Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2022, Passport to Wall Street 60 Bank of England Intervenes in Bond Market http://www.pws.io/bank-of-england-intervenes-in-bond-market <p class='black-text'>2022 has been an extraordinary year for financial markets. It's somewhat of a reversal of what we've experienced for much of the last decade as the real economy is doing much better than the markets. This has included such unimaginable developments as inflation hitting its highest level in decades, crashes and liquidation for many speculative assets, and a job market that won't crack despite the Federal Reserve's increasingly aggressive policy.</p><p class='black-text'>We can add to this list the Bank of England intervening in the bond market, following steep losses due to incoming Prime Minister Truss' economic plan that is going to increase deficits despite the central bank hiking rates and sky-high inflation. Adding to the pain was the sharp drop in the British Pound which also makes U.K. bonds less attractive to foreign buyers.</p><p class='black-text'>The major impetus for the intervention was that many pension funds are large owners of U.K. government bonds. Steep losses in the value of these assets could have led to nasty, spillover effects that could destabilize markets and lead to even more selling.</p><p class='black-text'>As a result, the Bank of England is embarking on a 2-week purchase program for bonds. It will also delay the winding down of its balance sheet. Of course, this is essentially a version of quantitative easing (QE) which is at odds with its goal of curbing inflation. The central bank said the intervention was necessary to prevent credit from not flowing in the real economy, and it would continue on "whatever scale is necessary".</p><p class='black-text'>For many market participants, the main question is whether this confluence of events in England was an anomaly or is it a preview of what European economies are going to face in the coming months because they are battling with the same issues of energy security and accelerating inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>The move is expected to allow pension funds to rebalance their holdings and not be forced to liquidate at depressed prices. The central bank stressed that this is a temporary decision, and it still sees total sales of £80 billion in bonds this year. However, many economists are skeptical that this is workable especially if the deficit is exploding as higher rates will only add to funding pressure.</p> http://www.pws.io/bank-of-england-intervenes-in-bond-market Fri, 30 Sep 2022 11:17:51 -0400 Jaimini Desai Google to Shutdown Stadia Early Next Year http://www.pws.io/google-to-shutdown-stadia-early-next-year <p class='black-text'>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> announced this week that it is shuttering its game streaming service Stadia early next year, giving subscribers access to the games library through Jan. 18. After that, the service will be shut down for good.</p><p class='black-text'>The digital gaming service, which launched in 2019, "hasn't gained the traction with users," that Google expected, wrote Phil Harrison, vice president and general manager of Stadia, in a <a href="https://blog.google/products/stadia/message-on-stadia-streaming-strategy/">blogpost</a>. "We've made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service."</p><p class='black-text'>For many Stadia users, this announcement came without warning, as Google has not previously disclosed internal issues with the streaming service. Back in July, the company <a href="https://twitter.com/GoogleStadia/status/1552989433590214656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1552989433590214656%7Ctwgr%5E0edc49b20ae58fa96a3ee29afc7bfa592b2e6861%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftechcrunch.com%2F2022%2F09%2F29%2Fgoogle-pulls-the-plug-on-stadia%2F">wrote in a 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> reply</a>: "Stadia is not shutting down. Rest assured we're always working on bringing more great games to the platform and Stadia Pro."</p><p class='black-text'>However, it seems there was some underlying financial issues with the platform for years. Last year, Google ended the Stadia Games and Entertainment team, which was created to develop original games for the service.</p><p class='black-text'>While it may be a surprise, the end of Stadia correlates with CEO Sundar Pichai's plan announced earlier this month to make the company 20% more productive. These efforts include product and headcount cuts, according to Pichai, as the company is met with macroeconomic headwinds and slowing growth.</p><p class='black-text'>"We want to make sure as a company, when you have fewer resources than before, you are prioritizing all the right things to be working on and your employees are really productive that they can actually have impact on the things they're working on so that's what we are spending our time on," Pichai said at Code Conference in Los Angeles on Sept. 6.</p><p class='black-text'>Google said it will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, as well as all game and add-on content purchases at the Stadia store. The company will turn off all Stadia servers on Jan. 18, and expects to complete the majority of refunds by then.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite the shutdown, Google plan to implement its cloud streaming technology for other projects in the future, according to Harrison.</p><p class='black-text'>"The underlying technology platform that powers Stadia has been proven at scale and transcends gaming," Harrison wrote. "We see clear opportunities to apply this technology across other parts of Google like YouTube, Google Play, and our Augmented Reality (AR) efforts--as well as make it available to our industry partners, which aligns with where we see the future of gaming headed."</p><p class='black-text'>Google also plans to continue to invest in tools and technologies to support gaming in other areas, including gaming apps on its Google Play and Google Play Games platforms.</p> http://www.pws.io/google-to-shutdown-stadia-early-next-year Fri, 30 Sep 2022 11:16:00 -0400 Rachel Hemple 3 Sectors Outperforming During the Bear Market http://www.pws.io/3-sectors-outperforming-during-the-bear-market <p class='black-text'>Two catalysts have significantly changed the market's tune and trend. In fact, as the S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is about 25% lower for the year, the fundamentals are in a much worse place, and there's an increasing likelihood that these lows are re-tested and broken.</p><p class='black-text'>This backdrop certainly makes it more challenging to earn returns on the long side, but it's possible especially if investors know where to look:</p><p class='black-text'><b>Consumer Staples</b></p><p class='black-text'>The biggest threats to the market are that inflation is stubbornly high, and this is causing the Federal Reserve to take an ultra-aggressive hawkish stance when it comes to monetary policy. The second is that the economy is slowing. These factors tend to lead to multiple contractions and a decline in earnings.</p><p class='black-text'>These factors are bad for most sectors, but consumer staples are an exception. This sector is comprised of companies that sell essential items like paper towels, toilet paper, soap, etc., whose demand doesn't fluctuate based on economic or monetary factors.</p><p class='black-text'>If we look at the <b>Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, we can see that it's only down 10% over the last 6 months with the market down over 20%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Aerospace and Defense</b></p><p class='black-text'>A commonality among the best-performing sectors is that their revenues are quite stable and unaffected by the business cycle or interest rates. Another in this group is the aerospace & defense stocks. Defense spending is a trend that keeps rising, while these companies' primary customers are governments with massive budgets that are also mostly unaffected by the business cycle.</p><p class='black-text'>And, this year there is a unique catalyst due to the Russia-Ukraine war and the potential of China invading Taiwan. Thus, countries all over the world are realizing that they need to take their security needs seriously and are bolstering their defense spending, especially in Europe.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Utilities</b></p><p class='black-text'>Utilities also have these circumstances in common with defense stocks and are outperforming with a more than 1% gain. These companies' revenues are also stable and transcend near-term economic challenges. They also pay generous dividends which are more attractive in times of uncertainty.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally, due to rising energy and electricity prices, margins have also been climbing for utilities (although many are regulated). For instance, the<b> Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> pays a 2.8% yield and is up 5% over the last year. In contrast, the S&P 500 is down 15% over the past year and pays a paltry 1.6% yield.</p> http://www.pws.io/3-sectors-outperforming-during-the-bear-market Thu, 29 Sep 2022 17:04:36 -0400 Jaimini Desai Biogen’s Alzheimer Drug Shows Promise in Key Study http://www.pws.io/biogens-alzheimer-drug-shows-promise-in-key-study <p class='black-text'>For the first time, a drug has been shown to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/eisai-says-alzheimers-drug-succeeds-slowing-cognitive-decline-2022-09-27/">slow the rate of cognitive and functional decline</a> in those in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Biogen <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BIIB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BIIB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BIIB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BIIB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BIIB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Eisai Co Ltd <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ESALY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ESALY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ESALY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ESALY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ESALY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> teamed up to develop the drug, lecanemab, which <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/27/business/alzheimers-drug-biogen-lecanemab.html">slowed the progression of Alzheimer's</a> by 27% in a large-scale study.</p><p class='black-text'>"It's not a huge effect, but it's a positive effect," said Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.</p><p class='black-text'>Eisai, the leader of the 50-50 partnership, hopes to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in an accelerated process that could result in a decision by early next year. The pharmaceutical company wants to start selling the drug in the United States, Europe, and Japan by the end of 2023. Patient advocates are also pushing for a speedy approval process.</p><p class='black-text'>If lecanemab does receive accelerated approval, Eisai will need to continue to run trials on the drug in order to gain full approval.</p><p class='black-text'>The 1,800-patient trial compared the effectiveness of lecanemab against a placebo. The drug is meant to delay the progression of the disease by removing sticky protein deposits from the brains of Alzheimer's patients, a solution that has existed as an unproven theory for some time.</p><p class='black-text'>Lecanamab isn't the first drug to target these protein deposits, known as amyloid beta. Aduhelm also targeted amyloid, but lecanemab aims for amyloid that has yet to form a deposit. Last year, Aduhelm became the first Alzheimer's drug to receive FDA approval in two decades.</p><p class='black-text'>While lecanemab has resulted in slowed progression, Aduhelm was approved by the FDA on the sole basis that it targeted the theorized problem causing the disease. That decision received <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/us-fda-faces-mounting-criticism-over-alzheimers-drug-approval-2021-06-11/">pushback from the scientific community</a>, and the FDA's own expert panel advised against approving Aduhelm.</p><p class='black-text'>However, patients and patient advocates were still ecstatic when Aduhelm became available. After so long with <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/eisai-biogen-alzheimers-drug-success-follows-many-failures-2022-09-27/">no drugs showing any promise</a>, even just the potential for improvement was enough to convince many of those suffering from this disease to take the risk, something that pharmaceutical companies hoped to cash in on.</p><p class='black-text'>After facing widespread criticism for the $56,000 price tag on a year's worth of Aduhelm, Biogen eventually reduced the price to $28,000 per year. According to The New York Times, Aduhelm is a commercial failure, despite the fact that any successful Alzheimer's drug is expected to rake in billions of dollars for its developer.</p><p class='black-text'>Aduhelm's failure is at least partly to blame on a lack of health care coverage. Medicare will only cover the cost of Aduhelm and other similar Alzheimer's drugs if the patient has been enrolled in a valid clinical trial. Whether or not Medicare coverage of lecanemab will be available hasn't been decided.</p><p class='black-text'>One issue that is still present in the lecanemab study is brain swelling. Removing amyloid build-up is often accompanied by brain swelling, and the study participants treated with lecanemab experienced 12.5% swelling compared to 1.7% for those on the placebo. Still, only 2.8% of participants experienced any symptoms associated with brain swelling.</p><p class='black-text'>On the other hand, microhemorrhages in the brain affected 17% of lecanemab participants compared to 8.7% for the placebo group. This rate is still far below the rate seen during the Aduhelm studies, according to Petersen.</p><p class='black-text'>Studies on the effectiveness of Alzheimer's drugs are also underway at Roche <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/RHHBY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">RHHBY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="RHHBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="RHHBY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="RHHBY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Eli Lilly <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LLY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LLY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LLY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LLY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. After repeated failures in the development of Alzheimer's treatments, lecanemab's success is expected to reinvigorate investment in these types of studies.</p><p class='black-text'>While the surge in research is promising, the number of people affected by Alzheimer's disease has been growing at a steady rate. By 2050, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer's is expected to double to 13 million people, according to the Alzheimer's Association.</p><p class='black-text'>Globally, the rate of increase is even higher: Alzheimer's Disease International reports that there are currently around 55 million people around the world with Alzheimer's disease. That figure could reach as high as 139 million by 2050.</p> http://www.pws.io/biogens-alzheimer-drug-shows-promise-in-key-study Thu, 29 Sep 2022 16:56:26 -0400 Autumn McLain Block Downgraded on Bitcoin Sentiment http://www.pws.io/block-downgraded-on-bitcoin-sentiment <p class='black-text'>Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Jack Dorsey's Block <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was downgraded by Mizuho's analyst Dan Dolev last week, citing bitcoin sentiment.</p><p class='black-text'>"After years of rightfully being deemed the most innovative name in payments, we believe user fatigue, plateauing inflows, loss of the best-of-breed POS [point-of-sale] status, and BNPL [buy-now-pay-later] misexecution are blocking SQ's growth," Dolev wrote in a research note.</p><p class='black-text'>From Dolev's perspective, Block still has great value and possibility, but he still does not believe that it is making good usage of its potential. Dolev also observed that bitcoin constituted for merely 5% of Block's gross income within the initial part of 2022, but holds too much of management's attention at the same time. What has caused the most damage to Block is its excessive focus on bitcoin, which has ultimately detracted from stock performance, according to Dolev.</p><p class='black-text'>"Assessing the stock's behavior shows it closely tracks bitcoin," Dolev wrote in a statement. "This is unfortunate as it distracts both management and investors from focusing on SQ's broader ecosystem."</p><p class='black-text'>Dolev is also concerned about other potential problems, like a recent decrease in net additions. He has indicated that, even as customer-acquisition prices are increasing, the slow net-add growth rates are still on the rise.</p><p class='black-text'>Dolev has indicated that Block could have gained further profit when bitcoin prices were steadily increasing. "Unfortunately, now that the price of bitcoin is ~70% off its highs, we suspect the inverse dynamic is underway," Dolev wrote in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'>This past Wednesday, Block shares were down by 3.3% and decreased by another 4.6% in Thursday trades.</p><p class='black-text'>Another point of concern is that estimates for buy-now-pay-later are steadily decreasing, but in spite of this factor, Block has already taken a company (Afterpay) under its wing. Block then experienced a lower rating, which was speculated to be caused by its Cash App outflows.</p> http://www.pws.io/block-downgraded-on-bitcoin-sentiment Thu, 29 Sep 2022 16:51:54 -0400 Stephanie Williams Stocks Re-Test June Lows and Bounce… Will It Hold? http://www.pws.io/stocks-re-test-june-lows-and-bounce-will-it-hold <p class='black-text'>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> hit a low of 3,623 in Tuesday's session which was quite meaningful as it undercut the mid-June low of 3,633. Following this undercut, stocks put together an impressive rally and are now 2% above these lows.</p><p class='black-text'>On one hand, this is a classic bottoming formation from a technical perspective. On the other hand, the market continues to face a complex set of challenges that imply a not-so-easy or neat resolution to a bear market. Instead, bear markets with these types of fundamentals typically end in capitulation or even deeper drawdowns with months of markets grinding lower.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to decide this question, let's take a quick detour to understand how we got here. From mid-June to mid-August, the stock market put together a spectacular, bear market rally that was powerful enough to convince many market participants that a new bull market had begun. In total, the S&P 500 rallied 18% which was enough to recover a little more than half of the total losses of the bear market.</p><p class='black-text'>However, this rally ended just at the 200-day moving average with the main catalyst being Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole speech in which he gave a clear and hawkish message and disappointing bulls who were looking for some acknowledgment that inflation had slowed. In recent weeks, the picture has gotten even more bearish as inflation data has come in hotter than expected, while economic data has missed.</p><p class='black-text'>This combination of stubbornly high inflation and a looming recession is quite negative for multiples and earnings. It also caused stocks to plunge nearly 15% from these August highs and give up all of these gains to re-test the June lows.</p><p class='black-text'>One method is to compare the current fundamental landscape compared to mid-June. It's quite clear that the economy is in the worst place, especially from a housing and global perspective as many countries are dealing with an outright recession at the same time that inflation is crushing discretionary spending and undermining economic confidence.</p><p class='black-text'>At the same time, there is no relief on the rate front. Instead, rates are 1.5% higher, while the Fed's stance has hardened. We also didn't have the acceleration in 'sticky' components of CPI pushing inflation higher than we saw in August and is likely to linger for the remainder of the year. In contrast, we had volatile components of CPI fueling inflation, while 'sticky' components were muted. Thus, it was much easier to see the case that inflation could tumble at a similar rate to its ascent.</p><p class='black-text'>Given these developments, traders can consider getting long at current levels with a stop at Tuesday's lows. If this is the bottom, then the low shouldn't be breached. But, investors should remain patient as fundamentals continue to deteriorate.</p> http://www.pws.io/stocks-re-test-june-lows-and-bounce-will-it-hold Thu, 29 Sep 2022 16:47:01 -0400 Jaimini Desai Why British Pound Hit Record Lows http://www.pws.io/why-british-pound-hit-record-lows <p class='black-text'>Following the announcement of sweeping tax cuts for the wealthy from the United Kingdom's finance minister, the <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/09/26/1125080014/british-pound-record-low-dollar">British pound has hit a record-low</a> in trading against the U.S. dollar. The Bank of England, the U.K.'s central bank, also recently reported that the country's economy had <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/22/bank-of-england-interest-rate-rise-latest">entered a recession</a>.