Alexis Christoforous discusses the day’s top stories with Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman, Alan Valdes of Silverbear and Mark Mark Martiak of Premier Wealth First Allied Securities.
Alexis Christoforous discusses the day’s top stories with Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman, Alan Valdes of Silverbear and Mark Mark Martiak of Premier Wealth First Allied Securities.
The head of Switzerland's financial regulator FINMA questioned Credit Suisse over risks in its dealings with now-insolvent finance firm Greensill Capital "months" before the bank was forced to close $10 billion of funds liked to Greensill, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday. Alongside formal discussions on a technical level between the bank and FINMA, the watchdog's head Mark Branson personally discussed the risks with outgoing Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner and Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein during a meeting on an unspecified date, the paper reported, citing information it had obtained. FINMA declined to comment.
(Bloomberg) -- The quietest week in stocks so far in 2021 has Wall Street wondering what will break the calm.Equity trading volume plunged as the S&P 500 marched to an all-time high, with the five-day average across U.S. exchanges dropping to 9.5 billion shares traded -- the lowest since October, according to Bloomberg data. Friday was particularly placid, with just 8.7 billion shares moving, the lowest daily total since Christmas Eve.The lull felt especially abrupt after 13 months of frenzied trading brought the fastest bear market ever and a furious rally not equaled in 90 years. Stuck-at-home traders turned online brokerages into casinos, while vaccine approvals in November sparked more euphoria, spurring investors into stocks they’d shunned for months. Since then, more than $575 billion has poured into the market, exceeding total inflows for the prior 12 years combined, according to Bank of America data.That all changed in April, and theories abound as to what’s behind it. The retail mania has cooled as economic restrictions eased. Stimulus bets got settled. A brief bout of selling sparked higher yields was becalmed by a chorus of Federal Reserve officials. Economic data is starting to help justify valuations. There are just fewer major issues left to drive massive market bets. No matter, say money managers, the tranquility won’t last.“We were going 100 miles an hour and now we’re back within the speed limit,” Arthur Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, said by phone. “We’re going to see a resurgence of volumes and volatility because this year is going to be like no other year that people have ever seen in terms of economic growth, earnings growth, inflation, a brand-new framework for the Federal Reserve.”After a 1.4% rally Monday, the S&P 500 ground out three more records to end the week as trading volumes slowed to pre-pandemic averages. The index notched a third straight weekly gain, and the Cboe Volatility Index slipped to its lowest level in 14 months. Fading bets on Fed hikes spurred the biggest weekly drop in 5-year Treasury yields since June.Traders whipsawed by the pandemic tumult are unmoved by the calm and point to signs that more turbulence is to come. Take the VIX. At 17, it’s stubbornly elevated compared to its average of 14.9 in the seven years through 2019. Bets that the summer will bring more market chaos have pushed the spread between the VIX and implied 30-day volatility four months from now to the widest level in almost nine years.Bond markets show similar expectations for fireworks -- short interest in the $14 billion iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond exchange-traded fund as a percentage of shares outstanding rose to the highest level since 2017 this week, IHS Markit Ltd. data show, even as the ETF rallied.Meanwhile, Wall Street prognosticators think the advance that pushed S&P 500 to dot-com-era valuations is likely exhausted for the year. At an all-time high of 4,128.80, the index closed Friday ahead of the average year-end target of 4,099 from strategists tracked by Bloomberg.Skeptics have cited everything from rising yields to stretched valuation and potential tax hikes as reason for caution. Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup Inc. whose 2021 target sat at 3,800, expects the Fed to start rolling back monetary stimulus later this year and earnings guidance to weaken, posing headwinds for stocks and stoking volatility.