. Among those promising content are Chrissy Teigen, Bill Murray, Steven Spielberg, and the BBC, NBC News <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>, and ViacomCBS's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> "60 Minutes".</p><p class='black-text'>The content on the site will fall into three main categories: movies told in chapters, episodic shows, and daily essentials. Spielberg is currently planning to produce some of the serialized movies for the platform. The episodic shows will cover food, sports, documentary series, and unscripted content. Daily essentials will include short news segments of five or six minutes a piece.</p><p class='black-text'>The platform is the brainchild of a partnership between long-time Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and established tech exec Meg Whitman. So far the company has raised $1.4 billion in funding and is primarily advertising on social media and via digital marketing. The intention is to focus advertising where mobile users will see it. "You fish for where the fish are... The social-media platforms today, which is where people are in fact spending a good deal of time, is where the biggest focus of our marketing will be. And that's where we'll be spending most of our money," Katzenberg told <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/quibi-video-startup-explained-marketing-revenue-advertising-execs-2020-1">Business Insider</a>.</p> http://www.pws.io/quibi-the-new-mobile-only-streaming-service Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:35:29 -0500 Autumn McLain The Uncertainty of the “Phase One” Trade Agreement http://www.pws.io/the-uncertainty-of-the-phase-one-trade-agreement <p class='black-text'>Phase One of the new U.S-China trade deal <a href="https://apnews.com/85a6bcc492e4584f42c90447272c58ba">has been signed</a>, though reactions are mixed after scrutiny over the actual content of the trade deal arose, with worries over how the provisions will be met and if there is any reliable way to enforce it.</p><p class='black-text'>The Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <a href="https://apnews.com/85a6bcc492e4584f42c90447272c58ba">started Wednesday rather weakly</a> despite relative optimism by some investors over the first step in the negotiations to end the trade deal. Despite the weak opening, the Dow <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/01/15/796305300/trump-to-sign-phase-one-china-trade-deal-but-most-tariffs-remain-in-place">finished over 29,000</a> and 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> finished higher than usual. For many experts, however, there is far more concern than optimism, primarily because of the numerous <a href="https://www.axios.com/trump-china-trade-deal-phase-one-stock-reaction-fe7a3225-fbea-40f6-a256-f77408ce22da.html">loopholes and gaps</a> in the agreement.</p><p class='black-text'>One of the more concerning facets is the simple fact that the agreement appears only to cover <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-trumps-trade-cure-is-worse-than-the-disease/a-52014899">a small fraction</a> of the various concerns raised by both the U.S. and China, and that there currently appears to be no means to enforce its provisions. Additionally, the deal leaves <a href="https://www.axios.com/trump-china-trade-deal-phase-one-stock-reaction-fe7a3225-fbea-40f6-a256-f77408ce22da.html">existing tariffs in place</a>, which were the cause of the economic backlash felt in the United States to begin with. Contrary to President Donald Trump's claims of China footing the bill for the tariffs, the American consumer has long been <a href="https://www.pws.io//dow-index-reeling-from-trump-announcement-that-trade-war-may-continue-into-2020">footing the bill</a> for the trade war, and despite optimism for the phase one agreement from some, the bill seems to do nothing to address these concerns.</p><p class='black-text'>Perhaps most concerning of the phase one agreement, however, is that while the deal stipulates China will increase its U.S. imports by $200 billion over two years, there is <a href="https://www.axios.com/trump-china-trade-deal-phase-one-stock-reaction-fe7a3225-fbea-40f6-a256-f77408ce22da.html">no actual stipulation</a> of what China will buy from the U.S. and how it will achieve this goal. There is also speculation that China may not be able to meet said goals.</p><p class='black-text'>Overall, the deal leaves more questions than answers due to its vague language and the myriad shortcomings. Not helping and perhaps exacerbating the atmosphere of uncertainty is the President's rhetoric regarding the agreement; President Trump has been keen to <a href="https://www.axios.com/trump-china-trade-deal-phase-one-stock-reaction-fe7a3225-fbea-40f6-a256-f77408ce22da.html">tout the agreement</a> as "...the biggest deal there is anywhere in the world by far," despite the deal <a href="https://www.axios.com/trump-china-trade-deal-phase-one-stock-reaction-fe7a3225-fbea-40f6-a256-f77408ce22da.html">paling in comparison</a> to many other contemporary trade deals and being a far cry from the relief that the world needs from the Sino-American dispute.</p> http://www.pws.io/the-uncertainty-of-the-phase-one-trade-agreement Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:27:00 -0500 Michael Mooney Tesla Stock Surges on Revised Price Targets http://www.pws.io/tesla-stock-surges-on-revised-price-targets <p class='black-text'>Tesla Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> benefitted from a <a href="https://www.investors.com/news/technology/tesla-stock-hits-high-bold-moves-place-it-above-peers/">hefty jump in share prices</a> after analysts upgraded the company's price target, citing the company's performance and more optimistic future.</p><p class='black-text'>Tesla stock ended the day <a href="https://www.investors.com/news/technology/tesla-stock-hits-high-bold-moves-place-it-above-peers/">9.8% higher</a> on Monday thanks to the optimistic price target amendments made by Wall Street analysts. In general, Tesla stock has been a strong NASDAQ performer as of late. Tesla's stock has almost <a href="https://www.investors.com/news/technology/tesla-stock-hits-high-bold-moves-place-it-above-peers/">doubled since October</a>; Oct. 24 <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/TSLA/history/">marked a change</a> in fortune, with Tesla stock ending over 19% up from the previous day's 254.68, ending the day at 299.68. At closing yesterday, Tesla was at 537.92, a far cry from October's prices.</p><p class='black-text'>The catalyst for the jump? The revision of Tesla's target price by two Wall Street analysts from Oppenheimer and Jeffires: <a href="https://www.investors.com/news/technology/tesla-stock-hits-high-bold-moves-place-it-above-peers/">Colin Rusch </a>and <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/wall-street-cant-keep-up-with-tesla-morning-brief-110809452.html">Philippe Houchois</a>, respectively. Rusch revised his price target for Tesla from <a href="https://www.investors.com/news/technology/tesla-stock-hits-high-bold-moves-place-it-above-peers/">385 to 612</a>, citing the <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/01/13/why-tesla-stock-surged-past-500-monday.aspx">reason </a>as Tesla's "risk tolerance, ability to implement learnings from past errors, and larger ambition than peers are beginning to pose an existential threat to transportation companies that are unable or unwilling to innovate at a faster pace." Houchois adjusted his price to 600 from 400, <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/wall-street-cant-keep-up-with-tesla-morning-brief-110809452.html">stating that his revised target</a> "starts to reflect Tesla's ability to pursue additional growth, notably in storage/generation and selling batteries to third-party OEMs."</p><p class='black-text'>Tesla's surge, as stated by Rusch and Houchois, is largely reflective of its growth of a company. Tesla's expanding operations and continual innovations coincide with the outstanding performance of its product lines, such as the <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/01/13/why-tesla-stock-surged-past-500-monday.aspx">surging sales of the Model 3</a>. The biggest boons as of late have been Tesla's expansion to China, with the company opening a new factory in Shanghai in <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/01/13/why-tesla-stock-surged-past-500-monday.aspx">just under a year</a>. Additionally, the company is on the way to becoming self-funding. <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/01/13/why-tesla-stock-surged-past-500-monday.aspx">Tesla addressed this</a>, stating, "[We expect positive] quarterly free cash flow going forward, with possible temporary exceptions, particularly around the launch and ramp of new products. We continue to believe our business has grown to the point of being self-funding."</p> http://www.pws.io/tesla-stock-surges-on-revised-price-targets Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:24:49 -0500 Michael Mooney Market Update: Alphabet Becomes the Fourth Company to Reach $1 Trillion Market Value http://www.pws.io/market-update-alphabet-becomes-the-fourth-company-to-reach-1-trillion-market-value <p class='black-text'>All three major U.S. stock averages closed with new records Thursday as trade optimism brought by the signing of the 'phase one' trade agreement between the U.S. and China continued. The U.S. Senate passed a <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-senate-poised-pass-north-162631957.html">new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement </a>Thursday, a move that will revamp the 26-year-old North American Trade Agreement.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the U.S. stock market settled after regular trading 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>: +0.84% or +27.60 points to 3,316.89</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>: +0.92% or +267.35 points to 29,297.57</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.06% or +98.44 points to 9,357.13</p><p class='black-text'>In Major Stock News, Alphabet <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has become the fourth company to reach $1 trillion in market value, following 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>, 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 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>. Tesla <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares dipped after an analyst at Morgan Stanley <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/16/morgan-stanley-downgrades-tesla-to-underweight.html">downgraded the stock,</a> noting that "investors will be presented with more attractive opportunities to own the stock in the future."</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Economic News, retail sales rose 0.3% in December, meeting consensus expectations. Initial unemployment claims unexpectedly fell for the week that ended January 11. Claims fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted reading of 204,000. Continuing unemployment claims also declined.</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sector News, all eleven sectors posted performance gains on Thursday. The increases are as follows: Information Technology +1.40%, Industrials +1.01%, Consumer Discretionary +0.90%, Real Estate +0.79%, Financials +0.77%, Communication Services +0.66%, Utilities +0.61%, Materials +0.58%, Health Care +0.52%, Consumer Staples +0.31% and Energy +0.12%.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, in Commodity and Currency News, crude oil barrel prices increased, as trade deal progress ignited energy demand hopes. 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> increased over +0.80% and 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> gained over +0.50%. On the other hand, Gold <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> share prices fell over -0.20% as the U.S. economic data and trade deal boosted the stock market. Finally, the U.S. Dollar gained back some strength, with the DXY Index growing over +0.10%.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-alphabet-becomes-the-fourth-company-to-reach-1-trillion-market-value Thu, 16 Jan 2020 17:29:24 -0500 Rachel Hemple Was 2016 Russian Hacking Practice for A Full 2020 Assault? http://www.pws.io/was-2016-russian-hacking-practice-for-a-full-2020-assault <p class='black-text'>The National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart (GCHQ) put out an alarming statement in October: Russian intelligence divisions have continued to orchestrate cyber attacks against U.S. allies since the 2016 election - in fact, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/us/politics/russia-hacking-disinformation-election.html">they've gotten even better at it</a>. Russian hackers have been finding new and even more obscure ways to cover up their tracks, and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/us/politics/russia-hacking-disinformation-election.html">Iran</a> now stands on the horizon as the next potential threat to U.S. elections.</p><p class='black-text'>America's election-security and cyber defenses have improved by quite a bit in the last four years since the 2016 election season. At that time, we had no idea what sort of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/us/politics/russia-hack-report.html">disinformation and "fake-news"</a> would be coming at us. 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> now has a much better idea of potential signs of Russian interference. For instance, fake ads may be spotted because they were paid for in rubles or a troll account might be run by someone logging in from St. Petersburg.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, Russian hackers know this and will adapt accordingly. However, according to the New York Times <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NYT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NYT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NYT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NYT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NYT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, dozens of officials and experts agree that the U.S. still has many of the same vulnerabilities that Russia exploited in 2016. Social media is still the perfect environment for fake news to fester, and the challenges of combating this issue are basically the same as they were in 2016: monitoring must be done to head off any potential attacks before they gain enough momentum to disrupt voting.</p><p class='black-text'>The treatment of American intelligence information by top U.S. officials also hasn't helped the situation. Intelligence and cyber security experts agree unanimously agree that Russians interfered in the 2016 election, but Administration Officials and some members of the GOP have called this fact into question. A Russian backed conspiracy theory pushing blame onto Ukraine was quickly taken up, and it was this mindset that led to some of the events currently being adjudicated in the impeachment process, namely the allegations that President Donald Trump withheld aid from Ukraine in order to extort an investigation into this widely debunked conspiracy theory.</p><p class='black-text'>The October statement by the NSA and GCHQ may have been prompted by two recent developments in the Russian front on American elections.. First, it was found that Russian hackers had infiltrated an elite Iranian hacking unit and then attacked the surrounding governments in the Middle East under the guise of Iran. Second, "Fancy Bear", one of the two Russian intelligence divisions which hacked the Democratic National Convention in 2016, has shifted part its work onto servers in the U.S. in order to evade the NSA and other agencies. Its counter part, known as "Cozy Bear", dropped off the radar six months ago after it abandoned its hacking infrastructure.</p><p class='black-text'>Other hacking units, such as <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/world/europe/russia-troll-factory.html">the trolls</a> at the now-indicted Internet Research Agency, have switched from using email services which could be tracked by Western intelligence agencies to encrypted communication, like ProtonMail. They are also paying Americans to buy political ads on Facebook for them; foreigners are banned from buying political ads. The rise in ransomware is worrying officials at the Department of Homeland Security who say that attacks against American towns and cities over the past year revealed gaping holes in U.S. cybersecurity.</p><p class='black-text'>New voting technology and technology from 2016 that wasn't improved sufficiently - if at all - also represents a security risk. Leaving the fraught issue of electronic voting aside, voting is controlled <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/us/politics/russian-hacking-elections.html">at the state level</a>, and many entrust a portion of the responsibility to outside companies. In 2016, three such companies were hacked; although, generally, voting went smoothly.</p><p class='black-text'>Which is perhaps the most frightening part of retrospectives into the Russian attempt to disrupt elections in the U.S. in 2016: it may have just been a trial run. In a Senate Intelligence Committee meeting, one expert told lawmakers that Russia had been "conducting the reconnaissance to do... mapping, so that you could actually understand the network... so you could come back later and actually execute an operation."</p> http://www.pws.io/was-2016-russian-hacking-practice-for-a-full-2020-assault Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:09:43 -0500 Autumn McLain Walmart Culls Leadership in India as Troubles Loom http://www.pws.io/walmart-culls-leadership-in-india-as-troubles-loom <p class='black-text'>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> has culled <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-13/walmart-fires-more-than-50-staff-but-denies-india-exit-plans">1% of its workforce in India</a> as it seeks to restructure amid a turbulent atmosphere where it faces protests by Indian shopkeepers and consumers and a looming antitrust investigation by the government.</p><p class='black-text'>Walmart cut <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-13/walmart-fires-more-than-50-staff-but-denies-india-exit-plans">56 manager positions</a> as it seeks to restructure its Indian operations. Walmart stated that it has no plans to shut down physical operations and instead plans on growing its wholesale business in the Indian market. Walmart India's Chief Executive Officer Krish Iyer stated that Walmart is "looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which requires us to review our corporate structure."</p><p class='black-text'>There are <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-13/walmart-fires-more-than-50-staff-but-denies-india-exit-plans">reports arising</a> that Walmart plans on deeper cuts to its Indian operation, with rumors circulating that Walmart was planning to lay off more workers in April and wind down its physical presence, which has struggled to become profitable. Iyer stated that these <a href="https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2020/jan/14/walmart-india-cuts-56-in-shift-online-2/">rumors are false</a> and assured consumers and investors that Walmart would not be closing down its operations. While Walmart India's brick and mortar operations aren't as profitable as Walmart may have hoped (largely due to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-13/walmart-fires-more-than-50-staff-but-denies-india-exit-plans">Indian regulation</a> made to protect mom-and-pop stores which prohibit foreign companies like Walmart from selling directly to consumers), Walmart has a healthy ecommerce presence through its subsidiary Flipkart, faring better than competitor Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Walmart's woes go well past its struggling profitability, however. The company is facing immense pressure from both the Indian populace and the Indian government. Both Walmart and Amazon are the subjects of an <a href="https://in.reuters.com/article/india-antitrust-ecommerce/india-orders-antitrust-probe-of-amazon-walmarts-flipkart-idINKBN1ZC1B5">antitrust investigation</a> by the Competition Commission of India. <a href="https://in.reuters.com/article/india-antitrust-ecommerce/india-orders-antitrust-probe-of-amazon-walmarts-flipkart-idINKBN1ZC1B5">Allegations</a> lobbied against the companies are primarily centered around showing a preference for certain sellers, including deep discounts and disproportionate promotion. The preferred sellers are affiliated with the companies in some way, according to allegations. Also, both companies face <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-01/amazon-and-walmart-face-the-ire-of-70-million-indian-shopkeepers">stiff protests</a> from Indian citizens, primarily from shopkeepers and their supporters. The Indian shopkeeper's union, which has been particularly vocal against Amazon and Walmart, has great political strength in India and poses a substantial threat. The Union, which represents 70 million merchants, represents a large portion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-01/amazon-and-walmart-face-the-ire-of-70-million-indian-shopkeepers">political base</a> and is instrumental in implementing regulations that restricted Walmart's ability to sell directly to consumers.</p> http://www.pws.io/walmart-culls-leadership-in-india-as-troubles-loom Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:08:16 -0500 Michael Mooney Fintech Plaid Acquired by Visa in $5.3 Billion Deal http://www.pws.io/fintech-plaid-acquired-by-visa-in-53-billion-deal <p class='black-text'>Financial services giant Visa <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/V"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">V</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="V" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="V" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="V" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced on Monday that they will be purchasing fintech company Plaid in <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/13/visa-to-acquire-plaid-the-fintech-powering-venmo-and-other-banking-apps-for-5point3-billion.html">a $5.3 billion dollar deal</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Plaid is often called the "plumbing" behind popular peer-to peer payment apps, cryptocurrency exchanges, and mobile investing apps. They help developers share financial and banking information more easily. Venmo may be their most high-profile partners, but they also support the Cash App, Coinbase, Gemini, and Robinhood. Users of those apps probably won't recognize the name, but Plaid is well known among financial technology developers generally.