Flurry of dealmaking Bayer (OTCPK:BAYRY) is paying as much as $4B for U.S. biotech firm Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, bolstering its pharmaceuticals division as it continues to reel from its acquisition of crops giant Monsanto (and cancer-related Roundup lawsuits). The latest deal, which includes upfront consideration of $2B and potential milestone payments of up to $2B, is a bet on cutting-edge gene therapy, which offers the potential to cure a wide range of often-rare diseases by editing errors in the body's instruction manual. Drugmakers including Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Roche Holding (OTCQX:RHHBY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) have also made big bets on the industry, snapping up gene therapy makers. Dunkin' may sell and go private Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins chains owner Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) confirmed preliminary talks to be acquired by Inspire Brands after the NYT reported on the negotiations. Inspire would take Dunkin' private at $106.5 per share, valuing the company at $8.8B, or a 20% premium over DNKN's closing price of $88.79 on Friday. While Dunkin' said "there is no certainty that any agreement will be reached," if successful, Inspire would add the new assets to the Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby's Sonic, and Jimmy John's chains that it already owns. DNKN +19% premarket. More M&A: Blackstone to buy Simply Self Storage for about $1.2B. New Canada oil giant Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) has agreed to buy Husky Energy (OTCPK:HUSKF) in a C$3.8B ($2.9B) all-stock deal that will combine two of the largest players in Canada's struggling oil-sands industry. The combined company will have about 750K boe/d production, making it the third-largest Canadian oil and natural gas producer. it would also be the second-largest Canadian-based refiner and upgrader with total North American upgrading and refining capacity of ~660K boe/d. Coronavirus surge, elusive stimulus deal U.S. stock index futures are starting the week on the backfoot, falling nearly 1% overnight, as the nation reported a record of more than 83,000 new COVID infections on both Friday and Saturday. "We're not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN's State of the Union program. Meadows and Nancy Pelosi also accused each other of "moving the goalposts" on stimulus legislation in back-to-back interviews, dimming chances a deal could be reached before Election Day. Vaccine trials The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) produces a robust antibody and T-cell immune response in elderly people, the group at highest risk, FT reports. While details of the finding are expected to be published shortly in a clinical journal, sources cautioned that positive immunogenicity tests do not guarantee that the vaccine will ultimately prove safe and effective in older people. AstraZeneca resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental vaccine on Friday after a pause due to safety concerns, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) also restarted trials, saying the first batches of its shot could be available in January. Farm purchases under China trade deal "China has purchased approximately 71% of its farm purchases target for 2020," according to an interim report on agricultural trade from the U.S. Trade Representative. "They have purchased $23.6B in agricultural products so far this year, substantially more than the base year of 2017, and should end up being our best year ever in sales to China. It is worth noting that the Phase One Agreement did not go into effect until February 14, 2020, and March is the first full month of its effect... We already are on pace to have all-time high sales to China in beef, pork, corn, and soybeans." Go Deeper: Some are questioning the figures and the timeline. California blackouts PG&E (NYSE:PCG) is pre-emptively cutting power again in northern California, affecting 386,000 homes and businesses in 38 counties, or nearly 1M people. It's the fourth times this year the state’s largest utility had to shut off electricity due to high winds and extreme wildfire danger, which could spark blazes if live wires topple into dry brush. Utilities in Southern California, like Southern California Edison (NYSE:EIX), are also warning of potential blackouts. Potential election chaos As the threat of election-related unrest escalates in the U.S., Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) said it would implement emergency measures reserved for "at-risk" countries to bring down the online temperature. The social media giant plans to limit the "spread of viral content" and lower the bar for "suppressing potentially inflammatory posts" using internal tools previously deployed in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, WSJ reports. The tools would only be used in the event of election-related violence or other serious circumstances, though some employees are concerned it could slow down viral content and unintentionally hide legitimate political discussions. Go Deeper: Facebook will ban U.S. political ads indefinitely after November 3. Samsung chairman and icon dies A chapter has closed for the Samsung conglomerate following the death of Lee Kun-hee, who transformed the South Korean appliance maker into the world's biggest producer of smartphones, TVs and memory chips. He had been incapacitated for years following a 2014 stroke, leaving day-to-day operations to his son, Lee Jae-yong, who goes by Jay Y. in the West. While Lee spends about 95% of his time focused on Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF), the conglomerate's most valuable arm, he formally takes the reins with Samsung on the defensive and struggling to evolve within the tech industry. What else is happening... SAP (NYSE:SAP) tumbles 18% premarket after slashing revenue forecast. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) steps away from bottling in Australia. Chinese policymakers discuss new five-year development plan. Airbnb (AIRB) approves private share split ahead of IPO. American (NASDAQ:AAL) plans PR events before 737 MAX (NYSE:BA) takes to the skies. AT&T (NYSE:T) job cuts at historical levels; CNN's Zucker may be on the block. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China -0.8%. India -1.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -2.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -0.9%. Nasdaq -0.9%. Crude -2.5% to $38.85. Gold -0.2% at $1902.40. Bitcoin +0.6% to $13099. Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.81% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Chicago Fed National Activity Index 10:00 New Home Sales 10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
Wall Street Breakfast: Volatile Week Ends In Quad Witching Session
U.S. equity futures held up overnight following another selloff on Wall Street that was led by major tech names. Contracts tied to the Dow and S&P 500 are hugging the flatline, while Nasdaq futures pared recent losses by climbing 0.6%. Mixed messaging around a potential coronavirus vaccine, as well as the passage of further fiscal stimulus, weighed on the market, while investors are gearing up for consumer sentiment data set for release at 10 a.m. ET. Don't forget that it's also quad witching day, which refers to the simultaneous expiration of market index futures, stock futures, market index options and stock options. "These days tend to get a lot of press for all of the volume they create, but historically they are nearly always a non-event," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial. Spending deal to avoid government shutdown While there may be disagreement over another round of coronavirus relief, lawmakers are aiming to unveil a bipartisan spending bill today to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1. The "clean" legislation, largely devoid of any controversial measures, should keep the government funded into mid-December. "I don't think anybody wants to be responsible for shutting down the government on the eve of an election in the middle of a pandemic, so it's a rare outbreak of common sense on both sides," said Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. New round of farm aid "Starting next week my administration is committing an additional $13B in relief to help farmers recover from the China virus," President Trump announced a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin. The new aid is the second tranche of money issued as part of the Trump administration's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. In April, the administration unveiled $19B in relief for the agriculture sector under the CARES Act, including $16B in direct payments to farmers and ranchers and $3B in mass purchases of dairy, meat and produce. Fed mulls extension of bank dividend curbs Due to heightened economic uncertainty, the Federal Reserve is considering extending its caps on banks' dividends and stock repurchases for the rest of the year. The U.S. central bank made the announcement along with its release of hypothetical scenarios for the second round of stress tests that it's requiring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike an earlier round of stress tests this year, the Fed will release the results of the tests for each of the 33 lenders, rather than providing aggregate results for the group. Sub-zero rates The Bank of England held its benchmark policy rate at 0.1% on Thursday, but indicated it could cut interest rates below zero for the first time in its 326-year history. While recent domestic economic data has been a bit stronger than expected, it's "unclear how the economy will perform further out," according to the Monetary Policy Committee. Another major risk facing the U.K. economy relates to the post-Brexit trade discussions between the U.K. and the EU, which have recently soured. Terms of a TikTok deal The Trump administration spent Thursday reviewing proposals on the TikTok-Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) partnership, which currently has many moving parts. TikTok owner ByteDance (BDNCE) agreed to list the video-sharing app on a U.S. stock exchange, which could happen within a year, though there are still concerns over whether the Chinese parent would be allowed to retain a majority stake in the new company. Meanwhile, shares in China's Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) tumbled into the U.S. closing bell following reports that its investments are drawing new national security attention. Exchange dealmaking Seeing off competing bids from Deutsche Borse (OTCPK:DBORY) and Switzerland's SIX, the London Stock Exchange (OTCPK:LNSTY) is in exclusive talks to sell Borsa Italiana to France's Euronext (OTCPK:EUXTF). Offloading the Milan stock exchange would help LSE achieve regulatory remedies for its $27B purchase of data provider Refinitiv, which is owned by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI). The deal is politically sensitive in Rome because of concerns about who could take control of Borsa Italiana's bond platform, which handles trading of Italy's government debt. New COVID-19 restrictions across Europe Targeted lockdowns and local restrictions are returning to Europe as the region tries to avoid broad economic damage amid a surge in coronavirus cases. "Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March," the WHO's regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told an online news conference. "Although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region." Pubs and restaurants must shut early and household mixing has been limited in northeast England, while social gatherings of more than six people have been banned across the country. French authorities are meanwhile preparing tighter restrictions in several cities, while Spain's Madrid has moved to "reduce mobility and contacts" in areas with high infection rates. Go Deeper: Israel becomes first developed country to enforce a second nationwide shutdown. Pandemic closures see restaurants hit the hardest About 60% of businesses that have closed their doors during the coronavirus pandemic will never reopen, and restaurants have suffered the most, according to new data from Yelp. The National Restaurant Association also said this week that 100,000 restaurants have closed either permanently or long term, adding that the sector is on track to lose $240B in sales this year. A number of factors have made it especially difficult for eateries, which tend to operate on thin margins even in the best of times. What else is happening... Unity (NYSE:U) to raise $1.3B in IPO, prices 25M shares above range. New York files civil charges against J&J (NYSE:JNJ) over opioids. Walmart (NYSE:WMT) hikes pay for about 165,000 hourly employees. Dave & Buster's (NASDAQ:PLAY) stumbles on bankruptcy speculation. Proposed Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX safety upgrades endorsed by NTSB. Nat gas tumbles by most in two years after stockpile gain. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +0.2%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China +2.1%. India -0.3%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt +0.1%. Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude +0.9% to $41.34. Gold +0.6% to $1961.40. Bitcoin +1.6% to $11005. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.68%
U.S. House hints at Big Tech breakup A House antitrust subcommittee report due this week on big tech - Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) - is hinting toward breaking up the tech giants, according to a lawmaker in the GOP minority. “This proposal is a thinly veiled call to break up Big Tech firms. We do not agree with the majority’s approach,” says Republican congressman Ken Buck in a draft response seen by Reuters. He says he shares Democratic concerns about the companies' market power, but objects to requiring them to pursue a clear "single line of business." Cisco ordered to pay $1.9B in patent infringement case Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) has been ordered to pay $1.9B in a patent infringement case. The U.S. district judge said the case was “not a close call,” ruling that Cisco infringed four patents belonging to Centripetal Networks but didn’t infringe on a fifth. The award includes $755.8M in actual damages, multiplied by 2.5 to reflect “willful and egregious” conduct from Cisco plus prejudgement interest. Cisco plans to appeal. Warner Bros. delays 'The Batman' to 2022; postpones 'Flash,' 'Shazam 2' Warner Bros. (NYSE:T) delayed Dune until October 1, 2021 and shifted The Batman starring Robert Pattinson until March 4, 2022. The studio pulled Black Adam (starring Dwayne Johnson) and Minecraft from the release calendar. The newest sequel to The Matrix film series made the rare leap forward, from April 1, 2022 to Dec. 22, 2021. The Flash will move from June to November in 2022, and Shazam 2 leaves November 2022 for June 2, 2023. Southwest Airlines asks workers to accept pay cuts in lieu of furloughs Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) is asking its union workers to accept pay cuts for the first time, to help the company avoid its first furloughs and/or layoffs. The company wants pay cuts on the table to avoid furloughs/layoffs through the end of next year. The passing of an Oct. 1 deadline tied to $25B the industry received in aid means struggling airlines are considering layoffs, and Southwest rivals United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) have gone ahead with more than 32,000 cuts. Australian miner Northern Star offers to buy Saracen Mineral in A$5.7B deal Northern Star Resources (OTCPK:NESRF) has agreed to acquire smaller Australian rival Saracen Mineral Holdings (OTCPK:SCEXF) in a A$5.76B (US$4.14B) deal that will create a new top 10 global gold miner according to its ~A$16B in market valuation. Northern Star will own 64% of the combined entity and Saracen will own the remaining 36%. The deal comes after the two mining companies each acquired 50% stakes in Australia's giant KCGM operation, commonly known as the Super Pit, Australia's largest open cut gold mine. What else is happening... Halozyme (NASDAQ:HALO) expands license agreement with argenx (NASDAQ:ARGX) for Enhanze Technology. Oil pipeline operators offer new discounts as demand drops - Bloomberg. BHP (NYSE:BHP) buys Hess' (NYSE:HES) Shenzi oil field stake in $505M deal. Fortive (NYSE:FTV) spin-off Vontier (VNT) to join S&P 500. Iovance (NASDAQ:IOVA) pushes lifileucel's US application submission into next year. Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Goods and Services Trade 8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales 10:00 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey 10:40 Powell: “Global Reset? Economics, Business and Policy in the Pandemic” 12:00 PM Fed's Harker: “Machine Learning” 1:00 PM Results of $52B, 3-Year Note Auction 2:00 PM Fed's Bostic Speech 6:00 PM Fed's Kaplan Speech Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong +0.9%. China closed. India +1.1%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.2%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.4%. Crude +0.9% to $39.59. Gold -0.2% to $1915.35. Bitcoin +
