Forum Della Magia Tue, 27 Sep 2022 20:19:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Forum Della Magia 32 32 The iPhone 14 Pro’s wireless charging capabilities are said to be hampered by its chunky camera body Tue, 27 Sep 2022 16:37:15 +0000

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]]> Harry Potter first hardback edition will sell for up to £150,000 at auction Tue, 27 Sep 2022 06:08:45 +0000


The first hardback edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is set to fetch up to £150,000 when it goes under the hammer in November.

The book will be sold alongside franchise star Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Hero Wand’ from the 2001 film, which is estimated to be priced at £30,000.

Both items are part of an auction organized by film and television memorabilia company Propstore, which will include treasures from many successful franchises.

More than 1,500 lots will be sold at the auction, which is due to take place from November 3-6, with an estimated total value of over £11million.

Among the most popular items is actor Christopher Reeve’s full costume from the Superman franchise (1978-1987), estimated at £250,000-500,000.

Darth Vader gloves to match Dave Prowse’s screen from the 1977 sci-fi classic Star Wars: A New Hope are estimated at £150,000-250,000.

The live auction will be held at Bafta 195 Piccadilly, central London, as well as online or by phone for global auctions.

Props from the James Bond, Marvel and DC franchises will also be available, as will items from other classic films including Shawshank Redemption and Gladiator.

Stephen Lane, Managing Director of Propstore, said: “Following our Los Angeles Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction in June, which saw some of our best auction results, we are delighted to be back with another amazing sale.

“With a collection of over 1,500 bundles, we have an incredible range of content, from Fraggle Rock to Friday The 13th – there really is something for everyone.”

7 dormant Dow stocks to buy before Wall Street wakes up Mon, 26 Sep 2022 20:24:09 +0000

Although investors want nothing less than the most exciting investment opportunities after last year’s wild ride, 2022 could be the time for dormant Dow stocks to buy. After all, companies listed on the Dow 30 didn’t get there in a whirlwind operation. While they don’t command the most thrilling scenarios, these blue chips have the potential to help keep your wallet afloat in times of stress.

Fundamentally, the Federal Reserve changed the broader monetary and economic paradigm. Rather than a dovish framework that in many ways actively encouraged speculation in the markets, the Fed is now looking to tighten monetary excesses. It’s deflationary, what the incentives value over mere growth.

In this environment, here are seven of the best dormant Dow stocks to buy that could outperform.

HD Home deposit $267.20
WBA Walgreens Boot Alliance $32.76
JPM JPMorgan Chase $107.21
M.K.R. Merck $86.40
IBM International Business Machines $122.42
PG Procter & Gamble $135.74
AXP American Express $137.96

Home Depot

Source: Helen89 /

Generally a steady hand among dormant stocks at home improvement retailer Dow Home deposit (NYSE:HD) has printed an unusual amount of red ink so far this year, down a staggering 34%. Basically, the company probably suffered from rising interest rates. Yes, higher rates after a long period of accommodative monetary policy will present a shock to any business. However, Home Depot was among the main beneficiaries of last year’s incredible housing boom.

To quickly recap, a combination of fiscal stimulus and accommodative monetary policy has enabled many people to buy real estate. Moreover, wealthy members of society have sought to combat the long-term erosion of purchasing power by turning to housing to protect their wealth.

Today, this macro environment has been reversed. Higher rates correspond to higher borrowing costs. In turn, housing prices fell. Thus, renovation budgets are expected to take a hit, especially as many return to the office.

Now for the 5,000 IQ game: if interest rates come back down in a recessionary environment, it could trigger a second housing boom, as previously off-price buyers may move in. It’s a risky narrative, but one that could make HD one of the dormant Dow stocks to buy.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

Walgreens (WBA) store exterior and sign in Pompano Beach, Florida

Source: saaton /

One of the hardest hit dormant Dow Jones stocks, Walgreens Boot Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) certainly presents a frightening profile, even for opposites. Year-to-date through the Sept. 23 session, WBA has lost more than 38% of its market value. This is significantly more than the benchmark stock indices.

At the same time, if we’re being honest, Walgreens probably deserves at least some of the red ink. Initially this year, many bought into the idea that WBA was one of the dormant Dow Jones stocks. For example, the company benefited from tailwinds from its coronavirus vaccine and testing-related revenue channels. Later in the year, however, management presented a less than stellar outlook, pointing to a number of challenges for the business.

At the same time, there is an argument that Walgreens has already fallen enough. Basically, the company is still enjoying tailwinds due to greater awareness of infectious disease protocol and management. Should another breakout occur, WBA stock offers a nice cyclical upside for those looking for downed dormant Dow stocks.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM)

A sign for JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM).

Source: Bjorn Bakstad /

As strange as it may seem, the deflationary dynamics induced by the tightening of monetary policy could benefit JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). In theory, banks benefit from a rising interest rate environment because their net interest margins increase. In other words, bank lending products become much more profitable. That said, higher interest rates also mean slower business activity due to higher borrowing costs. And that’s one of the main reasons why JPM stock is down 32.5% year-to-date.

