Market Edges Toward Euphoria, Despite Pandemic’s Toll


“It’s not as obvious a bubble as 20 years ago,” said Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida who studies initial public offerings. “But we’re close to bubble territory.”

The market appears overheated by another gauge that investors often use to determine how cheap or expensive a stock is: its price relative to the profits it’s expected to make. Currently, the so-called price-to-earnings ratio for S&P 500 companies is above 22, and has been for much of the year. The last time the market was consistently above that level was in 2000.

The appetite of individual investors has been an unexpected byproduct of the pandemic. For many, trading stocks started as a way to indulge their speculative itch when other avenues, such as sports gambling, were effectively shuttered.

Tim Mulvena, a 32-year-old medical software salesman in Oneonta, N.Y., was one of them. He first logged on to Robinhood, a free-trading app popular with small investors, in March and started to buy stocks as the markets were collapsing.

“I have got to dabble and just see where this takes me,” Mr. Mulvena said.

He has notched gains of roughly 60 percent on Apple, his largest position. And his investment in Penn National Gaming, a regional gambling company that bought Barstool Sports, a digital sports site Mr. Mulvena was a fan of, has more than doubled.

Even those who have stuck with less active investments — like 401(k) investors dutifully contributing to plain vanilla index funds — have gained from the market’s upward drift, enticing further inflows. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently cited “frothy prices, greedy positioning” as the reason for huge inflows into equity market mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in the past six weeks.

Much as they did in the 1990s, smaller investors are pouring money into trendy, tech-focused companies, many of which have seen their businesses gain traction during the pandemic. Their favorites include the cloud computing software maker Snowflake, the online surveillance company Palantir and the energy storage company QuantumScape, which is up 144 percent in December alone. Investors also like Etsy, the online marketplace, which is up 330 percent this year. Just over a week ago, 908 Devices — a maker of hand-held analytic devices — rose about 150 percent in its trading debut.



Source link

Wall Street edges higher to start the week


Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc was among the top boosts to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, surging 31 per cent to a 4-1/2 year high after British drugmaker AstraZeneca said it would buy the US biotech firm. AstraZeneca’s US-listed shares fell 6.1 per cent.

“It is a sign that animal spirits are back … companies are reluctant to do deals when they have a negative outlook on the future, but the fact that you are seeing these types of big deals on merger Mondays is a sign of things to come,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital in New York.

In early afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 0.1 per cent higher, the S&P 500 was up 0.1 per cent, and the Nasdaq has added 0.7 per cent. At 4.53am AEDT, futures are pointing to a flat start for the ASX.

Uncertainty over more fiscal stimulus had cut short a recent rally in US stocks, after the Senate last week approved a one-week extension of federal funding to avoid a government shutdown and to provide more time for negotiations on coronavirus relief and an overarching spending bill.

“Equities have performed very strongly in what has been a very difficult economic environment … there is some vulnerability there if the market concludes that fiscal support is at its end,” Eric Winograd, senior economist at AllianceBernstein told the Reuters Global Market Forum.

Focus was also on early voting in a pair of US Senate races in Georgia that will determine control of the chamber and heavily influence lawmaking.

E-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding shed 2.6 per cent after China warned its internet majors of more anti-trust scrutiny, slapped fines and announced probes into deals involving Alibaba and Tencent Holdings.

Electric-car maker Tesla rose 4 per cent as anticipation of the firm’s addition to the S&P 500 benchmark next week offset a report of production delays.

Walt Disney fell about 2.7 per cent after rallying on Friday and was the biggest drag on the Dow after BMO Capital Markets downgraded the stock.



Source link

Adelaide Lightning’s Steph Talbot edges Australian teammate Liz Cambage for WNBL MVP award



Adelaide Lightning captain Steph Talbot has defied a mid-tournament team quarantine to pip her Opals teammate Liz Cambage for WNBL MVP honours.

Talbot also won defensive player of the year and was named in the All-WNBL First Team at a ceremony in Townsville on Monday.

A COVID-19 outbreak in South Australia forced the Lightning off the court and into hotel quarantine after the WNBL season had already commenced in its North Queensland hub.

The Lightning resumed the tournament to finish with a 5-8 record in sixth place, missing the semi-finals which begin on Wednesday.

Talbot tallied 73 votes across a revised 13-game season to win the Suzy Batkovic Medal as MVP ahead of Southside Flyers ace Cambage (67) and Townsville Fire’s Lauren Nicholson (65).

Both coaches and the lead official in each game conducted 3-2-1 votes, with a maximum of nine votes possible.

