43.26 +0.02 (0.05%)
After hours: 7:54PM EDT
|Bid||43.27 x 1200|
|Ask||43.27 x 1800|
|Day's Range||42.88 - 43.59|
|52 Week Range||26.19 - 45.86|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.19|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||14.29|
|Earnings Date||Oct 24, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||42.12|
It's no secret that social media has radically altered how we behave online – but are those behaviors a bad thing? VSCO CEO Joel Flory joins The Final Round to discuss the rapidly evolving digital landscape, and how mental wellness trends are being popularized online.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The House Judiciary Committee brought in President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Tuesday as part of what it’s now calling an impeachment investigation. Indeed, the committee subpoenaed Lewandowski, former White House staff secretary Rob Porter and former White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn to discuss clear evidence of obstruction of justice by Trump in attempting to shut down the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian campaign interference.Porter and Dearborn didn’t show up after the White House instructed them not to. Lewandowski did, but he refused to answer most questions under White House instructions. In each case, the White House made assertions of executive privilege that went far beyond any interpretation that’s ever been claimed. Or, as Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland put it while questioning Lewandowski, it was a “tooth fairy” privilege that doesn’t actually exist. Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York eventually made the key point, as my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Timothy L. O’Brien noted in a tweet, in response to prodding from another committee Democrat, Eric Swalwell of California:Indeed, as Nadler added, obstruction of a Congressional inquiry was part of the three counts of impeachment voted by the Judiciary Committee in 1974 against President Richard Nixon, which would certainly have been overwhelmingly adopted by the full House before an overwhelming Senate vote to remove him if Nixon hadn’t resigned first. In other words, whatever Trump did or didn’t do in response to the Russia inquiry, he is now fully engaged (as Nixon was in the months before he resigned on Aug. 9, 1974) in a a coverup of a coverup.And that is legitimate grounds for impeachment and removal.As it happens, there’s plenty of evidence of obstruction of the Russia probe, which the Democrats attempted to dramatize in their questions to Lewandowski. He didn’t say much, but he did confirm that the description of obstruction detailed by the report that Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller delivered in April was, to the extent it involved him, accurate. That is: The president used Lewandowski as part of his scheming to shut down investigations into his campaign, and more broadly into Russian interference with the 2016 election. The crucial point here is that Republicans in Congress are unmoved by any of this. What’s important to understand is just how much all of this undermines the rule of law. The president certainly did something that looks like obstruction of justice. The Mueller report said that it was obstruction of justice. And yet congressional Republicans are ignoring it. And they are actively cooperating with the president’s attempts to stretch executive privilege to the point where the president would be immune from any congressional and perhaps judicial oversight at all. Whether or not Tuesday’s hearing has any effect on public or media opinion, it is further evidence of the president’s abuse of power, and legitimate cause for removing him.That’s in theory. In reality, we’re still pretty far from actually getting to impeachment. Democrats continue to have difficulty using oversight hearings to make their points. They are getting better: Committee members asked good questions on Tuesday or used their five-minute turns to highlight the key points of the Mueller report and the case against Trump. But Nadler stumbled at the beginning, not seeming to know exactly how to deal with Lewandoski’s entirely expected refusal to answer questions. CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all carried the beginning of the hearing live, but all three cut away after an hour or so, missing some of the more effective questions. What’s more urgent than the eventual decision on impeachment — which, remember, won’t actually do anything to slow Trump down as long as Republicans in the Senate are unlikely to even take it seriously — is whether Trump will get away with obstructing Congress and inventing ever-expanding claims of executive privilege. It appears at this point that the courts will weigh in, with the Democratic House choosing to look for answers there rather than attempting to cite anybody for contempt, which would be subject to enforcement by a Trump Justice Department that’s unlikely, to put it mildly, to follow through.The danger is that if the courts side with Trump then they’ll be establishing that the president is, for all practical purposes, above the law. It would be better if Congress, Democrats and Republican together, made it clear that such conduct is unacceptable. But without that, House Democrats, and the rule of law, just don’t have a lot of good options.To contact the author of this story: Jonathan Bernstein at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., ahead of a congressional hearing on violent content, revealed the charter for an independent oversight board that will make irreversible decisions about what posts stay up and come down, even if the company disagrees.The board, which Facebook started talking about in January and which will begin to hear cases early next year, represents the first real check on Facebook’s power to decide who gets a voice on its site. Its members -- at least 11 people at any given time and fully staffed at 40 -- will be the final word on controversial cases that affect Facebook’s 2.7 billion users. The board’s charter outlines a vision that is easier said than done.The members will “exhibit a broad range of knowledge, competencies, diversity and expertise” with no “actual or perceived” conflicts of interest that would affect their decisions on user content, according to the charter revealed Tuesday. They will “collaborate in decision-making to foster an environment of collegiality, and issue principled decisions and policy recommendations using clearly articulated reasoning.” The committee deciding on cases will include one member from the region of the post in dispute.Facebook spent months deliberating with outside experts to ensure the board acts independently, even though members are paid indirectly by the tech giant. Funding is channeled through a trust and the trustees can’t fire board members if they make bad content decisions, only if their conduct is poor. At stake is the trust of Facebook’s users, who sometimes don’t understand why posts are removed, or why questionable content they report remains online.The company is also dealing with increasingly damaging types of content -- like posts to recruit terrorists or influence elections. On Wednesday, executives from Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Google will testify before a Senate committee on violent content and extremism, after a string of mass shootings, some of which were broadcast live on social media.Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St. John’s University Law School, has been embedded at Facebook to observe the oversight board’s creation, including sitting in on meetings with staff. She described a notable update: The board can provide feedback on Facebook policies, and the company will review that and write a public statement explaining why it did or did not change a policy as a result.“That’s actually kind of a huge deal,” Klonick said. “That’s probably the most accountable we’ve ever seen Facebook.”There are still elements that are unclear, according to Klonick. The charter references “bylaws” -- the “operational procedures of the board” -- and a Code of Conduct outlining the “norms, procedures, and proper practices” expected of board members. Neither exists right now, but both will be important to start the board off in the right direction with the right set of principles, she said.To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at email@example.com;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Is Twitter stock a buy now? Check out the stock's fundamental and technical metrics to figure out if the stock should be on your watchlist.
Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza is a thing now and we don't really know what to think.Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com Alright. Just work with me here. Imagine a Cheez-It for me. Now just take that and scale it up. Make it big enough to cover the palm of your hand. Sound good? But now that the Cheez- It is so large, it has all this empty space inside of it. So we fill that up with mozzarella cheese, and toss in some pepperoni if that's your preference. That is what the new Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza is. Also, you can dip it in marinara.Honestly, this seems like a weird one to me. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying it sounds bad. I've had plenty of weird food concoctions during my 28 years of life and there's been stranger ones. Still, I have to really wonder how well this promotion will go.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip Let's take a journey on over to Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to see how its users are reacting to the Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza. * "I am confused by the . . . scale of these. are they cheez-it-size mini-pizzas or regular-size slices enveloped by giant cheez-its? @pizzahut why are you doing this?" * Pizza Hut and Kellogg creating a stuffed Cheez-It pizza, because when you think good pizza, you think "cheddar" and "cracker," and when you think snack, you think of a whole delivered "pizza" " * "Deleted my search for personal trainers so that i could look up pizza hut's cheez it pizza… accurately describes my motivation." * "So it's Cheez-it flavored crust stuffed with mozzarella? I'll try it!" * "Pizza Hut is offering a Cheez-It stuffed pizza. Holy constipation that sounds like something I gotta try!"No matter the case, the Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) chain seems to have an interesting menu item in the Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.The post Pizza Hut Cheez-It Pizza Is Now a Thing appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The first day of fall is approaching and InvestorPlace is celebrating with a collection of fall quotes to share.Source: Artens / Shutterstock Fall isn't here quite yet. The first day of fall will take place on Sept. 23, 2019, which is next Monday. It will then last all the way through December 21, 2019. It's funny, you would think that fall is already here. What with all the pumpkin spice that has been making its way onto store shelves and cafe menus.Check out the following happy first day of fall quotes to share on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and other forms of social media.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHappy First Day of Fall Quotes "Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale." -- Lauren DeStefano, Wither * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip Happy First Day of Fall Quotes "But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you." -- Stephen King, Salem's LotHappy First Day of Fall Quotes "I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house." -- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now Happy First Day of Fall Quotes "Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!" -- Humbert WolfeHappy First Day of Fall Quotes "Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons." -- Jim Bishop * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.The post Happy First Day of Fall 2019: 5 Fall Quotes to Celebrate Autumn appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Facebook Inc. is once again defending Libra -- this time against fears that the envisioned cryptocurrency could replace sovereign currencies from the U.S. dollar to the Euro and threaten central banks’ control over money creation.David Marcus, the executive leading the project, posted a series of tweets the same day members of the Libra Association met with regulators convened by a G-7 working group in Switzerland. He argued that creating Libra isn’t the digital equivalent of printing U.S. dollars or minting new euros. The simple existence of Libra, he says, doesn’t create new value.Facebook’s crypto plans, unveiled in June, have faced intense push-back from regulators all over the world. One of the biggest concerns is that the new digital currency will be used by smugglers, drug dealers and terrorists. Another is that the social media giant, which has run afoul of regulators over user data in the past, should not be trusted to handle sensitive financial information. Facebook has said repeatedly it would be just one of many companies managing the new currency.“Recently there’s been a lot of talk about how Libra could threaten the sovereignty of nations when it comes to money,” Marcus tweeted. “Libra will be backed 1:1 by a basket of strong currencies. This means that for any unit of Libra to exist, there must be the equivalent value in its reserve,” he tweeted. “As such there’s no new money creation, which will strictly remain the province of sovereign nations.”Currency competition is yet another sticking point for wary regulators.In a follow-up call after Marcus’s tweets, Christian Catalini, the lead economist inside Facebook working on Libra, declined to say whether or not the issue came up during Monday’s meeting. But he did say that this element of Libra is one of many that are “misunderstood or not correctly interpreted.”“All of the design of Libra is really around being a complement of fiat [currencies], not a substitute,” he said.Why Everybody (Almost) Hates Facebook’s Digital Coin: QuickTakeLibra does not yet exist, and Facebook has pledged that it will not launch until regulators are appeased. It hopes to start the currency sometime in 2020. Facebook shares were little changed Tuesday in New York at $186.70.The concern from regulators is that giving over the control of currency creation to Facebook -- or any private company -- would strip governments of one of their greatest assets: monetary policy. The response from central banks has varied from active engagement as in the case of Singapore, to China considering its own equivalent.In a blog post from July on Harvard Law School’s forum for “corporate governance and financial regulation,” three professors who wrote a paper about regulating Libra argued that it posed a threat to sovereign governments.“Once Libra becomes well established in some countries, national governments will lose control of their money supply and lose monetary policy as a tool of economic expansion or contraction,” the post reads. “They will also lose the capacity, in times of severe uncertainty, to impose capital controls to prevent capital flight. All of these changes may well prove highly destabilising to the entire global financial system.”Catalini disagrees. He says that even for countries whose currency is not part of Libra’s reserve, there is little fear of Libra replacing local tender because of how the digital coin will be used. Its main purpose, Catalini says, is to help with payments that include lots of fees or burdens, like cross-border money transfers. It will be less useful for day-to-day commerce, he added.“It’s unlikely that Libra will be used locally because the local currencies have better properties” for local commerce, he said.(Updates with shares in eighth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Edwin Chan, Joanna OssingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A lot of analysts got it wrong about Snap (NYSE:SNAP) stock. In late 2018, Snapchat stock was in a tailspin. The prevailing sentiment was that the tech startup was about to be another cautionary tale regarding initial public offerings. What happened then has been nothing short of amazing. SNAP stock has grown nearly 200% in 2019, largely fueled by increasing quarterly revenue.Source: dennizn / Shutterstock.com Now, nearly a year later, the SNAP stock price is once again at a turning point. Only now, instead of wondering if Snap is a falling knife, investors wonder if shares have room to grow.But for Snap to see their stock price grow, it will need to generate more advertising revenue. With a growing user base among a desirable demographic, that sounds easy enough. However, this demographic is anything but traditional when it comes to advertising. That's a reason I think it's best to proceed with caution.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Snap Has a Growing User BaseThe bullish case for Snap stock points to 13 million daily active users. That's how many active users the company added in the second quarter. This growth gave analysts a lift after a disappointing first quarter that saw Snap add just four million users. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now Snap's monthly user base is just above 500 million. That's more than Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) (335 million users) but still far fewer than Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) (2.4 billion). Snap has also flown under the radar while companies like Facebook and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) draw increased regulatory scrutiny.Snap's CEO Evan Spiegel commented, "Completing these transitions has established a strong foundation for growing our community, increasing engagement and growing advertising demand." Growing Ad Demand Is Easier Said than DoneSnap has been built for, and targeted to millennials and Generation Z. These generations got social media education in middle school.The attraction of Snapchat was the idea of being able to self-produce shareable content that only stays online for a short period of time. Many reject Facebook because their content stays online unless the user deletes it.Despite interacting with multiple social media channels in one day, these generations are intensely concerned about their privacy. Providing what they see as personal information is one reason why email advertising is a non-starter with this demographic. Traditional Advertising Won't WorkAs it relates to ads, these generations want to be entertained, not sold. These target audiences will not engage passively with "traditional" advertising.A recent report titled The Everything Guide to Generation Z by Vision Critical, in partnership with research firm MARU/VCR&C, provides insights into the attitudes, behaviors and value of this generation.One of the key takeaways as it relates to Snap is that 69% of Generation Z finds ads disruptive. While the word "disruptive" can be thrown around by marketers in a good way (i.e., it changes the conventional way of thinking, forcing consumers to pay attention) that is not the context here. This generation, more so than even millennials, want ads to meet them where they are in a very organic manner.Yet, Erin Gade of Yes Lifestyle Marketing reported that one in five Generation Z consumers found Snapchat influential in their purchase decision. This requires a cross-channel model that is far different from banner ads and pop-up videos. In fact, in many cases the ads aren't ads at all.As someone who's worked in marketing agencies, I can confirm that many marketers are not open to new approaches. They want traditional "push" advertising and pre-roll messages because they're measurable. But they frequently don't look at or understand the metrics that matter. It's a soft-sell approach. The payoff is more intrinsic and less measurable. Snap Needs Ad Revenue to Reach ProfitabilityThe fact that Snap is not yet profitable is not a big deal for investors. The company is not expected to be profitable until 2023. However, that revenue growth is largely going to be dependent on the company's ability to monetize their advertising. InvestorPlace contributor Vince Martin wrote in August that Snap would require at least $1 billion in additional revenue to support its current valuation. The stock is already down about 10% from its recent highs. I expect that some investors will look to engage in profit taking as the year comes to an end.The argument for Snap stock is that their target audience is devoted to technology and loyally uses the app. But this is not a captive audience and they can't be marketed to as such.Growing their user base is not enough for Snap stock. For the company to really grow, they have to find a way to monetize that base. I'm not saying it can't be done; I'm just skeptical.As of this writing, Chris Markoch did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Why Iam Taking a Wait and See Approach on Snap Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
People briefed on the extent of the damage at Abqaiq, which processes more than 70 per cent of the kingdom’s normal output, have warned it could take months before full production is restored. — dropping more than 7 per cent — after Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, said the kingdom had restored half of the lost production and would fully restore output by the end of September.