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/26/business/british-pound-weak.html">The pound dipped</a> to $1.03 before rebounding slightly to $1.07, still the lowest level in four decades.</p><p class='black-text'>In Parliament last week, Exchequer Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, the U.K.'s treasury chief, introduced plans for the largest tax cuts seen in the country in fifty years, along with plans to increase government borrowing to cover the cost of public spending. Kwarteng says that the missing revenue from the cut taxes will be made up for by a stimulated economy.</p><p class='black-text'>Citibank called the tax cuts a "huge, unfunded gamble for the U.K. economy," and Kwarteng's plan is expected to work in direct opposition to efforts from the central bank to keep inflation at around 2%. It's rare for finance directors and central banks to work in conflict with one another, and these actions from the Conservative British government have received swift push back from the Labour Party <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/27/business/dealbook/british-pound-parity-markets-dollar.html">as well as other Conservatives</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>"Trickle-down economics isn't the answer," Labour's finance spokesperson, Rachel Reeves said on Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Reeves has claimed that Kwarteng is "fanning the flames" of the pound's downturn.</p><p class='black-text'>With so much tax revenue from the U.K.'s highest earners and businesses being lost, investors expect the country to turn to international lenders to cover the shortfall. As borrowing increases, the risk of lending to Britain will also increase, raising interest rates for the country. Some worry that investors may "punish" the U.K. for its reckless financial decisions by driving up the cost of U.K. bonds which are already at multi-year highs.</p><p class='black-text'>Along with worsening debt, investors are also worried about inflation in the U.K. Inflation is nearing double digits, and lower taxes could lead to higher spending and even more inflation. A weaker pound also means even higher prices on imports which are typically dependant upon overseas currencies. For instance, all oil and gas imports to the U.K. are paid for in dollars.</p><p class='black-text'>Many U.K. businesses also rely on imports to function, meaning higher prices on domestic products, as well.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to keep inflation in check, the Bank of England may eventually need to raise interest rates, something that could hurt the country in the long term. As interest rates rise, the pound may see a bump in value, but the negative effects could counteract any progress. Higher interest rates would squeeze the British housing market and could discourage borrowing that would otherwise contribute to the economy.</p><p class='black-text'>"The Bank of England has to be the counter to what the government is doing," said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown. "They're in an economic tug of war, with the Bank of England trying to dampen down demand in the economy and the government trying to increase demand in the economy."</p><p class='black-text'>It's important to note that the pound's current position isn't all the U.K.'s fault. While the pound has been weakening, the U.S. dollar has been growing in value, pushing down other currencies virtually across the board.</p> http://www.pws.io/why-british-pound-hit-record-lows Thu, 29 Sep 2022 16:33:10 -0400 Autumn McLain Market Update: S&P 500 Closes at New 2022 Low, Apple Leds Sell-Off http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-closes-at-new-2022-low-apple-leds-sell-off <p class='black-text'>Stocks fell on Thursday, with the S&P 500 falling to a new low for the year, as market participants became concerned that a recession may be incoming. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 450 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 2% and 2.8%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Thursday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -2.11% or -78.57 points to 3,640.47</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.54% or -458.13 points to 29,225.61</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -2.84% or -314.13 points to 10,737.51</p><p class='black-text'>Thursday's moves followed a broad market rally on Wednesday, as the Bank of England said it would purchase bonds in effort to support the cratering British pound. The Dow rose over 500 points and the S&P 500 climbed nearly 2%, both snapping six-day losing streaks.</p><p class='black-text'>The market sell-off was broad-based and led by 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>, which fell further 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> downgraded the stock on iPhone demand concerns. Apple declined on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported the tech giant is reversing plans to increase production of its iPhone this year after demand for the product did not meet expectations.</p><p class='black-text'>"We view the slowdown in services and relatively lackluster iPhone lead times as indicators that consumer spending will slow," BofA analysts wrote on Thursday. Analysts lowered the stock's rating to neutral and cut its price target from $185 to $160 per share.</p><p class='black-text'>Elsewhere, 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 fell after the company posted a wider quarterly loss in its fiscal second quarter, with its sales dropping by 28%. The home goods retailer reiterated its full-year outlook, anticipating for comparable sales to decline by about 20% as business improves in the latter half of the year.</p><p class='black-text'>In economic news, initial jobless claims fell to 193,000 for the week ended September 24, according to the Labor Department's report on Thursday, marking its lowest total since April and down from the previous week's downwardly revised print of 213,000.</p><p class='black-text'>The report added to already present recession concerns as investors fear the Federal Reserve will continue its aggressive rate hikes in effort to stabilize prices as the labor market remains strong despite surging inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>Separately, a third reading of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) from the Commerce Department showed economic activity contracted at an annualized rate of 0.6%.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite Wednesday's rally, major averages are on track for a losing week and their worst month since June's lows. The Nasdaq is currently down over 9% for September, while the Dow and S&P 500 are on pace to end the month 7.3% and 7.9% lower, respectively.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-closes-at-new-2022-low-apple-leds-sell-off Thu, 29 Sep 2022 16:07:22 -0400 Rachel Hemple JPM CEO Dimon Calls Crypto Tokens like Bitcoin 'Ponzi Schemes' http://www.pws.io/jpm-ceo-dimon-calls-crypto-tokens-like-bitcoin-ponzi-schemes <p class='black-text'>Recently, JPMorgan Chase <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> CEO Jamie Dimon admitted that he is very skeptical in terms of how he feels about cryptocurrency. This past week, Dimon called crypto tokens like Bitcoin "Ponzi schemes" in response to a question about what specifically prevents him from being more involved in digital market.</p><p class='black-text'>When asked to further elaborate on his views toward cryptocurrency in testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services, Dimon said that he understands the significance and importance of it - in particular, decentralized finance ledgers, smart contracts, and tokens. But he still admitted that he takes issue with crypto tokens that are considered to be currencies.</p><p class='black-text'>"I'm a major skeptic on crypto tokens, which you call currency, like Bitcoin," said Dimon. "They are decentralized Ponzi schemes."</p><p class='black-text'>In Dimon's testimony, he said that billions of dollars had been lost each year in the name of cryptocurrency, whether it was from money laundering, ransomware, sex trafficking, or theft.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Dimon, stablecoins would not be much of an issue with the right amount of management and control. At one point in 2017, Dimon referred to bitcoin as "a fraud," but then later admitted that he felt guilty about making this statement. Additionally, in October 2021, even when the value of cryptocurrency was drastically increasing, Dimon confessed that he thought cryptocurrency was essentially "worthless."</p><p class='black-text'>In spite of the fact that Dimon has a generally negative view of cryptocurrency, JPMorgan has been actively supporting blockchain technologies. In October 2020, JPMorgan came out with its own stablecoin referred to as the "JPM Coin," which was also the first cryptocurrency to be supported by an American bank. About a week after JPMorgan launched this stablecoin, the company came out with a business division devoted to blockchain technologies, known as "Onyx."</p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan was additionally the first bank to open within the Metaverse, and ever since, it has been hiring new staff specifically for the blockchain and cryptocurrency world, such as past 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> executive Tahreem Kampton. It hopes to push even further into the cryptocurrency space as time progresses, in spite of Dimon's past expressed concerns.</p> http://www.pws.io/jpm-ceo-dimon-calls-crypto-tokens-like-bitcoin-ponzi-schemes Wed, 28 Sep 2022 17:37:54 -0400 Stephanie Williams Pfizer, Moderna Seek FDA Authorization for Bivalent COVID Boosters for Younger Americans http://www.pws.io/pfizer-moderna-seek-fda-authorization-for-bivalent-covid-boosters-for-younger-americans <p class='black-text'>Younger children may soon be eligible to receive an Omicron-target booster shot later this year, following U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applications from Pfizer <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PFE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PFE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PFE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PFE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Moderna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MRNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MRNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MRNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Pfizer, and its vaccine partner BioNTech <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BNTX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BNTX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BNTX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, have asked the FDA this week to expand its emergency use authorization (EUA) for the companies' new bivalent COVID booster shots to include children ages 5- to 11-years-old. Similarly, Moderna has requested the FDA to authorize its booster for adolescents ages 12 to 17 and for children ages 6 to 11.</p><p class='black-text'>Like the updated booster shots that became available for adolescents and adults earlier in September, these vaccines target both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvarinats that are now the dominant viral strains globally.</p><p class='black-text'>Pfizer's bivalent vaccine is currently authorized for Americans aged at least 12 years, while Moderna's is authorized for adults aged 18 years and older. Those seeking to receive the bivalent booster must first receive a primary vaccine series from either Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JNJ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JNJ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JNJ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> or Novavax <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NVAX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NVAX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NVAX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NVAX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NVAX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>"The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0901-covid-19-booster.html">statement</a> following the recommendation of the bivalent vaccines for older age groups. "They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants."</p><p class='black-text'>Earlier this month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/cdc-fall-vaccination-operational-planning-guide.pdf">Fall Vaccination Operational Planning Guide</a> that it expects to issue a recommendation on these bivalent vaccine boosters for children by early to mid-October.</p><p class='black-text'>In-line with previous guidance for older age groups, the CDC will recommend that the bivalent vaccine will be the only booster offered if authorized by the FDA, meaning providers will no longer provide a third dose of the original vaccine formulas as a booster shot.</p><p class='black-text'>According to the CDC, 4.4 million Americans have<a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-people-additional-dose-totalpop"> received an updated booster dose </a>since they were authorized in early September.</p> http://www.pws.io/pfizer-moderna-seek-fda-authorization-for-bivalent-covid-boosters-for-younger-americans Wed, 28 Sep 2022 17:33:12 -0400 Rachel Hemple Right-Wing Alliance Triumphs in Italian Elections http://www.pws.io/right-wing-alliance-triumphs-in-italian-elections <p class='black-text'>Over the last decade, there has been a global uprising in conservative sentiment, especially among working-class voters. This was the spirit that animated President Donald Trump's surprise victory in 2016 and also led to 'Brexit'.</p><p class='black-text'>However, we are seeing this play out in various European countries as well whether it's outright taking power or outperforming, relative to polling. Recent issues like immigration and the rising cost of electricity have also contributed to strength for right-wingers especially given the focus on liberal politicians for issues like climate change and diversity.</p><p class='black-text'>Now, we are seeing the most right-wing government take power in Italy since World War II with the far-right leader, Giorgia Meloni declaring victory in parliamentary elections, and she is on track to become the country's first female prime minister.</p><p class='black-text'>In her victory speech, Ms. Meloni said that she would 'govern for everyone' and not betray the public's trust. Her party is projected to win 26% of the vote, while her closest rival, Enrico Letta, had a slightly smaller share. This is a big change from the previous election when her party won just 4% of the vote.</p><p class='black-text'>In total, the alliance between Meloni's Party, the Brothers of Italy, former PM Salvini's the League, and Forza Italia, won with around 44% of the vote and will control the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.</p><p class='black-text'>An advantage for the right-wing coalition was the inability of opponents on the left and center to pick a common platform and candidates which meant they were competing for votes.</p><p class='black-text'>There is a concern all over Europe about what this will mean for Italian politics despite her recent attempts to soften her image and appeal to more centrist voters. This includes expressing support for Ukraine and dialing back her anti-E.U. rhetoric. She also has been outspoken in the past about issues like LGBT policy, gender issues, immigration, etc., that are at odds with the current E.U. consensus.</p><p class='black-text'>Turnout for the election was quite low at 63.9%, a 9% decline from 2018. This undermines Meloni's claims of a big mandate after the election.</p> http://www.pws.io/right-wing-alliance-triumphs-in-italian-elections Wed, 28 Sep 2022 16:34:41 -0400 Jaimini Desai Nearly 1.1 Million Teslas Recalled http://www.pws.io/nearly-11-million-teslas-recalled <p class='black-text'>Tesla <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is <a href="https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/car-recalls-defects/tesla-recalls-million-plus-vehicles-to-fix-window-software-a1007524049/#:~:text=Vehicles%20Recalled&text=2021%2D2022%20Tesla%20Model%20S,and%20Sept.%2016%2C%202022.&text=2021%2D2022%20Tesla%20Model%20X,and%20Sept.%2016%2C%202022.&text=2020%2D2021%20Tesla%20Model%20Y,and%20Sept.%2016%2C%202022.">recalling nearly 1.1 million vehicles</a> due to faulty window software. According to the company, the <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/09/22/1124474187/teslas-recalled-windows">window obstruction detection software sometimes fails</a> to react to obstructions, meaning the power windows could potentially cause an injury.</p><p class='black-text'>On Thursday, September 22, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) <a href="https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2022/RCAK-22V702-7969.pdf">posted a letter</a> revealing that the carmaker had <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/tesla-recalls-nearly-11-million-us-vehicles-update-window-reversing-software-2022-09-22/">discovered the software issue</a> during internal testing in August. The tests showed that the power window software produced "greater than expected variations in response to pinch detection."</p><p class='black-text'>Tesla says it hasn't received any claims or reports of adverse effects related to the issue, but the faulty software is in violation of federal safety standards.</p><p class='black-text'>The 1,096,762 Teslas covered in the recall include select Model 3, Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicles. Model 3 sedans manufactured since mid-2017, Model S sedans manufactured since the beginning of 2021, Model X SUVs manufactured since early 2021, and Model Ys manufactured since 2019 are being recalled.</p><p class='black-text'>The issue was addressed in vehicles in production and vehicles awaiting delivery as of Sept. 13.</p><p class='black-text'>To address the problem, Tesla told the NHTSA that it will be administering an over-the-air update to its software that "enhances the calibration of the vehicle's automatic window reversal system behavior."</p><p class='black-text'>Tesla owners can check if their vehicle is covered by going to the <a href="https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls">NHTSA website</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>After the NHTSA and <a href="https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2022/RCLRPT-22V702-4365.PDF">Tesla documents</a> were made public, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took 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 complain about the wording of the recall announcements.</p><p class='black-text'>"The terminology is outdated & inaccurate. This is a tiny over-the-air software update. To the best of our knowledge, there have been no injuries," Musk wrote.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Reuters, both the NHTSA and Tesla referred to the event as a recall. In the past, Tesla faced pushback from the safety regulator for failing to file a recall notice for other over-the-air software updates.</p><p class='black-text'>"Any manufacturer issuing an over-the-air update that mitigates a defect that poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety is required to timely file an accompanying recall notice to NHTSA," the agency <a href="https://www.pws.io/is-a-tesla-autopilot-recall-incoming">wrote in a letter to Tesla</a> last October.</p><p class='black-text'>The agency was writing in regards to an update Tesla had made to its Autopilot systems following nearly a dozen collisions between emergency vehicles and Teslas on Autopilot.</p> http://www.pws.io/nearly-11-million-teslas-recalled Wed, 28 Sep 2022 16:31:33 -0400 Autumn McLain Costco Shares Flat Despite Earnings Beat http://www.pws.io/costco-shares-flat-despite-earnings-beat <p class='black-text'>Costco <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COST"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COST</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COST" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COST" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were flat following the company's fiscal Q4 earnings report which showed it exceeding analysts' estimates on the top and bottom line. Shares were under pressure after hours and in the ensuing session as the company declined to hike membership fees, however, these losses were recovered this week.</p><p class='black-text'>Overall, Costco shares have slightly outperformed against 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> with a 15% YTD loss vs a 24% YTD loss for the S&P 500. Historically, Costco tends to outperform during periods of inflation and adverse economic conditions as shoppers prioritize buying in bulk. However, the company has seen an increase in the purchase of lower-margin items, while higher-margin sales have been weak, a potentially worrisome sign about the health of the consumer.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In its fiscal Q4, Costco reported earnings per share of $4.20 which was slightly better than estimates of $4.17 per share. Revenue also edged out estimates at $72.1 billion vs $72.0 billion. Revenue was 14% higher compared to last year, while EPS was up 28%.