“Sentiment is in very worrisome territory as is valuation, yet money flows continue to push indices higher,” Levkovich wrote in a note earlier this week. “Huge fiscal stimulus and supportive central banks have created the notion of there being no need to be risk averse,” he added. “Indeed, all developments are perceived as positive news. Yet, such one-sided views are not usually a good starting point.”Kim Forrest of Bokeh Capital Partners is feeling more optimistic. She expects the kickoff of what’s expected to be the best earnings season since 2018 to breathe life back into the stocks, with big lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. set to report next week. First-quarter profits from S&P 500 firms probably expanded 24%, led by carmakers, banks and retailers, data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence show.“Unless there’s some other craziness going, like Covid, earnings always drive the market,” said Forrest, the firm’s chief investment officer. “We are heading into earnings season and the bar has been set really low, and I think the first quarter has been pretty good, so that’s encouraging.”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 reflation trade that dominated the start of 2021 in the bond market has taken a breather, leaving investors bracing for a key set of data in the week ahead that has the potential to reaffirm expectations that price pressures will build as the economy rebounds.All eyes will be on Tuesday’s release of the U.S. consumer price index for March, which is expected to show a significant jump. The number will likely be distorted by the huge slump in year-earlier figures at the outbreak of the pandemic. But traders may be reluctant to dismiss an acceleration -- as they did to some extent with Friday’s stronger-than-projected producer price data -- if there’s a growing sense that it marks the beginning of a trend.The statistics come at a crucial time for bond bears betting on reflation. Market measures of inflation expectations, fueled by ultraloose Federal Reserve policy and immense amounts of fiscal stimulus, have stalled near multiyear highs and have yet to be backed consistently by actual data. The same goes with gauges of the yield curve, which have retreated from recent peaks. It’s not just bond positions at stake: Without follow-through from data, bets on Fed tightening as soon as late 2022 may fade, potentially sapping demand for the surprisingly resilient dollar.“We don’t have strong reflation-trade momentum at the moment because people are waiting for more data,” said Daniel Tenengauzer, head of markets strategy at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. “As the data comes in, we are probably going to see the reflation trade play out again more strongly” toward the middle of the year.Tenengauzer says every inflation reading counts from this point because “the longer inflation stays at 2.5%,” an annual CPI reading last seen before the pandemic took hold, “the more underwater you are from holding fixed income.”Ten-year Treasury yields rose Friday, while finishing below the day’s high, after the PPI report showed a 4.2% increase from March 2020. Although it was relative to a period when the pandemic caused price pressures to crash, it was the biggest annual gain since 2011. The benchmark yield has retreated since approaching 1.8% last month, the highest since January 2020.There are strong arguments on both sides of the inflation debate as the market moves from a phase where it was driven by rising expectations for price pressures, to one where investors are seeking backup from the data. There’s also a view that expectations for growth, not inflation, may end up dominating the narrative for Treasuries later this year, through higher real yields.Inflation ‘Psychosis’Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who’s scheduled to appear on “60 Minutes” Sunday and will also speak Wednesday, has said any pickup in inflation will likely be temporary. Hoisington Investment Management Co., meanwhile, said in its latest quarterly report that inflation fears are a “psychosis” that will fade.But that doesn’t mean that a jump in the consumer price index won’t spook bond investors at least briefly. The March figure is forecast to show a year-over-year increase of 2.5%, which would be the highest since January 2020 and above every point on the yield curve. It’s a development that may also undermine stocks.