Donald Trump said Iran appeared to be responsible for a strike against Saudi Arabian oil facilities that knocked out more than half the kingdom’s production, as the Pentagon revealed that it was working ...
Having grown up in apartheid-era South Africa where the rule of law was trampled on, I was outraged at UK government ministers and MPs’ recent attacks on Britain’s judges. , Scotland’s highest civil court, last week ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament was unlawful, Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP, told Channel 4 news that the judiciary was part of the “liberal elite” and that “there will be a suspicion that political pressure may have been placed on them”. Worse, given the government position he holds, Kwasi Kwarteng, the business minister, said in a BBC interview that “many people are saying that the judges are biased”, although he wasn’t saying that himself.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil surged the most on record after a devastating attack on Saudi Arabia intensified concerns about growing instability in the world’s most important crude-producing region.In an extraordinary start to the week’s trading, Brent futures in London leaped a record $12 a barrel in early trading Monday, before settling just above $69 for the biggest one-day percentage gain since the contract began trading in 1988. Prices may remain elevated after Saudi officials downplayed prospects for a rapid recovery of production capacity.Saudi Aramco faces weeks or months before most output from its giant Abqaiq crude-processing complex is restored, according to people familiar with matter. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said Iranian weapons were used in the attacks on Saudi Aramco, while the U.S. blamed Iran for the attacks.For oil markets, it’s the worst sudden supply disruption ever. The attacks that damaged a key processing complex and one of the Saudi’s marquee fields highlight the vulnerability of the world’s biggest exporter. The crisis also means a “new geopolitical premium” of about $5 a barrel, Mizuho Securities USA’s Paul Sankey wrote in a note.“We have never seen a supply disruption and price response like this in the oil market,” said Saul Kavonic, an energy analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. “Political-risk premiums are now back on the oil-market agenda.”Meanwhile, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told CNBC that a “coalition effort” will be needed to counter Iran, which the Trump administration said was behind the attacks.Haven assets including gold and U.S. government debt surged as investors fled riskier instruments. Currencies of commodity-linked nations including the Norwegian krone and the Canadian dollar also advanced. U.S. gasoline futures jumped 13%.State-run producer Saudi Aramco lost about 5.7 million barrels a day of output on Saturday after 10 unmanned aerial vehicles struck the Abqaiq facility and the kingdom’s second-largest oil field in Khurais. A Saudi military official earlier said preliminary findings showed that Iranian weapons were used in the attacks but stopped short from directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the strikes.The disruption surpasses the loss of Kuwaiti and Iraqi petroleum output in August 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded his neighbor. It also exceeds the loss of Iranian oil production in 1979 during the Islamic Revolution, according to the International Energy Agency.“The vulnerability of Saudi infrastructure to attacks, historically seen as a stable source of crude to the market, is a new paradigm the market will need to deal with,” said Virendra Chauhan, a Singapore-based analyst at industry consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. “At present, it is not known how long crude will be offline for.”Aramco officials are growing less optimistic that there will be a rapid recovery in production, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The kingdom -- or its customers -- may use stockpiles to keep supplies flowing in the short term. Aramco could consider declaring itself unable to fulfill contracts on some international shipments -- known as force majeure -- if the resumption of full capacity at Abqaiq takes weeks. Alternatively, the kingdom’s own refineries may cut runs just to keep crude exports flowing, according to analysts with JBC and Energy Aspects.Declaring force majeure would rattle oil markets further and cast a shadow on Aramco’s preparations for what could be the world’s biggest initial public offering. It’s also set to escalate a showdown pitting Saudi Arabia and the U.S. against Iran, which backs proxy groups in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed credit for the attack, but U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have already blamed Iran.Trump Vows U.S. ‘Locked and Loaded’ If Iran Was Behind AttacksTrump, who said the U.S. is “locked and loaded depending on verification” that Iran staged the attack, earlier authorized the release of oil from the nation’s emergency reserves. The IEA, which helps coordinate industrialized countries’ emergency fuel stockpiles, said it was monitoring the situation.Brent for November settlement rose 15% to $69.02 on ICE Futures Europe. The global benchmark could rise above $75 a barrel if the outage at Abqaiq lasts more than six weeks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures for October delivery settled up 15% at $62.90, the highest close since May 21. Brent’s premium to WTI for the same month closed at $6.35 a barrel. Volume for both Brent and WTI hit record highs, according to the exchanges.The drama wasn’t limited to flat prices. The spread between Brent and WTI widened as much as 37%, showing that the oil spike will affect global prices more than those in the U.S., where shale output and ample supplies provide more of a buffer.\--With assistance from Nayla Razzouk, Javier Blas, Anthony DiPaola, Michael Roschnotti, Tina Davis, Serene Cheong, Dan Murtaugh, Stephen Stapczynski, Ramsey Al-Rikabi, Saket Sundria, Ann Koh, Andrew Janes, Heesu Lee, Sarah Chen, Sharon Cho and Ben Sharples.To contact the reporter on this story: Sheela Tobben in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at email@example.com, Joe Carroll, Mike JeffersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale last week tweeted out “Socialism SUCKS” — two words capturing a theme that has to be familiar to anybody who tunes in to Fox News or the president’s Twitter feed. But one former GOP senator and governor on Monday pointed out what could be an uncomfortable truth for Trump supporters
While President Trump is “locked and loaded” and “waiting to hear” from Saudi Arabia about who was behind last weekend’s drone attacks on two of the Kingdom’s oil plants, Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard fired off an attack of her own on Twitter.
