Rivian, FedEx, Cerner, Oracle: What to | Stock Market News Today


Stock futures are down at the end of a week that saw major central banks chart divergent courses as they confront inflation. Here’s what we’re watching in Friday’s action:

Cerner’s stock got a premarket boost after it was reported that Oracle was in talks to acquire the company.



Photo:

Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Associated Press

Chart of the Day
  • Investors say Chinese authorities are likely to ease up somewhat on the embattled real-estate sector and to loosen monetary policy, helping support Chinese corporate borrowers more broadly.

Write to James Willhite at [email protected]

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Latest News Today – Centre Planning Follow Up Scheme On Urban


Centre is planning a follow up scheme to the existing urban rejuvenation mission

Centre is planning to bring in a follow up scheme to the existing Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), as it covers only 60 per cent of the urban population and the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry wants to extend its coverage to 100 per cent of the areas.

Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri in response to a question in Lok Sabha gave this information, saying that the Government is actively considering a follow up scheme for AMRUT which will cover all urban areas.

AMRUT, which was launched in June 2015 by the NDA government, is aimed at providing robust sewage system and tap water connection to each urban household. It also counts septage, storm water drainage management and sewerage treatment as its focus areas.

Mr Puri further informed the lower house during Question Hour that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget statement had talked about a follow up to the AMRUT scheme.



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Latest News Today – 5G Phone Demand Grows Among Customers Planning to Buy


Over two-third of customers in major markets planning to purchase a new smartphone in the next six months prefer getting a 5G model, according to a report released by consulting firm Kantar. China led the markets where as much as 91 percent of customers showed interest in purchasing a 5G phone. However, the trend of buying 5G phones is also zooming in on the US. Kantar’s report also highlighted growing interest among customers in markets including the US and Europe for purchasing smartphones from a physical store.

Kantar noted that 74 percent of customers in the US showed interest in buying a 5G phone. The percentage is indeed lower than the customer base looking to own models based on the next-generation network technology in China. However, the firm said that 5G capability as a purchase reason remained nearly flat in the Chinese market year-on-year, with one in five buyers citing the feature as a buying driver.

“Of the top 10 models sold in China, 70 percent are 5G enabled,” said Kantar Consumer Insights Director Jennifer Chan. “In Japan, this is 60 percent; it’s 50 percent in both the US and Australia, and 40 percent across the EU5 (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain).”

On the sales front, Kantar found that the share of Samsung sales grew by four percentage points in Australia and the US, taking over 30 percent of total sales in the second quarter of 2021. Samsung’s sales were, however, still behind those of the iPhone.

In the US and China, iOS share was found to have grown two percentage points each year-over-year. This was, however, not the trend in Japan where Android sales grew five percentage points driven by strong performance from Sharp and Oppo.

Smartphone OS sales share in the US, China, and major European markets
Photo Credit: Kantar

 

Kantar also found that in the US as well as in Britain, France, Italy, and Spain, channel shares for in-store sales increased by at least 10 percentage points year-on-year in the second quarter. This suggests that more people preferred to purchase phones through physical stores over online.

“In-store sales shares are also up this quarter compared to Q1 2021 in Great Britain (+13 percentage points), US (+7 percentage points), Germany (+4 percentage points), and Spain (+3 percentage points),” Chan said.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations alongside businesses opening up and reducing restrictions are considered among the key reasons for the growth of in-store purchases of smartphones.

Kantar also mentioned in its report that smartphone owners in the US who self-purchased their phone from a physical store were more likely to agree to the statement saying, “I keep my smartphone for as long as I can.” It was 80 percent over 77 percent online buyers. The same pattern has been noticed in Australia, Japan, and major European markets, the report said.

It has also been specified that in-store smartphone buyers in the US, Australia, and Japan were more likely to agree that they prefer buying brands that they are familiar with. Customers in these markets along with the key European ones were also more likely to agree with the statement that if they were going to be able to use a new technology product, somebody had to show them how to use it.

Kantar has notably not provided any details about the sample size it took for developing this report.




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Latest News Today – Richard Branson Planning Trip To Space Ahead Of Rival


“I truly believe that space belongs to all of us,” Richard Branson said.

Washington:

British billionaire Richard Branson one-upped his rival Jeff Bezos on Thursday, announcing that he too will travel to space — as many as nine days ahead of the Amazon founder.

Branson’s company Virgin Galactic said in a statement that he would be a “mission specialist” aboard the SpaceShipTwo Unity, which will go to space as early as July 11, “pending weather and technical checks.”

If the schedule holds, Branson would make it to the cosmos before Bezos, who said he would travel to space aboard the New Shepard launch vehicle belonging to his company Blue Origin on July 20.

The two billionaires have founded rival companies to take tourists on short flights to suborbital space.

Branson “will evaluate the private astronaut experience and will undergo the same training, preparation and flight as Virgin Galactic’s future astronauts.

“The Company will use his observations from his flight training and spaceflight experience to enhance the journey for all future astronaut customers,” Virgin Galactic said.

The company plans to livestream the flight.

Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft is not a classic rocket, but rather a carrier airplane that reaches a high altitude and releases a smaller spacecraft, the VSS Unity, that fires its engines and reaches suborbital space, then glides back to earth.

“I truly believe that space belongs to all of us,” Branson said.

“After more than 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry, which is set to open space to humankind.”

After this flight, two more tests are expected before the start of regular commercial flights in 2022, according to Virgin Galactic.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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SoftBank Latin America Fund Leads $28 Million Atom Finance | Sidnaz Blog


SoftBank Group Corp.


9984 -0.18%

is investing in startup investing platform Atom Finance, in a bet by the Japanese conglomerate that a retail trading boom is here to stay.

Atom Finance, founded in 2018, lets individuals track investments and research holdings. In addition to SoftBank, existing investors General Catalyst and Base Partners also took part in the latest $28 million funding round. The investment values Atom at around $150 million, said a person familiar with the matter.

Atom was founded by

Eric Shoykhet,

who covered financial services firms and other sectors from 2015 to 2018 at hedge fund Governors Lane. He believed falling trading costs would prompt more individual investors to trade. This meant that they would need new kinds of tools to guide them.

‘The narrative we never bought into was that active investing was dead,’ said Atom Finance founder Eric Shoykhet.



Photo:

Atom Finance

In 2019, major brokerages launched no-commission stock trading to stave off the threat from digital upstart Robinhood Markets Inc. Now, all kinds of brokerages compete against each other for retail traders with free trading having become a booming business. It has been particularly transformative in the past year as more investors with free time during the pandemic have wielded growing power over markets, sending meme stocks such as

GameStop Corp.

soaring.

Atom isn’t a trading platform but it has still been a beneficiary. Hundreds of thousands of users have signed up since its platform launched in 2019. Paying customers increased in the past year, though the firm declined to provide exact details about user numbers.

“We think a lot of that increase in investor participation in markets is here to stay,” said Mr. Shoykhet, 29 years old. “The narrative we never bought into was that active investing was dead.”

Mr. Shoykhet hopes his firm will grow as individuals seek cheap tools to help them invest. A full Atom subscription goes for $9.99 a month, a fraction of how much a Bloomberg Terminal costs.

Atom also plans to license its product to banks and brokerages.

SoftBank led the Series B funding round in Atom through a $5 billion fund it created to focus on Latin America. It reflects SoftBank’s wager that the rise of individuals in U.S. markets will take off in that region too.

This year, Atom pursued a deal on its own to provide products for Banco Inter, a digital bank in Brazil that SoftBank’s Latin America fund has also invested in.

Shu Nyatta,

managing partner for SoftBank’s Latin America fund, said SoftBank later introduced Atom to other portfolio companies in hopes of fueling similar deals.

“The whole idea is to bring high-quality data to people who wouldn’t have access to them,” he said.

Mr. Nyatta said he was drawn to Mr. Shoykhet’s opportunism and willingness to make Latin America a strategic focus. Mr. Shoykhet recently moved to Miami and is planning to open an office there, in part to make it easier to do business with Latin America.

But there is one thing Atom Finance isn’t planning to do for now: It doesn’t want to become a trading application.

Mr. Shoykhet is skeptical about many e-brokerages’ practice of routing trades to big trading firms in exchange for payments. The industry has defended this practice, known as payment for order flow, arguing that it lowers the cost of trading for individuals. Others argue it hurts investors as firms will encourage heavy trading by users to maximize profits—even if those investors take too much risk.

“We don’t think it has users’ best interests in mind,” he said.

Write to Dawn Lim at [email protected]

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Private-Equity Group Nears Deal to Buy Medline for Over $30 | Sidnaz Blog


Medline is a little-known but major player in the field of medical equipment, with some $17.5 billion in annual sales.



Photo:

Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Associated Press

A group of private-equity firms including

Blackstone Group Inc.


BX 0.95%

is nearing a deal to acquire Medline Industries Inc. that would value the medical-supply giant at more than $30 billion, in one of the largest leveraged buyouts since the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal could come together as soon as this weekend assuming the talks don’t fall apart, the people said. The Blackstone consortium includes

Carlyle Group Inc.


CG 0.63%

and Hellman & Friedman LLC. They beat out a rival bid from the private-equity arm of Canadian investing giant

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.,


BAM 0.12%

the people said.

Including debt, the transaction would be valued at about $34 billion, and north of $30 billion excluding borrowings, the people said. That could potentially make it the largest healthcare LBO ever.

Based in Northfield, Ill., family-owned Medline is a little-known but major player in the field of medical equipment. It manufactures and distributes equipment and supplies used in hospitals, surgery centers, acute-care and other medical facilities in over 125 countries. It has some $17.5 billion in annual sales, according to its website.

Brothers James and Jon Mills founded the company in 1966, taking it public in 1972. The brothers bought back the shares five years later. James’s son Charlie has been Medline’s CEO since 1997.

