Financial Markets – Investors Jittery About Potential Actions From The U.S. Or China

International stocks wavered, as investors braced for President Trump’s response to China’s push for tighter security controls on Hong Kong.


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By early Friday afternoon in Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index had declined 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.2% lower, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 retreated 0.8%.

Indexes in South Korea and Shanghai recouped earlier losses to turn slightly positive, rising 0.3% or less. S&P 500 futures were down 0.2%.

Colin Low, senior macro analyst at FSMOne.com in Singapore, said optimism over the reopening of economies could be overriding concerns over heightened U.S.-China tensions, helping markets pare earlier losses.

“Markets will be watching what Trump will do or say in his press conference later today,” he said, as investors are concerned about potential concrete actions by either the U.S. or China.



Any U.S. measures on trade or against Chinese companies, and any Chinese retaliation, could have a greater impact than previous actions taken before the new coronavirus battered both economies, he added.

U.S. stock indexes closed lower Thursday after President Trump said he would hold a press conference about China on Friday. The three major gauges fell between 0.2% and 0.6%.

On Thursday, China’s legislature approved a resolution to impose national-security laws on Hong Kong. That sets the country on a collision course with the U.S., which has accused Beijing of reneging on its pledge to respect the city’s self-governance.

Weakness in the Chinese yuan has reflected heightened tensions between the world’s two largest economies. A weaker yuan could help China’s economy by making its exports more competitive, but risks provoking U.S. criticism that Beijing is manipulating its currency.

The People’s Bank of China set a daily midpoint for trading of the onshore yuan at 7.1316 to the dollar, fixing this level at a fresh 12-year low for the third time this week.


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By early afternoon in Hong Kong, the less tightly controlled offshore yuan strengthened slightly to 7.1659 to the dollar, while the onshore yuan stood at 7.1478. Earlier this week, the offshore yuan, which started trading in 2010, came close to the all-time weak levels that it hit in September.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 0.664%, from 0.703%. Bond yields fall as prices rise.

Brent crude, the global gauge of crude-oil prices, fell 0.8% to $35.73 a barrel.



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U.S. To Invest $1.2 Billion To Secure Potential Coronavirus Vaccine From AstraZeneca

The U.S. government has agreed to hand AstraZeneca PLC up to $1.2 billion to secure the supply of a potential coronavirus vaccine that could be ready as early as October.

Under the deal, the government will bankroll a 30,000-person vaccine trial in the U.S. starting in the summer, plus the ramp-up of manufacturing capacity to make at least 300 million doses. The first doses will be ready in the fall should the vaccine prove effective, it said.



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Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary, called the deal a “major milestone” in the administration’s effort—code-named “Operation Warp Speed”—to make a safe, effective vaccine widely available to Americans by 2021.

The vaccine in question was developed by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and is one of a small group of candidates already being tested in humans. Others include vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. AstraZeneca, under a licensing deal with Oxford, has responsibility for manufacturing the university’s vaccine, and has promised to sell the vaccine without making a profit during the pandemic.

Governments around the world are counting on an effective vaccine against Covid-19 to defeat a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and devastated the global economy. But to guarantee that doses are ready as soon as possible, companies must ramp up manufacturing capacity significantly before clinical trials provide solid proof that the vaccines work—a costly exercise more viable with financial support from governments and other funders.


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The U.S. government has moved fast to secure supply deals with vaccine makers. It has also awarded Moderna $483 million to ramp up production of its candidate and is supporting research into potential vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and France’s Sanofi SA . It is doing those deals through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority division, or Barda, which was set up in 2006 to prepare for biologic threats such as pandemics and bioterrorism.

Earlier this week, the U.K. government agreed to pay AstraZeneca £65.5 million ($79 million) to secure 100 million doses for its population, with 30 million of those ready as early as September. That deal relates purely to manufacturing, and doesn’t include any clinical trial funding.

AstraZeneca says it is in talks with several other governments, as well as nonprofits like the international vaccine alliance, Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations on deals that would further boost production.

Oxford started a 1,100-person study in April and expects to roll the trial out to a further 5,000 participants later this month, should the first phase go well.





Its vaccine has progressed quickly, in part because it uses a technology that has been deployed in earlier vaccines developed by the university. It uses an inactivated chimpanzee virus containing the genetic sequence for the “spike protein” found on the new coronavirus.

In a small animal study, not yet peer-reviewed, it appeared to stop the virus from spreading to the lungs, protecting the inoculated monkeys from developing pneumonia. It was unclear whether the vaccine stopped infection entirely, however, as the vaccinated monkeys tested positive for virus in their noses.



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The Treasury Department Ready to Increase Investments In Fed Lending Programs

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday he was prepared to provide more money and take more risks to facilitate lending programs being established by the Federal Reserve.



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Congress made $500 billion available to the Treasury Department through the $2 trillion economic-relief package that President Trump signed into law in March. The legislation provided the Treasury with $46 billion to provide direct assistance to airlines and other distressed industries, plus another $454 billion to cover losses in Fed lending programs.

The Fed has launched nine lending programs with Mr. Mnuchin’s approval to support financial markets, businesses, cities and states, and the Treasury Department has provided $195 billion from the economic-relief bill to cover losses in some of those programs.

“I am prepared to allocate the rest of that,” Mr. Mnuchin told lawmakers during a hearing conducted by the Senate Banking Committee via a videoconference Tuesday. “The only reason I have not allocated it fully is we are just starting to get these facilities up and running.”

Lawmakers have pressed Mr. Mnuchin on how much risk the government is willing to take on its investment in the Fed’s lending facilities, and whether he is prepared to lose the money Congress provided to ensure credit is widely available to companies that need it most.

“The answer is absolutely yes,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “We are fully prepared to take losses in certain scenarios on that capital.”

Mr. Mnuchin appeared at the hearing alongside Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Lawmakers pressed both men on the need for additional spending to limit the economic damage from the current downturn. Democrats in the House of Representatives narrowly approved a $3 trillion relief package last week with only one Republican voting in favor.







Mr. Mnuchin has said the administration expects economic growth to pick up in the second half of the year, and administration officials are taking a wait-and-see stance regarding additional relief. Mr. Powell in recent weeks has urged Congress and the White House to spend more money to ensure the government’s response to the economic downturn isn’t squandered, and he has said the recovery faces a longer and more uncertain path.

“This is really a question for Congress to weigh,” Mr. Powell said Tuesday.

“There is a growing sense that the recovery may come more slowly than we would like…and that may mean that it’s necessary for us to do more,” Mr. Powell said last week during a moderated discussion online.

Mr. Powell faced questions on when the central bank’s lending programs will be up and running. The Fed has launched several operations to calm short-term funding markets, recycling programs it had used in the 2008 crisis to stabilize financial markets.

But it has unveiled other programs to backstop corporate and municipal bond markets and to lend directly to small and midsize businesses that are taking more time to put into operation.

The Fed began purchasing exchange-traded funds of corporate debt last week through one of these new programs, and it rolled out application materials Monday for state and local-government borrowers that plan to issue debt of up to three years through the central bank’s Municipal Liquidity Facility.

By simply announcing its intention to backstop corporate-debt markets, the Fed has made it possible for companies to borrow more money from private investors without the Fed’s buying a single security.

Still, the Fed’s ability to follow through on those programs will be closely watched by markets and lawmakers alike.



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In one particularly novel operation, called the Main Street Lending Program, the central bank will lend directly to middle-market firms that are too large for aid from the Small Business Administration and too small to borrow in Wall Street debt markets.

The Fed has already adjusted the terms of its loan programs several times, and Mr. Powell said the central bank would continue to adjust the terms for those operations “as we learn more.”

Mr. Powell said he expected that program would be ready to start lending by the end of the month or in the first week of June.

While some lawmakers have pushed the Fed to ease terms on certain lending operations, others have warned against the central bank’s expanding eligibility criteria to benefit sectors of the economy they think shouldn’t be helped by the Fed, such as oil-and-gas exploration and drilling.

Mr. Mnuchin faced questions on the Treasury Department’s role in administering the Paycheck Protection Program, which has provided $530 billion in emergency small-business loans. The program got off to a bumpy start and has faced criticism over loans that went to large public companies, and rules limiting how small firms may spend the money to qualify for loan forgiveness.



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Which Trading Platform Is Best For Beginners UK?

Which Trading Platform Is Best In UK?



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The best stock trading platform in UK for 2020? ….  How To Choose The Best Online Broker in UK { 2020 } …


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◊ Best Stock Trading Platform In UK {2020} : Plus500 Review ◊


Plus500 is a streamlined broker that focuses on trading in a wide range of financial markets with relatively low spreads and no commissions but without offering many extra services. Plus500 has been in the forex and CFD business since 2008. They are registered in the U.K. and licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company offers access to a comprehensive product line including forex, stock indexes, equities, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs and options. Plus500 is the first broker to introduce a bitcoin CFD in 2013. The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades.

All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Plus500 Ltd. (PLUS.L) is a publicly traded company on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange since 2013 with a £1.73 billion ($2.25 billion) market capitalization and clients in more than 50 countries around the world. Plus500 offers access to more than 2,000 trading instruments.


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TRUST … The company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA, MAS, and the ISA, which provides good accountability and visibility. The company is required to take steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds – ensuring that client money and assets are protected in the unlikely event that Plus500 becomes insolvent – by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks.

If Plus500 defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to £50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to £85,000 may be compensated for under the FSCS.

Plus500 also offers Negative Balance Protection, ensuring that clients cannot lose more than they have put into their account. Guaranteed stop losses can be used on some instruments depending on market conditions but they are subject to a wider spread.

The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades. All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Large volume traders do not get a trading discount at Plus500 and the spread is the same whether you trade one lot or 1,000 lots.

There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account. However, inactivity fees kick in after an account has been idle for three months. Beginning traders can open an account with as little as £100.

Traders can qualify for a “professional” account, which offers a higher level of maximum leverage, but the costs are the same. Investors with a professional account may increase their maximum leverage ten-fold, from 1:30 to 1:300.

Plus500 also offers access to options trading on many markets. These are very similar to plain call and put options traded on exchanges, but they are not standardized which means that the option premium can be customized for your risk tolerance and strategy objectives.


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Financial Markets – Top 5 Things To Watch This Week

This Tuesday will see Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testify to Congress on the economic stimulus measures put in place so far. A day later the minutes of the Fed’s April meeting are scheduled to be released.


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Investors will be looking at the weekly jobless claims data as the reopening of the economy gathers pace. Retail earnings will shine a light on consumer spending amid the coronavirus pandemic, while Tuesday brings the monthly expiration of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures contract. Meanwhile, central banks in South Africa and Turkey are expected to cut interest rates again.

Here’s what you need to know to start your week.


Powell testimony, FOMC minutes
The Fed chairman is to testify on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to update government officials on the economic stimulus programs approved so far.

In a speech last week Powell gave a sober assessment of the long-term risks to the U.S. economic outlook and the possible need for elected officials to approve more spending programs to keep the economy afloat.

On Wednesday, the Fed is to publish the minutes of it is April meeting. In its rate statement last month, the Fed said it will keep interest rates at near-zero until officials are “confident that the economy has weathered recent events.”


Economic data
In the U.S., the main datapoint continues to be the weekly report on initial jobless claims. With the reopening of the economy gaining momentum economists are hoping for a reading of below 2.5 million, which would indicate that the rate of layoffs is slowing somewhat.

There is a packed economic calendar in the U.K. this week, with updates on March employment, retail sales and inflation. Given that the lockdown in the U.K. didn’t start until late March it may be too early to see the impact of the pandemic on the employment figures.

The retail sales data for April could show at least a 15% decline in spending, while plunging oil prices are expected to have sent inflation tumbling last month.


Retail earnings
While the U.S. first-quarter earnings season is almost over the retail sector is just getting started. This week will see results from big U.S. retailers including Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW), Target (NYSE:TGT), Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). Their figures will show whether U.S. consumers are still spending money despite the widespread coronavirus lockdowns.

The retailers are reporting in the shadow of online shopping giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which is among the “stay-at-home” stocks benefiting from the lockdown. Its shares have soared some 28% this year.


Repeat performance of oil plunge?
The monthly expiration of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures contract is coming up on Tuesday and many energy traders are worried about a repeat performance of the oil price slump last month which saw prices drop into negative territory for the first time ever.

Normally uneventful, the expiry turned dramatic in April as brimming storage tanks discouraged traders from taking delivery of oil.

The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission has warned market participants they should be prepared for volatility and negative pricing again, with oil storage still tight and the demand outlook still severely depressed.

But oil prices have recently rebounded on hopes that the easing of lockdown restrictions will boost the energy demand outlook. In another hopeful sign, U.S. crude inventories fell in the most recent week for the first time since January.

Yet some traders seem to be heeding the CFTC’s warning. Volumes in the July futures contract, which expires in a month’s time, are outpacing the June contract by nearly 50%.


Emerging market rate cuts
Central banks in Turkey and South Africa are both to hold policy meetings on Thursday and both are expected to cut rates again despite heavy losses their currencies’ have recently endured.

Analyst polls predict South Africa will cut its 4.25% main rate by another 50 basis points. Economists stress any policy easing must be sizeable if it is to offer any help to the suffering economy.

Turkey’s meeting will be even more interesting. The lira has plunged to record lows, hard currency reserves are dwindling and inflation is in the double digits, yet all that probably won’t deter the central bank from chopping another 50-100 basis points off its 8.75% repo rate



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Which Is The Best Broker In Singapore?

Which trading platform is best in Singapore?


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To evaluate brokers, you should look at the following factors:

>>> Commissions
>>> Account Minimum
>>> Account Fees
>>> Your Trading Style and Tech Needs
>>> Promotions

Look at commissions on the investments you’ll use most… Brokers generally offer a similar menu of investment options: individual stocks, options, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and bonds. Some will also offer access to futures trading and forex (currency) trading.

The investments offered by the broker will dictate two things: whether your investment needs will be satisfied, and how much you’ll pay in commissions. Pay careful attention to the commissions associated with your preferred investments:

Individual stocks: You’ll typically pay a per-trade commission of $4 to $7. Some brokerages also offer per-share pricing.

Options: Options trades often incur the stock trade commission plus a per-contract fee, which usually runs $0.15 to $1.50. Some brokers charge only a commission or only a contract fee.

Mutual funds: Some brokers charge a fee to purchase mutual funds. You can limit mutual fund transaction costs or avoid them completely by selecting a broker that offers no-transaction-fee mutual funds. (Mutual funds also carry internal fees called expense ratios. These are charged not by the broker, but by the fund itself.)

ETFs: ETFs trade like a stock and are purchased for a share price, so they are often subject to the broker’s stock trade commission. But many brokers also offer a list of commission-free ETFs. If you plan to invest in ETFs, you should look for one of these brokers.

Bonds: You can purchase bond mutual funds and ETFs at no charge by using no-transaction-fee mutual funds and commission-free ETFs. Brokers may charge a fee to purchase individual bonds, with a minimum and maximum charge.

Pay attention to account minimums… You can find highly ranked brokers with no account minimum. But some brokers do require a minimum initial investment, and it can skew toward $500 or more. Many mutual funds also require similar minimum investments, which means even if you’re able to open a brokerage account with a small amount of money, it could be a struggle to actually invest it.

Watch out for account fees… You may not be able to avoid account fees completely, but you can certainly minimize them. Most brokers will charge a fee for transferring out funds or closing your account. If you’re transferring to another broker, that new company may offer to reimburse your transfer fees, at least up to a limit.

Most other fees can be sidestepped by simply choosing a broker that doesn’t charge them, or by opting out of services that cost extra. Common fees to watch out for include annual fees, inactivity fees, trading platform subscriptions and extra charges for research or data.

Consider your trading style and tech needs… If you’re a beginner investor, you probably won’t need extras, like an advanced trading platform. But you may want an education and a little hand-holding. This could include videos and tutorials on the broker’s website, or in-person seminars at branches. Many brokers offer these services free to account holders.

Active traders, on the other hand, will want to look for a brokerage that supports that kind of frequency. That includes weighing a broker’s trading platforms, analysis tools, research and data offerings in addition to commissions — including discounts for high-volume traders — and fees.

Plenty of high-quality online brokers offer free demo access to trading platforms.

Take advantage of promotions… Online brokers, like many companies, frequently entice new customers with deals, offering a number of commission-free trades or a cash bonus on certain deposit amounts.

It isn’t wise to choose a broker solely on its promotional offer — a high commission over the long term could easily wipe out any initial bonus or savings — but if you’re stuck between two options, a promotion may sway you one way or the other.


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Plus500 is a streamlined broker that focuses on trading in a wide range of financial markets with relatively low spreads and no commissions but without offering many extra services. Plus500 has been in the forex and CFD business since 2008. They are registered in the U.K. and licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company offers access to a comprehensive product line including forex, stock indexes, equities, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs and options. Plus500 is the first broker to introduce a bitcoin CFD in 2013. The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades.

All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Plus500 Ltd. (PLUS.L) is a publicly traded company on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange since 2013 with a £1.73 billion ($2.25 billion) market capitalization and clients in more than 50 countries around the world. Plus500 offers access to more than 2,000 trading instruments.


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Trust … The company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA, MAS, and the ISA, which provides good accountability and visibility. The company is required to take steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds – ensuring that client money and assets are protected in the unlikely event that Plus500 becomes insolvent – by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks.

If Plus500 defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to £50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to £85,000 may be compensated for under the FSCS.

Plus500 also offers Negative Balance Protection, ensuring that clients cannot lose more than they have put into their account. Guaranteed stop losses can be used on some instruments depending on market conditions but they are subject to a wider spread.

The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades. All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Large volume traders do not get a trading discount at Plus500 and the spread is the same whether you trade one lot or 1,000 lots.

There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account. However, inactivity fees kick in after an account has been idle for three months. Beginning traders can open an account with as little as £100.

Traders can qualify for a “professional” account, which offers a higher level of maximum leverage, but the costs are the same. Investors with a professional account may increase their maximum leverage ten-fold, from 1:30 to 1:300.

Plus500 also offers access to options trading on many markets. These are very similar to plain call and put options traded on exchanges, but they are not standardized which means that the option premium can be customized for your risk tolerance and strategy objectives.


START TRADING NOW OR TRY A FREE DEMO ACCOUNT


Commodity-Trading-today




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Day Trading: Top 3 Things To Watch For May 15

It was quite a comeback for the Dow today as investors finally decided to dip back into financial stocks. Bulls will hope that the same sentiment that was able to shrug off a rise of 3 million in jobless claims today will be on hand tomorrow, with more devasting data expected.
Here are three things that could move the stock market.


1. Consumer in Focus
Retailers without a big online presence will be hoping measures to reopen across the country will start paying dividends quickly. The market will get see what is expected to be another historically band month for sales. The Commerce Department will report the April retail sales figures at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).

Economists expect that retail sales plunged 12% last month, according to forecasts compiled by Investing.com. That would be the biggest drop ever, taking the top spot from March’s dive of 8.4%. Core retail sales, which exclude autos, are forecast to have dropped 8.6%, compared with a 4.2% drop in March. There will be more shopping data when the University of Michigan issues its preliminary measure of May consumer confidence at 10:00 AM ET.

The consumer sentiment index is seen dropping to 68 from 71.8 in April. That would still be well off the lows seen during the Financial Crisis and the early 1980s. And the Michigan consumer expectations index is forecast to tick up to 71.8 from 70.1 last month.


2. JOLTS, Empire Manufacturing on the Cards
Along with indicators on retail there will be numbers on the labor market and manufacturing. At 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT), the Labor Department will release its March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Job openings, voluntary quits and hires will likely have dropped sharply.


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At 8:30 AM ET, the New York Fed will release its measure of manufacturing in the region. The May Empire State Manufacturing Index is seen coming in at -63.50, up slightly from -78.20 in April. And at 9:15 AM ET, April numbers on industrial production and capacity utilization arrive.


3. Oil Rig Count Likely to Dip Again
Oil prices settled higher thanks to some optimism on demand from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). The specter of negative prices has receded as a drop in total U.S. crude stockpiles and inventories as the Cushing, Okla. hub eased the pressure of storage constraints.

Investors will get another glimpse of how production is faring tomorrow when Baker Hughes issues its measure of rig activity. Last week the oil rig count dropped to 292, the first time it had fallen below 300 since the Great recession.





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COVID-19 to Cause 17% Unemployment in June

U.S. unemployment is expected to hit 17% in June as the economy contracts due to efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, economists predicted, and the economy is expected to start rebounding in the second half of the year.

A monthly Wall Street Journal survey found economists expect gross domestic product to shrink 6.6% this year, measured from the fourth quarter of 2019, a downgrade from the 4.9% contraction economists predicted in last month’s survey. While economists expect a deeper contraction in the second quarter, a majority—85%—continue to expect the recovery will start in the second half of the year. They predict an annualized growth rate of 9% in the third quarter, up from 6.2% in the prior survey. Growth is expected to clock in at 6.9% in the fourth quarter, up slightly from last month.


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“The trough will occur in May or June, with activity starting to pick up,” said Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers. “With that said, growth will remain well below pre-recessionary levels likely until at least 2022.”

Business and academic economists in this month’s survey expect, on average, that gross domestic product will contract at an annual rate of 32% in the second quarter. That represents a worsening from the April survey of economists, when they expected GDP to shrink 25% from April to June. The annualized rate, however, overstates the severity of any drop in output because it assumes that one quarter’s pace continues for a year.

In the May survey, 68.3% of economists said they expect the recovery to be shaped like a “swoosh.” Named after the Nike logo, it predicts a large drop followed by a gradual recovery. The survey results echo recent comments by corporate executives.

As states start to loosen stay-at-home orders, economists were split on whether this is the right moment to do so. Some 29.8% said the reopening measures are happening at the right time. 14% said such measures were overdue, while 31.6% described it as too soon. Just under a quarter, 24.6%, were unsure whether the timing is right.

“In the absence of a vaccine or some therapeutic drug, opening the economy now would certainly trigger a spike in new infections and will be followed by economic shutdown 2.0,” said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group, who currently views the reopening as premature.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell received good grades for his performance as Fed chair during the coronavirus pandemic, with 71.9% of economists assigning him an A grade, while 24.6% gave him a B. Just 1.8% gave him a C and F respectively.



“Like a good engineer, [Mr. Powell] opened the floodgates to drain the reservoir in advance of an impending flood of demand for liquidity,” said Georgia State University economist Rajeev Dhawan.

The grades marked an improvement from December, when 63.8% of economists gave Mr. Powell a B. Seventeen percent assigned him an A grade and 14.9% gave him a C.

To fight the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. central-bank officials cut rates to near zero, purchased huge quantities of government debt and began lending to American businesses.

Those purchases of debt are expected to get bigger. Economists project the central bank’s portfolio of bonds, loans and new programs will swell to $7.74 trillion in June from less than $4 trillion last year. The portfolio stood at $6.72 trillion on May 4.

Economists see the Fed’s balance sheet swelling to $9.29 trillion by December, $9.63 trillion by December 2021 and $11.27 trillion by December 2022. In that range, the portfolio would be more than twice the size reached after the 2007-09 financial crisis.



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International Energy Agency Forecasts The Biggest Decline In Electricity Consumption Since The Great Depression

Pandemic Sparks Slump in Electricity Prices.



Wall Street trading floors have emptied. Spring has arrived north of the equator. Oil and gas markets have cratered. The result is a precipitous decline in electricity prices in the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia.

Closures of office blocks, shops and factories have throttled power demand, dwarfing the amount of electricity required to work from home. Globally, the International Energy Agency expects the biggest decline in electricity consumption since the Great Depression. It is as if Germany and France were both turned off for the year.

In the U.S., the drop has been most severe in New York City, center of the nation’s epidemic and home to a services sector that usually devours electricity. Wholesale power prices averaged $16.57 a megawatt-hour in the first six days of May, according to S&P Global Platts, down by more than a quarter from the start of the 2020.

Electricity trades in much the same way as raw materials like oil. In much of the U.S., power-plant owners sell electricity to utilities in a competitive wholesale market overseen by regional operators. Utilities then distribute power to customers. Both power companies and utilities protect themselves against price swings with futures, which investors use to bet whether the market is going up or down.

A key difference between electricity and oil is that power is hard to store. When there is too much to go around, particularly on windy days in places like Northern Europe, producers sometimes pay to give power away. U.S. crude futures behaved like electricity when storage space for oil dwindled in April, dropping below $0 a barrel for the first time.

In Europe, negative electricity prices have become commonplace. In auctions for the joint Germany-Luxembourg market on the European Power Exchange, prices turned negative five times in the year through April, more than all of 2019.

The crunch is shifting the math of electricity production in favor of renewable energy sources. Coal plants, among the costliest to run in the U.S., typically deliver bursts of power to the grid when demand increases. Much of that electricity isn’t needed right now. Forty percent of the world’s electricity could be generated from low-carbon sources—nuclear, wind and solar power, plus other renewables—this year, according to the IEA. That would be the highest level on record.



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Electricity prices were falling before the pandemic due to a surfeit of cheap natural gas, said Paul Cusenza, chief executive of Nodal Exchange, which runs a market for power futures. A 30% drop in U.S. gas prices over the past year—accelerated by the recent crash in energy markets—has pushed electricity prices down.

“Less demand, more low-cost generation and cheap gas,” said Dan Eager, principal analyst for European power at Wood Mackenzie. “You add that together and you have very, very low prices.”

Electricity takes an intricate route from the station where it is generated to the device it powers, hurtling down a 160,000-mile network of high-voltage cables that crisscross the U.S. before traveling to consumers along one of millions of low-voltage lines.

Wholesale prices are largely set a day ahead of time. Regional authorities forecast how much electricity will be needed at every hour the following day, based on factors like the weather. Producers bid to generate that power. Smaller trades take place on the day itself, fine-tuning supply to meet demand.

A bump in prices that takes place each weekday morning as New York City gets to work now comes an hour later, and is less pronounced, because offices aren’t opening at the same time. The city’s electricity prices were less than half their average for the time of year at the end of April, according to Nodal Exchange.

Electricity usage has started to creep higher in states that are relaxing restrictions. Still, mainland U.S. demand was 5% lower in early May than it would have been without quarantine measures, said Platts analyst Manan Ahuja.

The world will consume 5% less electricity this year than in 2019, the IEA forecasts. That is eight times the size of the decline that took place during the 2009 financial crisis. It equates to more than 1,000 terawatt-hours in lost demand, enough to power France and Germany combined.

Electricity prices normally fall in spring, before rising when air conditioners are turned on for the summer. The coronavirus shutdown has exacerbated that seasonal slump, slashing New York City’s electricity demand by 14%, according to the New York Independent Service Operator, which runs the state grid.


