European Super League: Uefa furious at 11 major clubs signing up to breakaway plans

Juventus and AC Milan have signed up to the breakaway league plans

Senior Uefa figures are furious that 11 major European clubs, including five from England, have signed up to a breakaway European Super League.

BBC Sport was told last week of plans for some sort of confirmation about a European Super League.

Uefa hoped to head off plans with a new-look 36-team Champions League set to be confirmed on Monday.

Uefa said it will use “all measures available” to stop the “cynical project” of a breakaway Super League.

The European governing body released a joint statement together with the English Football Association, Premier League Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), La Liga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) as well as Serie A on Sunday.

They said they will “remain united” in trying to stop the breakaway, using both judicial and sporting measures if required.

They also reiterated Fifa’s stance that players taking part in the Super League would be banned from all other competitions at domestic, European or world level and could be prevented from representing their national teams.

In a separate statement, the Premier League said it condemned the proposal as it “attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart” of domestic and European football.

Juventus owner Andrea Agnelli, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis would all have had a significant input into the Champions League discussions on Friday.

However, it appears those clubs are among those to have broken ranks, to the fury of Uefa, whose president Aleksander Ceferin wanted to stave off a Super League threat.

Spanish La Liga sides Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also part of the 11-team group, as are Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.

None of the clubs concerned have responded to questions about the proposals.

The Premier League said a European Super League would “destroy” the dream of fans that “their team may climb to the top and play against the best”.

It added such a league would “undermine the appeal of the whole game” and that they would work with the FA, the English Football League, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association and fans to “defend the integrity and future prospects of English football”.

The FA said it will “not provide permission to any competition that would be damaging to English football” and will “take any legal and/or regulatory action necessary” to stop it.

Bundesliga sides are opposed to the plans because the German model means commercial investors cannot have more than a 49% stake in clubs, so fans hold a majority of their own voting rights.

It is understood French Ligue 1 side Paris St-Germain are not part of the 11-team group.

Uefa said it thanked “those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up” to the breakaway league.

“We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced,” they added.

“This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”

Quite when the European Super League would start is unclear.

However, world governing body Fifa has already said it would not recognise such a competition and any players involved in it would be denied the chance to play at a World Cup.

Serie A have called an emergency board meeting to discuss the matter.

The Football Supporters’ Association said it is “totally opposed” to the plans, which it said were “motivated by nothing but cynical greed”.

They added: “This competition is being created behind our backs by billionaire club owners who have zero regard for the game’s traditions and continue to treat football as their personal fiefdom.”

It has been agreed the new-look Champions League will involve an initial phase where every club plays 10 matches each rather than the current group phase.

In addition there would be play-offs, followed by a knockout phase.

The most controversial aspect of the proposals surround the allocation of the four additional places, with two being reserved for the clubs ranked highest in Uefa’s co-efficient table who fail to qualify for the Champions League through their domestic competition, but do secure some kind of European football.

At the moment, Liverpool and Chelsea would be the clubs who benefited from that system if it was in place this season.

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Brazil asks women to delay pregnancy over new coronavirus variant fears

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sao Carlos
A medical worker administers medication to an intubated coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient at a UPA (Emergency Service Unit) in Sao Carlos, Brazil April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

April 16, 2021

By Eduardo Simões

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil asked women on Friday to delay getting pregnant until the worst of the pandemic passes, saying the virus variant that is devastating the South American country appears to affect expectant mothers more than earlier versions of the coronavirus.

The recommendation comes as Brazil continues to be one of the global epicenters of the pandemic, with more Brazilians dying of the virus each day than anywhere else in the world.

Hospitals are buckling under the strain and stocks of drugs needed for intubating severely ill patients are running perilously low, with Brazil turning to international partners for help with emergency supplies.

“If it’s possible, delay pregnancy a little until a better moment,” Health Ministry official Raphael Parente said during a news conference on Friday.

He said the recommendation was partly due to the stress on the health system but also due to the more easily transmissible Brazilian variant known as P.1.

“The clinical experience of specialists shows that this new variant acts more aggressively in pregnant women,” Parente said.

Previously, COVID-19 cases during pregnancy were focused on the final trimester and birth, whereas lately there have been more serious cases in the second and occasionally first trimester, he said.

Parente did not give any more details.

The P.1 variant, first discovered in the Amazon city of Manaus, has quickly become dominant in Brazil. It is thought to be a major factor behind a massive second wave of infections that has brought the country’s death toll to over 350,000 – the second highest in the world behind the United States.

Brazil’s outbreak is increasingly affecting younger people, with hospital data showing that in March more than half of all patients in intensive care were aged 40 or younger.

