AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ power grid CEO fired after deadly February blackouts left millions without electricity and heat for days.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ power grid CEO fired after deadly February blackouts left millions without electricity and heat for days.
German automaker BMW is aiming for a quarter of its sales in China to be pure battery electric vehicles by 2025, its China chief Jochen Goller said on Monday. Around 4% of BMW China sales were electric vehicles last year.
French automaker Renault will seek to generate more than 1 billion euros ($1.20 billion) in sales from the so-called "circular economy" by turning its Flins factory outside Paris into a research, recycling and repair centre, its boss told French weekly Journal du Dimanche. "Our ambition, by 2030, is to achieve more revenue (from recycling and repair at Flins) than from assembling cars there," said Luca de Meo, Renault's chief executive.
Bank chief Noel Quinn says the "new reality of life" is people will not be in the office five days a week.
New research ties the mental health of managers to the number of "illegitimate tasks" they feel they have to do as part of their job.
(Bloomberg) -- Britain’s Treasury and the Bank of England are weighing the potential creation of a central bank digital currency, joining authorities from China to Sweden exploring the next big step in the future of money.The government and central bank on Monday announced the creation of a task force to coordinate on the possibility of BOE-issued digital money for use by households and businesses. They will engage in discussions with stakeholders on the risks and benefits before making a decision.If approved, the digital currency would “exist alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than replacing them,” according to the statement.With modern technologies and the coronavirus accelerating the push toward cashless transactions, and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin gaining traction, central banks are taking action to make sure they don’t fall behind.In 2020, the Bahamas launched the Sand Dollar, making it among the world’s first sovereign-backed digital currencies. The European Central Bank and Sweden’s Riksbank have said they could follow suit around the middle of the decade.China is also considering a digital yuan, but the Federal Reserve has previously said it was not something the U.S. would rush into.The U.K. task force will be jointly chaired by BOE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe and the Treasury’s Director General of Financial Services, Katharine Braddick. A new CBDC division will be set up at the central bank.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Coca-Cola’s (KO) business took a real beating last year. This is hardly surprising, as much of the fizzy drink giant’s sales are on-premise: at public places where customers buy drinks to quench their thirst immediately. With vaccines more readily available and consumers out and about in various parts across the globe, Coca-Cola is likely to benefit. However, with the company set to report 1Q21 results today (Monday, April 19) before the open, J.P. Morgan analyst Andrea Teixeira thinks that while there’s “increasing visibility to an eventual recovery of KO’s business,” given varying lockdown conditions remain across some of the company’s globe-spanning markets, the full recovery might be “more of a H221 event.” In Coca-Cola’s last business update, the company said that through early February, global volumes had been “tracking down -MSD% (mid-single digit).” Teixeira believes that since then, trends have likely improved in many regions. “We think March and April-to-date trends will show sequential improvement, which we believe is what most investors will focus on and it should give increased confidence in KO's back-half-weighted FY21 outlook of +HSD top-line and +HSD-LDD EPS growth,” the analyst noted. Teixeira expects the bulk of attention is still likely to be focused on “how the company is lapping the early COVID-19 impacts” and how widespread vaccine distribution will affect the business’s recovery. Although the analyst anticipates investors will also be keen to find out how the company performed in the quarter compared to peers and its impact on the company’s plans for the rest of the year. As for the numbers, Teixeira forecasts Q121 organic revenue decline of -3.0% while the Street has organic revenue decline of -0.6%. The analyst’s Q1 EPS forecast of $0.50 is in-line with the consensus estimate. “Net,” Teixeira summed up, “With a strong innovation pipeline, organizational structure changes, and broad reopening, we think KO is well positioned to deliver on its HSD top-line and HSD-LDD EPS growth this year, and return to its long-term growth algorithm (+4-6% organic revenue, +7-9% EPS) thereafter.” However, as the company’s tax dispute with the IRS remains “an overhang in the medium term,” and KO’s valuation is largely in-line with the 5-year average, Teixeira stays on the sidelines with a Neutral (i.e., Hold) rating, backed by a $51 price target. The implication for investors? Downside of 5%. (To watch Teixeira’s track record, click here) Overall, the rest of the Street has a more upbeat take; the average price target clocks in at $58.5, suggesting gains of 9% over the coming months. Based on 3 Buys and 2 Holds, KO stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating. (See Coca-Cola stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Dogecoin briefly replaced XRP as the fourth-largest coin early Monday.
Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) has been hard to ignore lately, as the meme-based cryptocurrency rose to become the sixth-largest with over $46 billion in market cap. What Happened: With 7,000% year-to-date returns and considerable outperformance against several top cryptocurrencies, DOGE’s appeal to retail investors has steadily been on the rise. However, several crypto influencers and traders have cautioned against going “all-in” on DOGE, citing concerns of a few large holders controlling the majority of its supply. See also: How to Buy DOGE Over 65% of Dogecoins are distributed among just 98 wallets across the world, while the single largest wallet holds 28% of all Dogecoins. In fact, just five wallets control 40% of the coin’s supply. Essentially, around 100 people control the entire $46 billion DOGE market. “The scam is simple - Hold on to Dogecoin till there is enough traction after it multiplies, dump all coins and cash out - Become instant billionaires,” said Akand Sitra of cryptocurrency risk management platform TRM Labs. Why It Matters: Sitra’s analysis of DOGE’s supply distribution was possible due to the nature of blockchain transactions, which are available for anyone to see on the open distributed ledger. Some on-chain analytics of the top DOGE holders led experts to believe that the cryptocurrency’s supply is concentrated among just a few holders. “The Dogecoin bubble will burst by the end of this year, easily,” said Sitra. Other traders in the space echoed this sentiment, calling it the reason why they will never be in DOGE “no matter the gains.” Why I'm not in $DOGE and will never be no matter the gains. https://t.co/jFVU2yQf03 — QuartzHands (@NFTiepie) April 19, 2021 At press time, DOGE was trading at $0.3976, up 32% overnight and 394% in the past seven days. DOGE holders were preparing for April 20, where a large group of retail traders has predicted the coin will touch $0.69. See Also: Dogecoin Creator Defends Meme Crypto's Supply: Doesn't 'Matter For Price' Image: Ivan Radic via Flickr See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaDeFi Blue Chip Season? Here's What Cryptos Coinbase Employees Are Buying Right NowInvestors In Disbelief As DOGE Becomes Top 5 Crypto With B Market Cap© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg) -- Gary Gensler was sworn in Saturday to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he’ll be President Joe Biden’s top cop on Wall Street.Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin swore in Gensler, 63, at a ceremony in Baltimore, the new chairman’s home town, three days after the Senate approved his nomination on a 53-to-45 vote.“As Chair, every day I will be animated by our mission: protecting investors, facilitating capital formation, and promoting fair, orderly, and efficient markets. It is that mission that has helped make American capital markets the most robust in the world,” Gensler said in a statement.Under Gensler the SEC is poised to confront everything from the fallout of the recent GameStop Corp. trading frenzy to the deluge of special purpose acquisition companies to the collapse of Archegos Capital Management.He’ll also face intense pressure from progressive Democrats, who want him to promptly toughen oversight that was weakened during the Trump administration.Gensler’s expected to continue SEC acting Chair Allison Herren Lee’s recent focus on environmental, social and governance issues.Crypto enthusiasts are optimistic that Gensler, who recently taught courses about digital currencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will prompt the SEC to be less stringent. A top hope is that the agency will quickly approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund during his tenure.Gensler was chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the Obama administration, served as a Treasury undersecretary in the Clinton administration, and helped author the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act as a Senate staff aide.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Stocks were down Monday morning even after encouraging comments on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
These past 12 months have seen the S&P 500 return its best performance ever – an 80% gain as of the end of March. But are the good times wrapping up? Some historical data would suggest that the bulls will keep running. Since 1950, the market has seen 9 sustained, year-long runs with a rolling return of 30% or better on the S&P 500. These periods have seen an average one-year gain of 40% (the median has been 34%) – and none of these bull markets has ever ended in its second year. But investors should not expect the same sky-high returns in the coming 12 months as they have just seen in the last, according to Callie Cox, a senior investment strategist at Ally Invest. "[I]t's typical for the bull market to lose a little bit of steam going into year two... Expectations start rising and makes it harder for the market to… beat everybody's expectations. And that leaves a greater chance for disappointment. And to be clear, again, we're not calling for doom and gloom. We just think the market is due for a breather up in the next quarter or two," Cox opined. For investors focused on returns, the prospect of a lower sustained gain in share appreciation will naturally prompt a look at dividend stocks. Reliable, high-yield dividend payers offer a second income stream, to complement the share appreciation and ensure a solid return for investors. With this in mind, we used the TipRanks' database to pinpoint three stocks that meet a profile: a Strong Buy rating from