|Bid||10.10 x 1100|
|Ask||10.14 x 800|
|Day's Range||10.04 - 10.12|
|52 Week Range||9.70 - 15.10|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Epic Games Inc. seized on Apple Inc.’s private survey of developers to show that the creator of Fortnite isn’t alone in bashing the App Store.One unidentified developer complained that the store “is plagued with outdated low-quality apps which make it harder for higher-quality apps to get the exposure they need.” Another wrote that “you tend only to feature indie apps and apps that spend or earn most the money.” A third said: “I’m satisfied as consumer. As a developer it’s a nightmare.”Epic’s lawyer confronted App Store chief Matt Fischer with the survey comments on the fourth day of a trial in federal court over the game maker’s claims that Apple runs its marketplace like a monopoly, cheating developers and consumers alike. Fischer is among several high-ranking Apple executives testifying at the three-week trial.Apple said the purpose of the survey was to solicit constructive criticism to help the iPhone maker improve the store -- and that Epic chose to cherry pick negative comments. Apple’s lawyer objected to the survey comments being read in court, but U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers overruled him.Read More: Epic’s Interrogation of Apple App Store Witness Gets Rocky StartWhen Fischer was questioned Thursday by Apple’s attorney, he said his team works hard to make the App Store “attractive to both customers and developers, neither of whom we have control over.”On Friday, Epic will call the manager of its own app store to the witness stand to show how its policies contrast with Apple’s.The trial in Oakland, California, comes as Apple faces a backlash -- with billions of dollars in revenue on the line -- from global regulators and some app developers who say its standard App Store fee of 30% and others policies are unjust and self-serving.How Apple’s App Store Sparked an Epic Trial: QuickTakeThe fight with Epic blew up in August when the game maker told customers it would replace Apple’s in-app purchase system with its own, circumventing Apple’s commissions from add-ons inside of Fortnite. Apple then removed the game, cutting off access for more than a billion customers.Apple, which vehemently denies abusing its market power, has called Epic’s legal gambit a “fundamental assault” on a business model that’s beneficial to both developers and consumers.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.
(Bloomberg) -- The combined forces of central bank and government stimulus could shake up the relationship between stocks and bonds that’s helped make the 60/40 portfolio an investing stalwart, according to asset manager PGIM.For the past couple of decades, bond-market gains have helped to offset losses on risk assets -- hence the popularity of the equities/bonds split in the traditional strategy. Coordinated policies to spur economic growth could upset that balance, causing both markets to move in the same direction, and shaking up asset allocations across the industry. That’s the view from a research paper by Junying Shen and Noah Weisberger at PGIM’s institutional advisory and solutions group.“Currently, both fiscal and monetary policy settings seem to be in flux and may echo policy regimes of an earlier era less familiar to today’s CIO,” the analysts wrote. “Increases in the debt-to-GDP ratio harken back to the late 1960s and 1970s, which would tilt the balance of risks toward higher interest rates, lower growth, and positive stock-bond correlation.”That’s not to say that PGIM expects worse times ahead for the traditional portfolio. It’s simply that investors should be alert to the risks of a regime shift. “A return to positively correlated stock and bond returns may require CIOs to rethink their asset allocation,” the paper advises.This latest research comes at a tough time for the 60/40 portfolio’s reputation, as critics have argued that the slide in bond yields to historic lows in recent years made them ineffective hedges. The strategy’s losses in 2018 led to increased calls for an overhaul -- the latest suggestions include adding derivatives or even Bitcoin to counter inflation risks. The volatility stirred by sharply higher growth expectations of late has provided another test, though the strategies tracked by Bloomberg are in the green year-to-date, including close to a 5% gain for the global portfolio.The market outlook is complicated by uncertainty over the path of growth and inflation as policy makers around the world struggle to get the pandemic under control and spur a recovery.“The difficulty we have, if we think about forecasting regime changes, we’ve only seen three regime changes in the last 70 years after regimes that lasted a very long time,” Weisberger said in an interview. “But when it shifts, it does shift.”The report simulated a range of outcomes for a balanced portfolio with unchanged expected returns. If correlations turned positive, the research showed a manager with a 60/40 portfolio might have to lower the stocks weighting to as little as 40% to maintain the same level of risk.“If you are a multisector investor the biggest risk that you run is that correlations go positive, where you lose money on both risky assets and your rates positions,” said Pilar Gomez-Bravo, director of fixed income at MFS Investment Management in London.One key indicator for investors to watch is how interest rates are behaving relative to changes in economic growth, Weisberger said. Artificial suppression of interest rates to engineer growth and higher inflation could lead to higher interest-rate volatility, in his view.“A shift from negative to positive stock-bond correlation means that stocks and bonds no longer hedge each other,” which could boost the volatility and risk of losses for a balanced portfolio, the paper noted.(Updates with additional analyst comment.)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.