Loading

Talbot averaged 18.2 points, nine rebounds, three assists and 1.9 steals per game, passing double figures in points on 11 occasions.

“I’m shocked but absolutely honoured to be named league MVP,” Talbot said.

“Both Liz [Cambage] and Lauren [Nicholson] had great seasons, with many people deserving of this accolade.

“But as captain of the Lightning, I couldn’t be prouder of how we conducted ourselves this season and we have plenty of positives to take into next year.”

The Fire’s Shyla Heal, whose father Shane was a Boomers great, won youth player of the year after the 19-year-old averaged 15.2 points per game.

Fire coach Shannon Seebohm was named coach of the year after he piloted the side from last in 2019 to second place on the ladder this season.

AAP



Source link

Nathan Cleary edges out Daly Cherry-Evans in Kangaroos merit team


“If we were picking an Australian side, this would have been the team,” Daley said. “Boyd Cordner was named captain, and like all representative sides, you name your team and players can then be ruled in or out with injury. It was the same story with Cam Murray [who suffered a hamstring injury].

“We thought this was the fairest thing to do.”

Maroons half and skipper Daly Cherry-Evans celebrates the Origin series win.Credit:Getty

As for Cleary, 23, getting the nod over Cherry-Evans, 31, Daley said: “Cherry-Evans can consider himself unlucky and he played really well.

“But we thought Cleary was deserving of it. Not only did he play well in Origin but he played well throughout the year.

“I’m sure everyone will have a strong opinion on the [halfback] either way.

“But if we were going down the path of picking a side for a game next week, that’s the way we would have went.

‘If we were going down the path of picking a side for a game next week, that’s the way we would have went.’

Laurie Daley

“Nathan, on the back of having a good year with Penrith getting to the grand final, that’s the way we went.”

Cleary had a game to forget in Origin I in Adelaide while Cherry-Evans struggled behind a beaten pack and without Cameron Munster in game two.

The World Cup in England has been postponed until next year. Cherry-Evans, the Kangaroos incumbent, and Cleary will both feature in the squad provided they maintain form and fitness.

Harry Grant, who had one of the great Origin debuts for Queensland, will struggle to toss Damien Cook from the hooking duties, but could make the squad if he has an impressive year as Melbourne’s new No.9.

The NRL also announced on Monday insurance broker Gallagher as the Kangaroos’ naming rights sponsor.

Loading

The 2020 Gallagher Kangaroos Merit Team:
1. James Tedesco
2. Josh Addo-Carr
3. Dane Gagai
4. Jack Wighton
5. Daniel Tupou
6. Cameron Munster
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Josh Papalii
9. Damien Cook
10. Christian Welch
11 Boyd Cordner (captain)
12. Felise Kaufusi
13. Cameron Murray
14. Ryan Papenhuyzen
15. Payne Haas
16. Angus Crichton
17. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui

Sport newsletter

Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox each weekday. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading



Source link

Queensland fire authorities urge Fraser Island residents to prepare to leave as blaze edges closer


Queensland fire services have told Fraser Island residents to prepare to leave as a bushfire at the tourist hot spot continues to burn out of control.

A bushfire is burning near Dundonga Creek, east of the resort and village, through to Cornwells Road in the island’s south.

Firefighters are continuing to battle the blaze, assisted by water bombing aircraft which have dropped almost one million litres in the past 24 hours.

At 11.20am on Saturday, fire crews were fighting fires in several locations on the island.

Firefighters are continuing to battle the blaze, assisted by water bombing aircraft which have dropped almost one million litres in the past 24 hours.
Camera IconFirefighters are continuing to battle the blaze, assisted by water bombing aircraft which have dropped almost one million litres in the past 24 hours. Credit: Supplied, QFES

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said weather conditions were predicted to deteriorate from Sunday through to Wednesday.

“Smoke will affect visibility and air quality on K’gari (Fraser Island) and adjacent mainland areas over the coming days,” a QFES spokesman said.

People in the area are being directed by QFES and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services to prepare to leave.

“Multiple fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property,” QFES said.

The Fraser Island fire as seen from River Heads. Photo: Stuart Fast
Camera IconThe Fraser Island fire as seen from River Heads. Photo: Stuart Fast Credit: News Regional Media

Locals are being urged to listen to local radio or check the Rural Fire Service website for further updates.

The fire began more than six weeks ago after an illegal campfire was lit.

The eastern side of the fire is about 3.5km northwest of Happy Valley.