Now, the reason why deflation could be positive for JPMorgan comes down to the wealth management arm of the business. To be frank, a monkey throwing darts at a board can potentially be a solid financial advisor during an inflationary cycle. With inflation, the dollar loses purchasing power, which encourages active investment.

In a deflationary environment, the opposite is true. Investors have more options, with bonds and cash looking much more attractive. Thus, JPMorgan’s vast army of trained and experienced financial advisers could entice more cash into the markets, which would boost relative outperformance. This company’s wealth management division is the best of the best, making JPM one of the dormant Dow stocks to consider.

Merck (MRK)

Merck (MRK) logo outside the company building

Source: Atmosphere1 /

Let’s be honest. In the shadow of meme stocks and cryptocurrencies, Merck (NYSE:M.K.R.) turns out to be incredibly boring. At the same time, the pharmaceutical giant presents an incredibly relevant business profile. That’s why MRK stock is up 13% year-to-date as major stock indices have plunged. Perhaps more importantly, with the Covid-19 pandemic subsiding, Merck has a huge fundamental catalyst.

Go back a moment on Memory Lane. During the initial onslaught of Covid-19, many feared the outbreak. I think we all remember images of people dropping dead in the street, a scene from a horror movie. This dynamic has caused many people to avoid hospital visits due to infection concerns.

With the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine and general cabin fever, the fear around the Covid-19 pandemic is fading. As a result, the company’s solutions for cancer or other long-term illnesses such as Keytruda may finally see the kind of adoption many have been waiting for.

International Business Machines (IBM)

Quantum computing stocks: IBM sign with Canada headquarters in the background in Markham, Ontario, Canada.  IBM is an American multinational technology company.

Source: JHVEPhoto /

Arguably, it doesn’t get much sleepier among dormant Dow stocks than International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM). A boring legacy technology company at the best of times, IBM is attracting positive investor attention mostly for its dividend. With a forward yield of 5.38%, this company’s passive income profile remains a compelling selling point. After all, with inflation taking a bite out of everything, every mitigating element is useful.

However, what I appreciate about IBM is that it presents an “old faithful” type of investment scenario. Unlike flashy tech names, this clear example of a dormant Dow stock doesn’t grab the spotlight. Today, this factor pays off (literally and figuratively). While IBM stock is down 10% for the year so far, this is a superior performance relative to the tech sector.

Also, I appreciate that management is pivoting from hardware to the cloud. Honestly, the transition is taking longer than investors would like. However, over time, I think this transition could pay off for patient investors looking for a place to hide.

Procter & Gamble (PG)

A Procter & Gamble (PG) distribution center in Vandalia.

Source: Jonathan Weiss/

A dormant stock that has a higher than average probability of survival and prosperity is Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). As a household equipment giant, the company presents a painfully boring profile. I can’t imagine anyone waking up in the morning, logging into the trading desk and bidding on PG stocks based on toilet paper fundamentals.

Yet the lessons of Covid-19 have brought consumers a rude awakening. During the initial onslaught of the pandemic, household items such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer were essentially bricks of gold. Just when you thought global supply chain disruptions couldn’t get any worse, they did with a more recent shortage of feminine hygiene products.

It’s also possible that with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine – one that shows no signs of abating – supply chain disruptions will worsen. After all, we are dealing with countries that export many raw materials that we took for granted before the new normal. As a result, the PG stock is the one currently on my watchlist.

American Express (AXP)

the American Express logo carved into the wood

Source: First Class Photography /

As a financial services company specializing in the issuance of credit cards, American Express (NYSE:AXP) doesn’t shout “dormant Dow stocks to buy” to many.


Well, this company’s business model may not benefit from this tighter monetary policy environment. As borrowing costs rise, consumers are naturally looking to save money, not spend it.

That said, American Express caters to a more affluent user base. Notably, the company’s premium tier Platinum cardholders have an average net worth of $4.3 million. In addition, this clientele produces an average income of $474,000. In other words, we’re talking about a user demographic that may not be as impacted by inflation, deflation, or anything else.

American Express is a company that always offers risk, make no mistake. Down nearly 17% for the year so far, the company itself is not immune to market pressures. Nonetheless, the company’s outperformance relative to benchmark stock indices can be a positive sign for long-term investors.

As of the date of publication, Josh Enomoto had (neither directly nor indirectly) any position in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to publishing guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto helped negotiate major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has provided critical and unique insights to investment markets, as well as various other industries including law, construction management and healthcare.

Ghana will not default on loan repayments despite Fitch demotion – US-based Associate Professor Mon, 26 Sep 2022 13:57:16 +0000 Dr Williams Peprah

Financial expert Dr Williams Peprah has said the government will not default on its loan repayments despite the country’s credit rating being downgraded to deeper junk status by ratings agency Fitch.