Eyes On Stimulus Developments Again Investors are still largely focused on new twists and turns with stimulus efforts in the U.S. Last night, President Donald Trump said talks had resumed on an aid package for the struggling U.S. economy, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to talk once again. Global stock markets have started the day off with a dose of optimism. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.7% following a strong read on services activity in China and the SZSE Component Index was up 3.0%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell back 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.1%. European stocks are largely higher despite sluggish PMI data, with the Stoxx 600 Index gaining 0.2%. France's CAC 40 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 are both in positive territory in mid-day action. Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures are setting up for a positive open, with S&P 500 futures up 0.4% and Dow Jones futures 0.3% higher. Crude oil stays on track for big week Oil (CL1:COM) is poised for its biggest weekly gain since May, even though prices have tracked back just a bit. Operators in the Gulf of Mexico have closed off about 92% of production ahead of Hurricane Delta as the storm barrels toward Louisiana. Yesterday, OPEC forecast global oil demand will keep rising until around 2040, when it will plateau at about 109.3M bbl/day, or about 10% above the level of production in 2019. Later today, traders will get their hand on the latest Baker Hughes U.S. oil rig count report. In early action, WTI crude oil futures -0.8% to $40.86/bbl and Brent crude -0.3% to $43.20/bbl. AMD seeking to buy Xilinx in latest big semiconductor tie-up Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is in advanced talks to buy rival chip maker Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) in a deal that could be valued at more than $30B, WSJ reports. Earlier talks are said to have stalled before recently restarting, and the latest deal under discussion could come together as soon as next week, according to the report. A deal for Xilinx would raise AMD to a more even competitive footing with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and give it a bigger position in the growing telecom and defense markets. Golden Week traffic in Macau disappoints Traffic in Macau fell 85.7% during Golden Week to come in well short of most expectations within the industry. Of the 139,280 visitors to enter during the holiday week, 97,126 came via the Gongbei Border Gate, 4,190 by ferry and 7,149 by plane. JPMorgan reset expectations on a Macau recovery after the Golden Week disappointment. "Choppy demand and dwindling hope of 'return to normalcy in 2021' make us acknowledge the sector's risk-reward isn't as attractive as we had envisioned, despite seemingly undemanding valuation (on 2022, not 2021)," updated the firm. Earlier this week, the Macau sector received some good news when Bernstein Research predicted that all six casino operators will retain their licenses, although the government is likely to impose additional economic conditions. The firm doesn't think the current tensions between Washington and Beijing will prevent U.S. operators from staying in Macau. Nikola talks up hydrogen potential Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) showed off its prototypes to the hydrogen industry yesterday at an event that also covered the company's patents and strategy to be a technology integrator. The presentation coincided with National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day 2020. Nikola noted it has developed core IP related to, among other things, vehicle integration and hydrogen storage and fueling, and continues to work with its world-class partners to develop next-generation standard fueling hardware and advance hydrogen fuel cell-based transportation. "Nikola is creating an ecosystem that integrates next-generation truck technology, hydrogen fueling infrastructure and maintenance. By removing commercial trucks from the carbon equation, Nikola is fulfilling our mission of leaving the world a better place," said CEO Mark Russell. Shares of Nikola are up 2% premarket Takeda in group trial for COVID-19 hyperimmune convalescent plasma treatment Japan's Takeda (NYSE:TAK) is part of a group of companies testing an experimental COVID-19 convalescent plasma treatment, derived from those having recovered from the disease. The "hyperimmune" drug combines antibodies from multiple recovered patients, vs. typical convalescent treatments derived from single patients. Takeda, Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS), CSL Behring (OTCPK:CSLLY) and Grifols (NASDAQ:GRFS) are gathering antibodies in the government trial, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; it could be completed by year-end. DOJ eyes cryptocurrency threats The Department of Justice said in a new report that law enforcement is hampered by the global nature of digital coins and the lack of consistent regulation across regions. Cryptocurrencies in general are called detrimental to the safety and stability of the international financial system due to the opportunities for rogue nations, criminals and terrorists to skirt reporting requirements. "Current terrorist use of cryptocurrency may represent the first raindrops of an oncoming storm of expanded use,” stated Attorney General William Barr's Cyber-Digital Task Force. The task force warned that cryptocurrencies provide bad actors with the means to earn illegal profits and become a threat to national security. The DOJ's larger goal with the report is to lay out a framework for cryptocurrency enforcement. China Services PMI runs hot China September Caixin Services PMI came in at 54.8 to top both the consensus mark of 54.3 and the 54.0 reading for August. Services PMI has now increased for five straight months, and the latest rate of expansion was among the highest recorded over the past decade. Growth was supported by a marked rise in total new business, though new export work continued to decline. A sustained rise in overall client demand led firms to expand their payrolls for the second month in a row amid increased capacity pressures. Companies also retained a positive outlook regarding activity over the year ahead, with business confidence improving since August. Chinese funds targeting Ant IPO draw $9B from millions of retail investors Five Chinese funds targeting the upcoming mega-IPO of Ant Group (NYSE:BABA) sold out in days, having cumulatively raised about 60B yuan - or about $8.93B - from more than 10M retail investors. The funds launched Sept. 25 to raise 12B yuan each and invest up to 10% of assets to buy shares in the Ant IPO, aiming to raise about $35B in a Hong Kong/Shanghai dual listing and value the company at more than $250B. Two of the funds hit their target even before a week-long holiday that started Oct. 1; Ant's Alipay says today the other three sold out as well. What else is happening... LSE (OTCPK:LDNXF, OTCPK:LNSTY) to sell Borsa Italiana to Euronext (OTCPK:EUXTF) for €4.3B. NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) shoots to 52-week high after strong preliminary Q3 numbers. GameStop (NYSE:GME) soars after Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) development. Disney (NYSE:DIS) moves 'Soul' to streaming, in theaters' latest loss. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China +1.7%. India +0.8%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt -0.05%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude -0.8% to $40.86. Gold +1.2% to $1918.70. Bitcoin +2.9% to $10890. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.765% Today's Economic Calendar 9:00 Fed's Barkin: “Community Conversation: Resiliency of the Economy” 10:00 Wholesale Inventories (Preliminary) 1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
For Trading October 6th Rally Continues Mega & Small Caps Rule the Day Today’s market was strong from the overnight futures right through the close. Upbeat attitudes seemed to be the rule of the day with the president fairing better than expected and he made it clear, later verified by the doctors, that he would be headed back to the White House later this afternoon. At the close all stock markets were higher with the biggest gainers the mega-cap and the small-cap, with the DJIA +465.83 (1.68%), NASDAQ +257.47 (2.32%), S&P 500 +60.16 (1.8%), the Russell the biggest gainer +42,67 (2.77%) and the DJ Transports +184.99 (1.64%). ISM Services came in well over expectations at 57.8 vs. 55.6 expected and 56.9 in August. Unfortunately, Chapter 11 filings were up 78%, but the market was totally unaffected by the bad news on small business. Market internals were good with both NYSE and NASDAQ were 3:1 and volume was average. The DJIA had all 30 gainers with one of the new members, AMGN added 70 DP’s and many in the +25 - 30 range. The biggest factor for the day was Trump returning to the White House tonight, tweeted out this afternoon, later confirmed by his doctors in their afternoon update. That added about 125-150 to the DJIA. Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows you to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 3000 members. I also returned to my radio show today with a great live interview with the Chief Medical Officer of JANONE (JAN) and it was a great show. This is the link to the audio recording including my discussion of the market and the very exciting story of JAN’s phenomenal NON-OPIOID Pain Med! This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCFCxnijFO4 Enjoy!! TUESDAY’S RADIO SHOW: https://youtu.be/dJGunoIqLZU v With my guest: David Weinstein on Bio-Hacking Tonight’s closing comment video: https://youtu.be/J75X2GPb5n0 SECTORS: There was some good news for holders of MYOK, Myokardia, as BMY bid $225 for the company. The stock, which traded as low as $43.00 earlier this year closed Friday $139.60 finished the day today $220.34 +80.74 (58%). Not so fortunate, Cineworld, which trades in London and in B-Pounds, with a tracking stock here (CNNWK) announced that they are closing all of their movie theaters for the rest of the year and well into 2021. Here in the US they go under the name Regal Cinemas and are the second largest theater chain in the country. In London the stock, down from 220 this year closed $25.20 -14.27 (36%), and here in the US, CNWGY the stock traded $8.00 in July, down from over $10 in February, closed the day $1.10 -1.10 (50%). AMC, which traded as high as $36 in 2018, and $21 last year finished the day $4.13 -.52 (11.2%). A very tough day! New Group: AIR & CRUISE LINES were MIXED with CCL -.16, RCL -.17, NCLH -.34, AAL +.10, DAL +.32, UAL +.24, LUV -.26, HA -.03, ALK unchanged, and XTN $60.08 +.70 (1.19%). FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN was HIGHER with TSN -.43, BGS +.13, FLO +.29, CPB -.22, CAG +.05, MDLZ +.22, KHC +.43, CALM -.36, JJSF +.40, SAFM +1.48, HRL +.49, SJM +.91, PPC -.10, KR +.41, and PBJ $33.36 +.31 (.95%). BIOPHARMA was HIGHER with BIIB +6.54, ABBV +2.23, REGN +39.20, ISRG +11.42, GILD +1.67, MYL +.20, TEVA +.26, VRTX +8.18, BHC +.40, INCY +3.47, ICPT +1.34, LABU +7.70, and IBB $139.57 +5.70 (4.16%). CANNABIS: was HIGHER with TLRY +..60, CGC +.78, CRON +.15, GWPH +2.03, ACB +.06, NBEV +.09, CURLF +.05, KERN +.44, and MJ $10.85 +.49 (4.73%). DEFENSE was HIGHER with LMT +2.92, GD +2.24, TXT +.68, NOC -1.86, BWXT -.24, TDY +5.71, RTX +.11, and ITA $161.14 +.26 (.16%). RETAIL: was HIGHER with M +.04, JWN +.55, KSS +.36, DDS +2.03, WMT +1.15, TGT +2.39, TJX -.11, RL +1.87, UAA -.01, LULU +.93, TPR +.75, CPRI +1.20, and XRT $52.77 +1.48 (2.89%). MEGA-CAPS & FAANG were HIGHER with GOOGL +21.49, AMZN +73.00, AAPL +3.40, FB +4.32, NFLX +17.49, NVDA +23.85, TSLA +8.36, BABA +.43, BIDU -.12, CMG +4.99, CRM +4.05, BA +3.12, CAT +3.96, DIS +.69 and XLK $117.46 +2.52 (2.19%). PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE PRICES ARE LATE MARKET QUOTES AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE 4:00 CLOSES. FINANCIALS were HIGHER with interest rates, with GS +1.90, JPM +2.01, BAC +.46, MS +.70, C +1.28, PNC +2.64, AIG +.73, TRV +2.43, V+2.04, and XLF $24.73 +.43 (1.77%). OIL, $39.22 +2.17, Oil was near recent highs and sold off hard Friday touching $37.61 (down about 6%) before mounting a rally back to close +2.17. The stocks were HIGHER with XLE $30.13 +.82 (2.8%). GOLD $1,920.10 +12.50, opened HIGHER and made a slightly higher high and a higher low, closing near the highs of the day. There were several “unusual options action” looking for another 10-12% on the upside before year end. BITCOIN: closed $10,815 + 265. After breaking out over $10,000 we have had a “running correction” pushing prices toward $12,000, reaching a recovery high of $12220 Thursday, and after a day of rest in between, we resumed the rally touching $12,635, but have sold off back to support. We had 750 shares of GBTC and sold off 250 last week at $13.93 and still have 500 with a cost of $8.45. GBTC closed $11.27 +.41 today. Tomorrow is another day. CAM
Nikola in the spotlight after founder resigns Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) shares tumbled 30% in premarket trade after founder Trevor Milton stepped down as executive chairman and member of the company's board, adding that he would defend himself against "false allegations leveled by outside detractors." The resignation comes in the wake of claims made by short-seller Hindenburg Research, who described Nikola as a "an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies," as well as reported SEC and DOJ investigations into the company. The news could also spell trouble for General Motors (NYSE:GM), which recently took an 11% stake in Nikola and said it would produce its marquee hydrogen fuel cell electric pickup truck called the Badger. More pain for stocks Things aren't looking brighter for U.S. equities following Wall Street's third straight weekly decline, with Dow futures down 2.1% and contracts tied to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq off 1.9%. Little progress has been made on a new coronavirus stimulus package as Republicans and Democrats remain at an impasse, while the negotiations could become even more complicated following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Investors also appear worried that a global recovery could be hampered by a rise in coronavirus infections, especially with no vaccine breakthrough yet. Oracle deal for TikTok scores Trump's 'blessing' Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) has reached a deal with China's ByteDance (BDNCE) to host video-sharing app TikTok and take a minority stake in the company along with Walmart (NYSE:WMT). "I have given the deal my blessing,” President Trump declared, adding that new unit TikTok Global would create more than 25,000 new jobs in the U.S. and pay more than $5B in new tax dollars to the Treasury. Meanwhile, Tencent's (OTCPK:TCEHY) WeChat is set to remain operating in the U.S. after a federal judge issued an injunction against Trump's executive order that would have banned the Chinese social media app. Musk rallies the troops before 'Battery Day' "We have a shot at a record quarter for vehicle deliveries, but will have to rally hard to achieve it," said Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk in an internal email entitled 'All hands on deck!' Tesla hopes to deliver half a million vehicles in 2020, and has delivered roughly 179,000 through the first half. The letter also comes ahead of the company's annual shareholder meeting tomorrow and its first-ever highly anticipated "Battery Day" for investors. Energy transition Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is jumping on the bandwagon of its European rivals BP (NYSE:BP) and Eni (NYSE:E), which have both announced plans to reduce their focus on oil and gas in the coming decade. Sources tell Reuters that the oil major is looking to slash up to 40% off the cost of producing oil and gas so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets. Shell's new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year, will affect its three main divisions and any savings will come on top of a $4B target set in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. HBO outpaces Netflix at the Emmys HBO (NYSE:T) once again held off Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) in this year's Emmy race, taking home 30 trophies including 11 for dystopian drama Watchmen, which was the night's biggest winner. HBO's media family saga Succession also had a strong showing, as well as the final season of Schitt's Creek and Disney's (NYSE:DIS) The Mandalorian. The dogfight between HBO and Netflix, which scored 21 wins, is part of a much larger trend in the TV awards circuit: subscription-based platforms are creating more Emmy Award winning content. Suspicious transactions Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) appears to have facilitated more than half of the leaked $2T of suspicious transactions that were flagged to the U.S. government over nearly two decades, according to Deutsche Welle, though the lender said the incidents "have already been investigated and led to regulatory resolutions." Shares of HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) and Standard Chartered (OTCPK:SCBFF) fell on the suspicious fund movement, as well as JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) and Barclays (NYSE:BCS), which were also named in the report. Financial firms are required by law to alert FinCEN (the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) when they detect activities like money laundering and sanctions violations, though such filings are not necessarily evidence of criminal misconduct. DB -8% premarket. What else is happening... Garrett Motion (NYSE:GTX) files for bankruptcy with $2.1B KPS offer. Walmart (WMT) widens fashion focus with new private clothing label. Different efficacy bars in Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) COVID-19 trials. Movies still face Catch-22, needing both viewers and blockbusters to return. United (NASDAQ:UAL) the latest airline to press for more relief. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +0.2%. Hong Kong -2.1%. China -0.6%. India -2.1%. In Europe, at midday, London -3.4%. Paris -3.2%. Frankfurt -3.2%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -2.1%. S&P -1.9%. Nasdaq -1.9%. Crude -2.3% to $40.37. Gold -1.3% to $1937.60. Bitcoin -2.1% to $10734. Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.66% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Chicago Fed National Activity Index 6:00 PM Fed's Williams Speech 6:00 PM Fed's Kaplan Speech