The eastern side of the fire is located about 3.5km northwest of Happy Valley.
Camera IconThe eastern side of the fire is located about 3.5km northwest of Happy Valley. Credit: Supplied, Facebook/Glen Winney

A “stay informed notice” is in place for people in the Eli Creek, Yidney Rocks, The Oakes and Poyungan Valley area.

Travel to the island is restricted to local residents only.

“Where ground crews cannot access the inaccessible terrain, water bombing aircraft are working to reduce the intensity of the fire,” QFES said.



Source link

Shell collecting – Congress edges closer to cracking-down on anonymous shell corporations | United States


OUT OF THE $4.5bn pilfered from 1MDB, a Malaysian state development fund, at least $1bn is alleged by American prosecutors to have been embezzled into the United States—spent in a Gatsby-esque frenzy on, among other things, a Manhattan penthouse, a Beverly Hills mansion and financing Hollywood films (including, naturally, “The Wolf of Wall Street”). America’s porous rules on anonymous shell companies make disguising the origins of money fairly straightforward. The Tax Justice Network, a good-government group, ranks America as the second-worst performer on its annual financial-secrecy index—ahead of famous tax havens like Switzerland and Luxembourg, and eclipsed only narrowly by the Cayman Islands. As recently as last year, American prosecutors were trying to wrest control of a 36-storey office building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, probably worth close to $1bn, on the grounds that it was secretly owned by the government of Iran, which is subject to some of the heaviest sanctions in the world.

Shell games such as these hide not only the penthouses of kleptocrats, but the financial networks for traffickers of arms, drugs and humans. Congress is on the cusp of making them harder to execute. The must-pass annual defence bill is slated to include legislation requiring companies to disclose to the Treasury Department’s enforcement division their beneficial owners (those who actually enjoy the proceeds rather than those who sign the paperwork). “The biggest vulnerability in our anti-money-laundering regime is the incorporation of anonymous shell companies,” says Clark Gascoigne, a senior policy adviser at the FACT Coalition, another anti-corruption outfit that has spent years pushing for the pending legislation. At present, notes Mr Gascoigne, there are more onerous disclosure requirements for obtaining a library card in all 50 states than for starting a new limited-liability company.

America’s law-enforcement agencies are keen to get such data. “The strategic use of these entities makes investigations exponentially more difficult and laborious,” a senior FBI official testified to Congress last year. In fact, there is impressively little organised opposition to the new rules, which have strong bipartisan support. The Bank Policy Institute, a lobbying group, is a firm supporter (banks not only spend a non-trivial share of operating expenses on anti-money laundering compliance, but would also rather avoid news stories about terrorism financing). So, too, is the US Chamber of Commerce, which until June had opposed such measures. The National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business lobby, is putting up a last stand of resistance, fretting that the new disclosure requirements would impose onerous paperwork requirements of 2.5 hours a year.

If it passes, the legislation would be the culmination of a long campaign. Banks were fairly quick to support the change. Realtors (estate agents to Brits) took longer to come round, as did the secretaries of state in places that make lots of money from incorporation fees. (Delaware earns almost as much from charging businesses as it does from its personal income tax.)

The bill would bring America’s rules closer to Europe’s. Britain has required disclosure of beneficial owners since 2016 (its register, unlike the one proposed by Congress, is public). The European Union required its member states to set up comparable schemes by January of this year. America has used the global heft of the dollar to go after international flows of illicit cash, while being permissive towards the ideal vehicles for money-laundering. That means “the United States is increasingly helping to facilitate the very narcotics traffickers, human smugglers, terrorist networks and kleptocrats that weaken US national security,” according to Jodi Vittori of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That looks likely to change.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Shell collecting”

Reuse this contentThe Trust Project



Source link

Guoan seals round of 16 berth, Tokyo edges Shenhua


Hou Sen (2nd R) of Beijing Guo’an saves the ball during a Group E match of the AFC Champions League between Beijing Guo’an and Melbourne Victory in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 27, 2020. (Photo by Nikku/Xinhua)

Beijing Guoan defeat Melbourne Victory to seal a place in the AFC Champions League Round of 16, but Shanghai Shenhua slipped to third place in Group F following FC Tokyo defeat.

DOHA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — Beijing Guoan became the first team from Group E to qualify for the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) Round of 16 with a 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory, while FC Tokyo edged Shanghai Shenhua 2-1 in Group F to boost its chances of progression on Friday.

Prior to kickoff, Guoan and Melbourne gathered in the center of the pitch to mourn the passing of legendary football star Diego Maradona.