</p><p class='black-text'>Plaid is a massive software creator: as of December, one in four people with bank accounts in the U.S. were connected to the fintech company through an app. The company drew attention by adding Mary Meeker, well known venture capitalist, to their board of directors. Plaid raised a combined $310 million from investors including $250 million from a Series C funding round in 2018. At that time, Plaid was valued at $2.65 billion. Visa is now seeking to acquire the company for twice that amount.</p><p class='black-text'>It has since been revealed that the investors involved in the funding the start-up included Mastercard <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Visa, Citi <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and American Express <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AXP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AXP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AXP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AXP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AXP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. This means those companies would have a good idea of how Plaid was doing, and they would know what it was worth. Because the company was bought while it was still private, we won't be able to take a good look at its figure.</p><p class='black-text'>Visa has high hopes for this deal saying in a call with investors on Monday that it was a "long-term" play meant to set Visa up for the next decade.</p><p class='black-text'>"This fits well, strategically... We're excited about new businesses and the ability for this to accelerate our revenue growth over time" Visa CEO Al Kelly said of the purchase. For Visa, the purchase serves not only as the integration of another profitable company, but also as a window into the world of booming private companies shaping their future.</p><p class='black-text'>This could prove to be a massive win for Visa; <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/13/visa-is-acquiring-plaid-for-5-3-billion-2x-its-final-private-valuation/">similar API-first companies</a> have proven to be very profitable. Twilio, another background API, has done very well as a public company. Noyo, which is similar to Plaid but deals in healthcare information and insurance APIs looks very promising; and Stripes, which occupies the same space with payments is doing well, too. Plaid is Visa's first foray into API-first technology, and it will help them prepare for similar purchases in the future.</p><p class='black-text'>That being said, arguably the biggest winners in this deal are the shareholders and employees of Plaid itself. <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkauflin/2020/01/14/meet-the-four-under-30s-behind-visas-53-billion-acquisition-of--plaid/#361236354f72">Plaid's cofounders</a>, Zach Perret and William Hockey achieved this multi billion dollar success together despite being in their early twenties when they got started in 2012.</p> http://www.pws.io/fintech-plaid-acquired-by-visa-in-53-billion-deal Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:04:08 -0500 Autumn McLain Jobs Report Solid but Indicates Slowing Momentum http://www.pws.io/jobs-report-solid-but-indicates-slowing-momentum <p class='black-text'>The December non-farm payrolls report came in at 145,000 jobs added which was just below the consensus of 160,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%, and average hourly earnings came in at 2.9% over the last 12 months which missed the consensus estimate of 3.1%. Overall, this report is consistent with an economy growing around 2% that is decelerating.</p><p class='black-text'><i>No Q4 Pickup</i></p><p class='black-text'>While this narrative is perfectly consistent with recent data over the past six months, it's not consistent with price action and behavior of equities over the last three months. The employment report also showed that hiring was flat and slightly negative in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, while employment in housing, retail, and health care climbed higher.</p><p class='black-text'>Manufacturing lost 12,000 jobs in December with some impact due to Boeing's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> issues down the supply chain. Another notable miss is a surprise drop in professional and business services with 10,000 jobs lost. This follows nearly a decade of job growth in this area so bears watching to see if this is a random reading or the start of a trend. However, it is one more data point for bears.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Bullish for Asset Prices</i></p><p class='black-text'>Overall, the report is unlikely to meaningfully impact Federal Reserve policy in either direction and is bullish for stocks. Futures in interest rates were unaffected and continue to show one hike until the end of 2021. The headline figure and wage growth numbers signal an economy that's expanding but not at a fast enough pace to ignite inflation. This circumstance is quite supportive of equity prices - an expanding economy coupled with dovish monetary policy.</p><p class='black-text'>This was reflected in equities moving higher, and interest rates moving lower immediately upon the report's release. The report is another data point which debunks any imminent recession prediction, and the wage growth figures also don't</p><p class='black-text'>The broad economy remains resilient to the trade war and slowdown in manufacturing. It reflects that manufacturing is increasingly a smaller share of the economy and also that other components of the economy like retail spending and housing in addition to the labor market remain solid.</p> http://www.pws.io/jobs-report-solid-but-indicates-slowing-momentum Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:46:25 -0500 Jaimini Desai Market Update: U.S. and China Finally Sign a Partial Deal http://www.pws.io/market-update-us-and-china-finally-sign-a-partial-deal <p class='black-text'>U.S. stocks had major gains on Wednesday as the U.S. and China signed the first part of a trade deal in Washington D.C. The Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed to a new record high above 29,000, although the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed lower than their initial midday highs.</p><p class='black-text'>The partial trade agreement between the U.S. and China includes <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/15/heres-what-china-agreed-to-buy-from-the-us-in-the-phase-one-trade-deal.html">an additional $200 billion</a> in U.S. goods over the next two years that China will purchase, the goods being manufactured, agricultural, energy and services. The deal contains concessions by the Chinese to crack down on intellectual property theft as well.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market closed after regular trading 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>: +0.19% or +6.21 points to 3,289.36</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +0.32% or +91.16 points to 29,030.83</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>: +0.08% or +7.37 points to 9,258.70</p><p class='black-text'>In Major Stock News, 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> shares dropped more than 8% after the retailer reported holiday sales that were less than expected. Shares of Hasbro <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HAS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HAS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HAS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HAS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HAS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Mattel <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MAT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MAT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MAT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MAT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MAT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also took a hit after Target reported their decline in toy sales over the major shopping season. Beyond Meat <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BYND"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BYND</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BYND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BYND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BYND" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dropped after 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> revised the firm's target price for the stock. Big bank stocks like 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>, Wells Fargo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Goldman Sachs all fell after their mixed fourth quarter earning reports.</p><p class='black-text'>In U.S. Sector News, the majority of the 11 sectors posted performance growth on Wednesday. Those that had share gains include Utilities +1.41%, Health Care +0.85%, Real Estate +0.77%, Consumer Staples +0.65%, Materials +0.64%, Communication Services +0.34%, Industrials +0.09% and Information Technology +0.07%. The few that had performance decline in current markets include Energy -0.67%, Financials -0.55% and Consumer Discretionary -0.26%.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, in Commodity and Currency News, oil prices are slightly down after the U.S.-China trade deal as U.S. crude production increased. 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> decreased -0.07% and Brent Crude fell almost -0.40%. Gold <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> traded better Wednesday due to market volatility around the partial trade deal. The metal's share price gained over +0.60%. Finally, the U.S. Dollar decreased in value Wednesday, with the DXY Index dropping -0.20%.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-us-and-china-finally-sign-a-partial-deal Wed, 15 Jan 2020 17:46:32 -0500 Rachel Hemple ETF Weekly: Funds to Watch Post U.S.-China Trade Deal http://www.pws.io/etf-weekly-funds-to-watch-post-us-china-trade-deal <p class='black-text'>Stocks have had a volatile start to the week due to investors not knowing the full effect the trade agreement will have on the market and futures. The United States and China signed the first-phase of the long awaited trade deal on Wednesday. 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> rose on Wednesday but lost much of its gains at close, while the Nasdaq <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> ended lower, but still held gains from morning trading. As part of the "phase one" trade deal, China has agreed to purchase an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods over the next two years. However, the White House has said that it will leave tariffs on another $250 billion in Chinese products at least until after the November 2020 election. President Donald Trump <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/15/heres-what-china-agreed-to-buy-from-the-us-in-the-phase-one-trade-deal.html">stated</a>: "We're leaving tariffs on, but I will agree to take those tariffs off as we are able to do 'phase two.' In other words, [the two nations are] negotiating with the tariffs."</p><p class='black-text'>But the two nations have agreed on a trading future for the next two years. The composition of the $200 billion additional goods China will purchase include: Manufactured goods: $32.9 billion in 2020, $44.8 billion in 2021; Agricultural goods: $12.5 billion in 2020, $19.5 billion in 2021; Energy goods: $18.5 billion in 2020, $33.9 billion in 2021; Services: $12.8 billion in 2020, $25.1 billion in 2021. Manufactured goods include industrial and electric equipment, pharmaceuticals and vehicles.</p><p class='black-text'><b>ETFs in Focus Following U.S.- China Trade Deal: </b></p><p class='black-text'><b>Consumer:</b> U.S. companies have paid $46 billion in tariffs since the start of the trade war over a year ago. Since the U.S. is still imposing tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products, many companies many begin to pass the additional cost unto the consumer. Funds that will be effected by an increase in consumer cost include iShares U.S. Consumer Services ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IYC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IYC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IYC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IYC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IYC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (NSYE: XLP) and Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Industrials & Materials: </b>Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fun <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are both subject to additional tariffs and will be affected by the ongoing tariff discussion between the two nations.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Technology & Semiconductors: </b>Large-cap semiconductor companies like NVIDIA and Qualcomm have majority of their revenue exposure based in China, according to a <a href="https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/295682/smallcap-tech-stocks-in-focus-as-trade-war-fears-intensify">Goldman Sachs'</a> <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> study. Due to the relationship between the two sectors, their future performance will be affected by the continued tariffs between the U.S. and China. Funds that will be affected include SPDR S&P Technology Hardware ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XTH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XTH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XTH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XTH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XTH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SMH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SMH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SMH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SMH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SMH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Automotive: </b>Due to steal and aluminum being vital to the production of cars, the longstanding tariffs on these materials will definitely affect the production and sales of various car brands. One fund to follow is First Trust Nasdaq Global Auto Index Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CARZ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CARZ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CARZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CARZ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CARZ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Big Banks: </b>As the financial markets have been on the rise ahead of the trade agreement and are poised to gain in 2020. While a popular trade is usually Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/10/etfs-for-2020-six-themes-including-china-will-drive-gains.html">according to John Davi</a>, founder and chief investment officer at Astoria Portfolio Advisors, noted that "XLF is only 40% banks." A better trade for big banks is Invesco KBW Bank ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KBWB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KBWB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KBWB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KBWB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KBWB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> which is about 88% banks.</p><p class='black-text'><b>China: </b>iShares MSCI China ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCHI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCHI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCHI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCHI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCHI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is a great way to benefit from the added trade between the two nations as per the agreement. A big focus as China becomes a more fierce entity in e-commerce, a good fund to focus on is KraneShares' CSL China Internet ETF KWEB <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KWEB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KWEB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KWEB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KWEB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KWEB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. This fund focuses on Chinese internet companies that provide similar services like Google <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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>, Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and 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>. Chinese giants Alibaba <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Tencent <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCEHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCEHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> make up 19% of the fund.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Health Care: </b>Health Care Select SPDR Fund <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XPH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XPH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XPH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XPH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XPH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> will benefit at least in the coming two years from the agreed relationship between the two nations.</p> http://www.pws.io/etf-weekly-funds-to-watch-post-us-china-trade-deal Wed, 15 Jan 2020 17:10:44 -0500 Rachel Hemple Alibaba's Ant Financial to Launch Enterprise Blockchain http://www.pws.io/alibabas-ant-financial-to-launch-its-own-enterprise-blockchain <p class='black-text'>According to a <a href="https://www.donews.com/article/detail/4234/19193.htm">report from Donews</a>, Chinese payment company Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and operator of AliPay, is planning to publicly launch its enterprise blockchain platform in February 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>On Jan. 10, Guofei Jiang, the vice president of Ant Financial, announced this news at the company's annual media meeting. According to Guo, this blockchain platform will be called Ant Blockchain Open Alliance and has been available in beta version since November 2019. The new platform essentially aims to "enable small-scale and micro-enterprises and developers to enter the industry at a lower cost."</p><p class='black-text'>Ant Finance has previously launched a blockchain-as-a-service platform, having trialed its first-ever blockchain remittances in the summer of 2018, using its new blockchain-based electronic wallet cross border remittance service.</p><p class='black-text'>The blockchain platform has reportedly helped resolved trust issues across 40 sectors, including cross-border remittances and trade finance.</p><p class='black-text'>The new Ant Blockchain Open Alliance will reportedly help small and micro enterprises to develop their own blockchain applications at a lower cost. The platform can also support one billion daily transactions and can achieve 100,000 cross-chain information processing capabilities per second.</p><p class='black-text'>Since late 2019, all major tech giants of China, including Alibaba, Baidu <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BIDU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BIDU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, JD.com <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Tencent <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCEHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCEHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, have either announced or launched their blockchain platforms. Earlier this week, Baidu launched the public beta for its "Xuperchain" open-network blockchain.</p><p class='black-text'>At the same time, Ant Financial, the major financial hand of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has been ranked the fifth most valuable private firm in China.</p><p class='black-text'>In an inaugural rankings <a href="https://www.hurun.net/EN/Article/Details?num=3E542F6FBA3D">report by Hurun</a>, which is best known for compiling a rich list for China, Ant Financial is the top firm in its field and fifth largest in a ranking of all firms across industries.</p><p class='black-text'>The report reveals that Ant Financial has hit a market valuation of $143 billion, based on a closing price from Nov. 29, 2019.</p><p class='black-text'>Alibaba ranked top of all private enterprises in the country, at a valuation of $545 billion, followed by WeChat operator Tencent Holdings, at $408 billion, and Ping An Insurance, at $215 billion.</p> http://www.pws.io/alibabas-ant-financial-to-launch-its-own-enterprise-blockchain Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:51:36 -0500 Dexiang Gao Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler Makes Exclusive Deal with Apple TV+ http://www.pws.io/former-hbo-ceo-richard-plepler-makes-exclusive-deal-with-apple-tv <p class='black-text'>Former HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler has joined Apple Inc. <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> this month, <a href="https://nypost.com/2020/01/02/ex-hbo-executive-richard-plepler-signs-apple-tv-deal/" target="_blank">the start of a five-year deal with Apple TV+</a>. Specifically, Apple's video streaming service, which launched November 2019, has signed a deal with Plepler's production company, Eden Productions.</p><p class='black-text'>After being with HBO for 27 years, Plepler left eight months after AT&T <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/T"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">T</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="T" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="T" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="T" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> took over Home Box Office, Inc., which owns HBO, in 2018. That was five years after being appointed to chairman and CEO. AT&T purchased the company, which at the time was Time Warner, for $85 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Regarding the transition to leave HBO, "New people came in and bought the company," Plepler said, referring to AT&T. "And it was just the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/business/media/richard-plepler-apple.html" target="_blank">right time for me to go on to the next chapter in my life</a>."</p><p class='black-text'>Now in 2020, Plepler has turned over another new leaf, going from executive to producer, HBO to Apple by way of his own Eden Productions. The new companies and new direction is a turn for Plepler, but it seems that he's found his next step.</p><p class='black-text'>"It was instantaneously clear to me that I had a wonderful and very privileged run at HBO and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/business/media/richard-plepler-apple.html" target="_blank">I wasn't going to be able to duplicate that again</a>," Plepler said. "And I didn't want to try to duplicate that again. It felt very clear to me that I just wanted to do my own thing."