</p><p class='black-text'>The company also noted another increase in membership and continued upgrades to the executive level membership which now comprises 44% of the total. Gross margins were lower due to inflation driving up costs. However, the company continues to maintain its $1.50 price tag for its hot dog and soda combination.</p><p class='black-text'>Investors and Wall Street were disappointed by the retailer deciding not to hike its membership fees. Normally, Costco raises its fees about every 5 years which would put the timeline for the next increase in January 2023. However, some were expecting a quicker increase due to inflationary pressures and rival Sam's Club increasing its fees in August.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, a Costco membership costs $60 annually or $120 for the executive-level membership. Famously, most of Costco's profits come from membership fees, while it invests revenue from products into strengthening its supply chain, keeping costs low, and giving employees above-average wages and benefits.</p><p class='black-text'>Costco's share prices are essentially flat over the past year, yet earnings and revenue are up by a decent margin. This has resulted in valuations getting more attractive. Currently, it has a forward P/E of 29 which is close to historical lows. For long-term investors, this could prove to be a good entry point.</p> http://www.pws.io/costco-shares-flat-despite-earnings-beat Wed, 28 Sep 2022 16:28:10 -0400 Jaimini Desai Boeing to Pay $200 Million for Misleading Investors About Deadly 737 Max http://www.pws.io/boeing-to-pay-200-million-for-misleading-investors-about-deadly-737-max <p class='black-text'>In October of 2018, 189 people were killed when <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/28/asia/lion-air-plane-crash-intl/index.html">a 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 crashed</a> in Indonesia. Less than six months later, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/10/africa/ethiopian-airlines-crash-boeing-max-8-intl/index.html">another 157 passengers were killed</a> in another 737 Max crash, this time in Ethiopia. <a href="https://www.pws.io/i-still-havent-been-forgiven-by-god-boeings-cover-up-culture-exposed">Internal documents later revealed</a> that Boeing knew about the problems with the aircraft that caused the deadly incidents.</p><p class='black-text'>Now, Boeing has <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/09/22/1124617261/boeing-will-pay-200-million-to-settle-sec-charges-over-737-max-crashes">agreed to pay a $200 million penalty</a> to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for misleading the public about the safety of the Boeing 737 Max.</p><p class='black-text'>Both Boeing and its former CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, were charged by the SEC for misleading investors about the 737 Max. Boeing says this settlement "fully resolves" the SEC's inquiry.</p><p class='black-text'>"The SEC remains committed to rooting out misconduct when public companies and their executives fail to fulfill their fundamental obligations to the investing public," SEC Chair Gary Gensler is quoted in <a href="https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2022-170">the SEC's settlement announcement</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Boeing and Muilenburg "misled investors by providing assurances about the safety of the 737 MAX, despite knowing about serious safety concerns," Gensler said.</p><p class='black-text'>The 737 Max crashes were caused by a design flaw in the plane's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). During the plane's certification process, Boeing allegedly misled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about the safety of the 737 Max and the MCAS.</p><p class='black-text'>According to the SEC, Boeing quickly responded to the first crash by implying that the incident was caused by pilot error, despite knowing the fact that the MCAS likely caused the crash. Even after the second crash, Muilenburg assured reporters that the 737 Max was safe and properly certified.</p><p class='black-text'>"Boeing and Muilenburg put profits over people by misleading investors about the safety of the 737 MAX all in an effort to rehabilitate Boeing's image following two tragic accidents that resulted in the loss of 346 lives and incalculable grief to so many families," SEC's director of Enforcement, Gurbir S Grewal, is quoted in the release.</p><p class='black-text'>There have been several rounds of internal documents released by Boeing, and each has revealed that Boeing employees were aware of the safety issues with the 737 Max but were ignored by their superiors.</p><p class='black-text'>"I still haven't been forgiven by God for the cover up I did last year," wrote one Boeing employee.</p><p class='black-text'>"Would you put your family on a Max simulator trained aircraft? I wouldn't," one employee messaged to another.</p><p class='black-text'>Last year, the aviation company settled <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/01/08/954782512/boeing-to-pay-2-5-billion-settlement-over-deadly-737-max-crashes">criminal charges of fraud and conspiracy</a> regarding the Boeing 737 Max's FAA certification process. The Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed to forgo pursuing the charges in exchange for $2.5 billion in fines and compensation.</p><p class='black-text'>The DOJ's so-called <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/05/03/1096075522/737-max-crash-victims-families-aim-to-reopen-boeings-deferred-prosecution-agreem">deferred prosecution agreement</a> means that Boeing can't face further criminal charges regarding its alleged efforts to defraud the FAA. Families of the 346 people killed in the crashes are fighting to have that agreement tossed out.</p> http://www.pws.io/boeing-to-pay-200-million-for-misleading-investors-about-deadly-737-max Wed, 28 Sep 2022 16:26:10 -0400 Autumn McLain Intuitive Machines Goes Public at $1 Billion Valuation http://www.pws.io/intuitive-machines-goes-public-at-1-billion-valuation <p class='black-text'>Intuitive Machines announced that the company is going public through a reverse merger with a blank-check company or SPAC, Inflection Point Acquisition Corporation <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IPAX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IPAX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IPAX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IPAX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IPAX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. The deal is expected to value the company at just over $1 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>The company will be listed on the Nasdaq under the name - Intuitive Machines, and the deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. For both Inflection Point and Intuitive Machines, JPMorgan <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Cantor Fitzgerald are serving as financial advisors and lead bankers.</p><p class='black-text'>After accounting for debt, the new company is expected to have an enterprise value of $815 million. Inflection Point had raised $300 million in its IPO last year during the SPAC boom with an intention to take a private European tech or consumer business public. The window was closing as SPACs have a limited time to deploy their raised capital, or it's returned to investors.</p><p class='black-text'>Intuitive Machines was founded in 2013 and is based in Houston, Texas. It's impressive that in such a short time, has become one of NASA's most reliable contractors. Intuitive Machines' lunar payload delivery services were chosen by NASA for 3 lunar missions which will send an American spacecraft to the surface of the Moon.</p><p class='black-text'>For most of 2022, the IPO, M&A, and SPAC markets have been nearly frozen due to the Federal Reserve's hawkish turn. A big factor is that nearly all of the IPOs and SPACs are down by a staggering amount from their debuts, turning off investors from the asset class. During the height of the SPAC craze, it wasn't unusual to see more than a 10:1 ratio between SPACs and IPOs. Now, many SPACs are being unwound and even the SPAC-king Chamath Palihapitiya has dissolved 2 of his vehicles.</p><p class='black-text'>However, this deal is a reflection that investors continue to be interested in and see opportunities in space, as many investors believe this is going to be the sector where the next batch of trillion-dollar companies emerge. Another factor is that there simply aren't many pure-play, space companies in the sector.</p> http://www.pws.io/intuitive-machines-goes-public-at-1-billion-valuation Wed, 28 Sep 2022 15:55:21 -0400 Jaimini Desai Market Update: Stocks Rebound from 2022 Low, Dow and S&P Snap Six-Day Losing Streak http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-rebound-from-2022-low-dow-and-sp-snap-six-day-losing-streak <p class='black-text'>Stocks rose on Wednesday as U.S. Treasury yields retreated from multi-year highs. Benchmarks rebounded off bear market lows, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping over 500 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both climbed about 2%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Wednesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.97% or +71.75 points to 3,719.04</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +1.88% or +548.75 points to 29,683.74</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +2.05% or +222.13 points to 11,051.64</p><p class='black-text'>Wednesday's moves helped the Dow and S&P 500 snap a six-day losing streak, with the Dow now 19.7% off its 52-week high, while the S&P 500 is 22.8% below its record. The Nasdaq is down 31.8%. Driving market moves, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield ended the day about 3.7% after earlier breaking above 4% for the first time since 2008.</p><p class='black-text'>Also supporting stocks, the Bank of England announced it would temporarily buy long-dated U.K. government bonds to help stabilize the British pound after its fell to a record low against the U.S. dollar.</p><p class='black-text'>"Were dysfunction in this market to continue or worsen, there would be a material risk to U.K. financial stability," BoE officials said in a <a href="https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2022/september/bank-of-england-announces-gilt-market-operation">statement</a>. "This would lead to an unwarranted tightening of financials conditions and a reduction of the flow of credit to the real economy."</p><p class='black-text'>While Wednesday's rally was broad across all sectors, 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> was down over 1% following a <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-28/apple-iphone-14-sales-not-strong-enough-to-trigger-production-boost#xj4y7vzkg"><i>Bloomberg</i> report</a> that said the tech company is forgoing plans to increase new iPhone production in response to demand not meeting expectations, according to people familiar with the matter.</p><p class='black-text'>However, analysts at Keybanc say this could be an opportunity to buy up Apple shares. "We view this as negative for AAPL today, however, believe it is neutral to consensus expectations and would take advantage by buying on the pullback" analyst Brandon Nispel wrote in a note on Wednesday.</p><p class='black-text'>Elsewhere, Biogen <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BIIB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BIIB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BIIB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BIIB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BIIB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares soared nearly 40% after the biopharmaceutical company announced new data from its experimental Alzheimer's drug study that slowed the progress of the mental disease by 27% compared to a placebo.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-rebound-from-2022-low-dow-and-sp-snap-six-day-losing-streak Wed, 28 Sep 2022 15:50:39 -0400 Rachel Hemple British Pound Plummets as Truss Debuts Economic Plan http://www.pws.io/british-pound-plummets-as-truss-debuts-economic-plan <p class='black-text'>The last decade has been quite interesting in terms of European politics. Some of the major issues have been the potential breakup of the European Union into Northern and Southern European countries, Greece's default, a blowout in sovereign yields for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (PIIGS), and the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia which is putting incredible upwards pressure on energy and electricity prices.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, this doesn't include maybe the biggest example which is 'Brexit' when through a referendum England voted to leave the European Union which has brought its own set of complications. It's also resulted in London becoming less influential as a global financial hub.</p><p class='black-text'>In fact, the current story of the British pound plunging and even threatening to break parity with the U.S. dollar started with 'Brexit' and the sequence of events it set off. Boris Johnson rode the momentum of Brexit and ascendancy of the Conservative Party to the Prime Ministership.</p><p class='black-text'>His tenure ended in a scandal which led to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss being chosen by the Party to become the new PM. In part, she won based on her economic platform which had been dubbed 'Trussonomics'.</p><p class='black-text'>Her plan essentially involves lowering taxes, while increasing the deficits. She sees this as the key to re-invigorating a stagnant economy, but it's increasing borrowing at a time of high interest rates. Clearly, investors are wary of holding pounds and assets denominated in pounds, resulting in the pound falling all the way to $1.03 against the U.S. dollar before bouncing to $1.07.</p><p class='black-text'>Prior to Brexit, the British Pound would trade above $1.50 vs the U.S. dollar. This will make U.K. exports more competitive and marginally increase tourism to the island. However, it's going to make imports substantially more expensive.</p><p class='black-text'>It's also an economic policy that is more appropriate for a period of low inflation and low rates. Inflation is fundamentally about too many dollars (or pounds) chasing too few assets. Adding to the amount of pounds in circulation undermines the goals of the central bank to lower inflation and undermines the currency's strength.</p> http://www.pws.io/british-pound-plummets-as-truss-debuts-economic-plan Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:53:25 -0400 Jaimini Desai Amazon Prime's 'Thursday Night Football' Attracts 15.3 Million Viewers http://www.pws.io/amazon-primes-thursday-night-football-attracts-153-million-viewers <p class='black-text'>According to estimates released by media research firm Nielsen, Amazon Prime <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> accumulated approximately 13 million viewers for its debut of Thursday Night Football last week.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon is the very first streaming service to ever own exclusive rights to a set of NFL games in a $1 billion per year deal that will last throughout 2033. This past August, Amazon chose to collaborate with Nielsen in order to keep track of viewership data.</p><p class='black-text'>"By every measure, Thursday Night Football on Prime Video was a resounding success," Jay Marine, global head of Amazon's sports division, wrote this past Monday.</p><p class='black-text'>The viewership data from Nielsen was tracked from Prime Video subscribers in the United States who had access to set-top boxes, connected televisions, web and mobile, and Amazon's Twitch platform. In terms of Nielsen's local market ratings, it has been estimated that 602,000 people viewed Thursday Night Football in Los Angeles, while 555,000 people viewed the show in Kansas City.</p><p class='black-text'>On Monday, September 19, Amazon spoke of Thursday Night Football's success in a memo given by Jay Marine. He said that Thursday Night Football helped Amazon Prime Video to obtain a record high number of subscriptions.</p><p class='black-text'>"The audience numbers exceeded all of our expectations for viewership," Marine wrote in a memo. "During our TNF broadcast, we also saw the biggest three hours for U.S. Prime sign-ups ever in the history of Amazon - including Prime Day, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday."</p><p class='black-text'>According to Amazon Prime Video, in terms of viewership statistics, the average age of viewers was six years younger than the average of typical NFL games (47 years instead of 53 years). This particular stream of NFL also had an 18% higher rating than average NFL games thus far.</p><p class='black-text'>In addition, Amazon has decided to collaborate with DirecTV in order for the company to obtain viewership of Thursday Night Football in over 300,000 bars, restaurants, hotels , and casinos. Amazon Prime is currently priced at $14.99 per month (in full) or $8.99 monthly in order to watch the games.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazon-primes-thursday-night-football-attracts-153-million-viewers Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:50:32 -0400 Stephanie Williams Putin Mobilizing 300,000 Troops, Says Not Bluffing About Nuclear Threat http://www.pws.io/putin-mobilizing-300000-troops-says-not-bluffing-about-nuclear-threat <p class='black-text'>The war in Ukraine is not going as Russia had anticipated. In fact, a Ukraine counteroffensive has done an incredible job of re-winning territory that had been occupied by Russia just a couple of weeks ago.</p><p class='black-text'>There have also been constant rumors of incompetence on the battlefield which have been validated by poor, strategic decisions including stretched supply lines that made Russian troops vulnerable. Additionally, there are reports that President Putin is personally directing commanders on the battlefield, another sign that the war is not going well.</p><p class='black-text'>We got more confirmation on this from a primetime address by President Putin, where he declared the 'partial mobilization'. This was later confirmed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as being around 300,000 troops.</p><p class='black-text'>Putin also made some chilling remarks when he said the escalation was necessary as Ukraine was receiving weapons and support from the 'collective West' to 'weaken, isolate, and destroy Russia'.</p><p class='black-text'>He also said that Ukraine was menacing Russia with nuclear threats and that Russia would use 'all available means' in its defense and that Russia has its own nuclear arsenal. He added that "This is no bluff. Those who are blackmailing us with nuclear weapons should know - the rose winds can change and blow in their direction."</p><p class='black-text'>This open discussion of nuclear weapons is a concerning development but in the near term, we are already seeing the mobilization in effect. Already, there have been videos on social media of people being rounded up on buses with many questioning how competent these troops would be on the battlefield especially given that professional soldiers have fallen short. And, the country is focusing recruitment on rural areas, where support for the war is the strongest.</p><p class='black-text'>Putin also announced that there would be referendums on becoming part of Russia in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine. This is similar to what was done in the Donbas and Crimea.</p><p class='black-text'>In response, President Joe Biden at the United Nations said that "Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations charter". He dismissed Putin's rationale for invading Russia and that its escalation of the war is a sign of weakness.</p> http://www.pws.io/putin-mobilizing-300000-troops-says-not-bluffing-about-nuclear-threat Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:47:19 -0400 Jaimini Desai Move Over Driverless Cars, Driver Assistance Systems Incoming http://www.pws.io/move-over-driverless-cars-driver-assistance-systems-incoming <p class='black-text'>With a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/09/business/tesla-autopilot-nhtsa-investigation.html">federal investigation ongoing</a> into deaths caused by 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> self-driving vehicles, along with several lawsuits against the carmaker <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/05/business/tesla-autopilot-lawsuits-safety.html">from victims' families</a>, self-driving cars are no longer being seen as the next step in automotive evolution. Instead, automakers are increasingly <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/business/driverless-cars-assistance-systems.html?action=click&algo=bandit-all-surfaces-time-cutoff-30_impression_cut_3_filter_new_arm_5_1&alpha=0">turning to advanced driver assistance systems</a> (ADAS) as the stepping stone on the way to full automation.</p><p class='black-text'>According to <i>GlobeNewswire</i>, the market for ADASs is <a href="https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/09/19/2517997/0/en/Demand-for-Global-Advanced-Driver-Assistance-Systems-Market-Size-Will-Surpass-60-54-Billion-Mark-by-2028-Advanced-Driver-Assistance-Systems-ADAS-Industry-CAGR-of-10-2-during-2022-2.html">expected to surpass $60.54 billion</a> by 2028, partially driven by the ongoing development of self-driving systems.