Wall Street’s analysts and a dividend yield around 7%. Trinity Capital (TRIN) We’ll start with Trinity Capital, a venture debt company that makes capital available to start-ups. Trinity’s investment portfolio totals $494 million, spread over 96 companies. The company entered the public markets earlier this year, closing its IPO early in February. The opening saw 8.48 million shares become available for trading, and raised over $105 million after expenses. In its 4Q20 report – the company’s first quarterly report as a public entity, covering the last quarter as a private firm – Trinity showed net investment income of $5.3 million, with a per-share income of 29 cents. This was more than enough to fund the dividend, paid in December at 27 cents per share. Since then, Trinity has declared its 1Q21 dividend, raising the payment by a penny to 28 cents per common share. Trinity has a announced a policy of paying between 90% and 100% of taxable quarterly income in the dividend. At the current rate, the payment annualizes to $1.12 per share, and gives a yield of 7.6%. This is significantly higher than the average yield of 1.78% found among peers in the financial sector. In his note on the stock, Compass Point analyst Casey Alexander states his belief that Trinity has a clear path toward profitable returns. “TRIN operates within the attractive, growing venture debt ecosystem. As such we expect strong net portfolio growth followed by improved NII and increasing dividend distributions, with potential upside from equity/warrant investments,” Alexander noted. To this end, Alexander rates TRIN a Buy, and his $16.75 price target implies an upside of ~14% for the next 12 months. (To watch Alexander’s track record, click here) This newly public stock has already picked up 5 analyst reviews – and those break down to 4 Buys and 1 Hold, for a Strong Buy consensus rating. Trinity shares are selling for $14.74; their $16.46 average price target suggests the stock has ~12% upside potential. (See TRIN stock analysis on TipRanks) Energy Transfer LP (ET) With our second stock, Energy Transfer, we move into the energy midstream universe. Midstream is the necessary sector connecting hydrocarbon exploration and production with the end markets; midstreamers control the transport networks that move oil and gas products. ET has a network of assets in 38 states, which link three major oil and gas regions: North Dakota, Appalachia, and Texas-Oklahoma-Louisiana. The company’s assets include pipelines, terminals, and storage facilities for both crude oil and natural gas products. The big news for Energy Transfer, in recent weeks, comes from two sources. First, on April 9, reports came out that that the US Army Corps of Engineers is not likely to recommend shutting down the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). This project, when complete, will move oil from Alberta’s oil sands region across the US to the Gulf Coast; the Biden Administration wants to shut it down for environmental reasons, but the industry is fighting to keep it. And second, two largest shareholders of Enable Midstream have approved a proposed merger, by which ET will acquire Enable. The merger is projected to be worth $7 billion. Earlier this year, Energy Transfer reported 4Q20 EPS of 19 cents per share, on income of $509 million. While down year-over-year from the 38 cent EPS reported in 4Q19, the recent result was a strong turnaround from the 29-cent net loss reported in Q3. The company’s income is supporting the current dividend of 15.25 cents per common share. This annualizes to 61 cents, and give a yield of 7.7%. The company has paid out a dividend every quarter since Q2 of 2006. Covering this stock for Credit Suisse, analyst Spiro Dounis writes: “We updated our model to reflect a mid-2021 completion of the Enable Midstream acquisition. We view the deal as accretive and see additional potential upside resulting from operational/commercial synergies. ET highlighted potential synergies around both ENBL’s natural gas and NGL assets, noting that gas synergies could be realized fairly quickly while NGL opportunities are more long-term as legacy contracts roll. Upwards of ~$100mm of NGL uplift over the next several years doesn’t appear unreasonable, in our view.” Dounis also notes that the main risk to the company arises from DAPL, which may still be shut down by the Biden Administration. Even so, he rates the stock an Outperform (i.e. Buy), with an $11 price target indicating a 39% one-year upside. (To watch Dounis’s track record, click here) Wall Street’s analysts can be a contentious lot – but when they agree on a stock, it’s a positive sign for investors to take note. That’s the case here, as all of the recent reviews on ET are Buys, making the consensus rating a unanimous Strong Buy. The analysts have given an average price target of $11.60, indicating ~47% upside from the current share price of $7.94. (See ET stock analysis on TipRanks) Oaktree Specialty Lending (OCSL) Last but not least is Oaktree Specialty Lending. This company is one of many specialty finance providers, making loans and credit available in the mid-market segment, to smaller firms that would otherwise have difficulty accessing capital. Last month, Oaktree Specialty Lending completed a merger with Oaktree Strategic Income Corporation (OCSI). The combined company, using OCSL’s name, has more than $2.2 billion in assets. Oaktree’s investment portfolio totals more than $1.7 billion, primarily in first and second liens, which make up 85% of the company’s investment allocations. Oaktree finished 2020 with its fiscal first quarter, ending December 31. In that quarter, the company