Alright guys, Ive been working on this for a while and a post on here by a guy describing his portfolio here was the final kick in the ass for me to put this together. I started writing this to summarize what Im doing for my friends who are beginners, and also for me to make some sense of it for myself Hopefully parts of it are useful to you, and also ideally you guys can point out errors or have a suggestion or two. I'm posting this here as opposed to investing or canadianinvestor (blech) because they're just gonna tell me to buy an index fund. This first section is a preamble describing the Canadian tax situation and why Im doing things the way that I am. Feel free to skip it if you dont care about that. Also, there might be mistake regarding what the laws are here so dont take my word for it and verify it for yourself please. So here in Canada we have two types of registered accounts (theres actually more but whatver). There is the TFSA "Tax Free Savings Account", and RRSP "Registered Retirement Savings Account" For the sake of simplicity, from the time you turn 18 you are allowed to deposit 5k (it changes year to year based on inflation etc)in each of them. That "room" accumulates retroactively, so if you haventdone anything and are starting today and you are 30 you have around 60k you can put in each of them. The prevailing wisdom is that you should max out the TFSA first and you'll see why in a minute. TFSA is post tax deposits, with no capital gains or other taxes applied to selling your securities, dividends or anything else. You can withdraw your gains at any time, and the amount that you withdraw is added to the "room" you have for the next year. So lets say I maxed out my TFSA contributions and I take out 20k today, on January of next year I can put back in 20k plus the 5 or whatever they allow for that year. You can see how powerful this is. Theres a few limitations on what is eligable to be held in the TFSA such as bitcoin/bitcoin ETFs, overseas stocks that arent listed on NYSE, TSX, london and a few others. You can Buy to Open and Sell to Close call and put options as well as write Covered Calls. The RRSP is pre-tax deposits and is a tax deferred scheme. You deposit to lower your income tax burden (and hopefully drop below a bracket) but once you retire you will be taxed on anything you pull out. Withdrawing early has huge penalties and isnt recommended. You are however allowed to borrow against it for a down payment as a first time home buyer. The strategy with these is that a youngperson entering the workforce is likely to be in a fairly low tax bracket and (hopefully) earns more money as they get older and more skilled so the RRSP has more value the greater your pre-taxincome is. You can also do this Self Directed. Its not relevant to this strategy but I included it for the sake of context. Non registered accounts ( or any other situation, such as selling commercial real estate etc) is subject to a capital gains tax. In so far as I understand it, you add all your gains and losses up at the end of the year. If its a positive number, you cut that number IN HALF and add it to your regular pre-tax income. So if I made 60k from the dayjob and 20k on my margin account that adds up to 70k that I get taxed on. if its a loss, you carry that forward into the next year. Theres no distinction between long term and short term. Also physical PMs are treated differently and I'll fill that part in later once I have the details down. The reason why all that babble is important is that my broker Questrade, which isnt as good as IB (the only real other option up here as far as Im aware) has one amazing feature that no other broker has: "Margin Power" If you have a TFSA and a Margin account with them, you can link them together and have your securities in the TFSA collateralise your Margin account. Essentially, when it comes to the Maintenance Excess of the Margin Account QT doesnt care if its in the TFSA *or* the Margin! You can see how powerful this is. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So as you can tell by the title, a lot of this is heavily inspired by Chris Cole's paper "The Allegory of the Hawk and the Serpent". You can read it here: https://www.artemiscm.com/welcome#research Between it, his interviews and my mediocre options skills at the time my mind was blown. Unfortunately I didnt know how to do the Long Volatility part until after the crash in March but I've since then had nothing but time to scour the internet and learn as much as I could. The way I interpret this isnt necessarily "what you should have right now", but what abstracted model they were able to backtest that gave them the best performance over the 90 years. Also, a lot of my portfolio I already had before I started trying to build this. As such my allocations dont match the proportions he gave. Not saying my allocations are better, just showing where they are at this time. I'm going to describe how I do Long Volatility at the end rather than the beginning since the way *I* do it wont make sense until you see the rest of the portflio. Physical PMs 22% I'm not sure wether he intended this to be straight up physical gold or include miners and royalty streaming companies so I will just keep this as physical. I consider Silver to be a non-expiring call option on gold, so that can live here too. I am actually *very* overweight silver and my strategy is to convert a large portion of it to gold (mostly my bars) to gold as the ratio tightens up. If youre into crypto, you can arguably say that has a place in this section. If an ETF makes sense for part of your portfolio, I suggest the Sprott ones such as PHYS. Sprott is an honest business and they actually have the metal they say they have. If you have enough, you can redeem your shares from the Royal Canadian Mint. The only downside is that they dont have an options chain, so you cant sell covered calls etc. Simple enough I suppose. One thing to bear in mind, there is a double edged sword with this class of assets. They're out of the system, theyre nobody's business but your own and theres no counter party. That unfortunately means that you cant lever against it for margin or sell covered calls etc. You can still buy puts though (more on that later) Commodity Trend (CTA) 10% https://youtu.be/tac8sWPZW0w Patrick Ceresna gave a good presentation on what this strategy is. Until I watched this video I just thought it meant "buy commodities". A real CTA does this with futures also so aside from the way he showed, there are two other ETFs that are worth looking at. COM - This is an explicit trend following ETF that follows a LONG/FLAT strategy instead of LONG/SHORT on a pile of commodity futures. So if they get a "sell" signal for oil or soybeans they sell what they have and go to cash. COMT- Holds an assortment of different month futures in different commodities, as well as a *lot* of various related shares in producers. Its almost a one stop shop commodities portfolio. Pays a respectable dividend in December If you want to break the "rules" of CTA, and include equities theres a few others that are also worth looking at KOL- This is a coal ETF. The problems with it are that a lot of the holdings dont have much to do with coal. One of them is a tractor company. A lot of the companies are Chinese so theres a bit of a red flag. Obviously Thermal Coal, the kind used for heating and powerplants isnt in vogue and wont be moving forward...but coking coal is used for steel manufacturing and that ain't going anywhere. The dividend is huge, pays out in December. A very very small position might be worth the risk. Uranium- I'm in URA because thats the only way for me to get exposure to Kazatoprom (#1 producer), which is 20% of the holdings. The other 20% is Cameco (#2 producer)and then its random stuff. Other than that I have shares in Denison which seems like its a good business with some interesting projects underway. I'm still studying the uranium space so I dont really have much to say about it of any value. RSX- Russia large caps. If you dont want to pick between the myriad of undervalued, high dividend paying commodity companies that Russia has then just grab this. It only pays in December but it has a liquid options chain so you can do Covered Calls in the meantime if you want. NTR- Nutrien, canadian company that was formed when two others merged. They are now the worlds largest potash producer. Pretty good dividend. They have some financial difficulties and the stocks been in a downtrend forever. I feel its a good candidate to watch or sell some puts on. I'm trying to come up with a way to play agriculture since this new phase we're going to be entering is likely to cause huge food shortages. EURN and NAT- I got in fairly early on the Tanker hype before it was even hype as a way to short oil but I got greedy and lost a lot of my gains. I pared down my position and I'm staying for the dividend. If you get an oil sell signal, this might be a way to play that still. Fixed Income/Bonds 10% Now, I am not a bond expert but unless youre doing some wacky spreads with futures or whatever... I dont see much reason to buy government debt any more. If you are, youre basically betting that they take rates negative. Raoul Pal of Real Vision is pretty firm in his conviction that this will happen. I know better than to argue with him but I dont see risk/reward as being of much value. HOWEVER, I found two interesting ETFs that seem to bring something to this portfolio IVOL- This is run by Nancy Davis, and is comprised of TIPS bonds which are nominally inflation protected (doubt its real inflation but whatever) overlayed with some OTC options that are designed to pay off big if the Fed loses control of the long end of the yield curve, which is what might happen during a real inflation situation. Pays out a decent yield monthly TAIL- This is a simpler portfolio of 10yr treasuries with ladder of puts on the SPX. Pays quarterly. Equities 58% (shared with options/volatility below) This is where it gets interesting, obviously most of this is in mining shares but before I get to those I found some interesting stuff that I'm intending to build up as I pare down my miners when the time comes to start doing that. VIRT- I cant remember where I saw this, but people were talking about this as a volatility play. Its not perfect, but look at the chart compared to SPY. Its a HFT/market making operation, the wackier things get the more pennies they can scalp. A 4% dividend isnt shabby either. FUND- This is an interesting closed end fund run by Whitney George, one of the principals at Sprott. He took it with him when he joined the company. Ive read his reports and interviews and I really like his approach to value and investing. He's kind of like if Warren Buffett was a gold bug. Theres 120 holdings in there, mostly small caps and very diverse...chicken factories, ball bearings all kinds of boring ass shit that nobody knows exists. Whats crucial is that most of it "needs to exist". Between him, his family and other people at Sprott they control 40% or so of the shares, so they definitely have skin in the game. Generous dividend. ZIG- This is a "deep value" strategy fund, run by Tobias Carlisle. He has a fairly simple valuation formula called the Acquirer's Multiple that when he backtested it, is supposed to perform very well. He did an interview with Chris Cole on real Vision where he discusses how Value and Deep Value havent done well recently, but over the last 100 years have proven to be very viable strategies. If we feel that theres a new cycle brewing, then this strategy may work again moving forward. I want to pause and point out something here, Chris Cole, Nassim Taleb and the guys at Mutiny Fund spend a lot of effort explaining that building a portfolio is a lot like putting together a good basketall team. They need to work together, and pick up each others slack A lot of the ETFs I'm listing here are in many ways portfolios in and of themselves and are *actively managed*. I specifically chose them because they follow a methodology that I respect but I can't do myself because I dont have the skill, temperament or access to. The next one is a hidden gem and ties into this. I'm not sure how much more upside there is in this one but man was I surprised. SII- Sprott Inc. I *never* see people listing this stock in their PMs portfolios. A newsletter I'm subscribed to described this stock as the safest way to play junior miners. Their industry presence, intellectual capital and connections means that they get *the best* private placement deals in the best opportunities. I cant compete with a staff like theirs and I'm not going to try. I bought this at 2.50, and I liked the dividend. Since then they did a reverse split to get on the NYSE and like the day after the stock soared. When it comes to mining ETFS I like GOAU and SILJ the best. None of their major holdings are dead weight companies that are only there because of market cap. I dont want Barrick in my portfolio etc. SGDJ is a neat version of GDXJ. Aside from that my individual miners/royalty companies are (no particular order) MMX SAND PAAS PGM AUM AG MUX RIO- Rio2 on the tsx, not rio tinto KTN KL Options/Volatility: varies So this is where we get to the part about options, Volatility and how I do it. I started out in the options space with The Wheel strategy and the Tastytrade approach of selling premium. The spreads and puts I sell, are on shares listed above, in fact some of those I dont hold anymore. Theres tons of stuff on this in thetagang and options so I wont go into a whole bunch (and you shouldnt be learning the mechanics from me anyway) but theres one thing I want to go over before it gets wild. If I sell a Cash Secured Put, from a risk management perspective its identical to just buying 100 shares of the underlying security. You are equally "Short Vol" as well, it just that with options its a little more explicit with the Greeks and everything. But if I use my margin that I was talking about earlier, then I can still collect the premium and the interest doesnt kick in unless Im actually assigned the shares. But if I sell too many puts on KL or AG, and something happens where the miners get cut down (and lets be real, they all move together) my margin goes down and then I get assigned and kaboom...my account gets blown up So what I need to do, is balance out the huge Short Vol situation in my portfolio, be net Long Vol and directly hedge my positions. Since the overwhelming majority of my equities are all tied to bullion this is actually a very easy thing to do. Backspreads https://youtu.be/pvX5_rkm5x0 https://youtu.be/-jTvWOGVsK8 https://youtu.be/muYjjm934iY So I set this up so the vast majority of my margin is tied up in these 1-2 or even 1-3 ratio put spreads that *I actually put on for a small credit*, and roll them every once in a while. I run them on SLV, and GDX. I keep enough room on my margin so I can withstand a 10% drawdown before it sets off the long end of the spreads and then I can ride it out until it turns around and we keep the PM bull market going. Theres another cool spread I've been using, which is a modified Jade Lizard; if already hold shares, I'll sell a put, sell a covered call, and use some of the premium to buy a longer dated call. Ive been running this on AG mostly. I have a few more spreads I can show you but Im tired now so it'll have to wait for later. As I said multiple times, I do intend to trim these miners later but now isnt the time for that IMO. I'm also monitoring this almost full time since I have an injury and have nothing better to do until I heal :p
