Stocks are lower in early trading Friday as heightened speculative trading by retail investors dominate the headlines.
Stocks are lower in early trading Friday as heightened speculative trading by retail investors dominate the headlines.
Aston Martin expects to almost double sales and move back towards profitability this year after sinking deeper into the red in 2020, when the luxury carmaker was hit by the pandemic, changed its boss and was forced to raise cash. The carmaker of choice for fictional secret agent James Bond has had a tough time since floating in 2018, as it failed to meet expectations and burnt through cash, prompting it to seek fresh investment from billionaire Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll. For 2021, it expects "to see the first steps towards improved profitability" but is still likely to post a pre-tax loss, the carmaker said.
Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital, an investor in Chinese technology titans including billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Group, is raising a new, China-focused fund targeting as much as $6 billion, three people with knowledge of the matter said. Boyu did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The fundraising by a firm widely associated with tech startups amounts to a high-profile test of investor appetite at a time when heightened oversight of China's tech giants clouds the near-term outlook of those companies.
A gauge of global equity markets rose on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said interest rates will remain low, calming market jitters sparked by a jump in U.S. Treasury yields on fears that a robust recovery would drive inflation higher. Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased more than expected in January as the median sale price rose 5.3% on a year-over-year basis, the latest data to show certain consumer prices are rising faster than expected. Crude oil rose more than 2% to fresh 13-month highs while gold prices struggled for traction as elevated Treasury yields eroded the allure of bullion as an inflation hedge.
Square has been on fire this year but has endured a multi-day dip. Let's look at the charts to see if this latest selloff is an opportunity.
Class action lawsuits contend insurers are unfairly profiting from emptier roads.
What Happened: The largest crypto exchange in Southeast Asia, Philippines-based PDAX, experienced a technical failure that led to Bitcoin trading at $6,000 – an 88% discount to its current price. Following the incident, PDAX asked its customers to return their Bitcoins, threatening legal action, a local news outlet Bitpinas has reported. According to the exchange’s CEO, the system error was not due to a hack but a technical “glitch” caused by a massive surge in trading activity. Why It Matters: The initial outage is said to have taken place on February 18; however, since then, reports have surfaced on social media of customers being locked out of their exchange accounts and being asked to “return their Bitcoin.” “After almost 24 hours, they sent me a demand letter and SMS, requesting me to transfer back the BTC, or they “may” be compelled to take legal actions against me.” said one trader who believed his purchase was well within his rights without violating any laws or regulations of the trading platform. See also: How to Buy Bitcoin (BTC) Rafael Padilla, an attorney representing the affected users who are currently locked out of their accounts, commented on the issue on Facebook. “Our client’s trade transaction was legitimate under applicable laws, decided cases, and of course according to PDAX’s very own terms and conditions/user agreement.” According to Padilla, PDAX has opted to lock users out of their accounts because it cannot unilaterally reverse the transactions. An official statement from PDAX claims that 95% of accounts have been restored, but according to the report, many users are still locked out of their accounts. “It’s very understandable that a lot of users will feel upset they were able to buy what they thought an order was there for Bitcoin at very low prices. But unfortunately, the underlying Bitcoins were never in the possession of the exchange, so there’s never really anything there to be bought or sold, unfortunately.”, said PDAX CEO Nichel Gaba in a press conference earlier today. Image: vjkombajn via Pixabay See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaElon Musk's Tweet About Dogecoin Sends Price Up 10% In 30 Minutes AgainMicroStrategy Buys Additional .026B Worth Of Bitcoin, Surpasses Tesla's Bitcoin Holdings© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Here's what still has to happen, including the big vote scheduled for Friday.
A medical graduate who had about $440,000 in student debt saw 98% of his loans cancelled by a bankruptcy court in California, according to a recent filing.