</p><p class='black-text'>Rather than serving as fully driverless technology, ADASs fall under what safety rating agency the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) calls "partial autonomy". These devices rely on monitors to ensure that drivers are still engaged with the road while the ADAS is in use. This includes things like the drivers' gaze and their grip on the steering wheel.</p><p class='black-text'>General Motors' <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Super Cruise is at the front of the pack for ADASs, but similar projects are also underway at Mercedes-Benz <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MBGYY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MBGYY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MBGYY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MBGYY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MBGYY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, BMW <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BMWYY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BMWYY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BMWYY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BMWYY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BMWYY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and <a href="https://fordauthority.com/2022/09/ford-adas-systems-now-getting-substantial-aftermarket-support/">Ford</a> <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>. The Super Cruise uses highly detailed road maps, radar, cameras, and GPS to adjust things like speed and lane position as needed. Currently, the Super Cruise is only offered in a limited area on divided highways.</p><p class='black-text'>Driver assistance systems for less advanced maneuvers ranging from blind spot monitors to anti-lock brakes are already widely available. Autonomous emergency braking systems have been shown to cut police-reported rear-end collisions in half. Cars with these systems equipped also have a 30% lower risk of hitting a pedestrian.</p><p class='black-text'>"We saw that as beneficial tech, and the same will be true for some new tech. We will continue to push to get more features on more models to save more lives and prevent crashes," IIHS President David Harkey said.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Harkey also acknowledged that there could be issues in ow these systems are marketed and used by drivers.</p><p class='black-text'>"These are driver assistance systems, not driver replacement systems. Some consumers don't know the difference," he added.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to achieve the highest IIHS safety scores for partially autonomous vehicles, carmakers will need to provide monitors for both the drivers' hand positions and eye-line for ADAS. Some of these devices also emit an alarm if the driver fails to maintain eye-contact with the road or a grip on the wheel.</p><p class='black-text'>Without sufficient driver interactions, the ADAS disengages, meaning systems also need to be in place to safely slow and stop the vehicle in case the driver fails to retake control.</p><p class='black-text'>Many of those safety features have already been implemented by GM and other major carmakers developing ADAS models.</p><p class='black-text'>"Owners feel more refreshed, they feel more relaxed, yet they are still attentive," Super Cruise chief engineer Mario Maiorana said.</p><p class='black-text'>While ADASs may be gaining hold, carmakers definitely aren't abandoning the idea of self-driving cars. Tesla is far from alone in its efforts to dominate the self-driving car market, alongside other companies like Alphabet's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Waymo and GM itself.</p><p class='black-text'>GM plans to roll out a more advanced version of the system called Ultra Cruise, which would cover most paved roads in the United States and Canada. According to the company, the system will be able to self-park, navigate preset routes, avoid close-object collisions with cars and pedestrians, and obey traffic lights and stop signs.</p> http://www.pws.io/move-over-driverless-cars-driver-assistance-systems-incoming Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:44:28 -0400 Autumn McLain Darden Restaurant Shares 7% Lower Following Revenue Miss http://www.pws.io/darden-restaurant-shares-7-lower-following-revenue-miss <p class='black-text'>Darden Restaurants <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DRI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DRI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DRI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DRI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DRI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were 7% lower following the company's fiscal Q1 earnings report which showed the company missing analysts' estimates on the top line but slightly beating on the bottom line. Darden has struggled in 2022 with an 18% YTD loss as it faces a challenging mix of circumstances including a tight labor market, rising food prices, and a consumer that is struggling with inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>These themes were evident in Darden's recent quarter as the company offers investors insight into the discretionary spending habits of a certain demographic. And, it's clear that they are cutting back on spending due to increased expenditures on areas like food, rent, gasoline, and utilities. Despite these challenges, Darden has to appeal to investors given its attractive valuation and ability to better withstand these adverse conditions than its competitors and smaller operators.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Inside the Numbers</i></p><p class='black-text'>In its fiscal Q1, Darden Restaurants reported earnings per share of $1.56 which was in line with expectations, and revenue of $2.45 billion which fell short of expectations of $2.47 billion. This was a 6% increase in revenue, although some of this was due to promotions. Earnings per share were down about 12% from last year.</p><p class='black-text'>Darden's strategy is to draw customers by pricing below its competitors. In essence, it's absorbing some of the higher costs rather than passing them on to customers.</p><p class='black-text'>For the quarter, Olive Garden same-store sales were up 2.3% vs expectations of 5.4%. Similarly, LongHorn Steakhouse also missed at 4.2% vs 5.1%. Overall, same-store sales were up 4.2% due to outperformance from fine dining.</p><p class='black-text'>The company did reiterate its forecast for 2023 and said that it expects inflation to cool off in the coming quarters. It sees earnings per share between $7.40 and $8. It sees revenue between $10.2 billion and $10.4 billion with same-store sales growth between 4% and 6%. Darden anticipates opening between 55 to 60 new restaurants in 2023.</p><p class='black-text'>It also sees inflation of 6% next year with the gap between menu prices and costs narrowing in 2023. If it's wrong about the inflation forecast, then the company would be willing to raise menu prices.</p> http://www.pws.io/darden-restaurant-shares-7-lower-following-revenue-miss Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:40:56 -0400 Jaimini Desai Market Update: S&P 500 Sinks into Bear Market, Dow Slips Over 100 Points http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-sinks-into-bear-market-dow-slips-over-100-points <p class='black-text'>Stocks fell deeper into bear market territory on Tuesday as fears over the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate-hiking campaign impacted market sentiment. The S&P 500 fell into a bear market on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 100 points and the Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.25%.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Tuesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.21% or -7.75 points to 3,647.29</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>: -0.43% or -125.82 points to 29,134.99</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: +0.25% or +26.58 points to 10,829.50</p><p class='black-text'>At closing, the S&P 500 is now 24.3% below its record set in January, while the Dow is 21.1% below its all-time high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has also fallen more than 33% since its last record high in November.</p><p class='black-text'>Stocks were initially higher on Tuesday following comments from Chicago Fed President Charles Evans that he remained "cautiously optimistic" that the U.S. economy can avoid a recession despite the central bank's current aggressive strategy to tame surging inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>"Again, I still believe that our consensus, the median forecasts, are to get to the peak funds rate by March - assuming there are no further adverse shocks. And if things get better, we could perhaps do less, but I think we are headed for that peak funds rate," Evans said in <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/27/feds-evans-nervous-about-going-too-far-too-fast-with-rate-hikes.html">an interview with </a><i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/27/feds-evans-nervous-about-going-too-far-too-fast-with-rate-hikes.html">CNBC'</a></i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/27/feds-evans-nervous-about-going-too-far-too-fast-with-rate-hikes.html">s "Squawk Box Europe."</a></p><p class='black-text'>However, those morning gains were short-lived as market participants anticipate the Fed will raise interest rates by one percentage point by the end of the year to keep in line with their funds rate projections.</p><p class='black-text'>On the economic front, home prices cooled at the fastest rate on record in the history of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, according to a report on Tuesday, but cooled from June's gains.</p><p class='black-text'>Home prices nationally rose 15.8% over July 2021, slower than the 18.1% gain in the previous month. Moreover, the 10-City Composite climbed 14.9% year-over-year, down from 17.4% in June, while the broader 20-City Composite gained 16.1%, from from 18.7% in the previous month. July's annual gains were lower compared with June in each of the cities recorded in the index.</p><p class='black-text'>"As the Federal Reserve continues to move interest rates upward, mortgage financing has become more expensive, a process that continue to this day," said Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P DJI, in a press release. "Given the prospects for more challenging macroeconomic environment, home prices may well continue to decelerate."</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-sp-500-sinks-into-bear-market-dow-slips-over-100-points Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:35:45 -0400 Rachel Hemple FTX Looking to Raise $1 Billion at $32 Billion Valuation http://www.pws.io/ftx-looking-to-raise-1-billion-at-32-billion-valuation <p class='black-text'>FTX is considered by many to be the 'Goldman Sachs' or 'Citadel' of the cryptocurrency universe. This is because they are very successful and profitable, especially on a per-employee basis. Further, the company is much savvier than many of its competitors. This is clear as many are going bankrupt or struggling for survival, while FTX circles these dying businesses, looking for opportunities to extract any value.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, the company is reportedly looking to raise $1 billion at a $32 billion valuation which would be an equivalent valuation to its previous funding round. This flatness in valuation is a moral victory of sorts as most crypto companies are seeing losses between 70% and 99% during this 'crypto winter'. For instance, its primary competitor Coinbase <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COIN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COIN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COIN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has lost 75% of its value YTD.</p><p class='black-text'>According to reports, the company is in the midst of negotiating the fundraising round and terms could change. The company previously raised $400 million in January, and some of its most prominent investors include Singapore's Temasek, Softbank's Vision Fund 2, and Tiger Global.</p><p class='black-text'>FTX is looking to take advantage of the dislocation in the crypto markets and would likely look to buy more distressed assets with more capital on hand. It's positioned itself as the market consolidator that has often been the lender or liquidity provider of last resort. In a sense, it's a similar role to what 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> played during the financial crisis and Great Recession when the company was able to pick up some bargains and its seal of approval was enough to bring other investors onboard.</p><p class='black-text'>Only time will tell if FTX will achieve similar success during this brutal bear market in cryptocurrencies. Some of its potential bargain hunting include an option to buy BlockFi, discussions to buy South Korean exchange Bithumb, and an offer to buy Voyager Digital that was rejected for being too low. There have also been rumors of interest in Robinhood <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HOOD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HOOD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HOOD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HOOD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HOOD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried already owns a sizeable stake.</p><p class='black-text'>Although FTX is weathering the storm better than other crypto companies, it's uncertain how much it's been affected by the drop over the last 6 months. According to a leaked investor deck, the company had $270 million in Q1 revenue, while it had $89 million in all of 2020 and $1.02 billion in 2021. The company also had a net income of $388 million last year.</p> http://www.pws.io/ftx-looking-to-raise-1-billion-at-32-billion-valuation Mon, 26 Sep 2022 15:33:23 -0400 Jaimini Desai Market Update: Dow Falls into Bear Market, S&P 500 Sets New 2022 Closing Low http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-into-bear-market-sp-500-sets-new-2022-closing-low <p class='black-text'>Stocks dropped on Monday, with the S&P 500 setting a new closing low for 2022 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipping into bear market territory, as continued fears of a looming recession sparked by the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes and turbulent currency valuations impacted Wall Street. The Dow lost over 300 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell 1% and 0.6%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Monday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.03% or -38.19 points to 3,655.04</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.11% or -329.60 points to 29.260.81</p><p class='black-text'>Nasdaq Composite Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.60% or -65.00 points to 10,802.92</p><p class='black-text'>Monday's moves caused the S&P 500 to fall below its June 16 low of 3,666.77. Moreover, at one point during the session, the inde slipped to 3,644.76, less than eight points from its 2022 intraday low of 3,636.87. The Dow also fell about 20.4% from its Jan. 4 closing high on Monday, putting the 30-stock index into bear market territory.</p><p class='black-text'>Last week, the Dow hit a 2022 low after losing 4% for the week, while the S&P 500 dropped 4.6% and the Nasdaq fell about 5%.</p><p class='black-text'>Driving the session, the British pound plunged to a record low on Monday against the U.S. dollar, falling 4% to one point to an all-time low of $1.0382. The decline came after the United Kingdom recently announced plans to issue its biggest tax cut in 50 years and increase investments to boost growth.</p><p class='black-text'>The U.S. dollar has strengthened as the Federal Reserve continued to aggressively raise interest rates, raising concerns for international trade.</p><p class='black-text'>"Such U.S. dollar strength his historically led to some kind of financial/economic crisis," 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> analyst Michael Wilson wrote in a note Monday, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/25/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html">quoted by </a><i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/25/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html">CNBC</a></i>. "If these was ever a time to be on the lookout for something to break, this would be it."</p><p class='black-text'>In recent weeks, Wall Street has feared the central bank's hawkish actions to stabilize prices will tip the U.S. economy into a recession. However, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic believes the Fed can cool down inflation without majorly impacting the economy.</p><p class='black-text'>"We need to have a slow down. There's no question of that," Bostic told <i>CBS'</i> "Face the Nation" in an interview on Sunday. "But I do think that we're going to do all that we can at the Federal Reserve to avoid deep, deep pain."</p><p class='black-text'>In the 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 Monday it is hosting another Prime Day-like deals event on Oct. 11-12, marking the first time the e-commerce giant will hold two sale events in the same year.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-falls-into-bear-market-sp-500-sets-new-2022-closing-low Mon, 26 Sep 2022 15:27:08 -0400 Rachel Hemple Ford 16% Lower After Warning About Higher Costs, Supply Chain Issues http://www.pws.io/ford-16-lower-after-warning-about-higher-costs-supply-chain-issues <p class='black-text'>Ford Motor Company <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/F"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">F</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="F" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="F" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were 18% lower following the company's warning that it would incur $1 billion more than expected in costs due to higher prices for parts and supply chain issues. It was the biggest one-day loss in Ford's shares in more than a decade.</p><p class='black-text'>It also continues a string of bad luck for the legacy automakers. They are in the midst of spending huge sums of money to stay competitive in regard to electric vehicles (EV) which are clearly the future. During the boom between the latter months of 2020 and the early months of 2022, the automakers were unable to take advantage of higher prices and insatiable demand due to chip demand, impacting production.</p><p class='black-text'>There was some hope that auto production would be able to return to full capacity by the end of the year. However, these hopes are also proving to be false as indicated by Ford's warning. Additionally, these automakers are now facing the prospect of a recession which could result in a combination of higher costs and falling revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>Ford said that it currently has between 40,000 and 45,000 vehicles that are in inventory and lacking parts. And, the company didn't provide much guidance on when it expects these issues to finally normalize. However, the company is slated to report third-quarter earnings on October 26 and it's expecting full-year 2022 EBIDTA between $11.5 billion and $12.5 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Ford's warning also sent other automakers lower as the timeline for recovery from supply chain woes was once again pushed back. Previously in July, Ford had said that higher commodity prices were adding to inflation and cost pressures. It also followed 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>, another blue-chip company, that warned about a slowing in the second half of the year.</p><p class='black-text'>Ford's shares are now down more than 40% YTD. It's interesting that its shares are basically priced as if a recession is a certainty. For investors who believe that a recession will be avoided especially from a consumer spending perspective, shares could be a good buy given a forward P/E of 6.5 and a P/FCF of 10.5. It also pays nearly a 5% dividend.</p> http://www.pws.io/ford-16-lower-after-warning-about-higher-costs-supply-chain-issues Mon, 26 Sep 2022 14:28:03 -0400 Jaimini Desai Robinhood Stock Jumps on SEC Report, Gains Fade http://www.pws.io/robinhood-stock-jumps-on-sec-report-gains-fade <p class='black-text'>Robinhood <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HOOD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HOOD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HOOD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HOOD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HOOD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were initially higher by 10% following a report that the SEC won't ban payment for order flows which comprises the bulk of Robinhood's revenues. However, these gains quickly faded amid risk-off sessions on Thursday and Friday and larger concerns about Robinhood's user growth and decline in engagement amid the market selloff.</p><p class='black-text'>According to reporting from Bloomberg News, the SEC is expected to not ban payment for order flow (PFOF) which would compromise Robinhood's entire business model. However, there could still be changes to PFOF which could limit its profitability.</p><p class='black-text'>PFOF allows brokerages and market makers to split the profits made on trades from retail customers. It gives market makers insight into the order books of retail traders and investors, but it does enable commission-free trading. However, critics contend that large institutions getting order flows gives them an undue advantage in markets and leads to a less level playing field.