(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia said preliminary findings show Iranian weapons were used in the attack on one of its key oil installations, but stopped short of directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the strikes that cut its crude output by half and rattled oil markets.Ongoing investigations of “debris and wreckage” show “it belongs to the Iranian regime,” Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. He said initial findings suggest the attack was not launched from Yemen, contradicting claims by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that they carried out the attack using a swarm of long-range drones with more sophisticated engines.“We are working right now to spot the launch point of those attacks,” he said.Saturday’s attacks caused an unprecedented surge in oil prices and cast a shadow over preparations for the sale of a stake in Saudi Aramco that could be the world’s biggest initial public offering.While President Donald Trump hasn’t directly blamed Iran for the attacks, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has. Two U.S. officials said the location of the damage and weapons used suggest the attack was not launched by the Houthis, who have been fighting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen for four bruising years.Al-Maliki said evidence of Iranian involvement would be released, without saying when. Iran denied involvement.“Accusing Iran of the attacks is in line with the U.S.’s maximum-lies policy,” said Abbas Mousavi, spokesman at the foreign ministry in Tehran. “Such accusations are unsurprising, unacceptable and baseless.”Russia, a leading Iranian ally in the Middle East, called on countries not to rush to conclusions over who was responsible, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.In a tweet on Monday, Trump cast doubt on Iran’s denials of responsibility, citing the Islamic Republic’s claim that a U.S. drone shot down over the Persian Gulf in June was actually over Iranian waters.“Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their “airspace” when, in fact, it was nowhere close,” Trump wrote. “They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie. Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”During that incident, Trump said he called off a retaliatory military strike on Iran at the last minute, after learning about potential casualties that he said would be out of proportion to the destruction of a U.S. drone.Yet over the weekend Trump raised the specter of a military confrontation with Iran, saying that the U.S. is “locked and loaded depending on verification” that Tehran staged the attack. He then said he’d wait for Saudi comments on who was responsible.There were a total of 19 impact points at the world’s biggest crude-processing facility at Abqaiq and at an oil field in Khurais, and equipment used in the incidents that’s been recovered so far was inconsistent with the Houthi claims, the U.S. officials said. The Houthis had said they used unmanned aerial vehicles in the attack.Oil posted its biggest ever intraday jump, briefly surging above $71 a barrel after the strike removed about 5% of global supplies and raised the specter of more destabilization in the region.The U.S. president promised to help allies following the attacks, saying he’d do so despite America not being as reliant on Middle East oil. The crisis comes as Trump’s White House operates without a national security adviser. John Bolton, who had the post, was dismissed last week.The Houthis on Monday said oil installations in Saudi Arabia remained a target for weapons that could reach anywhere in the kingdom.“We assure the Saudi regime that our long hand can reach wherever we want, and whenever we want,” Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree said in a statement. “We warn companies and foreigners not to be present in the facilities that were hit in the strikes because they are still within range and may be targeted at any moment.”Difficult ChoiceThe Trump administration and Saudi leaders now face a difficult choice in how to respond to Iran or its proxies without triggering a broader conflict that could spiral out of control with potentially devastating consequences for global oil markets and the world economy. Neither country has tipped its hand.Trump will “be quite reluctant to start a war with Iran over Saudi Arabia,” said Ali Vaez, Iran Project Director at the International Crisis Group. “But Iran has increasingly less to lose and so is becoming less risk averse which means Trump’s policy of maximum pressure has backfired. At this stage, if there were a direct retaliation against Iran, the Iranians would find the draw of retaliation irresistible and we could enter a tit-for-tat situation that could easily spiral.”Trump officials had recently floated the idea of talks between the president and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly this month, after more than a year of escalating tensions between the two countries following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.Mousavi on Monday confirmed Rouhani would travel to New York, but said he had “no plans” to meet Trump. Iran has consistently said that no progress was likely in improving ties without the U.S. first removing sanctions on Iranian oil exports.While analysts estimate Saudi Arabia may be able to restore half of the lost production as early as Monday, Trump said on Twitter Sunday that he’s authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed “in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied.”The stock of about 645 million barrels of crude and petroleum products could help meet demand during the time it would take for the Saudis to repair the facilities. Trump also told U.S. agencies to expedite permitting approvals of oil pipelines.\--With assistance from Lin Noueihed.To contact the reporters on this story: Vivian Nereim in Riyadh at firstname.lastname@example.org;Abbas Al Lawati in Dubai at email@example.com;Bill Faries in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at email@example.com, ;Lin Noueihed at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- One of Patrick Byrne’s last acts at Overstock.com Inc. is making life difficult for the short sellers he was forever battling.Shares of the online merchant are on a tear, up about 60% in two weeks. The rally coincides with a flurry of short covering that comes a week before the record date for an exotic dividend the company unveiled to much fanfare and confusion last month.Overstock’s flamboyant founder may be gone, having stepped down Aug. 22 after saying he got enmeshed in a government spy probe, but vestiges of his two-decade-long war with detractors linger. The latest twists have been manna for the stock’s true-believer longs, kicking up Twitter skirmishes while pushing the envelope of another Byrne obsession, blockchain.Data from S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm, show that about 6% of the 13.2 million shares borrowed by people betting against Overstock have been bought back in the past three business days. Shares fell for the first time in eight days Friday in volume that was three times the recent average.“There’s been a serious acceleration of short covering just recently,” said Ihor Dusaniwsky, managing director of S3. “To have that much short covering in that amount of time is responding to an event that’s changing people’s trading strategies.”In a short sale, a bearish trader sells borrowed stock, hoping to buy it back at a lower price, return it and pocket the difference. Frantic buying to close such positions is termed a “squeeze” and can boost shares rapidly.While other reasons may exist for the rally, one explanation centers on a blockchain-based “digital security” that Overstock said on July 30 it would grant to shareholders of record on Sept. 23 as a dividend. Because the security could prove hard for others to lay hands on, the potential exists for it to snarl the process by which shorts maintain positions.Stocks all over America have been benefiting last week from rushed purchases by bears as equities marched back toward records. Overstock’s case may be different. Its 65% rally since Sept. 3 stands out even in a market as volatile as this one.The theory behind the squeeze is technical but comes down to the obligation a short seller faces to pass dividends back to whomever lent him shares. That may prove difficult in Overstock’s case because the so-called “Digital Voting Series A-1 Preferred Stock” it promised in July is unregistered, will trade only on a blockchain exchange owned by a subsidiary, and may face restrictions on transfer.“You can expect a lot of buy-to-covers before the record day,” said Dusaniwsky. The 764,000 shares bought back since Sept. 10 are “the tip of the iceberg if people are wary of how the dividend settles out,” he said.Pressure on shorts would conceivably ease if the firms that lent shares were to accept something else in lieu of Overstock’s digital security -- cash, for instance. Dusaniwsky said brokerages he’s spoken to “are trying to figure out” how to handle it.A spokeswoman for Nasdaq, the exchange where Overstock shares trade, declined to comment. Overstock didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.