(Bloomberg) -- State Street’s $786 million exchange-traded fund investing in retailers was only just recovering from its last brush with GameStop Corp. Now it’s all happening again.The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (ticker XRT) is being distorted by the bricks-and-mortar seller of video games for a second time, just a few weeks after losing 80% of its assets in January’s meme-stock drama.GameStop is on another tear, surging roughly 50% on Thursday after a 104% gain the previous day. That’s a problem for XRT because it’s supposed to hold an equal amount of each stock, but it doesn’t rebalance swiftly enough to counter GameStop’s jump.The company now makes up about 5.9% of the fund. It should be more like 1%.Last time around, GameStop’s weighting eventually ballooned to 20% of XRT, prompting an exodus from the fund. It took about three weeks for assets to recover -- they hit the highest level since 2018 on Tuesday, just before the latest bout of meme-stock madness.With GameStop’s sudden revival, there could be more pain ahead of the passive fund’s March rebalance, according to CFRA Research’s Todd Rosenbluth.“Investors in XRT have seen this movie before, with GameStop quickly dominating the normally equally weighted portfolio before falling sharply,” said Rosenbluth, CFRA’s director of ETF research. “With no limits on position sizes and the rebalance nearly a month away, the risk is high that the stock will drive performance up and down. Some may not want to stick around to see if the sequel is any better.”Of course, GameStop’s rally in January was on a different scale -- it soared 1,600%, powering XRT to monthly gains of about 37%. That was a record for the normally staid ETF. But when the retailer plunged, the ETF was hit, and XRT remains around 5% lower in February despite a boost from GameStop this week.Such whiplash may dim XRT’s appeal as a portfolio hedging tool, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Scott Chronert.“When you have a stock-specific circumstance like this one, it might mess up how the hedging aspect is working,” Chronert said in an interview earlier this month. “If you’re looking to hedge a long book of retail or consumer names, the weighting impact on the broader sector ETF might not be a very good hedge because it’s dominated by a single name.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Stocks fell on Tuesday as tech stocks extended their declines.
The bull-run in global stocks fuelled by cheap cash and reflation hopes will continue for at least another six months but a rise in bond yields as inflation expectations grow could throw a spanner in the works, Reuters polls found. Despite severe economic damage from the pandemic, MSCI's global stock index -- which tracks shares across 49 countries -- notched up all-time highs this month, having risen over 70% since hitting rock-bottom in late March amid ample liquidity from central banks and massive fiscal stimulus. In recent trading sessions, world stocks have pulled back as a rapid surge in global bond yields raises expectations that major central banks could eventually turn less accommodative in a bid to tame inflation.
The legislation, which goes to a vote on Friday, could put thousands back in your pocket.
Big money continues to chase bitcoin on dips, blockchain data shows.
(Bloomberg) -- The second time proved the charm for Saudi Arabia’s foray into electric vehicles.The kingdom’s main sovereign wealth fund is sitting on paper gains of over 30-fold from its investment in Lucid Motors Inc., with the value of its stake set to rise as part of a deal to take the company public.The result is a boost for the $400 billion Public Investment Fund after missing out on an epic rally in Tesla Inc. shares when it sold much of its 5% stake in the industry leader at the end of 2019.The PIF, as the fund is known, will hold a stake of 62% in Lucid once the acquisition of the automaker by special purpose acquisition vehicle Churchill Capital IV is complete. The holding would be valued at about $32 billion, based on the current share price of Church Capital IV.The deal would represent a jackpot for the PIF, which invested $1 billion in Lucid in 2018 and is expected to provide an additional $600 million in funding for the company before the SPAC deal is completed. It also participated in a $2.5 billion private investment in public equity, or PIPE, the largest of its kind on record for a SPAC deal.Under the leadership of Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the PIF has shifted investment priorities from holdings in state-owned companies to building up stakes in companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Jio Platforms Ltd., the digital services business controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani.The fund’s returns on investment increased from about 3% between 2014 and 2016 to 8% from 2018 to 2020, according to the PIF website. It has more than doubled its assets in the five years since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been chairman.The investments are part of a strategy that aims to boost returns from the kingdom’s wealth while diversifying the Saudi economy and creating jobs.Bloomberg News reported in January that Lucid was in talks with the PIF to potentially build a factory near the Red Sea city of Jeddah, although the automaker’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, said on Tuesday there were no imminent plans to build a factory in the kingdom.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.