Fitch’s said its decision on Ghana reflects soaring interest costs on domestic debt, a prolonged lack of access to Eurobond markets and the increased likelihood that Ghana will pursue debt restructuring given the growing financial stress.

Speaking to Joy Business, Dr Peprah, an associate professor at Andrews University in Michigan, US, said the government needed to act decisively, however, to reduce additional pressures on the economy.

He therefore wants the government to drastically reduce its expenditure, both current and capital, in order to settle its interest payments quickly.

“We can mention that, in terms of ability to pay, Ghana is in a position [to repay]. Regarding the character of Ghana, when we do the credit analysis, we have not defaulted on any of our loans. This therefore gives a signal that the likelihood of Ghana being in default character is not very imminent”.

“Regarding the conditions, we know that Ghana hopes to meet all the conditions. Indeed, this is why Ghana is pursuing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) program to be able to give a bailout in terms of liquidity support so that Ghana can find its feet”.

IMF program to calm financial markets

Dr Peprah hopes that an IMF program will be launched by the first quarter of 2023 to calm financial markets and restore the economy.

“We hope this [IMF programme] should be detached in the first quarter of 2023; some funds will come from the IMF to help the economy recover. But more importantly, if this rating is alarming and worrisome, we may have to hope that we can turn the tide by being disciplined with our spending in the country.”

He, however, stressed that the upgrade of Ghana’s credit rating from ‘CCC’ to ‘CC’ was expected, although all is not lost.

“The ratings given by Fitch that place Ghana’s long-term monetary debt at junk status are very alarming, but they were anticipated. However, if you look at the analysis of how to determine Ghana’s creditworthiness, all is not lost.

“We admit that the ability to pay with regard to our debt ratio has increased but it is not too alarming,” he added.

He alluded to the fact that there is a high likelihood that the government intends to come up with strategies that would increase revenue collection, “but what we really expect from the government right now is to reduce its expenditure both in capital and in current expenditure considerably to make room for certain funds to be able to settle the loans that the government has contracted”.

Fitch downgrades Ghana to ‘trash’ status

Rating agency Fitch on Friday, September 23, 2022, downgraded Ghana’s default local and foreign long-term (IDR) issuer ratings to “CC” or undesirable status.

This is the second time in 2022 that it downgrades Ghana’s creditworthiness.

It also comes two days after President Akufo-Addo slammed rating agencies at a United Nations conference for unfairly rating and rating African countries at a time when the global economy was going through tough times.

Protesters take to the streets as rental housing crisis hits students Sun, 25 Sep 2022 04:05:52 +0000 A STUDIO with a toilet outside in a communal hallway for £950 a month but still sold out as soon as it was advertised.

Single rooms available to rent at £1000 per month.

A teenager camps for three days in front of a real estate agency in order to be on the front line for any rental put on the market.

Online forums filled with desperate pleas for a place – anywhere – to live.

Students are told not to enroll in classes if they cannot find accommodation.

Hundreds of people were waiting for a march today to protest the cost and availability of rental accommodation.

This is the reality for students in Scotland in 2023 as rents soar due to the shortage of suitable accommodation.

It’s a crisis that’s been building for years as demand outstrips supply and St Andrews, one of the UK’s most expensive places to study, is where today’s protest is taking place today.

The Campaign for Affordable Student Accommodation (CASH), which is organizing the march, says more than 400 students have been unable to find accommodation as the start of their classes nears and many have since dropped out or have to travel from Dundee and towns of Fife.

“It’s a pretty desperate situation,” spokesman Barry Will said. “The rents are phenomenal and there has been a real crisis. A student camped outside an estate agent for three days trying to get somewhere and there are rooms rented out for £1,000 a month.

Elsewhere in Scotland there is a similar picture.

Doctoral student Elliot Napier considers himself lucky because, after being unable to find accommodation to rent, he can cycle from the family home in Carntyne to undertake his studies at the University of Glasgow.

“As a PhD student in his thirties, it’s not ideal to live in my mum’s spare room, but the cost and unavailability of housing is just crazy,” he told The Sunday National.

After weeks of logging on to real estate sites at 9 a.m. only to find prices were “insane,” he gave up trying to find accommodation closer to the university.

‘I’ve seen a studio advertised for £950 a month where the bathroom wasn’t even in the flat,’ he said. “I asked for photos and the agent dithered – clearly the place was a hole – but it was taken hours after it went live.

“Anything semi-reasonably priced – like a bed away from the center – cost £700 or £800 a month. I would email about them and get a response before noon saying it was gone so obviously people were taking anything without even seeing it.

Napier added: “I know of students in an apartment who are paying twice the normal rent rate because the landlord decided to go on Airbnb rather than renting it out as a student apartment. They said he thought Eurovision would come to Glasgow and he would earn more in a week than he would in a whole term.

While students aren’t the only ones affected by the cost and availability of rental accommodation, they say universities are contributing to the problem by providing places for more students than can be accommodated. . They also claim that university prices for student apartments inflate rents in surrounding areas.