Microsoft is committed to trying to buy TikTok's U.S. operations, after CEO Satya Nadella discussed a potential deal during a phone call on Sunday with President Trump. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) said in a blog post that it will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok parent ByteDance (BDNCE), aiming to complete negotiations by Sept. 15. "Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns," the company said. "It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury." The company's aim is to build on TikTok's popular user experience with adding privacy and security protections. The proposed transaction has gained the blessing of top Trump administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, as well as several Republican lawmakers, after the president's Friday night comments that he preferred a TikTok ban in the U.S. instead of a sale took all sides by surprise. All eyes on U.S. payroll data The U.S. July employment report, to be released this Friday, will have a binary flavor to it. If the jobs situation is consistent with economists' views, it should give investors more confidence in the economy's health while weak data will weigh on investors' near-term enthusiasm. Current consensus is a rise of 1.65M jobs, albeit a bearish drop of ~27% from last Thursday's projection of 2.25M. Congress is trying to cobble together another stimulus package but, unsurprisingly, Republicans and Democrats are at loggerheads over the specifics. MLB draws strong TV ratings in opening week Despite concerns over a truncated 60-game season and empty seats in stadiums, Major League Baseball's opening week has been a resounding success. Games aired nationally during opening weekend (July 23-26) drew more than twice as many viewers as a year ago. Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ESPN said that its first 12 broadcasted games averaged ~1.2M viewers, up 34% compared to last year. Fox Sports (NASDAQ:FOX) also enjoyed a double-digit rise in ratings. According to Michael Mulvihill, Fox Sports head of strategy and analytics, the strong start reflects pent-up demand and little competition from other major U.S. sports. The season, though, is facing its first stern test after 18 members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19 leading to the cancellations of certain games by several clubs. 17 games have been postponed to date. Fed to "relax" approach to managing inflation target The Fed is preparing to abandon its long-held practice of raising interest rates to preempt overheating in the economy, citing persistently low U.S. inflation. Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at the shift in a news conference last week when he disclosed that the central bank would soon complete a comprehensive review of its policy-making strategy. The change is unlikely to alter much since interest rates are barely above zero and are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future. Longer term, central bankers, economists and investors expect rates to return to a more normal 4% or so once the economic recovery/expansion has matured. Trump readies action against Chinese software firms During an interview yesterday on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Trump will announce new action this week against Chinese software companies that he perceives are threats to national security, including TikTok and WeChat that, he says, are "feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party." In a separate interview, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin declared that "we are not keeping TikTok in its current form." The expected actions will be the latest salvo in the deterioration in U.S./Sino relations. Apple sued in China over voice assistant patent Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Company, known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit in a Shanghai court against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) claiming infringement on a patent covering a voice assistant similar to Siri. The company seeks 10B yuan ($1.43B) in damages and, if successful, could prevent the tech giant from selling many of its products in China. In late June, China's Supreme Court ruled that Xiao-i owns the patent which ended a process that involved several trials since 2012. It is the third time in less than a decade that Apple has faced trademark and patent challenges in its #2 market (behind the U.S.). The company has yet to comment on the matter. U.S. COVID-19 pandemic in new "widespread" phase According to White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, the pandemic is in a "new phase" that is different from the March/April period with "extraordinarily widespread" cases in both urban and rural areas. Reemphasizing the essential role of wearing masks and distancing, Dr. Birx said, "To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus and that is why we keep saying, no matter where you live in America, you need to wear a mask and socially distance, do the personal hygiene pieces." She also says super-spreading events are the main concern, not super-spreading individuals. Per Johns Hopkins case tracker, U.S. infections are now over 4.6M with over 154K deaths. GOP and Dems tussle over fourth round of U.S. stimulus Talks between Republican and Democratic leaders over the specifics of the latest round, the fourth, of economic stimulus are proceeding down the familiar contentious path. Both sides agree on sending $1,200 checks to most Americans but the GOP is apparently balking at a boost to unemployment insurance which was set at $600 per week but recently lapsed. Democrats want to preserve the $600 amount while Republicans want to cut it to $200 due to cost concerns. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is accusing President Trump of standing in the way of a deal. On Face the Nation yesterday, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said, "I'm not optimistic that there will be a solution in the very near term." 7-Eleven to acquire Speedway for $21B in cash Seven & i Holdings (OTCPK:SVNDF) indirect subsidiary 7-Eleven has agreed to acquire Speedway from certain subsidiaries of Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) for $21B in cash. The Enon, Ohio-based chain operates ~3900 convenience stores in 36 U.S. states. The transaction, which includes a 15-year fuel supply agreement for about 7.7B gallons per year, should close in Q1 2021. China's Caixin manufacturing PMI hits nine-plus year high The Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers index hit its highest point since 2011, lending more credence to inklings of a recovery there. China's official PMI rose to its own four-month high last week, and it's got a bigger sample, focused on larger state-owned companies. Caixin focuses on smaller manufacturers, and it hit 52.8, the third straight month it was over 50, signaling expansion. Rio Tinto sues Australia's Monadelphous over 2019 fire Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) has sued Monadelphous Engineering Associates (OTCPK:MOPHY) over a fire at Rio's Western Australia iron ore processing facility last year. Monadelphous says Rio is claiming MEA breached terms of a contract, and that Rio is seeking A$493M (about $351M) tied to its inability to process iron ore at the plant during repairs. What else is happening... Siemens Healthineers (OTC:SEMHF) merges with Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) in $16B deal. SpaceX (SPACE) and NASA splashdown breaks 45-year drought. Blackstone (NYSE:BX), TPG rejigger REIT debt to sidestep margin calls. Iran stock market hits record high despite sanctions and battered economy. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +2.24%. Hong Kong -0.56%. China +1.75%. India -1.64%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.56%. Paris +0.97%. Frankfurt +1.86%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.05%. S&P +0.10%. Nasdaq +0.52%. Crude -1.32% to $39.74. Gold +0.02% to $1,986.30. Bitcoin -0.75% to $11,164. Ten-year Treasury Yield +1.3bps to 0.549% Today's Economic Calendar 9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index 10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
Stocks are set to end the week on a high note after four of the biggest tech stocks - Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) - reported quarterly results that beat high expectations. Apple easily exceeded estimates on the top and bottom lines, and announced a four-for-one stock split, sending shares past the $400 threshold in after-hours trading. Amazon's sales soared, and operating income nearly doubled compared with the big drop analysts had expected. Facebook posted 11% revenue growth and issued stronger-than-expected sales guidance for the current quarter. Results from Google's parent were a bit murkier, showing the company's first-ever year-over-year decline in advertising revenue, but sales from its cloud-computing segment came in well above expectations. Big Tech has been Wall Street's mainstay this year, and the latest quarterly results look to accelerate that trend. Amazon and Apple are up 65% and 31%, respectively, in 2020, while Facebook and Alphabet each have gained more than 14% over the period. With all four stocks moving higher in after-hours trading, the tech titans likely will add more than $200 billion to their combined market value. U.S. economy shrank by a third in Q2 The Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product collapsed at a 32.9% annualized rate in the second quarter, the steepest decline since the government started keeping records in 1947, as COVID-19 crushed consumer and business spending. Meanwhile, in a sign of a faltering jobs market, the number of workers applying for initial unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, to 1.43 million, after nearly four months of decreases following a late-March peak. The Q2 economic contraction came as states imposed lockdowns in March and April to contain the coronavirus and then lifted restrictions in May and June, allowing growth to resume. Economists expect the third quarter to show growth, but the summer rise in infections likely will temper gains. Senate fails to advance jobless benefits extension Meanwhile, no signs of progress are evident in talks between Republicans and Democrats over a new coronavirus relief bill. The U.S. Senate failed yesterday to advance an effort to extend a $200 per week supplement to unemployment insurance benefits. Senate Republicans and the White House had sought to cut the supplement from $600 through September, after which those collecting unemployment benefits would get 70% of their previous wages when combined with state benefits. While much of the focus has been on the expiration of the additional $600-per-week of unemployment benefits, an eviction moratorium is receiving increasing attention as well. China factory activity expands for fifth straight month China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in better than expected, rising to 51.1 in July from 50.9 in June for its highest reading since March. July marked the fifth consecutive month that the closely watched measure of China's factory activity topped the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction. Combined with China's official non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index, which indicated a slight deceleration in the service sector, the data suggests China's factories have returned to pre-coronavirus levels but consumer demand remains much weaker, which means inventory is piling up. Chinese-backed hackers reportedly targeted Moderna for vaccine data China rejects charges that hackers linked to its government targeted Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) to steal data related to research on a coronavirus vaccine. Citing an unnamed U.S. security official, Reuters reported yesterday that Chinese hackers targeted the U.S. biotech firm earlier this year. Moderna said it had been in contact with the FBI and was made aware of the suspected "information reconnaissance activities" by a hacking group mentioned in last week's Justice Department indictment, where two Chinese nationals were accused of spying on the U.S., including three unnamed U.S.-based targets involved in medical research to fight COVID-19. The two other unnamed medical research companies mentioned in the Justice Department indictment are described as biotech companies based in California and Maryland - descriptions that could fit Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) and Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX). Go deeper: J&J (NYSE:JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows positive effect in primate study. Amazon's $10 billion Internet satellite plan wins FCC approval While overshadowed by the company's earnings, Amazon.com's (AMZN) tech ambitions got a boost as the FCC approved its $10B plan to put thousands of satellites in the sky to provide high-speed Internet to unserved and underserved areas. The company's Project Kuiper - using 3,200 low Earth orbit satellites - would compete in that area with the Starlink project at SpaceX (SPACE). Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay for news Australia will become the first country in the world to force Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) to pay publishers for the news content featured on its sites. It will give the companies three months to negotiate fair pay with media businesses there, a move to ensure competition and consumer protection as well as a sustainable media landscape. Other companies are likely to be targeted for similar moves by Australia's government later. U.K. fraud office charges Airbus subsidiary over Saudi deal The U.K.'s major economic crimes investigator has charged Airbus' (OTCPK:EADSY) subsidiary GPT Special Project Management and three individuals in connection with a defense contract the country arranged with Saudi Arabia. Airbus says the Serious Fraud Office's investigation related to contractual arrangements that predated its acquisition of the subsidiary. The charges represent a step forward in one of the SFO's most politically sensitive probes, which has been viewed as a potential threat to the U.K.'s relationship with the Saudis. Go deeper: Airbus works to slow cash burn, puts brakes on production. What else is happening... Walmart (NYSE:WMT) memo points to cutting jobs in 'streamlining.' Facebook (FB) finally securing rights to show music videos. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account breach involved phone-based phishing attacks on employees. Thursday's Key Earnings Apple (AAPL) +6.3% PM on strong earnings, stock split. Amazon (AMZN) +5.5% PM on strong Q2 earnings, Q3 guidance. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) flat PM after soft ad revenue. Facebook (FB) +5.9 PM on strong earnings, user growth. Ford Motor (NYSE:F) +2.5% PM despite seeing weak FY demand. Gilead Sciences (GILD) -3.6% PM as pandemic disrupts earnings. US Steel (NYSE:X) flat PM after Q2 loss, upbeat Q3 guidance. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) flat PM after Q2 beat, better-than-expected FY guidance. LTC Properties (NYSE:LTC) -3.2% AH as Q2 rental revenue takes a hit. Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) -2.7% PM on in-line Q2, outlook. Stryker (NYSE:SYK) -2.8% AH despite Q2 beat. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) +1% AH on robust Q2 Trikafta sales. OPKO Health (NASDAQ:OPK) -6% PM after healthy Q2 earnings. Atlassian (NASDAQ:TEAM) -7% PM on FQ4 customer weakness, downside EPS forecast. Exact Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) -3% AH on pandemic disrupting Q2 revenue. Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) -6% PM after massive Q2 bookings dip. Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ:SGEN) -2% AH despite Q2 beat. Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) flat PM after Q2 beat, unchanged guidance. XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) -4% AH on weak Q2 shipping metrics. Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK) -4.8% AH on Q2 miss, pulled Q3 guidance. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -2.82%. Hong Kong -0.47%. China +0.71%. India -0.26%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.17%. Paris +0.01%. Frankfurt +0.27%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.13%. S&P +0.19%. Nasdaq +0.84%. Crude +0.45% to $40.05. Gold +1.48% to $1,995.90. Bitcoin +1.83% to $11,161. Ten-year Treasury Yield -1.3 bps to 0.53% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Personal Income and Outlays 8:30 Employment Cost Index 9:45 Chicago PMI 10:00 Consumer Sentiment 1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count 3:00 PM Farm Prices