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“There’s still a very, very large number of [coronavirus] cases in New York City,” said Richard Dewey, president and chief executive of the NY-ISO. “I don’t anticipate the demand going up very much, at least not measurably, for probably a few weeks.”




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Global Economic Downturn – Today’s Downturn Is Comparable In Scale To That Of The 1930s

News stories often describe the coronavirus-induced global economic downturn as the worst since the Great Depression. This is likely to be literally true. Yet for many, the comparison does more to terrify than clarify. Economists say there is likely to be a big difference between a downturn that is the worst since the Depression and conditions as bad as the Depression.

“I don’t find comparing the current downturn with the Great Depression to be very helpful,” said former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has studied that 1930s era. “The expected duration is much less, and the causes are very different.”

The trajectory of the pandemic and economy remains uncertain. How quickly health officials can contain the crisis, how much the public will cooperate and whether policies will spark a swift recovery remains to be seen. Even so, many economists find a scenario rivaling the Great Depression in severity and duration hard to imagine.

“The breakdown of the financial system was a major reason for both the Great Depression and the 2007-09 recession,” Mr. Bernanke said. Today, however, “the banks are stronger and much better capitalized.”

By most estimates, the current downturn is likely to be comparable in scale and duration to that 2000s recession and the other major post-World War II recession, in the early 1980s.



Comparisons with the Depression are difficult because most of the data sets collected today didn’t exist in the 1930s. But some rough measures are available, including global trade tallies from the League of Nations, Federal Reserve data on factories and Works Progress Administration records on joblessness.

In the 1930s, industrial production fell by more than half. Production slowly made up ground for almost four years, only to decline sharply again in 1937-38. By contrast, production declined by about 15% in 2007-09 and 10% in the early 1980s.

When the coronavirus hit, industrial production had already been dipping as a result of the recent trade wars. While many factories closed as consumer demand shrunk, some are rapidly retooling. Auto makers General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., for example, have switched from making cars to ventilators. Medical-supply factories are struggling to keep pace with demand.

From 1929 to 1933, the economy shrank for 43 consecutive months, according to contemporaneous estimates. Unemployment climbed to nearly 25% before slowly beginning its descent, but it remained above 10% for an entire decade.

That compares with a 16-month decline in the early 1980s and an 18-month fall from 2007 to 2009. This time, many economists believe a rebound could begin this year or early next year if the virus is sufficiently contained.

While unemployment in the U.S. hit 14.7% in April and is likely to rise further, the blow today is softened by safety-net programs such as unemployment insurance.

“Many people are suffering now, and the economy won’t recover in only a quarter or two,” Mr. Bernanke said. “But if we’re able to get reasonable control of the virus, the economy will substantially recover, and this downturn should be much shorter than the Great Depression.”

The second quarter of 2020 is likely to be the worst ever for many economies. The median estimate of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal calls for a decline of 25% at an annual rate in the U.S. Some estimates are closer to 50%.

But annualized rates can be misleading. They assume that one quarter’s pace continues for a year. If 10% of the economy shuts down for one quarter, that would be considered a 40% decline at an annual rate.



“We’ve had this very abrupt, very sharp, immediate reduction in economic activity, driven by government policies to shut down economies. And because it’s very abrupt, the numbers are astronomical,” said Douglas Irwin, a professor at Dartmouth College who has studied U.S. trade policy during the Depression.

By contrast, he said, “The way the world evolved into the Great Depression was a slow and steady decline. It was a slow strangulation of the economy.”

As in the Depression, today’s collapse is global. But the scale is smaller, Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said in a briefing last month. The IMF estimates the world economy shrank about 10% during the Great Depression, versus an expectation of about 3% this year and an expected return to growth next year. Advanced economies shrank about 16% in the Depression, compared with about 6% forecast for this year.

A series of severe policy mistakes around the world exacerbated the length and severity of the Great Depression. Central banks tightened monetary policy to maintain the gold standard, which no longer exists. The result was severe deflation, which increased the value of debt and lowered incomes.

Governments also initially cut spending in reaction to declining revenue. And as economies deteriorated, countries raised trade barriers in an effort to protect their domestic industries. The result, though, was a global contraction in demand, which only deepened the depression.

This time, central banks around the world quickly slashed interest rates and deployed programs to prop up credit markets. Governments approved massive spending measures, including the roughly $2 trillion stimulus in the U.S., to help keep businesses afloat and protect jobs. And they haven’t raised trade barriers in response to the pandemic.

“I’m not going to say that everything in the policy is right, but we understand that delay worsens the economic outcomes,” said Catherine Mann, global chief economist at Citigroup.



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Global Stocks Rise As Countries Begin To Reopen Economies

Global stocks rose Monday, with investors anticipating that stimulus measures and the easing of coronavirus-lockdown measures in the U.S. and Europe may help kick-start economic activity.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.9%. Last week, the benchmark for U.S. blue-chip stocks posted modest losses, dropping 1.9% after a massive rally from late March to mid-April.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index ended the day up 2.7%. The Bank of Japan scrapped its target for government-bond purchases and said it would nearly triple its holdings of corporate debt to aid fundraising by companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

European markets climbed as countries including Italy and Spain signaled that they may loosen restrictions in the coming weeks. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 gauge rose 1.7%.

Italy announced a timetable for reopening its economy and restoring daily life beginning on May 4, but warned that a resurgence in cases could lead to a return of restrictions. Spain allowed children to leave their homes after six weeks under one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.



In the U.S., some states allowed retailers, salons and other businesses to reopen over the weekend as new infections appeared to slow.

“We don’t yet know the full scale and the pace of lockdowns being eased, but it’s important for confidence,” said Edward Park, deputy chief investment officer at Brooks Macdonald. “Suggestions that factories will restart sooner rather than later suggests that the pressure on economic output in the data we’ve seen will be a shorter-lived phenomenon.”

Concerns about sovereign debt from Europe’s most debt-laden countries also showed signs of easing. Italian, Spanish and Greek bonds rallied after S&P Global Ratings on Friday held off on downgrading Italy’s credit rating. The yield on Italy’s 10-year bond fell to 1.754% Monday, from 1.903% Friday.

Markets at the tail end of last week were fixated on European political risk, and a run on debt markets triggered by a downgrade for Italy,” said Mr. Park. “The lack of a downgrade offers some breathing space.”


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Oil prices dropped sharply as energy markets remain volatile at the start of a week that will test the world’s ability to house a glut of crude. West Texas Intermediate futures, considered the benchmark for U.S. crude prices, fell over 24% to $12.59 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 5.3%.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose to 0.630%, from 0.594% Friday.

Investors will also be closely focused on the outcome from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank’s meetings this week. Recent economic data and forecasts from many countries have been weak, prompting policy makers to take unprecedented steps and allocate huge sums to support businesses and individuals whose finances have taken a hit.

“Normally when you have a recession, there are a number of factors that are reining in credit and stimulus and that’s not the case here,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

Later in the week, a flood of U.S. companies—including Amazon.com, Apple and Facebook— are scheduled to report first quarter earnings. They are likely to provide insights on how leaders of the biggest American businesses view prospects for the rest of the year. But the pandemic has made earnings forecasts even less reliable than normal, analysts and investors said.

“Most investors are looking through the earnings reports as somewhat meaningless because we’ve never had this mix of fall-off in demand and central bank, government stimulus support before,” Mr. Haefele said.

Among major European equities, Deutsche Bank AG was the best performer. The stock rose over 10% after the German bank said late Sunday that it will beat analyst expectations and report a first-quarter profit. Higher revenue and lower expenses have helped it offset provisions for credit losses triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.
Across Asia, South Korea’s Kospi Composite advanced 1.8% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.9%. The stocks benchmark in Australia climbed around 1.5%.


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China’s statistics bureau Monday released data showing that industrial companies’ profits in March were down 34.9% from a year earlier, a slight improvement from the 38.3% pace of decline in January-February. The country last month began reopening some industrial hubs after closing most factories and companies to curb the coronavirus’s spread. The Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.3% higher.

Central banks’ stimulus policies and other government measures to subsidize wages are all helping to buoy markets and asset prices, said Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING Bank NV in Hong Kong. “They will take a while to reach the real economy,” she said, adding that the path to increasing consumption is unlikely to be smooth.




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Making Sense Of A Stock Market Just 16% Off Its High While A Pandemic Costs 26 Million Jobs

Why isn’t the stock market much lower?

This question is occurring to plenty of observers right now, given the apparent contrast between economic realities and equity performance.

A pandemic-driven economic catastrophe of unprecedented speed has cost more than 26 million jobs, which to many seems unreflected in an S&P 500 index that’s up 29% from its low a month ago, down a mere 16% from a record high and resting near levels from late summer 2019 – a time when we were at full employment and record corporate profitability.



Even some on Wall Street are remarking on this perceived Wall Street-Main Street disconnect.

Cantor Fitzgerald strategist Peter Cecchini last week argued, “The equity market just isn’t getting the joke. Three factors make this rally appear somewhat ridiculous because the likely extent of the slowdown will be severe relative to historical experience for three reasons: 1) a pandemic whose duration is unknowable, 2) an oil shock whose impacts on earnings will be deflationary, and 3) an already fragile economy as indicated by an inverted yield curve and already contracting loan volumes.”

Credit Suisse’s Jonathan Golub notes the S&P 500 has been at the current 2800 level a couple of times in recent years, comparing the fundamental context for each visit. When the S&P traded here in both January 2018 and March 2019, forecast earnings over the next year were appreciably higher (meaning stocks now look more expensive) and credit spreads are much wider now (suggesting a riskier environment).

Only when comparing valuations on the profit projections two years out does today’s market look roughly in line with the prior stops at 2800. And it’s probably fair to assume that today’s consensus forecast calling for 2021 earnings growth well above 2019 levels is unadjusted for the full realities of the economic shock underway.

Certainly, the trillions in Federal reserve asset buying has helped enable the rally in risk assets that has lifted equities off their lows and bolstered valuations.

Market internals tell the true story
Yet the way the S&P has returned to 2800 doesn’t truly suggest that the market has rushed to anticipate a roaring economic revival.

If stocks were handicapping such a quick resurgence in the economy, one would expect “early cycle” groups such as autos, banks, consumer durable goods and retail to lead the market. This is the opposite of what’s going on.

Binky Chadha of Deutsche Bank notes that the firm’s early-cycle long-short basket of stocks “after falling massively during the sell-off has continued to fall during the rally.”

Similarly, the Direxion MSCI Cyclicals Over Defensives ETF, a small fund that goes long economically sensitive stocks and short non-cyclical names, has had a fairly feeble bounce after a 38-percent collapse, badly trailing the S&P on the rebound.

Big, steady secular-growth stocks in technology, healthcare and consumer staples are holding things together at the big-cap index level against a steady undertow from shares of cyclical businesses with flagging demand and shakier balance sheets.

This is visible in the gulf between the performance of classic “recession-recovery” plays such as General Motors, flooring-products maker Mohawk Industries and consumer lender Capital One Financial and secular-growth or counter-cyclical names like Amazon, Abbot Laboratories and Campbell Soup.

Amazon exemplifies another dominant trend, the premium being placed by investors on the acclaimed winners of an even more winner-take-all economy that might follow this downturn. Amazon’s $1.2 trillion market value, in fact, now accounts for more than 40% of the entire value of the S&P 500 consumer-discretionary sector.

Of course, just because the market is leaning on sturdy growth businesses rather than outright positioning for a better economy doesn’t mean this theme can carry the market indefinitely higher from here.

Market stalling
The S&P, in fact, has stalled over the past two weeks, chopping sideways just below the rebound-rally highs, as some growth stocks take a breather and short-term overbought conditions are worked off.

It would not be surprising for the indexes to continue digesting the move, assimilating the rush of corporate earnings in coming weeks, with some observers looking for a potential pullback of a few percent from here simply as a matter of technical market positioning.



And at some point, the extreme reliance on the mega-cap growth leaders can go too far. The five largest stocks already make up more than 20% of the S&P, pushing record concentration at the top.

Flows into the ETFS that track the Nasdaq 100, technology, healthcare and utilities have reached extremes, a sign they are getting a bit overheated and are prone to backing off.

At the same time, the market will almost certainly start to anticipate the trough in economic activity well before it seems obvious on Main Street that things are getting better. That would be visible in a rotation out of the crowded stable-growth names and into those distressed, struggling cyclical consumer, financial and industrial groups.

Historically, the stock market has some of its best returns when conditions are shifting from awful to less bad. The recent rally in energy stocks in the face of record-low washout prices in crude oil is an illustration of that.

As Strategas Group technical strategist Chris Verrone notes, “It’s difficult to get worse than worst ever,” and many gauges are, like oil prices, indeed at or near their worst readings on record: unemployment claims, Europe manufacturing indexes, Citigroup Economic Surprise Index.


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Things might soon line up for investors to start making a more aggressive bet the worst will pass before long and the real economy can start the healing process. And perhaps that bet will prove premature for a while once its laid.

But that doesn’t mean that right now Wall Street has already given the economy credit for recovering from an ordeal whose pain and duration are not yet known.




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Stock Market: U.S. Futures And Global Stocks Fall, Investors Rush To Safe-Haven Assets

“In the U.S., we’re at the beginning of a downturn,” said Steven Englander



U.S. stock futures declined Wednesday, after leading benchmarks closed out their worst quarter since the global financial crisis.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 ticked down 2.6% early Wednesday.

European stocks also declined. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 2.9% with Germany’s DAX benchmark down 3.2% and the FTSE 100 down 3.5%.

As investors rushed to safe-haven assets, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell about 0.02 percentage point to 0.661%. Bond yields fall as prices rise. The ICE Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, rose 0.4%.

“In the U.S., we’re at the beginning of a downturn,” said Steven Englander, global head of G-10 foreign-exchange research and North America macro strategy at Standard Chartered Bank. “We’re likely to see more unemployment, and the early bottom could come in May, but that is very speculative. For that to happen, we need a lot of good luck and serious implementation of economic and health-care policy.”

Mr. Englander said stimulus packages were positive for the economy, and would help American employees get through the next two months but that there might be a need for “trillions more.” On Tuesday, President Trump called for a new infrastructure-focused spending bill worth $2 trillion.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it would launch a temporary lending facility that for the first time would allow foreign central banks to convert their holdings of Treasury securities into dollars, its new bid to alleviate strains in global markets.

Mr. Englander said the program would improve international access to dollar-based funding.

“Investors will take it seriously,” he said.

The S&P 500 dropped 1.6% Tuesday, taking its year-to-date losses to 20%, the biggest quarterly decline since 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8%. It slid 23% over the quarter, its worst showing since 1987.


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In Asia, markets were mixed Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 4.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 2.2% lower. Meanwhile, Australia’s ASX 200 gained 3.6%.

In Hong Kong, shares in HSBC Holdings PLC tumbled more than 9% to their lowest since 2009, while stock in rival Standard Chartered PLC also fell. The two lenders, which also have U.K. listings, were among four banks that said Tuesday they would cancel unpaid 2019 dividends at the Bank of England’s request.






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Coronavirus Shows Cash Is King, Even for Biggest U.S. Companies

The fast-spreading coronavirus has prompted even the biggest U.S. companies to cut their spending and bolster their balance sheets, proving once again how cash is king, especially in times of crisis.

After a decadelong U.S. economic expansion, not every company has entered this crisis with the same cash cushion. Apple Inc. ended the year with $247 billion in cash, securities and account receivables, enough to run its operations for more than a year even if it didn’t cut costs or sell a single iPhone. Discount retailer Dollar General Corp. had $240 million, enough for about four days, in the unlikely event it had to shut its doors and didn’t cut any costs.

Dollar General said its business model generates significant cash flow and has performed well in a variety of economic cycles, and the company can tap lines of credit and good access to the capital markets. Apple declined to comment.


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Technology companies generally operate with more cash on hand than retailers, which often have assets in unsold inventory. The median amount of cash and other readily available assets on an S&P 500 tech company’s books at year-end was enough to let it operate about 270 days in an extreme scenario without revenue or cost cutting, while the median was closer to 60 days for retailers, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

As companies prepare to close their books on a tumultuous first quarter, these measures can reveal how well-prepared they are for the sudden financial stress. Economists expect the crisis to cost the U.S. economy as much as $1.5 trillion in lost output over five years, including a decline in gross domestic product of 4% to 10% in the second quarter, a recent Journal survey of economists found.

“The investor mindset has shifted quickly to the balance sheet,” said Ron Graziano, an accounting and tax analyst at Credit Suisse. Sometimes factors that people don’t follow during a booming market suddenly become important. “The ones going into it with the bigger cushion are better positioned to survive.”

Delta Air Lines Inc. and Ford Motor Co. have stopped paying dividends. Boeing Co. has tapped out its credit lines, while General Electric Co. is cutting jobs. AT&T Inc.,  Intel Corp. INTC  and Chevron Corp. have shelved share buybacks.

In many cases, the crunch on corporate finances comes after years of cheap debt and easy credit that allowed companies to expand while building a $10 trillion mountain of debt. AT&T, following its 2018 takeover of Time Warner, had more than $150 billion in net debt at the end of 2019, though it has pledged to pay down its borrowings.

At the same time, many companies used spare cash to repurchase their own shares. In 2019, companies in the S&P 500 spent an estimated $729 billion on buybacks, second only to the record $806 billion spent in 2018, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

President Trump and Democratic lawmakers placed restrictions on share buybacks as part of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package expected to pass Wednesday to help industries wounded by the pandemic.

Some of the companies that entered this crisis without big cash reserves sent much of the cash they produced from operations to shareholders, as dividends.

“Companies went into this situation with relatively limited cash balances,” said Torsten Slok, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities. “It is rather unfortunate they had lower cash balances and thereby became more vulnerable to this shock we have at the moment.”



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3 Food Delivery Stocks Set To Gain As COVID-19 Lockdowns Boost Demand

As the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly around the globe, infections in the U.S. are on the rise with at least 55,231 confirmed cases and 801 deaths reported.

To contain the pandemic in the U.S., states are taking lockdown measures to reduce the number of social interactions. The majority of states have prohibited dining at restaurants, permitting only delivery and pick-up options.



While Wall Street is on track to suffer its worst month since the Great Depression, some food delivery stocks are thriving on expectations that even more Americans will order in as they are confined to their homes in the weeks ahead. These three stocks are well-positioned to benefit:

1. Domino’s Pizza
Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) is known for its delivery service, which accounts for about 55% of total orders. As an increasing number of people are opting for take-out, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza chain has been displaying robust relative strength amid the ongoing coronavirus market correction. Shares of the corporation, which are up about 22% over the past month-and-a-half, settled at $343.56 last night, giving it a market cap of roughly $13.4 billion.

The multinational pizza chain with 17,000 stores in more than 90 countries around the world officially began implementing its ‘Contact Free Delivery’ service due to the COVID-19 outbreak this week in the U.S. as well as other countries impacted by the virus, like India, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia.

The company announced last week that it expects to hire about 10,000 workers in the U.S. alone to meet increased orders at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in restaurants across the country laying off thousands of workers.

“Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry,” CEO Ritch Allison said in a statement on March 19.

2. Blue Apron
Blue Apron (NYSE:APRN) is a New York-based online meal-kit company that delivers pre-measured ingredients, with which customers cook recipes of their choice. By making home cooking easy and accessible, Blue Apron has gained as the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. led more Americans to seek alternatives to shuttered restaurants and emptied grocery store shelves.

Even after Tuesday’s 15% drop, this month the stock has surged an astonishing 260%, bucking the broader market rout brought on by virus fears. Shares ended at $10.36 last night, giving the food-delivery service a market cap of $137.45 million.

Blue Apron said last week it has seen a “sharp increase” in demand for its meal kits and it is taking steps to meet the greater number of orders. “We are increasing our capacity for future orders and expect to fulfill this increased demand by the next available weekly cycle, starting on March 30,” Linda Findley Kozlowski, Blue Apron’s chief executive, said on March 19.

However, any boost in business for Blue Apron will likely taper off after the immediate threat of the COVID-19 outbreak passes and consumers return to eating out. Prior to its recent surge, shares of Blue Apron had fallen about 98% from its 2018 IPO price, plunging to $2 in late February, due to growing competition and disappointing revenue.

3. Chewy
Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) is the leading online seller of branded and private-label pet food and grooming supplies in the U.S. The Florida-based company allows customers to browse a wide variety of foods for different animals through its website and mobile applications, then receive the package directly to their door.

Like the two other companies mentioned above, Chewy has also seen its shares rise despite the broader market selloff. The online pet products retailer has benefitted as its in-home delivery model mitigates the public health concern of consumers shopping for their pets at brick-and-mortar retailers.

Shares of the online pet products seller, which are up more than 27% over the past two weeks, closed at $33.65 yesterday, giving it a market cap of $12.8 billion. The stock touched a record high of $34.99 on March 19.

Chewy next reports earnings on Thursday, April 2, after markets close. Consensus calls for a loss of 15 cents per share for the fourth quarter, while revenue is forecast to total $1.35 billion.



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Stock Market Today: Technology Sector Leads A Turnaround

Stocks turned higher Thursday, erasing losses from earlier in the day as sharp gains in tech shares led to a turnaround. The Dow was up more than 400 points, or 2.1%. The S&P 500 was up 1.5%, while the Nasdaq outperformed with a 3.2% surge. Shares of Netflix and Facebook rose 7.6% and 5.8%, respectively. Amazon gained 4.1%.

Earlier in the session, the Dow was down 721 points, or more than 3%. The S&P 500 briefly fell more than 3% as well.

“This is a day trader’s market,” said Christian Fromhertz, CEO of Tribeca Trade Group. “That’s not my favorite type of trading, but the day-to-day swings and the overnight moves are pretty insane.”

Among the industries trading in positive territory Thursday morning was energy, with the S&P sector up more than 0.5%. Big oil producers like Diamondback Energy and Apache rose more than 8% each as futures contracts tied to the price of West Texas Intermediate crude rallied more than 15% to $23.47, on pace for its fourth-best day ever.







The moves followed yet another violent day on Wall Street on Wednesday. The Dow dropped 1,338.46 points, or 6.3%, on Wednesday and clinched its first close below 20,000 since February 2017. The Dow was down more than 2,300 points at the lows of the session. The S&P 500 dropped 5.2% to 2,398.10 and closed nearly 30% below a record set last month as both indexes sank further into bear markets.

Markets are clearly in a state of panic and forced liquidations – but risks remain skewed to the upside and this should become much more apparent once some of the solvency issues are addressed,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note.

Wall Street has been on an unprecedented roller-coaster ride amid the coronavirus turmoil, with the S&P 500 swinging 4% or more in either direction for eight consecutive sessions.

An eye-watering spike in Treasury yields has also kept investors anxious. The 10-year Treasury rate hovered at 1.1% after jumping more than 50 basis points in two sessions as it rebounded from record lows.

Gregory Faranello, head of U.S. rates trading at AmeriVet Securities said swift reversal in yields comes amid strong dollar demand amid the coronavirus crisis.

“There’s a dollar strain on the system, globally,” said Faranello. “Whether it’s Asia, Brazil, emerging markets, Europe or here in the U.S., the dollar is in demand right now.”

“If you look at everything across the board, it’s all going down together. The one thing that’s going up that’s dollar denominated is the U.S. dollar,” he added.

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The dollar index, which tracks the greenback’s performance against a basket of other currencies, jumped to its highest level since January 2017 on Thursday. It last traded up 0.7% at 101.83 after breaking above 102.

More central bank stimulus

On Wednesday evening, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program that will deploy €750 billion ($819 billion) to purchase securities to help support the European economy. The central bank said purchases will be conducted until the end of 2020 and include a variety of assets including government debt.

The ECB’s action follows similar initiatives by the Federal Reserve, its U.S. counterpart. The Fed announced earlier this month plans to pump an additional $1 trillion into the U.S. economy through asset purchases and cut the federal funds rate to zero. The Fed also said Wednesday night it will create a backstop for prime money market funds.

Those announcements came as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world topped 200,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S. alone, more than 9,400 cases have been confirmed along with over 100 deaths.







U.S. lawmakers appeared to inch closer to implementing fiscal stimulus measures. The Senate had enough votes to pass a bill expanding paid leave and unemployment benefits in response to the virus as part of what’s expected to be a whopping governmental response to avoid a downturn.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he would vote for the plan despite what he called “real shortcomings.” With the urgent need to take action, “I do not believe we should let perfection be the enemy of something that will help even a subset of workers,” he said.






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Traders Bet On Falling ‘Fear Gauge’

The volatility gauge tends to rise when markets fall and investors reach for stock protection through the options market. The VIX climbed to 82.69 Monday, topping its high of about 80 in 2008. After the financial crisis, trading derivatives tied to the VIX took off as people sought to profit from its swings.



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Many are wagering its recent jump won’t be long-lived. Betting on its fall through what is known as the short volatility trade has been particularly popular in recent years. This can be a risky tactic that backfires when stocks slide as sharply as they have in recent weeks as the spread of coronavirus has raised the risk of a recession.

As stock markets staged a modest rebound Tuesday, some of the most popular contracts were tied to VIX falling to 27 or 20, Trade Alert data show, closer to levels hit earlier this year when major indexes hit records.

Still, turbulence in markets has been high, triggering diverging views on the gauge’s path. Analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG said another steep selloff similar to Monday’s could push the VIX above 100. The S&P 500 fell 12% that day, one of the worst sessions in its history.

Some options traders have already been positioning for that, scooping up contracts tied to the VIX jumping as high as 100 or even 130, Trade Alert data show. Those are among the smaller positions outstanding but were some of Monday’s most popular trades, according to Trade Alert.

“While this is surely possible, we believe it is highly improbable,” wrote Jonathan Golub, an analyst at Credit Suisse.

Cboe Global Markets Inc., the exchange operator that oversees VIX options trading has added new strike prices—or levels at which options can be exercised—during the recent market tumult. Cboe added options with a strike of 100 on March 2 and more strikes were added the following week, a spokeswoman for the exchange said.






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Stock Market Today: Wall Street Attempts Rebound From The Dow’s Third-Worst Day Ever

Stock futures and premarket trading in exchange-traded funds pointed to a bounce on Tuesday following the Dow Jones Industrial average’s third-worst day ever.

Trading overnight, however, was very volatile with futures giving back more than 1,000 points as investors try to weigh the uncertain economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Around 6:14 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated an implied open of more than 400 points. The S&P 500 SPDR ETF gained more than 2% in premarket trading.

Earlier in the session, futures contracts tied to the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq 100 hit their upside limit, triggering a halt. In non-U.S. trading hours, stock futures are halted if they hit their downside or upside limits, pinning those contracts to their upper or lower bounds. The halt is meant to ensure that opening trade is orderly and not emotional.




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Those moves came after President Donald Trump tweeted: “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 had their worst day since the “ Black Monday” crash of 1987 , falling 12.9% and 12%, respectively. It was also the Dow’s third-worst day ever. The Nasdaq Composite had its biggest one-day plunge ever, tumbling 12.3%.