</p><p class='black-text'>Eden Productions will create select original shows, documentaries, and movies exclusive to Apple TV+. It's a deal Plepler embraced in a short amount of time and one he firmly stands by.</p><p class='black-text'>"<a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/02/media/richard-plepler-apple-deal/index.html" target="_blank">I thought that Apple was the right idea very quickly</a>, just because it was embryonic enough that I thought maybe, you know, I could make a little contribution there," he said.</p><p class='black-text'>Plepler's former HBO (known for successful shows like "Game of Thrones") is owned by Home Box Office, Inc., a subsidiary of WarnerMedia Entertainment, which itself is the entertainment division of Warner Media, LLC (formerly Time Warner), owned by AT&T. AT&T had over $170 billion in revenue for 2018. While an impressive figure, to offer some perspective when it comes to income, Apple had 2018 revenue of over $265 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>The new year and decade will have its turn soon enough to show what Plepler is able to do for Apple, and what Apple may be able to do for Eden Productions.</p> http://www.pws.io/former-hbo-ceo-richard-plepler-makes-exclusive-deal-with-apple-tv Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:45:54 -0500 Rebecca O'Bern Tencent Aims at Buying 10% of Universal Music Group http://www.pws.io/tencent-aims-at-buying-10-of-universal-music-group <p class='black-text'>At the start of 2020, Tencent <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCEHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCEHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, one of China's largest internet and entertainment companies, announced that it agreed to acquire 10% of Universal Music Group from its parent company Vivendi <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VIVHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VIVHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VIVHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VIVHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VIVHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> for $3.36 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Universal Music Group is one of the world's largest and most dominant record label groups and is the parent company to Capitol Records, Blue Note and Republic.</p><p class='black-text'>The deal will likely push Universal Music Group's valuation to above $30 billion and was received well by Vivendi's investors. Vivendi first announced its intentions to sell a portion of the company equity back in 2018.</p><p class='black-text'>According to the deal, in addition to purchasing 10% of Universal Music Group, Tencent also reserved the right to buy another 10% stake on the same terms by January 15, 2021.</p><p class='black-text'>This additional deal will open up gateways to China's booming music market, which Entgroup, China's leading entertainment industry consulting firm, noted was expected to grow from 347.1 billion yuan ($50.43 billion) in 2017 to 523.5 billion yuan ($76.06 billion) by 2023.</p><p class='black-text'>This booming market is ripe for the pickings and Universal will tap into Tencent's resources and knowledge of the Chinese market to grow the profitability of Universal's Asia Business, which in 2018 represented more than 13% of its 2018 sales.</p><p class='black-text'>One of the key reasons Tencent took what some investors called a hefty price tag for a stake in Universal is the competitive advantage it will give its growing Tencent Music Entertainment streaming company, who is owner of services such as QQ Music, KuGou and Kuwo.</p><p class='black-text'>Tencent Holdings now owns China's largest music company, Tencent Music Entertainment, which controls roughly 60% to 70% of the Chinese music market and itself owns shares in many high-profile global music ventures. In fact, in 2018, Tencent Music and Spotify <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPOT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPOT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPOT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPOT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPOT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced an unusual equity-swap agreement, in which the two companies purchased a roughly 9% stake in each other's equity.</p> http://www.pws.io/tencent-aims-at-buying-10-of-universal-music-group Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:38:56 -0500 Dexiang Gao Ring Under Fire for Privacy Concerns http://www.pws.io/ring-under-fire-for-privacy-concerns <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> Ring subsidiary is under fire for <a href="https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/amazons-ring-fired-at-least-four-employees-for-snooping-on-user-videos/">privacy concerns</a> after the company admitted in a letter that four employees were fired for accessing user videos, and a hacking incident that involved a hacker gaining access to a camera feed of a little girl's room.</p><p class='black-text'>Ring, Amazon's subsidiary that produces home security systems, including its flagship "doorbell camera," has been under increasing scrutiny as it reels from a <a href="https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/amazons-ring-fired-at-least-four-employees-for-snooping-on-user-videos/">growing concern over user privacy</a>. Most recently, the company admitted to Congress that it had previously <a href="https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/amazons-ring-fired-at-least-four-employees-for-snooping-on-user-videos/">fired four employees</a> after they had accessed user videos without proper permission. "Each of these individuals involved in these incidents was authorized to view video data," <a href="https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/amazons-ring-fired-at-least-four-employees-for-snooping-on-user-videos/">said Amazon</a>, "the attempted access to that data exceeded what was necessary for their job functions." Of note is that not all Ring employees with video access are located in the United States, though Amazon <a href="https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/amazons-ring-fired-at-least-four-employees-for-snooping-on-user-videos/">refused to clarify</a> how many foreign employees had access to user videos.</p><p class='black-text'>More recently, Ring has found itself the subject of a lawsuit by two couples whose Ring cameras were <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/couple-whose-8-year-old-daughter-was-taunted-ring-hacker-n1113426">remotely hacked</a>. In December, a Ring camera in the bedroom of a young girl was <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/couple-whose-8-year-old-daughter-was-taunted-ring-hacker-n1113426">remotely hacked by an unknown male</a> who used the speaker function to play music and taunt the little girl verbally. The other couple had their Ring system hacked by someone who <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/couple-whose-8-year-old-daughter-was-taunted-ring-hacker-n1113426">demanded a ransom of Bitcoin</a>. "Instead of helping families protect their homes, Ring security devices have had the opposite effect by permitting hackers to exploit security vulnerabilities in the Ring system to spy and harass Ring customers inside their homes," <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/couple-whose-8-year-old-daughter-was-taunted-ring-hacker-n1113426">the lawsuit stated</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Previous concerns over Ring's privacy sparked an investigation by congress. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., has been the most active in the ongoing <a href="https://oklahoman.com/article/5652072/amazons-ring-fires-four-employees-for-snooping-on-customers-doorbell-camera-video-feeds">investigation into Ring</a>. After an investigation into Ring in November, <a href="https://oklahoman.com/article/5652072/amazons-ring-fires-four-employees-for-snooping-on-customers-doorbell-camera-video-feeds">Markey claimed</a> that Ring had left an "open door for privacy and civil liberty violations." Markey has raised concerns that Amazon and Ring are not doing nearly enough to address privacy concerns.</p> http://www.pws.io/ring-under-fire-for-privacy-concerns Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:19:17 -0500 Michael Mooney Israeli Cybersecurity Company Reveals Troubling Vulnerability in TikTok App http://www.pws.io/israeli-cybersecurity-company-reveals-troubling-vulnerability-in-tiktok-app <p class='black-text'>An Israeli cybersecurity company discovered a <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/09/tiktok-security-flaw-found-that-allowed-hackers-to-access-accounts.html">glaring vulnerability</a> in the popular social media app TikTok that could have produced disastrous results, while TikTok has patched the glitch out of its software, concerns and skepticism remain regarding the controversial company.</p><p class='black-text'>Tel-Aviv based cybersecurity firm Check Point <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CHKP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CHKP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CHKP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CHKP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CHKP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> found the flaws in the popular social media app and discovered that key security vulnerabilities could have potentially <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/09/tiktok-security-flaw-found-that-allowed-hackers-to-access-accounts.html">allowed hackers to users' accounts</a>, allowing for the manipulation of submitted videos, as well as access to personal information. Other vulnerabilities were found on TikTok's website; users can send text messages with download links to themselves through the app's website; however, hackers could have taken advantage of this to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/technology/tiktok-security-flaws.html">send users malware</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Check Point <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/technology/tiktok-security-flaws.html">notified TikTok</a> of the vulnerabilities in November, the app's security team worked throughout the next few weeks before finally patching out the vulnerabilities in December. The vulnerabilities were very numerous, and many were far-reaching, all of which are documented on Check Point's <a href="https://research.checkpoint.com/2020/tik-or-tok-is-tiktok-secure-enough/">blog post</a> regarding their investigation. The news of the vulnerabilities didn't seem to surprise many cybersecurity experts. "I would expect these types of vulnerabilities in a company like TikTok, which is probably more focused on tremendous growth, and on building new features for their users, rather than security," <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/technology/tiktok-security-flaws.html">said research head Chris Hebeisen</a> of the cybersecurity firm Lookout.</p><p class='black-text'>"Data is pervasive, and our latest research shows that the most popular apps are still at risk," <a href="https://betanews.com/2020/01/08/tiktok-vulnerability/">Oded Vanunu, a research head at Check Point, commented</a>. "Social media applications are highly targeted for vulnerabilities as they provide a good source of personal, private data and offer a large attack surface. Malicious actors are spending large amounts of money and time to try and penetrate these hugely popular applications -- yet most users are under the assumption that they are protected by the app they are using."</p><p class='black-text'>Social Media apps, and tech companies in general, have been under increasing scrutiny from governmental authorities worldwide as of late due to privacy concerns. In the United States, TikTok is being scrutinized more closely than others. Members of Congress have <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/technology/tiktok-security-flaws.html">stated concern</a> over the app due to owner ByteDance being a Chinese firm, and the fact that it TikTok's Chinese app, Douyin, is heavily censored by the Chinese Government doesn't help ByteDance's case with Congress. Concerns of private data being shared with the Chinese Government have been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/technology/tiktok-security-flaws.html">addressed by ByteDance</a>, but the recent security breach will likely stoke Congress' ambitions to investigate the company more closely.</p> http://www.pws.io/israeli-cybersecurity-company-reveals-troubling-vulnerability-in-tiktok-app Wed, 15 Jan 2020 12:57:01 -0500 Michael Mooney Market Update: Market Indices Mixed Ahead of Trade Deal http://www.pws.io/market-update-market-indices-mixed-ahead-of-trade-deal <p class='black-text'>Major U.S. stock market indices ended the trading day mixed as market participants weigh the future of trade between China and the U.S. Despite a partial trade deal being reached and scheduled to be signed tomorrow, the Trump administration announced on Tuesday that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will remain in place at least until after the 2020 presidential election in the U.S. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-14/china-tariffs-to-stay-put-until-after-u-s-election-despite-deal-k5e80j8k">According to Bloomberg</a>, any reduction to tariffs will be dependent on China's compliance to the trade deal.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market closed 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>: -0.15% or -5.01 points to 3,283.12</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>: +0.11% or +32.15 points to 28,939.20</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>: -0.24% or -22.60 points to 9,251.33</p><p class='black-text'>In Major Stock News, 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> announced Tuesday that third-party seller would be able to ship through FedEx <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FDX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FDX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FDX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Ground for Prime shipments again. However, Amazon will continue to not use FedEx for the company's own deliveries. Boeing <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> posted its worst annual net orders in 11 years Tuesday. Delta Air Lines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> jumped 3.3% after the company beat expectations for its Q4. Pinterest <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PINS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PINS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PINS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PINS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PINS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> increased almost 10% after a <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/content/pinterest-to-surpass-snapchat-as-no-3-social-media-app-in-the-us-and-will-stay-ahead">report that the platform surpassed Snapchat</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNAP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNAP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as the third-biggest social-media platform in the U.S. in 2019. SmileDirectClub <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SDC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SDC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SDC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SDC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SDC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> had a resurgence after that company announced that it will offer its products at dentist and orthodontist offices. Tesla <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> pushed to a new all-time high after Jefferies <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JEF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JEF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JEF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JEF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JEF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Deutsche Bank <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> become bullish towards the stock's future. Big bank stocks like Citigroup <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and J.P. Morgan <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> rallied after beating expectations, while Wells Fargo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> declined after lackluster Q4 results.</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sector News, sectors had a mixed performance day. Industrials had a large upward surge of +11.73%, and other sectors that positively increased on Tuesday include Health Care +0.55%, Utilities +0.28%, Consumer Staples +0.02% and Energy remained unchanged. The rest that had negative performance Tuesday were Information Technology -0.60%, Real Estate -0.49%, Materials -0.39%, Communication Services -0.30%, Financials -0.24% and Consumer Discretionary -0.12%.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, in Commodity and Currency News, crude oil barrel prices had a slight upward swing Tuesday ahead of the U.S-China trade signing. 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> edged +0.02% and 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> increased almost +0.40%. Gold <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also grew ahead of the trade signature, with the metal's price increasing over +0.20%. Finally, the U.S. Dollar bumped into the positive territory, with the DXY Index gaining +0.01%.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-market-indices-mixed-ahead-of-trade-deal Tue, 14 Jan 2020 19:17:17 -0500 Rachel Hemple JetBlue to Become First U.S. Airline to Go Carbon Neutral http://www.pws.io/jetblue-to-become-first-us-airline-to-go-carbon-neutral <p class='black-text'>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> has <a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/money/personal-finance/the-points-guy/jetblue-to-offset-carbon-emissions-for-all-domestic-flights/89-4d3b3cfd-dbc4-4108-b709-84a9671f2c23">announced its intent</a> to become the first U.S. airline to go fully carbon neutral, with promises to use sustainably sourced jet fuel and invest heavily in carbon offsetting to counteract any contamination it cannot reduce.</p><p class='black-text'>JetBlue <a href="http://blog.jetblue.com/offset-jan-2020/">announced on Monday</a> that it intended to go carbon neutral starting in July. The Airline produces roughly <a href="https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2020/01/06/jetblue-carbon-neutral/40952365/">8 million metric tons of CO2 a year</a>, but its new program seeks to offset it. The program features a two-pronged approach to offsetting JetBlue's emissions. The first is to replace fossil-fuel based jet fuel with sustainably sourced eco-fuel, to this end, JetBlue intends on replacing all fossil fuels with <a href="https://transportationtodaynews.com/news/16545-jetblue-becomes-first-major-us-airline-to-commit-to-fighting-co2-emissions-on-domestic-flights/">eco-fuel sourced from Neste</a>, a Finnish based oil company and the largest producer of renewable diesel in the world. JetBlue will begin using Neste's fuel, which boasts a carbon footprint 80% smaller than conventional jet fuel, at San Francisco International Airport. The second prong of JetBlue's approach will be to invest heavily in Carbon Offsetting, the practice of <a href="https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2020/01/06/jetblue-carbon-neutral/40952365/">"contrasting" CO2 production</a> by replanting trees in deforested areas, capturing methane from landfills for fuel production, and investing in renewable energy such as wind and solar.</p><p class='black-text'>"Air travel connects people and cultures, and supports a global economy, yet we must act to limit this critical industry's contributions to climate change," <a href="https://transportationtodaynews.com/news/16545-jetblue-becomes-first-major-us-airline-to-commit-to-fighting-co2-emissions-on-domestic-flights/">JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said</a>, addressing the company's carbon neutral ambitions. "We reduce where we can and offset where we can't. By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we're preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation - and all sectors - must plan for."</p><p class='black-text'>JetBlue is the first U.S. airline to attempt to go carbon neutral; other airlines such as Delta <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> feature programs such as its Earth Day promotion where the company sought to <a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/money/personal-finance/the-points-guy/jetblue-to-offset-carbon-emissions-for-all-domestic-flights/89-4d3b3cfd-dbc4-4108-b709-84a9671f2c23">offset all flights for the day</a>, and some offer the ability to purchase a carbon offset for a ticket, but no plans to offset flight operations have been proposed until now. Some European companies have already pledged similar plans as JetBlue; EasyJet <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EJTTF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EJTTF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EJTTF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EJTTF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EJTTF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, one of Europe's largest airlines, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/easyjet-flights-carbon-neutral/index.html">announced last year</a> that it was seeking to go carbon neutral. British Airways and Air France <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AFLYY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AFLYY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AFLYY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AFLYY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AFLYY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> have also announced plans to go carbon neutral.</p> http://www.pws.io/jetblue-to-become-first-us-airline-to-go-carbon-neutral Tue, 14 Jan 2020 17:30:36 -0500 Michael Mooney Chinese Search Engine Baidu Launches XuperChain to Expand on Blockchain 3.0 http://www.pws.io/chinese-search-engine-baidu-launches-xuperchain-to-expand-on-blockchain-30 <p class='black-text'>According to a <a href="http://company.stcn.com/2020/0106/15583566.shtml">report from STCN</a>, Baidu <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BIDU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BIDU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the biggest search engine of China, has launched a public beta version of its blockchain service for businesses, called Xuperchain.