President Jair Bolsonaro has opposed lockdowns and held large events in which he often does not wear a mask. He has only recently embraced vaccines as a possible solution, but the inoculation rollout has been plagued by delays and missed targets for getting people inoculated.

This week, vaccinations were stopped in several cities due to a shortage of vaccine supply, according to local media.

The surge in COID-19 cases has also left hospitals short of sedatives needed for patients who require mechanical ventilation.

An emergency shipment of the drugs arrived in Brazil late on Thursday from China, while donations from Spain are expected to arrive next week.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have both sounded the alarm over shortages, with Sao Paulo’s health secretary saying this week that the city’s ability to care for seriously ill COVID-19 patients is on the verge of collapse.

Despite the shortage of drugs and 85% of intensive care beds occupied, Sao Paulo announced on Friday it would begin reopening stores and restaurants, saying the number of new hospitalizations had fallen sufficiently to do so safely.

(Reporting by Eduardo Simoes, writing by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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CBK okays liquidation of Chase Bank 

Capital Markets

CBK okays liquidation of Chase Bank 


Chase Bank on Mama Ngina Street in Nairobi on April 7,2016, after it was placed under statutory management. file photo | nmg

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has approved the liquidation of the assets of Chase Bank under receivership that was left out in the SBM Bank buyout two years ago.

The regulator on Friday instructed the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) to start the liquidation of the remaining assets, in an exercise that is meant to salvage some money for customers who had more than Sh100,000 in the bank.

“On April 7, 2021, KDIC submitted the receiver’s report to CBK recommending that Chase Bank in receivership be liquidated. The report indicates that considering the weak status of Chase’s financial position, liquidation is the only feasible option,” said CBK.

CBK said it has assessed the KDIC recommendation and concluded that liquidation will be the only option to facilitate the orderly resolution of residual assets and liabilities of the collapsed lender.

KDIC will be hoping to salvage as much value as possible from the remaining 25 per cent assets of the lender that was put under receivership on April 7, 2016.

The agency will be expected to release information about the liquidation and payment of depositors.

Liquidation is usually pursued as a last resort option since it involves selling out the assets and distributing what is raised among the creditors—an exercise that rarely raises money to match creditors’ demands.

Mauritian lender SBM Bank in 2018 carve out 75 per cent of certain assets and liabilities from Chase Bank in what was considered as cherry-picking ‘good assets.’

During the Chase Bank deal, SBM valued the total assets acquired at Sh69.59 billion, with property, plant and equipment assigned a fair value of Sh1.25 billion.

Total liabilities were valued at Sh66.68 billion while deposits from non-bank customers were Sh56.9 billion.

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Adelaide teenager Jaydyn Coggins wins world championship title in speed stacking

It may well be the fastest sport you’ve never heard of, but speed stacking is serious business.

Simply put, speed stacking is the art of stacking cups up and down in varying sequences in the fastest time possible.

Jaydyn Coggins is one of Australia’s best stackers and holds multiple national and world records.

His love for the sport came from humble beginnings.

“I was around six years old, I saw it in kindergarten and saw some plastic cups lying around and thought, ‘Why not have a stack with them,'” he said.

He put his skills to the test last weekend at the World Speed Stacking Association’s World Championships, which were held virtually.

After months of training and preparation, the 18-year-old’s confidence was sky high leading into the event.

“I was expecting myself to be up there in the top three for sure,” he said.

“I was in amazing form. I thought no-one could stop me except two people.”

But things did not go to plan for the teenager in the opening rounds of two events.

“It was a roller-coaster ride. I had two of my stacks unfortunately get scratched, which means they don’t count, so I couldn’t compete in the finals in those two events,” he said.

“It was really disappointing because I thought all the work I put in over the past three or four months had just gone to waste.”

Jaydyn Coggins holds several national and international records in speed stacking.(



World champion crown ‘pretty cool’

Those scratchings came in the 3-3-3 and the 3-6-3 events, but it was to his favourite event — the cycle — that he brought his A-game.

Making his way to the cycle final, his fastest time of 5.307 seconds was quick enough to crown him world champion in the 17 to 18-year-old male category.

Coggins’s mother, Rachel Flierl, was watching on during the competition and said she was impressed with her son’s performance.

“I’m super proud of Jaydyn. He just constantly amazes me actually,” she said.

“With this tournament, having the big disappointment of getting scratched for his 3-3-3 and 3-6-3, I was most proud of how he came back from that and focused on his cycle event.

“[Him] recovering from the disappointment is one of my proudest moments.”


Because this year’s event was held virtually, Coggins spent long periods of time waiting while other competitors stacked on the other side of the world.

It was this element that he said came with pros and cons.