</p><p class='black-text'>The SEC has been critical of PFOF, and it has questioned whether this is hurting the execution price that customers are getting. The SEC in a statement said that it wants to modify rules to ensure that equity markets are as 'fair, efficient, and competitive as possible'. It's specifically looking at executions, disclosure of order quality, best bid and offer, tick size, exchange access fees, and order-by-order competition in addition to PFOF.</p><p class='black-text'>In a statement, Robinhood responded that the company wasn't surprised by the report and that a ban would "overly complicated market structure rule changes, will only harm the millions of Americans who are now participating in the stock market for the first time."</p><p class='black-text'>Overall, Robinhood shares are down 47% YTD. One silver lining is that shares are essentially flat after the big plunge from above $35 in late 2021 to below $10 in late January 2022. However, the company's outlook has deteriorated with user growth flat and a big slowing in user activity given the bear market in stocks, especially among retail favorites and cryptocurrencies which were fueling Robinhood's explosive growth.</p> http://www.pws.io/robinhood-stock-jumps-on-sec-report-gains-fade Mon, 26 Sep 2022 14:25:27 -0400 Jaimini Desai Kia, Hyundai Face Class Action Suit Over Wave of Car Thefts http://www.pws.io/kia-hyundai-face-class-action-suit-over-wave-of-car-thefts <p class='black-text'>Kia and Hyundai <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HYMTF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HYMTF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HYMTF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HYMTF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HYMTF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are <a href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/3adpgk/kia-and-hyundai-are-being-sued-because-viral-tiktoks-showed-how-easy-it-is-to-steal-their-cars">facing class action lawsuits</a> after a viral TikTok trend revealed how <a href="https://www.axios.com/2022/08/27/kia-hyundai-thefts-stolen-usb-immobilizer-tiktok">easy it is to steal some Kia and Hyundai models</a>, leading to <a href="https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/hyundais-kias-are-easy-targets-amid-boom-in-vehicle-thefts">a wave of car thefts</a>. The so-called "Kia Challenge" shows that design flaws make it possible to steal one of these vehicles in under a minute.</p><p class='black-text'>There have been <a href="https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.cacd.863354/gov.uscourts.cacd.863354.1.0.pdf">suits filed</a> by car theft victims in several states, including Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio. The plaintiffs allege that the carmakers failed to disclose that design defects make the vehicles especially vulnerable to theft.</p><p class='black-text'>Thieves are able to steal the vehicles quickly by accessing the ignition through the steering column and turning the engine on using a screwdriver or USB stick.</p><p class='black-text'>While low-end models are vulnerable, most models are safe thanks to their immobilizer, a device that prevents the vehicles from starting unless a key is present. The technique also only works on vehicles with steel keys, not key fobs and push-to-start.</p><p class='black-text'>"While no car can be made theft-proof, criminals are seeking vehicles solely equipped with a steel key and 'turn-to-start' ignition system," a Kia spokesperson told reporters, adding that key fobs make vehicles "more difficult to steal."</p><p class='black-text'>According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 96% of vehicles from other brands included immobilizers by 2015, but Kia and Hyundai still only offered the devices in 26% of their models.</p><p class='black-text'>These vehicles have been a target for thefts for years. Viral videos featuring the theft technique started popping up as early as 2021, but the trend really took off this summer on TikTok. According to Kia and law enforcement, there was a significant jump in Kia and Hyundai thefts in the Midwest this summer.</p><p class='black-text'>Charlotte, North Carolina, reported that thefts of Kias and Hyundais in the city were up 346% in June. Detroit, meanwhile, saw its Kia thefts double in June from 11 to 23, before skyrocketing up to 111 Kia thefts in July.</p><p class='black-text'>Hyundai has acknowledged that its vehicles "have been targeted in a coordinated effort on social media," and the carmaker is offering an anti-theft kit in the form of a steering wheel lock to prevent these types of thefts. Kia says it isn't offering any added security measures. The Hyundai Motor Group is the parent company for both brands.</p><p class='black-text'>"Offering [a security kit] and then charging them to install it is not acceptable," said Jeffrey Goldenberg, an attorney representing plaintiffs in a class action in Ohio.</p><p class='black-text'>Despite the fact that both companies have acknowledged the flaw, neither has offered to fix the issue or compensate consumers, according to the Iowa class action. Hyundai says that all of its vehicles "meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards."</p> http://www.pws.io/kia-hyundai-face-class-action-suit-over-wave-of-car-thefts Mon, 26 Sep 2022 13:50:21 -0400 Autumn McLain IPO Market Slumps as Nasdaq Ups Micro-Cap Scrutiny on 'Pop-and-Drop' Trends http://www.pws.io/ipo-market-slumps-as-nasdaq-ups-micro-cap-scrutiny-on-pop-and-drop-trends <p class='black-text'>The initial public offering (IPO) market has cooled down from even its persistently slow current state as the Nasdaq recently announced it will be increasing its scrutiny of micro-cap issuers amid volatile "pop-and-drop" trading trends.</p><p class='black-text'>According to a <i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-22/nasdaq-increases-scrutiny-of-small-cap-ipos-after-big-swings?leadSource=uverify%20wall">Bloomberg </a></i><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-22/nasdaq-increases-scrutiny-of-small-cap-ipos-after-big-swings?leadSource=uverify%20wall">report</a>, the Nasdaq is looking more closely at prospective small-cap issues across industries after a series of outsized gains by new listings quickly bottomed in a matter of days. The most recent example was Addentax Group Corp. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ATXG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ATXG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ATXG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ATXG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ATXG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which popped over 13,000% on its first trading day only to end the week down 25% from its initial offering.</p><p class='black-text'>As a possible consequence of this increased scrutiny, only one company priced on Wall Street last week, with several other small deals postponing their debuts.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Loop Media Ltd.</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LPTV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LPTV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LPTV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LPTV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LPTV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> priced its shares at its midpoint to raise $12 million. The company operates a proprietary content streaming box subscriptions for bars, hotels and stores, generating most of its revenue through advertisements. However, the company is currently unprofitable. Loop Media ended its first week down 5%.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Here's companies that may price in the week ahead: </i></p><p class='black-text'><b>Lead Real Estate Co. Ltd. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LRE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LRE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LRE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LRE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LRE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise $34.5 million from 2 million shares priced between $12 to $15 each. The company offers luxury residential properties in the Japanese market, as well as overseas condominiums in the United States and Hong Kong.</p><p class='black-text'><b>YanGuFang International Group Co., Ltd. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/YGF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">YGF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="YGF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="YGF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="YGF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise $30 million from 5 million shares priced between $5 to $7 each. The Chinese company produces oat and grain products, holding operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fugian, Guangdong, Inner Mongolia, Anhui, and Chongqing, and has international expansion plans for the United States for the second half of 2022.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Intensity Therapeutics, Inc. </b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/INTS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">INTS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="INTS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="INTS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="INTS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plans to raise $10 million from 2.2 million shares offering between $4 to $5 each. The Phase 2 biotech is developing intratumoral injection therapies for cancer, with its lead candidate, INT230-6, consisting of two proven anti-cancer cytotoxic agents, cisplatin and vinblastine sulfate, mixed with the amphiphilic molecule, to aid bioavailability.</p> http://www.pws.io/ipo-market-slumps-as-nasdaq-ups-micro-cap-scrutiny-on-pop-and-drop-trends Mon, 26 Sep 2022 13:46:10 -0400 Rachel Hemple Market Update: Dow Drops 500 Points, Wall Street Ends Week Lower http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-drops-500-points-wall-street-ends-week-lower <p class='black-text'>Stocks dropped on Friday to end a negative week for Wall Street as market participants feared a looming global recession following the Federal Reserve's hawkish monetary policy decision earlier this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 500 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled to close out the week: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.72% or -64.76 points to 3,693.23</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.62% or -486.27 points to 29,590.41</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>: -1.80% or -198.88 points to 10,867.93</p><p class='black-text'>The Dow notched a new low for the year on Friday and closed below 30,000 for the first time since June 17. The index ended the day 19.9% below its previous intraday record, positioning it dangerously close to bear market territory.</p><p class='black-text'>Friday's session also caped Wall Street's fifth negative week in six, with the Dow falling 4%, while the S&P and Nasdaq lost 4.65% and 5%, respectively. The week's moves follow the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by another 75 basis points for a third straight time. Fed Chair Jerome Powell also signaled that policymakers are prepared to issue a 'hard landing' for the economy in order to restore price stability in remarks on Wednesday.</p><p class='black-text'>The central bank also signaled that it will issue at least another 75 basis point rate hike by the end of the year.</p><p class='black-text'>Notably on Friday, 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> cut its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 3,600 from 4,300, citing rising rates and implying a 4% downside from the benchmark's current closing.</p><p class='black-text'>"The expected path of interest rates is now higher than we previously assumed, which tilits the distribution of equity market outcomes below out prior forecast," Goldman's David Kostion said in a note.</p><p class='black-text'>"Based on our client discussions, a majority of equity investors have adopted the view that a hard landing scenario is inevitable and their focus is on the timing, magnitude and duration of a potential recession and investment strategies for that outlook," he added.</p><p class='black-text'>Stocks expected to suffer the worst impacts from a recession all fell on Friday, with growth stocks like Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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>, 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 Meta Platforms <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/META"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">META</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="META" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> all lower.</p><p class='black-text'>At an event on Friday, Powell noted that the U.S. economy may be entering a "new normal" amid its current state of high-inflation, low-growth.</p><p class='black-text'>"We continue to deal with an exceptionally unusual economic set of disruptions. As policymakers, we are committed to using our tools to help steer the economy through what has been a uniquely challenging period," Powell stated at a Fed Listens event. "The insights you share in these events help us hone in on the challenges and opportunities that are shaping what we might think of as the new normal of the American economy."</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-dow-drops-500-points-wall-street-ends-week-lower Fri, 23 Sep 2022 15:17:59 -0400 Rachel Hemple Why Investors Should Pay Attention to the Biotech, Genomics Sectors http://www.pws.io/why-investors-should-pay-attention-to-the-biotech-genomics-sectors <p class='black-text'>Given the market's strong bull market and massive gains off the March 2020 lows, there has been a dearth of opportunities for investors for much of the past couple of years. Now, there is some relief on the horizon due to the correction in the stock market which has prevailed for nearly all of 2022.</p><p class='black-text'>Stock market selling and fear are what create opportunities for value investors, however, there remain some potent headwinds like inflation, rising rates, and a slowing economy. All three factors are somewhat interrelated, but they make it more challenging for these stocks to see substantial earnings growth as these factors are harbingers of margin compression, an earnings contraction, and higher rates.</p><p class='black-text'>Amid these challenging circumstances, investors should prioritize companies whose earnings and revenues are less sensitive to changes in economic growth. Out of these groups, the best candidates are the biotech stocks as they have been flat in terms of price performance over the last 7 years even while the leading candidates in the sector have experienced earnings that have tripled or quadrupled.</p><p class='black-text'>As a result, valuations have become very attractive in the sector. Further, the long-term thesis for these stocks only continues to strengthen due to an aging population and increasing spending per patient. Advances in computing and science have also lowered the cost of drug development and increased its precision. Finally, many pharmaceutical companies are expected to go on a massive acquisition binge over the next couple of years to restock their pipelines.</p><p class='black-text'>Popular biotech exchange-traded funds to consider (ETF) include<b> SPDR S&P Biotech ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XBI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XBI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XBI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XBI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XBI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and<b> VanEck Biotech ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BBH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BBH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BBH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BBH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BBH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Within the biotech group, the genomics industry offers the most upside. Currently, the industry is in its early stages, but the biggest breakthrough is helping patients and doctors diagnose diseases at a much earlier stage which increases the chances of successful treatment. Next-generation genomics treatment involves attacking the disease at a genetic level or even fixing genetic defects in patients to prevent getting sick.</p><p class='black-text'>Right now, many genomics stocks have been battered due to the selloff in the broader market and risk-off tenor around speculative stocks. This is a good time to begin the due diligence process to learn about these companies as there's a good chance that the next batch of market leaders will emerge from this group.</p><p class='black-text'>Genomics ETFs to consider include<b> iShares Genomics Immunology and Healthcare ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IDNA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IDNA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IDNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IDNA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IDNA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and <b>Global X Genomics & Biotechnology ETF</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GNOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GNOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GNOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GNOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GNOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p> http://www.pws.io/why-investors-should-pay-attention-to-the-biotech-genomics-sectors Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:49:53 -0400 Jaimini Desai Biden Says U.S. Would Defend Taiwan http://www.pws.io/biden-says-us-would-defend-taiwan <p class='black-text'>President Joe Biden appeared on <i>CBS'</i> 60 Minutes and made some news with his remarks regarding the escalation between China and Taiwan, the economy, and the pandemic.</p><p class='black-text'>Biden has some late momentum as the midterm elections due to the successful passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and a bipartisan, infrastructure bill. Additionally, Democrats have been energized by the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, and there is some relief with gas prices more than 30% lower from the recent peak.</p><p class='black-text'>A few months ago, the expectation was that Republicans would romp in the midterms, taking decisive control of both Houses of Congress and nullifying the remainder of Biden's agenda. Now, odds indicate a narrow victory in the House, and Democrats maintaining control in the Senate.</p><p class='black-text'>With that context in mind, let's examine some of Biden's most interesting comments:</p><p class='black-text'><b>China-Taiwan</b></p><p class='black-text'>When asked about the possibility of China retaking Taiwan and the U.S. response, President Biden reaffirmed his commitment to a 'One China Policy' and that Taiwan gets to decide its fate as a nation.</p><p class='black-text'>He also drew attention when he said that U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if the island was unprovoked attacked. However, White House officials were quick to emphasize after the interview that there had been no change in its China policy.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Economy</b></p><p class='black-text'>Most of the interview centered on inflation. <i>CBS'</i> Scott Pelley asked President Biden about the latest reading, and President Biden chose to focus on the slowing gains in monthly inflation rather than the other, more concerning signs that inflation is too high.</p><p class='black-text'>He also focused on the 10 million jobs that had been added during his Administration, and the unemployment rate that was below pre-pandemic levels. And, that battling inflation would be a process, but the overall economy was in a good place.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Pandemic</b></p><p class='black-text'>Maybe the most eyebrows were raised by President Biden's comments that the "pandemic was over". Of course, while the world has normalized in many ways, this is inconsistent with nearly 400 deaths a day from the coronavirus and many rules and regulations that remain in place in many areas.</p> http://www.pws.io/biden-says-us-would-defend-taiwan Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:42:39 -0400 Jaimini Desai 'Avatar' to Return to Theaters Ahead of Long-Delayed Sequel http://www.pws.io/avatar-to-return-to-theaters-ahead-of-long-delayed-sequel <p class='black-text'>This coming weekend, Disney's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> film, "Avatar" is returning to theaters, three months prior to long-awaited its sequel's release in December. It is considered to be the biggest moneymaker for Disney, raking in $2.78 billion globally in its initial run, and so the company would ideally like to ignite interest in it again before the sequel, "The Way of Water," releases to the big screen.</p><p class='black-text'>"Many questions have been asked about the film's pop culture legacy over the past decade, but we also have to remember that James Cameron has been doubted before and proven many wrong," said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.