“It’s a complex situation and we’re trying to help our clients figure out the best course of action,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. As for the rally, he said: “If you’re short the stock, how are you going to deliver crypto? You have no way of delivering it, so you’re like, ‘OK, well I have to cover this stock because I can’t deliver the dividend.”’Whatever’s causing it, a rally this extreme puts anyone betting against a stock in difficult straits. That’s unlikely to bother Byrne, the 56-year-old founder who over the years espoused conspiracy theories about Wall Street and the evil “Sith Lord” hedge fund manager who conspired to take him down.Until recently, parts of the bear case on Overstock were Byrne himself. Before stepping down, he claimed in a series of public announcements that entanglements with the “deep state” that included cooperating with law enforcement agents he called “Men in Black” with their “Clinton Investigation” and “Russia Investigation.” Byrne said he’d been romantically involved with Maria Butina, a Russian operative jailed for failing to register as a foreign agent.The digital dividend was mentioned by Saum Noursalehi, CEO of Overstock’s tZero unit, in a Sept. 6 letter to shareholders published on Business Wire.“Given the digital preferred shares trade exclusively on the PRO Securities ATS, broker-dealers representing Overstock common shareholders will need to subscribe to the PRO Securities ATS in order to allow their clients to transact the dividend directly,” he wrote. “Introducing more investors to the platform is a key priority and this announcement should serve as a catalyst for enhancing liquidity.”To contact the reporters on this story: Jeran Wittenstein in San Francisco at email@example.com;Sarah Ponczek in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at email@example.com, Chris NagiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Over the past decade, Square (NYSE:SQ) has become a dominant player in the mobile payments and financing sphere. And the SQ stock price since 2015 has reflected the company's exponential growth.Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com However, Square stock is off its recent highs, as the shares got penalized following its second-quarter earnings report in August. Year-to-date, the SQ stock price is basically flat. Now may be a good time to ask why Square shares have been falling and what we can expect in the final quarter of 2019.I believe that the owners of Square stock may have to reset their growth and share price expectations. In the coming weeks, I'd be a buyer below $55, especially if the price approaches or even goes below $50. Here are the must-know fundamental metric and price levels for SQ stock.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Square Stock's Q3 Guidance Failed to ImpressSquare was co-founded in February 2009 by Jack Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). Its payments processing business, also referred to as "payments as a service," has been a game changer in serving small businesses. To the delight of early investors, this innovative financial services company has expanded quickly and become a disruptor.SQ stock reported Q2 earnings on Aug. 1 after market close. Notably, the payment-solutions company posted better-than-expected earnings and revenues. Its total net revenue increased 44% year-over-year to $1.17 billion. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now And on an adjusted basis, earnings were 21 cents per share, beating Wall Street's expectation of 17 cents per share. A year ago in Q3, Square stock's adjusted earnings per share came in at 13 cents.Square's subscription and services-based revenue also increased 87% to $251 million. Gross payment volume of $26.8 billion increased from $21.4 billion year-over-year. This growth has been driven by its Cash App, Square Capital and Instant Deposit. Analysts were especially impressed with Cash App -- quarterly revenue came at $135 million.The quarterly report once again confirmed that Square stock is a high-growth equity. Such shares in general are far more volatile than market indices or mature companies. Whenever investors feel growth expectations need to be toned down, they sell the stock first and ask questions later.Investors were especially concerned by the company's lower-than-expected Q3 guidance. Its Q3 adjusted-EPS guidance of 18 cents to 20 cents trailed the average estimate of 22 cents. Square management now expects Q3 adjusted revenue to be between $590 million and $600 million as opposed to the consensus of $599 million.Square stock's losses on the bottom line are also projected to be higher than expected. And many shareholders have likely felt that for the rest of the year, SQ stock may face a rising tide. Where SQ Stock's Price Is NowThe U.S. stock market has had several big winners in the past year. However, Square stock has not been one of them. Over the past 12 months, SQ shares are down about 36%.Let us briefly remember how the Square stock price has acted over the years to have a better view on what to expect in the coming weeks.Following SQ stock's IPO in late 2015, its price surged from $9 to an all-time high of $101.15 in October 2018, as the company became a darling of long-term investors.SQ stock went on a big tear during the summer of 2018, baking in plenty of euphoria. As a result, shares have been weak since reaching its all-time high on Oct. 1, 2018. By late December 2018, SQ was hovering around $50.After a highly volatile first half of 2019, August has not been a good month for Square shares either. That's of course due to the weak Q3 guidance which has underwhelmed investors.On earnings day, Square stock closed at $80.98. The next morning, SQ shares gapped down to open at $70.80. Now the shares are hovering around $58.From a technical perspective, I'm not expecting Square stock to make another significant leg up any time soon. In the next few weeks, shares are likely to be rangebound between $50 and $55.Plus, based on options trading, many bets are being placed that Square shares will see $50 before too long.The upside momentum can build up only when long-term investors feel that the SQ stock price justifies the future growth expectations. Consequently, investors need to be careful about chasing Square stock at this point. Square Stock Is Still Richly ValuedAlthough the decline in Square's stock has improved the valuation, the shares are still richly valued.While SQ currently enjoys a head start in serving small businesses, Wall Street has questions about whether it can maintain that growth. If the U.S. economy slows, Square's growth may start to decelerate rather quickly.Furthermore, Square is not yet profitable. Its net loss was $7 million in Q2, compared to a net loss of $6 million in the year-ago quarter. The company has reported net losses in five of the last six quarters. And unless it increases its revenue, Wall Street may take the high valuation of SQ stock down even further.The expansion of Square's ecosystem also means that SQ is facing increased competition. Square must now compete with many well-capitalized companies, including the global online-payments company PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), transaction-processing leader Visa (NYSE:V) and Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV), which is shaping up to become a global-payments giant.Most SQ stock holders are well aware that the shares do not trade at bargain-bin valuation ratios, especially compared to its competitors. For example, SQ's forward price-to-earnings ratio is over 50. On the other hand forward P/E ratios for PYPL, V and FISV stocks are about 30, 28 and 26 respectively.Similarly Square stock's current price-to-sales ratio is over 6.3x. Companies generate revenue from the sale of goods and services. Analysts prefer a low P/S multiple, ideally below 1x. However, a P/S number between 1x and 2x is more common. To put the metric into perspective, S&P 500's average price-to-sales ratio is 2.1x.In short, I do not think there is much room for Square stock's valuation to head higher in the final quarter of the year. Sooner or later, SQ stock's valuation and revenue growth will be more in balance. Should You Buy SQ Stock?The fintech app revolution is quickly changing the way traditional banks, credit card issuers and mobile-payments companies work with businesses as well as with their retail customers. Therefore, over the long term, I would not bet against SQ stock. In the short term, though, stakeholders shouldn't expect smooth sailing.I believe the volatility and selling in the markets will continue in September as well as in early October. Like many momentum plays, SQ stock is likely to be a battleground between two camps: investors and traders.Square is a high beta stock at 3.3. The stock market has a beta of 1.0. SQ stock's beta measures its volatility in relation to the market. In other words, Square stock rises more than the market in bullish conditions and decreases more when markets are falling. Short-term traders should exercise caution if they want to participate in SQ stock's wide daily swings.It is likely that Square shares will fall toward $50, where I'd expect SQ stock to start to stabilize and then trade sideways until the next earnings release, expected in early November.Indeed, Square stock may become one of the first momentum stocks to test the lows it saw between $49-$50 in December 2018, hence making a double bottom in technical charts. Only then the twice-touched low may become a more reliable long-term support level.In other words, I'd not rush to buy Square stock yet. However, I'd get ready to initiate a position as the price declines further, toward $50.At the time of writing, Tezcan Gecgil did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Square Stock Has Been Under Pressure, May Retest $50 appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump promised to help allies following attacks on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, even though he said the U.S. is no longer directly reliant on Middle Eastern oil and gas and has few tankers there.