“It was better for my nerves, but it was worse because not being able to hang out with friends often is just boring,” he said.

While he was not competing, Coggins was able to keep a close eye on the rest of the field through a live stream of the event.

It was a nervous wait for him, having competed nearly 24 hours before finally being crowned the best in the world.

The cups used for competition appear to be just like any other disposable plastic cup, but the secret to their speed lies within their special design.

“They’re not any ordinary cup, and sorry people, you cannot drink out of them,” Coggins said.

“The newer cups have medium-sized holes in them … which is supposed to allow for quicker times to be possible.”

Coggins starred in the documentary Stackorama! which recently aired on the ABC.

It followed his preparation and competition at the 2018 World Championships in Orlando, Florida, where he was also crowned world champion for his age group for the 3-6-3 stack.

He has been thrust into the spotlight more times since, making a number of appearances on TV and being blown away by the support he has received.

“It’s been amazing,” he said. The feedback that I’ve got from the people watching it was incredible.”

Coggins’s next international competition is in a week’s time.

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13-time All-Star Wade joins Utah Jazz ownership group

FILE PHOTO: Apr 10, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade (3) walks of the court with his Actress wife Gabrielle Union after his last NBA game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

April 16, 2021

(Reuters) – Three-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Dwyane Wade has bought a stake in the Utah Jazz, the team announced on Friday.

“As a businessman, entrepreneur, and investor, I bring a lot to this partnership outside of my basketball experience,” said Wade, 39, in a statement. “I’m excited to help take the Utah Jazz to the next level.”

The Jazz top the Western Conference standings, with a 41-14 record.

“As we continue to build on the incredible legacy of the Utah Jazz franchise, we are excited to add Dwyane’s experience and expertise to the equation,” said tech entrepreneur and majority owner Ryan Smith.

The announcement comes days after news broke that 14-time Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce billionaire Marc Lore were moving forward with a bid to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wade joins a roster of high-powered former NBA stars who have purchased ownership stakes in the league, including legend Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets.

The 13-time NBA All-Star spent the bulk of his playing career with the Miami Heat, where he won three championship titles. He retired in 2019.

Micky Arison, the managing general partner of the Heat, took to social media to lament being unable to bring Wade in as a stakeholder in Miami.

“We had discussed having him join our ownership group after his retirement but he was not prepared to commit at the time. Of course I am disappointed that he didn’t reconsider,” Arison wrote on Twitter. “Having said that I wish him good luck and much success with the Jazz.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Israel and Greece sign record defense deal

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JERUSALEM — Israel and Greece have signed their biggest ever defense procurement deal, which Israel said on Sunday would strengthen political and economic ties between the countries.

The agreement includes a $1.65 billion contract for the establishment and operation of a training center for the Hellenic Air Force by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems over a 22-year period, Israel’s defense ministry said.

The training center will be modeled on Israel’s own flight academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by Italian company Leonardo, the ministry said.

Elbit will supply kits to upgrade and operate Greece’s T-6 aircraft and also provide training, simulators and logistical support.

“I am certain that (this program) will upgrade the capabilities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus the partnership between our two countries will deepen on the defense, economic and political levels,” said Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz.

The announcement follows a meeting in Cyprus on Friday between the UAE, Greek, Cypriot and Israeli foreign ministers, who agreed to deepen cooperation between their countries.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by David Goodman)

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This Fragile World … Endangered Species Walk

Take a “rare walk” through the Endangered Plants Trail and  find out why the Ormeau Bottle Tree and others have become endangered in the wild.


From: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM,
Sunday, 18 April 2021


Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens – Rosser Park








Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens


0449 561 674



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China’s vice premier, U.S. climate envoy Kerry discuss climate cooperation: Xinhua

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng attends the closing session of CPPCC in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng attends the closing session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/Pool

April 16, 2021

(Reuters) – Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry met via video link on Friday, with both sides expressing willingness to cooperate on climate change, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

Han said China welcomed the U.S. return to the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to Xinhua. Kerry was in Shanghai for talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua.

China was willing to strengthen cooperation with France and Germany to cope with climate change, President Xi Jinping told French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese state media reported earlier on Friday.

Xi last year announced that China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, would achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Enters Power Trend; Square, Snap Carve Handles; Are Apple, Tesla Next?

Dow Jones futures will open Sunday evening, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The stock market rally had another strong week, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq 100 all hitting record highs.


The stock market rally is now in what IBD’s Market School deems a Power Trend, meeting all the criteria. The Nasdaq composite is above the 50-day moving average and has held above the 21-day exponential moving average for 10 straight days. The 50-day line is in an uptrend and the 21-day line has now been above the 50-day for five straight days. A Power Trend is another signal that the current stock market rally, is in a strong uptrend.