Trading halts typically occur amid extremely abnormal market volatility.

The Cboe Volatility Index — Wall Street’s preferred fear gauge — posted its highest-ever close at 82.69 . That tops the financial crisis’ peak of 80.74.

Wall Street’s drop came even after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero on Sunday and announced a $750 billion asset-purchasing program. It also came as the number of coronavirus cases jumped in the U.S.

At least 4,281 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. along with more than 70 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump also said the crisis could stretch into August, adding the administration may look at locking down “certain areas.”

“Although the contemporary crisis is loaded with bad news, this has not been its primary problem. It’s the ‘unknown,’” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, in a note. “Not even health experts understand what this is or where it is headed, and that is the worst possible outcome for investors.”

“Give me bad news any day over complete uncertainty,” he said.

The S&P 500 closed Monday at its lowest level since December 2018. The Dow ended the session at its levels not seen since early 2017.

“For now until there is improvement in the trend … it’s tough to consider being long and it’s right to be in Cash on the sidelines,” Mark Newton, managing member at Newton Advisors, said in a note to clients.



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Real Ways To Make Money Online Today

Internet offers many opportunities to make a lot of money. Whether you’re looking to make some fast cash, or you’re after long-term, more sustainable income-producing results, there are certainly ways you can make money online today. The truth is that making money online isn’t as difficsult as most make it out to seem.





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Make Money With Affiliate Programs

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Make Money With an Online Drop Shipping Business

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Write an Ebook and sell it on Amazon

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Make Money Buying And Selling Domain Names

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Make Money In The Stock Market – ( Day Trading )

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Make Money Testing Apps

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Wall Street Sees Worst Drop Since 1987

U.S. stock markets fell the most since 1987 in early trading on Monday, having been suspended, limit down, almost immediately after trading started, as the shutdown of increasing swathes of public life in the U.S. brought home the scale of the coronavirus outbreak.

By 9:50 AM ET (1350 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,773 points or 12% at 20,393 points. The S&P 500 was indicated down 10.7% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 11.5%.





Investors weren’t reassured by the emergency measures taken on Sunday night by the Federal Reserve, which cut the target range for fed funds to near zero and signalled $700 billion in asset purchases to keep financial markets orderly.

The Fed also said it would extend the availability of dollars internationally through swap facilities with other central banks.

“The Fed has pulled out all the stops. But in the end the underlying driver of this crisis is very different from 2008/9, i.e. this is about COVID-19,” said Robin Brooks, an economist with the Institute for International Finance in Washington, DC. “That means the Fed can alleviate the symptoms, but it’s unreasonable to expect the crisis to go away on Fed action.”

Earlier on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged investors to look beyond the short-term hit to the economy, telling CNBC that “There will be a huge amount of pent up demand when this is done. And it will be done.”

However, Mnuchin also warned that “the goal is not to bail out companies,” a line that appeared to raise the risk of near-term bankruptcies, especially in the transport and oil sectors.

Among the worst hit were airline stocks. United Airlines stock fell over 15% after saying it would slash capacity by 50%, while Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) stock and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) stock also fell heavily after the Trump administration expanded restrictions on arrivals from Europe to include the key routes serving London and Dublin.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock fell as much as 13% before rebounding to be down only 9.7% after the company said it will shut all its stores outside China. It was also hit by a $1.2 billion antitrust fine in France.

Oil and gas stocks tumbled again as crude prices fell below $30 a barrel and U.S. gasoline prices fell to an all-time low of 69 cents a gallon.

Banks were also badly hit, as the Fed’s action threatened to crush lending margins without, at least in the short term, supporting income from currency and securities markets. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) stock fell 14.6%, while JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) stock fell 15.1% and Citigroup (NYSE:C) stock fell 19.7%.


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Casino operators MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) also both fell after the pair announced they would temporarily close their casinos in Las Vegas, essentially putting much of the famous strip under lockdown.



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China January-February Exports Tumble




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China’s exports contracted sharply in the first two months of the year, and imports slowed, as the health crisis triggered by the coronavirus outbreak caused massive disruptions to business operations, global supply chains and economic activity.

The gloomy trade report is likely to reinforce fears that China’s economic growth halved in the first quarter to the weakest since 1990 as the epidemic and strict government containment measures crippled factory production and led to a sharp slump in demand.

Overseas shipments fell 17.2% in January-February from the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Saturday, marking the steepest fall since February 2019.

That compared with a 14% drop tipped by a Reuters poll of analysts and a 7.9% gain in December.

Imports sank 4% from a year earlier, but were better than market expectations of a 15% drop. They had jumped 16.5% in December, buoyed in part by a preliminary Sino-U.S. trade deal.

China ran a trade deficit of $7.09 billion for the period, reversing an expected $24.6 billion surplus in the poll.

Factory activity contracted at the fastest pace ever in February, even worse than during the global financial crisis, an official manufacturing gauge showed last weekend, with a sharp slump in new orders. A private survey highlighted similarly dire conditions.

The epidemic has killed over 3,000 and infected more than 80,000 in China. Though the number of new infections in China is falling, and local governments are slowly relaxing emergency measures, analysts say many businesses are taking longer to reopen than expected, and may not return to normal production till April.

Those delays threaten an even longer and costlier spillover into the economies of China’s major trading partners, many of which rely heavily on Chinese-made parts and components.

China’s trade surplus with the United States for the first two months of the year stood at $25.37 billion, Reuters calculation based on Chinese customs data showed, much narrower than a surplus of $42.16 billion in the same period last year.

Soybean imports in the first two months of 2020 rose by 14.2% year-on-year as cargoes from the U.S. booked during a trade truce at the end of 2019 cleared customs.

After months of tensions and tariff hikes that dragged on bilateral trade, the world’s two biggest economies agreed an interim trade deal in January that cut some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese pledges to massively increase purchases of U.S. goods and services.

The U.S. expects China to honor these commitments despite the coronavirus outbreak, a senior U.S. official said in February.

VIRUS THREATENS GLOBAL RECESSION

The supply and demand shocks in China are likely to reverberate through global supply chains for months, and the rising number of virus cases and business disruptions in other countries is raising fears of a prolonged global slowdown or even recession.

In response, global policymakers have stepped up efforts to cushion the economic blow of the epidemic, with the U.S. Federal Reserve delivering an emergency rate cut last week.

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Shortages of vital parts and components from China last month cost other countries and their industries $50 billion, a United Nations agency said on Wednesday.

The virus outbreak escalated in late January just as many businesses were winding down operations or closing for the long Lunar New Year holidays, and as hundreds of millions of Chinese were returning to their hometowns.

China customs said last month it would not release separate figures for January and would combine January and February instead, in line with how some of the country’s other major indicators are released early in the year, which is intended to smooth distortions created by the holidays.

Tough public measures such as restrictions on travel and quarantines meant many of these people were unable to return to their jobs in offices, factories and ports until only recently.

Some firms which have reopened have faced shortages of parts and other raw materials as well as labor, while others report inventories of finished goods such as steel are piling up as downstream customers like car plants slowly crank up production again.

Iron ore imports rose 1.5% over the first two months, supported by firm demand at steel mills even though the coronavirus outbreak had disrupted downstream sectors.

Parts of central Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak and a major transport and manufacturing center, are expected to remain under lockdown well into March.

Analysts at Nomura estimate only 44% of the businesses worst affected by the outbreak had resumed operation as of March 1, and 62.1% across the economy as a whole. As such, they forecast economic growth will slump to 2% in the first quarter year-on-year, from 6% in the previous quarter.

Beijing has already stepped up support measures, including offering cheap loans to affected businesses, and policy sources have told Reuters that more steps are expected as authorities try to cushion the epidemic’s impact on the economy.

China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that more than 70% of foreign trade companies in the coastal provinces have resumed work.

But financial magazine Caixin reported this week that some companies were keeping machines running and lights open throughout the day even though they have no goods to produce, in a bid to allow managers and local officials to inflate the official work resumption rate. Reuters wasn’t able to verify this report.




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U.S. Stocks And Bond Yields Dropped As Anxiety About Virus Fallout Returns

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 650 points, or 2.5%, erasing much of the gains notched Wednesday. A strong Super Tuesday performance by former Vice President Joe Biden and growing signs of a coordinated response to the coronavirus had led to a sharp rally in U.S. stocks.

That enthusiasm quickly dissipated Thursday. The S&P 500 fell 2.3%. The Nasdaq Composite shed 1.8%. Losses in the stock market were broad, with all 11 of the S&P 500’s sectors falling in early trading Thursday.



It has been a dizzying week on Wall Street. Sharp stock swings up and down have dominated the week, continuing a bout of volatility that led to the worst selloff since the financial crisis last week.

“I know that these wild swings are overwhelming for all of us,” said Amy Kong, chief investment officer at Barrett Asset Management. “The situation is still unfolding.”

Still, some investors said they expected the stock market gyrations to continue, with much remaining unknown about how far the coronavirus will spread and its ramifications on economic growth around the globe.

In recent days, the outlook for corporate earnings and economic growth this year has darkened, weighing on the stock market. Many have been worried that the virus will harm consumer sentiment and business investment around the world.

Investors will analyze fresh economic data this week for signs of wilting growth. Data on Thursday showed that U.S. factory orders fell in January. New orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.5%, the Commerce department said, more than what economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected.


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On Friday, investors will be parsing the monthly jobs report to see if U.S. hiring remained strong in February. The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, suggesting anxiety about the spread of the coronavirus haven’t yet affected layoffs.

The early stock decline Thursday suggests that steps by the Federal Reserve and U.S. lawmakers this week to bolster economic growth are failing to assuage investors.

Health authorities are warning that it may be impossible to fully contain the pathogen as infections are spreading within many communities. Meanwhile, steps taken to halt the outbreak have curtailed travel and business activity in the epicenters of the disease.

“There is a sense that there is only so much monetary policy can do, given markets have priced that in already,” said Jonas Goltermann, senior markets economist at Capital Economics. “Even with all the stimulus measures, those are not going to stop the virus and until there are signs the rate of infection is slowing we don’t think there will be a sustained rally.”

Investors are betting on more interest-rate cuts later this year, CME Group data show.

As stocks fell, investors sought the relative safety of government bonds, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note down to 0.930%, from 0.994% at the close on Wednesday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

The falling yields reflect high anxiety in markets as investors seek traditionally safer investments. They also have wide-ranging effects on borrowing costs and bank profitability. Shares of financial companies were some of the hardest hit in the stock market Thursday. Falling yields can crimp profits for big banks.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates fell to their lowest level on record Thursday as yields fell.

European stocks also fell, with the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index down 1.6%. The basic resources sector and aerospace and defense companies were among the hardest hit.

U.S. stocks are poised to remain turbulent with the Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, climbing to over 35. The index, sometimes known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, last week topped 40 to hit its highest level since 2011.
With volatility elevated and gauges of investor confidence low, markets are likely to keep swinging, according to Olivier d’Assier, head of applied research for the Asia-Pacific region at financial analytics firm Qontigo.

“We are going to be stuck in this for a while” Mr. d’Assier said. “You’ve got short-term traders buying on the stimulus and then you have medium- and long-term investors de-risking.”

Investor sentiment had shown signs of improvement Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers passed an $8 billion-emergency spending package on Wednesday to combat the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund detailed the $50 billion in lending programs it has that could help countries grappling with the virus.

Travel and leisure stocks continued to take a beating. Cruise line operator Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings fell about 9.8%, while Royal Caribbean Cruises dropped 12% as travelers continue to back out of planned cruises because of virus fears. American Airlines retreated 8.4%.

In contrast, most Asian markets rose Thursday, with the Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both closing up around 2%.
Eli Lee, head of investment strategy at Bank of Singapore, said he viewed recent market action as noise. “The rebound is the latest in a series of gyrations we’ve seen, and reflects the fact equities were likely oversold,” he said.


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Mr. Lee said a coordinated international monetary and fiscal response would help boost financial conditions and investor sentiment, but added: “These are ultimately very blunt tools against a medical crisis that is poised to cause a sharp shock to consumer demand and production.”

In commodities, Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, wavered between gains and losses before edging down 0.6% in recent trading. OPEC has reached a preliminary agreement to cut crude output amid a global glut and eroding demand, The Wall Street Journal reported, as members of the oil-exporting group and their allies gather for a two-day meeting in Vienna. The collective plan, in response to the virus outbreak, still needs to be approved by Russia.

“In order for this to succeed, they need Russia to be onboard or they would just pass over market share to a major competitor,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.





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Coronavirus Fears Hammer Europe’s Tourism Industry

The long line to get into St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is gone. The coronavirus outbreak in Europe is scaring away travelers and hammering tourism just as the high season is getting under way.

Thousands of people have canceled their trips to the region since the disease began to spread in Italy last month, drying up revenue for hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and conference planners across the continent. Those businesses are the economic lifeblood of many regions in Europe, clustered around its famed cultural attractions. The outbreak is costing the European Union’s tourism industry €1 billion ($1.1 billion) a month, said Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner.

“It gets worse and worse. The cancellations are piling up,” said Franck Trouet, spokesman for France’s Group of Independent Hoteliers and Restaurateurs. A third of its members have seen their revenue fall in February compared with a year ago, when business was already suffering because of the yellow-vest protests in France. In Paris, some cafes and nightclubs have seen a 40% drop in sales, he said.

Authorities around the world have told people not to travel to northern Italy, the site of Europe’s largest outbreak. That warning, however, is having a ripple effect far beyond the canals of Venice.

“The damage this is causing has the potential to be way out of proportion to the threat posed by the virus,” says Tom Jenkins, chief executive of ETOA, which represents European tour operators.


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The outbreak comes at a particularly bad time for the industry: The start of the period when people book their spring and summer travel plans. That includes pilgrims coming to the Vatican for the Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday, and tourists from the U.S. and Asia coming to the continent over summer vacation.

Flight bookings to Europe the last week of February, when the Italian outbreak emerged, fell 79% compared with the same period a year earlier, according to ForwardKeys, which tracks travel data. In Italy, cancellations have exceeded new bookings over that time, the firm said.

The Louvre reopened Wednesday after closing for several days, because staff refused to work. They were spooked by the French government’s decision to ban indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 to contain the spread of the virus. The museum, which is the most visited in the world, welcomes more than 26,000 visitors on a typical day.

Given bottles of hand sanitizer by management, staff were back at work, watching small groups of visitors drift through the museum. The Dutch masters section—stocked with Rembrandts and Vermeers—was nearly empty. Michelangelo’s “Slaves” sculptures weren’t surrounded as usual.

And inside the room housing the Mona Lisa, there was plenty of space to gaze at Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece and other paintings of the Italian Renaissance.

“Normally, you almost don’t see the paintings there are so many people,” says Luis Filipe De-Souza, an attendant at the Louvre.


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The Vatican is facing a sharp drop in visitors to the Vatican Museums, which bring in €40 million in profit in a normal year and are a key revenue source for the church. Vatican officials declined to comment on a report in an Italian newspaper saying the museums had experienced a 60% drop in attendance.

Organizers of ITB Berlin, the travel industry’s main annual conference, announced last week that they had canceled the meeting because of the coronavirus outbreak. German health authorities feared the event, which draws tens of thousands of people from around the world, could lead to a spike in cases in the country.

The cancellation has led to grumbling that the travel industry itself is feeding into global panic about the virus.

“It sends a dreadful signal,” said Mr. Jenkins, head of the tour operators’ group.





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Is It A Currency? A Commodity? Bitcoin Has An Identity Crisis

So bitcoin’s a currency, right? Well, yes, it can be used to buy, sell and price goods much like dollars and euros.

A commodity? Come to think of it, it does behave a lot like oil and gold – it can be bought and sold in cash markets or via derivatives such as futures.

What about a security? Many cryptocurrencies are, in a way. They’re issued like stocks in “initial coin offerings” and used to represent shares in online projects.

The debate may appear abstract, with little bearing on the hard-boiled world of finance, but it is attracting increasing interest from economists and lawyers who say it could have major implications for the future of cryptocurrencies.

How bitcoin and other digital coins are defined could shape how they are regulated around the world. In turn, the rules they are subject to could determine whether they make the leap from a niche to a mainstream asset.

So how will regulators treat them?

In the United States, federal watchdogs say they see elements of both securities and commodities, but like most major economies have not come up with a set of rules. The European Union, however, will outline a framework this year, which could see crypto wedged into existing regulations, or a whole new set of rules created.

For market players, how bitcoin and its kin are regulated will have serious ramifications.

Commodity markets operate with relatively little regulatory oversight. Securities, on the other hand, are typically subject to more onerous rules on price transparency, trade reporting and market abuse.

“When we’re going through the security process, we spend a lot of fees and lawyers to make sure we’re in compliance,” said Benjamin Tsai, president of Wave Financial, an investment manager in Los Angeles overseeing $40 million in crypto.

“It’s a lot more of a pain in the butt.”



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CHARACTER CLUES

Some of the cryptocurrency identity crisis lies in the fact that bitcoin was originally conceived as a means of payment, but now rarely bears the hallmarks of dollars, euros or pounds.

It’s of little use as a store of value because of its volatility, and is hampered as a means of exchange by its slow network and high transfer costs.

A booming bitcoin lending market is offering clues to its character.

Bitcoin lending offers lines of credit to crypto firms earning money in cryptocurrencies, such as payment processors or miners, looking to secure traditional money for covering expenses. Also, traders who don’t want to sell their bitcoin holdings use them as collateral to borrow cash for use in algorithmic or high-frequency trading.

For those lending money, relatively high yields are an attractive proposition in an era of rock-bottom rates.

Key characteristics of this market, such as market-led price discovery and the motivation to seek liquidity, mirror that of commodities leasing, according to market players and economists.

“The commodities markets (analogy) is very fitting,” said Deeksha Gupta, an assistant professor of finance at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who has researched crypto.

“One of the biggest similarities is that they are also driven by people wanting to be able to get liquidity.”

The bitcoin lending market has grown quietly as an opaque corner of the cryptocurrency sector, which itself is notorious for its lack of transparency. While there’s little data with which to gauge the size of the lending market, it is widely seen to have expanded rapidly over the past year.

New York-based Genesis Capital, one of the biggest lenders in the market, said its outstanding loans soared late last year to around $545 million compared with $100 million a year earlier.

Implied interest rates in these markets – the price of borrowing bitcoin – stand at around 4-5%, Genesis CEO Michael Moro said. On platforms for people to lend cash against bitcoin, rates are as high as 8%.

FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

Cryptocurrencies’ kinship to securities arises largely from their issuance and function in initial coin offerings, or ICOs, where they are used to raise traditional money.

ICOs are often held by companies seeking to raise funds for blockchain-related or other online projects. They raise capital by issuing digital coins, which grant holders access to the new system or software or a share in profits generated.

For instance, Switzerland-based Aragon – a management platform for decentralised organizations – raised about $25 million in 2017 issuing tokens that gave voting rights on how the system is developed.


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Regulators may choose to treat different cryptocurrencies differently, depending on their specific characteristics, an approach taken by Britain last year.

Some players say any designation of cryptocurrencies as financial instruments akin to securities may be positive, with burdensome oversight balanced by the potential to allow funds to market cryptocurrencies to a wider pool of investors.

“If they were somehow classified as a financial instrument, then that would have the knock-on effect that they would be eligible for retail funds,” said Nic Niedermowwe, CEO of crypto fund Prime Factor Capital in London.



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Wall Street Tries To Recover From Massive Sell-Off

Stocks rose sharply on Monday in volatile trading as Wall Street attempted to pare losses incurred during the worst week since the financial crisis amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 576 points higher, or 2.3%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 2% each.

“The market has been conditioned to buy on any weakness,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GLOBALT. “I think we’ll look back at these past few years at some point as some level of complacency.”

“Buying the dip takes more bravery now,” Buchanan said.

Stocks briefly came off their highs after a key measure on the U.S. manufacturing showed a slowdown last month. The ISM manufacturing index fell to 50.1 in February, the lowest level since the end of 2019. It also came below an estimate of 50.8.

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Apple shares led the Dow higher with a 7% jump; Merck and Walmart gained 4.6% and 6.5%, respectively. Consumer staples, utilities and real estate were the best-performing S&P 500 sectors, advancing more than 3% each. Tech, meanwhile, jumped 2.9%.

Monday’s moves mirrored the volatile overnight session where Dow futures traded in a range of more than 1,000 points, indicating this week may be as volatile as last week as well.

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all fell more than 10% last week, their biggest weekly declines since October 2008. They also entered correction territory, down more than 10% from all-time highs notched earlier in February. Both the Dow and S&P 500 have fallen for seven straight days.

Those declines came after a sharp increase in coronavirus cases outside of China. The number of cases continued to increase over the weekend, including in the U.S.

“The outbreak of Covid-19 has certainly changed the near-term narrative,” said Chetan Ahya, global head of economics at Morgan Stanley, in a note to clients Sunday. “It is an untimely shock, considering that the starting point of global growth was weak, and the recovery was very nascent.”

As of Sunday, more than 89,000 cases have been confirmed around the world along with more than 3,000 virus-related deaths. Australia, Thailand and the U.S. reported over the weekend their first coronavirus-related deaths. Rhode Island was the first U.S. state on the East Coast to report a coronavirus case. The number of cases in England rose to 35 after 12 new cases were confirmed on Sunday. Cases in China also reported more than 500 new cases on Saturday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed Sunday night the state’s first positive coronavirus case.



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Horrible China economic data
Wall Street got its first look over the weekend at the economic toll the virus has taken on China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

A private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity released during Asian trading hours on Monday came in at its weakest level ever. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 40.3 for February, far below expectations of a reading of 45.7 by economists in a Reuters poll. PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below that level signify a contraction.

That came after an official data released Saturday showed China’s official manufacturing PMI plunging to 35.7 in February, a record low, from 50 in January. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in a sector.

The plunge “shows the extent to which an outbreak can hit an economy,” said Ed Hyman, a widely followed economist on Wall Street and Evercore ISI chairman, in a note to clients. “All this is quite uncertain, and we may be overreacting. But we also don’t want to underreact.”

Gaming revenues in Macau also plunged nearly 88% last month.

Worries over the coronavirus’ impact on corporate profits and the global economy led investors to seek safer alternatives to stocks, pushing U.S. Treasury yields to all-time lows. On Sunday night, the benchmark 10-year rate broke below 1.04% for the first time ever. It was last at 1.07%.

“Global investors will be prone to panic as the virus arrives at their doorstep, underscoring the need for near-run prudence and patience before augmenting favored holdings,” strategists at MRB Partners wrote in a note. “The outlook is uncertain, or rather certainly bearish in the near term as quarantining spreads around the world, but with considerable doubt as to the duration and depth of the economic fallout.”

The virus’ quick spread has raised expectations for easier monetary policy from global central banks, including the Federal Reserve.

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CME Group’s FedWatch tool shows traders have priced in a 100% probability of a 50 basis-point rate cut later this month. Expectations for another rate cut in April are around 70%.

“The ultimate risk factor in our view is the U.S. consumer,” said Gregory Faranello, head of U.S. rates trading at AmeriVet Securities. “We have coronavirus cases showing up in the U.S. To the extent that that continues to spread, which we all hope will not be the case, the risk factor for the Fed grows because this now is no longer something that they can point the finger to relative to tariffs and say the global economy is slow, but we’re okay.”



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Global Markets – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

The week will start after Saturday’s data showing a record contraction in China’s manufacturing and service sectors because of the coronavirus outbreak, underlining the extent of the potential impact on the broader global economy.

Discover 7 Ways to Create a Sustainable, Passive Income for Life – By Robert Kiyosaki.

Investors will also be closely watching comments from Federal Reserve policymakers this week, with the prospects of a March rate cut on the rise. Friday’s U.S. jobs report is likely to be overshadowed by the market turmoil, but the race for the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination could divert some attention from the spread of the coronavirus. OPEC is to meet later in the week and with oil prices now down 25% so far this year pressure for additional output cuts is mounting. And the Bank of Canada may surprise investors with a rate cut at its meeting on Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know to start your week.




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1 – China PMI data to shock markets
Data on Saturday showed factory activity in China contracted at its fastest ever in February, even worse than during the global financial crisis of 2008. The shockingly weak data is likely to add to fears that the world’s second largest economy may not rebound as quickly as investors had initially hoped.

Another report on Sunday showing that South Korean exports snapped a 14-month losing streak in February masked disruptions from the coronavirus, reflected outside the headline figures.

The coming days will reveal whether the outbreak is accelerating in the United States, the world’s biggest economy, how much the U.S. government is prepared to deal with an epidemic, and the economic damage in other countries.

“Right now the market is saying that this is unbounded. We don’t know what the limits are and we don’t know where it’s going to peak,” said Graham Tanaka, chief investment officer at New York-based Tanaka Capital.

2 – The Fed and U.S. data
Surveys of U.S. manufacturing activity from Markit and the Institute of Supply Management on Monday will give investors a chance to assess the economic impact of the virus. Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for February will be watched for indications on the strength of the labor market before coronavirus spread more widely. The consensus forecast points to non-farm payrolls gaining 175,000, slowing from 225,000 in January.

Several Fed speakers are due to make appearances this week, Including Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, St. Louis Fed chief James Bullard, Dallas Fed head Robert Kaplan, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and New York Fed President John Williams.

The likelihood of a March rate cut by the Fed has risen in the past week with the U.S. economy looking increasingly vulnerable to the outbreak. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that the U.S. central bank will “act as appropriate” as the virus poses “evolving risks” to the economy.

3 – Super Tuesday
Investors will be looking ahead to Tuesday, when 14 states will cast ballots as the race for the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination intensifies.

Market watchers are waiting to see whether progressive Senator Bernie Sanders consolidates his lead or if moderates such as former Vice President Joe Biden or former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg can make inroads.

Sanders campaign promises to break up big banks, take on drug companies and essentially abolish private insurance in favor of a single government-run plan have rattled some investors.

Shares of health insurers such as UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) and Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) have sold off in recent months amid growing concerns over the potential nomination of Sanders or fellow candidate Elizabeth Warren.

While investors have been more focused on coronavirus developments, some analysts have said Sanders’ rise in the polls also contributed to the recent sell-off. Some investors also noted that continued volatility in markets or an economic downturn could erode support for U.S. President Donald Trump.

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4 – Bank of Canada to make preemptive rate cut?
The Bank of Canada is to hold its latest policy setting meeting on Wednesday, the second to last such meeting before Stephen Poloz steps down as Governor.

Heightened financial market volatility amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak mean that the odds of a rate cut are rising, despite a strong domestic jobs market and inflation that is running roughly in line with the bank’s target.

Growing concern about the economic impact of protests opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline that have severely affected the country’s rail network have also fed into expectations for a rate cut.