</p><p class='black-text'>Xuperchain will use "parallel chain technology to simplify smart contract processing." Parallel chain technology is an upgrade from the current popularly used blockchain version 2.0 to blockchain 3.0.</p><p class='black-text'>The service of Xuperchain will enable small and medium businesses and developers easily launch so-called decentralized applications, or dapps. Xuperchain is just one of the hundreds of blockchain projects in the works in China, where President Xi Jinping recently called for the nation "to lead the world in blockchain technology development."</p><p class='black-text'>Baidu first revealed its plans for Xuperchain in September 2018. The Xuperchain website claims that since 2018, Xuperchain has processed over 450 million transactions and holds approximately 3.5 million users.</p><p class='black-text'>In terms of transaction processing speed, Xuperchain is reportedly 23x faster than Ethereum. While Ethereum is capable of executing 15 transactions per second, Xuperchain claims a peak concurrency of 353 transactions per second.</p><p class='black-text'>Technically, all blockchain networks are as fast as the weakest node in the system. At times, this leads to problems when trying to scale up a network. But in the case of Xuperchain, master nodes deploy a core's idle computing power to process parallel transactions. This design overcomes any latency issues and makes the Xuperchain network function much faster.</p><p class='black-text'>Baidu reportedly holds over 50 patents related to Xuperchain and the entire ownership of Xuperchain's intellectual properties.</p><p class='black-text'>STCN's report emphasized that Xuperchain will also be compliant with Chinese blockchain standards. Last January, China's internet censorship agency unveiled regulations that require any "entities or nodes" that provide "blockchain information services" to collect users' real names and national ID or telephone numbers. More than 500 projects had registered as of October 2019.</p><p class='black-text'>Blockchain purists would argue that this kind of centralized control defeats the purpose of the technology: shifting power to users and away from governments and banks.</p> http://www.pws.io/chinese-search-engine-baidu-launches-xuperchain-to-expand-on-blockchain-30 Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:38:49 -0500 Dexiang Gao The U.S.-Iranian Détente: A Blessing for the Business World or a Red Herring for Hope? http://www.pws.io/the-us-iranian-détente-a-blessing-for-the-business-world-or-a-red-herring-for-hope <p class='black-text'>The U.S. airstrike that killed Iran's infamous Quds Force Commander set off a chain reaction that had the world holding its breath on the potential of a disastrous showdown in the Middle East, playing <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-heads-for-worst-week-since-july-as-iran-tensions-ease-11578666292">havoc with oil prices</a> and causing the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/03/dow-futures-after-us-air-strike-kills-iran-top-military-leader.html">Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop</a>. Despite the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/world/middleeast/iran-us-missile-attacks.html">de-escalation</a> between the two countries, there is still a great deal of uncertainty if this is truly the end or just the beginning of something far more disastrous.</p><p class='black-text'>It's well known that war rarely bodes well for the economy, yet despite touting a strong economy, President Donald Trump didn't seem to consider the economic consequences of an assassination of a high-ranking Iranian general. General Qasem Soleimani, the second most powerful figure in Iran and the leader of Iran's elite Quds Force, was assassinated in a U.S. drone strike ordered by President Trump. The move caused immediate <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/03/dow-futures-after-us-air-strike-kills-iran-top-military-leader.html">economic consequences</a> for the United States; oil <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> prices jumped, and the Dow Jones <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> ended up 233.92 points down the day the assassination was announced. Investors were <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/03/dow-futures-after-us-air-strike-kills-iran-top-military-leader.html">reluctant to take risks</a> and fled to the safety of gold and treasuries. This was, however, just the reaction to Soleimani's death. In the case of an actual war, the economic consequences would have likely been far worse.</p><p class='black-text'>Following a missile attack on <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/world/middleeast/iran-us-missile-attacks.html">Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops</a>, the President and Iranian leadership appeared ready to de-escalate, causing <a href="https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-The-US-Really-Insulated-From-A-Middle-East-Oil-Outage.html">oil prices to fall</a> once again and investor confidence to recover. There is, however, no reason to believe that this is the end of the crisis with Iran; there is no reason for investors and consumers to outright panic, but consideration of the potential consequences is tantamount to weathering whatever consequences do arise.</p><p class='black-text'>Iran's conventional military has suffered under decades of U.S. sanctions, but its greatest strength lies not in the country's conventional forces, but its <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/06/middleeast/iran-us-response-walsh-analysis-intl/index.html">militia network</a>. Iran is talented at asymmetric warfare; in fact, this is where the assassinated General Soleimani succeeded most in his career. Soleimani helped establish Iran's <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/10/iran-proxy-threat-hezbollah-middle-east/">network of militia groups</a> across the Middle East, and his demise, which has caused considerable outrage in Iran, is likely also to cause outrage amongst these groups. As such, the greatest threat of retaliation has never been from Iran's army, but from its <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/10/iran-proxy-threat-hezbollah-middle-east/">allied militia forces</a>. This begs the question: if, when, and where will these groups strike? It's hard to predict, given the wide range of military and economic assets in the Middle East. Iran has publicly claimed that its retaliation will be against military targets, but economic targets are ripe for strikes if the <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-heads-for-worst-week-since-july-as-iran-tensions-ease-11578666292">September attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities</a> are any indication.</p><p class='black-text'>The economic consequences for militia attacks on U.S. interests follow patterns, which makes it possible to anticipate the potential consequences of any escalation in the Middle East. It has been <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/10/iran-proxy-threat-hezbollah-middle-east/">stated by Hesbollah</a> that "It is the American military who killed him, and it is they who will pay the price," which paints U.S. military assets as the likely target (though it would be unwise to assume economic assets are immune). Attacks against U.S. military bases could cause similar reactions in the business world that Soleimani's death did: flocking to safe havens such as gold and other currencies, a spike in oil prices, and a spike in defense stocks. Each attack brings the possibility of further U.S. retaliation and the potential for an outright war, which, while unlikely, will still cause worries amongst investors and consumers. While militia attacks by Iranian backed factions have been common in the past, <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/10/iran-proxy-threat-hezbollah-middle-east/">they may increase</a> after Soleimani's death, which could exacerbate the economic effects usually felt by said attacks.</p><p class='black-text'>Iran also possesses <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/01/11/irans-critical-cyberattack-threat-this-is-what-is-really-happening-right-now/">cyberwarfare capabilities</a> that could potentially threaten the U.S. at home, such as attacks against vital infrastructure. Iranian hackers may also target private interests, seeking to cripple the U.S. economy by <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/01/11/irans-critical-cyberattack-threat-this-is-what-is-really-happening-right-now/">stealing information</a> from businesses or launching malware attacks to cripple information systems. It is important to remember that the United States also possesses considerable cyberwarfare capabilities, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/01/11/irans-critical-cyberattack-threat-this-is-what-is-really-happening-right-now/">far surpassing Iran's</a> and that any attacks against the U.S. through the internet may result in a similar response.</p><p class='black-text'>The future of the crisis with Iran is hard to predict, but it isn't looking particularly good. The threat posed by Iran's proxy factions is considerable, and the likelihood of future attacks is high. There are, however, patterns that could allow investors and consumers to predict the economic impacts that stem from potential escalations later down the road. Attacks against U.S. interests will carry swift economic consequences, but knowing the patterns seen in recent crises can easily help to prepare for them.</p> http://www.pws.io/the-us-iranian-détente-a-blessing-for-the-business-world-or-a-red-herring-for-hope Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:32:47 -0500 Michael Mooney Amazon Calls Paypal’s Newly Acquired Extension “A Security Risk” During Peak Holiday Shopping http://www.pws.io/amazon-calls-paypals-newly-acquired-extension-a-security-risk-during-peak-holiday-shopping <p class='black-text'>During the peak of holiday shopping, some 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> users <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/10/amazon-says-uninstall-honey-which-paypal-just-paid-4-million-for.html">received an odd message</a> regarding a coupon-finder browser extension called Honey. The message read, "Honey's browser extension is a security risk... uninstall this extension immediately." The message surprised many people - perhaps PayPal <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PYPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PYPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> most of all considering they had only just paid $4 billion dollars for the start-up.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon's reasoning for calling the extension a security risk within the message itself referenced the fact that Honey "tracks your private shopping behavior, collects data... your order history and items saved, and can read or change any of your data on any website you visit." Amazon does have a competing plug-in that also automatically searches for coupons on retail sites.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our goal is to warn customers about browser extensions that collect personal shopping data without their knowledge or consent such as customer name, shipping and/or billing address and payment method from the checkout page," Amazon told CNBC.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, there are a few other suspicions as to why such a harshly worded message was sent at the peak of the shopping season.</p><p class='black-text'>PayPal was previously owned by Amazon competitor eBay <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EBAY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EBAY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EBAY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EBAY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EBAY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and PayPal is not accepted as a payment option at check-out. PayPal bought Honey in December just before Amazon sent their warning. Honey lets users find coupons on shopping sites while making a commission off each sale and currently boasts 17 million users. Honey's extension has been compatible with Amazon for nearly seven years, since it hit the market.</p><p class='black-text'>In response to Amazon's actions, a spokesperson for Honey said that their plug-in "is not - and has never been - a security risk and is safe to use."</p><p class='black-text'>"We only use data in ways that directly benefit Honey members - helping people save money and time - and in ways they would expect. Our commitment is clearly spelled out in our <a href="https://www.joinhoney.com/privacy">privacy and security policy</a>." The company said that they only use this data to find the best coupons for their customers and that they never "sell your personal information. Ever."</p><p class='black-text'>As you might expect, many Amazon users went 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> to express their surprise and confusion caused by Amazon's warning. Honey and Amazon user Ryan Hutchins, who also happens to be an editor at Politico, summed up the experience <a href="https://twitter.com/ryanhutchins/status/1208134077917913088">tweeting</a>, "Amazon is telling shoppers that the browser extension Honey... is malware... PayPal bought Honey in November for $4 billion. That's one extensive piece of Malware."</p><p class='black-text'>The message sent by Amazon included a link for customers to follow for instructions on how to uninstall the Honey plug-in, but it is currently unclear how many users actually did so.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazon-calls-paypals-newly-acquired-extension-a-security-risk-during-peak-holiday-shopping Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:23:25 -0500 Autumn McLain Xerox Secures Funding for HP Takeover Bid http://www.pws.io/xerox-secures-funding-for-hp-takeover-bid <p class='black-text'>The developing saga of the potential merger between office equipment giants Xerox <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XRX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XRX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XRX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Hewlett Packard <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HPQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HPQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HPQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HPQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HPQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has taken another turn after a previous failure on Xerox's part. After a deal fell through because of concerns over financing, Xerox has come back with secured financing and is attempting a hostile takeover HP. Multiple times now, HP has tried to scuttle Xerox's attempts to buy out the eminent manufacturer of printers and copiers, but Xerox is still insistent. The CEO of Xerox, John Visentin, had this to say: "In order to remove any doubt, we have obtained binding financing commitments. My offer stands to meet with you in person, with or without your advisors, to begin negotiating this transaction."</p><p class='black-text'>The most recent bid that Xerox is placing to take over HP is valued at roughly $33 billion, and several banks from around the world have contributed to this total. 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> and Citigroup <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are among the banks that have offered institutional funding for this buyout, along with several international partners. As a result of this recent news, Xerox stock is sitting near a 5 year high, although in recent days, the share price has taken a slight hit due to setbacks in the HP buyout. Two times now, the board of directors of HP has rejected the buyout bids, calling the offers a significant undervaluation both times.</p><p class='black-text'>Xerox has appealed to shareholders of HP to nominate new directors for the merged company. This process was opened up on Christmas Day and is expected to last roughly one month. According to an analyst following this merger closely, either Xerox or activist investor Carl Icahn is expected to play a major role in selecting the new board for the merged company. Icahn has taken fire recently, being the target of a lawsuit from an investor who alleges that he bought stock in both companies in advance of the bid.</p> http://www.pws.io/xerox-secures-funding-for-hp-takeover-bid Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:05:24 -0500 Nicholas Ezyk Stock Market Bullish Momentum Strong but Warning Signs Accumulate http://www.pws.io/stock-market-bullish-momentum-strong-but-warning-signs-accumulate <p class='black-text'>The 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> has been on a ridiculous tear since early October with a nearly 15% gain. Even more impressive has been the lack of meaningful dips, and the widespread participation with even lagging sectors breaking out higher. Some of the major catalysts were an easing in trade tensions between the US and China diffusing, the Fed committing to an even more dovish path, expectations of improving economic data, unwinding of extreme bearish sentiment, and underexposed and underperforming fund managers.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Bearish Dynamics Emerge</i></p><p class='black-text'>Given these potent factors, the bulls' dominance is not surprising. However, it's certainly surprising that the bullish price action is continuing into 2020 despite these bullish catalysts being exhausted. Now, a "phase 1" trade deal has been priced in even though doubts remain as to whether an actual agreement has been made. Recent indications are that the agreement does not seem imminent with Premier Xi Jinping refusing to meet with President Donald Trump for a signing following the APEC summit.</p><p class='black-text'>This is the inverse of early October. Another is that sentiment has gone from extreme bearishness to extreme bullishness especially in short-term measures like the put/call ratio, cash balances, and the CNN Fear/Greed Index. Back then positive trade progress kicked off the powerful rally as bearish sentiment normalized. This time, extreme bullish sentiment could lead to a wave of selling if trade tensions reignite.</p><p class='black-text'>Another risk is that the market has priced in an acceleration in economic growth that has failed to materialize. Forward-looking indicators are not behaving consistently with this outcome. Despite stock prices being depressed in early October, one bullish development was outperformance in cyclical and small-cap stocks. Currently, these sectors are underperforming. Stock market breadth has also begun diverging from prices.</p><p class='black-text'>All in all, this type of action is consistent with a bull market with declining participation. Essentially, money is moving into fewer and fewer stocks. In contrast, gains in the latter months of 2019 were fueled by expanding participation.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Strategy</i></p><p class='black-text'>This is the time for traders and investors to play defense and protect their profits. It's also a time for patience as it's not prudent to chase stocks given elevated risk at these lofty levels. Even traders who are bullish should wait for a dip for some consolidation. However, bearish traders should also exercise caution in fading this strength. These types of momentum-fueled markets are not governed by rationality. Therefore using stop-losses and sizing positions appropriately to cap risk is necessary.</p> http://www.pws.io/stock-market-bullish-momentum-strong-but-warning-signs-accumulate Tue, 14 Jan 2020 12:32:17 -0500 Jaimini Desai IPO Update: Casper Sleep Invests in the "Sleep Economy" http://www.pws.io/ipo-update-casper-sleep-invests-in-the-sleep-economy <p class='black-text'>Well-know private mattress maker Casper Sleep filed its S-1 paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The company views itself as a major player in the "<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/casper-sleep-mattress-ipo-surprising-takeaways-from-s-1-filing-2020-1#casper-may-want-to-disrupt-the-pajamas-market-5">sleep economy</a>," and sells products beyond a standard mattress. The company is not yet profitable, but is growing rapidly. Casper was valued at $1.1 billion in 2019, after investments from companies including Target (NSYE: TGT). The sleep company faces competition from mattress makers including Tempur Sealy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TPX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TPX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TPX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TPX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TPX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Sleep Number <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNBR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNBR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNBR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, as well as recent direct-to-consumer brands like Purple and Leesa. The company's filing comes from Morgan Stanley <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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>, Jefferies <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JEF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JEF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JEF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JEF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JEF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Bank of America Securities <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>, UBS Investment Group <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Citigroup <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Piper Sandler <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PIPR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PIPR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PIPR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PIPR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PIPR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Guggenheim <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>In addition, the grocery chain Albertson's announced that they will again be pursuing an IPO with the company's valuation estimated around $19 billion. Currently, the only grocery store chains that have a market cap over $1 billion are Kroger <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Sprouts Farmers Market <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SFM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SFM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SFM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SFM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SFM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Weis Markets <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here are 5 IPOs expected to price this week: </b></p><p class='black-text'>Anpac Bio-Medical Science Co., LTD. was slated to debut on the Nasdaq on Friday, but was delayed. The biotechnology company that focuses on early cancer screening and detection has raised an offering of $26,833, 870. The stock's share price is initially estimated to price between $12-$14, with 1,666,700 public shares offered.