Risk and reward are the yin and yang of stock trading, the two opposite but essential ingredients in every market success. And there are no stocks that better embody both sides – the risk factors and the reward potentials – than penny stocks. These equities, priced below $5 per share, typically offer high upside potentials. Even a small gain in share price – just a few cents – quickly translates into a high yield return. Of course, the risk is real, too; not every penny stock is going to show these sort of gains, some of them are cheap for a reason, and not every reason is a good one. So, how are investors supposed to distinguish between the long-term winners and those set to come up short? Following the activity of the investing titans is one strategy. Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, chief of the investment firm Citadel, is one of those titans, having turned his college trading – from a PC in his dorm room – into a multi-billion dollar market giant. A look at Griffin’s performance during the coronavirus crisis shows just how successful he can be. In March of last year, when corona knocked the bottom out of the markets, Griffin’s Citadel still brought in a net positive return of 1.7%. And for the year as a whole, Citadel’s revenues totaled $6.7 billion, almost double the previous high in 2018. Turning to Griffin for inspiration, we took a closer look at two penny stocks Griffin’s Citadel made moves on recently. Using TipRanks’ database to find out what the analyst community has to say, we learned that each ticker boasts Buy ratings and massive upside potential. Abeona Therapeutics (ABEO) We will start with Abeona Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharma company focused on gene and cell therapy. This is a cutting edge field, using the latest genome technology to treat genetic diseases by inserting corrected copies of the DNA directly into affected cells. Abeona has seven drug candidates in the pipeline, with EB-101 and ABO-102 being the furthest along, and of most interest to investors. EB-101 is set to begin a Phase III trial as a treatment for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB). This is a disorder of the connective tissue, leaving sufferers prone to serious skin lesions and wounds. The cause is a genetic defect that leaves patients unable to produce the collagen needed to secure the skin layers. If approved, EB-101 would become the first – and only available – treatment for RDEB. Treatment involves using the drug to transplant the affected gene into the patient’s skin cells, which are then themselves transplanted into affected skin areas. In early phase trials, the drug was well tolerated by patients, who showed distinct improvement up to 2 years after treatment. The Phase III trial is now enrolling patients. ABO-102, the next farthest-along drug candidate, is in a Phase I/II study as a treatment for Sanfilippo Syndrome, a fatal disease of early childhood. The syndrome is currently untreatable, except by supportive care, and affected children typically survive to age 15. ABO-102 is a gene therapy drug given through a one-time IV infusion. It delivers working copies of the affected gene to the child’s central nervous system, allowing the body to naturally correct the enzyme deficiency behind the disease. Both of these drug candidates have received Orphan Drug Designation in the US and Europe, making governmental assistance available for their development. In addition, they have also received the FDA’s Rare Pediatric Disease Designation. Abeona’s drug pipeline and $2.22 share price have scored it substantial praise from the pros on Wall Street. This is the stance taken by Griffin. Increasing its stake in the company by a whopping 181%, Citadel snapped up 1.846 million shares in Q4, which are now worth $4.06 million. 5-star analyst Ram Selvaraju, of H.C. Wainwright, also counts himself as a fan. Selvaraju has recently published two notes on ABEO, focusing on the potential of both EB-101 and ABO-102. Regarding the first, the analyst notes that the “Following the successful completion of the FDA meeting, Abeona is continuing with all necessary steps to enroll the next patient in the VIITAL study and expects to complete enrollment in 2021… In our view, FDA meeting and resultant feedback bode well for Abeona, since the agency appears to be on board with the company's study design and statistical analysis plan for the VIITAL [Phase III] trial…” Turning to ABO-102, Selvaraju said, “In our view, this data is highly intriguing and bears watching to see if it can be confirmed in a larger patient cohort. From our vantage point, preservation of neurocognitive development in young children with MPS IIIA is likely to be the principal efficacy measure that resonates with regulators.” In line with his optimistic view, Selvaraju rates ABEO a Buy along with a $8 price target. Should his thesis play out, a potential twelve-month jump of ~264% could be in the cards. (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here) Overall, 2 Buys and no Holds or Sells have been assigned in the