A spokesman for the Student Tenants’ Union at the University of Glasgow, which made headlines last week after telling students not to enroll if they had no accommodation, said that the problem had to be solved or the crisis would get worse every year.

“These problems have not just started recently and if the university recognizes this, it would make more efforts to expand its halls,” a spokesperson said. “It’s something that has been left to grow for years and is now even worse because of the cost of living crisis.

“Some people find themselves almost homeless. Last year we helped people who were living on sofas.

“Other students pay thousands of pounds but live in buildings that are unsuitable. Some cases are truly shocking because of the negligence of letting agents regarding repairs.

In addition to today’s protest march, students at St Andrews have launched a petition calling on the university, Fife Council and the Scottish Government to act together to end the housing crisis.

They want the university to limit student numbers until there is sufficient accommodation capacity and are calling on the Scottish Government to review purpose-built student accommodation by next March, with recommendations from action by the end of the year, as well as providing funding to ensure emergency accommodation can be provided.

The petition also calls on Fife Council to lift the ban on multiple occupancy homes (HMOs) in St Andrews for the academic year and to consider designating the area as a rent pressure area.

A spokesperson for the University of St Andrews said: ‘We greatly sympathize with the stress students have reported looking for flats in a housing environment that is more pressured than ever. At St Andrews this year, this is linked to a greater lack of properties available on the private rental market for reasons entirely beyond the university’s control. Many of these factors are common to college towns across the country.

“It is important to stress that all of our incoming undergraduate students have been offered accommodation, in line with St Andrews long-standing guarantee, and that all undergraduate students who have requested accommodation or assistance from the university have been accommodated, thanks to a lot of hard work by our residences team. We currently have no undergraduate students on waiting lists for housing.

“There has been no significant change in the number of students this year compared to last year. The housing shortage this summer is almost entirely due to changes in the private rental market in Scotland.

The spokesman added that rent levels were set in consultation with elected student leaders and were “significantly lower” than those charged by private landlords.

“We also have a comprehensive system of scholarships and support to help individual students with housing and living costs,” the spokesperson said. We will continue to work on accommodation issues over the coming year, recognizing the stress students may experience and pushing for changes to local and national policies that impact the housing supply and rents here and elsewhere in Scotland.

Fife Council housing spokesperson, Councilor Judy Hamilton, said: ‘Balancing the housing needs of everyone who wants to live in St Andrews has always been a major issue for the town, and we have looked at many ways different ways of managing these challenges over the years. We will work with the university to see how we can best help.

A University of Glasgow spokesman also blamed “a significant contraction” in the private rental market.

“Like most urban universities, we cannot guarantee accommodation for returning students,” he said. “As part of our efforts to address the issue, we have increased the number of rooms under university management by 25% for this academic year. There has been no significant increase in the number of students this year. He said the university continues to engage with private providers and local government on issues related to the city’s private rental market.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to delivering a student accommodation strategy for Scotland which will, in part, be informed by a review of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). The review will look at a number of issues, including supply and affordability.

“The PBSA review research report has now been received and will be reviewed by a review panel, with recommendations to be submitted to ministers later this year. We will also provide a fairer and more affordable private rental sector through our New Deal for Tenants. »

The story of Rockwood, a Girl Scout camp in Maryland, is told in a new book Sat, 24 Sep 2022 19:00:00 +0000

Camping is an integral part of Girl Scouting, a way to learn independence and self-sufficiency. Participating in a class action can also teach a lesson. It was the prospect of losing a beloved Montgomery County Girl Scout camp that mobilized a group of scouts dressed in green sweaters to enter the Rockville courthouse one day in January 1979.

They were there to support nine plaintiffs suing the Girl Scouts of the USA: seven adults and two of their Girl Scout peers. The field trip to the courthouse would count towards their active citizenship badge.

That’s one of the details in a new book by Ann Robertson called “Rescue Rockwood: How a Group of Determined Girl Scouts Rallied to Save a Beloved National Camp.” It’s a messy story from the Carter/Reagan years that still annoys some in the Girl Scout community.

Robertson is the volunteer historian for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, the group that oversees the local troops. It was local The Girl Scouts who were most upset by the loss of Rockwood, a 67-acre site off MacArthur Boulevard near Great Falls, when the national Girl Scouts announced they were selling it to a developer.

The national group had been bequeathed the property after the death in 1936 of its owner, the eccentric society lady Carolyn Gangwer Caughey. Carolyn may have said her last name “shy,” but there was nothing shy about her.

“She really was a character,” Robertson said. “She could twist her arms and pull almost anything out of anyone.”

Caughey was born in 1864. She was married to John Caughey, the son of a Pittsburgh industrialist, although she derived her own income from shrewd speculation in Washington real estate. Well, she probably had her own income. In 1915, John sued Carolyn, claiming he provided the funds for various properties that were in his name.

Later he dropped the case and, oddly enough, they did not divorce. They lived pretty much separate lives after that, Carolyn at Rockwood, her country home.

