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  • Rick Santelli Blows Up At Andrew Ross Sorkin Over What Places Are Safer From COVID-19
    Business
    Benzinga

    Rick Santelli Blows Up At Andrew Ross Sorkin Over What Places Are Safer From COVID-19

    Tensions between Andrew Ross Sorkin and Rick Santelli boiled over on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday. The disagreement between Sorkin and Santelli was a reflection of a debate many Americans are having these days about what some see as inconsistencies in pandemic lockdown rules.What Happened: The argument about closing restaurants while big box retailers remain open broke out after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new stay-at-home order for California on Thursday that will close bars, hair salons and personal services businesses and restrict restaurants to take out and delivery services only."Five hundred people in a Lowe's aren't any safer than 150 people in a restaurant that holds 600," Santelli said. "I don't believe it. Sorry. Don't believe it. And I live in an area where there's a lot of restaurants that have fought back, and they don't have any problems. And they're open!"Sorkin Fires Back: Sorkin responded by accusing Santelli of misinforming CNBC's viewers."You don't have to believe it, but let me just say this--you're doing a disservice to the viewer because the viewers need to understand it," Sorkin said. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'd like to keep the viewers as healthy as humanly possible. The idea of packing people into a restaurant and packing people into a Best Buy are completely different things"> When WWE takes over CNBC. pic.twitter.com/gdtftV8EXb> > -- Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) December 4, 2020Santelli has been an on-air editor for CNBC since 1999 and reports live from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Sorkin is a financial columnist for the New York Times, author of the book "Too Big To Fail" and co-creator of the Showtime series "Billions.""You are doing a disservice to the viewer! You are!" Santelli said in response to Sorkin's accusations. "I think our viewers are smart enough to make some of those decisions on their own. I don't think that I'm much smarter than all the viewers, like some people do."Related Link: Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Kernen Get Into Heated On-Air Argument Over Coronavirus, TrumpBenzinga's Take: Sorkin and Santelli represented two sides of a very basic philosophical argument about whether the primary responsibility for keeping people safe in America during the pandemic should rest with the government or the individual citizens themselves.The pandemic is taking a disproportionately large toll on small businesses, such as restaurants and bars. However, COVID-19 cases are spiking to record highs in many areas around the country, including a record 7,854 new cases in Los Angeles County on Thursday.See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * US Adds Just 245K Jobs In November, Missing Expectations By 44% * 3 Stocks That Could Make You Richer In December(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Mystery Surrounds $7 Billion Outflow From Vanguard S&P 500 Fund
    Business
    Bloomberg

    Mystery Surrounds $7 Billion Outflow From Vanguard S&P 500 Fund

    (Bloomberg) -- A record outflow from one of Vanguard Group’s biggest exchange-traded funds is stirring speculation over who was behind it and why.More than $7 billion was pulled from the $172 billion Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) on a single day this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, about 4% of the fund’s assets. But trading volumes were below the one-year average and there were no obvious outsized transactions, while the U.S. equity benchmark rose on the day -- making a mass exodus less appealing.It’s all leading to a theory that a major holder of the fund executed a large over-the-counter trade.“We think the redemption didn’t show up because it was an outsized primary market sale,” said Eric Balchunas, a Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst. Rather than shopping for a tie at a store, “this is like someone going straight to the tiemaker, and that’s rare since most ETF usage is smaller investors,” he said.When cash flows into an ETF, a market maker known as an authorized participant gives the issuer more of the fund’s underlying assets in exchange for new shares to meet demand. When money is being taken out, the process works in reverse.Ordinarily an investor buys or sells their shares on an exchange. But instead of selling on the open market, they could hand them directly to an AP, who can redeem them with the issuer in return for the underlying assets. Those assets can then be sold down by the AP or passed on to the investor to hold or sell.“Trading activity and flows are not actually systemically tied together,” said Dave Nadig, chief investment officer and director of research at ETF Flows, a research and data provider. Since the huge withdrawal didn’t show up on the tape, it suggests an institution collected a position worth $7 billion but preferred to have the underlying assets, he said.It’s not possible to know for certain who pulled out the cash. According to the latest available data, Bank of America Corp. is the largest holder in the fund, with shares worth about $14 billion. Raymond James Financial Inc. is next with about $5.2 billion, followed by Parametric Portfolio Associates with $4.9 billion.Spokespeople for Vanguard and Parametric declined to comment on the flows, while Bank of America and Raymond James didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.The scale of the withdrawal indicates that VOO is now being used by large institutions in addition to being a favorite with retail investors, Balchunas said. The fund is cheaper than its main competitor, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY). It has an 0.03% expense ratio, compared with 0.095% for SPY.VOO has attracted $19.5 billion of inflows this year, second only to the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), which has lured $27.8 billion. SPY is leading outflows after seeing $26 billion pulled from the fund.“This really does speak to the usage of ETFs as portfolio tools,” Balchunas said. “VOO is now being used by the big boys.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Stocks That Could Make You Richer In December
    Business
    Benzinga