“The market’s been pricing in a reflation theme already since the second half of 2020, but strong, realized prints would almost add fuel to the fire,” said Shahid Ladha, head of Group-of-10 rates strategy for the Americas at BNP Paribas SA.That, in turn, would produce upside risk to yields on intermediate maturities because of the possibility that the Fed might have to tighten sooner than expected, he says.Investors are also tasked with absorbing a combined $120 billion of coupon auctions next week, including 30-year debt, as they ponder the inflation question. While expectations for an elevated CPI reading may be a concern, the past month has shown that there’s sufficient demand for Treasuries, which should help “grease future bond auctions,” Tenengauzer said.What to WatchEconomic calendar:April 12: Monthly budget statementApril 13: NFIB small business optimism; CPI; average earningsApril 14: MBA mortgage applications; import/export prices; Fed’s Beige BookApril 15: Jobless claims; retail sales; Empire manufacturing; Philadelphia Fed business outlook; industrial production; Langer consumer comfort; business inventories; NAHB housing index; TIC flowsApril 16: Building permits; housing starts; University of Michigan sentimentFed calendar:April 12: Boston Fed’s Eric RosengrenApril 13: Philadelphia Fed’s Patrick Harker; San Francisco Fed’s Mary Daly; Richmond Fed’s Thomas Barkin; Atlanta Fed’s Raphael Bostic, Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester and Rosengren at event on racism and the economyApril 14: Dallas Fed’s Robert Kaplan; Powell speaks to the Economic Club of Washington; Beige Book; New York Fed’s John Williams; Vice Chair Richard Clarida discusses new policy framework; BosticApril 15: Bostic; Daly; New York Fed Executive Vice President Lorie Logan; Clarida; MesterApril 16: Kaplan in two appearancesAuction schedule:April 12: 13-, 26-week bills; 3-, 10-year notesApril 13: 30-year bondsApril 15: 4-, 8-week billsFor 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) -- That the immediate fate of emerging markets is likely to be determined by the path of the dollar and Treasury yields is barely in dispute.But what is less clear is which direction the U.S. currency and bond market will take, as investors weigh the competing forces of Covid-19 infections and the prospects of a global economic rebound. Another uncertainty is which developing economies are best-placed to ride the recovery.This week “will continue to be dominated by rate volatility, issuance and Covid resurgence,” said Abdul Kadir Hussain, the head of fixed-income asset management at Arqaam Capital in Dubai. “If rate volatility declines, supply is constrained and the Covid resurgence in places like India is controlled we can go tighter in spreads. Otherwise, I think we will continue to see weakness in fixed income.”Last week’s performance provided plenty of pointers. Emerging-market dollar bonds had their best week since December, while local-currency debt rose by the most in two months, according to Bloomberg Barclays indexes. Meantime, developing-nation stocks fell 0.6% amid concerns about rising inflation, while the implied volatility for currencies declined for a second week.Chinese data will take the spotlight this week as a slew of releases including first-quarter gross domestic product will be watched for clues on the strength of its economic recovery. Inflation data from the U.S. and developing economies from India to Russia will also garner scrutiny as investors seek guidance on the path for monetary policy.Turkey’s interest-rate decision on Thursday will be in focus as the new central bank governor seeks to win over investors with a commitment to tight monetary policy after his predecessor was fired last month. The Bank of Korea is likely to hold its benchmark rate too.On HoldTurkey’s central will probably keep the benchmark one-week repo rate unchanged at 19%, according to most economists surveyed by BloombergTurkish central bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu said last month markets shouldn’t take for granted that he’ll cut interest rates as soon as AprilThe lira slumped 10% last month after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s shock decision to replace the country’s central bank chief.The benchmark rate was raised by a larger-than-expected 200 basis points at Naci Agbal’s final rate-setting meeting as governor on March 18“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like the new-look central bank to lower interest rates, but market forces will likely delay the delivery of his orders,” with inflation rising and the lira weakening, Bloomberg Economics said in a reportBank