</p><p class='black-text'>I-Mab Biopharma is set to price on the global Nasdaq exchange by the end of the week. The Chinese immunotherapy biotechnology company has raised an offering of $127,777,650 and its stock is estimated to price between $12-$15. The company has offered 7,407,400 public shares.</p><p class='black-text'>Lizhi Inc. is also set to debut on the global Nasdaq exchange by January 17, with a raised market offering of $61,295,000. The Chinese podcast platform's stock is set to price between $11-$13 and has offered 4.1 million public shares. The fast-growing, unprofitable company is China's second largest audio platform and largest interactive audio entertainment platform.</p><p class='black-text'>Phoenix Tree Holdings LTD is planned to price on the New York Stock Exchange this week, with a raised offering of $201,135,000. The Chinese apartment rental platform's stock is set to price between $14.50-$16.50 and has offered 10.6 million shares.</p><p class='black-text'>Velocity Financial, LLC is the last in this latest slate of new public companies to enter the market this week. The mortgage lender will debut on the New York Stock Exchange at a share price estimated between $14-$16. The company has raised an offering of $133,400,000 and offered 7.25 million shares.</p> http://www.pws.io/ipo-update-casper-sleep-invests-in-the-sleep-economy Mon, 13 Jan 2020 19:34:15 -0500 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Markets Gain on Trade Deal Hopes http://www.pws.io/market-update-markets-gain-on-trade-deal-hopes <p class='black-text'>U.S. stocks started the week on a higher note as market participates look forward to the signing of the first part of a U.S.-China trade deal. The S&P 500 Index increased to a new midday high on Monday after reports that the U.S. is planning to remove China for a list of countries designated as currency manipulators. The U.S. Treasury Department had designated China as a currency manipulator back in August, a decision that signaled escalating U.S.-China tensions. The decision is expected to be formalized in a Treasury Department report, according to Bloomberg.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled at the beginning of a big 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>: +0.70% or +22.77 points to 3,288.12</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>: +0.29% or +82.40 points to 28,906.17</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.04% or +95.07 points to 9,273.93</p><p class='black-text'>In Major Stock News, Tesla's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> stock rose above 9.5% in midday trading after Oppenheimer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="OPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> increased its price target for the electric car company to $612 per share from $385. This move sent Tesla's stock price above $500 for the first time. Nvidia <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NVDA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NVDA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also climbed following a call from equity research firm Needham upgrading the chipmaker to hold from underperform. Beyond Meat <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BYND"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BYND</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BYND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BYND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BYND" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has continued its rally into Monday, with the stock's hares above $100 in part due to the company's expansion with McDonald's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Ford <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/F"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">F</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="F" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares dropped over 1% after the company said that sales in China fell 26.1% in 2019. This is the third straight year of decline for Ford in Chinese markets.</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock Sector News, every sector but Health Care, who declined -0.35% on Monday, had stock share growth in current U.S. markets. The sector increases are as follows: Materials +1.36%, Information Technology +1.34%, Real Estate +1.24%, Industrials +0.89%, Communication Services +0.78%, Financials +0.73%, Consumer Staples +0.68%, Utilities +0.66%, Consumer Discretionary +0.32% and Energy +0.08%.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, in Commodity and Currency News, oil prices have remained steady on Monday despite further tensions from Iran. Over the weekend, Iran admitted to it had accidentally fired a missile and downed a Ukrainian passenger plane last Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate's (NSYE: USO) barrel prices dropped over -1.70% and Brent Crude's <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> fell over -1.30% on Monday. Gold's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> prices slightly bumped up +0.01%. Finally, the U.S. Dollar took a minimal hit Monday, with the DXY Index declining -0.04%.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-markets-gain-on-trade-deal-hopes Mon, 13 Jan 2020 18:33:13 -0500 Rachel Hemple “I Still Haven’t Been Forgiven By God”; Boeing's Cover-Up Culture Exposed http://www.pws.io/i-still-havent-been-forgiven-by-god-boeings-cover-up-culture-exposed <p class='black-text'>Boeing's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> new CEO will start his new job on Monday with a lot of work to do. Last week, <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/01/09/795123158/boeing-employees-mocked-faa-in-internal-messages-before-737-max-disasters?sc=18&f=1001">Boeing released a round of documents</a>, some of which show alarming language on the part of those engineering and defending the Boeing 737 Max. This was the plane involved in two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019 resulting in the deaths of 346 people. The 737 Max is currently grounded pending Federal Aviation Administration approval, which could come as early as this spring. In fact, several airlines are already booking flights on the controversial aircraft.</p><p class='black-text'>The documents released by Boeing include emails and internal communications. There are several messages mocking the FAA and more expressing distrust of the safety of the 737 Max and ridicule for those who designed it.</p><p class='black-text'>"This airplane is designed by clowns who are in turn supervised by monkeys," one employee said.</p><p class='black-text'>Many of the concerns expressed by employees had to do with the company's Max flight simulator which they suggest misled regulators. "I still haven't been forgiven by God for the cover up I did last year," wrote one employee about the role they played in giving misleading information to the FAA in 2017.</p><p class='black-text'>There are also haunting messages calling into doubt the safety of the Max long before the two deadly crashes.</p><p class='black-text'>"Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't," one employee said to another. The response? "No."</p><p class='black-text'>House Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio said these internal communications "paint a deeply disturbing picture of the lengths Boeing was apparently willing to go to in order to evade scrutiny from regulators, flight crews, and the flying public, even as its own employees were sounding alarms internally."</p><p class='black-text'>Boeing willingly and knowingly handed over these documents which they say were written by a small number of employees. But this isn't <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/10/18/771451904/boeing-pilots-detected-737-max-flight-control-glitch-two-years-before-deadly-cra">the first time</a> this sort of damning communication has come out regarding the Max. Last October, new evidence was released showing messages between Boeing's then-chief technical pilot for the 737, Mark Forkner, and another technical pilot, Patrik Gustavsson. The messages, which came out 2 years before the first crash, read "there are still some real fundamental issues" with systems on the aircraft that he says Boeing test pilots and engineers "claim they are unaware of." "I'm outraged," DeFazio said at the time these messages came out, October 2019, and called them a "smoking gun." The FAA called the exchange of messages "concerning".</p><p class='black-text'>Now, in 2020, the FAA is working with Boeing to certify the Max. They say they are "following a thorough process for returning the Boeing 737 MAX to passenger service." It appears that this new evidence will not effect that process as "nothing in the submission pointed to any safety risks that were not already identified as part of the ongoing review," the FAA said in a statement. They did call the language in the documents "disappointing".</p><p class='black-text'>A Boeing Official, meanwhile, said that the newly revealed internal communications "are inconsistent with Boeing values, and the company is taking appropriate action in response."</p><p class='black-text'>Some of the employees who sent messages shown on the most recent documents were also a part of the conversation revealed at the end of 2019. At least one of them has even gone on to work for one of Boeing's top customers: 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>. When this was discovered at the end of 2019, Southwest said they were unaware of the messages but that they stood as "more evidence that Boeing misled pilots, government regulators and other aviation experts about the safety of the 737 MAX."</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/12/southwest-to-share-proceeds-of-boeing-compensation-deal-with-its-employees.html">Southwest</a> had 34 Max in its fleet when the grounding was announced. They have since reached an agreement with Boeing for compensation to cover losses caused by the planes grounding. The amount of compensation is undisclosed, but they will be sharing $125 million of the settlement with their employees. The companies were still in talks at the end of 2019, but Southwest expects discounts from Boeing on any of their current - and future, aircraft orders.</p> http://www.pws.io/i-still-havent-been-forgiven-by-god-boeings-cover-up-culture-exposed Mon, 13 Jan 2020 16:32:57 -0500 Autumn McLain Blockchain & Cryptocurrency in Review: Week of January 12 http://www.pws.io/blockchain-cryptocurrency-in-review-week-of-january-12 <p class='black-text'>The biggest news of the week for blockchains and cryptocurrencies was that the <a href="https://www.coindesk.com/european-crypto-firms-brace-for-higher-costs-as-amld5-takes-effect">European Union's</a> Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) went into effect on Friday. The new regulations require crypto exchanges and custodial service firms to register with their local regulators and show compliance with thorough know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies. Besides the extra KYC and reporting obligations, AMLD5 gives financial watchdogs and law enforcement greater power and oversight. The new rules are a double-edged sword for the blockchain industry, as the costs of compliance may burden smaller firms and push them to depart or merge. Deribit, a Netherlands-based crypto derivatives exchange, plans to relocate to Panama due to the burden of AMLD5. On the positive side, the long-term effect could be greater trust in the cryptocurrency sector from European financial institutions.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here is the rest of the week in review:</b></p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.coindesk.com/illinois-legalizes-blockchain-contracts">Illinois </a>became the latest U.S. state to recognize smart contracts and other blockchain-based records as legal instruments. The Blockchain Technology Act, sponsored by Rep. Keith Wheeler, took effect on the new year, legalizing a number of potential innovative scenarios for blockchain-based contracts. The law states: "A smart contract, record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature." The Illinois law extends the same legal recognition enjoyed by paper contracts to blockchain contracts so the state sees them as legally binding. The law also protections from local interference meaning municipalities cannot enact taxes and regulations or require licensing or permits on blockchain systems or people using them. But some legal experts believe the law will be tested in courts by parties who want to try to invalidate a blockchain transaction.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://ecips.ethereumclassic.org/ECIPs/ecip-1056">Ethereum Classic</a> (ETC) successfully completed the "Agharta" hard fork at block number 9,573,000 on Sunday morning, according to etcnodes.org. Similar to the network's last upgrade in September, Atlantis, Agharta makes Ethereum classic more interoperable with sister-chain Ethereum (ETH). As part of the hard fork, the Constantinople and St. Petersburg upgrades deployed in tandem on the Ethereum blockchain in February will be enabled under Ethereum Classic Improvement Proposal 1056. The 22nd largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ethereum Classic split off from Ethereum following a controversial divorce in the aftermath of the 2016 DAO hack. The Agharta hard fork is an effort toward the goal of rebuilding the relationship between the two chains.</p><p class='black-text'>Crypto prices rose to $217.6 billion this week in a somewhat convincing upward move. For the majors, Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and EOS made outsized gains, while Tether (USDT) was the only coin to slip. In the top 100, the biggest losers were Synthetix Network (SNX), down 29%, Quant (QNT), down 13%, and ABBC Coin (ABBC), down 13%. The biggest gainers were Bitcoin SV, up a whopping 43%, Ren (REN), up 31%, and Horizen (ZEN), up 25%. Next week traders will see if crypto can post another winning week.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author does not hold any positions in any of the securities above.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/blockchain-cryptocurrency-in-review-week-of-january-12 Mon, 13 Jan 2020 16:09:25 -0500 Eric Yao CES 2020 Showcases Several Upcoming Technology Based On Sleep http://www.pws.io/ces-2020-showcases-several-upcoming-technology-based-on-sleep <p class='black-text'>CES also known as Consumer Electronics Show is an annual technology conference. During the CES 2020, companies showed off many new devices and electronics that are coming in the future. A big theme that appeared over and over during this event is that humans don't get enough sleep. Many people nowadays have bad sleeping habits. As a result of this fact, there were many products showcased at the event in Las Vegas that is said to help people fall asleep, stay asleep and so on. Here are a few of the products that were displayed at CES 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>Sleep Number's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNBR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNBR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNBR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNBR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Climate360 smart bed was announced during the event. The smart bed helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night using personalized temperature control. The thermal control of the bed helps to warm the mattress while the circulating air helps to maintain your core body temperature at an optimal level for a better sleep. The smart bed is designed to create a routine that keeps you comfortable all night long. The Sleep Number's Climate360 smart bed is expected to launch in 2021 and is said to cost $8,000.</p><p class='black-text'>Motion Pillow is a pillow made by a <a href="https://observer.com/2020/01/ces-2020-sleep-tech-smart-bed-mattress-pillow-withings/" target="_blank">Korean company named TenMinds.</a> TenMinds's goal is to limit snoring. The Motion Pillow is a memory foam pillow filled with four pressure-sensing airbags that connect to an outside microphone. Once the microphone hears snoring, the pillow activates its airbags to slowly inflates one side of the pillow until it forces your head to turn. This subtle movement of the head helps to alleviate snoring allowing for a restful sleep. This is the second Motion Pillow device and is said to come out this year.</p><p class='black-text'>Ebb Insomnia Therapy is a device that cools and pumps fluid to a forehead pad that is worn through the night. The idea of this device comes from Doctor Eric Nofzinger, founder of Ebb Therapeutics. "A racing, overactive mind is the root cause of sleeplessness," <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/ces-2020-sleep-tech-all-the-products-that-will-help-you-sleep-better/" target="_blank">stated by Dr. Nofzinger.</a> The headband uses an algorithm to help a person maintain a favorable temperature range throughout one's sleep and reduce brain activity. The device is available now at $349.</p><p class='black-text'>There are many other devices that are coming to help consumers with their sleep. The CES 2020 did a good job of showing off a lot of technology to help maintain people's wellness.</p> http://www.pws.io/ces-2020-showcases-several-upcoming-technology-based-on-sleep Mon, 13 Jan 2020 16:03:44 -0500 Andrew Whyte Trump Weekly: Impeachment Is Moving Forward after Iranian De-Escalation http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-impeachment-is-moving-forward-after-iranian-de-escalation <p class='black-text'>After several days of tense and violent interactions with Iran, the world gave a collective sigh of relief after President Donald Trump reported a de-escalation with Iran - and Iran seemed to agree. Back at home, the impeachment process has been stalled for weeks, but now a trial could occur as soon as next week.</p><p class='black-text'>After Trump <a href="https://www.pws.io//trump-weekly-trump-orders-killing-of-iranian-general-leading-to-increased-middle-east-turmoil">executed an attack</a> against one of Iran's top generals, Qasem Soleimani, the country erupted into chaos. Thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Tehran and Soleimani's birthplace for his funeral which <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/01/07/iran-qasem-soleimani-funeral-procession-deaths/2830680001/">resulted in a stampede</a>. At least 56 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. Iran responded to the killing of Soleimani by firing more than a dozen missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq. <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/01/12/iran-missile-attack-intent-iraq-attack-hints-tehrans-next-move/4423175002/">In an unexpected twist</a>, thankfully, there were no casualties. The main reason why was actually Iran itself. Iran signaled the attack to American intelligence hours before it occurred. Despite this, Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard's Aerospace Force, said the attack was not meant to kill anyone "although tens of U.S. troops have likely been killed and wounded."</p><p class='black-text'>Not so, says the U.S. After initially flip-flopping on whether or not they thought Iran had meant for this to be a deadly attack, the Administration has announced that the attack was meant to be lethal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters, "There's no doubt in my judgment, as I observed the Iranian activity in the region that night, they had the full intention of carrying - killing U.S. forces, whether that was our military folks or diplomatic folks who were in the region." Experts suggest that if any Americans had been killed, retaliation would have been swift and potentially brutal.</p><p class='black-text'>On the same night as the attack, a plane bound for Ukraine from Baghdad crashed, killing 176 people. At the time, it was unclear whether or not these two events were related, and Iran was denying any involvement. Iran has since admitted that the plane was shot down accidentally by their forces.</p><p class='black-text'>The citizens of Iran are now protesting the government in massive numbers. Enraged at the accidental downing of the Ukrainian plane, protesters are calling for the removal of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and for those responsible for crash to be prosecuted.</p><p class='black-text'>In the U.S., lawmakers are concerned over the justification and legality of the inciting attack against Soleimani. The Administration has given several reasons, primarily that Soleimani presented an imminent threat. And yet, officials say they had no knowledge of any such threat. After a briefing with administration officials over the killing, Sen. Mike Lee, Rep., said the briefers were <a href="https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/477424-rand-paul-mike-lee-rip-administration-over-insulting-and-demeaning-iran">"insulting and demeaning"</a> the Senators when they asked them not to discuss the actions against Iran and their justification. In response to the President's actions surrounding the attack, Sen. Tim Kaine is planning to bring a resolution to the floor of the Senate to <a href="https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/477794-democrats-scramble-to-rein-in-trumps-iran-war-powers">limit Trump's war powers</a>. Currently, he's trying to get together enough Republicans, as well as all of the Democrats, needed to pass the resolution.</p><p class='black-text'>Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced <a href="https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/477874-pelosi-says-she-has-no-second-thoughts-on-delaying-sending">she's ready to stop stalling </a>the impeachment process. Pelosi was waiting to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate in an effort to ensure a fair trial. While that is unlikely to happen, more evidence has come out in the time that she's waited, as has an announcement from former national security advisor John Bolton that he would be willing to testify in the Senate trial. Pelosi's decision to move ahead likely came as a result of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell news that he had enough votes in the Senate to ratify a structure for the trial that will delay deciding on the question of whether or not to call witnesses.