Listen on the go! A daily podcast of Wall Street Breakfast will be available by 8:00 a.m. on Seeking Alpha, iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify. More Wall Street Breakfast Podcasts » Shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) - worth nearly $5T in combined market capitalization - added to gains yesterday even as their chief executives defended themselves in Congress against antitrust allegations. The real test will come today, when the Big Tech companies report Q2 results after the market close. On watch will be figures and trends in e-commerce, streaming, advertising, search, app services, social media and cloud computing. Will investors start rethinking the prices that they're paying for the stocks or will their market position during the coronavirus pandemic justify their valuations? Antitrust hearing roundup Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, kicked off the hearing by declaring: "Our founders would not bow before a king. Nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy." That set the tone of five hours of grilling the Big Tech CEOs over their business practices. On the competition front, the biggest questions centered around Amazon's leveraging of seller data to introduce competing products, as well as the revelation of Mark Zuckerberg's emails about the concept of buying startups in order to "neutralize a competitor." Traders get busy Futures are kicking off a packed session in the red, with contracts tied to the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq down about 1%, as Mark Meadows said the White House and Democrats were "nowhere close" on a stimulus deal. Q2 GDP figures today will likely show an annualized contraction of 34.1% last quarter, while the latest weekly unemployment claims are also expected to show an increase to 1.45M, before enhanced federal benefits expire on Saturday. After the close, four of the market's biggest stocks will report earnings within a single hour, in a move that could cause significant volatility in after-hours trading and again on Friday. On the coronavirus front, the U.S. death toll topped 150K, marking the highest official figure in the world. FOMC meeting Solid gains for indexes were seen Wednesday as the Fed left interest rates near zero and pledged to maintain stimulative measures. "The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain, and will depend in large part on our success in keeping the virus in check," Jerome Powell declared. "We're not even thinking about thinking about raising rates and it will take continued support for both monetary and fiscal policy." He also said the Fed "has no intention to buy equities" after recently purchasing corporate and municipal bonds. Both sides of the Atlantic Today is not only the busiest day for earnings in the U.S. European firms worth more than $2T, as well as 60 companies in the Stoxx 600 Index, reported Q2 results overnight. Highlights: AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) shares rose 3% premarket on strong drug sales, while Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) shares inched down after narrowly escaping a loss despite a $17B writedown and one of the oil industry's most brutal quarters. Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) simplified its investment bank structure, AB InBev (NYSE:BUD) booked a $2.5B writedown and Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) is keeping production rates down until 2022. Over in Asia, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) announced its Q2 operating profit jumped 23% and forecast demand for mobile devices to recover gradually in next half of the year. World's biggest smartphone vendor Huawei has overtaken Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) to become the No. 1 smartphone player in the world, an ambition it has had for several years, after taking second place from Apple (AAPL) back in 2018. The Chinese vendor shipped 55.8M devices in the second quarter, down 5% Y/Y, according to research firm Canalys, while Samsung shipped 53.7M smartphones, a 30% plunge versus the prior year. However, analysts are questioning whether Huawei's position is sustainable given the fact that over 70% of Huawei's sales in the second quarter came from China while its overseas markets took a hit. Go deeper: Qualcomm strikes patent deal with Huawei. Trade deal targets By the end of the first half of this year, China had bought about 23% of the total purchase target of more than $170B for goods in 2020, according to Bloomberg, which based its calculations on Chinese Customs Administration data. While trade has increased over the past eight weeks, with Chinese companies booking more than $2.5B in U.S. soy purchases, imports really have to speed up in the second half of 2020 to hit trade deal goals. China may still not violate the deal if it misses the target due to the coronavirus (the trade pact grants flexibility in the event of "a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event"). What else is happening... 'Nowhere close to a deal' on virus relief - Meadows. Amazon (AMZN) scraps live Reinvent conference in blow to Las Vegas. Kodak (NYSE:KODK) ahead of itself on generic drug-stoked rally - Barron's. Dollar drop plays right into these emerging market ETFs' wheelhouse. Wednesday's Key Earnings Boeing (NYSE:BA) -2.8% posting wider loss, cutting production rates. General Electric (NYSE:GE) -4.4% hit by decline in jet engine business. General Motors (NYSE:GM) -1.7% reporting mixed results. PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) +4.1% AH following consensus-beating guidance. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) +13.6% AH on FQ3 beats, Huawei settlement. Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) +7% sailing past estimates. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong -0.7%. China -0.2%. India -0.9%. In Europe, at midday, London -2%. Paris -1.8%. Frankfurt -3%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -1%. Nasdaq -1.1%. Crude -1.6% to $40.63. Gold +0.8% to $1969.20. Bitcoin -2.9% to $10934. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.56% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 GDP Q2 8:30 Initial Jobless Claims 10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory 4:30 PM Money Supply 4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
U.S. stock indexes futures rose as much as 1% overnight as investors look ahead to two jobs reports for clarity on the economic situation. Alongside weekly unemployment claims data, the non-farm payrolls report will come a day early and will likely play a big part ahead of the Congressional debate on the next round of coronavirus stimulus. Forecasts for the jobs report are wide-ranging, but most economists predict 3M jobs were created in June, up from the 2.5M added in May (though that report was expected to show a steep loss of 8M jobs). The figures will also be backward looking, reflecting data through mid-June and not the latter part of the month when the resurgence of COVID-19 led to several shutdowns and delayed some economic reopenings. FOMC minutes The Fed's monetary policy-setting arm doesn't see the recovery in consumer spending being "particularly rapid beyond this year" and noted a need for "highly accommodative monetary policy for some time," according to the minutes of the June 9-10 meeting. As for the potential use of yield-curve control — yield caps or targets ("YCT"), nearly all participants had "many questions regarding the costs and benefits of such an approach." Many of the officials, though, didn't see a need for YCT as long as the FOMC's forward guidance, on its own, remains credible. Checks? Benefits? Bonuses? Details of the next coronavirus stimulus package are becoming a bit clearer as the House passed a bill extending the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8, sending it to President Trump's desk for his signature. Over $130B in PPP funds are still available, which could help small businesses pay overheads and keep employees on payroll. Trump also said he supports another round of direct payments to Americans – larger than what Democrats have already proposed - but is against enhanced unemployment benefits that give "a disincentive to work." July 4th statistics 76% of Americans plan to celebrate Independence Day this year, down from 86% in 2019, as concerns run high over gathering in large groups or attending public events due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those who do have plans for the holiday are forecast to spend over $76 on average for food items - in line with historical trends - for a total of $6.52B. More than half of consumers are planning a cookout or BBQ and 28% of those celebrating expect to purchase additional patriotic items. Next steps for Hong Kong About 370 protesters were arrested in Hong Kong on Wednesday, including ten that were apprehended for breaching the new security law imposed by China. "We will not duck our historic responsibilities," said the U.K. in response, offering around 3M Hong Kong residents - who are eligible for BN(O) passports - a path to citizenship (Britain transferred the territory back to China in 1997). The U.S. is also looking into helping those who want to leave Hong Kong via a bipartisan bill known as the "Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act" that would grant Hong Kongers priority refugee status. Go deeper: U.S. House passes bill to sanction Chinese bank. Big Tech on Capitol Hill The hearing is planned for later this month and will mark the first time the chief executives of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) testified together in front of Congress. It's one of the final steps the House Judiciary Committee needs to complete an antitrust probe initiated in June 2019 and will likely produce new legislative proposals to reform and regulate the digital market. The Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general have also opened inquiries into the companies over markets like online advertising, online retail and smartphone apps. Most valuable automaker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) soared 3.7% to $1,120/share on Wednesday to trade at a higher market cap than Japanese carmaker Toyota (NYSE:TM). That makes the company the most valuable automaker in the world and caps off a 10-year run that went into Ludicrous mode over the last six months. Next on the dance card is Tesla's Q2 deliveries report to be followed in a few weeks by the company's earnings report. The party doesn't stop... Shares are up another 4.4% in premarket trade to $1,170. Latest pandemic bankruptcy The franchisee operator was already in trouble before the coronavirus crisis, though restaurant shutdowns pushed it over the edge. NPC International, which runs more than 1,225 Pizza Hut (NYSE:YUM) and over 385 Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) stores nationwide, has filed for bankruptcy, but said it will continue to operate while it navigates the Chapter 11 process. The company employs nearly 40,000 people in 27 U.S. states, according to its website. What else is happening... Optimism builds over Pfizer, (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech's (NASDAQ:BNTX) coronavirus vaccine. COVID-19 surge prompts McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) to halt reopening plans. Coty (NYSE:COTY) sued over trade secrets in Kardashian-Jenner deals. Novartis (NYSE:NVS) finalizes $678M settlement to resolve kickback claims. American (NASDAQ:AAL) warns it's overstaffed by 8,000 flight attendants. Nio (NYSE:NIO) posts Q2 delivery growth of 190% to 10,331 vehicles. Wednesday's Key Earnings Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) +6.3% AH as spirit sales offset a miss in beer. General Mills (NYSE:GIS) -2% declining to give specific guidance. Macy's (NYSE:M) -4.4% with sales dropping 45% in Q1. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong +2.9%. China +2.1%. India +1.2%. In Europe, at midday, London +0.8%. Paris +1.5%. Frankfurt +1.7%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.9%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude +0.5% to $40.03. Gold +0.3% to $1784.40. Bitcoin +0.6% to $9213. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.68%
The U.S. State Department has ordered the closure of China's consulate in Houston to protect property and "private information" of Americans as reports came in last night of documents being burned in the compound's courtyard. "We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision. Otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions," China's Foreign Ministry declared, as the U.S. dollar surged against the Chinese yuan, breaking the key 7 level. On Tuesday, the DOJ also accused two Chinese hackers of working for the government to steal terabytes of data, including coronavirus research, from Western companies across 11 nations. Go deeper: China may respond by closing the U.S. consulate in Wuhan. Tensions hit sentiment S&P 500 futures pulled back 0.4% overnight following the diplomatic flare-up, which adds to concerns over the deteriorating relationship between the economic superpowers. President Trump already dimmed hopes of a Phase 2 trade deal earlier this month, saying the relationship with China had been too badly damaged by COVID-19. Investors are also questioning whether Congress will reach an agreement on the next coronavirus stimulus bill before lawmakers start their summer recess, while Trump warned the pandemic will probably "get worse before it gets better." Earnings Two big names are on the radar today as earnings season kicks into high gear. Following a record number of car deliveries earlier in July, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) may report a fourth straight quarterly profit, which could qualify the high-flying stock for inclusion in the S&P 500. Shares have jumped more than 50% this month alone (adding to the stock's more than 3x increase this year), as investors bet on a sudden jump in demand from passive funds that track the benchmark. Don't forget about Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)! Much of the focus will continue to center around its cloud business amid recent trends towards remote work. Twitter cracks down on 'QAnon' activity "We've been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm," the company said via its Twitter Safety account. "In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called 'QAnon' activity across the service." A Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) spokesperson said more than 7,000 QAnon-related accounts were banned in recent weeks, while the platform limited the distribution of 150,000 others. According to Wikipedia, QAnon is a "far-right conspiracy theory detailing a supposed secret plot by an alleged 'deep state' against U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters." Last year, the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terror threat. Abandoning hopes While U.K. and EU negotiators began the latest round of Brexit negotiations on Monday, the two sides remain deadlocked over fishing rights, level playing field guarantees, governance of the deal and the role of the European Court of Justice. With just days to go until Boris Johnson's deadline for an outline agreement, senior sources told The Telegraph that there is now an assumption that "there won't be a deal." What would happen in that case? The U.K. would leave the bloc on December 31 by following default WTO rules and specific agreements for certain goods. The British government has also abandoned hopes of clinching a U.S. free trade deal ahead of the presidential election in November, with the novel coronavirus outbreak blamed for slow progress. Record retail trading volumes Earnings yesterday from some of the biggest publicly traded brokers have highlighted the major jump into retail trading. TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD), which is set to be acquired by Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), added a record 661K new funded retail accounts in Q2, surpassing the 608K new accounts during the first quarter. A record 3.4M daily average revenue trades were also noted, more than four times last year's levels and 62% more than the prior quarter. Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR), which additionally beat on the top and bottom lines, said its daily average revenue trades increased 111% since the same quarter last year, while customer accounts grew to 867K. 737 MAX may not return until next year The latest timeline anticipates the FAA won't finish work to lift its March 2019 grounding order until late October or early November because the agency has decided to ask for public comments before finalizing software and hardware changes, WSJ reports. Completing pilot training and maintenance checks is expected to stretch well into December, and only then will the MAX be ready to return to commercial service. That means the jets are expected to be grounded at least as long under current Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO David Calhoun as under his predecessor, Dennis Muilenburg, who was ousted at the end of 2019 after repeated delays in getting the plane back in the air. BA -1.3% premarket. Self-driving partnerships Ending work on autonomous commercial vehicles it began with startup Aurora in 2019, Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has selected Waymo as its exclusive, strategic technology partner for "Level 4" fully self-driving technology across its full product portfolio. The collaboration will start with the Ram ProMaster full-size van, though it's likely to expand given Fiat's expected merger with PSA Group into a company called Stellantis. It's been quite a run for the Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) unit. Waymo, considered the leader in autonomous vehicle development, inked another partnership in June with Volvo Cars (OTCPK:GELYY) to develop self-driving electric vehicles designed for ride-hailing. What else is happening... Senate committee clears Shelton, Waller for Fed positions. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) pledges to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) sales are rebounding as stores reopen. Tesla's (TSLA) Elon Musk qualifies for another $2.1B payday. Jamf (JAMF) prices upsized IPO above range at $26. Tuesday's Key Earnings Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) +2.3% saying the worst is over. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) +2.6% topping estimates, raising guidance. Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) +4.2% posting better-than-feared results. Snap (NYSE:SNAP) -6.2% AH on lagging Q2 growth. Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) +1.3% AH following Q2 beats, upside outlook. United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) +1.2% AH expecting to lower cash burn. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.6%. Hong Kong -2.3%. China +0.4%. India -0.2%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.9%. Paris -1.2%. Frankfurt -0.6%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq flat. Crude -1.3% to $41.36. Gold +0.7% to $1856.50. Bitcoin -0.7% to $9351. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.59% Today's Economic Calendar 7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 9:00 FHFA House Price Index 10:00 Existing Home Sales 10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories 1:00 PM Results of $17B, 20-Year Bond Auction