“The BoC has a reputation for moving early and occasionally providing surprises and we certainly think they could choose to pre-emptively cut this coming week. After all, they have much more room to offer support than most other developed markets, given their policy rate,” analysts at ING wrote.

5 – OPEC facing challenge of slumping demand outlook
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia – known as OPEC+ – meet in Vienna on Thursday and Friday as the spread of coronavirus around the world stokes fears that a slowing global economy will hit energy demand.

Friday saw the lowest closes for both Brent and WTI since December 2018. For the week, Brent lost almost 14%, its biggest weekly percentage decline since January 2016, while WTI fell over 16% in its biggest weekly percentage drop since December 2008.

“OPEC+ will have to deliver a deeper production cut as oil prices remain in freefall,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York, said in a report.

The group has already slashed oil output by 1.7 million bpd under a deal that runs to the end of March. In an initial response to counter the hit of the virus, an OPEC+ committee has recommended deepening output cuts by 600,000 bpd, but that figure is now seen as not enough by some in the group.




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Day Trading – Stock Market: 3 Things Under the Radar This Week

It was no ordinary week on Wall Street. The broader market recorded its fastest correction in history and its biggest loss since the Financial Crisis as the spread of the coronavirus gathered pace.

But there are questions on how much the Federal Open Market Committee really can help equities.

Retail sales may be the helping hand to the U.S. economy and there’s evidence some market players just don’t know which ticker is the right one.

Here are three things that flew under the radar this week.



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1. Little Hope Fed’s Easing Medicine a Match for Coronavirus Fallout

Wall Street’s fast-paced selling strengthened calls for a Federal Reserve rescue mission. And at long last, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell appeared to answer the call — at least partly.

In what may be the strongest indication yet that rate cuts are coming soon, Powell flagged the coronavirus as “evolving risk” and pledged to support the broader economy.

Powell said the “fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong,” but vowed that the central bank would use its tools and “act as appropriate to support the economy,” as “the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity”

But with the bulk of damage from the outbreak, particularly in China, expected to hit supply more than demand, some have cast doubt on the power of monetary policy to take on the virus-led crisis.

“The problem with doing monetary stimulus is that it will have limited impact on the effects of the virus,” said Jens Peter Sorensen, chief analyst at Danske Bank A/S, in Copenhagen. “The Covid-19 virus is keeping people from work, the supply chain is disrupted and tourists are not going to Italy. Monetary policy can do very little.”

While others agree that monetary policy will do little to speed up the opening factories and ease travel restrictions, they argue that not only inaction, but a lack of bold action from the Fed may prove economically detrimental.

“Although moderate Fed rate cuts are unlikely to be very powerful, the committee will probably be reluctant to disappoint market expectations for substantial rate cuts for fear of tightening financial conditions further,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

The investment bank said it expected the Fed to cut interest rates by 75 basis points by June, with first cut coming as soon as March.

2. Shoppers Gonna Shop?

With Covid-19 threatening to become a pandemic and countries looking at various quarantine measures, service-heavy economies are looking at a sharp drop in economic activity.

But the U.S. National Retail Federation released a report this week that expresses confidence that the consumer will remain resilient, even in the face of Black Swan events.

Retail sales will rise 3.5% to 4.1% to between $3.93 trillion and $3.95 trillion in 2020, the NRF said. Online sales will be up between 12% and 15%.

“With gains in household income and wealth, lower interest rates and strong consumer confidence, we expect another healthy year ahead,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

“There are always wild cards we cannot control like coronavirus and a politically charged election year,” Shay said. “But when it comes to the fundamentals, our economy is sound and consumers continue to lead the way.”

On Friday, the University of Michigan said its February consumer sentiment index came in at 101, up from 99.8 in January.

3. Pushing the Panic Button

Is Covid-19 dealing with not just “panic selling,” but also “panic buying”?

The money pouring into any stock with Zoom in the name says so.

With companies facing possibly protracted times with employees staying at home, video conferencing will be essential to keeping businesses running. With that in mind, investors have been buying shares of Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM).

The company “is widely considered the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, online meetings, chat and webinars,” Investing.com’s Jesse Cohen wrote.

The stock is up about 40% year to date.

But less-than-fastidious buyers have also been snapping up shares of Zoom Technologies (OTC:ZOOM), an over-the-counter stock that isn’t really in business anymore and hasn’t reported earnings since 2011.

Because it has the catchier ticker of “ZOOM,” it’s up 140% in the last five trading days.

While Zoom Technologies has seen ancillary benefits, Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) is dealing with reports of consumers being afraid of its Corona beer due to the similarity of the beer’s name and the coronavirus.

But Constellation said reports sales are plunging are “unfounded” and that sales of Corona are climbing in the U.S.




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Financial Markets – Panic Selling Continues as Dow Tumbles Below 25,000

Panic selling continued in the U.S. stock market on Friday, putting the market on course for its biggest weekly loss since 2008 amid growing signs that the coronavirus outbreak will ultimately cause an economic shock in Western economies as well as in China and its Asian trading partners.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with another loss of 627 points, or 2.6%, taking it below the 25,000 mark. By 10:33 AM ET (1533 GMT), the DJIA was down 4%, or 1,034 points.

The S&P 500 was down 3.4%, at its lowest since October 2019. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, fell 2.7%.


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Overnight, another sharp jump in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Korea and Iran, coupled with new emergency virus containment measures in Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere, all contributed to keeping the mood negative. A better-than-expected monthly rise of 0.6% in U.S. personal income in January was of little consolation.

“The landscape remains very uncertain,” said Mark Dowding, chief investment officer of BlueBay Asset Management in a weekly note. “For now, there is a sense with the coronavirus that things will need to get worse before they can get better.”

He argued that the point of “maximum bearishness” could be another couple of weeks away.

“This could coincide with the moment that Covid19 is officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization,” something that could lay the groundwork for a coordinated response of policy stimulus, Dowding argued. Such hopes seem far away at the moment, with the U.S. and German governments both playing down the seriousness of the situation.



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The bond market is now betting heavily on the Federal Reserve riding to the rescue. The2-Year Treasury bond yield dipped below 1% overnight and then roared lower to 0.91% after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard indicated that the Fed, if not fiscal policy, would react to a global pandemic.

“Further policy rate cuts are a possibility if a global pandemic actually develops with health effects approaching the scale of ordinary influenza, but this is not the baseline case at this time,” Bullard, who doesn’t vote on monetary policy this year, said Friday in prepared remarks to be delivered in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Hot money continued to flood out of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which lost another 7.1%, taking its losses for the week to over 30%.

Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) suffered similar problems following a surprise quarterly loss after the bell Thursday, losing 17.6%. It’s now down 25% for the week.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was also the subject of some heavy profit-taking, falling 5.1% to its lowest since December. None of the companies mentioned released any news of note.

One stock emphatically bucking the trend was Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM), the maker of software for video conference calls. Zoom Video stock has been flying as participants price in a boom in such calls as Covid-19 spawns a global outbreak of working from home and restrictions on business travel.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), L’Oreal (PA:OREP) and Nestle (SIX:NESN) have all said this week they intend to limit staff travel as a result of the outbreak.



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Stock Market Corrections: How Bad Can They Get And How Long Can They Last?

With the stock market sliding lower as coronavirus fears rise, all the talk about a so-called “correction” can cause nervousness and confusion.




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A correction is a mechanical-sounding term to describe when a major stock market index like the Standard & Poor’s 500 falls 10% or more from a recent closing high. The recent losses on Wall Street officially pushed all three benchmarks into correction territory during trading Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled as much as 1,190 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both dropped more than 4%.

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It took just eight calendar days for the S&P 500 index to meet the 10% threshold — its fastest such drop since World War II, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at financial-research company CFRA.

“The swiftness of this decline signals the magnitude of uncertainty being expressed by investors,” Stovall said. “Even though history says that other viruses haven’t been a major event to corporate bottom lines, investors are thinking this time might be different.”

How bad were the biggest corrections?

Since a correction is a drop between 10% and 19.99%, there’s always a chance we’re only about halfway through this recent scare. The market fell more than 19 percent in corrections in 2018, 2011, 1998 and the 1976-78 period, CFRA data shows.

But even so-called “garden variety” corrections can cause fear levels to spike.

The good news? Not every correction morphs into a more feared bear market, a 20% or higher drop. The average bear since 1929 has sliced nearly 40% off the S&P 500.

Most bear markets coincide with a recession.

In the 23 corrections since World War II the average price drop for the S&P 500 has been 14 percent, according to data from CFRA. They normally last around 4.4 months.

Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, thinks a recession is an unlikely, but “ever-present threat.”

“We’re not immune from the economic cycle. Disruptions to economic expansion can certainly be the catalyst for a recession,” McBride said. He added that the jumpy stock market is a reflection of uncertainty surrounding the spread of coronavirus.

“In the face of uncertainly, markets and valuations are being subjected to a rapid reevaluation. That’s what’s underpinning the selling action that’s been prevalent this week,” McBride said.



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Ways To Save $5,000 This Year { 2020 }


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Wouldn’t it be nice if money grew on trees? Although you’ll never find dollar bills sprouting from your favorite oak tree, you can uncover money in other places. By spending some time dissecting your spending habits and scrutinizing your expenses, you could free up money in your budget and save big – up to $5,000 in a year.

If you haven’t had success in cutting costs and saving money in the past, chances are you haven’t been looking in the right places. Follow these expert-backed tips to save on everything from monthly bills to annual subscriptions, and get on your way to saving thousands of dollars this year.


> Adjust your temperature setting.
> Unplug unused gadgets.
> Increase your insurance deductible.
> Nix that unused gym membership.
> Trim your subscription services.
> Cut back on takeout.
> Reduce food waste.
> Cut commuting costs by carpooling.
> Switch to a free banking account.
> Organize a parent babysitting co-op.
> Go to the movies midweek.


Adjust Your Temperature Setting
The average energy bill in the U.S. costs $117.65 per month, with heating and cooling accounting for 43% of this cost, according to the Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, the Department of Energy says you can save as much as 10% a year on your energy bill by turning your thermostat back by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from its normal setting.

Potential savings: $141 per year.


Unplug Unused Gadgets
Turning off an electronic doesn’t mean it’s completely shut down. Commonly referred to as “energy vampires,” many devices continue drawing energy even in the off mode when they remain plugged in, says Cisco DeVries, energy expert and CEO at OhmConnect, a clean energy program.

Think: set-top cable boxes, gaming consoles, coffee makers and space heaters. Although each may use a very small amount of energy, collectively and over time, it adds up. According to to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a typical American home has 40 products constantly drawing power which amount to almost 10% of residential electricity use.

To stop these energy vampires from wasting power, DeVries suggests using smart plugs or smart power strips. These devices automatically shut off power supply to any gadgets that aren’t in use, he says. By doing this, you can shave approximately 5% off your electricity bill or more.
Potential savings: $71 per year.


Increase Your Insurance Deductible
One quick hack to lowering your annual homeowners insurance or auto insurance premium is to increase the deductible. According to a 2019 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the national average homeowners insurance premium hovers just above $1,211. This same study found that if you bump your deductible from $500 to $1,000, you’re looking at reducing your bill by as much as 25%. With a higher deductible there’s less risk to the insurer, so they can offer a lower premium.

“Ask your agent how much money you will save if you adjust your deductible and put that savings into an online savings account until the balance reaches the deductible amount,” advises Jim Wang, founder of personal finance blog Wallet Hacks and former U.S. News contributor. This way, you’re covered in the event of a repair, he says.

When it comes to your auto insurance, data pulled by CarInsurance.com estimates that consumers can save nearly $14 per month by increasing their deductible from $250 to $500, or pocket an extra $30 every month by bumping their $250 deductible to$1,000.
Potential savings: $303 a year.


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Nix That Unused Gym Membership
If you committed to a gym membership at the beginning of the year as part of your New Year’s resolutions, but you already see your visits dwindling, don’t get stuck paying for something you aren’t using, says Nadia Malik, blogger and owner of personal finance site SpeakingOfCents.com, who recommends canceling your unused membership.

Considering the average monthly cost of a gym membership is $58, and 67% of gym members fail to use their membership, as reported by research site StatisticBrain.com, this is a huge drain on your budget. Although canceling that membership may feel like you’re giving up hope on getting back into shape, there are plenty of free ways you can get fit, Malik advises. You can walk, run or bike ride outside when the weather is nice or opt to follow free workout videos online or use a free fitness app such as Fitbod for strength training and C25K for running, she adds.

Potential savings: $696 per year.


Trim Your Subscription Services
According to the America’s Relationship with Subscription Services research by West Monroe, a national technology consulting firm, U.S. consumers spend an average of $237.33 on subscription services every month. From video streaming to on-demand music to data storage to photo editing apps, such subscription services may seem minimal at first glance but they add up quickly. Spend time reviewing all the services you’re subscribed to and identify where you can cut back.

For instance, if you love listening to audio books while commuting, the audio subscription service Audible is popular. However, Kristal Audain, blogger and founder of personal finance blog NormalisBroke.com, points out that there are free alternatives, making this an unnecessary service to pay for.

“Most libraries now offer Libby by Overdrive, which allows you to check e-books and audiobooks from your computer or smartphone,” Audain says.

At nearly $15 per month, canceling an Audible subscription and using your local library can result in big savings.

Potential savings: $179 per year.


Cut Back on Takeout
The average U.S. household spends $3,459 per year on food away from home, according to the 2018 Consumer Expenditures report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By cooking at home and preparing lunches for your family to bring to work or school just 25% of the time, you could save around $288.25. Since many people lean toward takeout when time is limited, cook meals in bulk so you always have leftovers that are easy and quick to reheat.

Meanwhile, Catherine Alford, family finance expert at http://www.CatherineAlford.com, a site dedicated to helping working women make better financial choices for their families, says researching deals at restaurants in your area can reduce the cost of dinner out.

“My local seafood place lets kids eat free on Tuesdays, and our local Mexican restaurant lets kids eat free on Sundays. By knowing the deals available to you throughout the week and the different perks your restaurants offer, you can save as much as 25% per year on restaurant costs,” she says.
Potential savings: $288 per year.


Reduce Food Waste
Food waste isn’t just bad for our environment – it’s bad for our wallets and costs the average American household roughly $1,866 per year, according to a new study from Pennsylvania State University. Cutting down on food waste won’t happen overnight, but a few simple tricks can help you start saving.

Lamar Brabham, CEO and founder of Noel Taylor Agency, a financial services firm in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, suggests keeping a running food inventory list in your kitchen that you can quickly reference before heading to the store so you don’t double up on ingredients that could go to waste.

Meanwhile, planning a few weekly meals in advance that use similar ingredients can also keep food waste to a minimum.

Potential savings: $1,866 per year.


Cut Commuting Costs by Carpooling
Consumers often overlook the financial impact of commuting by car to work five days a week, but the expense can be startling when you tally it up. According to the 2015 Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index, the average cost of an American commute is $10 per day, which can add up to $2,600 over a year of weekday traveling.

Saving money is possible by carpooling with just one person, which essentially splits your costs in half, says Steve Pilloff, assistant professor of finance at George Mason University’s School of Business.

Finding someone to carpool with may seem tricky, but start by asking co-workers or look for neighbors who travel to a similar area for work. Otherwise, plan a carpool through the popular traffic map app, Waze, which helps connect workers looking to share rides.
Potential savings: $1,300 per year.


Switch to a Free Banking Account
When you’re trying to save money, bank fees can eat away at your efforts. In fact, average checking account charges hover over $9.30, according to ValuePenguin. However, Simon Zhen, a research analyst for financial services comparison site MyBankTracker.com, says there are plenty of free options.

“By switching to a free checking account, such as those often offered by online banks, a consumer can avoid paying any monthly fee,” he says.
Potential savings: $112 per year.


Organize a Parent Babysitting Co-op
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that babysitting costs add up. Beyond day care while you’re at work, you may need a sitter for a weeknight or weekend. With the average babysitting rate at $16.25 per hour, according to the 2019 Care.com Cost of Care Survey, going out sans kids for four hours once per month will set you back an extra $780 a year in child care.

However, Violette de Ayala, founder and CEO of FemCity, a networking group for professional women, says you can easily save by setting up a babysitting co-op with other parents in your neighborhood or through your children’s school. “It creates an instant play date for the little tikes and saves parents the hourly rate for a sitter,” she says.

Potential savings: $780 per year.


Go to the Movies Midweek
The average movie ticket costs was $9.16 in 2019, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. For a family of four, catching a new flick on the big screen will cost over $36.64 just on movie tickets, and much more if you add popcorn, candy and soda. If you go to the movies once a month, plan your movie night during the week to save.

Many theaters offer discounts on movie tickets during the week to loyalty members. For example, Regal Cinemas offers Regal Crown Club Value Days at select theater locations where Regal Crown Club members can enjoy movie ticket prices at around 50% off, plus discounts on concessions.

Meanwhile, keeping the kids entertained during the summer doesn’t have to be expensive either, thanks to programs such as Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse, offering $1 kid-friendly flicks, from May 27 to Sept. 8, 2020.

Potential savings: $220 a year.




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Pandemic Fears Pummel Stocks

Stocks sunk deeper into the red on Thursday, oil prices fell and U.S. Treasuries rallied into record territory as more signs of the global spread of the coronavirus heightened fears of a pandemic.

Global markets have dropped for six straight days, wiping out more than $3.6 trillion in value. Much remains unknown about the virus that originated in China, but it is clear the ramifications of the world’s second biggest economy in lockdown for a month or more are vast.

Analysts have sharply downgraded their China and global growth forecasts, while policymakers from Asia, Europe and the United States have begun to prepare for a potentially steep economic downturn than initially anticipated.

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E-mini futures for the S&P 500 were down 1.4% (ESc1) and Europe appears set for a catch-up slump. EuroSTOXX 50 futures fell 2.7% (STXEc1) and FTSE futures skidded 2.3% (FFIc1).

Oil, sensitive to global growth given the vast energy consumption in a many countries, fell more than 1% to its cheapest in over a year. [O/R]

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) fell 0.5% and is down more than 4% for the week.

The yield on U.S. Treasuries, which falls when prices rise, dropped in to uncharted waters underneath 1.3% (US10YT=RR). Bets on monetary easing in the United States have surged. [US/]

“I think the market is just pushing the Fed to cut rates,” said Stuart Oakley, Nomura’s global head of flow FX in Singapore.

“It’s a flight to quality as well,” he said.

“The news seems to be creating this mass hysteria everywhere, there’s panic that the world’s about to end, so people are getting out of risk and putting their money in safe havens and the biggest one of those are 10-year Treasury bond.”

China accounts for about 96% of cases but most new infections are now being reported elsewhere.

News on Thursday of a jump in cases in South Korea was accompanied by a warning that the virus may be spreading in California.

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Taiwan raised its epidemic response level to the highest possible. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 2% to a four-month low amid more worries that the Tokyo Olympic Games could be cancelled or shifted. (T)

And on top of that a tour-bus guide in Japan also tested positive to the virus for a second time, raising questions about how the pathogen spreads.

“This feels like a consolidation, potentially before another leg down,” said Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst at brokerage OANDA by phone from Jakarta.

The only bright spot, ironically, was China’s stock market, which climbed in relief that domestically, at least, the containment efforts are showing signs of working. (SS)

NO EQUIVALENT SHOCK

At the same time as the breadth of the virus’ spread has knocked markets, analysts have been steadily revising their estimates of the economic damage higher.

J.P. Morgan now expects Chinese GDP to shrink 3.9% this quarter, while Capital Economics sees it contracting this year.

“There is no equivalent exogenous shock the world has gone through in the post-Bretton Woods period,” said Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) analyst Alan Ruskin in a note.

“Work place disruption, trade interlinkages, business uncertainties, profit warnings, inability to pay, and capacity to service credit are all related supply-side issues that, in turn, generate demand effects on employment, disposable income, wealth and confidence.”

Only a dramatic ratcheting higher of bets on interest rate cuts in the United States has given pause to the huge flow of money from Asia into greenbacks in the currency markets.

From almost nothing a week ago, markets are pricing a roughly even chance of a Federal Reserve interest rate cut next month and have almost fully priced a cut by April. <0#FF:>

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That was enough to help drag the China-sensitive Aussie dollar from an 11-year low and lend support to the euro (EUR=). [FRX/]

The Aussie last traded at $0.6550 and the euro lifted through $1.09 for the first time in two weeks to buy $1.0908.

The safe-haven Japanese yen firmed to 110.02 per dollar.





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Pandemic Fears Grip Wall Street

Wall Street plunged into the red in early trading Monday as a spike in the number of Covid-19 virus cases confirmed outside of China pushed money out of riskier investments.

The Dow dove 905.27 points, or 3.12%, to 28,087.04 at 9:35 AM ET (14:35 GMT) and the S&P 500 fell 93.63, or 2.8%, to 3,245.62. The Nasdaq Composite plunged 341.72, or 3.6%, 9,234.87, with tech stocks particularly hard hit.

The U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted the most since October and the 10-Year yield fell below 1.37%. Its all-time low is 1.32% hit in 2016 after the Brexit vote.

Worries snowballed over the weekend as the numbers of cases of Covid-19 jumped in Italy, South Korea and Iran. Authorities in Italy imposed a quarantine in the north of the country and its benchmark MIB index tumbled nearly 6%.

The Covid-19 shock is a test of the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) and buy-the-dip conditioning that has helped stocks overcome the headwinds of valuations, Allianz (DE:ALVG) Chief Economic Adviser Mohamed El-Erian tweeted.

“A key element is whether markets distinguish between Central Banks’ willingness (high) and ability (low) to counter the economic shock,” he said.

Among individual stocks, Dow component Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sank 6% after the latest data showed shipments of mobile phones in China dove 36.6% in January from the year-ago period.



High-flying Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which has a factory in Shanghai, was also hit on virus worries, with shares dropping 8.6%.

Chip stocks were also hard hit. Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) lost 10.2%, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) tumbled 8.4% and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) slumped 7.4%.

Expectations that the Federal Reserve would stop in with a rate cut to help the economic situation rose today, with the odds of a March cut rising to more than one in four.

“Growing consensus among economist(s) I am speaking to at (the National Association for Business Economics 2020 conference) is that the Fed will have to cut and do so soon – March – in response to COVID-19,” Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk tweeted. “It may not be called a health pandemic yet but it is an economic pandemic.”




Diane Swonk@DianeSwonk

Growing consensus among economist I am speaking to at is that the Fed will have to cut and do so soon – March – in response to COVID-19. It may not be called a health pandemic yet but it is an ecomomc pandemic.









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The Coronavirus Outbreak Is Bringing Attention To The Fast-Growing Vaccine Industry

The vaccine market has grown sixfold over the past two decades, worth more than $35 billion today, according to AB Bernstein. The firm said the industry has consolidated to four big players that account for about 85% of the market — British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and U.S.-based Merck and Pfizer.

“For every dollar invested in vaccination in the world’s 94 lowest-income countries, the net return is $44. Hard to argue against,” Wimal Kapadia, Bernstein’s analyst, said in a note. “This oligopoly has been built through significant market consolidation driven primarily by the complexities of the manufacturing and supply chain.”

These companies have jumped into the race to combat the deadly coronavirus, working on vaccine or drug programs. Investors have been flocking to some biotech names amid market volatility in hopes that their initiatives to develop treatment and prevention for the coronavirus could come to fruition at some point.



Sanofi is teaming up with the U.S. government to develop a vaccine for the new virus, hoping its work on the 2003 SARS outbreak could speed up the process. GlaxoSmithKline said this month it is partnering with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for a vaccine program.




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Still, any commercial treatment for the coronavirus could be years away. Experts have warned despite recent advances, the public shouldn’t expect a coronavirus vaccine to hit the market until early next year.

The Bernstein analyst said Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline both have a stable vaccine portfolio, including shingles, flu, pertussis and polio vaccines, that will keep driving revenue.

‘Long-lived assets’
Merck’s vaccine business generated $8.4 billion of revenues in 2019, the segment has been growing at an annual rate of 9% since 2010, according to Bernstein.

Its human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil 9 will be “the biggest selling vaccine of all time,” Kapadia said. “Gardasil 9 will take over the HPV market given competition is limited – supply is the only decelerator.”

For Pfizer, while its vaccine business has stagnated in recent years, its pipeline has “blockbuster potential,” the analyst noted.

“Vaccines are long-lived assets, have high barriers to entry, typically stable/growing pricing, mostly limited competition and no patent cliff,” Kapadia said.

To be sure, while vaccine companies can see periods of high growth, real innovation is needed to be long-standing winners in a market that requires major capital and faces cheaper alternatives from emerging markets, the analyst cautioned.




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Shares Drop, Gold Surges As Investors Scurry For Safety

Global shares and oil slid on Monday while safe-haven gold surged as the spread of the coronavirus outside China darkened the outlook for world growth with infections and deaths rising in South Korea, Italy and the Middle East.

The large spike in Italian cases has especially rattled investors on concerns about the potential for the virus to spread deeper into Europe and cause economic disruption there.

The selloff in Asian markets and U.S. and European stock futures on Monday was financial markets’ first reaction to the weekend news, which analysts described as game-changing developments in the outbreak.

South Korea put the country on high alert while the number of infections jumped to 763 and deaths rose to seven. In Italy, officials said a third person infected with the flu-like virus had died, while the number of cases jumped to above 150 from just three before Friday.

Iran, which announced its first infections last week, said it had confirmed 43 cases and eight deaths, with most of the infections in the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Qom. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan imposed travel and immigration restrictions on the Islamic Republic.

“There is lots of bad news on the coronavirus front with the total number of new cases still rising,” AMP chief economist Shane Oliver wrote in a note.

“Of course, there is much uncertainty about the case data, new cases outside China still looks to be trending up and the economic flow on has further to go with the Chinese economy likely to have contracted in the March quarter.”

U.S. stock futures were dumped with E-minis for the S&P500 falling 1.4% while Nikkei futures stumbled 2.7%. EuroStoxx 50 futures declined about 2% while futures for London’s FTSE skidded 1.3%.

Asian share indexes were also a sea of red.

Australia’s benchmark index slid 2.3% while New Zealand was about 1.8% lower.

South Korea’s KOSPI index fell about 3.4%. Chinese shares opened down with the blue-chip CSI300 index easing 0.5%.

That left MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan off 1.9% at its lowest since early February. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

The virus has killed 2,592 people in China, which has reported 77,150 cases, and slammed the brakes on the world’s second largest economy.

It has spread to some 28 other countries and territories, with a death toll of around two dozen, according to a Reuters tally.

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Economists have roundly downgraded growth forecasts for China as well as the world as travel restrictions and lockdowns have already hit tourism, supply chain and factory output in a number of countries.

Oxford Economics estimated world economic output growth would fall to nearly zero in the first half of 2020 if the coronavirus outbreak became a global pandemic.