increased its dividend payment by 9%, to 12 cents per share, or 48 cents per share annualized. At this rate, the dividend yields 7.25% -- and marks the third quarter in a row of a dividend increase. Oaktree has kept up reliable dividend payments for more than three years. Among the bulls is Kyle Joseph, a 5-star analyst with Jefferies, who puts a Buy rating and an $8 price target on this stock. His target implies room for 20% upside potential in the next 12 months. (To watch Joseph’s track record, click here) “OCSL's conservative strategy in recent years has ultimately paid off, as the BDC is deploying dry powder into higher-yielding investments. Credit performance remained solid through the MRQ, while fundamentals are encouraging… We believe the BDC has sufficient liquidity to support near-term opportunities and believe the company is positioned to take advantage of the recent economic volatility, which was particularly highlighted by the recent 9% increase in the quarterly distribution... In the longer term, we believe OCSL represents an attractive investment,” Joseph wrote. Overall, OCSL has received 3 recent Buy reviews, making the analyst consensus rating a Strong Buy. The stock is currently trading at $6.66 and its average price target of $7.33 indicates ~10% upside from that level. (See OCSL stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
There's speculation about forgiving $10,000 or $50,000 per person, but no real plan yet.
The IRS commissioner now says the monthly payments to families will indeed start in July.
(Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to respond to the latest round of U.S. sanctions threats as he has to past ones: by speeding his drive to make Russia’s economy more self-sufficient.In the seven years since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin’s government and central bank have stripped back the country’s exposure to dollars, shifted assets out of the U.S. and sold a smaller share of its debt to foreigners.“The Americans are saying: be careful or we could do more, but Russia is just going to continue down the path toward economic autarky,” said Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington.The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is keeping the threat of sanctions hanging over Russia even after a sweeping round of penalties imposed last week. On Sunday, the U.S. warned of “consequences” if jailed opposition activist Alexey Navalny dies in prison.These four charts show how Putin has responded to past rounds of sanctions by increasing Russia’s economic isolation.The share of gold in Russia’s $581 billion international reserves jumped above dollars for the first time on record last year following a multi-year drive to reduce exposure to U.S. assets. The precious metal made up 24% of the central bank’s stockpile as of the end of September 2020, the latest date for which the breakdown is available. The share of dollar assets was 22%, down from more than 40% in 2018.That trend also shows up in the share of Russia’s international reserves held in the U.S., which plummeted to just under 7% by the end of September, down from about 30% before the Crimea annexation. Most of the shift happened in the second quarter of 2018 just after sanctions on aluminum giant United Co. Rusal revealed how vulnerable Russia was to sanctions.What Our Economists Say...Russia’s resilience to successive waves of sanctions provides a false sense of security. With the U.S. running out of options, the next round could be more disruptive, and the measures already in place are holding back trade and investment.-- Scott Johnson, Bloomberg EconomicsOf course, there’s only so much that Russia can do without cutting itself off entirely from the global economy. But officials in Washington are also restrained by the fact that if they go too far (as they did with the Rusal sanctions that were later revoked), they risk sending tremors through global markets.Acting on a pledge by Putin to “de-dollarize” trade, Russia has been slowly cutting back on use of the greenback in its exports with the European Union, China and India. The euro has almost overtaken the dollar in Russia’s trade with the EU and has already surpassed it in exports to China. About two-thirds of Russia’s exports to India, meanwhile, are paid for in rubles.How Virus-Panicked Markets Showed Dollar’s Still King: QuickTakeLast week’s penalties included a ban on purchases of bonds on the primary market, so the next big targets could be secondary-market debt and Russian banks’ access to the financial messaging system used for most international money transfers. Russia is already looking for alternatives to the system, known as SWIFT, to make itself less vulnerable, though attempts so far haven’t led to much.One reason the Finance Ministry wasn’t too concerned about the latest sanctions measure on government debt is that Russia has mostly been selling to local banks at its weekly auctions anyway. Borrowing was ramped up during the pandemic even though foreign demand was weak, which increased the overall size of the market and pushed down the share of foreigners.U.S. banks can still buy new debt on the secondary market after the penalties come into force in mid-June. Russia is “well positioned” for a near term market disruption because it has a high cash buffer and demand from local banks is “robust,” Fitch Ratings said in a research note published late on Friday.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
GameStop shares were on a tear early Monday, as Kieth "RoaringKitty" Gill announced he was doubling his stake in the firm and CEO George Sherman said he is stepping down.