of Korea is likely to hold its benchmark rate at 0.5% at its Thursday meeting. In late March Governor Lee Ju-yeol dismissed calls to tighten policy early to tackle rising financial risks, even as he said he expects faster inflation and economic growth this yearSouth Korea is scheduled to announce its unemployment rate for March on Wednesday. Bloomberg Economics forecasts the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate to slide further to 3.8% in March from 4% in the previous monthElection WatchA Sunday presidential runoff vote in Ecuador will be closely watched by bondholders as the nation decides between a career banker or the protege of self-exiled former President Rafael CorreaAny impact on the nation’s recently restructured dollar bonds will be monitored as the votes are countedPeruvians also head to polling stations on Sunday for the first round of their presidential electionThe Peruvian sol led last week’s currency gains on speculation that pro-market economist Hernando de Soto will secure enough support in Sunday’s presidential election to advance to the June runoff. An Ipsos poll showed that de Soto, a former central bank governor and presidential adviser, gained support to become the second most-favored candidatePeru Vote Key to Bonds After Biggest Sol Rally Since 2008China CheckData on Friday is set to show China’s economy accelerated by a record 18.3% in the first three months of 2021, according to the median estimate of analysts surveyed by BloombergBefore that, trade figures are forecast to show a continued export boom while industrial production, retail sales and aggregate social financing are also expected to jumpThe People’s Bank of China is also seen injecting cash in the banking system via medium-term lending facilities on Thursday as 100 billion yuan ($15.2 billion) of one-year loans come due. Traders will be on the watch for any additional cash injection as liquidity is expected to tighten this quarter due to a surge in local government bond sales and tax payments“Looking ahead to April and May, we expect liquidity to stay on the tight side,” said David Qu, who covers China for Bloomberg Economics. “In our view, the PBOC is trying to avoid fueling financial risks -- without putting a choke on the economy. We think the central bank will need to inject more liquidity into the banking system”What Else to WatchTraders will watch out for further escalation between Russia and Ukraine after Russia warned that growing violence in Ukraine could set off a broader military conflictJPMorgan Chase & Co. moved to market-weight from overweight on the ruble and Russian rates due to escalating geopolitical tensions and asset underperformanceThe ruble was the second-worst performing emerging-market currency last week amid the tensionIndia will release March consumer prices on Monday and inflation is expected to rebound further above the central bank’s 4% mid-point targetThe Reserve Bank of India will probably look past the near-term surge however and continue its hold on interest rates, according to Bloomberg IntelligenceIndia’s benchmark 10-year yield fell 15 basis points last week after the RBI announced 1 trillion rupees ($13.4 trillion) of debt purchasesIndustrial production is expected to decline further in February; India will also release trade figures alongside IndonesiaThe Philippines will release February overseas remittances data on ThursdayThe Czech Republic and Poland will report March’s consumer prices data on Tuesday and Thursday, respectivelyThe koruna and the zloty were among the best-performing emerging-market currencies last weekTraders will watch a reading of Peru’s economic activity gauge for February, which is expected to add to evidence that recovering growth lost momentum early in the first quarter, in line with increasing infections and lockdowns, according to Bloomberg EconomicsIn Brazil, investors will be watching for news on the nation’s 2021 budget gridlock, a significant local drivers this monthFebruary retail sales data on Tuesday, and unemployment figures on Friday will offer more information on how rising coronavirus cases has affected the economy.Colombia will post retail sales figures for February on ThursdayThe nation has had to return to lockdowns to fight the spread of Covid-19, which may imply downside risk for March, according to Bloomberg EconomicsBloomberg Economics expects Argentina’s March CPI data to show persistent inflationary pressure, despite price and currency controlsFor 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.