</p> http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-impeachment-is-moving-forward-after-iranian-de-escalation Mon, 13 Jan 2020 15:59:45 -0500 Autumn McLain GrubHub Shares Shot Up on Rumor of Sale, Drop With Denial of Rumor http://www.pws.io/grubhub-shares-shot-up-on-rumor-of-sale-drop-with-denial-of-rumor <p class='black-text'>A <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/grubhub-considers-strategic-options-including-possible-sale-11578505832">report by the </a><i><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/grubhub-considers-strategic-options-including-possible-sale-11578505832">Wall Street Journal</a> </i>claimed that GrubHub Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HUB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HUB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HUB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HUB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HUB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was exploring the possibility of a sale to one of its competitors; news of the potential sale had GrubHub's stocks up during trading on Wednesday, however, most of those gains were erased after GrubHub denied these rumors.</p><p class='black-text'>GrubHub's <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/08/grubhub-shares-surge-on-report-the-company-is-exploring-a-sale.html">shares shot up 12.5%</a> after the <i>Journal</i>'s report that GrubHub had taken on advisors to explore different options for the company, including a sale or possibly even an acquisition. The spike was good news for GrubHub, which has been struggling with its stock price after a dismal Q3. After the company released its Q3 report, <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/08/grubhub-said-to-explore-sale-in-boon-to-uber-doordash-others/">shares tumbled</a> from the 50s down to the mid 30s, but with the recent single-day hike, GrubHub was finally closing in on its pre-drop share price.</p><p class='black-text'>Days after the <i>Wall Street Journal</i>'s article, GrubHub would <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-great-food-delivery-fight-arrives-in-the-us/2020/01/09/9ec37870-32fa-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_story.html">dismiss these rumors</a>. This erased much of the optimism investors had on news of the sale, and resulted in a 7% drop of GrubHub's share price, erasing much of what GrubHub had gained. Given the effect the rumors had on GrubHub's share price, it has become apparent that investors favored potential consolidation.</p><p class='black-text'>Investors attitude towards consolidation is hardly surprising given recent trends. Uber <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UBER"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UBER</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UBER" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UBER" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> saw a jump in stock price after news of a potential <a href="https://www.pws.io//uber-stock-up-on-news-of-potential-sale-of-uber-eats-india-branch-to-zomato">sale of its Indian division to competitor Zomato</a>, reflecting the optimistic view many investors have towards consolidation. Many other companies have already sold off divisions abroad that weren't performing well enough; such deals have already occurred in countries such as the U.K. and South Korea. Such sales typically reduce the competition <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-great-food-delivery-fight-arrives-in-the-us/2020/01/09/9ec37870-32fa-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_story.html">down to two or three companies</a>; in an extreme case, consolidation left a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-great-food-delivery-fight-arrives-in-the-us/2020/01/09/9ec37870-32fa-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_story.html">single delivery company with hold over Germany.</a></p><p class='black-text'>Traditionally, gig-based food delivery services have not been a profitable venture. The market has essentially become <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/08/grubhub-said-to-explore-sale-in-boon-to-uber-doordash-others/">over-saturated</a>, too many companies clamor for a finite amount of demand. GrubHub competitors such as DoorDash and Uber Eats have <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/08/grubhub-said-to-explore-sale-in-boon-to-uber-doordash-others/">struggled with profitability</a>, with Uber itself being almost historic for its struggle to achieve profitability. Consolidation seems to be the solution for companies like GrubHub; reducing supply to keep pace with demand could help gig-based delivery companies finally become profitable, or at the least, could help them lose less money.</p><p class='black-text'>GrubHub is a standout from the increasingly saturated gig-delivery market; however, in that it at one point had market dominance and was <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-great-food-delivery-fight-arrives-in-the-us/2020/01/09/9ec37870-32fa-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_story.html">fairly profitable</a>. Before joining the delivery industry, GrubHub was simply a platform for <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-great-food-delivery-fight-arrives-in-the-us/2020/01/09/9ec37870-32fa-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_story.html">restaurants to connect to customers</a>; delivery was the responsibility of the restaurant itself. GrubHub took a small cut of orders made through its online storefront and avoided the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-great-food-delivery-fight-arrives-in-the-us/2020/01/09/9ec37870-32fa-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_story.html">costly overhead</a> of having to maintain its own network of couriers. GrubHub's approach was very profitable and helped secure the company as a staple in the food industry, at least until its contemporaries began building networks of couriers to deliver food independently of restaurants. GrubHub would decide to begin building a network of couriers, which would subject it to the world of red-ink and skyrocketing overhead costs associated with the gig-based delivery industry. While consolidating would have helped GrubHub, be it selling off components or the entire company to a competitor or acquiring a competing service, the path to profitability for gig-delivery services is <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-great-food-delivery-fight-arrives-in-the-us/2020/01/09/9ec37870-32fa-11ea-971b-43bec3ff9860_story.html">ambiguous at best</a>, and many services may continue to experience growing pains for the foreseeable future.</p> http://www.pws.io/grubhub-shares-shot-up-on-rumor-of-sale-drop-with-denial-of-rumor Mon, 13 Jan 2020 15:34:57 -0500 Michael Mooney New Mexico Joins Over 16,800 Asbestos-Related Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson http://www.pws.io/new-mexico-joins-over-16800-asbestos-related-lawsuits-against-johnson-johnson <p class='black-text'>Allegations that Johnson & Johnson's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> baby powder causes cancer have been surfacing for years, and the lawsuits brought against the company by victims of asbestos exposure by means of talcum are continuing into the new year and decade.</p><p class='black-text'>Johnson & Johnson currently has <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/business/johnson-johnson-baby-powder-new-mexico-suit.html" target="_blank">over 16,800 of these active lawsuits</a>, according to <i>The New York Times</i>. The plaintiffs have typically been individuals. However, the first of these lawsuits of the year against the company, filed January 2, 2020, is being led by a state.</p><p class='black-text'>Attorney General of New Mexico Hector Balderas has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and three other corporations: Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Corporation <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VRX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VRX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VRX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC.</p><p class='black-text'>Balderas is claiming that Johnson & Johnson "<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/business/johnson-johnson-baby-powder-new-mexico-suit.html" target="_blank">concealed and failed to warn consumers about the dangers</a> associated with their talc products." Furthermore, the New Mexico Attorney General says that "these products have been targeted at minority groups, especially Black and Hispanic women and children, with <a href="https://kfoxtv.com/news/local/nm-attorney-general-files-lawsuit-against-talcum-powder-company" target="_blank">false messages about their safety</a>."</p><p class='black-text'>Numerous cases have been filed and gone to trial already, but historically the courts have ruled in Johnson & Johnson's favor, at least when the plaintiffs have been individuals.</p><p class='black-text'>One such case back in October 2019 involved a woman who claimed that the company's baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. The jury did not side with the plaintiff.</p><p class='black-text'>"This is the fourth consecutive verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson in these cases and <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/johnson-johnson-stock-talc-lawsuit-51577121406" target="_blank">the eighth defense verdict this year</a>," said a Johnson & Johnson spokesperson regarding the verdict. "The jury carefully considered the decades of independent clinical evidence, which show Johnson's Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer."</p><p class='black-text'>Johnson & Johnson has remained committed that its baby powder isn't dangerous even despite an FDA finding to the contrary.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/03/johnson-johnson-confirms-no-asbestos-in-johnsons-baby-powder.html" target="_blank">The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning</a>, also in October 2019, based on a study in which they found trace amounts of asbestos in a bottle of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder, which is talcum-based. <a href="https://www.mesotheliomaguide.com/community/johnson-johnson-baby-powder-lawsuit-by-new-mexico/" target="_blank">Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles</a> based on the study.</p><p class='black-text'>However, upon conducting their own investigation of the same samples using third-party labs, the company <a href="https://www.barrons.com/articles/johnson-johnson-stock-talc-lawsuit-51577121406" target="_blank">now claims the FDA's study was flawed</a>, as the follow up found no trace amounts of asbestos.</p><p class='black-text'>The FDA stands by its findings, stating other possible reasons for the different test outcomes, such as the lack of a standard test or the irregular dispersal of asbestos within the sample bottle.</p><p class='black-text'>The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of Justice have also been conducting investigations.</p> http://www.pws.io/new-mexico-joins-over-16800-asbestos-related-lawsuits-against-johnson-johnson Mon, 13 Jan 2020 14:42:12 -0500 Rebecca O'Bern Bed Bath & Beyond's Future in Peril http://www.pws.io/bed-bath-beyonds-future-in-peril <p class='black-text'>Since 2009, the stock market has been in a bull market, the economy has expanded, and corporate earnings have steadily increased. Most sectors in the economy have tracked these gains to some extent, yet there are few sectors that have completely failed to participate in the economic growth over the past decade.</p><p class='black-text'>In fact, many are near or under their 2009 lows. This abysmal performance reflects that these businesses are in the midst of serious secular declines which threatens their survival. The most infamous example is coal stocks, many of which went bankrupt between 2011 and 2015 due to more stringent environmental regulations and falling natural gas prices. Other struggling sectors include steel stocks and select retailers.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Bed Bath & Beyond's Struggles</i></p><p class='black-text'>The struggle for retailers is not surprising as it's always been an industry with tons of churn due to people's changing tastes and competitiveness with low margins and relatively high fixed-costs. Currently, one casualty is retailers targeting the middle class such as Sears Holdings, 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>, JC Penney <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JCP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JCP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JCP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JCP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JCP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, or Bed Bath & Beyond <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>.</p><p class='black-text'>Retailers targeting the lower-end like dollar stores and big-box discounters have thrived. Additionally, online shopping is another major threat to retailers, as they can offer more options at lower prices. Further, younger people are more accustomed to shopping this way. Retail winners like 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>, 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>, or Nordstrom <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JWN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JWN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JWN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JWN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JWN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> have managed to grow their business by tapping into this growth channel.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Rough Third-Quarter Earnings</i></p><p class='black-text'>Bed Bath & Beyond's stock was almost 20% lower following its miss on sales and earnings. Further, the company withdrew its guidance for 2020, an ominous sign. The company also dismissed the bulk of its executive team due to this flagging performance.</p><p class='black-text'>Even as sales decline, the company's costs have remained consistent, leading to lower margins and unprofitable quarters. Additionally, there seems to be no strategy to change this trend other than its efforts to modernize its website and digital sales strategy to match its competitors.</p><p class='black-text'>Its stock is reasonably priced with a price to earnings ratio of 13. Stores continue to have solid foot traffic, and it ranks high in the "home goods" category. Additionally, the new CEO is from Target, where he helped to spearhead reforms that are integral to its current success. The major risk factors are that the stock could represent a value trap, as the stock is experiencing 11 straight quarters of declining revenues in a strong economy with an improving housing market.</p> http://www.pws.io/bed-bath-beyonds-future-in-peril Mon, 13 Jan 2020 14:40:36 -0500 Jaimini Desai Gold Hits Six-Year High http://www.pws.io/gold-hits-six-year-high <p class='black-text'>Gold <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has been in a bull market since late 2018, gaining nearly 25% since it bottomed around $1,175. During this period, the yield on the 10-year note was around 3.3%, and there were expectations for three or four rate hikes in 2019. Therefore, it's not a coincidence that gold moved higher as the U.S. economy decelerated due to concentrated weakness in manufacturing, and the Federal Reserve made a dovish pivot. In turn, long-term and short-term interest rates dropped to near-record lows with the 10-year yield bottoming out around 1.4%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Drivers of Gold Demand</i></p><p class='black-text'>Demand for gold is most affected by real interest rates especially on a short-term basis. Real interest rates are interest rates subtracted by inflation. So if the interest rate is 3%, and the inflation rate is 2%, then the real interest rate is 1%. Since gold is a hedge against inflation, but it doesn't earn any interest, it declines when real interest rates rise. If the risk-free return is 2%, that is also the opportunity cost of holding gold. Gold demand declines as this cost increases.</p><p class='black-text'>From late-2018 to now, real interest rates have steadily moved lower due to inflation steadily moving higher, and interest rates dropping. Looking forward, this dynamic is likely to persist and provide support for gold prices for much of the year. The Federal Reserve has clearly set its intention to not hike rates until inflation is "persistently" above its target. However, core CPI and other inflation measures are at the highest levels since 2011.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Increased Political Risk</i></p><p class='black-text'>Another contributor to gold demand is political risk. During periods of heightened political risk, investors flock to the safety of gold. Although asset markets are buoyant, there is an undercurrent of political risk given a number of combustible situations with Iran, North Korea, and China in addition to a volatile President obsessed with his reelection in an election year.</p><p class='black-text'>The last major bull market in gold was from 2001 to 2008 when it rose from $200 to above $1,000. This coincided with the last major occupation in the Middle East and also booming fiscal deficits during an expansionary period which forebodes scary things for when the US enters a recession.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Next Move</i></p><p class='black-text'>Following the Iran news, gold shot up to nearly $1,600 before quickly giving back more than $50 as odds of an intense confrontation remain distant. In the short-term, some more consolidation seems likely, however investors should continue to look to buy dips. Fundamental factors remain supportive. If inflation drops, the Fed is prepared to cut rates more. If inflation surprises on the upside, the Fed will not hike for at least a year.</p> http://www.pws.io/gold-hits-six-year-high Mon, 13 Jan 2020 13:58:10 -0500 Jaimini Desai Sony Shocks with Presentation of Electric Car Prototype http://www.pws.io/sony-shocks-with-presentation-of-electric-car-prototype <p class='black-text'>Sony <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> made a surprising splash at CES 2020 Tuesday when they <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/6/21054270/sony-vision-s-electric-concept-car-ev-announcement-ces-2020">revealed a prototype for an electric car</a> that virtually no one knew they were working on. Partnering with Bosch, NVIDIA <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NVDA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NVDA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Qualcomm <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QCOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QCOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QCOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the electronics company created a futuristic car full of sensors and other Sony technology. The Vision-S is being called one of the biggest surprises of this year's CES and functions as a showcase of Sony's technology as a whole.</p><p class='black-text'>Featuring 33 different sensors, 360 audio, always-on connectivity, and multiple widescreen displays, the vehicle is powered by a "newly-designed EV platform", most likely provided by automotive supplier Magna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MGA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MGA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MGA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MGA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MGA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, that Sony says can power other vehicle types, like SUVs. Sony paired with suppliers like Magna to bring their vision to life. Reminiscent of Porsche <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/POAHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">POAHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="POAHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="POAHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="POAHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> designs, the Vision-S is currently just a prototype; it's unclear whether or not the car will actually be put into production.</p><p class='black-text'>The Vision-S was announced at the end of Sony's press conference at CES and only a minute or two were spent discussing it before the press conference ended. Many questions remain including whether or not Magna will allow other companies to build their own reference cars on the platform. In an interview with <i><a href="https://www.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/1228035.html">Impress Watch</a></i>, Vision-S project leader Izumi Kawanishi <a href="https://www.motor1.com/news/391775/sony-car-officially-not-happening/">cleared up some of those questions.</a> He said the Vision-S is "Sony's contribution to the evolution of cars" and implied it was meant to show "what we can do with cars as Sony" rather than an actual foray into the world of auto-sales.</p><p class='black-text'>The company announced in the same briefing that their image sensor division may be moving into the realm of self-driving technology like LIDAR and Time-of-Flight cameras. Sony's CMOS sensors "achieve high sensitivity, high definition, and high dynamic range... to deliver accurate object recognition, even in situations where conventionally detection has been difficult." Sony is also using Solid State LIDAR to "gain a precise 3D grasp of real-life spaces." Looking to overcome obstacles that have caught up self driving cars in the past, Sony plans to use "sensor fusion technology... even in challenging conditions such as fog, backlight, and night-time driving." The Time-of-Flight cameras are used to monitor the inside of the car in order to provide an "optimized infotainment system".</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/6/21019829/sony-playstation-5-ps5-logo-reveal-ps4-users-numbers-ces-2020">Also at CES</a>, Sony revealed the new PlayStation 5 logo along with the news that they have sold more than 5 million PlayStation VR headsets since their launch in 2016. 104 million PS4 units have been sold, according to Sony, making it the second best-selling game console in history. Number one belongs to Sony's PS2 which sold 158 million units. The logo for the PS5 looks as expected, following the same design as the PS3 and PS4 before it. The PS5 is scheduled to launch later this year with support for 8K graphics, ray tracing, PS4 backwards compatibility, and faster SSDs to shorten loading times. The controller for the PS5 will have "adaptive triggers" that can adjust the amount of resistance you feel when you press them.