The Caugheys had no children, and as Carolyn grew up, she had decisions to make regarding her estate. She loved brave women, being one herself, and she was moved by the story of Helen Hopkins, a survivor of the 1922 Knickerbocker Theater disaster.

Hopkins, 26, was among the onlookers who were trapped when the snow-covered roof collapsed. She was a Girl Scout leader and her calm demeanor and the way she helped other victims made her a hero in the disaster, which killed 98 people. Caughey was a friend of Hopkins’ mother and in her last will – she wrote several – she left Rockwood for the National Girl Scouts for use as a “character building facility”. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more Helen Hopkins?

After some internal discussion, the Girl Scouts accepted ownership. The scouts camped there. They explored the property, walked its trails, forded the stream that ran through it. Caughey Manor had lived in hosted programs for adult scout leaders. Troops came from all over the country, using Rockwood as a base camp for trips to Washington.

Almost from the start, there was a certain tension.

“The locals were thinking, yeah, it’s a national camp, but it’s a bit more ours than anybody else’s,” Robertson said.

Why hadn’t Caughey just left Rockwood on the local council?

“I think the reason she went to the national organization is that by being national instead of local, the camp would be integrated,” Robertson said. The local Girl Scout council was not incorporated until 1955.

A property like Rockwood is expensive to maintain. Girl Scouts of the USA had another camp – Macy’s, in Westchester County, NY – which served a similar purpose. He didn’t need both. In 1978, the national group announced that Rockwood was being sold to developers Berger/Berman, who hoped to build nearly 200 homes there.

Some Washingtonians wondered why they were asked to buy Thin Mints and Samoas when the Girl Scouts were getting $4 million for Rockwood. The public didn’t understand the difference between local troops and the national umbrella organization, Robertson said.

The class action lawsuit was filed by individuals, not the Washington council. They raised funds with bake sales and garage sales. They were bolstered when Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs joined the lawsuit, making Maryland a plaintiff. Sachs said the state has an interest in ensuring the terms of charitable trusts are maintained.

But in 1981, before Maryland et al. against GSUSA was judged, a resolution was reached. A portion of the camp, including its two main buildings, would be donated to the Montgomery County Parks Department for public use. And the national scouting group would pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees.

The now smaller housing estate has passed. His name – Woodrock – infuriated camp boosters.

Today Caughey Manor and a cottage remain. Both are rented out for events, including weddings. Robertson said some brides nod to Rockwood history by offering Girl Scout cookies at the reception.

]]> Stocks to watch: big events for Tesla, Amazon and Intel Sat, 24 Sep 2022 01:08:00 +0000

Get a head start on the market by subscribing to Seeking Alpha’s Stocks to Watch, a preview of key events scheduled for the week ahead. The newsletter keeps you informed of the biggest stories that will make headlines, including upcoming IPOs, investor days, earnings reports and conference presentations.

Stocks to Watch subscribers can also tune in on Sundays for a curated podcast available on Seeking Alpha, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Investors could get another reality check, with major averages falling in five of the past six weeks, the Federal Reserve maintaining a hawkish stance on interest rates and recession fears resurging. Soaring bond yields and a strong US dollar have reset valuations and earnings expectations in nearly every sector. The week ahead will see a flurry of economic releases including the latest updates on durable orders, consumer confidence, new home sales, GDP and PCE prices. On the corporate timeline, Twitter (TWTR) will drop Elon Musk, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) will host a key innovation event, Amazon (AMZN) will showcase new products, and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will hold its highly anticipated AI Day in Palo Alto, California.

Earnings Spotlight: Tuesday, September 27 – Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ: CBRL), Jabil (JBL) and United Natural Foods (UNFI)

Results Spotlight: Wednesday, September 28 – Thor Industries (THO), Jefferies (JEF) and Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN).

Earnings Spotlight: Thursday, September 29 – Bed bath and beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY), CarMax (KMX), Rite Aid (RAD), Micron (NASDAQ: MU) and Nike (NYSE: NKE).

IPO monitoring: Luxury real estate developer Lead Real Estate (LRE) is set to start trading on September 27 and technology company Beamr Imaging (BMR) has an IPO start date of September 30. IPO lock-up periods expire for blocks of shares of Expion360 (NASDAQ: XPON) and Iveda Solutions (IVDA).

Tesla AI Day Preview: Tesla (TSLA) will hold its highly anticipated AI Day event on September 30 with expected updates on fully self-driving cars, the Dojo supercomputer, the robotaxi program, and a potential unveiling of the Tesla Bot. Optimus is described as a 5ft 8in robot capable of performing human tasks such as carrying heavy objects. The ultimate goal of Project Optimus is to deploy thousands of humanoid robots in factories before exploring other uses for them, including in the home. Elon Musk has teased that the robotics business could eventually be worth more than Tesla’s automotive business. Other topics that could be discussed are the Tesla Cybertruck schedule and information about the more powerful Supercharger V4.