</p><p class='black-text'>Although Avatar has experienced a generally overwhelmingly positive response from viewers, its popularity differs depending on the country. In Korea, for example, it was listed as "No. 3" and in Saudi Arabia, it was No. 2, while No. 1 in Belgium and the Philippines.</p><p class='black-text'>According to James Cameron, the creator of Avatar, who is both an environmentalist and vegan, he has also decided to start a new nature documentary series known as "Super/Natural" to get viewers amped up for the release of Avatar. Videographers using effects like infrasound, ultrasound, ultraviolet, and so on have traveled around 25 different countries to capture both natural and scientific footage.</p><p class='black-text'>"What's our purpose in this? Not just to entertain, but absolutely to teach and to show the wonder, the majesty, the complexity, of nature," stated Cameron. "We're going to pull out every trick we know as entertainers, as storytellers, to try to get that engagement."</p><p class='black-text'>Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, this series is set out specifically to be a "logical extension of (Cameron's) latest filmmaking", according to AP News, in which Cameron intends to ignite a sense of awe and admiration for nature in viewers. Nature's many sides to it can potentially hold viewers' interests and gear them for the upcoming release of Avatar, which will be both scientific and imaginative in essence.</p><p class='black-text'>"It blows your mind how amazing nature is, things that we just take for granted, and how nature has developed all these different amazing strategies for these animals and these plants over millions of years," Cameron said in a comment on natural exploration.</p> http://www.pws.io/avatar-to-return-to-theaters-ahead-of-long-delayed-sequel Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:39:37 -0400 Stephanie Williams Q2 Earnings Season Recap http://www.pws.io/q2-earnings-season-recap <p class='black-text'>In terms of what moves stock prices, the two biggest factors, are earnings and interest rates. Of course, there can be some deviation at times, especially during periods of extreme greed and fear.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the longer-term destination and path of the market are largely determined by earnings and rates. And that's precisely why news or data that affects these factors or the perception of these factors can influence prices and are treated importantly by market participants.</p><p class='black-text'>Therefore, it's important and instructive to check in on how Q2 earnings season is developing, especially because the resilience of earnings and continued projections of earnings growth in upcoming quarters, is one reason for the market's resilience.</p><p class='black-text'>In Q2, companies in the S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> had 6% earnings growth. At the start of the year, analysts were projecting 8% growth. Following Q1 earnings season, the S&P 500 earnings forecast was cut to 3%, so it was a modest beat relative to expectations.</p><p class='black-text'>76% of companies in the S&P 500 did beat their forecasts while 71% of companies beat on revenue. It's important to highlight that these tend to be higher-quality companies given their size. And, many will issue forecasts strategically.</p><p class='black-text'>Another measure that investors were watching is profit margins. Here, there was some deflation to 12.4% from 12.7% in the last quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>In some ways, 12.4% is close to historically high levels of around 13% and shows that the economy continues to have enough strength and activity to absorb this headwind. It's probably also a reflection of the greater share of tech profits which intrinsically have higher margins.</p><p class='black-text'>Some negative news included 72 companies warning about higher costs or cutting forecasts. Most notably, we have seen headlines of 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> and 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> warning about higher costs and guiding lower Q3 forecasts. In FedEx's case, this is likely a leading indicator of deeper stress and in Ford's case, it could have spillover effects in terms of its supply chain.</p><p class='black-text'>For Q3, analysts are currently projecting 3.5% earnings growth which is a significant downgrade from the projected earnings growth of 9.5% at the end of June. However, it's still positive and projections are positive for 2023 as well which seems inconsistent with a hawkish Fed and growing recession narrative.</p> http://www.pws.io/q2-earnings-season-recap Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:34:21 -0400 Jaimini Desai Coinbase Could Earn $1.2 Billion in Revenue Next Year, Says JPMorgan http://www.pws.io/coinbase-could-earn-12-billion-in-revenue-next-year-says-jpmorgan <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> analyst Ken Worthington estimates crypto exchange Coinbase <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COIN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COIN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COIN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COIN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has the potential to accrue an additional $1.2 billion of income due to the dramatic increases of interest rates.</p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan also has calculated that Coinbase's partnership with USDC issuer Circle could potentially add about $700 million in total revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>"We see the potential for institutional investors to hold less USDC given the opportunity cost of holding quasi-cash that doesn't offer a yield. We also see retail holding less of its fiat at Coinbase since it doesn't get a yield. As such, we see the potential for USDC balances and fiat balances to decline for Coinbase," Worthington wrote in a note.</p><p class='black-text'>In addition, Coinbase will likely benefit from an Ethereum Merge that occurred last week, in which the platform switched from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake for how it conducts transactions. JPMorgan has estimated that Coinbase has a 15% market share in Ethereum assets, and Worthington has implied that Coinbase's market share is likely biased toward institutions, which are much more inclined to take stock in Ethereum or Bitcoin.</p><p class='black-text'>From this Merge, JPMorgan approximates that Coinbase will be able to come up with incremental yearly staking revenue of $650 million, with Ethereum at $2,000 and a 5% yield.</p><p class='black-text'>"Coinbase is bigger in [ether] than was intuitive to us, thus leading directly to a bigger revenue opportunity," JPMorgan wrote in a statement.</p><p class='black-text'>According to 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>, Coinbase is anticipated to gain an additional $250 million to $600 million in staking revenue as a result of ether staking. Goldman additionally plans for higher interest rates from USDC in the near future.</p><p class='black-text'>JPMorgan analysts also have confirmed that Coinbase is in a spot to vastly benefit from the Merge, but Goldman believes Coinbase still has weak areas to improve upon in terms of sell rates.</p><p class='black-text'>"We remain sell rated as we believe the profitability profile is likely to remain weak given the depressed trading environment and the company's target for roughly break-even margins over the intermediate term," Goldman's analysts said.</p> http://www.pws.io/coinbase-could-earn-12-billion-in-revenue-next-year-says-jpmorgan Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:32:18 -0400 Stephanie Williams Social Media Companies Can Now Be Sued for "Censorship" in Texas http://www.pws.io/social-media-companies-can-now-be-sued-for-censorship-in-texas <p class='black-text'>A court in Texas has ruled that individuals can sue social media platforms like 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 Meta Platforms <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/META"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">META</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="META" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="META" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> for <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/09/16/1123620521/fifth-circuit-texas-social-media-ruling">so-called "censorship"</a>. For years, Republican pundits and lawmakers have argued that these platforms target and censor conservative speech, but the evidence doesn't support their claims.</p><p class='black-text'>The legislation allowing citizens to sue for social media censorship was first signed into law by Texas's Republican Governor, Greg Abbott. However, the law was soon challenged in court by tech company trade groups who argue that the law will prevent them from removing extremism and hate speech. Most recently, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled against the groups' complaint.</p><p class='black-text'>"Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say," wrote U.S. Circuit Court Judge Andrew Oldham.</p><p class='black-text'>A similar law was passed in Florida last year, but, unlike the Texas law, the Florida legislation was tossed out by the court. Now that the Texas law has passed the initial hurdle, its likely to go on to the Supreme Court.</p><p class='black-text'>"We remain convinced that when the U.S. Supreme Court hears one of our cases, it will uphold the First Amendment rights of websites, platforms, and apps," Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for NetChoice, one of the companies challenging the law.</p><p class='black-text'>While Texas and Florida has been the first states to pass laws against social media conservative censorship, Republicans in several other states hope to follow suit.</p><p class='black-text'>"I'll just cut to the chase, Big Tech is out to get conservatives," Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan said. "That's not a hunch. That's not a suspicion. That's a fact."</p><p class='black-text'>It's unclear what facts Jordan is referencing here. As <i>NPR</i> reports, there are two primary ways that <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/10/05/918520692/facebook-keeps-data-secret-letting-conservative-bias-claims-persist">conservatives say platforms are censoring their speech</a>: through mass deletion of conservative posts or by stifling conservative post engagement.</p><p class='black-text'>While there is no proof to support the first claim, the second claim is provably false. Facebook, for instance, has said for years that <a href="https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/26/facebook-conservatives-2020-421146">conservative posts perform</a> better on its site.</p><p class='black-text'>"Right-wing populism is always more engaging," a Facebook executive said in a 2020 interview with <i>Politico</i>. The executive said conservative content triggers "an incredibly strong, primitive emotion" through its focus on "nation, protection, the other, anger, fear."</p><p class='black-text'>The issue of whether or not users on social media favor conservative speech is a complicated one. Based on things like the number of likes and views, conservative posts do perform better, but that doesn't take into account how engaged users are with the information.</p><p class='black-text'>According to Duncan Watts, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who was given access to Facebook's private data, most of the popular content it "mainstream", but he added that, "If anything, there is a bias in favor of conservative content."</p> http://www.pws.io/social-media-companies-can-now-be-sued-for-censorship-in-texas Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:19:08 -0400 Autumn McLain Biden Says Pandemic is 'Over', Public Health Experts Disagree http://www.pws.io/biden-says-pandemic-is-over-public-health-experts-disagree <p class='black-text'>President Joe Biden declared that the coronavirus pandemic is "over", surprising many health experts as the White House continues efforts to secure additional funding to combat the spread of the virus and launches a new booster shot campaign ahead of the fall and winter seasons.</p><p class='black-text'>"The pandemic is over," Biden said in <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-joe-biden-60-minutes-interview-transcript-2022-09-18/">an interview with </a><i><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-joe-biden-60-minutes-interview-transcript-2022-09-18/">CBS's</a></i><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-joe-biden-60-minutes-interview-transcript-2022-09-18/"> "60 Minutes" </a>on Sunday. "We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lotta work on it. But, the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one's wearing masks; everybody seems to be in pretty good shape."</p><p class='black-text'>Biden's remarks surprised health experts, with the White House's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci telling <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/09/18/biden-covid-pandemic-over/"><i>The Washington Post</i> </a>in an interview Monday that while he agrees with the President that the United States is better off than it was a few months ago, "we still have a lot of work to do to get [COVID infections and deaths] down to a low enough level that we feel comfortable with."</p><p class='black-text'>"I'm not comfortable with 400 deaths per day," Fauci added.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Biden's statements reflect growing public sentiment that the worst of the pandemic, and its impacts on daily life, are behind us. According to a recent <a href="https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2022-09/Topline_Axios_Ipsos%20W70_final.pdf">Axios-Ipsos survey</a>, 46% of Americans polled have returned to their pre-pandemic lives. Moreover, 65% of those surveyed gauge return to their normal life will have little to no impact on their health.</p><p class='black-text'>Still, 65% of those polled disagree with the President on his statement that the pandemic is over.</p><p class='black-text'>The World Health Organization (WHO) Director Dr. Tedra Adhanom Ghebreyesus said similar comments to Biden last week that the end of the pandemic may be "in sight," but a lot more work needs to be done before nations can declare the pandemic as over.</p><p class='black-text'>"We can see the finish line," Tedros said in a press conference. "[But] now is the worst time to stop running. Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap all the rewards of our hard work."</p><p class='black-text'>The Biden administration has maintained that the virus's threat has lessened in recent months, but advocates for Americans to receive a booster shot ahead of the colder seasons as data shows infection rates are likely to spike as more people hold gatherings indoors. The White House has also lobbied Congress for billions of dollars to purchase more vaccines and COVID tests and treatments to keep the national infection, hospitalization and death rates low.</p><p class='black-text'>Currently, the U.S. is averaging about 54,000 infections per day, the lowest rate since late April following the Omicron-variant fueled spike early this year. However, that total is likely an undercount as it does not include infections discovered through in-home test kits.</p><p class='black-text'>Most health experts agree that COVID-19 will eventually become a seasonal virus tackled through an annual booster shot, similar to how the U.S. combats the influenza virus. By that point, COVID will be considered an endemic virus rather than a public health emergency.</p> http://www.pws.io/biden-says-pandemic-is-over-public-health-experts-disagree Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:15:59 -0400 Rachel Hemple From Stamps to Coins: The Cost of Changing Monarchs http://www.pws.io/from-stamps-to-coins-the-cost-of-changing-monarchs <p class='black-text'>For more than seventy years, Queen Elizabeth II served as the monarch of Great Britain, and either her initials or her image can be found on all sorts of things, from Marmite and A1 sauce to government uniforms, coins, and stamps. With the Queen's passing, each of those products <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/09/18/business/queen-elizabeth-king-charles-britain.html">will need to be changed</a> to show the new monarch, King Charles III, but it might not be as costly as it sounds.</p><p class='black-text'>While thousands of <a href="https://www.royalmailgroup.com/en/insights-innovation/heritage/qa-on-stamps-and-postboxes/">post boxes in Britain</a> bare the Queen's initials, they will only be replaced with boxes showing the King's initials as new boxes are needed. Similarly, stamps with the Queen's image will still be valid until they are replaced by the Royal Mail as a part of its existing plan to introduce stamps with barcodes over the next few years.</p><p class='black-text'>"The cost of a post box is not related to whether it's a change of monarchy or not," said Norman Baker, an author and former government minister. "The cost of Charles being on there rather than the Queen is minimal. I mean, it's nothing."</p><p class='black-text'>Along with stamps, individuals in Britain can still use coins and banknotes with the Queen's image. Sine 2016, the Bank of England has been transitioning away from paper towards polymer-based notes, and the currency showing the Queen will be replaced as a part of that process, likely over the course of four years.</p><p class='black-text'>On the other hand, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/09/world/europe/king-charles-bank-notes-coins-currency.html">changing the face shown on coins</a> is likely to be more expensive. Unlike banknotes, coins are costly to produce, and there is no ongoing coin transition to help offset the cost. Mauro F. Guillén, the dean at Cambridge Judge Business School, told <i>The New York Times </i>that changing the transition from Queen Elizabeth coins to King Charles coins could cost around $600 million.</p><p class='black-text'>Taxpayers may foot the bill for the coin swap, but many of the products marked with the Queen's coat of arms are privately sold goods, meaning the brands themselves will need to cover the cost.</p><p class='black-text'>By supplying goods and services to the royal family for five out of the past seven years, roughly 800 companies have been <a href="https://www.royalwarrant.org/directory?f%5B0%5D=field_warrants%253Afield_grantor%3A3979">awarded a royal warrant</a> from the Queen. The warrant allows the companies to sell products showing the Queen's coat of arms. Now that the Queen has died, these companies have two years to change to the new coat of arms.</p><p class='black-text'>"We're not talking about changing the ketchup," Guillén said. "We're talking about changing a very, very small, tiny part of the packaging."</p><p class='black-text'>Changing branding might cost businesses, but the death of the Queen has also led to more sales for many companies, particularly those selling royal family memorabilia.</p><p class='black-text'>"All of a sudden, I suppose, just the everyday stamp has become a collector's item, and that's quite interesting," Laura Clancy, a lecturer in media at Lancaster University, told <i>NYT</i>. "It changes the meaning of the object, right? From an everyday object to something that is more special."</p> http://www.pws.io/from-stamps-to-coins-the-cost-of-changing-monarchs Thu, 22 Sep 2022 15:04:36 -0400 Autumn McLain Amazon's Alexa May Now Answer You with Ads http://www.pws.io/amazons-alexa-may-now-answer-you-with-ads <p class='black-text'>Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> recently announced that it will launch a new Alexa feature referred to as "Customers Ask Alexa," which enables brands to enter various answers to their questions regarding pressing questions that customers may have about their products.</p><p class='black-text'>Up until now, Alexa has only offered web tips or other general advice regarding various products. Now, Alexa wants to take it a step further by answering questions that are directly related to specific products.</p><p class='black-text'>"Brands registered with Amazon Brand Registry will see the new Customers Ask Alexa feature (...) where they can easily discover and answer frequently asked customer questions using self-service tools," Amazon wrote in a blog post. "Customers Ask Alexa will be available to shoppers via the Amazon search bar in late 2022 and via Echo devices in mid-2023."</p><p class='black-text'>Before brands get answers about their products approved and officially launched in the Customers Ask Alexa system, they would first need to go through a process of content moderation and quality checks. This feature will be accessible to only select brands on Seller Central starting in October 2022 but through invitation only. An example of a question that customers might want an answer to if they are shopping for cleaning products from Customers Ask Alexa is, "How can I remove pet hair from my carpet?"</p><p class='black-text'>"Amazon recognizes brands as experts on their products. With this new capability, we have made it easier for brands to connect with customers to help answer common questions and better inform their purchase decisions," said Rajiv Mehta, general manager of Alexa Shopping at Amazon.</p><p class='black-text'>Although many question as to whether or not this feature is actually more geared toward sellers or customers, it is convenient that this feature will be offered so that customer questions can be more directly answered regarding specific products.