As the president mulls Democrat calls to cancel up to $50,000 in federally-backed student loan debt via executive order, a new analysis shows how $10,000 in forgiveness would affect borrowers in each U.S. state.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) is not going to lower its dividend no matter what it costs the company. That point came out loud and clear from the company’s latest earnings conference call. This means that XOM stock will continue to have a “strong” dividend yield of about 6.15%. It’s worth at least 32% more, or $74.63 per share, based on its historical dividend yield. Source: Harry Green / Shutterstock.com For the past two years (8 quarters) Exxon has paid 87 cents per share in quarterly dividends. That works out to $3.48 per share each year. Exxon clearly intends to maintain that dividend. Therefore, at today’s price (April 9) of $55.87, the dividend yield is very healthy at 6.2%. Target Price Based on Historicals Moreover, based on the company’s historical dividend yield, this is much higher than its average. For example, Morningstar reports that over the past 5 years, its trailing 5-year dividend yield has been 4.96% (almost 5%).InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips We can use this to estimate the normalized target value for XOM stock. For example, if we divide the dividend per share of $3.48 by the average yield of 4.96%, the result is a target price of $70.16 per share. This represents a potential gain of $14.29 or about 26% more based on today’s price of $55.87. 7 Infrastructure Stocks Excited For The $2 Trillion Biden Plan We can do the same thing with the company’s earnings-per-share (EPS). Applying Morningstar’s 5-year avg. price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 25.62 times (over the last 5 years) to Exxon’s EPS for this year ($2.87) produces a target price of $73.53. That is over 30% above today’s price. Similarly using the Morningstar forward P/E average of 21.75 times Exxon’s $3.88 EPS for 2022 produces a target price of $84.39. Now we have three different price targets based on dividend yield and price-to-earnings. To round things out we can also derive a price based on its historical price-to-sales. Morningstar says this is 1.25 times over the last five years. Analysts predict sales of $245.5 billion for 2021, so the price target works out to $306.875 billion. This is 29.7% above Exxon’s existing market cap of $236.5 billion. In other words, XOM stock is worth nearly 30% more or $72.46 per share. That means that, on average, XOM stock is worth about 34% higher, or $75.14 per share. These ratios are based on earnings and sales estimates provided by Seeking Alpha on their Earnings tab for Exxon Mobil stock. The estimates can vary depending on which aggregation service is used. But this gives you an idea that XOM stock is undervalued based on its historical metrics. One thing to note is that although the $3.48 dividend exceeds the forecast earnings of $2.87 this year (2021). But next year analysts predict EPS of $3.88 per share, which will cover the dividend, assuming oil and gas prices stay high. Moreover, management said on the fourth-quarter 2020 conference call that cash flow from operations should cover the dividend payments this year. This coincides with their intention to maintain a “strong” dividend, mentioned 10 times on the conference call. What To Do With XOM Stock Most analysts have higher price targets for Exxon stock, but not by much. For example, TipRanks.com says that 18 analysts have an average price target of just $60.68. Similarly, Yahoo! Finance says that 25 analysts believe on average XOM stock is worth $61.18. However, Marketbeat.com reports that 24 analysts have a lower target of $52.73, whereas Seeking Alpha says that 27 analysts have an average target of $61.36. Click to EnlargeSource: Mark R. Hake, CFA You can see in the table on the right that the median analyst price target is $60.63, or 7.1% above today’s price. So, on the one hand, this is much lower than my price target using historical metrics. But on the other hand, keep in mind that my price target could take several years to achieve, whereas most analysts are just looking out one year. For example, if my 34% higher price target takes two years, the average annual return will be just 16% each year on a compounded basis. Moreover, the dividend yield is 6.15%. Therefore the total return, even if the analysts’ target price pans out will be 13.25% (i.e., 7.1% price gain plus 6.15% dividend yield). My target price produces an expected return of 21.95% (i.e., 14.8% gain plus 6.15% yield). Any way that you look at it, XOM stock looks like a good bargain here, assuming oil stays high and the stock returns to its normal historical value metrics. On the date of publication, Mark R. Hake did not hold a long or short position in any of the securities in this article. Mark Hake writes about personal finance on mrhake.medium.com and runs the Total Yield Value Guide which you can review here. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next Potential 500% Winner Stock Prodigy Who Found NIO at $2… Says Buy THIS Now The post Exxon Mobil Will Keep Paying Its Dividend, And May Be Worth 30% More appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Daily Journal Chairman Charlie Munger says a new investment in Chinese internet giant Alibaba is part of a move into stocks because returns on Treasury bills are so low.
The president is being urged to roll more direct aid money into his infrastructure bill.
Cash and carry traders seek to profit from the spread between bitcoin's price in futures and spot markets.