Nike Earnings Snapshot: Nike (NKE) is expected to report earnings on September 29 with consensus revenue expectations of $12.29 billion and EPS of $0.92. Analysts believe currency is a major factor with new guidance issued by the company if its currency hedging program fails to offset fluctuations. While the near-term demand picture in China remains murky due to boycotts and COVID lockdowns, UBS believes the market is underestimating how attractive China’s sportswear market is for the company. long-term. The company pointed to favorable demographic trends, strong interest in health, wellness, sports and sports participation, and general consumer preference for big brands.

Amazon Product Event: Amazon (AMZN) will host an event to announce new devices, features and services. The tech giant is expected to unveil new Echo devices, as well as products from several Ring and Blink subsidiaries. Like Tesla, Amazon is becoming more active with household robots and the company may tease future integration of newly acquired iRobot. A wildcard to watch is if Amazon uses the spotlight to announce a second Prime Day shopping event or a specials event. It could reset expectations in the retail industry if Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT) become more promotional to eliminate inventory.

Corporate events: Intel (INTC) will hold its annual innovation conference on September 27. Intel Innovation 2022 will include a keynote from CEO Pat Gelsinger and updates on the 13th Gen Intel Core series. On the same day, UiPath (NYSE: PATH) will hold its Investor Day with a series of presentations focusing on the company’s strategic priorities, key growth initiatives and financials. UiPath shares rallied after similar events in the past. On September 28, there are investor events for Aurora Innovation (NASDAQ: AUR), VF Corp (VFC). TotalEnergies SE (TTE), Roivant (NASDAQ: ROIV), The Timken Company (TKR) and Stem Inc. (NYSE: STEM). On September 29, Brookfield listed its affiliates (NYSE: BBU) (NYSE: BEP) (New York Stock Exchange: BEPC) (BIP) (BIPC) will organize days dedicated to investors. Also watch Li Auto (LI) on September 30 with the Chinese electric vehicle maker holding a launch event to unveil the Li L8 smart SUV. Learn about other events that could lead to stock price movements in Seeking Alpha’s Catalyst Watch.

Notable conferences: The upcoming week’s conference schedule includes the Cantor Fitzgerald Oncology & HemOnc Conference, Lytham Partners Fall 2022 Investor Conference, Guggenheim Nantucket Therapeutics Conference, TD Securities Paper and Forest Products Conference, Ladenburg Thalmann Healthcare Conference, and B Conference. Riley 2nd Annual Crypto Conference.

Stock breakdown: Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY) The 1 for 4 reverse stock split is effective September 26.

Mentions of Barron: The cover story looks at whether to buy shares of the most promising healthcare companies at lower valuations. The post-COVID era in the industry should refocus attention on the innovation cycle and upcoming companies on a big patent cycle. AI platforms are also expected to penetrate the industry to integrate all available data to equip physicians. Some of the companies mentioned as intriguing in the current market setup include Boston Scientific (BSX), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW), EQRx (NASDAQ:EQRX), Eli Lilly (LLY) and AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV).

Sources: EDGAR, Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters

CFPB study highlights need for “Buy Now, Pay Later” rules Fri, 23 Sep 2022 19:04:05 +0000

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is preparing to put in place the same type of strict protections that it places on credit card companies in the “Buy now, pay later” (BNPL) sector, following the publication of a recent study on the practice. Officials said their findings revealed a booming industry that not only had few safeguards for consumers and helped normalize debt, but had also begun data collection and monetization efforts with little support. surveillance.

“Buy now, pay later is a rapidly growing type of loan that is closely replacing credit cards,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said last Thursday. “We will work to ensure borrowers have similar protections whether they are using a credit card or a Buy Now, Pay Later loan.”

Key points to remember

  • Buy now, pay later is an interest-free payment option that primarily allows you to pay for goods and services online.
  • The option has grown significantly during the pandemic, with Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, PayPal and Zip originating 180 million Buy Now, Pay Later loans totaling more than $24 billion last year.
  • A Buy Now, Pay Later industry study found that consumer protections are lax and lenders often use data collection to create a database of valuable personal information.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sets rules and guidelines to protect consumers from potential dangers such as rampant data collection.

Buy now, pay later is a booming industry

With such an emphasis on online retail in recent years, some companies and lenders have started promoting their BNPL products. Whether called “pay in four”, “split payment” or BNPL, the concept is the same: they were point-of-sale interest-free installment loans that allowed consumers to pay for their purchases over time. . In most cases, a down payment is required with plans typically capped at around $1,000. Any late or missing payment will incur additional charges.

According to the CFPB report, BNPL has grown in popularity so quickly that the top five lenders, Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, PayPal and Zip, were responsible for 180 million loans totaling $24.2 billion in 2021. Those numbers eclipsed data from 2019, which saw these same lenders disbursed 16.8 million loans worth $2 billion in 2019.

Consumers face certain risks by buying now, paying later

Although the absence of interest payments and staggered repayment plans may be attractive to most consumers, CFPB researchers found that BNPL loans were associated with some potentially dangerous risks.