</p><p class='black-text'>General interest in Alexa has been dying down in terms of sales, but Amazon is still attempting to find new and improved ways to advertise Alexa, and one of them is through Customers Ask Alexa. Arguably, Customers Ask Alexa works more like an advertisement than a question-answer service, but customers may choose to use the feature at their own discretion.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazons-alexa-may-now-answer-you-with-ads Thu, 22 Sep 2022 14:59:33 -0400 Stephanie Williams Lula in Lead as Brazilian Presidential Election Nears http://www.pws.io/lula-in-lead-as-brazilian-presidential-election-nears <p class='black-text'>It's often been said and noted that US culture is America's primary export as it's transmitted through the media, movies, and music that people consume all over the world. This is reflected in changing lifestyles and values in various countries all over the world, and this shift is only accelerating with the Internet.</p><p class='black-text'>So, it's also sadly ironic to note that the rhetoric and attitudes of politicians have become another American export as the upcoming Brazilian election has some eerie similarities to the contested 2020 election in the United States.</p><p class='black-text'>In Brazil, the incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro has been trailing behind the former Prime Minister Lula for most of the campaign season. However, Bolsonaro has some late momentum and is closing the gap. Further, there is wide disagreement on the accuracy of these polls.</p><p class='black-text'>The Bolsonaro campaign is weaponizing this to sow disbelief among its supporters about the upcoming election result, and the candidate has waffled on whether or not he would accept the outcome. Of course, this is quite similar to the lead-up to the 2022 election, and he also questioned the veracity of the previous election in 2018 in which he came out ahead.</p><p class='black-text'>The first round of the elections is scheduled for October 2. There is a slight possibility that Lula could win an outright majority in the first round, but most expect that a second round will be needed.</p><p class='black-text'>And based on current polls, it would mark a stunning turnaround for former PM Lula who led the country from 2003 to 2010. He also found himself in prison from 2017 to 2019 on corruption charges that were later annulled.</p><p class='black-text'>Across South America, there has been a trend of leftist candidates winning power from Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Chile, and Colombia. Many of these candidates are putting climate, gender, and sexuality at the forefront of their campaigns and are finding appeal among younger voters. In Brazil, the health and 'deforestation' of the Amazon has become a major issue especially as this has increased under the business-friendly Bolsonaro.</p><p class='black-text'>Another major issue will be the economy and inflation which may also favor Lula as his tenure from 2003 to 2010 was marked by a rapidly expanding economy and relatively low inflation, while Bolsanoro's economic record is marred by the pandemic and recent bout of sky-high inflation.</p> http://www.pws.io/lula-in-lead-as-brazilian-presidential-election-nears Thu, 22 Sep 2022 14:55:14 -0400 Jaimini Desai League of Legends Trophy is Now Made by Tiffany http://www.pws.io/league-of-legends-trophy-is-now-made-by-tiffany <p class='black-text'>Tiffany & Co. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LVMH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LVMH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LVMH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LVMH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LVMH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> recently agreed to a multi-year worldwide collaboration with Riot Games' 'League of Legends' Esports, with the jewelry brand creating the official World Championship Trophy for the league.</p><p class='black-text'>"The Summoner's Cup is a symbol of greatness in esports and the crowning achievement in League of Legends," said Naz Aletaha, Global Head of League of Legends Esports for Riot Games. "The teams who hoist it represent the best of our sport - their mastery forever a part of LoL Esports' history. As we looked to build on the prestigiousness of winning a World Championship, there was only one partner we aspired to collaborate with on the Summoner's Cup. Tiffany & Co is a storied brand and the preeminent designer of the world's greatest sports trophies. We're honored to partner with them to celebrate our past, present, and future World Champions."</p><p class='black-text'>In the past, since 1860, Tiffany & Co. has created trophies that stood for athletic success among many different professional sports, like football, basketball, or baseball. The League of Legends Esports Summoner's Cup presently is part of the wide collection of sports championship trophies, such as the League of Legends Pro-League Silver Dragon Cup, which has also been made by Tiffany & Co.</p><p class='black-text'>It has been reported that League of Legends World Championship would come back to North America after a 6-year hiatus. This particular version of The Summoner's Cup weighs around 44 pounds and is 27 inches tall. The most recent design has been created over a time period of around four months, which comes to a total amount of around 277 hours spent on its design. This particular design additionally will have names of prior winners etched on its bottom. It will essentially act as the video game version of the Stanley Cup.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are excited to continue our partnership with League of Legends Esports and the opportunity to be a part of the brand evolution for the world's most popular esport," said Alexandre Arnault, Executive Vice President, Product and Communication, Tiffany & Co. "Creating the Summoner's Cup is another important moment for Tiffany in the world of esports and an exciting new chapter in our 160-year legacy handcrafting sports trophies."</p> http://www.pws.io/league-of-legends-trophy-is-now-made-by-tiffany Thu, 22 Sep 2022 14:50:54 -0400 Stephanie Williams Stocks Crumble as Fed Raises Rates by 75 Basis Points http://www.pws.io/stocks-crumble-as-fed-raises-rates-by-75-basis-points <p class='black-text'>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 lower by 1.7% following the September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, where the central bank decided to raise rates by another 75 basis points.</p><p class='black-text'>Treasuries initially spiked higher after the decision but ended up finishing lower on the long-end with the 10 Year yield closing at 3.51% after hitting a peak of 3.68%. In contrast, the 2 Year hit a new high of 4.06%, indicating that the market expects the Fed to remain hawkish over the near term but normalize longer-term.</p><p class='black-text'>The rate decision wasn't exactly surprising given the pretty clear statements by FOMC officials and the recent spate of data showing that inflation seems to be plateauing rather than turning lower. And, this is especially worrisome as inflation is at its highest levels since the early 80s. Further, the longer the Federal Reserve's aggressive hawkish stance is intact, the more recession risk will increase.</p><p class='black-text'>The fed funds rate is now at 3-3.25% which is the highest since before the financial crisis. This is also the 3rd straight 75 basis point increase. The Fed also released its Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) which showed the consensus expectations of 1.25% of hikes in its next 2 meetings.</p><p class='black-text'>The SEP also indicated that the Fed expects to end hiking at around 4.6% in 2023 which implies a 0.25% increase next year and no rate cuts. This is certainly a more hawkish path than many traders were expecting a few weeks ago.</p><p class='black-text'>They also are anticipating pain for the economy as the Fed sees the unemployment rate rising to 4.4% next year from its current level of 3.7%. They also forecast 0.2% GDP growth in 2022, down from 1.7% in the last SEP.</p><p class='black-text'>The Fed also projected PCE to decline to 5.4% by the end of the year which is a decrease from its previous forecast of 6.3%. And, it sees PCE falling back to 2% sometime in 2025.</p><p class='black-text'>In his press conference, Fed Chair Powell reiterated his message from Jackson Hole that the Fed's primary focus is to bring inflation down to 2%. And, he added that a recession is possible and can't be predicted.</p><p class='black-text'>Many traders' takeaway from the press conference is that Powell will continue raising rates by 75 basis points until something in the economy shows signs of breaking.</p> http://www.pws.io/stocks-crumble-as-fed-raises-rates-by-75-basis-points Thu, 22 Sep 2022 11:03:59 -0400 Jaimini Desai Market Update: Stocks Extend Losses on Fears of Looming Recession http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-extend-losses-on-fears-of-looming-recession <p class='black-text'>Stocks extended losses Thursday after the Federal Reserve delivered another aggressive interest rate hike, boosting fears that the central bank's hawkish actions to stabilize prices will tip the economy into a recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 100 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed 0.8% and 1.4% lower, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Thursday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -0.84% or -31.94 points to 3,757.99</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>: -0.35% or -107.10 points to 30,076.68</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>: -1.37% or -153.39 points to 11,066.81</p><p class='black-text'>On Wednesday, the Fed raised interest rates by 75 basis points for a third consecutive time, bringing the federal funds rates to a new range of 3.0% to 3.25% from the current range of 2.25% and 2.5%.</p><p class='black-text'>Central bankers also signaled that they expect to keep rates higher, projecting the federal fund rate to rise by 4.4% by the end of the year--suggesting another 0.75% rate hike is ahead--and 4.6% by the end of 2023. Those forecasts are up from 3.4% for 2022 and 3.8% for 2023 previously.</p><p class='black-text'>In remarks on Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the inflation level has not fallen as much as the central bank had expected it would by this point, suggesting that the Fed will continue to take aggressive actions to stabilize prices.</p><p class='black-text'>"Our expectation has been we would begin to see inflation come down, largely because of supply side healing," he said. "We haven't. We have seen some supply side healing but inflation has not really come down."</p><p class='black-text'>"We need to continue, and we did today do another large increase as we approach the level we think we need to get to," Powell added. "We're still discovering what that level is."</p><p class='black-text'>On the economic front, mortgage rates jumped to their highest level since 2008 on Thursday, with the average rate on a 30-year mortgage increasing to 6.29% from 6.02% last week, according to Freddie Mac. Now, rates are more than 3 percentage points higher than they were at the start of the year.</p><p class='black-text'>Elsewhere, first-time unemployment claims rose to 213,000 for the week ended September 17, according to the Labor Department on Thursday, increasing from the previous week's downwardly revised total of 208,000.</p><p class='black-text'>For stocks, shares of KB Home <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KBH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KBH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KBH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KBH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KBH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> were lower on Thursday after the homebuilder said it expects more challenges ahead in its third-quarter earnings report.</p><p class='black-text'>"Although we experienced a shortfall in deliveries relative to our expectation due to extended build times and ongoing supply chain constraints, which will also impact out 2022 fourth quarter, our results demonstrate our large scale, excellent portfolio of communities and a healthy balance sheet," CEO Jeffrey Mezger said in a statement.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-extend-losses-on-fears-of-looming-recession Thu, 22 Sep 2022 11:01:47 -0400 Rachel Hemple Take-Two Interactive Hacked, Footage of In-Development Grand Theft Auto Game Leaked http://www.pws.io/take-two-interactive-hacked-footage-of-in-development-grand-theft-auto-game-leaked <p class='black-text'>Rockstar Games was recently struck by a hacking incident that resulted in footage of the latest entry to the Grand Theft Auto series of open-world games being leaked online.</p><p class='black-text'>A string of videos was first leaked to the website GTAForums which showed gameplay from the still-in-development Grand Theft Auto VI. The game isn't expected to <a href="https://www.gamespot.com/articles/gta-6-will-reportedly-only-be-out-in-2025-will-include-fortnite-like-evolving-map/1100-6493368/">release until 2025</a> and hasn't been officially revealed by Rockstar. The developer's parent company, Take-Two Interactive <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TTWO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TTWO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, issued takedown requests against videos hosted on YouTube (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>, and requested that moderators of GTAForums and Reddit take down posted videos.</p><p class='black-text'>In a <a href="https://twitter.com/RockstarGames/status/1571849091860029455?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1571849091860029455%7Ctwgr%5E5d5a732fe8fb4578deee5ee13178569e97682d37%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gamespot.com%2Farticles%2Fgta-6-leak-rockstar-responds-says-work-will-continue-as-planned%2F1100-6507632%2F">statement put out by Rockstar</a>, the developer admitted to suffering from a "network intrusion" that allowed a hacker to download "confidential information." While the hacker has claimed to possess copies of the game's source code and assets used in its development, neither Rockstar nor Take-Two have confirmed or denied this.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way," Rockstar said. "Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Is This Going to Hurt Take-Two and Rockstar?</b></p><p class='black-text'>It's hard to say what the long-term ramifications are, given that it hasn't been confirmed whether the game's source code has been leaked. While Rockstar still intends to proceed with development, a release of the game's source code could potentially warrant a delay in the much-anticipated title.</p><p class='black-text'>In gaming terms, access to GTA VI's source code could be dangerous to the security and integrity of the game. While online play in GTA VI is still unconfirmed, even a single-player only title will still likely need fixes to patch any vulnerabilities with Rockstar's proprietary launcher, which all its modern releases require for use on PC.</p><p class='black-text'>In business terms, the hack seems to have unnerved investors, as shares of Take-Two took a hit in response to the news.</p><p class='black-text'>Shares dropped 1.8% in after-market trading on Sunday, when the leak was revealed, but recovered 2.66% throughout Monday. Investors still seemed to be unnerved, however, as shares slid 1.8% on Tuesday. Shares slid a further 3% on Wednesday, though that drop may be related to a <a href="https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/rockstar-owner-take-twos-hacking-woes-continue-as-2k-confirm-attack-on-their-support-service">separate hack</a> of Take-Two owned studio 2K.</p><p class='black-text'>However, aside from a possible delay of GTA VI, it doesn't seem that there's much long-term damage ahead for Rockstar or its parent company. Even if GTA VI is delayed, the game still lacks an official release date, making it likely that a delay wouldn't be noticeable anyway.</p><p class='black-text'><b>A Majority of Fans Still Have Rockstar's Back</b></p><p class='black-text'>Some players of the long-running game franchise lashed out at the unfinished state of the game shortly after footage began to circulate online. However, criticism was quickly met by a strong response by fans.</p><p class='black-text'>Many were quick to point out the obvious fact that, as GTA VI is still in development, the game never meant to be a finished product in the first place. Fans and fellow developers have since voiced their support for Rockstar.</p><p class='black-text'>Memes and jokes about criticism of an unfinished game aside, the fan response does seem to reflect considerable interest in the game. Based on the fan response, GTA VI will more than likely release to high enthusiasm unaffected by the unfinished state seen in leaked footage.</p> http://www.pws.io/take-two-interactive-hacked-footage-of-in-development-grand-theft-auto-game-leaked Wed, 21 Sep 2022 17:07:14 -0400 Michael Mooney Gold & Silver Outlook Deteriorates http://www.pws.io/gold-silver-outlook-deteriorates <p class='black-text'>One puzzling aspect of the current market is the poor performance of 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> and silver <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SLV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SLV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SLV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SLV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Prior to the pandemic, the thought of checks being sent to people's homes, loose monetary policy, raging inflation, and rising geopolitical tensions would have gotten the hearts of gold bugs racing.</p><p class='black-text'>Yet, we've had this precise mix of ideal catalysts for precious metals, but there has been little impact on the gold price. In fact, some could argue that the lack of strength in gold augurs that precious metals investors are thinking that the current spike in inflation is not a structural development.</p><p class='black-text'>An alternative theory is that gold is simply no longer an effective inflation hedge. The alternative theory is probably even more disturbing for gold bugs as it undermines a core reason to own it.</p><p class='black-text'>Now, we are likely to see conditions deteriorate further for gold and silver as the Federal Reserve continues to ratchet up the pressure to fight inflation. As the September FOMC meeting nears, currently the market has a 90% expectation of a 75 basis point hike and a 10% chance of a 100 basis point hike. The pace of these hikes should continue especially after the August CPI report which showed a broadening out of inflationary pressures rather than a narrowing which would remove pressure from the Fed to be hawkish.</p><p class='black-text'>At some point, the combination of a hawkish Fed and a slowing economy will succeed in driving inflation lower. However, the only uncertainty is how much damage will be inflicted on the economy.</p><p class='black-text'>Regardless of gold, this sequence will be bearish as it will result in higher real rates. Ultimately, this is the fundamental driver of gold prices as it benefits when real rates are low or negative and sees outflows when investors can earn positive returns on no risk which is what happens with rising short-term rates and falling inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>Already, gold prices are down 8% YTD and silver prices are down 21%. Both are hovering near 2-year lows and could break down with further data showing strength in the labor market and the Fed continuing to hike aggressively.</p> http://www.pws.io/gold-silver-outlook-deteriorates Wed, 21 Sep 2022 17:02:27 -0400 Jaimini Desai Newsom Signs California Social Media Overhaul for Minors http://www.pws.io/newsom-signs-california-social-media-overhaul-for-minors <p class='black-text'>Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act into effect in order to implement safety measures for minors on social media.</p><p class='black-text'>This law, referred to as "AB 2273," passed in August 2022 and plans to go into effect in July 2024. California will be the very first state to implement this type of law and will likely be used as a model for other states. California is currently modeling this law after one that the United Kingdom passed over a year ago regarding minors and the ways in which technology targets them.</p><p class='black-text'>"We're taking aggressive action in California to protect the health and wellbeing of our kids," Newsom explained. "As a father of four, I'm familiar with the real issues our children are experiencing online, and I'm thankful to Assembly members Wicks and Cunningham and the tech industry for pushing these protections and putting the wellbeing of our kids first."</p><p class='black-text'>This specific law is especially important because it prevents online services from collecting children's personal data, or from selling such data, such as geographic locations. Specifically, this law mandates that companies turn on their strictest privacy and safety settings (such as messaging control) in order to protect the well-being of children. AB 2273 additionally requires that online businesses finish a Data Protection Assessment prior to providing online services to children.