Most Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPAC) are trading well below their highs. QuantumScape (NYSE:QS) is the exception. If investors ignored the massive December 2020 run-up that sent QS stock to a high of $132.73, the SPAC is trending steadily. Source: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com Investors are hungry for electric vehicle (EV) component suppliers. Companies that offer innovations in EV batteries will fare the best. Investments in QuantumScape are a vote of confidence for the battery firm. Volkswagen Investment Lifts QS Stock QS announced that it met Volkswagen’s (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) technical milestone on March 31. This triggers a milestone payment from VW. The second and final closing will reward QS with another $100 million by VW. The $100 million investment will give the firm the additional liquidity needed for the growing firm. Chief Executive Officer Jagdeep Singh said, “we look forward to working jointly to bring solid-state lithium-metal battery technology into industrialized mass-production.”InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips 7 Great Stocks to Buy Under $10 Investors wary of investing in a novel company having no product will want to avoid QS stock. Yet the VW-QS deal lowers the uncertainties considerably. The automotive firm needs the battery. It is a key component in its EV strategy. VW’s EV shift is ambitious. It wants battery-powered vehicles to account for 70% of European sales and 50% in both the U.S. and China. QuantumScape’s Moat QuantumScape is a leader in developing next-generation solid-state lithium-metal batteries. It has ambitious plans in revolutionizing the EV battery industry. It spent ten secretive years developing the product. In Dec. 2020, QS held a video call to present the battery performance. The company said that its single-layer pouch cells could charge to 80% capacity in only 15 minutes. None of the lithium batteries in current EVs charge that fast. Since there is no dendrite formation, QS does not need to throttle back on charging. In 2019, dendrite formations caused battery shortages in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) EVs. Conversely, an ex-Tesla engineer said that “solid-state batteries are a false hope.” Experts will continue to argue the merits of QuantumScape’s prospects, given QS figured out how to store more energy by weight and volume without giving up its durability. Using ceramic materials that resist the formation of dendrites gives QS a strong moat. For now, the market is not panicking on QuantumScape’s advancements. Nio (NYSE:NIO) has battery sharing as a service workaround. This lowers the price of its EVs and gives its customers a ready-charged battery swapping solution. Tesla’s valuations did not change by much, either. Opportunity President Joe Biden’s massive $2 trillion infrastructure and stimulus plan re-ignited investor interest in EVs. The plan includes investments worth $174 billion in EV initiatives. Besides investing in TSLA or NIO stock, investors may look at Chargepoint Holdings (NYSE:CHPT) or Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK). QuantumScape’s commercially available battery is still a few years away. Impatient investors may consider charging station companies in the short term. But continued coverage on QS’s prospects in the next few years should attract investors. The company will act like a biotechnology stock on the markets. Just as shareholders wait for clinical results, they will need to wait patiently for QS to bring a product to market. Experts said that the EV market is poised for record sales in 2021. Consumers have a wide variety of choices. Add the government’s pledge to electrify automobiles and the demand for EV batteries will climb. By the time QuantumScape has a product on the market, it will have billions of dollars worth of pre-orders. Most SPACs will lose money for investors. QS shares are bucking the trend. Markets have a strong demand for companies offering clean energy solutions. The battery EV is in the early phases of strong growth for the next few years. On the date of publication, Chris Lau did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. Chris Lau is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Chris has over 20 years of investing experience in the stock market and runs the Do-It-Yourself Value Investing Marketplace on Seeking Alpha. He shares his stock picks so readers get original insight that helps improve investment returns. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next Potential 500% Winner Stock Prodigy Who Found NIO at $2… Says Buy THIS Now The post QuantumScapeâs Long-term Battery Prospects Will Hold Charge appeared first on InvestorPlace.
As trade and investment have grown between China and Nigeria, so has lending, leading to an increased focus on the balance of the bilateral relationship.
A handful of retailers and apparel makers have encountered a backlash in China in recent weeks, and more could soon be in the same boat.