‘MESSY DATA RELEASES’

As investors wagered central banks would step in with policy stimulus to support economic growth U.S. Fed fund futures surged signalling more rate cuts later this year.

The dollar paused at 111.58 against the Japanese yen after falling steeply on Friday.

The losses came as data showed American business activity stalled in February, signalling a contraction for the first time since 2016. The manufacturing sector also clocked its lowest reading since August.

“The data was a wake-up call for the U.S. equity market, hitherto complacent about the impact of the virus,” NAB currency strategist Rodrigo Catril said, adding it “was probably too early to throw the towel” on the greenback.

Despite losses since Friday, the greenback rose 1.7% last week and is still up more than 2.7% so far this year.

“We are likely entering a period of messy and potentially misleading data releases,” Catril said.

“The U.S. had a bad data day, but we think that is just a taste of what is yet to come with other major economies likely to show bad economic numbers too.”

The Australian dollar, considered a liquid proxy for China plays, was down 0.4% at $0.6601 as it languished near an 11-year low.

The euro fell 0.2% to $1.0817.

That left the dollar index slightly higher at 99.581.

Analysts expect the Korean won to stay on its downward spiral against the dollar as one of the favourite risk proxies for investors.

The won has fallen more than 4.5% on the dollar so far this year. It was last down 1% at 1,219.06 after hitting its weakest since August 2019.

In commodities, oil prices slid as investors fretted about crude demand being pinched by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, while leading producers appeared to be in no rush to curb output.




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Brent crude slumped 2.4%, or $1.4, to $57.09 a barrel while U.S. crude dropped 2.3%, or $1.25, to $52.13 a barrel.

U.S. gold futures climbed 1% to $1,665.1 an ounce. Spot gold jumped to a seven-year high of 1,678.58 after marking its biggest weekly gain last week since early August.




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Financial Markets – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

While China is slowly getting back to normal, fears over the economic fallout from the spread of coronavirus beyond its borders remain to the fore, so remarks by central bank officials from the U.S. and Europe will be watched for their outlook on the global economy. It’s a quiet week for data with durable goods orders, consumer confidence, and the second reading of fourth quarter growth due out in the U.S. Investors will continue to monitor the U.S. dollar’s progress after it was last week’s big winner in foreign exchange markets (despite Friday’s declines). And while most of earnings season is already in the books, this week will bring results from consumer facing companies. Here’s what you need to know to start your week.

G20 calls for coordinated response to coronavirus
Finance officials from the world’s 20 biggest economies on Saturday called for a coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak, which the International Monetary Fund predicted would pull down China’s growth this year to 5.6% and cut 0.1% from global growth.

“But we are also looking at more dire scenarios where the spread of the virus continues for longer and more globally, and the growth consequences are more protracted,” said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

China reported another fall in new cases on Sunday, but world health officials warned it was too early to make predictions about the outbreak as the number of new cases continued to increase in other countries.

Chinese PMI data on Saturday will show the first signs of the outbreak on the world’s second largest economy.

Can the dollar index breach the 100 level?
Leaving aside Friday’s declines, triggered by disappointing U.S. PMI data for February, last week saw the greenback rally to a near three-year high versus the euro, a 10-month high against the yen and an 11-year peak versus the Aussie. So far this month it has risen more than 2% against a currency basket.

The U.S. economy’s relative resilience to coronavirus has made the greenback the safe-haven of choice, at least temporarily.

The weak economic outlook in the eurozone and Japan against the background of the coronavirus epidemic is likely to continue to weigh on the euro and the yen.

The selloff in the yen marks a departure from the pattern in recent years where the Japanese currency rises in times of geopolitical or market turmoil due to Japan’s status as the world’s largest creditor nation.

“All considered we think the dollar should at least retain its strength, with a chance for more appreciation,” FX analysts at ING said in a note. “At this stage, we suspect that a break above 100 in DXY is just a matter of time.”

Fedspeak, U.S data
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida is to speak at an economic policy conference in Washington on Tuesday, where other speakers include IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan are also set to make appearances this week, with investors on the lookout for any comments on the virus impact.

Also on Tuesday, a report on U.S. consumer confidence will be closely watched for any indications that the global coronavirus outbreak is hitting sentiment.

Thursday’s durable goods orders data is forecast to be weaker amid a slowdown in factory output in Asia, while the halting of Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 Max production in mid-January is also likely to weigh. Meanwhile, the second reading of U.S. fourth quarter growth is not expected to be subject to a major revision.




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Eurozone data
Monday’s German IFO report will be central to the direction of the euro this week. The Investing.com consensus is for a reading of 95.3 in the Business Climate Index, down from 95.9 in January. Other key releases will be Friday’s inflation numbers for Germany and France which will be closely watched ahead of the upcoming European Central Bank meeting in March.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is due to deliver remarks at an event in Germany on Wednesday, while several other ECB officials, including Chief Economist Philip Lane will also give speeches this week.

Earnings results
Estimates from Refinitiv point to growth of 3.1% in the S&P 500’s fourth-quarter earnings, defying expectations for a year-over-year decline. In January analysts had forecast a 0.3% fall.

Those figures don’t reflect damage from coronavirus and earnings growth has been boosted by stronger-than-expected results from tech giants including Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

This week investors will get results from more consumer-facing companies, including retailer Macy’s (NYSE:M), whose credit rating was cut to junk last week by S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI). Results also are due from Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR), but that won’t reflect the hit it and other hotel chains are currently taking throughout Asia.




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Stock Trading: 3 Things Under The Radar This Week

Financial markets found themselves at the mercy of coronavirus headlines once again this week. But digging deeper in some market-moving events, the U.S. dollar saw a swift change of its narrative as weekly trading came to a close.

Amusement park icon Six Flags admitted that its thrill-ride business needs a major rethink.

And Hong Kong faces not just a dearth of visitors, but pessimistic locals.

Here are three things that flew under the radar this week.

1. Dollar Gets a Gut Check

The U.S. dollar index surged earlier this week, setting it sights on the 100 handle, a level it has not breached in nearly three years. But its stumble on Friday has many debating whether the greenback’s rally is sustainable.

For the majority of managers on Wall Street, the greenback’s rally is on borrowed time, according to a Bank of America fund manager survey.

A net 54% of respondents surveyed in February said the dollar was overvalued, up one percentage point since the last survey and the second-highest reading since 2002, BofA said.

Concerns about the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on global growth has sparked a bid in the dollar as a safe-haven investment in recent weeks, according to the survey respondents.

The rise in the dollar caught Wall Street by surprise.

Toward the end of last year, many were betting on the dollar to falter in 2020 on expectations that easing U.S.-China trade tensions would support global growth, sparking a rebound in global economies, some of which sport unattractive negative rates (like the EU).

But the spread of the coronavirus and its potential impact on the global economy has undermined those bets.

The ratio of the MSCI US Index to the MSCI World Index, excluding the U.S., rose to a record high of 1.6, suggesting yield-starved investors view the U.S., and by extension the dollar, as the only game in town.

“Currencies are weakening on incoming bad data that leads to inflows into dollar assets,” Ben Emons, global macro strategist at Medley Global Advisors, wrote.

Others agree and expect the dollar to continue racking up gains against its rivals, with the euro feared to add to recent losses.

“Since data will most likely show the divergence between the eurozone and U.S. economies widening in the coming weeks, further losses are likely,” said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.

2. Six Surrender Flags

Investors likely saw the big drop in shares of theme park operator Six Flags Entertainment (NYSE:SIX) (and the obligatory accompanying roller-coaster jokes). But given how double-digit percentage moves in stocks are common lately, the scope of the fundamental problems the company is facing might have been overlooked.

The company reported earnings on Thursday and the bottom line was a very unpleasant surprise.

Six Flags reported a loss of 13 cents per share, compared with expectations for a profit of 15 cents per share, according to analysts forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

It also announced it was slashing its dividend by 70% to 25 cents per share and that its chief financial officer was leaving

There are big problems with its project to open theme parks in China, as its partner in the country defaulted on payment obligations. There will be no revenue or income from China park developments in 2020, Six Flags said.




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But even more concerning, its “base business” – the core (ahem, flagship) parks like Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Great Adventure — is struggling. Attendance, guest spending per capita and revenue were flat in 2019.

And this year the company predicts “operating cost headwinds, including higher wages and increased investment in the parks to improve the guest experience.”

All this is leading Six Flags to overhaul its strategy, with a new plan to be unveiled at its investor day on May 28.

Piling onto the pessimism today, S&P put its current BB credit rating for the company’s debt on review at CreditWatch negative. That could mean a downgrade if S&P isn’t convinced Six Flags can stop erosion in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

But after all that there are already some betting the turnaround will be a success.

After Thursday’s plunge, shares closed up 2.3% Friday.

3. Hong Kong Ghost Town?

While supply-chain questions abound about mainland China and the effects of Covid-19, Hong Kong is providing an illustration on what can happen to a financial center during a possible pandemic.

Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders tweeted this week, illustrating the enormous plunge in daily visits to Hong Kong.

AAA@@@

Citing a chart from Christophe Barraud, chief economist and strategist at Market Securities, which used preliminary data from the Hong Kong Tourist Board, the island is seeing just 3,000 people visit per day.

That’s a “nearly 99% drop from February last year when about (200,000) people visited per day,” Sonders tweeted.

That may not be affecting financial market activity as much, with many in the sector living there or able to meet and work remotely. But the impact on the businesses that provide services to financial workers will be huge.

Looking at a longer-term picture, Sonders tweeted a chart showing the rise in pessimism about Hong Kong’s economy.

AAA@@@




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Is It Too Late To Invest In The Soaring Stock Market?

The Dow and Nasdaq are both approaching splashy numerical milestones. The Dow is about 2% away from topping 30,000 while the Nasdaq is less than 2% from 10,000 after hitting a new record high on Wednesday.

So is it finally time for investors to bail on stocks? It’s only natural for people to start worrying about a top and a looming correction (or even a bear market.)

But selling stocks just because indexes hit splashy new highs is silly. Long-term investors know that even if the market has occasional hiccups, stocks tend to keep climbing over the long haul.

“In general, round numbers are noise that don’t mean much for investors, even if it sometimes takes a few trading sessions to get past those milestones,” said Doug Peta, chief US investment strategist with BCA Research.

Peta said he thinks the market could keep rising if the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t wind up hurting American companies beyond the first quarter. Apple has already warned of supply chain disruptions in China and a hit to sales in Asia.

But central banks around the globe, including the Federal Reserve, might cut rates further and inject more stimulus into the global economy because of coronavirus concerns, Peta believes.

The net result could be a boom later this year for profits and the economy.

Coronavirus may not end the bull market

“A potential silver lining for stocks is that we will get a vigorous enough policy response around the world that offsets the coronavirus,” Peta said. “If that happens, there is a clear runway for the next three quarters to be pretty darn good for global growth.”

In such a scenario, investors will be more willing to pay higher prices for US stocks — particularly companies in the economically cyclical tech, financials and energy sectors, says Brian Bannister, head of institutional equity strategy for Stifel.

Bannister wrote in a report last week that he was raising his official price target for the S&P 500 to 3,450 from a previous level of 3,260. He added that in a perfect scenario where a “recession wall of worry is hurdled,” the S&P 500 could hit 3,800 — a nice round number that is 12% higher than then its current price.

But some experts are worried that investors are too quick to dismiss the coronavirus threat and other potential market concerns, such as risks tied to the US presidential election and surging valuations for momentum stocks like Tesla.

Bullishness has “morphed into complacency” according to Julian Emanuel, managing director and chief equity and derivatives strategist with BTIG Research. Emanuel said in a recent report that this “frenetic” rally could be a “dress rehearsal” for an imminent correction or even a market bubble bursting as it did in 2000.

Bond rally is a sign investors aren’t complacent or irrational

Still, others maintain that the market’s relentless march higher is rational. Even as stocks climb, investors are still plowing money into safer bond funds, pushing yields even lower in the process. That’s partly because of hopes that the Fed will cut rates but it’s also a sign of a flight to safety as investors hedge their bets.

“Bond investors aren’t necessarily expecting slower growth, but they are expecting the Fed to cut rates and help stem further weakness,” said Jason Draho, head of asset allocation for the Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a report.

“Inflows into bonds has been strong all year. Thus, there’s little sign that retail investors are chasing the rally,” Draho said. “This is not at all indicative of irrational sentiment.”

As long as companies post decent gains in earnings and revenue and the Fed and other central bankers keep rates relatively low, the bull market may have more room to run.




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And as the market climbs, each new 1,000 point barrier is actually a bit easier to top. For example, the Dow only has to go up 3.4% to get from 29,000 to 30,000. But the climb from 19,000 to 20,000 back in January 2017 required a 5.3 % increase.

Sure, a lot of people still snicker about the Dow 36,000 book from 1999 and point to it as Exhibit A for the market mania two decades ago. Now the Dow is only about 23% away from hitting that once seemingly unthinkable target.




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Intesa Sanpaolo launches €4.9bn bid to buy UBI Banca


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Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest domestic lender, has launched a €4.86bn ($5.26bn) takeover bid for its rival UBI Banca in an audacious attempt to kick-start consolidation in Italy’s fragmented banking sector.

Just before midnight on Monday local time, Turin-headquartered Intesa unveiled an all-share offer to buy Italy’s fourth-biggest lender through a series of notices detailing its plans to issue new shares to fund the deal.

If successful, the combination would create the seventh-largest bank in the eurozone with €1.1tn in assets and give Intesa an additional 3m retail, small business and private-banking clients, the company said.

Intensa has offered to pay 17 new shares for every 10 UBI Banca shares tendered. It said the bid corresponds to a value of €4.25 per share in UBI Banca, or a 27.6 per cent premium to the Bergamo-based lender’s share price at the end of last week.

Shares in UBI Banca rose 5.5 per cent in Monday’s trading and have climbed 28 per cent since the start of February. Intesa shares are up nearly 11 per cent in the same period giving the company a market value of €44bn.

“Intesa considers UBI amongst the best Italian banks . . . [it] has local entrenchment in the most dynamic regions of the country, enjoys outstanding results that have been achieved thanks to the excellent job of both its CEO and its management team, and has a sound business plan,” the lender said in a statement.

The bid makes Intesa chief executive Carlo Messina the first to act decisively among the country’s largest lenders, responding to supervisors’ repeated appeals for Italian banks to consolidate to reduce excessive competition, cut costs and boost the sector’s persistently low profitability.

The country’s banks have been on the front line of tensions between Italy and Europe, not only over bad loans during the European debt crisis but also over its expansionary budget. Investor concerns over the package caused spreads on sovereign debt to balloon in 2018, reviving fears of a vicious cycle between banks and the sovereign, known colloquially as a “doom loop”.

Intesa will have to get permission from the European Central Bank for the deal to go ahead, and negotiate with the Italian government and unions over 5,000 jobs reductions it plans as part of the deal. The acquirer forecasts the deal could lead to €730m in annual expense and revenue synergies, but will cost €1.3bn before tax to execute.


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To address competition concerns, Intensa said its offer includes a binding agreement to sell between 400 and 500 branches of the combined group to Modena-based BPER Banca.

More than a decade on from the 2008-09 financial crisis, most banks across continental Europe are still battling to revive returns amid a raft of new capital regulations and misconduct fines. The vast majority trade at a significant discount to the book value of their assets, but despite this there have been relatively few transformational deals.

Executives have become increasingly vocal about the need for consolidation after the already struggling sector was dealt a further blow when the ECB cut interest rates further into negative territory for the foreseeable future, shrinking already small margins on lending.

While keen on domestic deals, Mr Messina has been a vocal critic of cross-border European consolidation in contrast to his counterpart at Milan-based rival UniCredit, Jean Pierre Mustier. The Frenchman has explored deals with France’s Société Générale and Germany’s Commerzbank, the Financial Times has previously reported.

In the past UBI held takeover talks with Banca Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare, before its two other rivals merged in 2016, the FT reported at the time.


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Amazon Says It Will Create 15,000 Jobs In Bellevue

StockMarketNews.TodayAmazon said it expects to bring the 15,000 jobs to Bellevue over the next few years. More than 2,000 employees currently work in Bellevue, and the company has about 700 job openings in the city.

The company opened its first office building in Bellevue in 2017. The city is also where Amazon got its start. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos founded the company in 1994 out of a 1,540-square-foot house in West Bellevue.

Amazon, which is headquartered in nearby Seattle, has continued to expand there despite rising tensions with local officials. Last month, the Seattle City Council council passed a bill that establishes new restrictions on corporate donations in local elections, which serves as a blow to Amazon, after it donated a record $1.5 million into Seattle’s city council races in 2019. Additionally, Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant has recently reignited efforts to enact a “head tax” on the city’s largest companies, such as Amazon, with the goal of using it to fight Seattle’s housing crisis.

The company has been growing its overall headcount and footprint. In its annual filing submitted last week, Amazon disclosed that it now has 798,000 workers across the globe, which is a 23% increase from the year-ago period. On the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said some of the hires were delivery workers, as it builds out one-day and same-day delivery for Prime subscribers.

Amazon is also growing in New York, where it recently signed a deal to lease more than 335,000 square feet of office space in Hudson Yards and expects to hire more than 1,500 employees. The move comes after Amazon abandoned its efforts to build a second headquarters in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood.

The company is also building out operations in northern Virginia, where it’s building its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. So far, Amazon has hired 400 employees to work out of leased offices in Crystal City, Virginia. It also plans to bring 5,000 jobs to Nashville, Tennessee, where it expects to build two towers.







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Money Invested: $1,300 | Time Invested: 72 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $7,742

How To Make Money In Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. Learn More …



3. Make Extra Money Online Simply By Sharing Your Opinions

opinion

Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 46 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $329

How To Make Money by Sharing Your Opinion: A Review ( Opinion ) is an evaluation of a publication, service, or company such as a movie, video game, musical composition, book; a piece of hardware like a car, home appliance, or computer; or an event or performance, such as a live music concert, play, musical theater show, dance show, or art exhibition. Learn More …



4. Make Money With an Online Drop Shipping Business

drop

Money Invested: $75 | Time Invested: 144 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $1,915

How To Make Money With an Online Drop Shipping Business: Drop shipping is a business model where you send your customers’ orders to a manufacturer or wholesaler, and they send the products directly to your customer. Learn More …



5. Write an Ebook and sell it on Amazon

write-publish-ebook-today

Money Invested: $55 | Time Invested: 108 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $973

How to Make Money Selling Ebooks Online: Do you want to learn how to make an ebook from beginning to end?… Writing ebooks is one of the easiest way to earn money. You work on your own time, and when you finish the book – you will make money from it over and over again…for a very long time!. Learn More …



6. Make Money on Twitter

Twitt22

Money Invested: $25 | Time Invested: 52 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $494

How to Make Money on Twitter: Twitter is an American online microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Selling advertising, sponsored links, and affiliate marketing. Here are a few programs that can help you make money on Twitter. Learn More …



7. Make Money Buying And Selling Domain Names

become-domain-reseller

Money Invested: $55 | Time Invested: 110 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $1,514

How To Make Money Selling Domain Names: Domain name is like a land on the Web. You can use domains in a variety of ways to make money. Domains increase value over time, especially if they have some commercial value. You can buy a domain name at low price and then sell it high priceLearn More …



8. Make Money In The Stock Market – ( Day Trading )

best-broker-stock-market

Money Invested: $300 | Time Invested: 72 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $3,177

How To Make Money in Stock Trading: Investing in the stock market can be a great way to have your money make money… Stock trading is not a risk-free activity, and some losses are inevitable. However, with substantial research and investments in the right companies, stock trading can potentially be very profitable. Learn More …


9. Make Money With Your Photos

makemoneyphotos

Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 74 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $374

How To Earn Money Selling Photos Online: Who wouldn’t want to earn money by selling their photos online? … Did you know thousands of photographers are making hundreds even thousands of dollars every day just by selling their photos online?… In fact every month millions of photos are bought online which is used for websites, magazines, blogs, print ads, marketing materials and many more. Learn More …



10. Earn Money With YouTube

superstockdisney

Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 60 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $245

How To Make Money on Youtube: You’ve probably heard stories about regular people earning money on YouTube and thought, “Hey, I can do this too!”. Earning with YouTube is easy, but making big money with the platform can be a challenge. Learn More …



11. Make Money Testing Apps

55Apps

Money Invested: $20 | Time Invested: 44 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $197

How To Make Money Testing Apps: Testing Apps is a great way to earn extra money but it won’t make you rich. The number of opportunities you receive will depend on a number of factors, such as your demographics and your quality rating. Learn More …





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Best Books For Making Money In The Stock Market


⇑⇓Best Books For Making Money In The Stock Market⇓⇑


#1 – The Intelligent Investor. (Revised Edition)

This classic text is annotated to update Graham’s timeless wisdom for today’s market conditions… The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing” — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.

Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham’s original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market, draws parallels between Graham’s examples and today’s financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles.

Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.



#2 – Stock Investing For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance)

Grow your stock investments in today’s changing environment. Updated with new and revised material to reflect the current market, this new edition of Stock Investing For Dummies gives you proven strategies for selecting and managing profitable investments. no matter what the conditions. You’ll find out how to navigate the new economic landscape and choose the right stock for different situations—with real-world examples that show you how to maximize your portfolio.

The economic and global events affecting stock investors have been dramatic and present new challenges and opportunities for investors and money managers at every level. With the help of this guide, you’ll quickly and easily navigate an ever-changing stock market with plain-English tips and information on ETFs, new rules, exchanges, and investment vehicles, as well as the latest information on the European debt crisis.

Incorporate stocks into your investment portfolio
> Understand and capitalize on current market conditions
> Balance risk and reward
> Explore new investment opportunities
Stock Investing For Dummies is essential reading for anyone looking for trusted, comprehensive guidance to ensure their investments grow.



#3 – Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns

In this revised and expanded second edition of the bestselling Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns, Thomas Bulkowski updates the classic with new performance statistics for both bull and bear markets and 23 new patterns, including a second section devoted to ten event patterns. Bulkowski tells you how to trade the significant events — such as quarterly earnings announcements, retail sales, stock upgrades and downgrades — that shape today?s trading and uses statistics to back up his approach. This comprehensive new edition is a must-have reference if you’re a technical investor or trader. “The most complete reference to chart patterns available. It goes where no one has gone before. Bulkowski gives hard data on how good and bad the patterns are. A must-read for anyone that’s ever looked at a chart and wondered what was happening.”
— Larry Williams, trader and author of Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading.



#4 – How to Make Money in Stocks

Anyone can learn to invest wisely with this bestselling investment system!… Through every type of market, William J. O’Neil’s national bestseller, How to Make Money in Stocks, has shown over 2 million investors the secrets to building wealth. O’Neil’s powerful CAN SLIM® Investing System―a proven 7-step process for minimizing risk and maximizing gains―has influenced generations of investors.

Based on a major study of market winners from 1880 to 2009, this expanded edition gives you:

>Proven techniques for finding winning stocks before they make big price gains
>Tips on picking the best stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs to maximize your gains
>100 new charts to help you spot today’s most profitable trends
>PLUS strategies to help you avoid the 21 most common investor mistakes!

“I dedicated the 2004 Stock Trader’s Almanac to Bill O’Neil: ‘His foresight, innovation, and disciplined approach to stock market investing will influence investors and traders for generations to come.’”
―Yale Hirsch, publisher and editor, Stock Trader’s Almanac and author of Let’s Change the World Inc.

“Investor’s Business Daily has provided a quarter-century of great financial journalism and investing strategies.”
―David Callaway, editor-in-chief, MarketWatch

“How to Make Money in Stocks is a classic. Any investor serious about making money in the market ought to read it.”
―Larry Kudlow, host, CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report”.



#5 – How to Day Trade for a Living

Very few careers can offer you the freedom, flexibility and income that day trading does. As a day trader, you can live and work anywhere in the world. You can decide when to work and when not to work. You only answer to yourself. That is the life of the successful day trader. Many people aspire to it, but very few succeed. Day trading is not gambling or an online poker game. To be successful at day trading you need the right tools and you need to be motivated, to work hard, and to persevere… This book is definitely NOT a difficult, technical, hard to understand, complicated and complex guide to the stock market. It’s concise. It’s practical. It’s written for everyone. You can learn how to beat Wall Street at its own game.









◊ Best Books For Making Money ◊


#1 – The Book on Making Money


After skipping college, Steve Oliverez worked a series of low-paying jobs before setting a remarkable goal for himself – to double his income every year. In The Book On Making Money, he reveals what he learned while successfully hitting this goal for seven years in a row, growing his annual income to more than $1 million. Walking readers through the steps he took to reach his goal, he shows how they can apply the same techniques to greatly increase their own income, whether they work for someone else or run their own business. Oliverez spells out his disagreements with the traditional wisdom that tells young adults to go to school, get good grades and find a safe, steady job – advice that has left many Americans with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, credit card debt or mortgages on homes they can’t afford. He also assaults the idea of saving one’s way to wealth as absurd and counterproductive, using his own experience of trying to save money while poor as an example. Instead of promoting an austere lifestyle of clipping coupons and spending as little as possible, he shows how those habits can actually prevent people from becoming wealthy.


#2 – ABCs of Making Money


International Bestseller. The largely word-of-mouth success is due to its unique approach: instead of just giving the reader the usual do’s and don’ts of managing money – which it does in very clear, actionable terms – this invaluable book walks readers through the psychology of money. Do you ever wonder what makes some people successful while others are destined to struggle their whole lives? … The difference is in their Attitudes toward money. If you don’t examine this issue first, then all the self-help books and courses in the world will be a waste. The ABCs of Making Money is a simple, step-by-step guide for everyone. This common sense approach contains lots of simple checklists, self-directed exercises and tips. It demystifies the secrets of making money while providing proven strategies for the average person to painlessly create wealth. It has already helped hundreds of thousands of people and been acclaimed by universities and charities in the U.S. Amongst other things you will learn: how to achieve financial freedom, gain control of your life, eliminate financial stress and stop living paycheck to paycheck.


#3 – A Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market: Everything You Need to Start Making Money Today


Learn to make money in the stock market, even if you’ve never traded before. The stock market is the greatest opportunity machine ever created. This book will teach you everything that you need to know to start making money in the stock market today. Don’t gamble with your hard-earned money. If you are going to make a lot of money, you need to know how the stock market really works. You need to avoid the pitfalls and costly mistakes that beginners make. And you need time-tested trading and investing strategies that actually work. This book gives you everything that you will need. It’s a simple road map that anyone can follow.


#4 – I Will Teach You to Be Rich


Personal finance expert Ramit Sethi has been called a “wealth wizard” by Forbes and the “new guru on the block” by Fortune. Now he’s updated and expanded his modern money classic for a new age, delivering a simple, powerful, no-BS 6-week program that just works. This 10th anniversary edition features over 80 new pages, including:
• New tools
• New insights on money and psychology
• Amazing stories of how previous readers used the book to create their rich lives
Master your money—and then get on with your life.