last three months. Therefore, the analyst consensus is a Moderate Buy. At $6.50, the average price target puts the upside potential at ~188%. (See ABEO stock analysis on TipRanks) Mereo Biopharma (MREO) The second stock we’re looking at, Mereo, is another biopharma company with a focus on rare diseases. Mereo has a large and diverse pipeline, with six drug candidates in various stages of development. The company’s research programs are looking at treatments for solid tumor cancers, ovarian cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, among other severe conditions. Griffin is among those that have high hopes for this healthcare name. Griffin’s Citadel picked up 4.097 million shares in Q4, which are now worth $16.3 million. The biggest news for Mereo was the December 17 announcement of a collaboration and license agreement with the California company Ultragenyx for further development of Setrusumab, a candidate undergoing testing as a treatment for osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. This incurable condition is usually treated with lifestyle changes and exercise. Setrusumab, however, has shown in Phase 2b studies that it can cause dose-dependent increase in bone formation in affected adults. Leerink analyst Joseph Schwartz writes of the Mereo/Ultragenyx partnership: “Although the RARE/MREO deal was unexpected, we are not surprised by the news considering MREO has been looking for a partner and RARE has ample experience developing and launching successful bone agents… We view [the] announcement as a win-win for both RARE and MREO since the two could complement each other’s strengths to bring setrusumab to market.” In light of these comments, Schwartz rates MREO shares as a Buy, and his $8 price target suggests it has a one-year upside of 103%. (To watch Schwartz’s track record, click here) Some stocks fly under the radar, and MREO is one of those. MREO’s is the only recent analyst review of this company, and it is decidedly positive. (See MREO stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for penny stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
The wheels came off the bull cart for Workhorse (WKHS) on Tuesday. After several delays and months of speculation, the U.S. Postal Service finally reached a decision on who the coveted contract to renew its aging delivery van fleet would go to. It wasn’t Workhorse. The 10-year $482 million contract was awarded to Oshkosh, who will now be responsible for putting together 50,000 to 165,000 NGDVs (Next Generation Delivery Vehicle). Investors of the electric delivery-van start-up, left dejected and deflated, sent shares down 52% over the past two trading sessions. The rejection is a massive blow to Workhorse, which was considered a front runner for the award. Expected to seriously boost its production numbers, the contract was seen as a major catalyst to catapult the company forward. So, what now? Colliers analyst Michael Shlisky says “investors may be snake-bitten for some time.” “Importantly,” the analyst said, “We had never included the USPS RFP (request for proposal) in our valuation of WKHS, simply because the award was always uncertain; as such, we are not altering our estimates at this time.” However, USPS disappointment aside, ahead of Workhorse’s Q4 results (3/1), other questions remain. The company has said that Q4’s production output would be soft, due to elevated COVID-19 cases, battery-supply issues, hiring delays, and the implementation of production-floor improvements. Shlisky will be keen to find out if the production problems have been solved and whether the company is still on track to produce 100 vehicles a month by the end of the first quarter. The other key issue concerns the growing competition in the final-mile delivery segment. Namely, how does Workhorse plan on standing out in the increasingly crowded space? Ford, as expected, announced its E-Transit model, but General Motors have also announced the launch of a potential competitor to the Workhorse C-650, the BrightDrop. Furthermore, Xos Trucks just announced it is going public via a SPAC merger, and so is Ree Auto, which can cater to all types of Classes 1-7 commercial vehicles and is slated to bring in $436 million for its own SPAC-merger transaction. “When combined with the mixed reads we have been receiving at best,” Shlisky said, “We believe now is not the time to jump-in on the long side for WKHS.” Accordingly, the analyst rates WKHS a Neutral (i.e. Hold), without suggesting a price target. (To watch Shlisky’s track record, click here) However, Shlisky’s colleagues do have a price forecast, and after Tuesday’s massive drop, the Street’s $22 average price target could yield gains of ~47% in the year ahead. The analyst consensus rates the stock a Moderate Buy, based on 3 Buys and holds, each. (See WKHS 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.
Warren Buffett’s business partner and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, in a Wednesday interview with Yahoo Finance, said the GameStop chaos was encouraged by a gambling mentality on Wall Street.