(Bloomberg) -- As skyrocketing crop prices fuel fears about soaring food costs and hunger around the globe, one of the world’s most consumed staples is bucking the trend and warding off a broader food crisis at least for now.Rice is the predominant source of nourishment each day for more than 3 billion people, and yet it hasn’t rallied anything like other agricultural commodities from corn to soy and meat. While prices are above levels a year earlier, they’ve declined in recent months in some of the top exporters including Vietnam, Thailand and India on improved supplies from new harvests.One reason for the diverging trend is that rice is grown mainly for human consumption, whereas the surge in crop prices has been driven by booming demand for livestock feed. China’s insatiable appetite for hog feed has combined with poor crop weather to drain world grain and oilseed supplies, sending corn and soybeans to the highest level in more than eight years.Wheat -- mostly used to make food including bread, pasta, noodles, cereal bars and biscuits -- has risen too as it’s increasingly fed to animals as a substitute for expensive corn and soy. Prices have jumped more than 40% since August, compared with about 120% for corn and over 70% for soy. While rice futures in Chicago climbed 24%, the Asian benchmark for Thai white rice gained just 4%.Stable rice prices could stop food inflation from becoming a more widespread problem. Global food prices are already at their highest since 2014, triggering warnings from the World Bank and United Nations about rising food insecurity and stirring memories of 2008 and 2011, when price spikes led to food riots in more than 30 nations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and contributed to political strife and uprisings in the Arab Spring.Global Hunger Hits Highest in Years as Pandemic Hurts IncomeThis time, the impact of soaring crop prices on grocery shelves can already be seen in higher tortilla prices in Mexico and beef in Brazil. In the U.S., it’s more expensive bacon and other meat cuts due to higher feed costs. Asia is generally more insulated as wheat is usually less of a diet staple than rice.“The fact that rice prices are stable is pretty good news for global food security,” said David Dawe, a Bangkok-based senior economist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. “You’ve got a lot more poor people in Asia, where rice is a staple food.”There’s little risk for now that rice will get caught up in the rally. Unlike corn, soy and even wheat which face tightening supplies because of dry weather in important growing regions, including in the U.S. and Brazil, there’s no global shortage of rice. The weather pattern known as La Nina that contributed to drought in the Americas has instead brought rains to much of Asia, where over 90% of the world’s rice is produced and consumed.India, the world’s biggest supplier, has harvested record amounts of rice for the past few years and has been shipping them at low prices. “Even if sales from Vietnam and Thailand dropped, rice prices won’t be going up much because there’s plenty of supply from India,” said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.Production from Thailand, which was the No. 2 exporter before slipping in the ranking last year as a drought slashed output, will probably benefit from higher rainfall this year, according to Chookiat. Rice prices could climb should there be “surprise demand,” but gains will be capped by large stockpiles in China as well as India’s ability to keep on exporting, he said.In China, the government has built up massive inventories of wheat and rice that could feed its entire population of 1.4 billion people for a year. It’s even urged animal feed mills to buy both the grains from state reserves to replace corn and soybean meal to curb the country’s dependence on foreign supplies.However, food security isn’t just about staple food crops and consuming sufficient calories. For the poor, it’s about having access to adequate amounts of protein, micronutrients and vitamins. This has been made difficult because of the spikes in corn and soy, which pushed up meat prices.The World Will Pay More for Meat as Food Inflation Deepens“The higher maize prices will put price pressure on pork and poultry and that will make it more difficult for poor families to afford that in their diet,” Dawe said. “They’ll be OK on the rice but they won’t be so good on the meat, and that can have an impact on the nutrition of young children.”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.