#5 – Dropshipping E-Commerce Business Model 2020

Have you always wanted to have a passive source of income to boost your current job?… Are the risks of mainstream business keeping you from living out your entrepreneurial dream?… Or simply do you shy away from investment because you don’t have “enough” capital to start a business?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, dropshipping is the business for you. It is the only low-risk business that allows you to make to a 6 figure income a month from the comfort of your house with just a few hundred dollars as a capital.

As a dropshipper, you will play the role of intermediary, facilitating the order process for your customers without actually handling any inventory. And with dropshipping automation tools, you will be able to automate your business so that your store can run itself and make money for you with little to no effort from your end.

To guide you on your journey to unimaginable riches, Dropshipping E-Commerce Business Model lays out the finer points of establishing a dropshipping business from A to Z.

The topics featured in this book include:

The correct budget you need for start dropshipping business, without losing a penny.
>How to find the best niches and the winning products to list on your Shopify and online store.
>How to set up a payment system and stay away from being SCAMMED.
>The order fulfillment process in the details. If you won’t follow these steps, the entire business will collapse.
>How to maintain the best supplier relations for the best deals.
>The different sales channels for your dropshipping store and how to leverage them.
>How to optimize your online store for selling like CRAZY.
>10 simple but powerful and effective ways to DESTROY your competitors.

Why should you buy this particular book? Well, it has been written by an experienced dropshipping consultant with years of success in the industry, after all. And as easy as it is for anybody to make it in dropshipping, you still need a steady hand to guide you through the oft-tempestuous journey to profitability.


#6 – From Nothing: Everything You Need to Profit from Affiliate Marketing, Internet Marketing, Blogging, Online Business, e-Commerce and More… Starting With <$100


“From Nothing“contain EVERYTHING you need to start an online business in the affiliate marketing, internet marketing, blogging, and e-commerce industries… using less than $100. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to this or if you’ve tried for years without seeing success.

If you can bring yourself to trust a ginger millennial as your guide (difficult, I know), you’ll be on your way to first-time success in online business the moment you begin reading.


#7 – Passive Income Ideas For 2020


A Step by Step Guide to Easy Passive Income Ideas For 2020 and Beyond. Are you ready to invest your money into creating passive income streams that inflate your monthly income? These are some of the hottest, proven methods that you can start with, today.You’re not going to get rich earning a salary. You need to take those savings and make money from money. But how? It can be harrowing and risky to invest in new income streams for the first time. The chance that you will lose money is high. That’s why you need a guide just like this one.






 

Stock Market: Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

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Stock Market — Here’s what you need to know to start your week.


Coronavirus outbreak
Market participants are keeping a wary eye on developments surrounding the coronavirus outbreak which has infected more than 2,000 people, the vast majority in China where 56 people have died. The virus has also spread to the U.S., Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Canada.

With stocks close to all-time highs investors are fearful that the newly identified virus could develop into something worse, like the 2003 SARS epidemic.

“Markets hate uncertainty and the virus has been enough to inject uncertainty in the markets,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.

The World Health Organization has stopped short of calling the outbreak a global health emergency, but some health experts question whether China can continue to contain the epidemic.

More FAANG results
While last week’s Q4 earnings from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) underwhelmed Wall Street, analyst hopes are still high for the other FAANGs – Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) – ahead of their financial results for the quarter.

The FAANG group of U.S. tech stocks have been the biggest drivers of the bull market, with recent gains among most of the group far outstripping the broader market.

Facebook is expected to post earnings growth of 6.2% when it reports on Wednesday, while Apple earnings, due a day earlier, are forecast to have grown 8.7%. Amazon has warned that increased investment in its package delivery business in the last quarter will weigh on earnings, but it sees quarterly revenues up 18.7% when it reports on Thursday.

In comparison, the S&P 500’s fourth-quarter earnings are expected to decline 0.8% and revenue is seen rising 4.4%, according the latest estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

Fed meeting
The Fed will almost certainly keep monetary policy on hold on Wednesday as policymakers continue to assess how the three rate cuts from 2019 are percolating through the economy.

“With no new forecasts being released at this meeting it will be the tone of Jerome Powell’s press conference and the actual vote that is likely to be of most interest for markets,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING.

“We would also expect to hear Jerome Powell retaining his cautiously upbeat language, particularly given the positive conclusion to U.S.-China trade talks. He is likely to reiterate that we will need to see a “material change” for the Fed to consider a policy shift.”

Bank of England meeting
The BoE is to deliver its final monetary policy decision before Britain exits the EU on Jan 31 on Thursday and the meeting will be Mark Carney’s last as central bank governor.

The question is whether the BoE will join central bank peers in cutting interest rates. Economic growth and inflation took a hit from three-and-a-half years of Brexit uncertainty so a recent string of dismal data and comments by BoE officials, including Carney, that more economic stimulus might be needed saw rate cut expectations surge.

But economic data last week pointed to a post-election boost, leading markets to pare back expectations for a cut.

The future path of the British pound, currently trading at around $1.31, in the middle of its trading range so far in 2020 – hangs on the BoE’s decision and forecasts for whether the economy will find more momentum after Brexit.

GDP figures
The U.S. is to release advance fourth quarter GDP figures on Thursday, with analysts forecasting growth of 2.1%. U.S. President Donald Trump might repeat his argument that if it were not for Fed policy tightening, growth would be closer to 4%.

The Euro Zone is to release GDP data on Friday, which is forecast to show the economy expanded 0.2% from the previous three months, backing up the European Central Bank’s view of “ongoing, but moderate growth.”




⇑⇓ Today’s Stock Market Quotes ⇓⇑




Stock Market: This May Be The Most Important Week So Far In 2020



Stock Market — The week ahead is arguably the most important here at the start of 2020. The Federal Reserve and the Bank of England meet. The U.S. and the eurozone report initial estimates of Q4 19 GDP. The eurozone also reports its preliminary estimate of January CPI. China returns from the extended Lunar New Year celebration and reports its official PMI. Japan will report December retail sales and industrial production. These data points will provide insight into the state of the recovery from the October sales tax and typhoon.

Fears of the spread of a new virus from China and the potential economic impact weighed on risk-taking appetites last week. It is still early days, but the contagion rate appears to be tracking something close to SARS, which ended up slashing Chinese growth by two percentage points. China and Hong Kong equity markets were hit the hardest (3%+), the S&P 500’s decline of a little more than 1%, was only the fourth weekly loss but the largest since the end of Q3 ’19.

China reports the newest PMI readings on January 30. The impact of the coronavirus may not be picked up entirely in the data, which will not offer a clean read on the economy due to the Lunar New Year. To the extent that the virus impact is detected, it will likely hit services harder that manufactured goods in the first instance. That said, January manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI are expected to have softened a little (50.2 and 53.5, respectively in December). The risk is that the economic disruption will offset the stimulus recently provided. The magnitude of the commitment to buy U.S. goods was already a stretch, according to some estimates, and weaker Chinese growth could provide another hurdle.

It has been widely reported that China committed to buying $200 bln more U.S. goods than the $128 bln purchased in 2017, the last year before the tariffs. However, last year, the U.S. exports to China were about $98 bln. So, compared with 2019, China has committed to buying $230 bln more U.S. goods. China will likely import a bit more than $2 trillion of goods and services this year. The political agreement appears to secure for the U.S. a little more than 15% of that market.

With a press conference after every FOMC meeting, and given Powell’s perceived communication challenges, it is difficult to say that the January 29 meeting is a non-event. Still, for all practical purposes, it is. There is scope for a small technical adjustment. The Fed pays 1.55% interest on both required and excess reserves. It could raise this by five basis points to ensure the fed funds rate remains within the 1.50%-1.75% target range. Many who think the Fed’s bill buying and repo operations represent an easing of monetary policy (as in QE), may argue that the Fed is tightening. However, most will likely conclude that it would be a technical adjustment and not a change in monetary policy proper.

The forecasts will not be updated until March, and the economy has not materially deviated from Fed expectations. Last year, some media reports played up the two persistent dissents against the series of rate cuts and argued Powell was losing control. However, this does not seem to be the case, and indeed a clear consensus has emerged. At the December meeting, 14 of the 17 officials thought no rate change would be needed this year.

Near-term downside risks have lessened. The U.S.-China trade deal may not deserve the embellished official descriptions, but an escalation in the coming months seems less likely than even a couple of months ago. The UK will leave the EU at the end of January for an 11-month standstill arrangement where nothing changes while a new trade deal is negotiated. The risk of a disruptive no-deal exit at the end of the year remains, but it is not yet pressing. Nevertheless, the implied yield of the December 2020 fed funds futures contract is near 1.30% compared with the current average of 1.55%, suggesting a 25 bp Fed cut has been discounted.

The Bank of England is a different story. Two members of the Monetary Policy Committee have dissented at the past couple of meetings in favor of an immediate rate cut. Two other members have indicated if the data did not improve, they too could support a rate reduction. BOE Governor Carney also sounded more dovish in recent comments. The January 30 BOE meeting will be the last Carney chairs. Andrew Baily will take the reins before the next meeting on March 26.

The official comments and the disappointing economic data has spurred a shift in market expectations. On January 10, the derivatives market implied a little less than a one-in-four chance of a rate cut on January 30. By January 17, the odds jumped to almost three-in-four. But sentiment swung back last week, and the odds narrowed to a little less than 50/50. It is a close call, and on balance, the resilience of the labor market, the recovery in business confidence, and the uptick in the PMI may keep the BOE on hold a bit longer. If this is indeed the case, sterling may pop higher, though ideas that lower rates can still be delivered later in H1 may limit the upside.

Quarterly GDP numbers often grab the headline, but for many investors, the report is a culmination of other high-frequency data with some variance. Moreover, GDP data is backward-looking. It is then more a favorite of economists than market participants. That said, the mixed signals of the U.S. economy make this GDP call particularly tricky, and the first estimate is subject to statistically significant revisions, often stemming from trade and inventories. The NY Fed’s GDP tracker (as of January 17) pointed to a sub-par 1.2% annualized pace. The Atlanta Fed’s model pointed to a 1.8% pace. The Bloomberg survey has a median forecast of 2.1%.

The composition of U.S. growth may have also changed. Consumption may have slowed from the 3.2% annualized pace in Q3. Residential investment appears to have risen, and trade also may have made a net positive contribution. The headline and core deflator are likely to be mostly steady. The Federal Reserve will look through just about any weakness in Q4 GDP and will make allowances for the production cuts at Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) in Q1 20. The case of a rate cut is based on ideas that record-long U.S. expansion is fragile and will have increasing difficulty coping with shocks. The lack of pick-up in early Q2 will leave the Fed with the same choice as last year. With price pressures subdued, another insurance policy can be taken out to boost the chances that the expansion can be extended.

Eurozone Q4 GDP seems easier to forecast. Growth has been relatively steady, with quarterly growth averaging about 0.3% for the past four quarters and 0.2% for the previous two. The year-over-year pace has been about 1.2% over the same period. It may not be very inspiring, but it is steady, and growth potential is probably only a little higher at around 1.5% or so. Market participants appear to be more confident that the ECB is on hold for the duration that it is of the Fed. The market sees only about a one-in-five chance of a rate cut by the ECB this year.

Perhaps the most challenging data point for investors to make sense of will be the initial estimate of the eurozone’s January consumer inflation. Prices fall in January. Last January, prices fell by 1%. That means that if prices fell by 0.9% this month, as economists forecast, the year-over-year rate will tick up. Indeed, the year-over-year rate is expected to rise to 1.4%. It would be the highest since last April. This is one reason why claims of Japanification of Europe are too simplistic: European inflation is nearly twice that of Japan’s. However, while we anticipate a base-effect rise in European CPI, the comparisons are not as friendly, and the true signal, as likely to be reflected in the core rate that may ease to 1.2% after being stuck at 1.3% in November and December.

Lastly, we turn to Japan. The issue at hand is how quickly it can rebound from the controversial sales tax increase and the typhoons. The most direct report will be retail sales. Recall the sequence of events. Anticipating the tax increase in October, consumers brought forward purchases, and August retail sales rose by 4.6% and then 7.2%, before plummeting 14.2% in October. They snapped back 4.5% in November and probably a little more than 1% in December.

Industrial output fell by 4.5% in October and another 1% in November. A small rise of around 0.7% is expected in December. Yet, in terms of the yen, these macro considerations seem to be of secondary importance. The heightened anxiety over the new coronavirus expressed through the sale of risk-off assets, and the unwinding of carry-trades and those speculators knowingly or unknowingly riding this wave is the primary driver now as the dollar’s advance was stalling around JPY110.25.

The coronavirus is an economic and financial shock. The extent of that shock still needs to be assessed but it could provide the spark for an arguably long-overdue adjustment in the capital markets. Investors may be risk-averse until there is greater transparency about the contagion rate and health risks. It is humbling to appreciate that despite the advances in science and medicine, some 80k Americans died in 2017-2018 from influenza, the highest toll in 40 years. The World Health Organization estimates that the annual flu epidemic kills between around 250k-500k people globally each year.



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◊ Plus500 Review 2020 ◊


plus-500-banner-01


Best Online Trading Platform For Beginners And Professional Traders. Shares, Indices, Forex and Cryptocurrencies. Start Trading Now or Try a FREE Demo Account.


Plus500 is a streamlined broker that focuses on trading in a wide range of financial markets with relatively low spreads and no commissions but without offering many extra services. Plus500 has been in the forex and CFD business since 2008. They are registered in the U.K. and licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company offers access to a comprehensive product line including forex, stock indexes, equities, commoditiescryptocurrencies, ETFs and options. Plus500 is the first broker to introduce a bitcoin CFD in 2013. The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades.

All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platformPlus500 Ltd. (PLUS.L) is a publicly traded company on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange since 2013 with a £1.73 billion ($2.25 billion) market capitalization and clients in more than 50 countries around the world. Plus500 offers access to more than 2,000 trading instruments.


START TRADING NOW OR TRY A FREE DEMO ACCOUNT


Trust … the company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA, MAS, and the ISA, which provides good accountability and visibility. The company is required to take steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds – ensuring that client money and assets are protected in the unlikely event that Plus500 becomes insolvent – by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks.

If Plus500 defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to £50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to £85,000 may be compensated for under the FSCS.

Plus500 also offers Negative Balance Protection, ensuring that clients cannot lose more than they have put into their account. Guaranteed stop losses can be used on some instruments depending on market conditions but they are subject to a wider spread.

The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades. All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Large volume traders do not get a trading discount at Plus500 and the spread is the same whether you trade one lot or 1,000 lots.


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There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account. However, inactivity fees kick in after an account has been idle for three months. Beginning traders can open an account with as little as £100.

Traders can qualify for a “professional” account, which offers a higher level of maximum leverage, but the costs are the same. Investors with a professional account may increase their maximum leverage ten-fold, from 1:30 to 1:300.Spreads at Plus500 were some of the lowest in the market.

Plus500 also offers access to options trading on many markets. These are very similar to plain call and put options traded on exchanges, but they are not standardized which means that the option premium can be customized for your risk tolerance and strategy objectives.


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Trading News: 3 Things Under the Radar This Week


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Trading News — There’s an ominous technical indicator hovering over the U.S. dollar, which could mean a move away from the greenback. But don’t go looking for value in bitcoin, according to one fund manager speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week. Meanwhile, as lower interest rates have been a boon to equities, the run of ever-cheaper money may finally be coming to an end, according to one investment bank.



Here are three things that flew under the radar this week.

1. Dollar Hits the Death Cross

While markets were captivated this week on fundamentals, with some calling the Wuhan coronavirus a possible Black Swan, technicals weren’t overlooked.

The U.S. dollar could be in the crosshairs of the infamous death cross. The death cross happens when a 50-day moving average goes below the 200-day moving average, which happened on the last day of 2019, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

When that’s been triggered in the past, the dollar has gone down seven out of eight times since 1980, Merrill said.

Adding to concerns is the fundamental backdrop of a global economy that may not need the safety of the greenback as much as it used to.

“The global economy looks like it’s healing,” TD Securities Mark McCormick said. “The reduction of uncertainty will likely allow investors to take risks … they didn’t want to take before.”

Momtchil Pojarliev, head of currencies at BNP Asset Management, is betting the dollar will fall against the euro, Japanese yen and Australian dollar as growth in those countries accelerates and their central banks raise interest rates while the Federal Reserve keeps them steady. That should narrow the gap in yields that has buoyed the U.S. currency.

2. Ray Dalio Debunks Bitcoin’s Diversification Powers

Bitcoin has been hailed in some corners as the holy grail of uncorrelated diversification assets, but famed fund manager Raymond Dalio warned earlier this week that bitcoin has no place in the real of world of investing.

With interest rates looking lower for longer and rendering cash almost useless, Dalio pushed back at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland against claims that bitcoin has a place in a diversified portfolio, pointing to the popular cryptocurrency’s lack of intrinsic value and wild swings.

“There’re two purposes of money: a medium of exchange and a store hold of wealth,” he said. “And Bitcoin is not effective in either of those cases now … It’s too volatile. Because of the volatility, you can’t go next to it.”

While there would be many who share Dalio’s view that bitcoin currently lacks the credentials to be taken seriously as a form payment, some of the most important central bankers have conceded that bitcoin has a role to play in a diversified portfolio.

“Really almost no one uses bitcoin for payments, they use it as an alternative to gold. It’s a store of value, a speculative store of value, like gold,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in the summer of last year.

“Bitcoin’s consistent statistically uncorrelated nature provides an excellent source of diversification within a portfolio,” Blockhead Capital said, citing its study that measured the correlation of bitcoin’s price performance to several other assets or indices.

3. Easing Is Ending?

The main case for central banks cutting rates is receding, making the case for more accommodative monetary policy from current levels harder to justify, according to J.P. Morgan. The argument for an economic mid-year rebound has strengthened, J.P. Morgan said in a note to clients this week.

“The easing cycle is … close to an end and central bankers can take comfort that their limited and unconventional toolbox proved effective in cushioning a substantial shock,” analyst Bruce Kasman and team said.

But the biggest challenge that major central banks will face is dealing with inflation.

“With the Fed having lost confidence in translating current growth and labor market outcomes to future inflation, core inflation will likely need to move above 2% before it considers reversing last year’s ease,” J.P. Morgan said. “In refraining from reversing last year’s mid-cycle adjustment until inflation rises, the Fed will break from its past pattern of removing insurance once it became convinced that the growth scare had passed.”

Unlike the Fed, which looks happy to overshoot on inflation, the Bank of Japan will likely be content to undershoot.

Meanwhile, the “(p)ersistently low inflation remains a prime concern” for the ECB, but “creeping financial stability concerns set the bar high for additional action.”





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Stock Market News: U.S. Stocks Fall After Second Coronavirus Case Emerges

Stock Market News — The S&P 500 erased early gains and fell 0.6 per cent around lunchtime in New York. The Nasdaq Composite, which had registered an intraday record high in morning trade, was down 0.5 per cent even as upbeat earnings from Intel — which surged to its highest level since September 2000 — lifted chipmakers. The Dow also lost 0.5 per cent.

The declines followed a rise in European stocks as investors appeared to brush off concerns over the market impact of coronavirus, while there were fresh signs of life in the German economy.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.9 per cent, down from session highs but snapping four days of losses as major bourses from London to Frankfurt climbed higher. The euro dipped, falling 0.2 per cent against the dollar, after survey data showed business activity in the eurozone remained unexpectedly weak in January.

Still, activity in Germany, the eurozone’s largest economy, beat expectations. That pushed the Dax 1.4 per cent higher for its best day in more than three months.

Investors had few cues from the Asian session, where Chinese markets were closed for the lunar new year holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2 per cent in its half-day of trading, but has still lost nearly 4 per cent this week as concerns over the outbreak of virus have weighed on investor sentiment.

The World Health Organization on Thursday held back from declaring a global emergency over the outbreak, but said its panel was split “almost 50:50”.

Paul Donovan, a strategist at UBS, said structural changes to the nature of the global economy make it hard to draw a clear analysis from events so far.

“There may be a further shift to online retail sales, limiting the damage to the consumer,” he said. But, he added “the rise of fake news on social media may spread fear faster and wider.”

The outbreak has prompted S&P Global Ratings, the credit rating agency, to warn that if the situation worsened considerably the disease could knock 1.2 percentage points off China’s economic growth this year.

Sterling fell 0.4 per cent after upbeat UK PMI data failed to convince investors that the Bank of England will hold off cutting interest rates next week. The meeting is now on a knife-edge, with traders pricing in a 48 per cent chance of a rate cut to 0.5 per cent, prices in swaps markets show.

In the US, a majority of investors are betting the Federal Reserve will maintain its pause on interest rates after three cuts last year.




Stock Market: World Economy Going Through Longest Period of Falling Trade Since 2009

Stock Market — The downturn in global trade dragged on at the end of last year, marking the longest period of contraction since the end of the financial crisis.The volume of goods trade dropped 0.6 per cent in November compared to the previous month, and was down 1.1 per cent compared to the same month in 2018, according to a closely watched world trade monitor from the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB).

November marked the sixth consecutive month of year-on-year contraction, the longest period of falling trade since 2009 and a sharp reversal from the 3.4 per cent expansion in November 2018.

The rate of contraction slowed in November, however, down from a 2 per cent pace in October, which was the steepest fall in a decade.

The annual contraction in trade- which is the value of exports and imports adjusted for price changes — was geographically broad-based with the eurozone, emerging Asia, the US and Latin America all reporting falling trade volumes.

However, trade was up over the previous month in emerging Asia, while the downturn became more severe in the eurozone where trade volumes dropped 1.7 per cent compared to October.

The data confirm surveys released earlier this month that showed a deterioration in global trade running until the end of the year. The exports order component of the JPMorgan Global purchasing manager index remained in negative territory in November and December, although up from September’s reading.

“International trade remains the main drag on efforts to lift growth further, so any moves that reduce tensions and barriers on this front will be especially beneficial.” Olya Borichevska, from Global Economic Research at JPMorgan.

Economists expect trade data to improve in early 2020, reflecting the signing of the US-China phase one trade deal earlier this month, as well as improving conditions in emerging economies such as Turkey. But a strong recovery is not on the cards yet.

“We think a recovery in world trade will be very modest, despite the pause in US-China hostilities” said Adam Slater, chief economist at Oxford Economics.

“World trade growth at this pace is less than half its long-term average.”







Plus500 CFD Review { 2020 }


Plus500 Rewiew 2020 — Plus500 is an international financial firm providing online trading services in contracts for difference (CFDs), across more than 2,000 securities and multiple asset classes. The company is headquartered in Israel and has subsidiaries in UK, Cyprus, Australia, Singapore and Bulgaria.

Plus500 is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA). It is listed on the London Stock Exchange with the ticker “PLUS” and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


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• Business & Financial News – Stock Market News Today •


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Plus500 is a streamlined broker that focuses on trading in a wide range of financial markets with relatively low spreads and no commissions but without offering many extra services. Plus500 has been in the forex and CFD business since 2008. They are registered in the U.K. and licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company offers access to a comprehensive product line including forex, stock indexes, equities, commoditiescryptocurrencies, ETFs and options. Plus500 is the first broker to introduce a bitcoin CFD in 2013. The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades.

All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platformPlus500 Ltd. (PLUS.L) is a publicly traded company on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange since 2013 with a £1.73 billion ($2.25 billion) market capitalization and clients in more than 50 countries around the world. Plus500 offers access to more than 2,000 trading instruments.


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Trust … the company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA, MAS, and the ISA, which provides good accountability and visibility. The company is required to take steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds – ensuring that client money and assets are protected in the unlikely event that Plus500 becomes insolvent – by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks.

If Plus500 defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to £50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to £85,000 may be compensated for under the FSCS.


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Plus500 also offers Negative Balance Protection, ensuring that clients cannot lose more than they have put into their account. Guaranteed stop losses can be used on some instruments depending on market conditions but they are subject to a wider spread.

The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades. All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Large volume traders do not get a trading discount at Plus500 and the spread is the same whether you trade one lot or 1,000 lots.


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There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account. However, inactivity fees kick in after an account has been idle for three months. Beginning traders can open an account with as little as £100.

Traders can qualify for a “professional” account, which offers a higher level of maximum leverage, but the costs are the same. Investors with a professional account may increase their maximum leverage ten-fold, from 1:30 to 1:300.Spreads at Plus500 were some of the lowest in the market.

Plus500 also offers access to options trading on many markets. These are very similar to plain call and put options traded on exchanges, but they are not standardized which means that the option premium can be customized for your risk tolerance and strategy objectives.


START TRADING NOW OR TRY A FREE DEMO ACCOUNT


Plus500 Deposits and Withdrawals

Plus500 Deposits and Withdrawals… This Answers the Following Questions: What is the minimum deposit for Plus500? What payment methods are accepted by Plus500? Does Plus500 accept PayPal? How to withdraw money from Plus500? How much can you withdraw from Plus500?… Read More ›

Best Stock Trading Platform In Europe {2020}

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Today’s Stock Market News – Wednesday, 22 January, 2020


♦ Stock Market News – Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 ♦


Stock Market News TodayEuropean stock markets are set to open higher Wednesday, helped by a stronger tone out of Asia, as traders took a calmer approach to news of the emergence of a new virus in China – one which has now reached the U.S. and several other countries.

At 02:10 ET (07:10 GMT), the DAX futures contract traded 84 points, or 0.6% higher. France’s CAC 40 futures were up 38 points, or 0.6%, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 32 points, or 0.4%. Futures on the pan-eurozone Euro Stoxx 50, climbed 20 points, or 0.5%.

Earlier Wednesday, China’s public health officials confirmed more than 400 cases of coronavirus, with the death toll rising to nine, while the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first case of the illness in the United States. Additionally, authorities in Beijing said the country would start a nationwide screening effort to tackle the outbreak.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.2% after closing down almost 3% yesterday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.6% and Shanghai blue chips 0.3%.

This new virus brings back memories, for those old enough, of the SARS pandemic in 2002. On that occasion more than 8,000 people across 37 countries were affected, with close to 800 deaths.

“What scared people about SARS is the mortality rate,” said Robert Carnell, Chief Economist Head of Research Asia-Pacific at ING, in a research note. But, “put into context, your chances of contracting and dying of SARS, were statistically far less than of dying of regular flu. But the response of the population of countries where there was a perceived greater risk, was huge. Presumably, the reasoning was, if I do get it, the odds aren’t great.”

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 151.25 points, or 0.5%, to 29,196.85, the S&P 500 lost 8.75 points, or 0.3%, to 3,320.87 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.14 points, or 0.2%, to 9,370.81, as traders caught up with the news following the public holiday on Monday.