More Wall Street Breakfast Podcasts » "Despite several issues of importance - national riots, Chinese relations, an ongoing pandemic - the stock market is primarily focused on a single thing: the restart of U.S. and global economic activities," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group. The sentiment led S&P 500 futures to tack on another 0.6% gain overnight as Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed renewed "optimism" about a coronavirus vaccine. On the economic calendar, the ADP Employment Report today will give a fresh read on the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, while oil climbed 2% on anticipated output cuts at the upcoming OPEC+ meeting. Come on and Zoom! A surge in video conferencing usage saw revenue growth at Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) jump 169% to $328.2M as the company reported top and bottom line beats for Q1. Zoom also doubled its revenue guidance for the year, pushing up shares as much as 4.5% in AH trading on Tuesday. In keeping with its previous practices, the firm didn't disclose active user numbers, though analysts at Bernstein estimate Zoom's mobile app had 173M monthly active users as of May 27, up from 14M on March 4. Zuckerberg stands firm after walkout Facing internal unrest over the company's gentle approach to moderating posts from President Trump, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees he stood behind his decision, one he called "tough" but "pretty thorough." Policies will be reviewed to see if they need to change for the future. Facebook employees particularly took issue with a post by Trump that threatened violence, including the words "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Similar posts on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) were flagged for violating policy. Apple is tracking looted iPhones Thieves who made off with iPhones from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail locations in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington and Philadelphia quickly learned that they were loaded with special security software. On-screen messages displayed: "This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted." The social unrest sweeping across the nation comes just as Apple is in the process of opening more than 100 stores following an extended closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Digital taxes The Trump administration is opening a "Section 301" investigation into taxes on digital commerce - proposed by a range of trading partners - that could affect revenues booked by tech giants like Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The move could ultimately lead to punitive tariffs and heighten the chances of another global trade dispute. France already agreed to postpone its new digital tax until at least the end of 2020 after the U.S. threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100% on imports like French wine, cheese, handbags and porcelain. Will negative rates be needed? Many have doubted that the U.S. could go negative like Japan and parts of Europe, but St. Louis Fed economist Yi Wen says that's what it would take to achieve a V-shaped economic recovery. "I found that a combination of aggressive fiscal and monetary policies is necessary. Aggressive policy means that the U.S. will need to consider negative interest rates and aggressive government spending, such as spending on infrastructure." Wen cited historical examples like President Roosevelt's aggressive fiscal stimulus package during the 1930s and huge surge in government spending once World War II began. Britain news roundup The Shanghai-London Connect program, years in the making, has so far produced only one listing - Huatai Securities (OTCPK:HUATF) - which raised $1.5B last June. China's market regulator has now approved a fresh listing for China Pacific Insurance (OTCPK:CHPXY), signaling a revival of the program. While the ties could bring the nations closer, other news overnight may go in the other direction. Boris Johnson pledged to let into the country nearly 3M Hong Kong citizens - who are British overseas passport holders - due to China's new national security law, and place them on a possible path to U.K. citizenship. Drug shortages One of the most widely prescribed antidepressant medications in the U.S. has fallen into short supply, according to a new list from the FDA. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said some versions of its name-brand Zoloft, such as 100 milligram tablets in 100-count bottles, were scarce because of higher demand during COVID-19, while generics faced shortages of certain ingredients. Zoloft prescriptions climbed 12% Y/Y to 4.9M in March, the most ever in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg, but receded to 4.5M in April. M&A activity French luxury goods group LVMH’s (OTCPK:LVMHF) $16.2B takeover of Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) is looking less certain, according to Women's Wear Daily. It's the latest big merger said to be on the rocks amid a deteriorating situation in the U.S. market brought on by a COVID-19 pandemic and severe social unrest. Further challenges include spending pattern shifts, the collapse of international tourism and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. 'Biggest Sale in the Sky' After postponing its annual Prime Day event due to COVID-19, Amazon (AMZN) is reportedly setting up a "summer sale" for June to boost sellers hurt by the outbreak and swimming in inventory. The company told brands it would launch a fashion sale June 22, to run anywhere from 7-10 days, and that participation in the event was "invitation only." It's building landing pages with a working title "Biggest Sale in the Sky," and has asked brands to meet an end-of-Wednesday deadline to submit deals with a discount of at least 30%. What else is happening... Sports betting to the rescue in California? Twitter (TWTR) names Pichette as new independent chairman. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) faces $5B lawsuit over 'private' internet use. FAA boss to testify at Senate hearing on 737 MAX (NYSE:BA). Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) trims loss forecast after May rides jumped 26%. Tuesday's Key Earnings Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA) -3.7% AH on light revenue guidance. CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) +6.2% AH following a beat-and-raise. DICK'S Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) +3.7% as e-commerce sales rose 110%. Zoom Video (ZM) +1.4% AH posting Q1 beat, aggressive outlook. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +1.3%. Hong Kong +1.4%. China +0.1%. India +0.6%. In Europe, at midday, London +1.5%. Paris +2%. Frankfurt +2.2%. Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.8%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude +1.7% to $37.43. Gold -0.6% to $1724.40. Bitcoin -5.6% to $9527. Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 0.71% Today's Economic Calendar Auto Sales 7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 8:15 ADP Jobs Report 9:45 PMI Services Index 10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Index 10:00 Factory Orders
https://preview.redd.it/gl5x4j3hg1351.jpg?width=2400&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9eca4a55c76edf1e394b6fe1270daa1032417221 Will blockchain technology be the most significant disruption of the last three centuries in the stock market industry? Well, Norbert Biedrzycki -Head of Services CEE at Microsoft says so, and so does blockchain council. Blockchain technology has been able to significantly change the dynamics of money, supply chain management, finance, record keeping, and more. Along with supporting crypto-currencies such as bitcoin and ethereum, it can revolutionize both the storage and transmission of financial data around the globe and stock trading marketplaces. While Tokyo Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have unveiled the use of blockchain in its core trading infrastructure, India's Securities Exchange Board, among others, is researching its feasibility in fundraising, post-trade settlement, and asset management. Learning of the blog
What is blockchain technology?
How is it useful to the stock market?
Advantages that it brings
What Is Blockchain Technology? Blockchain is a database innovation that provides a shared public register where all parties can track and encrypt transactions. This register consists of nodes, and each node is a computer that follows the protocol. Blocks are public, but its contents can be protected by cryptography. A new block is added every time a token transaction is confirmed. There are private blockchains in which access is by permission only, and in-house nodes verify the transactions. On the other hand, public blockchains, as you must have guessed, are open access. Another type is permissioned public blockchains that retain the volunteer verification but has restricted access. If you want to know more about blockchain, you can check out this blockchain course! How Is It Useful To The Stock Market? The stock market is a mammoth creature with very high inertia. Blockchain technology can prove fruitful in clearing and settlement alongside securing automation of the post-trade process. It can speed by the settlement of trades and subtly go about stock exchanges with the help of automation and decentralization. According to a Blockchain in Capital market's report, "IT and operations expenditure in capital markets is currently close to $100-150 billion per year among banks". Blockchain can reduce extra commission costs by eliminating the third party regulator as the blockchain network does the needful. Thus, it can answer trust, interoperability, and transparency issues. Advantages that it brings The advantages that blockchain technology brings along are:
Decentralization: As the system is distributive, money is not present at one node.
Transparency: As technology is in public eyes, it brings in trust.
Cost Reduction: Since there are no intermediaries, the cost gets reduced.
Security: Blockchain can act as an automatic surveillance system, and the valuation of securities deposited can be done daily.
Less time: The transactions are quick, as there is no duplication of the process.
High Liquidity: Blockchain reduces ineffectiveness with the help of automation, ultimately bringing in more investment.
Early accessors The New- York-based firm Nasdaq which operates at the junction of finance and technology, was one of the first to adopt bitcoin technology, thus advocating the demand of blockchain professionals. It now enables investors to harness blockchain's power by securely navigating financial markets at an international level. To register all transactions in real-time, Nasdaq Stockholm and the Swedish bank SEB started testing blockchain. The London Stock Exchange Group, in collaboration with IBM, is testing a blockchain platform to fully digitize trades in the shares of medium and small-sized enterprises. Apart from this, the NYSE and Deutsche Borse would be evaluating the feasibility and advantages of the technology soon. Future Scope Due to less testing, there are some scalability issues with blockchain, so to disrupt the operations of the stock market, it can take up to ten years, but it does have the potential to transform companies and the society. It is a great investment opportunity because of its ability to tackle data fragmentation, insider trading, data loss, reconciliation, and ticket matching problems. Thus. Blockchain technology can bring about the widespread upset in automated market surveillance and post-trade event processing.
U.S. stock futures rise, following gains in most equities markets around the world, amid optimism that the coronavirus curve is flattening. Dow futures advance 1.3%, Nasdaq gains 1.5% and S&P futures rise 1.2%. The 10-year Treasury yield remains flat at 0.75%. In overseas markets, the Stoxx Europe 600 rises 0.9% and the DAX gains 1.1%. In Asia, markets also ended the session in the green - the Hang Seng rose 0.6%, China’s CSI 300 rose 1.9% and the Nikkei 225 increased 3.1%. In the U.S., Q1 earnings season kicks off with JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). With most of the coronavirus-related restrictions not taking effect until mid-March, investors will be focusing on any forward-looking commentary. China’s trade isn’t out of the woods yet Though the world’s second-largest economy recorded a trade surplus of $18.5B in March, vs. a deficit of $7.1B in the first two months of the year, China will now be facing lower demand from the countries it exports to. "Uncertainties are on the rise and China’s foreign trade is encountering bigger difficulties," said Li Kuiwen, a customs spokesperson. Still, investors cheered the economic news. China’s CSI 300 Index closed up 1.9% and Japan’s Nikkei Index gained 3.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.5%. Airline relief deal nears the finish line Airline industry officials expect all major airlines to accept the terms for grants, with some announcements expected as early as today. The government has set identical terms for industry players and says it won't negotiate individually with airline managements. Those terms include a requirement that 30% of the funds allotted to each airline be repaid and the issuance of warrants with prices already locked in. The Treasury Department is not demanding compensation from small carriers receiving $100M or less in payroll support. If the $25B in grants is allotted as expected, the government could end up owning about 3.0% of American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), 2.3% of United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), 1.3% of JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU), 1% of Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and 0.6% of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV). Tesla pursues rent reductions amid pandemic Facing the need for cost savings amid the global pandemic, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is approaching landlords in search of reduced rent, the WSJ reports. "As a result of the increasing restrictions on our ability to conduct business, we would like to inform you that we will be reducing our monthly rent obligations effective immediately," reads one email the company sent. The news follows last week's announcement that Tesla would slash pay and furlough employees who couldn't work from home. Go deeper: Look at Tesla’s balance sheet. India extends 1.3B-person lockdown until May 3 As widely expected, India is extending the world's biggest pandemic lockdown at least until May 3. The country's restrictions were set to end today, even as its confirmed case count crossed 10,000 and deaths hit 339 (low numbers compared to harder-hit countries, which experts caution may be due to low testing levels). Despite the extension of the restrictions, India has expressed an interest in at least partially restarting its manufacturing industry now rather than later. The case for India investments weakens The country’s economy was already weakening when the coronavirus hit, giving investors fewer reasons to buy Indian stocks and bonds, said BlackRock’s head of Asian credit, Neeraj Seth. "India entered the whole situation of COVID on a weaker footing," and the lockdown has put more pressure on the banking system, he told CNBC. BlackRock is cautious on Indian credit at the lower end of the spectrum, but fixed income investments could benefit as India’s central bank is expected to cut interest rates, he said. Go deeper: Check ETF performance by country. Exxon taps bond market for second time in a month The oil giant raised $9.5B in debt on Monday, less than a month after issuing $8.5B, as it seeks to bolster its finances while the market is still receptive to issuers of new debt. In the latest offering, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) sold five different bonds with durations ranging from five to 31 years. The issue highlighted investor demand for the debt, as the offering was upsized from the $9B issue originally planned and Exxon was able to borrow at a lower price than the March deal. Go deeper: Look into Exxon’s financials. What else is happening... Fed launches commercial paper funding facility today. DOJ puts the heat on British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI). Disney (NYSE:DIS) enters new $5B credit agreement. Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) early Q1 numbers show growth turn. Navistar (NYSE:NAV) conserves cash. Today's Markets In Asia, Japan +3.1%. Hong Kong +0.56%. China +1.6%. India closed. In Europe, at midday, London -0.37%. Paris -0.03%. Frankfurt +1.1%. Futures at 6:00, Dow +1.3%. S&P +1.2%. Nasdaq +1.5%. Crude -1.6% to $22.06. Gold +0.1% to $1,763.40. Bitcoin +2.5% to $6,858. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at +0.75% Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 Import/Export Prices 8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales 11:05 Fed's Bullard: “COVID-19 Briefing” 12:30 PM Fed's Evans Speech
Wall Street 2.0: How Blockchain will revolutionise Wall Street and a closer look at Quant Network’s Partnership with AX Trading
AX Trading LLC (AX), a technology-enabled registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) operator, today announced a strategic partnership withQuant Networka pioneering technology company providing financial and regulatory technology as well as interoperability in financial services, payments and capital markets infrastructure.Through this partnership, Quant Network’s technology, Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of interoperable regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets.George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”It is expected that the first interoperable digital asset offering may commence as soon as January 2020, and that the AX Trading ATS may be ready to enable and list interoperable digital assets and securities in 2020.