“We are a net Energy Exporter,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!”Brent oil posted its biggest ever intraday jump Monday to more than $71 a barrel. It pared some gains, though both Brent and West Texas crude were still trading about 10% higher as news of the devastating attack on the world’s largest exporter also sent currencies of commodity-linked nations higher.Trump’s statement Monday followed his weekend vow that the U.S. is “locked and loaded depending on verification” that Iran staged the attack on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, an assertion already made by his secretary of state and backed by administration officials.Trump said he’s awaiting word from Saudi Arabia about who it believed caused the attack and “under what terms we would proceed!”Trump, in another tweet on Monday, said Iran didn’t tell the truth in June after shooting down a U.S. drone in the Strait of Hormuz. “Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “We’ll see?”Several administration officials said Sunday that they had substantial evidence that Iran was behind the oil attack, not the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen who claimed responsibility. On Saturday, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said unequivocally in a tweet that Iran was to blame.Two administration officials who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations told reporters that cruise missiles may have been used in the attacks on a Saudi oil field and the world’s biggest crude-processing facility in Abqaiq. The range from Yemen was also far beyond the distance of anything the Houthis have ever done, the officials said.A third administration official, who also asked not to be identified discussing non-public findings, said precision-guided munitions had been used. The U.S. officials didn’t rule out that armed drones were used as well, even as they rejected the Houthi claims that they mounted the attacks using such pilotless aircraft.Now, the challenge that the Trump administration faces is balancing a tough response to what it says is a clear act of of Iranian aggression, against concern that it’s rushing headlong into a conflict that could spiral out of control. Analysts also warn that doing nothing could send a message to Iran or its proxy militias across the Middle East that they can strike their enemies with impunity.“There’s no great response here,” said Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The question becomes how does the U.S. navigate between not allowing this precedent to stand on one hand, and avoiding a punitive escalation or one designed to deter future attacks without an escalation. And the answer is there is no answer.”Still, a major U.S. military response may be unlikely, according to experts who said they doubt Trump will be willing to use force against Tehran or risk escalating violence in the Middle East ahead of the 2020 presidential election. In June, Trump said he considered a military strike on Iran for shooting down a U.S. drone, only to call off the action at the last minute.Analysts also said the attacks may do little to deter the president from seeking a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in an effort to broker a new nuclear agreement.Trump hasn’t ruled out a possible meeting with Rouhani when both are in New York in a week for the annual United Nations General Assembly. He tweeted on Sunday that the “Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, ‘No Conditions’ That is an incorrect statement (as usual!).” But officials including Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have told reporters publicly that Trump is willing to take a meeting with no conditions.‘Maximum Pressure’The administration’s “maximum pressure” stance against Iran is focused on imposing sanctions and isolating the country over its nuclear ambitions and malign activities in the region. That approach has come under renewed scrutiny at a time the president’s foreign policy team is in flux, after Trump’s firing of hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton last week.U.S. and Saudi officials say they’re gathering more evidence that Iran was behind the attacks -- some of it on the ground in Saudi Arabia -- that will be released in due time. Iran’s Foreign Ministry described Pompeo’s comments blaming the Islamic Republic as “blind and fruitless accusations.”According to U.S. government information, there were 19 points of attack at state-owned Saudi Aramco’s crude-processing facility at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field, all on the north or northwest-facing sides -- suggesting that the weaponry used came from that direction. Iraq lies to the north, and the U.S. in the past has accused Iran of stashing explosives with affiliated militias in the country. Yemen, by contrast, is hundreds of miles to the south.Saudi Aramco lost roughly 5.7 million barrels per day of output after the attacks, although officials cited progress in restoring production.Pompeo’s TweetPompeo tweeted Saturday that there is “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen” and accused Iran of being behind “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”“The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression,” he added.Paul Pillar, a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer, said the one “policy option left is de-escalation -- of the Saudi air war against Yemen, and of the Trump administration’s economic war against Iran.”Pillar, who’s now a non-resident senior fellow at Georgetown University in Washington, said “further attempts to escalate on either of those war fronts offers no reason to believe that they would be any more successful than the wars have been up to this point.”Trump would risk criticism from many of his Republican allies if he chose to meet with Iran’s leader barely a week after accusing the country of being responsible for a strike that caused a significant disruption to the world’s oil markets. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina has said the U.S. shouldn’t rule out a military strike on Iranian oil facilities in response.Graham Tweet“Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real, like attacking their refineries, which will break the regime’s back,” Graham tweeted Saturday.One Western diplomat, who asked not to be identified, said Trump sees what he wants to see in world events, so if he wanted to meet with Iran’s president, the strikes wouldn’t necessarily deter him. Trump has repeatedly brushed aside short-range missile tests by North Korea as he seeks to broker a historic nuclear pact with leader Kim Jong Un.White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said on “Fox News Sunday” that the administration will continue its “maximum pressure campaign,” but she added that “the president will always consider his options,” including a meeting with Rouhani. That was hours before Trump seemed to rule out a meeting unless the Iranian president met unspecified conditions.UN MeetingNor is it clear the Iranian leader would be willing to take such a meeting -- even an informal chat on the sidelines of the UN gathering -- without the U.S. making some gesture to ease its sanctions on his country. The strikes in Saudi Arabia may all but rule out such a move anytime soon despite pleas by Western leaders led by French President Emmanuel Macron.The attacks on Saudi Arabia also pose a major test for Pompeo, who has an opportunity to consolidate power after Bolton’s departure.Pompeo and Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, have argued the U.S. could afford to ramp up sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Iran because there’s plenty of global oil supply. But there’s now little cushion in the market with the major disruption caused by the drone attacks, which could force the president and his team to look for ways to relieve the pressure.While analysts estimate Saudi Arabia may be able to restore half of the lost production as early as Monday, Trump said on Twitter Sunday that he’s authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed based on the attacks “in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied.” The stock of about 645 million barrels of crude and petroleum products could help meet demand during the time it would take for the Saudis to repair the facilities. Trump also told U.S. agencies to expedite approvals of oil pipelines in the permitting process.There’s also the question of the administration’s credibility. Some foreign policy analysts said it’s hard to take at face value the claim that Tehran is responsible, given the hard line against Iran advocated by Pompeo, Bolton and others.“The Trump administration appears to have evidence of Iranian responsibility but will face skepticism from others, both because of policy disagreements between the US and its allies, and because declining to attribute an attack provides an excuse not to respond,” tweeted Michael Singh, managing director for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.(Updates with Trump tweet in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Laura Curtis.To contact the reporters on this story: Jordan Fabian in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Nick Wadhams in Washington at email@example.com;David Wainer in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Glen Carey in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Bill Faries at email@example.com, Justin Blum, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Nio (NASDAQ:NIO) has quickly and quietly rocketed off its recent lows, climbing more than 25% in just a few trading sessions. It's got many investors wondering if Nio stock is set to run even higher over the ensuing days and weeks.Source: Carrie Fereday / Shutterstock.com One year ago, Nio stock went public on the New York Stock Exchange. With many dubbing it the "Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) of China," it should come as little surprise that it's been a volatile ride for the all-electric car maker.While the company debuted two electric vehicles more quickly than Tesla delivered its Model S and X, it hasn't generated the same fanfare that Tesla has. A big part of that, in my view, is thanks to Elon Musk.