The World Economic Forum continues in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, although there will likely be less focus on the event after the star turn, U.S. President Donald Trump, spoke Tuesday.

In corporate news, car manufacturers are set to be in focus after overnight news from Japan that Toyota will recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide for a defect that could impact air bags and seat belts. Additionally, South Korea’s Hyundai reported a better than expected quarterly operating profit, helped by brisk sales of sport-utility vehicles such as its Tucson and Palisade models.

Economic releases are limited in number Wednesday, with Italian industrial new orders and sales at 4:00 AM ET (09:00 GMT). In the U.K., retail sales and the government borrowing statistics are due at 4:30 AM ET (09:30 GMT) and the CBI Industrial Trends Orders survey is due at 6:00 AM ET (11:00 GMT).

Elsewhere, the price of oil has retreated after the IEA forecast a market surplus in the first half of the year, despite the prospect of a near-total shutdown of production in OPEC member Libya.

“I see an abundance of energy supply in terms of oil and gas,” head of the IEA, Fatih Birol, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum, while he was attending World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

At 2:15 AM ET (07:15 GMT), U.S. crude futures traded 0,5% lower at $58.09 and the international benchmark Brent contract fell 0.4% to $64.33. Gold futures for February delivery on New York’s COMEX was 0.3% lower at $1,552.55.


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Plus500 Review 2020

StockMarketNews.Today — Plus500 Trading Review ◊ Plus500 Review 2020 ◊ • Business & Financial News – Stock Market News Today • Best Online Trading Platform For Beginners And Professional Traders. Shares, Indices, Forex and Cryptocurrencies. Start Trading Now or Try a FREE Demo… Read More ›


How To Start Investing In 2020

StockMarketNews.Today — Over half of Americans (55%) say they are not participating in the stock market, according to a 2019 poll of over 8,000 U.S. adults conducted by MetLife…. Read More ›


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Best Stock Market Sectors For 2020

♦ Stock Market Predictions For 2020 ♦ StockMarketNews.Today — After another big year for the stock market and the U.S. economy in 2019, investors are looking ahead to 2020 to determine which sectors will lead the next phase of the… Read More ›


 

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◊ Plus500 Review 2020 ◊


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• Business & Financial News – Stock Market News Today •


Best Online Trading Platform For Beginners And Professional Traders. Shares, Indices, Forex and Cryptocurrencies. Start Trading Now or Try a FREE Demo Account.


Plus500 is a streamlined broker that focuses on trading in a wide range of financial markets with relatively low spreads and no commissions but without offering many extra services. Plus500 has been in the forex and CFD business since 2008. They are registered in the U.K. and licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company offers access to a comprehensive product line including forex, stock indexes, equities, commoditiescryptocurrencies, ETFs and options. Plus500 is the first broker to introduce a bitcoin CFD in 2013. The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades.

All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platformPlus500 Ltd. (PLUS.L) is a publicly traded company on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange since 2013 with a £1.73 billion ($2.25 billion) market capitalization and clients in more than 50 countries around the world. Plus500 offers access to more than 2,000 trading instruments.


START TRADING NOW OR TRY A FREE DEMO ACCOUNT


Trust … the company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA, MAS, and the ISA, which provides good accountability and visibility. The company is required to take steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds – ensuring that client money and assets are protected in the unlikely event that Plus500 becomes insolvent – by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks.

If Plus500 defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to £50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to £85,000 may be compensated for under the FSCS.


best-broker-stock-market


Plus500 also offers Negative Balance Protection, ensuring that clients cannot lose more than they have put into their account. Guaranteed stop losses can be used on some instruments depending on market conditions but they are subject to a wider spread.

The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades. All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Large volume traders do not get a trading discount at Plus500 and the spread is the same whether you trade one lot or 1,000 lots.

There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account. However, inactivity fees kick in after an account has been idle for three months. Beginning traders can open an account with as little as £100.

Traders can qualify for a “professional” account, which offers a higher level of maximum leverage, but the costs are the same. Investors with a professional account may increase their maximum leverage ten-fold, from 1:30 to 1:300.Spreads at Plus500 were some of the lowest in the market.

Plus500 also offers access to options trading on many markets. These are very similar to plain call and put options traded on exchanges, but they are not standardized which means that the option premium can be customized for your risk tolerance and strategy objectives.


START TRADING NOW OR TRY A FREE DEMO ACCOUNT


Plus500 Deposits and Withdrawals

Plus500 Deposits and Withdrawals… This Answers the Following Questions: What is the minimum deposit for Plus500? What payment methods are accepted by Plus500? Does Plus500 accept PayPal? How to withdraw money from Plus500? How much can you withdraw from Plus500?… Read More ›

Plus500

⇑⇓ Plus500 ⇓⇑ StockMarketNews.Today — Plus500 is an international financial firm providing online trading services in contracts for difference (CFDs), across more than 2,000 securities and multiple asset classes. The company is headquartered in Israel and has subsidiaries in UK,… Read More ›


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Best Stock Market Books For Beginners {2020}


#1 – The Intelligent Investor. (Revised Edition)

This classic text is annotated to update Graham’s timeless wisdom for today’s market conditions… The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing” — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.

Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham’s original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market, draws parallels between Graham’s examples and today’s financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles.

Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.



#2 – Stock Investing For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance)

Grow your stock investments in today’s changing environment. Updated with new and revised material to reflect the current market, this new edition of Stock Investing For Dummies gives you proven strategies for selecting and managing profitable investments. no matter what the conditions. You’ll find out how to navigate the new economic landscape and choose the right stock for different situations—with real-world examples that show you how to maximize your portfolio.

The economic and global events affecting stock investors have been dramatic and present new challenges and opportunities for investors and money managers at every level. With the help of this guide, you’ll quickly and easily navigate an ever-changing stock market with plain-English tips and information on ETFs, new rules, exchanges, and investment vehicles, as well as the latest information on the European debt crisis.

Incorporate stocks into your investment portfolio
> Understand and capitalize on current market conditions
> Balance risk and reward
> Explore new investment opportunities
Stock Investing For Dummies is essential reading for anyone looking for trusted, comprehensive guidance to ensure their investments grow.



#3 – Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns

In this revised and expanded second edition of the bestselling Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns, Thomas Bulkowski updates the classic with new performance statistics for both bull and bear markets and 23 new patterns, including a second section devoted to ten event patterns. Bulkowski tells you how to trade the significant events — such as quarterly earnings announcements, retail sales, stock upgrades and downgrades — that shape today?s trading and uses statistics to back up his approach. This comprehensive new edition is a must-have reference if you’re a technical investor or trader. Place your order today.
“The most complete reference to chart patterns available. It goes where no one has gone before. Bulkowski gives hard data on how good and bad the patterns are. A must-read for anyone that’s ever looked at a chart and wondered what was happening.”
— Larry Williams, trader and author of Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading.



#4 – How to Make Money in Stocks

Anyone can learn to invest wisely with this bestselling investment system!… Through every type of market, William J. O’Neil’s national bestseller, How to Make Money in Stocks, has shown over 2 million investors the secrets to building wealth. O’Neil’s powerful CAN SLIM® Investing System―a proven 7-step process for minimizing risk and maximizing gains―has influenced generations of investors.

Based on a major study of market winners from 1880 to 2009, this expanded edition gives you:

>Proven techniques for finding winning stocks before they make big price gains
>Tips on picking the best stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs to maximize your gains
>100 new charts to help you spot today’s most profitable trends
>PLUS strategies to help you avoid the 21 most common investor mistakes!

“I dedicated the 2004 Stock Trader’s Almanac to Bill O’Neil: ‘His foresight, innovation, and disciplined approach to stock market investing will influence investors and traders for generations to come.’”
―Yale Hirsch, publisher and editor, Stock Trader’s Almanac and author of Let’s Change the World Inc.

“Investor’s Business Daily has provided a quarter-century of great financial journalism and investing strategies.”
―David Callaway, editor-in-chief, MarketWatch

“How to Make Money in Stocks is a classic. Any investor serious about making money in the market ought to read it.”
―Larry Kudlow, host, CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report”.



#5 – How to Day Trade for a Living

Very few careers can offer you the freedom, flexibility and income that day trading does. As a day trader, you can live and work anywhere in the world. You can decide when to work and when not to work. You only answer to yourself. That is the life of the successful day trader. Many people aspire to it, but very few succeed. Day trading is not gambling or an online poker game. To be successful at day trading you need the right tools and you need to be motivated, to work hard, and to persevere… This book is definitely NOT a difficult, technical, hard to understand, complicated and complex guide to the stock market. It’s concise. It’s practical. It’s written for everyone. You can learn how to beat Wall Street at its own game.




 

How To Make Money Online For Beginners { 2020 }


> How To Make Money Online For Beginners { 2020 } <


Internet offers many opportunities to make a lot of money. Whether you’re looking to make some fast cash, or you’re after long-term, more sustainable income-producing results, there are certainly ways you can make money online today. The truth is that making money online isn’t as difficsult as most make it out to seem.





However, if you’re looking for realistic ways to make money now, then it really truly does boil down to 11 paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term…



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  • 1. Make Money as a Life Coach (Using An Internationally-Recognized Certification Program… )

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Money Invested: $45 | Time Invested: 110 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $879

How To Make Money as Life Coach: Life coaching is the process of helping people identify and achieve personal goals through developing skills and attitudes that lead to self-empowerment. Life coaching general deals with issues such as work-life balance and career changes, and often occurs outside the workplace setting. Learn More …



Affiliate

Money Invested: $1,300 | Time Invested: 72 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $7,742

How To Make Money In Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. Learn More …



  • 3. Make Extra Money Online Simply By Sharing Your Opinions

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Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 46 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $329

How To Make Money by Sharing Your Opinion: A Review ( Opinion ) is an evaluation of a publication, service, or company such as a movie, video game, musical composition, book; a piece of hardware like a car, home appliance, or computer; or an event or performance, such as a live music concert, play, musical theater show, dance show, or art exhibition. Learn More …



  • 4. Make Money With an Online Drop Shipping Business

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Money Invested: $75 | Time Invested: 144 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $1,915

How To Make Money With an Online Drop Shipping Business: Drop shipping is a business model where you send your customers’ orders to a manufacturer or wholesaler, and they send the products directly to your customer. Learn More …



  • 5. Write an Ebook and sell it on Amazon

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Money Invested: $55 | Time Invested: 108 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $973

How to Make Money Selling Ebooks Online: Do you want to learn how to make an ebook from beginning to end?… Writing ebooks is one of the easiest way to earn money. You work on your own time, and when you finish the book – you will make money from it over and over again…for a very long time!. Learn More …



  • 6. Make Money on Twitter

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Money Invested: $25 | Time Invested: 52 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $494

How to Make Money on Twitter: Twitter is an American online microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Selling advertising, sponsored links, and affiliate marketing. Here are a few programs that can help you make money on Twitter. Learn More …



become-domain-reseller

Money Invested: $55 | Time Invested: 110 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $1,514

How To Make Money Selling Domain Names: Domain name is like a land on the Web. You can use domains in a variety of ways to make money. Domains increase value over time, especially if they have some commercial value. You can buy a domain name at low price and then sell it high priceLearn More …



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Money Invested: $300 | Time Invested: 72 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $3,177

How To Make Money in Stock Trading: Investing in the stock market can be a great way to have your money make money… Stock trading is not a risk-free activity, and some losses are inevitable. However, with substantial research and investments in the right companies, stock trading can potentially be very profitable. Learn More …


  • 9. Make Money With Your Photos

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Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 74 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $374

How To Earn Money Selling Photos Online: Who wouldn’t want to earn money by selling their photos online? … Did you know thousands of photographers are making hundreds even thousands of dollars every day just by selling their photos online?… In fact every month millions of photos are bought online which is used for websites, magazines, blogs, print ads, marketing materials and many more. Learn More …



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Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 60 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $245

How To Make Money on Youtube: You’ve probably heard stories about regular people earning money on YouTube and thought, “Hey, I can do this too!”. Earning with YouTube is easy, but making big money with the platform can be a challenge. Learn More …



  • 11. Make Money Testing Apps

55Apps

Money Invested: $20 | Time Invested: 44 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $197

How To Make Money Testing Apps: Testing Apps is a great way to earn extra money but it won’t make you rich. The number of opportunities you receive will depend on a number of factors, such as your demographics and your quality rating. Learn More …









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◊ Best Books For Making Money ◊


#1 – The Book on Making Money


After skipping college, Steve Oliverez worked a series of low-paying jobs before setting a remarkable goal for himself – to double his income every year. In The Book On Making Money, he reveals what he learned while successfully hitting this goal for seven years in a row, growing his annual income to more than $1 million. Walking readers through the steps he took to reach his goal, he shows how they can apply the same techniques to greatly increase their own income, whether they work for someone else or run their own business. Oliverez spells out his disagreements with the traditional wisdom that tells young adults to go to school, get good grades and find a safe, steady job – advice that has left many Americans with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, credit card debt or mortgages on homes they can’t afford. He also assaults the idea of saving one’s way to wealth as absurd and counterproductive, using his own experience of trying to save money while poor as an example. Instead of promoting an austere lifestyle of clipping coupons and spending as little as possible, he shows how those habits can actually prevent people from becoming wealthy.


#2 – ABCs of Making Money


International Bestseller. The largely word-of-mouth success is due to its unique approach: instead of just giving the reader the usual do’s and don’ts of managing money – which it does in very clear, actionable terms – this invaluable book walks readers through the psychology of money. Do you ever wonder what makes some people successful while others are destined to struggle their whole lives? … The difference is in their Attitudes toward money. If you don’t examine this issue first, then all the self-help books and courses in the world will be a waste. The ABCs of Making Money is a simple, step-by-step guide for everyone. This common sense approach contains lots of simple checklists, self-directed exercises and tips. It demystifies the secrets of making money while providing proven strategies for the average person to painlessly create wealth. It has already helped hundreds of thousands of people and been acclaimed by universities and charities in the U.S. Amongst other things you will learn: how to achieve financial freedom, gain control of your life, eliminate financial stress and stop living paycheck to paycheck.


#3 – A Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market: Everything You Need to Start Making Money Today


Learn to make money in the stock market, even if you’ve never traded before. The stock market is the greatest opportunity machine ever created. This book will teach you everything that you need to know to start making money in the stock market today. Don’t gamble with your hard-earned money. If you are going to make a lot of money, you need to know how the stock market really works. You need to avoid the pitfalls and costly mistakes that beginners make. And you need time-tested trading and investing strategies that actually work. This book gives you everything that you will need. It’s a simple road map that anyone can follow.




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Stock Market News Today: Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week


⇑⇓ STOCK MARKET NEWS TODAY — BUSINESS & FINANCIAL NEWS ⇓⇑

The first full trading week of 2020 looks likely to be action packed with geopolitics firmly back on top of the market agenda after a spike in oil prices in the wake of the U.S. killing of a top Iranian commander. Investors will also be watching out for the first U.S. jobs release of the decade and fresh details on the phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal. Here’s what you need to know to start your week.

Oil back on the boil… Oil prices spiked on Friday after the U.S. killed a leading Iranian military commander in an air strike, heightening fears of a conflict in the Middle East that could disrupt energy supplies.

U.S. crude rose 3% while global benchmark Brent jumped 3.6% to more than $68 a barrel. The last time Brent hit these levels was in mid-September, when an attack on Saudi Arabian crude facilities sparked the biggest price jump in more than 30 years. Whether the increase in oil prices will be sustained hinges on if, when, and how Iran retaliates to the killing of General Qassem Soleimani.



September’s oil price spike was short lived as Riyadh didn’t respond to the attacks, which the U.S. blamed on Iran and which Iran in turn denied. However, if Iran fulfils its threat of “severe retaliation” now it could well magnify market moves.

Geopolitical risk premium… Global markets could remain under pressure in the coming days, with analysts expecting to see defensive stocks outperforming, downward pressure on Treasury yields and gains for safe-haven currencies.

Wall Street’s major indexes fell from record highs on Friday, with the S&P 500 sliding 0.7%, snapping five weeks of gains for the index. Besides the escalation in Middle East tensions a bigger-than-expected contraction in the U.S. manufacturing sector raised concerns of slowing economic growth.

“There was a reinforcement of weak manufacturing activity and then you had the geopolitical spark,” said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee. “That’s on top of the sentiment that the market has been overbought.”

U.S. jobs report… A key question in global markets over recent months has been whether weakness in manufacturing will begin to hit jobs growth. In the U.S., the labor market has stayed relatively resilient despite weakness in factory activity and this along with solid wage growth has underpinned consumer confidence.

The final U.S. jobs report of 2019 showed that 266,000 jobs were added in November, the most in 10 months while the jobless rate of 3.5% was the lowest in half a century. December’s jobs growth is forecast to have eased to 160,000.

The labor picture suggests that President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has not had much impact on the broader economy, which expanded at a 2.1% pace in the third quarter. Manufacturing hiring did take a hit, but hopes are high for a Phase 1 trade deal on Jan. 15.


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Trade deal… Nearly two years of brinkmanship, stop-start negotiations and tit-for-tat tariffs could end on Jan. 15, the date that President Trump says will see Beijing and Washington sign a Phase 1 trade deal. But China has kept quiet on the subject and investors don’t know for sure what the deal text will actually say, keeping global markets on edge.

In recent days, Chinese markets have basked in the afterglow of upbeat retail sales data, solid manufacturing gauges and fresh stimulus measures with the central bank slashing banks’ reserve ratio requirements. But what next? Services PMIs published on Monday will be crucial, as will Thursday’s inflation figures. Tuesday will bring data on central bank reserves, indicating whether Beijing’s $3 trillion war chest is growing or diminishing.

Brexit bill… Britain’s parliament will reconvene on Jan 7 and will debate the divorce deal Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed with Brussels. The bill goes to parliament’s upper house on Thursday and should allow Johnson to fulfil his pledge to “get Brexit done” by Jan. 31.

But concerns over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit are still weighing on the British pound, which is back below $1.31, from December highs above $1.35. Once parliament approves the agreement, the clock starts ticking on Britain’s future trade relationship with the EU. If an agreement isn’t reached by end-2020, the outcome may yet be that Britain leaves the EU without trade arrangements in place.

However, with one Brexit step likely taken by the end of the month, sterling could react more than last year to economic data. The final reading of December’s U.K. services activity on Monday is expected to show a slight uptick though stay in contraction territory below 50. House price data on Wednesday could also offer clues on the strength of the property market now that there is a bit more Brexit clarity.


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Best Stock Trading Platform In Europe {2020}


⇑⇓ Best Trading Platform Europe ⇓⇑


StockMarketNews.Todaywhat is the best stock trading platform in Europe for 2020? ….  How To Choose The Best Online Broker in Europe { 2020 } …


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To evaluate brokers, you should look at the following factors:

>>> Commissions
>>> Account Minimum
>>> Account Fees
>>> Your Trading Style and Tech Needs
>>> Promotions

Look at commissions on the investments you’ll use most… Brokers generally offer a similar menu of investment options: individual stocks, options, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and bonds. Some will also offer access to futures trading and forex (currency) trading.



A Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market: Everything You Need to Start Making Money Today



The investments offered by the broker will dictate two things: whether your investment needs will be satisfied, and how much you’ll pay in commissions. Pay careful attention to the commissions associated with your preferred investments:

Individual stocks: You’ll typically pay a per-trade commission of $4 to $7. Some brokerages also offer per-share pricing.

Options: Options trades often incur the stock trade commission plus a per-contract fee, which usually runs $0.15 to $1.50. Some brokers charge only a commission or only a contract fee.

Mutual funds: Some brokers charge a fee to purchase mutual funds. You can limit mutual fund transaction costs or avoid them completely by selecting a broker that offers no-transaction-fee mutual funds. (Mutual funds also carry internal fees called expense ratios. These are charged not by the broker, but by the fund itself.)

ETFs: ETFs trade like a stock and are purchased for a share price, so they are often subject to the broker’s stock trade commission. But many brokers also offer a list of commission-free ETFs. If you plan to invest in ETFs, you should look for one of these brokers.

Bonds: You can purchase bond mutual funds and ETFs at no charge by using no-transaction-fee mutual funds and commission-free ETFs. Brokers may charge a fee to purchase individual bonds, with a minimum and maximum charge.

Pay attention to account minimums… You can find highly ranked brokers with no account minimum. But some brokers do require a minimum initial investment, and it can skew toward $500 or more. Many mutual funds also require similar minimum investments, which means even if you’re able to open a brokerage account with a small amount of money, it could be a struggle to actually invest it.

Watch out for account fees… You may not be able to avoid account fees completely, but you can certainly minimize them. Most brokers will charge a fee for transferring out funds or closing your account. If you’re transferring to another broker, that new company may offer to reimburse your transfer fees, at least up to a limit.

Most other fees can be sidestepped by simply choosing a broker that doesn’t charge them, or by opting out of services that cost extra. Common fees to watch out for include annual fees, inactivity fees, trading platform subscriptions and extra charges for research or data.

Consider your trading style and tech needs… If you’re a beginner investor, you probably won’t need extras, like an advanced trading platform. But you may want an education and a little hand-holding. This could include videos and tutorials on the broker’s website, or in-person seminars at branches. Many brokers offer these services free to account holders.

Active traders, on the other hand, will want to look for a brokerage that supports that kind of frequency. That includes weighing a broker’s trading platforms, analysis tools, research and data offerings in addition to commissions — including discounts for high-volume traders — and fees.

Plenty of high-quality online brokers offer free demo access to trading platforms.

Take advantage of promotions… Online brokers, like many companies, frequently entice new customers with deals, offering a number of commission-free trades or a cash bonus on certain deposit amounts.

It isn’t wise to choose a broker solely on its promotional offer — a high commission over the long term could easily wipe out any initial bonus or savings — but if you’re stuck between two options, a promotion may sway you one way or the other.


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trade-job


◊ Best Stock Trading Platform In Europe {2020} : Plus500 Review ◊


Plus500 is a streamlined broker that focuses on trading in a wide range of financial markets with relatively low spreads and no commissions but without offering many extra services. Plus500 has been in the forex and CFD business since 2008. They are registered in the U.K. and licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The company offers access to a comprehensive product line including forex, stock indexes, equities, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs and options. Plus500 is the first broker to introduce a bitcoin CFD in 2013. The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades.

All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Plus500 Ltd. (PLUS.L) is a publicly traded company on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange since 2013 with a £1.73 billion ($2.25 billion) market capitalization and clients in more than 50 countries around the world. Plus500 offers access to more than 2,000 trading instruments.


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Trust … The company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FMA, MAS, and the ISA, which provides good accountability and visibility. The company is required to take steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds – ensuring that client money and assets are protected in the unlikely event that Plus500 becomes insolvent – by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks.

If Plus500 defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to £50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to £85,000 may be compensated for under the FSCS.

Plus500 also offers Negative Balance Protection, ensuring that clients cannot lose more than they have put into their account. Guaranteed stop losses can be used on some instruments depending on market conditions but they are subject to a wider spread.

The company does not charge commissions on any of its trades. All costs are contained within the spread for each of more than 2,000 trading instruments offered on Plus500’s WebTrader platform. Large volume traders do not get a trading discount at Plus500 and the spread is the same whether you trade one lot or 1,000 lots.

There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account. However, inactivity fees kick in after an account has been idle for three months. Beginning traders can open an account with as little as £100.

Traders can qualify for a “professional” account, which offers a higher level of maximum leverage, but the costs are the same. Investors with a professional account may increase their maximum leverage ten-fold, from 1:30 to 1:300.

Plus500 also offers access to options trading on many markets. These are very similar to plain call and put options traded on exchanges, but they are not standardized which means that the option premium can be customized for your risk tolerance and strategy objectives.


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How To Start Investing In The Stock Market Like A Professional Trader

Most people think a professional trader is someone who works for some big bank on a trading desk, but this isn’t true. Of course those are professionals, but a professional trader can be anyone who takes their trading seriously, who approaches their trading like a job and has a set of trading rules that they follow. This might seem like a simple definition, but you’d be surprised how many people approach trading with no plan. And trading without a plan isn’t actually trading – that’s just gambling. And that’s not professional.


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STEP 1: DEVELOP A TRADING STRATEGY – The very first step to becoming a professional trader is to create a trading strategy. This strategy will affect every trading decision you make so it needs to reflect your ultimate goals and the style you use to try and achieve them. And while there’s a lot that goes into creating a profitable trading strategy, there are two key pillars to build around. The first is that your strategy must have a winning edge over the long-term. Sure, you might have a few winning trades and be happy about your success, but that doesn’t make you a professional trader. A real pro has the ability to repeat their success consistently and over a long time frame. Second, you must manage your risk. The way to make money from trading is by building on the existing funds in your account. If you don’t protect your bottom line by incorporating an appropriate approach to managing risk, you simply won’t succeed long enough to become a pro.

STEP 2: TEST YOUR STRATEGY – After you’ve created your trading strategy the next stage is to test your strategy in the markets. Testing is the only way to know for sure if your strategy has a winning edge in real market conditions. For example, if your trading strategy is based on breakouts, you need proof that it actually works. The best way to prove that your system has an edge is to back test it using historical market data and there are many programs that allow you to do this.


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STEP 3: TRUST YOUR STRATEGY – Once you’ve put the hard work into deciding on your trading goals, strategy and style, you need to learn to trust them. What this means is that you should follow the rules that you have set in your trading strategy for a period of time before considering any changes. You need to give your strategy a chance to perform. This can be a major issue for beginner traders as it’s very easy to be reactive and change your strategy quickly in response to a few losing trades. But remember, being a professional is a long term goal so you need to give things time to work. If your level of risk is suited to your broader strategy, you should be able to manage a few losses provided your long term profitability is increasing. Obviously, if you are sustaining consistent losses without any wins, you need to look at whether you have a more fundamental problem with your approach.

STEP 4: STAY DISCIPLINED – Once you’ve established trust in your system, you need to remain consistent in your trading activity. This means that instead of focusing on making a specific amount each day from the markets, you should focus on following your strategy each day. After all, this is the plan you’ve put in place. Your analysis has determined that this is the way to reach your goals. Anyone can win a few lucky trades. Professionals know how to stay in the game.


 


STEP 5: KEEP LEARNING – The best traders and investors are constantly learning and improving their trading abilities. Markets change. Systems change. New technology emerges. Part of your long-term success as a trader is to continue accumulating new knowledge and experience and applying it to your trading. Warren Buffett, widely regarded as the world’s best investor, recommends that professional traders read at least 500 pages a day. While this might be extreme, the point is that to be successful in the markets you should set aside time to learn more about the markets.

CONCLUSION – There’s no guaranteed way to be successful as a professional trader, but following the above rules will help improve your chances of becoming a pro. Just remember that true mastery of any activity is only achieved through constant application of the processes that lead to success.