The family will remain the single largest shareholder in the company after the buyout and the management team will remain in place, some of the people said.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected] and Miriam Gottfried at [email protected]

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Ant Wins China’s Approval to Set Up Consumer-Finance Company | Sidnaz Blog


Ant Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.



Photo:

Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News

China’s banking and insurance regulator said Thursday that it had approved Ant Group’s application to set up a consumer-finance company, the first regulatory milestone in the fintech giant’s restructuring of its business.

Ant will hold a 50% stake in the new entity, registered in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, with the rest held by six other shareholders. The company, Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance Co., is licensed to conduct consumer lending and other operations.

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Inflation Expectations May Be Suffering From Inflation | Sidnaz Blog


Inflation expectations could be getting somewhat inflated.

Capital markets are signaling mounting concerns about inflation among investors. At Thursday’s close, bond prices implied average consumer-price growth of 2.6% over the next five years. In recent weeks, this “inflation break-even” rate has surged to highs not seen since 2008, bolstered by the U.S. reporting official inflation of 4.2%—also a 13-year high. Respondents to the May Fund Manager Survey by

Bank of America

saw inflation as the biggest “tail risk” to the bull market.

Overpaying for inflation insurance, though, is also a risk.

Market inflation expectations are calculated as the yield difference between regular Treasurys and Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPS, which compensate holders for consumer-price index increases. As

UBS

’ head of U.S. rates Mike Cloherty noted in a report this week, it is a fall in TIPS yields that has been driving the recent rise in breakevens. This tight inverse correlation is reminiscent of the 2009-2013 period of economic weakness, but uncommon for a recovery, when both usually rise in tandem.

TIPS are notoriously less liquid, so their prices can move a lot when demand is strong. It currently is: The TIPS inventories of dealer banks are getting depleted. The Federal Reserve, for one, is buying a lot of them. The yield on the five-year note is now hovering around a record low of minus 1.8%. This all points to a reversal.

The implication is that breakevens may be overestimating how high inflation might go as a result of a burst in demand for shorter-term inflation hedges. CPI was always expected to surge this year relative to 2020’s steep fall, and longer-term inflation expectations are still within historical ranges. This picture is consistent with the Fed’s new policy of tolerating near-term overshoots, while still making sure inflation stays around 2% in the long run.

It would be wrong, however, to say the market isn’t worried. Other traditional inflation hedges have done very well lately, including cheap “value” companies and gold, which is up 9% in two months. Investors know there isn’t a surefire way to know that a short-term spike in prices won’t fuel a lasting spiral. The University of Michigan survey of consumers shows that households expect CPI to be 3.4% over the next five to 10 years, which is the highest figure since 2014.

Yet, as the Bank of America survey underscores, the current market jitters reflect fear of tail risks rather than probable outcomes. Even among consumers, average inflation expectations are being skewed by a few respondents who see CPI surging by 10% or more, rather than most households factoring in greater inflation.

Shoppers in Chicago this month. The University of Michigan survey of consumers shows that households expect CPI to be 3.4% over the next five to 10 years.



Photo:

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

There is little convincing evidence to support the deeply held belief among economists that expectations themselves can fuel inflation. Workers demanding bigger pay increases in anticipation of inflation can indeed make it worse, but there needs to be some initial trigger, such as the 1970s oil shock or sharp currency depreciations. Even unusually rapid economic recoveries like today’s don’t typically qualify.

Investors who truly fear such worst-case scenarios may still want inflation hedges. For the rest, they are becoming a pricey insurance policy.

At The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Janet Yellen expressed her confidence that the U.S. economy and employment will return to normal by next year.

Write to Jon Sindreu at [email protected]

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Latest News Today – Microsoft Office Is Planning to Replace Calibri as Its


Microsoft is adding five new fonts to its Office Suite. The Redmond-based technology giant is planning to replace Calibri as its default font for the first time since 2007 when it changed it from Times New Roman. Microsoft also announced that one of the five new fonts — Bierstadt, Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite — will eventually replace Calibri and is asking for users’ opinion in selecting the next default font over the coming months. All five font families are available to download through Microsoft Support website.

Through a post on its blog, Microsoft announced five new font families for its Office Suite apps. Bierstadt, Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite are various styles of sans serif fonts and are available to download through Microsoft’s Support website. Microsoft is also asking its users to contribute feedback and provide comments on Twitter. The company also mentioned that if users don’t like the chosen default font, they can change it from the preferences in any of the Microsoft Office Suite apps.

Beirstadt is a “precise, yet contemporary sans serif typeface inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography,” while Grandview has been designed to be “legible at a distance and under poor conditions,” as per the company. Seaford is described as “rooted in old-style serif text typefaces and evokes their comfortable familiarity.” Skeena “typeface inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography.” Tenorite has the “overall look of a traditional workhorse sans serif, but with a warmer, more friendly style.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that Office 2021 and Office 2021 LTSC versions will be released sometime this year. However, Microsoft hasn’t given an exact rollout timeline nor has it given any details about any new features. It is a successor for Office 2019 and the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version will bring dark mode support across multiple apps like Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word.


We dive into all things Apple — iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K, and AirTag — this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
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