Borrowers are backing off, mortgage demand is falling — but what if rates go even higher?
(Bloomberg) -- Bond traders are upsetting India’s efforts to pull the economy out of its worst recession since 1952.The government wants to sell a near record 12.1 trillion rupees ($167 billion) of bonds in the next fiscal year to support its spending program. Such supply is putting pressure on yields to rise, along with a global selloff in bonds. Yet central bank officials are reluctant to let the 10-year yield increase because of its importance as a benchmark rate for borrowing.The result is failed bond auctions, repeated interventions by the central bank and a growing sense of frustration by officials and bond investors alike. The central bank has said bond buyers should be sympathetic to government efforts to bolster the economy through keeping a lid on borrowing costs. As far as investors are concerned, the Reserve Bank of India needs to be much more transparent about its future bond purchases if it wants to restrain yields.The central bank appears to be losing the argument. The yield on 10-year government debt has jumped about 27 basis points to 6.17% since the government unveiled a 35 trillion rupee spending plan on Feb. 1. That’s above the 6% level preferred by the monetary authority.“It seems highly improbable for the RBI to succeed at defending the 6% level” given rising global yields and limited monetary easing, said Abhishek Gupta, who covers India at Bloomberg Economics.Instead of announcing a calendar for future bond purchases, the RBI unveiled measures to allow retail investors to buy sovereign debt and gave banks additional time to hold more bonds without marking to market. Another, rather optimistic, hope is that the nation’s bonds will be included in global benchmarks, drawing in foreign funds.The smooth running of the bond market, which provides the bulk of the budget-gap funding, is crucial to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious spending plans. Faced with opposition to one of his toughest reform measures as agricultural laborers protest new farming laws, Modi is hoping on a faster-than-expected revival of the economy, on the back of increased capital spending, to keep his popularity intact.Data due Friday is expected to show India’s economy staged a fragile recovery from the recession. Gross domestic product likely expanded 0.5% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. Interest costs account for about 20% of total expenses of the government.The RBI has had success shepherding through the government’s bond sales in the current fiscal year using a combination of open market operations, buying at the long end and selling short-term debt, and rejecting bids. That helped keep government borrowing costs at a record low weighted average cost of 5.78%, according to the central bank.But the RBI is now struggling to limit gains in yields as traders look for a clearer indication of the central bank’s bond-purchase plans. Governor Shaktikanta Das said Wednesday that the monetary authority plans to buy more than 3 trillion rupees of sovereign bonds in the next year to March, confirming an earlier report from Bloomberg News.RBI wants markets to work with the central bank to ensure what Das has called an orderly evolution of the yield curve. Bond markets were largely unmoved on the comments with the 10-year yield steady at 6.17%.“Markets need to realize the importance of the huge borrowing program,” said H.R. Khan, a former deputy governor at the Reserve Bank of India, who has handled the financial markets portfolio. “ I don’t see any harm in yield management for some more time.”Secondary MarketThe issue for traders is that such yield management isn’t transparent. Surprise demand at a special auction on Feb. 11 appeared to be by state-run banks and primary dealers buying the notes to sell on to the central bank. The RBI bought 502 billion rupees in the week through Feb. 12 via open-market operations and discreet secondary market purchases.”The clear signal from the bond market is that it needs a more substantial and predictable intervention program from the RBI,” said Suyash Choudhary, head of fixed income at IDFC Asset Management Ltd. in Mumbai. “If this isn’t heeded, then stability may be for optics alone, as the central bank manages yields at one or two benchmark points whereas the rest of the bond curve tells a different story altogether.”Other factors may force the central bank to shift its strategy. Rising inflation is driving up yields across the world. India is particularly exposed to higher commodity prices because the country imports more than 80% of its crude oil needs.Adding to the risk for bond investors is the threat of a credit rating downgrade. The nation’s debt is rated a notch above junk by the three major global rating agencies, and two have a negative outlook.This all makes holding down yields in the face of bond sales an almost impossible task without a change in tack.(Updates with RBI Governor comments in 10th 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.
Top news and what to watch in the markets on Thursday, February 25, 2021.