  • Lack of standardized consumer protections. The CFPB’s main concern is the apparent lack of consistent oversight and consumer protection. Because lenders operate outside the confines of credit card regulations, some consumers may find themselves vulnerable to things like a “lack of standardized cost of credit disclosures, minimal dispute resolution rights, a forced opt-in to automatic payment and businesses that assess multiple late penalties on the same missed payment.”
  • Younger access to debt. The researchers found that among the top five lender users, the average borrower who sought to use BNPL tended to be younger. According to the data, young millennials (25-33 years old) made up the largest cohort, with older generations (34-40 years old) and Gen Z (18-24 years old) taking second and third place.
  • Normalizes debt. By getting young people into debt earlier, this risks normalizing the accumulation of debt without proper management. The ease of getting a BNPL loan is evidenced by the fact that loan approval rates have increased from 69% in 2020 to 73% in 2021 and the prevalence of late fees has increased from 7, 8% to 10.5% over the same period.
  • Lenders have started turning to collecting and selling user data. Even as BNPL plans have grown in popularity, researchers found that profit margins had started to shrink, from 1.27% in 2020 to 1.01% of the total loan amount issued. With yields falling, the CFPB said it learned that some lenders were building a “valuable digital profile of each user’s shopping preferences and behavior” by turning to proprietary apps.

How the CFPB reacts

Even though BNPL providers fall under the jurisdiction of some state and federal oversight, the CFPB uses its power over credit providers and “has the power to supervise any non-custodial covered person, such as a Buy Now, Pay Later provider. , in certain circumstances .”

To that end, the CFPB said it will begin to identify areas where it can provide guidance and establish rules to ensure BNPL lenders “adhere to many of the basic protections that Congress has already established for credit cards” and will be subject to regular inspections. Regarding the risk of borrowers taking on too many BNPL loans, the office will consider how lenders can begin to follow accurate credit reporting practices. Regarding the issue of data collection, the CFPB will find and call out data collection practices that lenders should avoid.

Incel forum pushes for mass rape and murder Fri, 23 Sep 2022 02:00:00 +0000

The most important forum for men who consider themselves involuntarily celibate or “incels” has radicalized significantly over the past year and a half and seeks to normalize child rape, according to a new report.

The report, from the new Quant Lab at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, is the culmination of a survey that analyzed more than one million posts on the site. He found a marked spike in conversations about mass murder and the growing endorsement of the sexual assault of prepubescent girls.

The report also says that platforms such as YouTube and Google, as well as internet infrastructure companies like Cloudflare are facilitating the growth of the forum, which the report says is visited by 2.6 million people each month. “These companies should make a policy decision to withdraw their services from sites causing such significant harm,” the report said.

“This is a new violent extremist movement born in the internet age, which challenges the usual characteristics of violent extremist movements that law enforcement and the intelligence community are usually used to,” Imran said. Ahmed, founder and CEO of CCDH, an American organization. non-profit. “Our study shows that they are organized, have a compelling ideology, and have clearly concluded that raping women, killing women and raping children are clearly part of practicing their ideology.”

Incels blame women for their failures in life. The term originated decades ago, and while the first incel forum was founded by a woman in the mid-1990s, incel communities have since become almost exclusively male. Incel ideology has been linked to dozens of murders and assaults over the past decade, the most significant involving Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old self-proclaimed incel who murdered six people in a stabbing and stabbing attack. the shooting in Santa Barbara, California. , in 2014. Before committing suicide, he posted a lengthy manifesto and YouTube videos promoting incel ideology.

In March, the US Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center released a report warning that violence against women was a growing terrorist threat.

According to CCHR analysis, forum members post about rape every 29 minutes, and more than 89% of posters support rape and say it’s okay. CCHR’s analysis also found that the posters on the forum seek to normalize child rape. More than a quarter of forum members have posted pedophilia keywords, analysis found, and more than half of forum members support pedophilia.

The forum also changed its rules this year to accommodate what appears to be a trend towards normalizing the rape of young victims, according to the report. The forum previously implored users not to “sexualize minors in any way”, but in March changed that language to “not sexualize prepubescent minors in any way”.

The report also cited content reflecting the trend of paedophilia, noting that a majority of commenters expressed support for an article that read, “As an incel, there is literally no reason to be against paedophilia”. Another thread started by a regular user who had posted over 7,000 times on the forum contained an image of a 12 year old with the comment “who in his right mind would prefer a 22 year old [woman] for that?”

“Analysis of their discourse shows that this core group represents a clear and present danger to women, other young men, and reveals an emerging threat to our children,” the report said.

The CCHR said its analysis also revealed growing interest in mass murder at the site. Posts mentioning incel mass murder rose 59% between 2021 and 2022, the study found, and praise was common for Elliot Rodger. The word “kill” was mentioned 1,181 times on the forum in just one month, or once every 37 minutes. “Shoot” and “kill” are also popular words on the forum.