Nine minutes after the game kicked off, Renato Augusto’s long pass from the left side found Wang Gang on the right of the box. The latter rolled the ball back to Jonathan Viera Ramos, who volleyed through the middle to make it 1-0 for Guoan.

Before the end of the first half, Viera crossed the ball into the box from the left flank. Zhang Yuning snatched the ball and turned around for a low shot, which hit the post and bounced into the net.

The second half witnessed several Guoan attempts to enlarge the gap but their efforts were denied either by the goalkeeper or the post. Though Guoan failed to score another goal, it still progressed beyond the group stage of the competition for the first time since 2015, and doing so with two games to spare.

Zhang Lu (R) of Shanghai Shenhua FC vies with Diego Oliveria of FC Tokyo during a Group F match of the AFC Champions League between Shanghai Shenhua FC and FC Tokyo in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 27, 2020. (Photo by Nikku/Xinhua)

Three second-half-goals at Education City Stadium saw FC Tokyo clinch a valuable 2-1 victory against Shanghai Shenhua in Group F on Friday.

FC Tokyo broke the deadlock in the 57th minute through Leandro Montera’s volley.

In the 81st minute, Taichi Hara’s precise cross gifted Shuto Abe a tap-in right in front of the goal to widen the margin.

Five minutes later, thanks to Liu Ruofan’s breakthrough on the right, Giovanni Moreno smashed in a volley to pull one back, but there was not enough time for Shenhua to level the scores.

Elsewhere, Chiangrai United beat FC Seoul 2-1 in Group E, while Ulsan Hyundai overcame Perth Glory 2-0 in Group F. ■



Source link

Guoan defeats Melbourne, Tokyo edges Shenhua


DOHA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — Beijing Guoan defeated Melbourne Victory 2-0, its fourth consecutive victory in Group E while FC Tokyo edged Shanghai Shenhua 2-1 in Group F in the AFC Champions League (ACL) here on Friday.

Prior to kickoff, Guoan and Melbourne gathered in the center of the pitch to mourn the passing of legendary football star Diego Maradona.

Nine minutes after the game kicked off, Renato Augusto’s long pass from the left side found Wang Gang on the right of the box. The latter rolled the ball back to Jonathan Viera Ramos, who volleyed through the middle to make it 1-0 for Guoan.

Before the end of the first half, Viera crossed the ball into the box from the left flank. Zhang Yuning snatched the ball and turned around for a low shot, which hit the post and bounced into the net.

The second half witnessed several Guoan attempts to enlarge the gap but their efforts were denied either by the goalkeeper or the post. Though Guoan failed to score another goal, the team still qualified for the knockout stage.

After a goalless first half in the battle between Shenhua and Tokyo, Tokyo broke the deadlock in the 57th minute through Leandro Montera’s volley.

In the 81st minute, Taichi Hara’s precise cross gifted Shuto Abe a tap-in right in front of the goal to widen the margin.

Five minutes later, thanks to Liu Ruofan’s breakthrough on the right, Giovanni Moreno smashed in a volley to pull one back, but there was not enough time for Shenhua to level the scores.

Elsewhere, Chiangrai United beat FC Seoul 2-1 in Group E, while Ulsan Hyundai overcame Perth Glory 2-0 in Group F.



Source link

Trump edges closer to conceding the election, then backs off



President Donald Trump has yet to concede the presidential election, but on Sunday he briefly came close to acknowledging that he lost in a tweet.

“He won because the Election was Rigged,“ Trump tweeted. “NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!“

But an hour or so later, Trump made it clear he was not conceding, tweeting “RIGGED ELECTION. WE WILL WIN!“ and following it up with
“He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!“





Source link

US election live updates: Biden edges toward victory with leads over Trump in Nevada and Pennsylvania | US news


Speaking on his podcast, the War Room, which was distributed in video form on a number of social media outlets, the far-right provocateur appeared to endorse violence against Wray and the US’s most senior infectious diseases expert.

‘Second term kicks off with firing Wray, firing Fauci … no I actually want to go a step farther but the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man,’ Bannon said.

‘I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put their heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the programme or you’re gone.’

Twitter banned Bannon’s War Room account permanently, saying it had suspended the podcast account for violating its policy on the glorification of violence.

The same video was on Facebook for about 10 hours before it was also removed.

Later on Friday, William Burck, an attorney for Bannon in a fraud case in New York City, told a federal judge he was withdrawing. Bannon is accused of misappropriating money from a group which raised $2m from thousands of donors to build a wall on the border with Mexico, and has pleaded not guilty. Burck did not give a reason for his withdrawal.



Source link