An institutional investor is an organization that invests on behalf of the organization's members. They consist of hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds, or any other type of money management firm. Institutional investors account for about three-quarters of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange (which alone handles more than $20 Trillion a year in volume). In the US, Institutional investors own about 80 % of the total market value of the equity (stock) market, which globally is worth more than $73 trillion. Wall Street refers to the institutional investors I mentioned above whereas Main Street refers collectively to members of the general public who are not accredited investors and the overall economy as a whole. Whilst the Equity Market is huge, Institutional investors also invest in other securities which are prime to be tokenised such as Real Estate Market (Globally worth $217 trillion), the Debt Market (Globally worth $215 trillion) and the Derivatives Market (Low end estimates at $544 trillion and high-end estimates at $1.2 quadrillion). All of which makes the current market cap for cryptocurrencies look like a drop in the ocean.
Who are AX Trading?
AX Trading is a SEC-registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) Operator. They are a member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)and SIPC ( Securities Investor Protection Corporation) regulated authorities. The SEC has some of the most stringent regulations in the world for listing securities and there are fewer than 50 SEC-registered Alternative Trading System Operators in the United States, of which only a handful are currently implementing Digital Assets. Others are awaiting regulatory approval with Coinbase, Circle etc are all looking at getting into this huge market. https://www.coindesk.com/stonewalled-by-finra-up-to-40-crypto-securities-wait-in-limbo-for-launch AX Trading have investors and sponsored brokers including the likes of Credit Suisse, (a multinational investment Bank and Financial services company worth $27.5 billion). AX currently have over 800 Institutional traders (these are not individuals, but corporations such as hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds etc). AX Trading have also partnered with Euronext, the largest Stock Exchange in Europe with a market cap of $4.65 trillion as of 2018, in the creation of Euronext Block which utilises AX Trading.
What is an Alternative Trading System?
An Alternative Trading System (ATS) is an SEC-regulated trading venue which serves as an alternative to trading at a public exchange. ATS account for much of the liquidity found in publicly traded issues worldwide. They are known as multilateral trading facilities in Europe, electronic communication networks (ECNs), cross networks, and call networks AX is the world’s first “Electronic Trading Network” (ETN) where institutional traders can proactively connect and trade with other counterparties in a secure environment. Unlike traditional stock exchanges/ECNs that show orders to everyone and traditional dark pools/crossing systems that show orders — presumably — to no one, AX allows institutional traders to pick and choose WHOM they want to notify and also WHAT information they want to share with them. Institutional investors may use an ATS to find counterparties for transactions instead of trading large blocks of shares on national stock exchanges. These actions may be designed to conceal trading from public view since ATS transactions do not appear on national exchange order books. The benefit of using an ATS to execute such orders is that it reduces the domino effect that large trades might have on the price of an equity.
How does AX Trading Work?
The AX Trading process begins when one trader sends an “initiated” order to AX. The order can be routed to the AX ATS via one of our broker sponsors such as Credit Suisse. The initiated order triggers a “Call Auction” on AX, a period of time when the order will rest in AX to be matched against other orders from auction responders. The Initiator of an AX auction decides who they want to invite to participate in the auction, whether they be all 800+ institutional members or targeted to specific ones, as well as how much info they want to disclose about the order. Based on these instructions, the AX ATS then notifies the members inviting them to participate in the trade. The invited members can then participate in the trade by either placing buy orders of their own or placing sell orders. At the end of the AX auction period, all orders are brought together, and a match is performed. In the traditional, continuous market with displayed bids and offers, traders are often chasing liquidity. In other words, the price may move away from them the more they buy or sell to what is commonly called “market impact.” On AX, the advantage of their call auction model is it brings liquidity — in the form of participant orders to the buyer rather than them chasing liquidity.
What is a Security Token?
Security Tokens are different than Utility Tokens or Cryptocurrencies. A security token is a digital representation of a traditional security. It may represent shares in a company, interest in a fund, real estate, art collectables, or essentially any asset a party can own. Anthony Pompliano wrote an article explaining tokenised securities in more detail which you can see here
Security Tokens are digital assets subject to federal security regulations. In layman terms, they are the intersection of digital assets (tokens) with traditional financial products — a new technology improving old things.If cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are considered “programmable money” then you can consider Security Tokens a version of “programmable ownership.” This means that any asset with ownership can and will be tokenized (public & private equities, debt, real estate, etc).
The Tokenisation of assets is thereforeinevitable, because it is a better way torecord,exchangeandmonitorasset ownership for all parties involved. The amounts at stake representmany hundreds of trillions of US dollars
What are the benefits of a security token?
Lower Fees — having Smart Contracts and compliance programmed into the token itself removes the need for middlemen, reducing costs. Post Trade businesses such as clearing houses would also no longer be required further reducing costs.
24/7 markets — Currently the major US stock markets trade between 9:30am and 3pm during weekdays only. Trading can be done 24/7 and globally whilst remaining compliant.
Fractional Ownership — This greatly increases liquidity for previously illiquid assets. Real estate, Artwork, even assets such as Oil Refineries are already in talks about being tokenised through Overledger. If you have an asset such as an oil refinery worth billions of dollars, then naturally this limits the market should you ever want to sell it. However with fractional ownership you could own a tiny percentage of it and receive profits from the oil refinery based upon the percentage you own, which exponentially increases the number ofpotential buyers, increasing liquidity.
Rapid Settlement — Currently it takes 3 working days to settle a securities trade, this can be reduced to minutes by having the asset and fiat represented on a blockchain and handled through smart contracts.
Automated compliance — Security tokens are programmable, and rules and regulations are hard-coded into the architecture of the token to ensure they always remain compliant. This means that they can be traded globally and still ensure they respect the relevant countries regulations that the participants are located in.
The benefits that a blockchain provide such as transparency, security, immutability, high availability. Regulators can also run a node and verify compliance in real time.
Security Token Issuance Platforms
Security token issuance platforms allow issuers to issue Security tokens that represent the security such as Shares in their company etc in return for capital. This is known as a Primary Market. Importantly it’s not just the issuance that they look after, it’s the whole life cycle of a digital security to ensure they remain continuously in compliance as they are traded etc. They also provide reporting to the issuer so they can see who owns the tokens and what dividends to pay out. Securitize are one of the leading security tokens issuing platforms. They have created the DS Protocol, a blockchain agnostic protocol for security tokens which manages the whole lifecycle of a digital security, ensuring it remains continuously in compliance. They have issued a number of security tokens on the Ethereum network as well as recently working with IBM to tokenise the Corporate Debt Market (worth $82 Trillion). On the back of this they joined Hyperledger, an open source project which includes Enterprise blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric which IBM is heavily involved with. https://tokenpost.com/Quant-Network-Securitize-and-others-join-Hyperledger-blockchain-project-1544 They recently also became the first SEC-registered transfer agent, which means Securitize can now act as the official keeper of records about changes of ownership in securities. There are many companies in this sector which are utilising various blockchains, Other examples include:
Harber — R Token protocol for Ethereum
Polymath — ST20 protocol for Ethereum
Blockstate — a security token issuance platform recently announced plans to migrate a number of ERC-20 tokens from the public Ethereum blockchain to the permissioned blockchain R3 Corda
Whilst the issuance platforms above generally also include their own exchange where the token can be traded on, secondary markets such as those offered through traditional stock exchanges and Alternative Trading Systems provide significantly more liquidity. Traditional Stock Exchanges have been very active in blockchain with some going through proof of concepts, to those like SIX SDX Digital Exchange which is due to launch later this year. They are using various blockchains and cover the full process from Issuance, Trading and Post Trade / Settlement services. I have briefly outlined which blockchain they are using / testing with along with source to read more about it below:
Switzerland’s Stock Exchange — SIX Digital Exchange issue, trading, settlement, custody — Corda — Source
Largest Stock Exchange in Germany — Deutsche Borse Franfurt Stock Exchange — Corda — Source and Source
South Korea’s Stock Exchange — Korea Exchange — Hyperledger Fabric — Source and Source
Japan’s Stock Exchange — Tokyo Stock Exchange — Hyperledger Fabric — Source which the consortium has now grown to 44 companies. Tokyo Stock Exchange are also testing JP Morgan’s Quorum for voting on the blockchain — Source
London Stock Exchange Group — Hyperledger Fabric — Source . They are also invested in Nivaura which utilises Ethereum — Source
Largest Stock Exchange in Europe — Euronext — Permissioned Ethereum via Liquidshare — Source as well as recently investing in Tokeny a blockchain based project based on public version of Ethereum — Source
Situated at the end of the post-trading process, CSDs are systemically important intermediaries. They thereby form a critical part of the securities market’s post-trade infrastructure, as they are where changes of securities ownership are ultimately registered. CSDs play a special role both as a depository, involving the legal safekeeping and maintenance of securities in a ‘central depository’ on behalf of custodians (both in materialised or dematerialised form); as well as for the issuer, involving the issuance of further securities by issuers, and their onboarding onto CSDs’ platforms. CSDs are also keeping a number of other important functions, including: dividend, interest, and principal processing; corporate actions including proxy voting; payment to transfer agents, and issuers involved in these processes; securities lending and borrowing; and, provide pledging of share and securities. Blockchain technology will enable real-time settlement finality in the securities world. This could mean the end of a number of players in the post-trade area, such as central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs), custodians and others. Central Security Despositories (CSD) will still play an important role according to reports: “CSDs could have an important role to play in a blockchain-based settlement system. As ‘custodians of the code, CSDs could exercise oversight of, and take responsibility for, the operation of the relevant blockchain protocol and any associated smart contracts.” Euroclear Report Another group of 30 central securities depositories (CSDs) in Europe and Asia are researching possible ways to “join hands” in developing a new infrastructure to custody digital assets. The CSDs will attempt to figure out how to apply their experience in guarding stock certificates to security solutions for crypto assets. “A new world of tokenized assets and blockchain is coming. It will probably disrupt our role as CSDs. The whole group decided we will be focusing on tokenized assets, not just blockchain but on real digital assets.” You can read more about how blockchain will affect CSD’s here Examples of CSD’s in blockchain
SIX Digital Exchange and Deutsche Borse are utilising Corda as explained in the trading venues section
DTCC the largest in the US process 1.7 Quadrillion US Dollars of securities every year and are planning on moving their Trade Information Warehouse to Axoni’s AXCore Blockchain (Based on permissioned version of Ethereum) later this year — Source
Canada CDS are using the Quartz blockchain from Indian IT Services Company Tata Consultancy Services — Source
Euroclear in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), Banco Santander, and EY are developing a blockchain solution — Source
French CSD’s too soon go live on Setl Blockchain — Source and Source
Russia’s National Settlement Depository is launching a blockchain project using D3ledger (based off Hyperledger) — Source
The Importance Of Interoperability
The evolution of DLT and the wide adoption across industries and across different market segments is resulting in many different ledgers networks, but the ultimate promise of DLT can only be realized when all ledger networks can seamlessly interoperate. — from the recent DTCC whitepaper with Accenture Some challenges and constraints related to the market infrastructure ecosystem remain open and will need to be addressed in the future to sustain the development of DLT platforms for trading and the post-trade process.At this stage, the questions of interoperability and standardization across these DLT (probably permissioned) platforms remain open and we may see a list of platforms offering no scope for interconnection. This will prevent them from fulfilling the key “distribution” criterion of DLT.Another related challenge that may determine whether or not the technology is adopted is the ability to provide Delivery versus Payment (DvP) settlement, in particular in central bank money. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that settlement can also be facilitated in commercial bank money. —https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/lu/Documents/technology/lu-token-assets-securities-tomorrow.pdf
It’s clear from the above that interoperability will be crucial in order to unlock the true potential of Distributed Ledger Technology. Issuance platforms will seek to interoperate with as many secondary exchanges as possible to provide maximum liquidity for issuers. Issuance platforms and secondary exchanges are each using a wide range of different blockchains that all need to interoperate as part of the trade process. CSD’s will also need to have interoperability between other CSD’s as well as to the secondary exchanges (again each using different blockchains).
Enter Quant Network’s Overledger
Quant Network’s blockchain operating system, Overledger, provides interoperability between any current and future distributed ledger technology as well as easily connecting Off Chain / Legacy networks as well as plans to connect directly to the Internet. Within 10 months it has proven it can provide interoperability with the full range of DLT technologies from all the leading Enterprise Permissioned blockchains such as Hyperledger, R3’s Corda, JP Morgan’s Quorum, permissioned variants of Ethereum and Ripple (XRPL) as well as the leading Public Permissionless blockchains / DAGs such as Bitcoin, Stellar, Ethereum, IOTA and EOS as well as the most recent blockchain to get added Binance Chain. All without imposing restrictions on connected chains, being Internet scalable and able to easily integrate into existing networks / infrastructure. https://preview.redd.it/8p6hi942t0m31.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=b0536ea9981306feb8bd95788c66e9a5727a4d58 Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets https://www.quant.network/blog/redefining-wall-st-with-decentralised-capital-market-infrastructure-the-possibilities-of-quant-networks-overledger-technology-in-regulated-capital-markets Overledger enables Universal Interoperability where digital assets can move across blockchains so that they can interact with smart contracts on different blockchains. It does this by locking the asset on one blockchain and then representing it on another blockchain either by creating a representing token or representing it via metadata. This will enable all of these different parties such as Issuance platforms, Exchanges, CSD’s, traders etc to move the digital asset from their respective blockchain onto AX Trading’s platform for secure, immediate and immutable trading to take place. Potentially it would even allow Digital Assets / Securities to settled on a public permissionless blockchain such as the recently connected Binance Chain in a completely safe, secure and compliant way. https://preview.redd.it/a3o9qxq5t0m31.png?width=443&format=png&auto=webp&s=78d7a7e7d47213bbb354336ba9d5ad92c1c2254a Regulators would be able to run a node and view transactions in real time ensuring that compliance is being kept. Potentially they could also benefit from using Quant Networks Multichain Search capability http://search.quant.network/ to be able to fully track assets as they move across blockchains.