(Bloomberg) -- China slapped a record $2.8 billion fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. after an anti-monopoly probe found it abused its market dominance, as Beijing clamps down on its internet giants.The 18.2 billion yuan penalty is triple the previous high of almost $1 billion that U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. had to pay in 2015, and was based on 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic revenue, according to China’s antitrust watchdog. The company will also have to initiate “comprehensive rectifications,” from protecting merchants and customers to strengthening internal controls, the agency said in a statement on Saturday.The fine -- about 12% of Alibaba’s fiscal 2020 net income -- helps remove some of the uncertainty that’s hung over China’s second-largest corporation. But Beijing remains intent on reining in its internet and fintech giants and is said to be scrutinizing other parts of billionaire founder Jack Ma’s empire, including Ant Group Co.’s consumer-lending businesses and Alibaba’s extensive media holdings.Alibaba used its platform rules and technical methods like data and algorithms “to maintain and strengthen its own market power and obtain improper competitive advantage,” the State Administration for Market Regulation concluded in its investigation. The company will likely have to change a raft of practices, like merchant exclusivity, which critics say helped it become China’s largest e-commerce operation.“The high fine puts the regulator in the media spotlight and sends a strong signal to the tech sector that such types of exclusionary conduct will no longer be tolerated,” said Angela Zhang, author of “Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism” and director of Centre for Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s a stone that kills two birds.”Alibaba’s practice of imposing a “pick one from two” choice on merchants “shuts out and restricts competition“ in the domestic online retail market, according to the statement.The government action sends a clear warning to the tech sector as the government scrutinizes the influence that companies like Alibaba and social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. wield over spheres from consumer data to mergers and acquisitions.The investigation into Alibaba was one of the opening salvos in a campaign seemingly designed to curb the power of China’s internet leaders and their billionaire founders. The company has come under mounting pressure from authorities since Ma spoke out against China’s regulatory approach to the finance sector in October. Those comments set in motion an unprecedented regulatory offensive, including scuttling Ant Group Co.’s $35 billion initial public offering.Alibaba said it will hold a conference call Monday morning Hong Kong time to address lingering questions around the antitrust watchdog’s decree.“China’s record fine on Alibaba may lift the regulatory overhang that has weighed on the company since the start of an anti-monopoly probe in late December,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam said, describing the fine as a small price to pay to do away with that uncertainty.”Further ActionStill, it remains unclear whether the watchdog or other agencies might demand further action. Regulators are said for instance to be concerned about Alibaba’s ability to sway public discourse and want the company to sell some of its media assets, including the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper.The Hangzhou-based firm will be required to implement “comprehensive rectifications,” including strengthening internal controls, upholding fair competition, and protecting businesses on its platform and consumers’ rights, the regulator said. It will need to submit reports on self-regulation to the authority for three consecutive years.“Alibaba accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination. To serve its responsibility to society, Alibaba will operate in accordance with the law with utmost diligence, continue to strengthen its compliance systems and build on growth through innovation,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.Faced ChallengesChief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in a memo to employees on Saturday that Alibaba always reflected and adapted when it faced challenges. He called for unity among staff, saying the company should “make self-adjustments and start over again.”The Communist Party-run People’s Daily newspaper said in a commentary on Saturday that the punishment involves specific anti-monopoly measures regulatory authorities take to “prevent the disorderly expansion of capital.”“It doesn’t mean denying the significant role of platform economy in overall economic and social development, and doesn’t signal a shift of attitude in terms of the country’s support to the platform economy,” the newspaper said. “Regulations are for better development, and ‘reining in’ is also a kind of love.”(Updates with company’s comment from 14th paragraph)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.
Stock picking is ripe for a shift away from passive investing, which could suffer a decade of low or nonexistent returns, says Bill Smead.
Americans have tons of questions about their stimulus checks and 2020 taxes. Here’s what you need to know about 2021 COVID-relief payments and more.