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Tesla versus NioDie-hard Tesla fans think of Musk as the saving grace to our earth. The one who will electrify the transportation market and slingshot the industry into the next century. All while fighting off short-sellers, FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt)-writers and the evil auto and energy sectors. * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession Of course, his detractors have the exact opposite view: that he's a lying narcissist pulling the wool over investors' eyes whenever he so pleases.Then there's everyone else in between, who recognize Musk for what he is. An incredible entrepreneur who at times would benefit from putting his foot in his mouth and turning off his Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account.Love him or hate him, embrace him or tolerate him, it's hard to argue the value Musk has brought to Tesla stock. While shares are down roughly 10% over the last five years, they're up more than 600% in six-and-a-half years. Also, TSLA is up approximately 1,000% in the last 10 years.Enough about Musk and more about Nio stock.All of this is to say that NIO doesn't have a Musk. Someone that can sell their product, that can create hype, generate headlines and get people taking notice. In a capital-intensive, low-margin business, that's exactly what a company like Nio needs. Someone who can get investors, customers and observers excited about their product.That's not to say NIO or others can't succeed without a Musk, but it makes life much easier. Trading Nio StockBoth the 20-day and 50-day moving averages are now trending higher for NIO stock. More importantly though, Nio is above downtrend resistance (blue line). Last month, this trend line squeezed Nio below $3, eventually sending it down to a low off $2.58 at the start of the month.However, that move was very important, at least as far as short-term developments go. When Nio stock bottomed at $2.58 and rallied, shares had notched yet another higher low. This is shown on the chart via purple arrows, as well as a purple uptrend line.While a series of higher lows is not necessarily a screaming buy signal, it is a bullish technical development. The only problem? The stock has been decimated over the past year. In 2019 alone, the Nio stock price is down 50%. From its highs, it's even worse, down a catastrophic 72.5%.So, what do bulls need to see now? They want to see Nio stock maintain above the 50-day and 20-day moving averages, and most importantly, not break the trend of higher lows. If shares can continue higher, $4 may be in the cards. Bottom Line on NIOThe technicals are starting to behave better for Nio stock; now it needs the fundamentals to improve as well.There are talks about a bottom in China's struggling auto market, while the company just raised $200 million in convertible debt via CEO William Li and Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY). That's promising and should help fund Nio's capital-intensive business as it tries to turn free cash flow positive.Losses are still big for Nio and that's to be expected from an automaker. Again, just look at Tesla. Despite its global presence, the company still has trouble churning a positive bottom line.Speaking of its global presence though, Tesla is working to complete its Gigafactory 3 in China. While the country is the world's largest electric car market, increased Tesla competition could make it harder for Nio to win over customers.The bottom line: for those that are bullish on Nio stock, the chart is beginning to shape up. If the fundamentals improve, shares could go on a run. Below $2.50 causes concern. Remember, this is still a speculative holding.Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post Big-Time Break Out for Nio Stock? appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels said oil installations in Saudi Arabia remain a target after drone attacks on two major sites slashed the kingdom’s output by half and triggered a record surge in oil prices.The rebel group said its weapons could reach anywhere in Saudi Arabia. Saturday’s strikes were carried out by aircraft equipped with a new type of engine, the Houthi rebel group said.“We assure the Saudi regime that our long hand can reach wherever we want, and whenever we want,” Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree said in a statement. “We warn companies and foreigners not to be present in the facilities that were hit in the strikes because they are still within range and may be targeted at any moment.”U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that there was no evidence the raids were carried out from Yemen. He blamed Iran, as did Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Monday.“The U.S. wholeheartedly condemns Iran’s attack on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We call on other nations to do the same,” Perry said at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. “This behavior is unacceptable. They must be held responsible.”President Donald Trump said the U.S. is “locked and loaded depending on verification” of the culprit. Russia called on countries not to rush to conclusions over who was responsible, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Iran denied responsibility.“Accusing Iran of the attacks is in line with the U.S.’s maximum-lies policy,” said Abbas Mousavi, spokesman at the foreign ministry in Tehran. “Such accusations are unsurprising, unacceptable and baseless.”Saudi Arabia has yet to assign blame. Its state oil company Saudi Aramco is due to give an update on Monday following the attacks on a major oil field and the world’s biggest crude-processing facility at Abqaiq. Oil posted its biggest ever intraday jump to more than $71 a barrel after the attack knocked out about 5% of global supplies.Oil Jumps Most on Record After Attack Cuts Saudi Arabian SupplyThe Trump administration and Saudi leaders now face a difficult choice in how to respond to Iran or its proxies without triggering a broader conflict that could spiral out of control with potentially devastating consequences for global oil markets and the world economy. Neither country has tipped its hand.“There’s no great response here,” said Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The question becomes how does the U.S. navigate between not allowing this precedent to stand on one hand, and avoiding a punitive escalation or one designed to deter future attacks without an escalation. And the answer is there is no answer.”Trump officials had recently floated the idea of talks between the president and his Iranian counterpart at the United Nations General Assembly this month, after more than a year of escalating tensions between the two countries following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.Mousavi on Monday confirmed Rouhani would travel to New York, but said he had “no plans” to meet Trump. Iran has consistently said that no progress was likely in improving ties without the U.S. first removing sanctions on Iranian oil exports. The downing in June of a U.S. Navy drone by Iranian forces almost triggered a conflict.Its Lifeblood Attacked, What Are Saudi Arabia’s OptionsThe circumstances of Saturday’s attack remain unclear. Two administration officials said on Sunday that cruise missiles may have been used. The officials, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations, didn’t rule out the use of armed drones but said the range was beyond anything the Houthis had carried out in the past.The U.S. government has determined there were 19 points of attack at the crude-processing facility and the Khurais oil field, all on the north or northwest-facing sides -- suggesting the weapons used came from that direction.Iraq lies to the north, and the U.S. in the past has accused Iran of stashing explosives with affiliated militias in the country. Yemen is hundreds of miles to the south.Saudi Arabia entered Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to push back Houthi rebels who captured the capital, Sana’a. Despite devastating aerial bombardment and support for groups on the ground, it has struggled to turn the tide of the war or reinstate the internationally recognized government of Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The Saudi-led coalition has instead watched local allies turn their guns on each other in recent weeks while the U.S. has said it’s looking to talk to the Houthis directly about ending the war.Oil Jumps Most on Record After Attack Cuts Saudi Arabian SupplyWhile analysts estimate Saudi Arabia may be able to restore half of the lost production as early as Monday, Trump said on Twitter Sunday that he’s authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed “in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied.”The stock of about 645 million barrels of crude and petroleum products could help meet demand during the time it would take for the Saudis to repair the facilities. Trump also told U.S. agencies to expedite permitting approvals of oil pipelines.(Updates with details on U.S.