Investors had been waiting for Coinbase stock to be tested after its public market debut last week, and they didn’t have to wait long.
(Reuters) -Harley-Davidson Inc on Monday raised its full-year earnings forecast after smashing analysts' quarterly profit estimates, vindicating Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz's decision to focus on more-profitable touring bikes at the expense of cheaper entry-level models. The company, however, also received a setback in the European Union - its second biggest market - where all of its products, regardless of origin, will be subjected to a 56% import tariff from June, following a new EU ruling. The ruling revokes the credentials that currently allow Harley to ship certain motorcycles to the EU from its international manufacturing facilities at a 6% tariff.
The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was climbing on Monday, after a rough weekend that resulted in the biggest drop since February.
(Bloomberg) -- A planned $3.1 billion merger of two Australian miners is set to create one of the world’s biggest producers of lithium products key to meeting fast-growing global demand for electric vehicle batteries.The deal between Orocobre Ltd. and Galaxy Resources Ltd. is the biggest mining sector deal of the year so far, according to Bloomberg data, with shares of both companies closing at the highest in three years in Sydney. The merger would create the world’s fifth-biggest producer of lithium chemicals, the refined form of the raw materials that are used to make electric vehicle batteries.Miners to battery makers have rushed to secure lithium supply amid expectations the EV frenzy will create a structural deficit as soon as this year, and prices are already roaring back after a three-year slump. Battery demand is expected to surge tenfold by 2030, according to BloombergNEF, as the global clean-energy transition accelerates.The new company “is going to be a globally relevant player in terms of lithium chemical production,” said Reg Spencer, head of mining research at Canaccord Genuity Australia Ltd. He said that it could grow to be number three producer by 2025 if all growth projects go ahead.The A$4 billion deal values Galaxy at about A$3.53 a share, a 2.2% discount to Friday’s close, and has the backing of both company boards. Orocobre’s Chief Executive Officer Martin Perez de Solay will head the new group.Orocobre will offer 0.569 of its shares for every Galaxy share and will own 54.2% of the merged company, with Galaxy holding 45.8%. Orocobre was advised on the deal by UBS AG, while Galaxy’s adviser was Standard Chartered Plc. The deal is targeted for completion in mid August 2021.Diverse AssetsThe merged group, which has yet to be formally named, will have its headquarters in Buenos Aires, but its primary share listing will remain in Australia.The deal gives the companies a geographically diversified set of assets. Orocobre sells lithium carbonate from its Olaroz operation in Argentina, while Galaxy has a mine in Australia and growth projects in Canada and South America.Lithium raw materials are most commonly extracted at brine operations which pump liquid from underground reservoirs into vast evaporation ponds, or in traditional hard rock mines. China is the biggest player in electric vehicle batteries, with the majority of the world’s production capacity, and has a stranglehold over processing of the required commodities.The growth profile of the combined group’s existing assets put it on track to grab a 10% share of the lithium market over the next five to seven years, Perez de Solay said in an interview, backed by “a strong balance sheet that will enable us not only to deliver those projects but to continue to grow.” Top global lithium producers currently include Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA and Albemarle Corp.Argentina RiskCanaccord’s Spencer said there were risks in having the largest part of an operation in Argentina, given its history of geo-political and financial volatility, although Orocobre’s local management team had so far proven adept at navigating those risks.“From Galaxy’s perspective, we were looking for a partner which had deep in-country Argentinian experience and we’ve got that in Orocobre,” said Simon Hay, Galaxy’s CEO, who will take on the role of president of international business in the new organization. The merger will help to de-risk Galaxy’s Sal de Vida growth project in the South American country, he said.(Updates to add lithium chemicals and processing information in second, ninth paragraphs.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Global oil markets are stressed, not only due to OPEC+ or Iran JCPOA issues but also because international financials are predicting gloomy pictures for oil demand.