</p><p class='black-text'>Critics of this bill, however, have said that the bill is unclear and overgeneralized, which could potentially cause difficulty when it comes to convincing businesses to adhere to specific guidelines. According to NetChoice, a company that has actively avoided laws pertaining to social media guidelines in Texas and Florida, has stated that it strictly goes against Newsom's decision to pass this bill.</p><p class='black-text'>"Although AB 2273's motive is well-meaning, many of its chosen means are unconstitutional and risk unintended consequences," remarked NetChoice counsel Chris Marchese. "The law violates the First Amendment by chilling constitutionally protected speech and by infringing on the editorial rights of websites, platforms, and apps of all sizes and ideologies."</p> http://www.pws.io/newsom-signs-california-social-media-overhaul-for-minors Wed, 21 Sep 2022 17:00:11 -0400 Stephanie Williams Key Takeaways of White House Cryptocurrency Regulation Framework http://www.pws.io/key-takeaways-of-white-house-cryptocurrency-regulation-framework <p class='black-text'>The White House released its first-ever framework for cryptocurrency regulation, offering insights on how the financial services industry should evolve to include digital currencies after six months of review of the cryptocurrency space.</p><p class='black-text'>The reports from the U.S. Treasury Department, the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2022/09/16/technical-possibilities-for-a-u-s-central-bank-digital-currency/">White House Office of Science Technology and Policy</a>, the <a href="https://www.commerce.gov/sites/default/files/2022-09/Digital-Asset-Competitiveness-Report.pdf">U.S. Commerce Department,</a> and the <a href="https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1535236/download">U.S Justice Department</a> all largely recommended that the Biden administration should continue to assess the potential risks of digital currencies and explore the creation of a digital dollar.</p><p class='black-text'>"The reports clearly identify the real challenges and risks from digital assets used fo financial services," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters last week in a briefing. "If these risks are mitigated, digital assets and other emerging technologies could offer significant opportunities."</p><p class='black-text'>The reports and the White House's new framework all follow President Joe Biden's executive order issued in March, in which the president called on federal agencies research the benefits and risks and offer recommendations in relation to the cryptocurrency industry.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Here are some key takeaways from the White House's new framework: </i></p><p class='black-text'><b>Protecting Consumers, Businesses, and Investors</b></p><p class='black-text'>Digital assets pose meaningful risks to consumers, businesses, and investors due to the currently highly volatile nature of the cryptocurrency industry, according to the White House fact sheet. Moreover, almost one quarter of all digital coin offerings had disclosure or transparency issues, according to a study, including false promises of guaranteed returns.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to protect Americans from fraud in the digital currency space, the White House plans to encourage regulators like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to aggressively pursue investigations and enforcement actions against unlawful practices. The administration also recommends the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to increase their monitoring efforts of consumer complaints and enforce against abuse in the industry.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Fostering Financial Stability</b></p><p class='black-text'>As digital currencies and the mainstream financial system continue to become increasingly intertwined, the federal government is assessing ways to make the industry more stable to help prevent crashes, making cryptocurrencies more of an asset like gold.</p><p class='black-text'>The White House points to the <a href="https://www.pws.io/understanding-the-lunacoin-terra-stablecoin-crash">collapse of the so-called stablecoin TerraUSD </a>as an example for the need to to actually stabilize the industry, as the stable coin project's crash led to a series of insolvencies that erased nearly $600 billion in wealth.</p><p class='black-text'>To make stablecoins more of an asset, the White House calls on the Treasury Department to "work with financial institutions to bolster their capacity to identify and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities by sharing information and promoting a wide range of data sets and analytical tools," and team up with other agencies to "identify, track, and analyze emerging strategic risks that relate to digital asset markets."</p><p class='black-text'><b>Innovation and Possible Digital Dollar </b></p><p class='black-text'>The framework outlines the potential for "significant benefits" from a U.S. central bank digital currency, or CBDC, better known as a digital dollar. Those benefits include the development of a more efficient payments system, faster cross-border transactions, creating a foundation for further technological innovations, and being more environmentally sustainable, according to the White House.</p><p class='black-text'>Moreover, a digital dollar could "promote financial inclusion and equity by enabling assess for a broad set of consumers, and foster economic growth and stability, protect against cyber and operational risk, safeguard the privacy of sensitive data, and minimize risk of illicit financial transactions," according to the White House.</p><p class='black-text'>To explore the possibility of a digital dollar, the federal government has developed Policy Objectives for U.S. CBDC System and calls on the Federal Reserve to further its research, experimentation and evaluation of a digital dollar.</p> http://www.pws.io/key-takeaways-of-white-house-cryptocurrency-regulation-framework Wed, 21 Sep 2022 16:56:40 -0400 Rachel Hemple India's Richest Man Passes Jeff Bezos in Wealth http://www.pws.io/indias-richest-man-passes-jeff-bezos-in-wealth <p class='black-text'>Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Jeff Bezos is <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/09/17/1123648824/richest-person-billionaire-jeff-bezos-gautam-adani">no longer the world's second-wealthiest man</a>; that dubious honor now belongs to India's richest man, Gautam Adani. Adani has amassed somewhere between $147 billion and $152 billion through <a href="https://www.adani.com/about-us/one-vision-one-team/gautam-adani">his work developing major ports</a> in India.</p><p class='black-text'>Sixty-year-old <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/indian-tycoon-gautam-adani-surpasses-170723040.html">Adani surpassed Bezos</a> thanks to his investments in cement, airports, coal, and other goods, an expansion that's netted him between $61 billion and $70 billion so far this year.</p><p class='black-text'>Bezos's worth has reportedly fallen to $145.8 billion in the past week, due in part to a 2% drop in the price of Amazon stock. Other billionaires, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, have also reported dips in their net worth this year.</p><p class='black-text'>Adani is the founder of the massive conglomerate Adani Group, which also holds stakes in thermal power generation, solar manufacturing, and military defense. He recently announced that he would be initiating a hostile takeover of India's largest broadcast company, NDTV.</p><p class='black-text'>While Adani holds the second-place spot on <i>Bloomberg</i>'s list of wealthiest people, he actually falls in third place on the <i>Forbes</i> list, behind French luxury brands magnate Bernard Arnault. On the <i>Bloomberg</i> list, Arnault is marked in fourth place, behind both Adani and Bezos. On both lists, Tesla <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> CEO Elon Musk sits at the top with $264 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Adani is also the first Asian to make it into the top three on either list. The business tycoon began the year as the 14th wealthiest person on earth but quickly surged ahead.</p><p class='black-text'>Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, billionaires like Musk and Adani have seen their wealth explode. <a href="https://webassets.oxfamamerica.org/media/documents/Inequality_Kills.pdf?_gl=1*kwalbf*_ga*MjA0NDc3OTIwOS4xNjYzNDM2MzMw*_ga_R58YETD6XK*MTY2MzQzNjMyOS4xLjAuMTY2MzQzNjMyOS42MC4wLjA.">Oxfam International reported</a> that the ten richest people on earth doubled their wealth during the global pandemic that has killed more than six million people.</p><p class='black-text'>As of May, Musk's wealth had <a href="https://inequality.org/great-divide/updates-billionaire-pandemic/">increased by $150 billion</a>, or more than 600%, since the pandemic began. Adani has seen his wealth shoot up to its current level from <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/05/economy/ambani-adani-india-covid-billionaires-intl-hnk/index.html">less than $13 billion</a>, pre-pandemic.</p> http://www.pws.io/indias-richest-man-passes-jeff-bezos-in-wealth Wed, 21 Sep 2022 14:56:15 -0400 Autumn McLain Market Update: Stocks Drop Following Another Aggressive Fed Rate Hike http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-drop-following-another-aggressive-fed-rate-hike <p class='black-text'>Stocks dropped Wednesday on choppy afternoon trade as market participants reacted to the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision and its potential impact on the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled over 500 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.</p><p class='black-text'><b>Here's how the market settled on Wednesday: </b></p><p class='black-text'>S&P 500 Index <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.71% or -66.00 points to 3,789.93</p><p class='black-text'>Dow Jones Industrial Average <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>: -1.70% or -522.45 points to 30,183.78</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>: -1.79% or -204.86 points to 11,220.19</p><p class='black-text'>The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised its benchmark policy rate by 0.75% for a third consecutive time on Wednesday, bringing the federal funds rate to a new range of 3.0% to 3.35%--its highest level since 2008--from its previous range of between 2.25% or 2.5%.</p><p class='black-text'>The central bank also raised its terminal rate, or how far it expects to hike interest rates, to 4.6% in 2023. The Fed also expects to hike rates to 4.4% by the end of the year, meaning there will be at least one more 0.75% rate hike.</p><p class='black-text'>"The extent of the aggressiveness that the Fed is signaling did indeed surprise us," said Mark Cabana, head of the U.S. short rates at 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>, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/20/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-newshtml.html">quoted by </a><i><a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/20/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-newshtml.html">CNBC</a></i>. "This is very consistent with the recent shift in commentary from the Fed, and it certainly sounds like a Fed that is absolutely okay risking recession, brining inflation lower with restrictive monetary policy."</p><p class='black-text'>Chair Jerome Powell maintained that the Fed will continue to act aggressively to stabilize prices in remarks after the FOMC decision Wednesday afternoon.</p><p class='black-text'>"My main message has not changed since Jackson Hole," Powell said, referring to his policy speech at the Fed's annual symposium in August. "The FOMC is strongly resolved to bring inflation down to 2%, and we will keep at it until the job is done."</p><p class='black-text'>The S&P 500 ended Wednesday's session down over 10% for the past month and 21% off its 52-week high. Market participants have traded anxiously throughout the month as many fear the Fed's moves could tip the U.S. economy into a recession even before Wednesday's policy decision.</p><p class='black-text'>Elsewhere, General Mills <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GIS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GIS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GIS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares rose on Wednesday after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and raised its full year sales outlook despite higher inflationary pressures impacting consumer spending power.</p><p class='black-text'>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> also gained on Wednesday after announcing its first plant based meat option with its collaboration with Taco Bell <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>: Beyond Carne Asada Steak. The news helped boost Beyond shares after the company's stock took a hit earlier this week after it suspended Chief Operating Officer Doug Ramset over this recent arrest for a road rage incident.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-update-stocks-drop-following-another-aggressive-fed-rate-hike Wed, 21 Sep 2022 14:53:31 -0400 Rachel Hemple Uber Hacked, Suffers Major Data Breach http://www.pws.io/uber-hacked-suffers-major-data-breach <p class='black-text'>On Thursday, September 15, <a href="https://www.uber.com/newsroom/security-update/">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> reported</a> that it was responding to a cybersecurity incident, and on Friday the ride-sharing company confirmed that it had <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/15/technology/uber-hacking-breach.html">suffered a major data breach</a>. Services were <a href="https://www.npr.org/2022/09/16/1123578408/uber-data-breach-hack">operational again by Friday</a>, and Uber says that no sensitive user data was accessed during the hack.</p><p class='black-text'>"We're working with several leading digital forensics firms as part of the investigation," Uber wrote on its security dashboard on Monday. "We will also take this opportunity to continue to strengthen our policies, practices, and technology to further protect Uber against future attacks."</p><p class='black-text'>According to Uber, the hacker is affiliated with the hacking group Lapsus$ which the company says has already breached 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>, Samsung, Cisco <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CSCO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CSCO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CSCO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CSCO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CSCO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, 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 Okta <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OKTA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OKTA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OKTA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OKTA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="OKTA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> so far this year. The hacker has also claimed responsibility for a recent hack on video game maker Rockstar Games <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TTWO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TTWO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TTWO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber says the hacker gained access to "several internal systems" by purchasing an Uber contractor's password on the dark web. The password and credentials were exposed by a malware attack on the contractor's personal device, the company says.</p><p class='black-text'>The hacker attempted to log into the account but was stopped by two-factor authentication, but the contractor reportedly eventually accepted one of the two-factor requests after a flurry of attempts. According to some reporting, the hacker posed as another employee to trick the contractor into accepting the request.</p><p class='black-text'>"From there, the attacker accessed several other employee accounts which ultimately gave the attacker elevated permissions to a number of tools, including G-Suite and Slack," Uber's report reads. "The attacker then... reconfigured Uber's OpenDNS to display a graphic image to employees on some internal sites."</p><p class='black-text'>The hacker, who told the researchers that they were 18 years old, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/16/23356213/uber-hack-teen-slack-google-cloud-credentials-powershell">took to Uber's Slack channel</a> to "announce" the hack and list the data they had stolen, including "secrets from sneakers". They finished their message with a hashtag reading, "uberunderpaisdrives". Many Uber employees in the channel apparently thought the message was a joke, responding with dozens of laughing and popcorn emojis.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber says that it quickly shut down access to all relevant accounts and tools and that an investigation into the incident is ongoing. Importantly, the company says that no "sensitive user information, like credit card numbers, user bank account info, or trip history" was exposed.</p><p class='black-text'>However, the hacker has reportedly shared screenshots that suggest they gained access to the company's cloud-based system which stores users' financial data and other sensitive information. Based on screenshots that have been shared widely online, they were able to access the most sensitive internal systems at Uber.</p><p class='black-text'>"It was really bad the access he had. It's awful," said Corbin Leo, a researcher with Zellic security who claims to have spoken with the hacker. "If he had keys to the kingdom he could start stopping services. He could delete stuff. He could download customer data, change people's passwords."</p><p class='black-text'>Despite gaining access, Leo and another researcher who contacted the hacker, Sam Curry at Yuga Labs, say that the hack was more about gaining publicity than stealing data. The hacker reportedly didn't tell the researchers how much data had been copied, if any, but did provide proof they had access the data.</p><p class='black-text'>"This is a total compromise, from what it looks like," Curry said. "It seems like maybe they're this kid who got into Uber and doesn't know what to do with it, and is having the time of his life."</p><p class='black-text'>"My gut feeling is that it seems like they are out to get as much attention as possible," Curry added.</p><p class='black-text'>This isn't the first time Uber has suffered a major hack. Currently, former Uber chief of security, Joseph Sullivan, is facing charges for allegedly paying $100,000 to hackers to cover up a cyber heist they committed in 2016. In that hack, the information for roughly 57 million users was stolen. For his part, Sullivan's representation says that he's being scapegoated by the company for a more widespread issue.</p> http://www.pws.io/uber-hacked-suffers-major-data-breach Tue, 20 Sep 2022 16:25:40 -0400 Autumn McLain Treasuries Hit Their Highest Level Since 2011 http://www.pws.io/treasuries-hit-their-highest-level-since-2011 <p class='black-text'>In most market environments, rising Treasury yields are correlated with higher stock prices. This is because when investors get more optimistic about growth prospects, they sell bonds and buy stocks.</p><p class='black-text'>Of course, this relationship can dramatically change depending on the circumstances. For most of the past decade, we've had rising stock prices and falling yields due to the Federal Reserve's low rate policy and purchase of Treasuries. And over the past year, yields and stocks have had an inverse relationship due to inflation and a hawkish Fed being the primary threat to the stock market.</p><p class='black-text'>This is dramatically illustrated in early August when the 10-year yield was at 2.6% 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> was at 4,300. Since then, the 10Y yield has risen to 3.5%, while the S&P 500 is around 3,900. There was a similar move in the 2Y note which went from 2.9% to 3.9%.</p><p class='black-text'>This is notable in 2 ways. One is that the curve is inverted which means the market's base case is now a recession. The second is that we exceeded the previous cycle high in terms of yields and are now back to 2011 levels.</p><p class='black-text'>The major factor in the dramatic rise in yields has been the strong inflation numbers as evidenced by the August CPI which showed prices rising more than expected especially when looking at the Fed's preferred measure - monthly core CPI.</p><p class='black-text'>In fact, this is showing a broadening of inflationary pressures which is more than enough to offset the deflation from lower gasoline and used vehicle prices which were down 12% and 4% compared to last month, respectively. Now, we are seeing stickier components with accelerating inflation in categories like services, healthcare, and rents.</p><p class='black-text'>In general, it's never a good idea to overreact to a singular data point. However, this is an exception to the rule as it likely increases the duration of the current Fed hiking cycle by a minimum of 3 months and it increases the peak, terminal rate by at least 100 basis points. Further, the strong inflation report also eliminated hopes that we would see an inverted-V-type situation in inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>Rather, this is the worst-case situation, and it means the Fed is going to have to give more medicine to the market which will have all types of nasty, side effects.</p> http://www.pws.io/treasuries-hit-their-highest-level-since-2011 Tue, 20 Sep 2022 16:21:41 -0400 Jaimini Desai