“Having conducted this study, we are in no doubt that this community of angry, belligerent and shameless men are dangerous to each other, with malignant social dynamics by which they encourage each other to increasingly worse extremes. worse,” the report said. “Unchecked, incel communities have the potential to become more radicalized.”

The CCHR said it was making its comprehensive forum database available to law enforcement and informed counterterrorism officials in the United States and United Kingdom of the report’s findings.

The forum was founded in 2017 by Diego Joaquín Galante, known online as “Sergeant Incel” and Lamarcus Small in response to Reddit banning the /r/incels subreddit. It offers an invite-only Discord server for its members who have posted over 400 times on the site, and an active channel on the Telegram chat app. Forum moderators also maintain a Twitter account that promotes incel ideology and attacks perceived critics.

Only self-identified heterosexual men are allowed to post on the forum; women and members of the LGBTQ community are prohibited from weighing themselves.

The report says the forum has gained a mass following largely through social media, especially YouTube, where according to the report, videos promoting incel ideology have had a total of 24.2 million views. time. “YouTube is a key part of incel education,” Ahmed said.

Forum members, according to the report, often share content from misogynistic YouTube channels and channels like Incel TV, which promotes incel ideology. Another popular YouTube channel mentioned on the forum, according to the report, is SlutHate Creeps, where users post secretly recorded images of women.

“We remove content that targets or threatens individuals or groups based on protected attributes. After review, we have removed and age-restricted several videos released by CCHR for violating our Community Guidelines,” YouTube spokesperson Jack Malon said in a statement.

YouTube isn’t the only breakthrough, according to the analysis. Galante and Small have created a network of seemingly more mainstream websites that direct people to the incel forum. Google searches for body image or unemployment frequently return links to these “incelosphere” sites, the CCHR found.

Teenagers are among the most active and extreme users of the forum, according to the CCHR. In one case, a boy who said he was 17 was recorded as being on the forum for an average of 10 hours a day during the reporting period, posting an average of 40 times a day, according to the report. Another, who claimed to be 15, spent an average of five hours a day on the site, repeatedly posting his desire to carry out a mass shooting.

The forum enables their participation, according to the analysis, by encouraging users to hide the site from prying parents or teachers using a feature that disguises it as a banana marketing website.

The report criticizes Cloudflare, an internet services company that provides services to the forum and other Galante and Small sites. Cloudflare recently abandoned Kiwi Farms, a forum where users coordinated harassment campaigns against women and members of the LGBTQ community, after launching a protest targeting its top customers. “Cloudflare benefits from its role as an infrastructure provider for all four incelosphere forums and has been praised by the official incel forum Twitter account,” the report said.

The CCDH also urged government regulators to find ways to combat incel ideology and restrict the site. “This should not be left to the goodwill of Big Tech, who profit from the creation and distribution of this content and are not properly incentivized or required to be proactively transparent about key metrics or invest in desired safety outcomes,” the report said.

“This forum is a violent ideological manifesto, but for the 21st century,” Ahmed said. “Instead of being a book, it’s essentially a wiki that is constantly being developed by the readers themselves. Left alone, this community has become even more radicalized and its ideology is becoming more dangerous day by day.

This story will be updated with comments as it becomes available.


A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Center for Countering Digital Hate is British. He is based in the United States. The article has been corrected.

]]> Elimination of one-cent minimum quote increment could have ‘unintended negative consequences’, says Citadel Securities Thu, 22 Sep 2022 09:18:35 +0000

Citadel Securities has released a new white paper outlining its view that eliminating the one-cent minimum tick increment could have “negative” and “unintended” consequences for the market.

This follows a market maker white paper in May last year which suggested that a reduction in the minimum quote increment to half a penny for tick-limited stocks could alleviate concerns that exchanges were struggling to compete with off-exchange venues for retail flow. Citadel Securities argued that such a discount for tick-limited stocks would encourage participants to quote a tighter spread.

However, other participants made the more drastic suggestion of reducing the increment for all stocks, whether tick-limited or not, arguing that this creates a level playing field for on-exchange and over-the-counter platforms. .

The new white paper from Citadel Securities instead laid out the argument using public 605 data that even when not constrained by the penny quote rule, exchange participants are not contributing or performing. not at such good prices as can be obtained by wholesalers filling the retail trade. orders.

“Proponents argue that exchanges cannot compete with OTC platforms due to the latter’s ability to execute ‘between ticks’, whereas exchanges cannot, creating a level playing field” , Citadel Securities said in the report. “However, our analysis demonstrates that there is no benefit to smaller increments for stocks with spreads greater than pennies.”

The market maker added that any changes to the quote increments might not even necessarily result in exchanges offering more competitive prices.

Citing the SEC’s approval of the NYSE RLP program, Citadel Securities added that the widespread listing of less than a penny could have negative and unintended consequences, including flickering listings, higher trading costs, reduced liquidity and increased fragmentation of securities markets.