</p> http://www.pws.io/sony-shocks-with-presentation-of-electric-car-prototype Fri, 10 Jan 2020 18:05:05 -0500 Autumn McLain Impossible Foods Adds Pork to Plant Based Menu http://www.pws.io/impossible-foods-adds-pork-to-plant-based-menu <p class='black-text'>Announcing earlier this week at CES 2020, Impossible Foods has added plant-based pork and sausage to its product-line. The company raised nearly $800 million in venture investment to create the products and introduced its new line called 'Impossible Pork Made from Plants' and 'Impossible Sausage Made from Plants' to the showroom attendance.</p><p class='black-text'>Impossible Pork is gluten-free and designed for kosher and halal certification, thus opening an untapped market for pork products. Impossible Pork contains fewer calories than conventional pork, as well as less total and saturated fat, no cholesterol, but a higher amount of sodium. However, the protein contain between the plant-based and conventional pork is about the same.</p><p class='black-text'>The main protein in the product is soy, with its major fat sources coming from sunflower and coconut oil. The plant-based meat includes amino acids, vitamins and sugars, as well as an ingredient that sets the meat apart from other vegetarian products which is heme. Heme is an iron-containing compound found in all living organisms. Impossible Foods uses a genetically-modified form of heme to produce the meaty flavors and smells that gained the product notoriety.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Domestic Growth</i></p><p class='black-text'>According to the Good Food Institute, a non-profit that supports plant-based businesses, sales of pork alternatives grew nearly 15% in the United States for the year-to-date of April 2019. During that period, demand for jackfruit, which is a popular plant that is used to mimic pork in vegetarian dishes, increased almost 20%.</p><p class='black-text'>Beyond pork, the growth and demand for plant-based alternatives to meat has been expanding. Impossible Foods products are served at popular food-chains like Burger King <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BKC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BKC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BKC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BKC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BKC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, White Castle, Applebee's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RRGB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RRGB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RRGB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RRGB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RRGB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, among others. Beyond Meat <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BYND"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BYND</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BYND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BYND" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BYND" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which is a popular competitor to Impossible Foods, has partnered with large food-chains like McDonald's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> KFC <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/YUM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">YUM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="YUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="YUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="YUM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Dunkin' Brands <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DNKN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DNKN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DNKN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DNKN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DNKN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Blue Apron <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/APRN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">APRN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="APRN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="APRN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="APRN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Famous Dave's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAVE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAVE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAVE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAVE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAVE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and many more.</p><p class='black-text'>Plant-based meat is still a small sector compared to the meat industry, but it is growing. Last May, analysts at Barclays <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BCS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BCS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BCS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BCS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BCS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> predicted that the alternative meat sector could reach about $140 billion in sales over the next decade, which would be 10% of the global meat industry.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Focus on Asia</i></p><p class='black-text'>Beyond U.S. markets, alternative meat products have huge growth opportunities in Asia.</p><p class='black-text'>"Pigs are the single most popular source of meat globally and particularly in Asia," Brown <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/06/business/impossible-foods-pork-ces/index.html">said last month</a>. "Internationally, it's clearly number one, and our goal [and] our mission is global. For us to have an impact, particularly in Asia, pork is kind of a no-brainer."</p><p class='black-text'>The Impossible Brand's interest in Asia came before the recent swine flue outbreak, which has dramatically affected regional pork prices and killed an estimated half of China's pig population. Pork in China now costs nearly 70% more than it did last year, according to data from <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/16/business/african-swine-fever-china-pork-pigs/index.html">China's National Bureau of Statistics</a>. Pork makes up around 70% of a Chinese citizen's total meat consumption, with the average person eating around 20 kilograms per year.</p><p class='black-text'>There is "inherent vulnerability of a supply chain that dependent on animals," Caroline Bushnell, associate director of corporate engagement at the Good Food Institute stated on the manner of China's recent swine flu epidemic. "We're absolutely seeing that this current pork shortage has created a gap that the next generation of plant-based pork is perfectly poised to fill."</p><p class='black-text'><i>Climate Change and Business Impact</i></p><p class='black-text'>"What we're working on is the most significant science project and business endeavor in the world," CEO Pat Brown <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ces-2020-impossible-foods-to-add-pork-and-sausage-to-menu-ahead-of-possible-ipo-2020-01-06">stated</a>. The company is not just following up their successful debut of the Impossible Burger, which is a plant-based burger that mimics the taste and smell of hamburger patties, but is also continuing to plan their company's strategy to address the "two biggest threats to the world: climate change and the meltdown of biodiversity."</p><p class='black-text'>According to Brown, the animal-farming industry is responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than the entire global transportation industry and uses 45% of land that's not covered by ice, using land "that should be capturing carbon through trees and grasslands."</p><p class='black-text'>The plant-based meat brands are aiming to eliminate the reliance on meat products from animal farming to help diminish the environmental impact these traditional practices have. For now, plant-based meat is generally more expensive for average consumers than animal meat. But price change can come very soon as companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible grow and make plant-based products more of a mainstream demand.</p> http://www.pws.io/impossible-foods-adds-pork-to-plant-based-menu Fri, 10 Jan 2020 17:57:37 -0500 Rachel Hemple Chinese Streaming Giant Bilibili and QQ Music Team Up http://www.pws.io/chinese-streaming-giant-bilibili-and-qq-music-team-up <p class='black-text'>China's biggest anime streaming site Bilibili <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BILI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BILI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BILI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BILI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BILI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced a partnership with gaming giant Tencent's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TCEHY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TCEHY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TCEHY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> music streaming platform QQ Music to promote and support independent artists and musicians.</p><p class='black-text'>Through this partnership, Bilibili will host multiple online activities jointly with QQ Music. The two platforms will work together to create a series of music videos for outstanding creators, invite well-known musicians to remix certain songs and produce boutique music albums.</p><p class='black-text'>The partnership will allow verified artists to receive support and exposure across Bilibili and QQ Music's platforms. In addition, the two sides will also hold offline exchanges and concerts to provide musicians with more professional training and performance opportunities.</p><p class='black-text'>Bilibili and QQ Music will also jointly host a number of online tryouts for music content creators, rewarding winners with custom-made music videos and guidance from professional producers.</p><p class='black-text'>Commenting on the cooperation announcement, Li Ni, Vice Chairman and COO of Bilibili, said: "Bilibili is home to a large number of talented music creators and enthusiasts who are keen on secondary creation. As a leading domestic digital music platform, QQ Music has accumulated abundant experience in music copyright management, record distribution, as well as the support and promotion of musicians. We look forward to making more efforts to help outstanding musicians grow and benefit more music lovers."</p><p class='black-text'>The number of music creators on Bilibili has exceeded 500,000, with over 1,000 original music works created each month. The total interactive engagements on videos in Bilibili's music section have exceeded 2.2 billion, with the total number of bullet chats exceeding 320 million. Remixed versions of "Are you OK", "Gokuraku Joudo", "Big Bowl Thick Noodle" and many other hit songs have gone viral on Chinese internet.</p><p class='black-text'>This is not the first partnership between Tencent and Bilibili. In October 2018, the two companies announced a strategic partnership in anime content and games.</p> http://www.pws.io/chinese-streaming-giant-bilibili-and-qq-music-team-up Fri, 10 Jan 2020 15:34:15 -0500 Dexiang Gao Yum! Brands Aquire Habit Burger Grill to Enter Fast-Casual Restaurant Industry http://www.pws.io/yum-brands-aquire-habit-burger-grill-to-enter-fast-casual-restaurant-industry <p class='black-text'>Yum! Brands <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/YUM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">YUM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="YUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="YUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="YUM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is attempting to break into the fast-casual restaurant market through a $375 million acquisition of Habit Restaurants Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HABT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HABT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HABT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HABT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HABT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. This will give the owner of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza hut a better opportunity during the struggle of these well known fast food places.</p><p class='black-text'>Habit Burger Grill, operated by Habit Restaurants, was founded in 1969 with almost 280 locations with several locations in China. The acquisition will close before the next quarter begins.</p><p class='black-text'>"As a fast-casual concept with strong unit economics, the Habit Burger Grill is a fantastic addition to the Yum family and has significant untapped growth potential in the U.S. and internationally," CEO David Gibbs, who recently took over the company, said in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'>With the fast food industry going through a struggle as customer dining trends are declining, this deal seems to have come at the perfect time for these companies. More customers are becoming conscious about their food choices and are choosing healthier places such as Chipotle Mexican Grill <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CMG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CMG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CMG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CMG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CMG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> or Sweetgreen for food that seems to be the higher quality option. These places also cater to customers who do not have time to have a sit-down meal.</p><p class='black-text'>The fast-casual market has not had a rapid growth in their traffic, but has had growth nonetheless, still managing to outdo the fast-food industry. According to information from the NPD Group Crest service, traffic at fast-casual has increased by 3% in 2019.</p><p class='black-text'>The deal will permit Yum to break back into the Burger industry since they sold A&W Restaurants. They plan to put Habit in the burger market to challenge its champion, McDonald's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>If this plan of action takes off, it could bring in as much profit as McDonald's did when they purchased Chipotle. McDonald's purchased Chipotle in 1998 and turned a huge profit by the end of 2006, exceeding $1 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>"Since completing its transformation to a wholly franchisee company, Yum! has been intimating that it would be receptive to an acquisition and we believe starting small is appropriate to mitigate risk and prove out the company's ability to successfully integrate and grow a concept," Bernstein analyst Sara Senatore wrote in a note Monday.</p> http://www.pws.io/yum-brands-aquire-habit-burger-grill-to-enter-fast-casual-restaurant-industry Fri, 10 Jan 2020 15:18:02 -0500 Rebecca Coram Rumors Swirl of Buffett Buying Into Boeing http://www.pws.io/rumors-swirl-of-buffett-buying-into-boeing <p class='black-text'>On Monday, Boeing's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares rose sharply on rumors that Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BRK.A"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BRK.A</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BRK.A" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BRK.A" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BRK.A" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was buying a stake in the company. Boeing has had a rough few months, largely due to issues surrounding its 737MAX planes which have been consistently hit with mechanical problems. Eventually, it led to the ouster of the company's CEO, Denis Muilenberg with Dave Calhoun.</p><p class='black-text'>The company's stock price has also been stagnant since these issues emerged. 2019 was a strong year for most defense and aerospace stocks due to higher than expected defense spending in the U.S., the steep drop in interest rates, and recession fears leading to investors seeking refuge in more defensive sectors.Therefore, Boeing's underperformance is more notable given these secular tailwinds.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Boeing Perfect for Buffet</i></p><p class='black-text'>It's also unsurprising that Buffet would be interested in Boeing given his investment philosophy and Boeing's characteristics. Further, Buffet has accumulated $130 billion in cash. Boeing is one of the few liquid stocks that Buffett can buy that is cheap relative to the broader market.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, it's only cheap due to the controversies related to the 737MAX which doesn't seem close to being resolved anytime soon. Despite this near-term hurdle, Boeing's long-term fortunes are unaffected. It's only real competitor is Airbus which is plagued with its own set of issues. It's also not an industry ripe for disruption due to the massive and complicated supply lines, regulatory issues, expenses, and technical expertise necessary.</p><p class='black-text'>Buying into Boeing during its period of struggle also fits in with Buffet's history of buying brand-name, iconic American companies when they are trading at a discount, typically when the company's fortunes are dented due to a combination of bad luck or decisions. Some examples include American Express <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AXP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AXP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AXP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AXP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AXP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Coca-Cola <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and 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>.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Interest in Air Sector</i></p><p class='black-text'>In addition to fitting in with Buffet's historical pattern, this move would also be consistent with his recent investments in airlines like Delta Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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>, 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>, and 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>. He also bought Precision Castparts, a major supplier to Airbus and Boeing at a multiple of 17.5 in early-2017.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, Boeing is trading at a lower multiple, around 16. The multiple is even cheaper given that interest rates are significantly lower now than at the time of the Precision Castparts deal. Basically if Buffet liked that deal, then the Boeing deal is even more attractive.</p> http://www.pws.io/rumors-swirl-of-buffett-buying-into-boeing Fri, 10 Jan 2020 14:53:30 -0500 Jaimini Desai Former Walmart CEO Predicts Retail Changes For 2020s http://www.pws.io/former-walmart-ceo-predicts-retail-changes-for-2020s <p class='black-text'>Technology <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has begun to reach retail as 2020 makes its entrance. The former president and CEO of 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> Bill Simon stated that the new decade will end the normal procedure of carrying a pile of clothes into a dressing room.</p><p class='black-text'>"Could we have virtual changing rooms so that you can just scan an item in a store with your phone and try it on yourself without actually having to go try it on?" Simon said on "Squawk on the Street," hosted by CNBC.</p><p class='black-text'>The past ten years has displayed a decline in the retail market due to places like Amazon. Many retail companies have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to this decline, Radioshack, Toys R Us and Sears just to name a few. Other companies have moved their locations to smaller sites in order to reduce their costs. "There's just amazing technology that's already available that if it were applied to retail would fundamentally change the shopping experience," Simon continued.</p><p class='black-text'>Simon was president and CEO of Walmart from 2010 to 2014. He explained that a vast majority of retail sales are made through actual stores in the past.</p><p class='black-text'>This is said to change in the next decade, making it easier for stores to benefit from both physical stores and online stores. Simon named 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> as the perfect example of a retailer that "actually makes money," with their digital retail market.</p><p class='black-text'>The bulk of Targets' success has come through the the perk that they offer which allows customers to shop online from home and receive their purchased items the same day. This is achieved through the common curbside pickup option and same-day delivery.</p><p class='black-text'>Simon also commented on the expansion of 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 their integration of Whole Foods <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WFM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> into their company and the grand opening of several physical stores all over the country.</p><p class='black-text'>All of the changes that have been made in major retailers have been in the attempts to give "the customer what they want," Simon said. "Whether it be order online, ship to home; order online, pick up in store."</p><p class='black-text'>The technology that is on its way to retailers, is said to forever change the shopping experience and "opens up fascinating opportunities for companies and consumers," Simon said.</p> http://www.pws.io/former-walmart-ceo-predicts-retail-changes-for-2020s Fri, 10 Jan 2020 14:28:42 -0500 Rebecca Coram U.S. Enters 2020 in the Longest Economic Expansion Ever http://www.pws.io/us-enters-2020-in-the-longest-economic-expansion-ever <p class='black-text'>As of 2020, the U.S. has officially lasted an entire decade without entering a recession. This is the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/19/us-economy-avoids-a-recession-for-the-longest-time-ever.html">longest period of economic growth</a> in U.S. history, but the growth has also been historically slow.</p><p class='black-text'>The beginning of the decade saw the U.S. just beginning to recover from the Great Recession, the worst economic recession in the U.S. since the Great Depression. Basically, there was no way to go but up - as long as policymakers made smart decisions. So far, it seems that they did.</p><p class='black-text'>The country has now seen 126 straight months without a recession, a record breaking streak of expansion that began in 2009. However, the expansion that has happened has been slower than in previous economic booms. The unemployment rate, for instance, was so high at the beginning of the decade that it's just taken a long time to turn it around.