⇓⇑ Stock Market Simulator ⇓⇑

Trade Online Without Risk With a Free Demo Account: You Can Trade on Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. TRY FOR FREE





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How to Become a Professional Trader – 5 Rules to Develop a Professional Trader’s Mindset

trade-job.png


You want to become a professional trader? Before you start, it’s worth thinking about exactly who or what a professional trader is.

Most people think a professional trader is someone who works for some big bank on a trading desk, but this isn’t true. Of course those are professionals, but a professional trader can be anyone who takes their trading seriously, who approaches their trading like a job and has a set of trading rules that they follow. This might seem like a simple definition, but you’d be surprised how many people approach trading with no plan. And trading without a plan isn’t actually trading – that’s just gambling. And that’s not professional.


⇓⇑ Stock Market Simulator ⇓⇑

Trade Online Without Risk With a Free Demo Account: You Can Trade on Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. TRY FOR FREE


STEP 1: DEVELOP A TRADING STRATEGY – The very first step to becoming a professional trader is to create a trading strategy. This strategy will affect every trading decision you make so it needs to reflect your ultimate goals and the style you use to try and achieve them. And while there’s a lot that goes into creating a profitable trading strategy, there are two key pillars to build around.

The first is that your strategy must have a winning edge over the long-term. Sure, you might have a few winning trades and be happy about your success, but that doesn’t make you a professional trader. A real pro has the ability to repeat their success consistently and over a long time frame.

Second, you must manage your risk. The way to make money from trading is by building on the existing funds in your account. If you don’t protect your bottom line by incorporating an appropriate approach to managing risk, you simply won’t succeed long enough to become a pro.

STEP 2: TEST YOUR STRATEGY – After you’ve created your trading strategy the next stage is to test your strategy in the markets.

Testing is the only way to know for sure if your strategy has a winning edge in real market conditions. For example, if your trading strategy is based on breakouts, you need proof that it actually works. The best way to prove that your system has an edge is to back test it using historical market data and there are many programs that allow you to do this.


Start Trading Now or Try a FREE Demo Account.


STEP 3: TRUST YOUR STRATEGY – Once you’ve put the hard work into deciding on your trading goals, strategy and style, you need to learn to trust them. What this means is that you should follow the rules that you have set in your trading strategy for a period of time before considering any changes. You need to give your strategy a chance to perform. This can be a major issue for beginner traders as it’s very easy to be reactive and change your strategy quickly in response to a few losing trades. But remember, being a professional is a long term goal so you need to give things time to work. If your level of risk is suited to your broader strategy, you should be able to manage a few losses provided your long term profitability is increasing. Obviously, if you are sustaining consistent losses without any wins, you need to look at whether you have a more fundamental problem with your approach.

STEP 4: STAY DISCIPLINED – Once you’ve established trust in your system, you need to remain consistent in your trading activity.

This means that instead of focusing on making a specific amount each day from the markets, you should focus on following your strategy each day. After all, this is the plan you’ve put in place. Your analysis has determined that this is the way to reach your goals. Anyone can win a few lucky trades. Professionals know how to stay in the game.


MONEY-TODAY
OVERNIGHT MILLIONAIRE MIND-HACKS SECRETLY USED BY THE RICH & FAMOUS …

STEP 5: KEEP LEARNING – The best traders and investors are constantly learning and improving their trading abilities.

Markets change. Systems change. New technology emerges. Part of your long-term success as a trader is to continue accumulating new knowledge and experience and applying it to your trading. Warren Buffett, widely regarded as the world’s best investor, recommends that professional traders read at least 500 pages a day. While this might be extreme, the point is that to be successful in the markets you should set aside time to learn more about the markets.

CONCLUSION – There’s no guaranteed way to be successful as a professional trader, but following the above rules will help improve your chances of becoming a pro. Just remember that true mastery of any activity is only achieved through constant application of the processes that lead to success.


⇓⇑ Stock Market Simulator ⇓⇑

Trade Online Without Risk With a Free Demo Account: You Can Trade on Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. TRY FOR FREE




 

How To Make Money Online by Investing Little Money


◊ How To Make Money Online by Investing Little Money – StockMarketNews.Today


Internet offers many opportunities to make a lot of money. Whether you’re looking to make some fast cash, or you’re after long-term, more sustainable income-producing results, there are certainly ways you can make money online today. The truth is that making money online isn’t as difficsult as most make it out to seem.



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However, if you’re looking for realistic ways to make money now, then it really truly does boil down to 11 paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term…



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1. Make Money as a Life Coach (Using An Internationally-Recognized Certification Program… )

LIFE

Money Invested: $45 | Time Invested: 110 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $879

How To Make Money as Life Coach: Life coaching is the process of helping people identify and achieve personal goals through developing skills and attitudes that lead to self-empowerment. Life coaching general deals with issues such as work-life balance and career changes, and often occurs outside the workplace setting. Learn More …



2.  Make Money With Affiliate Programs

Affiliate

Money Invested: $1,300 | Time Invested: 72 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $7,742

How To Make Money In Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. Learn More …



3. Make Extra Money Online Simply By Sharing Your Opinions

opinion

Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 46 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $329

How To Make Money by Sharing Your Opinion: A Review ( Opinion ) is an evaluation of a publication, service, or company such as a movie, video game, musical composition, book; a piece of hardware like a car, home appliance, or computer; or an event or performance, such as a live music concert, play, musical theater show, dance show, or art exhibition. Learn More …



4. Make Money With an Online Drop Shipping Business

drop

Money Invested: $75 | Time Invested: 144 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $1,915

How To Make Money With an Online Drop Shipping Business: Drop shipping is a business model where you send your customers’ orders to a manufacturer or wholesaler, and they send the products directly to your customer. Learn More …



5. Write an Ebook and sell it on Amazon

write-publish-ebook-today

Money Invested: $55 | Time Invested: 108 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $973

How to Make Money Selling Ebooks Online: Do you want to learn how to make an ebook from beginning to end?… Writing ebooks is one of the easiest way to earn money. You work on your own time, and when you finish the book – you will make money from it over and over again…for a very long time!. Learn More …



6. Make Money on Twitter

Twitt22

Money Invested: $25 | Time Invested: 52 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $494

How to Make Money on Twitter: Twitter is an American online microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Selling advertising, sponsored links, and affiliate marketing. Here are a few programs that can help you make money on Twitter. Learn More …



7. Make Money Buying And Selling Domain Names

become-domain-reseller

Money Invested: $55 | Time Invested: 110 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $1,514

How To Make Money Selling Domain Names: Domain name is like a land on the Web. You can use domains in a variety of ways to make money. Domains increase value over time, especially if they have some commercial value. You can buy a domain name at low price and then sell it high priceLearn More …



8. Make Money In The Stock Market – ( Day Trading )

best-broker-stock-market

Money Invested: $300 | Time Invested: 72 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $3,177

How To Make Money in Stock Trading: Investing in the stock market can be a great way to have your money make money… Stock trading is not a risk-free activity, and some losses are inevitable. However, with substantial research and investments in the right companies, stock trading can potentially be very profitable. Learn More …


9. Make Money With Your Photos

makemoneyphotos

Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 74 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $374

How To Earn Money Selling Photos Online: Who wouldn’t want to earn money by selling their photos online? … Did you know thousands of photographers are making hundreds even thousands of dollars every day just by selling their photos online?… In fact every month millions of photos are bought online which is used for websites, magazines, blogs, print ads, marketing materials and many more. Learn More …



10. Earn Money With YouTube

superstockdisney

Money Invested: $1 | Time Invested: 60 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $245

How To Make Money on Youtube: You’ve probably heard stories about regular people earning money on YouTube and thought, “Hey, I can do this too!”. Earning with YouTube is easy, but making big money with the platform can be a challenge. Learn More …



11. Make Money Testing Apps

55Apps

Money Invested: $20 | Time Invested: 44 Hours | Money Earned (30 days): $197

How To Make Money Testing Apps: Testing Apps is a great way to earn extra money but it won’t make you rich. The number of opportunities you receive will depend on a number of factors, such as your demographics and your quality rating. Learn More …









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Stock Market News: Airbnb Says It Plans to Go Public in 2020


Airbnb is considering several nontraditional approaches to its public offering, including a direct listing, the people said. In a direct listing, a company lists shares on a public market without raising any additional capital.


Airbnb said on Thursday that it planned to go public in 2020, becoming one of the last of a generation of prominent technology start-ups to aim for the stock market, even as some of its brethren have struggled since listing their shares.


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The online room rental company gave little detail about when in 2020 it planned to go public, beyond a one-sentence announcement. On Wednesday, Airbnb reported second-quarter revenue of more than $1 billion and said that it had more than seven million listings in 100,000 cities around the world.

When it goes public, Airbnb, valued by private investors at $31 billion, will be one of the most highly valued public offerings to hit the market since this spring, when a rash of hot start-ups, including Uber, Lyft, Slack and Pinterest, listed their shares.

Airbnb-news-stockmarket

Making a public statement about going public in a particular year is unusual among technology start-ups, which typically keep their plans secret. But Airbnb made the move as it explored offering equity to the “hosts” who list their homes on its site, according to three people familiar with the situation, who declined to be named because the plans were confidential. Under securities law, Airbnb has to unveil its plans to go public before it can offer shares to the hosts.

Airbnb is considering several nontraditional approaches to its public offering, including a direct listing, the people said. In a direct listing, a company lists shares on a public market without raising any additional capital. The method has gained traction in recent years as the streaming service Spotify and Slack, the business software company, have adopted it.


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This year, some of the most prominent start-ups — known as unicorns because they were valued at $1 billion and more by private investors — have run into trouble as they tried to reach the stock market or after they went public. The stock prices of the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have plunged, as has the share price of Slack. All of the companies, which are unprofitable, had been hugely hyped on their way to listing their shares.

This week, WeWork, another deeply unprofitable start-up, postponed its initial public offering altogether after a cold reception from investors. The shared office space giant has faced deep skepticism about its business model and corporate governance.

In the past, public market investors have often overlooked the losses of hot tech start-ups, as long as they were growing quickly. But many of the unicorns are maturing, and their growth is beginning to slow. This has raised questions about whether public market investors are missing out on the gains that venture capitalists have experienced.


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Airbnb’s public offering will cap off a decade of start-up growth driven by the spread of mobile phones, cheap cloud computing and gig economy workers. The company, founded in 2009, has raised more than $4 billion in venture funding, according to Crunchbase.


Airbnb Inc – Company Profile

Airbnb, Inc. operates an online marketplace for hospitality services. The Company offers lodging, homestays, and tourism services via websites and mobile applications. Airbnb serves clients worldwide.


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Airbnb-news-stockmarket


 

Gucci Sales Dropped in U.S.


◊ Gucci Stock News ◊


Gucci lost the top spot among luxury companies for social media engagement in March, according to Tribe Dynamics, and in July it reported its first quarterly drop in North American sales since early 2016.

The retreat shows how luxury companies that thrive on Instagram and other social-media outlets can just as quickly stumble because of them. Such platforms have become the lifeblood of the attention-seeking fashion business, a marketing strategy that Gucci built around its star designer Alessandro Michele.


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Mr. Michele’s flashy designs grabbed the attention of social media influencers and hip-hop artists who set the streetwear trends that dominate the fashion industry. His fashion shows—including one last year in Milan where models strutted down the runway holding realistic replicas of their own heads—went viral. Mr. Michele’s next show is set for Sept. 22 during Milan fashion week.

The tide of social media praise turned against Gucci after the $890 sweater. Gucci pulled the sweater, apologized and hired a chief diversity officer, but the brand took a beating on social media. Celebrities posted videos of themselves burning Gucci products and called for boycotts, including rapper T.I., who on Instagram declared himself “a 7 figure/yr customer & long time supporter” of Gucci.


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Now, some in the fashion industry are questioning whether Gucci and its designer have peaked.

“As innovative as Alessandro is, his style is becoming a little bit stagnant,” said Nicole Fischelis, who held positions as fashion director and creative director at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s before starting her own consulting firm.

Gucci declined to comment and didn’t make Mr. Michele available. Its parent company, Kering SA, noted that Gucci was the hottest fashion brand in the Lyst Index’s most recent quarterly ranking and is the most searched brand on The RealReal , a luxury resale site.

Gucci, which sells everything from $300 wallets to $1,590 sneakers and $5,000 dresses, is particularly susceptible to social media highs and lows because of its large base of younger customers. Morgan Stanley estimates that more than two-thirds of Gucci sales comes from millennials.

Gucci dialed back U.S. marketing last quarter rather than draw more attention to itself in the middle of the blackface maelstrom, Jean-Marc Duplaix, chief financial officer at Kering, said in July. Gucci contributes about 60% of Kering’s revenue and 80% of profit.

“We wanted to assess the evolution of the U.S. market, the reaction of the consumers after the issue we had in the U.S.,” Mr. Duplaix said, adding that Gucci is readying a marketing push in the U.S. later this year. Kering’s shares are down about 10% since reporting the 2% decline in North American sales in late July.

Gucci Stock News

The company also has said shifts in tourism flows—more Americans traveling and shopping abroad and fewer Europeans and Asians visiting the U.S.—contributed to the drop in North American sales. The region accounts for 20% of Gucci’s sales.

The Gucci brand is closely associated with American hip-hop culture, which sets the streetwear trends. “Gucci Gang,” a single by teenage rapper Lil Pump, who repeats the brand name dozens of times during the song, has almost a billion views on YouTube and hit no. 3 on U.S. charts when released in 2017.

Gucci’s earned media value fell by a third in March from the previous month to $30.7 million. Chanel, which had an earned media value of $33.8 million in March, held the top spot again in April, lost it in May to Gucci and then won it back again in June with the two companies almost tied.

The drop in Gucci’s North American sales comes on the heels of four quarters of declining growth and tracks the brand’s waning social media strength. Gucci in September 2017 hit an earned media value of $82.5 million, triple the $27 million it reached in July of this year, according to Tribe Dynamics. In the September 2017 quarter, Gucci sales rose 49% in North America.


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Gucci is far from the only brand to stumble on social media, especially when it comes to race and other hot-button issues. Prada pulled from shelves a monkey keychain that was called out as racially insensitive, saying, “The resemblance of the products to blackface was by no means intentional, but we recognize that this does not excuse the damage they have caused.” Versace, meanwhile, has apologized for releasing a T-shirt that identified Hong Kong and Macau as separate from China.



INSIGHTS ›

Kering SA Company Profile: Kering SA is a France-based company engaged in the fashion industry. It develops an ensemble of houses in fashion, leather goods, jewelry and watches through a portfolio of such brands as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo, Qeelin, Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin.

In addition, the Company offers sport clothing and accessories through such brands as Puma, Volcom and Cobra. Kering SA operates worldwide.


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10 Best Stocks to Buy { Second Half of 2019 }

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< StockMarketNews.Today > … Stocks to buy in the second half 2019 … Here are 10 stocks to buy today { Second Half of 2019 } …


  1. Netflix

  2. iRobot

  3. Amazon.com

  4. Intuitive Surgical

  5. Alphabet

  6. Axon Enterprises

  7. Wayfair

  8. Facebook

  9. Constellation Brands

  10. Lululemon athletica 


5 of the Best Stocks for Beginning Investors

Let’s start with five that are particularly good for beginning investors because of their strong balance sheets, positive free cash flow, and competitive advantages:


Amazon.com
Alphabet
Facebook
Intuitive Surgical
Axon Enterprises


The first three stocks are all “FAANG” (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) stocks. These Big Tech companies have their hands in seemingly everything and have the potential to disrupt the parts of the economy they don’t. Their large market capitalizations reflect the fact the market knows this, too. That said, beginning investors are generally better off sticking to well-known large cap stocks with strong brand recognition as they start off on their investing journey versus getting too cute with under-the-radar smaller cap stocks.

Amazon dominates online retail to the tune of about half of all U.S. e-commerce! If that doesn’t amaze you, how about the estimates that over 100 million Americans are now paying the $119/year price tag to be Amazon Prime members?

And that’s not even where it gets most of its profit. That comes from Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing offering. While its retail segment sells us literal picks and shovels, Amazon Web Services sells the virtual picks and shovels of the Internet.

As a bonus, Amazon throws in other goodies like its burgeoning original content as well as its subsidiaries like high-end organic retailer Whole Foods and the gaming-related live streaming video platform Twitch.


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Alphabet (aka the owner of Google) is no less impressive. Its search engine might be better termed a “money engine.” That’s what happens when you have around a 90% market share worldwide.

In addition, YouTube is the #1 video platform in the world while Android is the #1 mobile operating system.

Also within the Alphabet umbrella are a whole bunch of futuristic moonshots and other “alpha bets”. As a result, Google is involved in everything from driverless cars to virtual reality to drones to artificial intelligence (AI).

Rounding out the FAANG companies here is Facebook, the ruler of social media with Instagram and WhatsApp in addition to its namesake Facebook and Facebook Messenger platforms. Each of those four platforms counts at least a billion monthly users. Pretty impressive when the world’s population is also counted in the single-digit billions. And yeah, don’t forget about their Oculus VR tech and other bets, too.

Getting out of the Big Tech space a bit, there’s healthcare pioneer Intuitive Surgical, which makes robotic surgery a reality with its da Vinci surgical systems. The technology assists surgeons in making procedures less invasive, leading to better patient outcomes. Far from an unproven flyer, Intuitive Surgical already has billions in annual sales and has been consistently wildly profitable — think gross margins in the 60% to 70% range and net margins in the 20% to 30% range.

It’s easy to see a growth path forward with increased adoption by surgeons and hospitals and increasing numbers of approved procedures.

Finally, we come to Axon Enterprises, known for its law enforcement and self-defense products. To wit, its Taser stun guns, Axon body cameras, and Evidence.com (uses AI to analyze uploaded video footage) offerings give an integrated solution to police departments.


5 of the Best Growth Stocks

In contrast to dividend stocks, growth stocks often pay little (or none) of their earnings back to investors as dividends. In fact, many are at the pre-earnings stage or have such small earnings that their P/E ratios are stratospheric. And if they do have earnings, they tend to plow them back into their businesses.


iRobot
Lululemon athletica
Wayfair
Netflix
Constellation Brands


iRobot is known for its Roomba line of robotic vacuum cleaners. Bears worry about the threat of increased competition. Bulls, however, point to the huge potential for optionality (i.e. a company morphing and pivoting over time to become something we can’t envision today). iRobot is already expanding its offerings into robotic lawn mowers, so it’s not hard to imagine it going after other household and commercial applications soon. More broadly, though, there’s a lot of room for pivoting into interesting spaces when you’re an early ish mover into robots, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. It’s hard to speculate on exactly what iRobot could become, but at just over $3 billion in market capitalization, it’s still less than 1% the size of Facebook, Alphabet, or Amazon, meaning there’s lots of room for the stock price to run if its wildest goals come true. And plenty of room for success in between if there’s a more conventional outcome.


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Springing from its core yoga apparel base, the Lululemon brand has become an absolute force in athleisure. There are debates about whether athleisure (e.g. wearing spandex as if it were denim) is merely a trend or here to stay. While the answer to that debate may affect shorter-term growth, consumers will need fitness apparel for a long time to come. Beyond that, Lulu can grow internationally, beyond its North American stronghold (while Lululemon is a Canadian company, about 70% of its sales come from the U.S. and only about 10% of its sales come from outside the U.S. and Canada). Another potential growth driver is expansion beyond its traditionally female target demographic.

Wayfair is an online destination for furniture and other home items. Retail in any channel is tough, and it’s no different for Wayfair. Competition is fierce, featuring major online players like Amazon, all the traditional bricks-and-mortar players, and a host of online boutique start-ups. To buy the Wayfair story, you’ll probably want to believe that Wayfair can build up a brand, customer loyalty, and scale that’ll enable it to boost margins to a point where it can be sustainably profitable. One favorable indicator for that case is Wayfair’s 5-year sales growth rate near 50%.


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Netflix needs no introduction. It’s been able to stay steps ahead of doubters as it has vanquished Blockbuster, pivoted from mailed DVDs to online streaming, created award-winning original content, and kept total content costs contained enough to be consistently profitable. The worries today include ever-present competition (including other streaming service entrants from formidable content owners), fears of domestic saturation, and even higher content costs. On the other side, Netflix seems to have brand and pricing power, the notion that cable cutters can sign on to more than one online service, international expansion possibilities, and economies of scale as it continues to grow the top line (30%+ the past few years).

Constellation Brands is aptly named. Even if you haven’t heard of the company, you know many of the alcohol brands it either owns outright or markets. These include beers like Corona, Modelo, and Ballast Point, wines like Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, and Ruffino, and spirits like SVEDKA Vodka. It’s accomplished much of this through acquisitions over the years (and decades), a strategy that is generally riskier than growing organically. So far, however, it’s worked out pretty well for Constellation.


 


 

Trade War News: China Waives Tariffs on Some US Goods for First Time


♦ Trade War Latest News — Stock Market News Today ♦


China just waived import tariffs on more than a dozen US goods. It’s the first time Beijing has issued such exemptions since the US-China trade war began.


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The Chinese government issued tariff exemptions on 16 products, including shrimp, fish meal and cancer treatment drugs. Chinese importers can apply for a refund of tariffs already levied on 12 of the products. Four products, including whey, are eligible for the exemption but not for refunds.

The exemptions will start Sept. 17 and last for a year. The move is notable because it comes ahead of the next round of face-to-face talks between US and Chinese officials in Washington. But analysts pointed out that the exemption list didn’t include major goods subject to tariffs, like soybeans or meat.

Chinese tariffs that really matter are the ones on US agricultural and manufacturing goods, produced mainly in states with strong support for [President] Donald Trump,” said Artur Baluszynski, the head of research at Henderson Rowe. “We just don’t see China willing to negotiate on them before the race for US presidential elections really kicks off.”

Iris Pang, economist for Greater China at ING, added that while the exemptions could be seen as a “gesture of sincerity,” they are “probably more a means of supporting the economy.”


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The trade war is weighing on the Chinese economy, which is suffering a major slump in growth. And tariffs have only been getting more severe lately. The United States has levied tariffs on Chinese goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Beijing has retaliated with its own tariffs that target more than 5,000 US products. Some of those have already taken effect, while others are expected to take effect in the coming weeks.

China’s State Council Tariff Commission, which made Wednesday’s announcement, said it will continue to review exemption requests and announce new lists in the future.

Beijing is also finding other ways to offset the pain brought on by tariffs, including diversifying its sources of agricultural imports. On Tuesday, Argentina’s agricultural ministry announced that China would allow the import of soybean meal from that country. Soybean meal is Argentina’s largest export product.

Soybean farmers in the United States have been hit particularly hard by the trade war. China was their biggest market before the outbreak of hostilities and buys a majority of the world’s soybean production.

If China doesn’t resume purchases of US soybeans this year, then Argentina is capable of filling the gap in demand, according to Tian Yaxiong and Shi Lihong, analysts at China Futures, a brokerage firm based in Chongqing.


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Argentina isn’t the only South American country that China’s soybean industry is turning to because of the trade war — Chinese farmers have also stepped up imports from its neighbor, Brazil.






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Trade War: China & U.S. to Hold Trade Talks in October




Stock Market News: Stocks Climb to Near Records … But Memories of 2018 Leave Investors Uneasy




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5 Stocks To Buy Today … { September 2019 }






 

Precious Metals Enjoy Resurgence in Negative-Yield World


♦ Precious Metals – Stock Market News Today ♦ … – Gold purchases by everyone from central banks to retail buyers have boosted the metal to its highest level in six years, with a coterie of famous investors now touting its role as a haven from market turmoil. Silver and platinum have outpaced all other major asset classes so far in the third quarter, while palladium is up about 30% this year.


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The sudden interest in precious metals follows years of sideways trading as investors bet that steady growth would allow the world’s central banks to raise interest rates and end an era of miserly debt yields.

Instead, a deepening trade war between the U.S. and China has weighed on the outlook of nearly every major economy, adding pressure on many central banks to further cut rates—even those that already stand below zero.

Precious metals fell sharply Thursday as stocks and other risky investments rallied on hopes that coming trade talks will relieve some pressure on the world economy. Gold, silver and platinum each dipped 2% or more, trimming some of their sizable quarter-to-date gains.

Metall

While these nonyield-bearing assets struggle to compete with bonds when the outlook for the world economy is stable, their appeal has risen as negative rates have proliferated in Europe and Japan. It also has boosted interest in stocks that are expected to pay high dividends even when growth slows, such as shares of utilities and makers of consumer products.

“There is so much flight to safety right now and metals is where a lot of that money is going,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior commodities broker with RJO Futures in Chicago.

“Traders that had been out of the metals market are coming back…and there’s been a lot of buying from new accounts,” Mr. Haberkorn said. “It’s been great, great for business.”

Another factor boosting them this summer: falling yields and growth fears have dragged a long list of currencies, from the euro and British pound to the Chinese yuan, to their lowest levels in years. Unlike currencies, gold and other precious metals aren’t under the sway of any global central bank, further heightening their appeal.

Additionally, while stocks remain near records, a recent burst of market volatility has unsettled many investors. So has a steady world-wide decline in bond yields that many believe is a harbinger of weaker growth.

Although they rebounded Thursday, yields on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note dropped near a record low earlier in the week as disappointing manufacturing data and trade tensions pushed investors into government bonds and other safe assets. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

In Europe and Japan, some bond yields have been negative for years, and investors expect they will fall further as the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan unleash more monetary stimulus. More than $15 trillion in government debt around the world now has a negative yield, meaning essentially that savers holding these bonds are paying the government to store their money.

“Gold yields zero, but zero is still much better than negative,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities.

Hedge funds and other speculative investors are wagering on further gains. They have pushed net bullish bets on gold to their highest level since 2006, as far back as Commodity Futures Trading Commission figures go. They also have lifted bullish wagers on platinum and silver, which both are on track for their best quarter in several years, according to Dow Jones Market Data.


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Their advance comes after years of tepid investor interest, particularly in platinum, which is used as a component in auto exhaust filters for diesel engines. Platinum prices had previously tumbled as environmental concerns cut demand for diesel vehicles across the world.

But the precious-metals rally spread to platinum in July, and prices logged their biggest weekly gain in eight years last week, advancing nearly 9%.

The gains have rippled to shares of companies that mine the metals, in part because mining stocks offer individual investors easier exposure to the sector than trading metals futures contracts.

The NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index is up about 40% this year, and shares of some smaller precious-metals producers have risen even more than that. Royal Gold Inc. is up 58% for the year, while First Majestic Silver Corp. has climbed 70%.

After an extended stretch of rangebound trading, the combination of falling rates and sluggish economic activity set up the sector’s rally this quarter, said Rhona O’Connell, head of market analysis for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia at INTL FCStone.


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“It was looking a bit like a pressure cooker,” she said. “It’s a sharp move that becomes self-fulfilling because you get the momentum traders involved.”