    3 Stocks That Could Make You Richer In December

    The S&P 500 gained more than 11% in November, its best November on record. After such a strong month and impressive 2020 rebound off the index's March lows, much of the easy money from the expected 2021 economic rebound may have already been made.Bank of America maintains a list of top stock picks selected by its analyst team: the US1 List. Of the 37 stocks on the list, here are the three stocks investors can buy in December that have the most potential upside based on Bank of America's target prices.Related Link: Why November And December Are Critical For Video Game SalesNorthrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)Northrop Grumman is one of the largest global defense companies. The stock has been a major market laggard in 2020 and is down 12.1% year-to-date. Yet analyst Ronald Epstein says the market doesn't appreciate the company's "best in class" combination of a strong order backlog, earnings growth potential and exposure to high-priority programs.Northrop's proven management team, stable cash flow generation and increasing dividends and buybacks should lead to outperformance in the market as the U.S. transitions to a new administration, the analyst said.Bank of America's $455 price target represents about 33.4% upside.Arch Capital Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: ACGL)Arch Capital is a Bermuda-based company that provides insurance and reinsurance for companies around the world.Arch shares have also taken a big 23.3% hit in 2020, but analyst Joshua Shanker says the company's recent struggles with its mortgage business may not be as bad as they seem at first glance. Arch is being forced to reserve against losses in this environment regardless of whether the losses ultimately result in default, the analyst says.As market conditions improve, Arch can release many of these reserves, and Shanker says he anticipates that will allow the company to beat consensus analyst earnings expectations in coming years.Bank of America's $48 price target represents about 31.5% upside.Wix.Com Ltd (NASDAQ: WIX)Wix.com operates a simple platform that allows users to design and edit their own websites.Unlike the other two stocks mentioned, Wix shares are already up 108% year-to-date in 2020 -- but analyst Nat Schindler expects that momentum to continue in the near-term.Schindler has compared Wix to TurboTax in its ability to empower individuals and small businesses to make website design a "do-it-yourself" venture.As more and more businesses transition online, Schindler says Wix should produce accelerating revenue growth, steady revenue streams and expanding margins.Bank of America's $350 price target represents about 26.6% upside.A Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. U.S. Air Force photo. See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * 420 Investor: 'This Is The Most Excited I've Ever Been' In Cannabis * How To Make Money With Stock Option Overwriting(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Tesla Is Open To A Merger — And Daimler Would Be The Right Fit: Reuters
    Business
    Benzinga

    Tesla Is Open To A Merger — And Daimler Would Be The Right Fit: Reuters

    Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) may have a meager 0.8% global market share but, with its $540 billion valuation, it could acquire a legacy automaker, which Reuters' Christopher Thompson opines should be Germany's Daimler AG (OTC: DDAIF).The Right Fit: Thompson said that while Tesla's rivals in the United States such as General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) "hardly" fit the criterion for acquisition, but the $74 billion Daimler fits the bill because Tesla customers are aspirational and may be amenable to a luxury marquee.Other Candidates that were ruled out by the Reuters' writer include Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (OTC: BMWYY), due to family ownership, Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY) due to its own electric ambitions, and Japanese companies, due to historical acquisition difficulties.Why Daimler: Daimler has the potential to boost the Elon Musk-led company's worldwide car output by nearly four times. The Stuttgart-based automaker's presence in China and Europe, the two biggest battery-vehicle markets would "reinforce Musk's electric offensive," wrote Thompson. He also pointed to the fact that Daimler held a small stake in Tesla in the past.Cherry On The Cake: Under existing U.S. stock-exchange rules, Tesla would require shareholder approval if it sought to increase its outstanding shares by more than 20%. This means, given the company's valuation it could, in theory, purchase a company worth $100 billion or more. Thompson said that Musk could purchase the "Benz empire" without even asking for permission. No Hostile Takeovers Please: On Tuesday, Musk had said in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner that Tesla was "definitely not going to launch a hostile takeover." He, however, said the electric vehicle maker was open to voluntary and friendly mergers. If a company says "hey, we think it would be a good idea to merge with Tesla,' we'd certainly have that conversation," Musk told Doepfner.Price Action: Tesla shares closed nearly 4.3% higher at $593.38 on Thursday. On the same day, Daimler OTC shares closed 1.4% lower at $68.56.Click here to check out Benzinga's EV Hub for the latest electric vehicles news. See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Tesla Remains Only Automaker To Grow In Germany Through November, With 37% Rise In Registrations * Elon Musk's 'Fav Cryptocurrency' Is A Joke But Its 2020 Returns Are No Laughing Matter(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.