George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”
AX Trading have also partnered with Securrency (who have previously tokenised over $260 million in real estate assets). Securrency provide a protocol that enables security tokens to remain in compliance regardless of what blockchain the token is on. Due to the layered approach that Overledger has adopted from the learnings of TCP/IP, this protocol can be easily integrated on top of Overledger to enable security tokens to move across blockchains as well as ensuring they remain in compliance with regulations programmed into the token. https://youtu.be/vSQ2fu9iZGs
Delivery vs Payment (DvP)
A DvP transaction involves the settlement of two linked obligations, namely the delivery of securities and the payment of cash. DvP avoids counterparties being exposed to principal risk, i.e. the risk that the seller of securities could deliver but would not receive payment or that the buyer of securities could make payment but would not receive delivery.Following this requirement, a DvP securities settlement mechanism has to ensure that the delivery of securities and the payment of cash are linked in a way where one leg (obligation) of the securities trade is conditioned to the final settlement of the other leg (obligation) of the trade. Thereby final settlement is defined as “the irrevocable and unconditional transfer of an asset or financial instrument, or the discharge of an obligation by the FMI or its participants in accordance with the terms of the underlying contract”. —STELLA — a joint research project of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan
We have seen how Overledger can provide interoperability for the securities to move across Issuers platforms, integrate with Stock exchanges, Central Security Depositories and AX Trading. Now we need to be able to ensure that payment is guaranteed and in a way that offers immediate settlement which is irrevocable. To do this we need to represent FIAT on the blockchain so that it can interact with smart contracts and settle transactions on the blockchain.
J.P.Morgan is the largest bank in the United States and ranked by S&P Global as the sixth largest bank in the world by total assets as of 2018, to the amount of $2.535 trillion. J.P. Morgan was the first U.S. bank to create and successfully test a digital coin representing a fiat currency. The JPM Coin is based on blockchain-based technology enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional clients. With J.P.Morgan’s $2.6 trillion balance sheet, expertise in blockchain and global payments network, J.P. Morgan can seamlessly and securely transfer and settle money for clients around the world. J.P. Morgan are supervised by banking regulators in the United States and in the international jurisdictions in which it operates.
How does JPM Coin work?
A Buyer purchases JPM coins in advance which get represented on the Permissioned Quorum blockchain ($1 =1 JPM Coin). Quant Network’s Overledger could then provide interoperability to lock those tokens on Quorum and represent those onto another blockchain / AX Trading’s Network. By being able to represent securities and FIAT on the same blockchain (even though the underlying assets are on different blockchains) this provides instant finality / settlements to occur. Once the seller receives the JPM coin in exchange for the securities they have sold they will be able to redeem them for USD. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to have a JP Morgan account to redeem them, you could imagine in the future that the Bank instead redeems the JPM Coin and credits the users account. Similarly the buyer of the security token redeems the represented token and unlocks the security token on the original blockchain. You can read more about JP Morgan’s Coin here as well as its use cases
J.P Morgan is betting that its first-mover status and large market share in corporate payments — it banks 80 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 — will give its technology a good chance of getting adopted, even if other banks create their own coins.“Pretty much every big corporation is our client, and most of the major banks in the world are, too,” Farooq said. “Even if this was limited to JPM clients at the institutional level, it shouldn’t hold us back.”
Overledger enables different securities tokens / digital coins representing FIAT currencies to be brought together from the various permissioned / permissionless blockchains onto one platform where trading / settlement can take place. Overledger is the only technology that can do this today across the leading permissioned and permissionless blockchains as well as existing networks, all in a secure, scalable and easy to integrate way. https://preview.redd.it/ngt7q7hdt0m31.png?width=738&format=png&auto=webp&s=60166bdc0fcdf72a502e3472a09de5ddb5e1eb69 Quant Network are working with AX Trading to bring more digital assets, securities and tokenised assets to their existing 800 institutional traders in an already live and connected FINRA and SEC regulated exchange. AX Trading is not just about trading securities but other digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and potentially even Quant in the Future. https://preview.redd.it/ibecorcft0m31.png?width=1286&format=png&auto=webp&s=94540cf49654e36a8155f424c2a4bdb5fd549558 This is a multi-trillion dollar market with huge global enterprises, traditional exchanges and global banks are all adopting DLT at a rapid pace and going into production at scale in a matter of months, examples include the NYSE Bakkt launching Bitcoin futures later this month, Swiss Stock Exchange ($1.6 Trillion market Cap) is due to launch their digital exchange running on Corda (SDX) by the end of the year. The DTCC are due to launch their Trade Information Warehouse which processes $10 Trillion of cleared and bilateral derivatives by the end of the year. JP Morgan who transfer $6 Trillion every day are due to launch their JPM coin at the end of year and AX Trading is due to offer their first digital asset by January 2020. Quant Network’ Overledger enables the bridging of traditional finance infrastructure with the new decentralised finance infrastructure DeFi of the future, helping to redefine Wall Street and Capital Markets. https://medium.com/@CryptoSeq/wall-street-2-0-17252ffd8919
I'm trying to put together a list of what's coming out this year. Have this very simple list so far. Anyone care to add anything or suggest some better dates?
Latest News (most recent first) - Instant channels enable safe Lightning payments with unconfirmed funding Beta - Feb 10, 2019 - Voyager, New trading app from Uber & E-Trade execs announce launch date - Feb 9, 2019 - bumi/blockstream_satellite ruby gem for the Blockstream Satellite API - Feb 8, 2019 - New Zap Desktop 0.3.4 is out. New features, massive performance - Feb 8, 2019 - New release: @lightning desktop app v0.4.0-alpha - Feb 8, 2019 - valerio-vaccaro/Liquid-dashboard - Feb 7, 2019 - Japanese SBI Holdings will allow trading of coins - March 2019 - lnd v0.5.2-beta released - Feb 6, 2019 - Koala studios launches online LN gaming platform - Feb 6, 2019 - Independent Reserve has become the first #crypto exchange in Australia to be insured, with coverage underwritten by Lloyd's of London. - Feb 6, 2019 - Coinbase announces BTC support for their mobile (keep your own keys) wallet - Feb 6, 2019 - Blockstream published a new open source Proof of Reserves tool. - Feb 5, 2019 - RTL release v0.1.14-alpha - Feb 5, 2019 - dr-orlovsky/typhon-spec spec for new trestles side chain published - Feb 5, 2019 - Payment requests coming soon to BTCPay. - Feb 5th, 2019 - Kraken Acquires Futures Startup In Deal Worth At Least $100 Million - Feb 5th, 2019 - Next Blockchain cruise scheduled for June 9-13 - Feb 4, 2019 - Work on a GoTenna plugin to Electrum wallet in progress - Feb 4, 2019 - Bitcoin Candy Dispensers being open sourced - Feb 4, 2019 - New release of JoinMarket v0.5.3 - Feb 4, 2019 - Prime Trust won’t charge its clients to custody digital assets any longer. - Feb 4, 2019 - nodogsplash/nodogsplash wifi access using LN - Feb 3, 2019 - @tippin_me Receive tips using Lightning Network adds message feature - Feb 3, 2019 - Bitcoin-for-Taxes Bill in NH Unanimously Approved by House Subcommittee - Feb 3, 2019 - Full support for native segwit merged into bitcoinj - Feb 3, 2019 - Bitfury is partnering with financial services firm Final Frontier! - Feb 2, 2019 - Now you can open #LightningNetwork channels in @LightningJoule - Feb 2, 2019 - Integrating Blockstream’s Liquid payments on SideShift AI - Feb 1, 2019 - Wyoming legislature passes bill to recognize cryptocurrency as money - Feb 1, 2019 - Casa is open sourcing the code for the Casa Node - Feb 1, 2019 - Casa Browser Extension released - v0.5.2-beta-rc6 of lnd, full release getting very close now - Feb 1, 2019 - Tallycoin adds subscriptions and paywall features in bid to rival Patreon - Jan 31, 2019 - Static channel backup PR merged into LN - Jan 31, 2019 - The NYDFS grants another Bitlicense to ATM operator - Jan 31, 2019 - @pwuille currently proposing the “MiniScript” language to describe BTC output locking conditions for practical composition - Jan 31, 2019 - Fidelity is in the “final testing” phase for its new digital asset business - Jan 31, 2019 - Hardware wallet PR #109 just got merged so that @Trezor no longer requires user interaction for PIN - Jan 31, 2019 - CBOE, VanEck & SolidX filed a new & improved bitcoin ETF proposal. - Jan 31, 2019 - Casa Node code is now open sourced - Jan 31, 2019 - Next Bitoin halving in roughly 497 days - Jan 31, 2019 - BTCPay released 18.104.22.168 - Jan 31, 2019 - @binance now lets users purchase cryptos using Visa and Mastercard credit. - Jan 31, 2019 - Bitfury to Launch Bitcoin Operations in Paraguay - Jan 31, 2019 - Coinbase introduces very generous affiliate program - Jan 30, 2019 - DOJO Trusted Node bitcoin full node. Coming Early 2019 - Jan 30, 2019 - FastBitcoins.com Enables Cash-for-Bitcoin Exchange Via the Lightning Network - Jan 30, 2019 - TD Ameritrade says clients want cryptocurrency investment options - company plans major announcement in 'first half of 2019' - Jan 30, 2019 - Storage component of Fidelity's @DigitalAssets live, with some assets under management, @nikhileshde - Jan 29, 2019 - lightning mainnet has reached 600 BTC capacity - Jan 29, 2019 - Drivechain shows picture of Grin side chain and suggests might be ready in 2 month - Jan 29, 2019 - Lightning labs iOS neutrino wallet in testing stage now - Jan 29, 2019 - Aliant offering cryptocurrency processing free-of-charge - Jan 29, 2019 - Chainstone’s Regulator product to manage assets on the way - Jan 29, 2019 - Fidelity Investments’ new crypto custody service may officially launch in March. - Jan 29, 2019 - Gemini's becomes FIRST crypto EXCHANGE and CUSTODIAN to complete a SOC 2 Review by Deloitte - Jan 29, 2019 - Iran has lifted the ban on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency - Jan 29, 2019 - Confidential Transactions being added into Litecoin announcement - Jan 28, 2019 - http://FastBitcoins.com Enables Cash-for-Bitcoin Exchange Via the Lightning Network - Jan 28, 2019 - Germany’s largest online food delivery platform now accepts btc - Jan 27, 2019 - Launching a Bitcoin Developers School in Switzerland - Jan 27, 2019 - RTL release v0.1.13-alpha Lightning Build repository released - Jan 27, 2019 - The first pay-per-page fantasy novel available to Lightning Network. - Jan 27, 2019 - Numerous tools become available to write messages transmitted with Blockstream Satellite - Jan 26, 2019; - BTCPay 22.214.171.124 released - Jan 26,2019 - WordPress + WooCommerce + BTCPay Plugin is now live - Jan 25, 2019 - Juan Guaido has been promoting #Bitcoin since 2014 is new interim president of Venezuela - Jan 25, 2019 - Morgan Creek funds @RealBlocks - Jan 25, 2019 - Coinbase integrates TurboTax - Jan 25, 2019 - Robinhood received Bitlicense - Jan 25, 2019 - Anchor Labs launches custody - Jan 25, 2019 - NYSE Arca files w/ @BitwiseInvest for BTC ETF approval - Jan 25, 2019 - South Korea, Seoul, Busan & Jeju Island currently working to create pro crypto economic zones. - Jan 25, 2019 - valerio-vaccaro/Liquid-dashboard - Jan 25, 2019 - Bermuda to launch crypto friendly bank - Jan 25, 2019 - Mobile Bitcoin Wallet BRD Raises $15 Million, Plans for Expansion in Asia - Jan 25, 2019 - BullBitcoin rolling out alpha access of platform - Jan 25, 2019 - Electrum Wallet Release 3.3.3 - Jan 25, 2019 - Bitrefill, purchase Bitcoin and have it delivered directly over LN - Jan 25, 2019 - South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb looking to go public in USA - Jan 24, 2019 - Bitcoin Exchanges Don’t Need Money Transmitter Licenses in Pennsylvania - Jan 24, 2019 - US; New Hampshire Bill Aims to Legalize Bitcoin for State Payments in 2020 - Jan 24, 2019 - Robinhood, LibertyX Receive Licenses from New York Regulators - Jan 24, 2019 - Bakkt Bitcoin futures contract details released - Jan 24, 2019 - Blockstream CryptoFeed V3 now includes 30+ venues and 200M+ updates per day - Jan 24, 2019 - Binance Jersey – The Latest Binance European Exchange - Jan 2019
Bitfury Rolls Out Lightning Peach, Its Own Suite of Lightning Tools - Jan 24, 2019
Good news. v3.6.2 just hit the play store for Android. - Jan 24, 2019
Bitrefill - LN now accounts for more payments than alts - Jan 24, 2019
proofd.app allows you to store a checksum of a doc on the blockchain - Jan 24, 2019
487 days until bitcoin halving - Jan 23, 2019
New #GalaxyS10 coming with ‘Samsung Blockchain KeyStore’- Jan 24, 2019
Proof-of-Reserves tool for Bitcoin github.com/stevenroose/reserves - Jan 24, 2019
Lightning Network Pac-Man Arcade introduced - Jan 23, 2019
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