-Iran confrontation)\--With assistance from Jonathan Tirone.To contact the reporter on this story: Abbas Al Lawati in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at email@example.com, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- A small squadron of drones — and possibly cruise missiles — penetrated Saudi Arabia’s air defenses on Saturday, laying waste to a significant, valuable portion of two of the world’s most essential oil processing facilities. Amid worries about the impact of the strikes on global oil markets (half the kingdom’s oil output was affected) and fears about broader military confrontations upending a region perennially vexed by crossed swords, ancient religious rifts, geopolitical maneuvering and greed, facts and conjecture began jockeying for attention.Houthi rebels fighting the Saudis in a brutal civil war in Yemen took credit for the strikes. Iran backs the Houthis, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to blame Iran for “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” and to assert that there “is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” Pompeo didn’t specify where the strikes actually originated. The Saudis, backed by the U.S. in Yemen, have yet to pin the strikes on Iran, while the Iranians themselves deny any involvement. On Sunday, the U.S government produced photos that officials said indicated that the drones had to have flown into Saudi Arabia from Iraq or Iran. Iraq denies being involved.Not everyone is telling the truth here (although everyone might think they are) and any prudent response to the attacks hinges on more factual certainty. Patience and foresight are diplomatic virtues in moments like this, even if the correct response ultimately involves more severe economic sanctions on Iran or military actions designed to rein in its rulers.Like any U.S. president, Donald Trump could play a clarifying role and use the power and prestige of his office to bring a sense of order to what is a dangerous dynamic in the Arab world right now. It’s possible that the next few days will build toward the most momentous foreign policy challenge Trump will experience. But we’ve also arrived here precisely because of Trump’s own haphazard and conflicted approach to regimes he claims he wants to upend. Someone who has presided over the most chaotic White House of modern times is unlikely to navigate this complicated crisis with the necessary deftness.The White House issued a statement Saturday confirming that Trump had phoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to offer support for the country and oil markets. The president then filled his communication platform of choice, Twitter, with an array of attacks on the media, praise for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, promos for events meant to support black colleges, and a reminder that the “USA is Winning Again!”At about 6 p.m. Sunday, Trump tweeted that he planned to release inventories from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help stabilize oil markets. About an hour later, he weighed in again on behalf of the Saudis.“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked,” he tweeted. “There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”In a flash, and most likely without consulting anyone else on his White House team, Trump indicated he was willing to put the U.S. military at the disposal of the Saudis and that he’d come out, guns blazing, whenever the Saudis thought the time was right.Shortly after that, he noted that there was “PLENTY OF OIL!” and that no one should think that he stumbled in his own dealings with the Iranians — that perhaps the Iranians saw him softening and took advantage of him.“The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, ‘No Conditions.’ That is an incorrect statement (as usual!),” he tweeted just after 7 p.m.The problem with that one is that Trump did, in fact, say in June that he’d be willing to take a meeting with Iran with “no preconditions.” And several days ago Trump said he’d be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.Did any of that diplomatic signaling ( including the departure of Trump’s hawkish national security adviser John Bolton) coax the Iranians into a more aggressive stance, convincing them to try to disable a crucial oil field controlled by its most powerful foe in the Arab world at a time when that foe was moving toward a public offering of shares in its national oil company, Saudi Aramco? Who knows.What probably hasn’t been lost on Iran is that Trump has postured and blustered about his willingness to use military force to corral countries he considers hostile to the U.S., but then fails to follow through. In June, Trump ordered a military strike on Iran, only to call it off at the last minute.This isn’t new behavior from the president. He spent parts of his business life threatening to vanquish competitors or run circles around them when he was “artofthedealmaking,” only to find himself outmaneuvered or unable to deliver on his warnings (often to his own financial and reputational detriment).The president has likewise boxed himself in with the Saudis. In addition to turning a blind eye to the kingdom’s own military atrocities in Yemen, and to countenancing the murder of the Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, Trump and his family have myriad financial conflicts of interest involving Saudi money. Trump has left himself little room to find diplomatic solutions that don’t meet the Saudis’ needs first, while he continues to blur the line between serving the U.S. national interest and his own self-interest.And one of the most harrowing aspects of Trump’s presidency — that an inexperienced self-promoter utterly ignorant about much of the world and lacking any real interest in international affairs had assumed power over the mightiest military force on the planet — is now in full relief in the wake of the drone strikes in Saudi Arabia.Character is at play here, too. There’s a presidential election coming and with it the danger that Trump will find military confrontations overseas useful avenues for a political boost. That would suggest he may not be making completely sober-minded decisions. Perhaps the president will rise to the occasion this week, despite the forces he helped set in motion and which are now pulling him in multiple directions. But don’t hold your breath.To contact the author of this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O’Brien is the executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion. He has been an editor and writer for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, HuffPost and Talk magazine. His books include “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
This has been a good year for Snap (NYSE:SNAP). Snap stock is up 186% in 2019, and it even reached a new 52-week high at the end of July. Source: dennizn / Shutterstock.com SNAP's stock growth continues to outperform peers like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). CEO Evan Spiegel been selling millions of the company's shares. Just last week he sold over $33 million worth of SNAP stock. This seems to be a recent trend as both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos have also been selling millions of their company's shares.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSnap has been steadily improving its fundamentals after a rough 2018. The company's user base continues to steadily grow, which has boosted revenue and increased investor confidence. * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession Even still, some Wall Street analysts are hesitant when it comes to SNAP and the stock is considered a moderate buy. So is Snapchat stock worth investing in? Here are three things to consider first. 1\. User Base GrowthIn 2018, Snap's user base struggled after the launch of Instagram Stories, but the company has experienced a major shift this year. During the first quarter, Snap added four million daily active users and this figure increased to 13 million during the second quarter. The company now boasts 500 million monthly active users. This growth was largely fueled by Snap's updated version of its app and an increased focused on AR technology. Additionally, Snap recently announced it is partnering with Spotify to allow users to share music and podcasts directly within the app. 2\. Snap Flies under Regulation RadarThis year, the news has been relatively light when it comes to SNAP. The company has avoided much of the criticism it endured in 2018 over top executives leaving the company. Most importantly, SNAP avoided the regulatory issues that have plagued Facebook and other big tech companies. Facebook, in particular, has dealt with a $5 billion FTC fine and criticism over its new cryptocurrency Libra. 3\. Snap and GamingSnap's advertising business continues to be a strong source of revenue but that company's gaming business is where the real opportunity could lie.Last April, the company launched Snap Games, which quickly attracted the attention of the gaming developer Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA).Zynga introduced a new battle royale game exclusively on Snap's platform called Tiny Royale. SNAP also introduced five other titles when it launched in the spring. According to Evercore ISI analyst Kevin Rippey, Snap Games could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales by 2020. The Bottom Line on Snap StockDuring its most recent earnings report, company executives seemed optimistic about SNAP's future growth prospects. The company's third-quarter revenue guidance has SNAP earning between $410 million and $435 million in revenue. And this is entirely possible if the company can keep growing its user base, increase engagement on its platform, and find new sources of revenue. All in all, we can expect good things from SNAP stock in the coming years. As of this writing, Jamie Johnson did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post Here are 3 Reasons Why SNAP Stock is Soaring in 2019 appeared first on InvestorPlace.