Avelo Airlines, a startup budget carrier, will inaugurate service on April 28 from its base at Hollywood Burbank Airport in California. What’s Happening: The start-up airline will offer nonstop service to smaller airports in 11 West Coast locations, using 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft accommodating 189 seats. To launch its service, Avelo is offering a promotion with one-way fares beginning at $19. “After more than 20 years of steadily shrinking consumer choice, the American flying public wants and deserves more options and lower fares,” said Avelo Founder and CEO Andrew Levy, former chief financial officer at United Airlines Holdings Inc (NYSE: UAL) and former president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT). Related Link: French Government Gives .7B Infusion To Ailing Air France: What You Need To Know Why It Matters: Avelo is the second start-up U.S. carrier launching this year, joining Breeze Airways as a newcomer to the skies. Avelo is also entering an industry that is more than eager to move beyond the financial trauma created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several major carriers have announced new routes and the resumption of pandemic-paused services, and two companies — Frontier Airlines and Sun Country Airlines — have also announced plans for initial public offerings. Related Link: American Airlines Flight Encounters UFO Over New Mexico (Photo courtesy Avelo Airlines) See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaDMX, Rapper With Troubled Life, Dies At 50Wall Street Crime And Punishment: Joseph P. Kennedy, The Crooked Dynasty Patriarch© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Cowen and company in their latest report said they continue to believe that Delta Airlines will report a loss this year unless there is a significant recovery of international and corporate traffic in the second half, which seems highly unlikely amid the fourth wave of coronavirus infections.
NEW YORK (Reuters) -A federal judge on Friday ruled against Amazon.com Inc as the company defends against New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit claiming it prioritized profit over worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic at two New York City warehouses. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan granted James' request to return her lawsuit to a New York state court, and rejected Amazon's bid to move it to Brooklyn federal court, where the online retailer had sued James to stop her from suing.
The latest noises coming out from China suggest XPeng (XPEV) is keen to produce its own chips in-house. According to Chinese news outlet 36kr, using a small team of less than 10 engineers, the Chinese EV maker is developing its own autonomous driving chip. The production started a few months ago and is taking place in both the US and China. Xia Heng, XPeng’s Co-President and Chief Technology & Operation Advisor Benny Katibian, whose prior jobs include leading the tech dept at Qualcomm's ADAS team, are at the helm of the new project. “Industry sources indicate XPeng is actively recruiting chip engineers,” said Deutsche Bank’s Edison Yu, who believes this suggests “there are plans to grow this effort moving forward.” “In our view,” Yu further noted, “We do not expect any near-term changes as both XPILOT 3.5 and 4.0 will use Nvidia chips (Xavier and Orin), but believe similar to Tesla/NIO, XPeng wants to ultimately use a custom designed chip purpose built to train its neural net (to use in XPILOT 5.0) rather than a general purpose chip, in order to maximize performance/ efficiency and lower cost.” Yu thinks local rival Nio, is “likely” fast at work on a similar project after poaching Xiaomi's chip division manager. Looking at the wider picture, Yu believes it is all part of an effort by the industry/government to lower the dependence on foreign chips. Earlier this year, backed by BYD and Great Wall Motor, Horizon Robotics raised $900 million in a Series C round. The 5-year-old, local start-up was recently selected by SAIC (GM and VW’s main JV Chinese partner) to supply its ADAS/AD chipset. Horizon is targeting the shipment of 1 million chips this year and Yu believes it is a good example of the local industry’s chip manufacturing ambitions. To this end, Yu rates XPEV shares a Buy along with a $48 price target. The implication for investors? Upside of 39%. (To watch Yu’s track record, click here) XPEV stock has a resounding “yes” on Wall Street. 6 Buys and 1 Hold assigned in the last three months add up to a Strong Buy analyst consensus. At $49.50, the average price target implies upside potential of 43.5%. (See XPEV stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for EV 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.
Investing is a crucial part of accumulating enough money in retirement — and the best results come with proper asset allocation. Retirement tip of the week: Check the asset allocation of your retirement portfolios, and if you’ve done it recently, make it a regularly scheduled task once a year. “The time to review your asset allocation and overall retirement investment strategy should be a proactive process throughout the year,” said Jon Ulin, chief executive officer of Ulin & Co. Wealth Management.