</p><p class='black-text'>As a rule, expansions have been lasting longer since 1945. This is largely because policymakers and the Federal Reserve have improved and learned from past mistakes. The Fed has managed to keep borrowing rates low, excluding a quick cut in 2019 in response to economic uncertainty.</p><p class='black-text'>Some analysts say that we're still doing well today because of the stimulus package and quantitative easing after the Great Recession. Because of this aggressive action by policymakers, the U.S. has recovered from the recession faster than other advanced economies.</p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/making-sense/can-the-longest-economic-expansion-in-u-s-history-last">biggest winners</a> in this expansion are those who were unemployed during the recession and the wealthiest Americans. Extremely low interest rates meant investors could use loans to create more wealth. Those who are involved in the stock market have benefited greatly, but those without stocks didn't benefit from the low rates. This is largely because corporations participated in stock buybacks rather than investing in workers and raising wages.</p><p class='black-text'>Many analysts attribute the length and sluggishness of this expansion to the risk-aversion consumers and businesses developed because of fear of another downturn in the economy. This caution has led to a more stable economic development with low inflation, but also a slow one. Because of the steadiness, however, analysts say there's not much reason for the expansion to end.</p><p class='black-text'>There are still some factors that could threaten the growth. Debt, particularly student and corporate debt, is at an all time high. This is partly because of the record low interest rates. <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/18/a-10-trillion-debt-burden-coming-due-one-day-could-hit-the-stock-market-and-amazon-ubs-proposes.html">Corporate debt</a> has exploded in the past decade, now reaching over $10 trillion. This high level of corporate debt could lead to drops in stock price in 2020 and downgrading of credit rating for some big companies like 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> , 3M <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MMM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MMM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MMM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MMM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MMM" 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>.</p><p class='black-text'>Political and trade uncertainty could also cause problems for the economy, and wealth and income inequality have become alarmingly high, in part because of the lack of investment in increasing workers' wages.</p><p class='black-text'>Just as many give credit for the long expansion to good policy decisions, they agree that bad policy decisions are what could threaten it most.</p> http://www.pws.io/us-enters-2020-in-the-longest-economic-expansion-ever Fri, 10 Jan 2020 14:18:19 -0500 Autumn McLain Market Update: iPhone Sales in China Bring Apple's Stock a New Record High http://www.pws.io/market-update-iphone-sales-in-china-bring-apples-stock-a-new-record-high <p class='black-text'>U.S. stocks continued Wednesday's gains throughout trading Thursday as U.S.-Iran tensions eased over investors. Stock futures extend gains, while commodities pared last week's explosive gains. Adding to the relief, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-09/china-says-liu-to-visit-washington-from-jan-13-for-deal-signing">Bloomberg reported</a> Thursday that China has confirmed that Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington to sign that 'phase one' trade deal with the U.S. next week. The Vice Premier will visit the U.S. from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, according to China's Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the major U.S. market indices closed 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>: +0.67% or +21.65 points</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>: +0.74% or +211.81 points</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +0.81% or +74.18 points</p><p class='black-text'>In Stock News, 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> shares climbed today to a record high after data from the Chinese government showed <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/09/apple-stock-hits-new-all-time-high-on-china-iphone-sales-data.html">iPhone sales in China increased</a> 18% in December. Alphabet <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> rose after 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> raised its price target on the Google parent's stock, citing a healthy advertising business. For retail, Kohl's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KSS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KSS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KSS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KSS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KSS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and J.C. Penny <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JCP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JCP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JCP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JCP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JCP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> fell after both companies posted a sales decline during the recent holiday season. 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> shares also plummeted after reporting Q3 results that missed expectations.</p><p class='black-text'>In Sector News, all 11 sectors had positive growth on Thursday. The increases are as follows: Information Technology +1.13%, Financials +0.77%, Energy +0.76%, Consumer Staples +0.73%, Consumer Discretionary +0.56%, Utilities +0.52%, Health Care +0.47%, Industrials +0.46%, Materials +0.33%, Communication Services +0.26% and Real Estate +0.06%.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, in Commodity and Currency News, oil prices continue to fall as market participants recover from last week's panic. West Texas Intermediate <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/USO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">USO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="USO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="USO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> fell over -0.62% and 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> decreased over -0.50%. Gold <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GLD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GLD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GLD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GLD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> also continues to fall, with the metal's price dropping almost -0.30%. However, the metal's price per ounce is still over $1,550. Finally, the U.S. Dollar maintained its gains as it closed on Thursday, with the DXY Index increasing +0.12%.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-iphone-sales-in-china-bring-apples-stock-a-new-record-high Thu, 09 Jan 2020 17:15:38 -0500 Rachel Hemple Universal Resort Partners with Yum in China http://www.pws.io/universal-resort-partners-with-yum-in-china <p class='black-text'>On Tuesday, Universal Beijing Resort and Yum China Holdings, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/YUMC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">YUMC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="YUMC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="YUMC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="YUMC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced an eight-year strategic partnership to "jointly provide fun and innovative entertainment and dining experiences across China."</p><p class='black-text'>The partnership will see both companies working together to launch a series of online and offline marketing initiatives, leveraging the brands and IPs of the Universal Beijing resort, to provide opportunities for the theme park's guests, movie fans, and Yum China's Chinese customers.</p><p class='black-text'>At the same time, this partnership will also include a series of cross-promotional marketing activities across China along with a fresh KPRO restaurant at the Universal CityWalk Beijing retail, dining and entertainment complex.</p><p class='black-text'>Yum China's special promotions will be conducted across its over 8,000 stores throughout China, spanning its KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell brands and will be geared towards Yum China's 230 million digital members.</p><p class='black-text'>"Joint membership activities held by both corporations will offer consumers added convenience and plenty of fun and exciting experiences, such as exploring the opportunity of enabling Yum China's digital members to purchase resort tickets through our digital platforms. The powerful membership systems of both parties offer a solid foundation to explore more opportunities for future cooperation," said Johnson Huang, general manager of KFC China.</p><p class='black-text'>The strategic partnership will bring together Universal Beijing Resort, a widely anticipated theme park destination scheduled to open in 2021, and Yum China, the largest restaurant company in China in terms of restaurant numbers and revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>Backed by solid expansion strategies and robust brand image, shares of Yum have already surged 38.6% compared with the industry's growth of 19.2%.</p><p class='black-text'>Universal Beijing Resort is a widely anticipated theme park destination that will feature the Universal Studios Beijing theme park, the Universal CityWalk Beijing retail, dining and entertainment complex and two hotels. The hotels include the Universal Studios Grand Hotel, the first-ever Universal-themed resort hotel, and the first NUO-branded resort hotel from Beijing Tourism Group.</p><p class='black-text'>The Universal Studios Beijing theme park will also feature seven highly themed and immersive lands that include several all-new attractions along with the selected Universal rides, shows and attractions from around the world - plus specially created experiences designed to reflect China's cultural heritage.</p> http://www.pws.io/universal-resort-partners-with-yum-in-china Thu, 09 Jan 2020 12:30:47 -0500 Dexiang Gao YouTube Enacts FTC Mandated Regulations After COPPA Violation http://www.pws.io/youtube-enacts-ftc-mandated-regulations-after-coppa-violation <p class='black-text'>YouTube has <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/6/21051465/youtube-coppa-children-content-gaming-toys-monetization-ads">enacted sweeping changes</a> to its platform targeting children's content after being fined by the FTC for COPPA violations in a move that has brought mixed reactions from content creators and advocates.</p><p class='black-text'>YouTube was the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/01/06/youtube-overhauls-advertising-data-collection-kids-content/">subject of complaints</a> to the FTC by advocacy groups who asserted that the platform had violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act due to its <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/technology/youtube-children-privacy.html">practice of collecting the private information of child users</a> and using it to launch targeted ad campaigns at them. As a result of the resulting FTC investigation, YouTube's parent company, Alphabet <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, was forced to pay $170 Million in fines and enact changes to comply with COPPA.</p><p class='black-text'>The changes to the platform are <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/6/21051465/youtube-coppa-children-content-gaming-toys-monetization-ads">far-encompassing</a>; on all videos targeted at young users, targeted ads are prohibited from being run, and certain features such as comments and live chat are disabled. Content Creators are <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/6/21051465/youtube-coppa-children-content-gaming-toys-monetization-ads">required to distinguish</a> if their videos are made for children or not as well. What is and isn't children's entertainment is mostly up to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/01/06/youtube-overhauls-advertising-data-collection-kids-content/">self-classification by content creators and specialized software</a>, the distinction may mainly fall along the lines of the <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/6/21051465/youtube-coppa-children-content-gaming-toys-monetization-ads">FTC's classification of child-oriented content</a>, which is if whether or not the content is intended for children and what the content is, such as if it includes popular video games aimed at young audiences or popular toy brands.</p><p class='black-text'>While some welcome the changes, some are voicing concern that the changes might not be enough. "There's still a gray area for content that may not obviously be for children, but is mostly viewed by children," Josh Golin, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said regarding the changes, "The burden is largely on creators to police the site and not enough on YouTube." There are concerns that other problems have been overlooked, such as YouTube incentivizing users to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/01/06/youtube-overhauls-advertising-data-collection-kids-content/">remain on the website for as long as possible</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The changes come as concerns regarding data collection and privacy invasion of children are becoming more widespread. The popular social media app TikTok was also <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/technology/youtube-children-privacy.html">required to pay fines</a> to the FTC for COPPA violations.</p> http://www.pws.io/youtube-enacts-ftc-mandated-regulations-after-coppa-violation Thu, 09 Jan 2020 12:23:59 -0500 Michael Mooney Difference Between Direct Listing and IPO http://www.pws.io/difference-between-direct-listing-and-ipo <p class='black-text'>Direct listings onto the stock market have been a recent trend among <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/investor-advocates-see-risks-in-silicon-valleys-favorite-ipo-alternative-11578047400">Silicon Valley </a>startups lately, with many entrepreneurs considering it a quick and convenient way to raise capital.</p><p class='black-text'>However, even though this is a method that has been employed by tech giants like <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/investor-advocates-see-risks-in-silicon-valleys-favorite-ipo-alternative-11578047400">Spotify <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPOT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPOT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPOT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPOT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPOT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Slack <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WORK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WORK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WORK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WORK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WORK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>,</a> investors consider direct listings to be risky and unconventional. They do not possess the typical regulations an IPO would.</p><p class='black-text'>On one hand, an IPO involves the following: First, a company would file an <a href="https://news.crunchbase.com/news/ipo-vs-direct-listing/">S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission</a>. This would then be approved or not depending on financial stability and relevant accounts. Then, the company would clearly define their target range for how much capital it wants to raise with the IPO. After that, it sets a price range for price per share, settles on a price and then sells a block of shares for that price to institutional investors. Once this process is complete, then a company can officially launch an IPO.</p><p class='black-text'>On the other hand, a direct listing is a cousin of an IPO, with the same ultimate outcome <i>without</i> all the <a href="https://news.crunchbase.com/news/ipo-vs-direct-listing/">preliminary steps.</a> That is, a direct listing will not set any price targets for its shares and wade into the water with institutional investors: instead, it launches its shares directly at market, without any real gauge for demand or accuracy in pricing.</p><p class='black-text'>"A traditional IPO involves underwriters and other professionals with deep knowledge of the company-and clear legal obligations-helping to set the terms," <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/investor-advocates-see-risks-in-silicon-valleys-favorite-ipo-alternative-11578047400">said</a> Tyler Gellasch, executive director of Healthy Markets Association, an investor group. "With a direct listing, the legal obligations of those setting the prices are not as clear. That's a new risk for investors."</p><p class='black-text'>A key difference here is thus that there are no underwriters involved in a <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/investing/difference-between-ipo-and-direct-listing/">direct listing</a>. A lot of what the underwriter does is to determine the initial offer price of the shares, smoothen out the process of dealing with regulatory requirements, purchasing the available shares from the company and then selling them to investors via their own established distribution networks.</p><p class='black-text'>Hence, it makes sense for a company to pursue a direct listing if it already has a very <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/investor-advocates-see-risks-in-silicon-valleys-favorite-ipo-alternative-11578047400">established</a> brand and market presence. Even then, both Slack and Spotify did not fare well with their initial direct listings. Though Slack went public in June, its stock has plummeted by <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/investor-advocates-see-risks-in-silicon-valleys-favorite-ipo-alternative-11578047400">42%, while the S&P 500 has climbed 9.5%.</a></p><p class='black-text'>Direct listings thus come with extreme risk, though they are less costly, while IPOs are more secure. Investors are thus wary of the former.</p> http://www.pws.io/difference-between-direct-listing-and-ipo Thu, 09 Jan 2020 12:20:10 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar Delta Employees Sue Uniform Manufacturer Over Health Concerns http://www.pws.io/delta-employees-sue-uniform-manufacturer-over-health-concerns <p class='black-text'>Delta Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> employees are <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/delta-employees-sue-clothing-manufacturer-lands-end-over-uniforms-2020-01-03">suing Lands End Inc.</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> over health complications allegedly stemming from uniforms purchased from the company.</p><p class='black-text'>The lawsuit, filed by <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/delta-employees-sue-clothing-manufacturer-lands-end-over-uniforms-2020-01-03">500 current and former employees</a>, including flight attendants, ticket agents, gate agents, and Sky Club workers, alleges that the uniforms are responsible for a litany of health problems now faced by the employees. Among the <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/delta-employees-sue-clothing-manufacturer-lands-end-over-uniforms-2020-01-03">medical issues supposedly caused by the uniforms</a> are rashes, hair loss, low white blood cell counts, migraines, breathing difficulties, and boils, among other issues. The pending litigation asserts that the chemicals used in the uniforms to make them waterproof, wrinkle and stain resistant, among other qualities, is the culprit behind the health problems faced by Delta employees. The lawsuit has <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/01/03/lands-end-sued-by-more-delta-air-lines-employees.html">pointed to a report</a> by the National Institute of Occupational Safe and Health from June of last year to support their claim; the NIOSH concluded that chemicals used in the uniforms could be responsible for the health problems faced by employees.</p><p class='black-text'>The lawsuit against Lands End is only the second stemming from health concerns regarding the uniforms, with a previous lawsuit being <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/story/delta-employees-sue-clothing-manufacturer-lands-end-over-uniforms-2020-01-03">filed in October</a>. Lands End <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/01/03/lands-end-sued-by-more-delta-air-lines-employees.html">responded to the lawsuits </a>stating that the symptoms "are not the result of any negligence, product defects, or breaches of any warranty attributable to Lands' End." Delta <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2020/01/03/lands-end-sued-by-more-delta-air-lines-employees.html">supports Lands End's conclusion</a>, despite numerous complaints from its employees.</p><p class='black-text'>Health concerns stemming from uniforms are nothing new to the airline industry. In 2010, 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> issued new uniforms to its employees that <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/7/16/20686075/flight-attendants-uniform-sick-delta-alaska-twin-hill-lands-end?amp;">supposedly caused similar problems</a> with employees. A lawsuit was <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/7/16/20686075/flight-attendants-uniform-sick-delta-alaska-twin-hill-lands-end?amp;">filed by employees</a> against uniform manufacturer Twin Hill, a lawsuit that the company would later win. 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> would issue new uniforms from Twin Hill to its employees in 2016; shortly thereafter, employees began to <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/7/16/20686075/flight-attendants-uniform-sick-delta-alaska-twin-hill-lands-end?amp;">report similar health concerns</a>. In 2017, American Airlines employees filed a lawsuit against Twin Hill.</p><p class='black-text'>While much of the current litigation has yet to reach any conclusions, research being conducted by a Harvard research group has <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/7/16/20686075/flight-attendants-uniform-sick-delta-alaska-twin-hill-lands-end?amp;">found a correlation</a> between the health problems faced by employees and the uniforms they wear, particularly flight attendants. The study showed a spike in health complaints after the issuing of the uniforms, and a sudden drop after their recall.</p> http://www.pws.io/delta-employees-sue-uniform-manufacturer-over-health-concerns Thu, 09 Jan 2020 12:13:48 -0500 Michael Mooney