But there are some signs that the market rally is getting too extended, with investors getting too bullish.

Sea Limited (SE), Square (SQ), Snap (SNAP), 10X Genomics (TXG) and Netflix (NFLX) have newly formed handles with buy points. Apple (AAPL), (AMZN) and Tesla (TSLA) are working on possible handles.

Keep in mind that Snap and Netflix earnings are on tap this coming week, while Apple stock, Amazon and Tesla are due the following week.

Why This IBD Tool Simplifies The Search For Top Stocks

Investors shouldn’t take these stocks and build a portfolio out of them, even if they all break out. Highly valued growth stocks have been laggards in the current market rally. Concentrating in any one sector or investing theme could leave investors exposed to a sell-off. A good example was Wednesday’s reversal in many story stocks, including Square, Snap, TXG and Tesla stock.

Focusing on one area could mean missing out on gains in other sectors, such as steel, housing retailers and financials, amid an ever-rotating stock market rally. Still, having a couple of these names — if they break out — is worth considering.

Meanwhile, Coinbase (COIN) is now a publicly traded company. The cryptocurrency exchange is highly profitable with booming growth. But investors shouldn’t jump into this new IPO right away.

Square stock is on IBD Leaderboard. Square and Snap stock are on the IBD 50.

Dow Jones Futures

Dow Jones futures will reopen at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.

Market wizard Mark Minervini joins IBD Live Monday as the panel analyzes actionable stocks and the market rally.

Coronavirus News

Coronavirus cases worldwide reached 141.29 million. Covid-19 deaths topped 3.02 million.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have hit 32.37 million, with deaths above 580,000.

New U.S. Covid cases are picking up modestly, but deaths continue to slide. Most seniors have been vaccinated, while overall immunizations continue to ramp up.

But global new cases are right at prior highs, as infections surge in India, Brazil, Turkey, Argentina and Iran, with European cases still high. While the U.S. is on track to achieve herd immunity within a few months, vaccinations have barely started in much of the world.

Stock Market Rally

The stock market rally turned in solid weekly gains once again, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hitting fresh highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2% in last week’s stock market trading. The S&P 500 index climbed 1.4%. The Nasdaq composite advanced 1.1%, while the big-cap Nasdaq 100 rallied 1.45%. The small-cap Russell 2000 gained 1%.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell 9 basis points to 1.57%. The big decline came despite strong growth and inflation data. Bond traders apparently are not as worried about accelerating inflation. Booming economic growth and low interest rates is a recipe for broad-based market gains.

Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) climbed 0.9% last week, while the Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF (BOUT) rose 1.1%.  The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) popped 2.9%. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) declined 1.4%.

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) jumped 4.1% and Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE) added 1.3%. U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) sank 3.15%, as travel plays struggled.

Reflecting more-speculative story stocks, ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) edged up 0.9% but pulled back from a 10-week line test on Wednesday. ARK Genomics ETF (ARKG) climbed 1.1%. Tesla is no. 1 holding for ARK Investments across its ETFs. Square stock also is a top five ARK Invest holding, while the ARKG ETF owns a fair stake in TXG stock. ARK has bought up significant COIN stock over various ETFs since Wednesday’s debut.

Growth Stocks With Handles

A handle is a good place to shake out weak holders. A proper handle needs to be flat to downward-sloping. It must be at least five days or one week long. And the midpoint of the handle should be above the middle of the base, limiting the overhead supply. The buy point is 10 cents above the top of the handle.

SE stock has a cup-with-handle base with a 258.70 buy point on a daily chart, according to MarketSmith analysis. On a weekly chart, there’s no handle, so the buy point would be 285.10. This is the first real base for SE stock in at least a year.

Square stock is working on a consolidation, nearing record highs. After rising for 10 straight sessions, SQ stock has pulled back in recent days. That could be healthy development.. On a daily chart, a proto handle still needs a couple of days to be proper. But on a weekly chart, SQ stock has a handle with a 278.23 buy point. On either a daily or weekly chart, the recent pullback came on light volume following some above-average volume up days.

Snap stock is working on a handle on a daily chart, but on a weekly chart it has a handle that’s just above the midpoint of the base. The buy point is 65.96. That possible buy point is just above the mid-March peak of 65.13, in what could be seen as a “W” in a double-bottom base. Investors also could view the current pattern as a cup base with 73.69 entry. Snap earnings are due Thursday night.

10X Genomics stock tried to break out on Wednesday past a 201.80 buy point, but like many growth plays reversed lower. On a daily chart, TXG stock might be forming a high handle with a 203.30 entry. Technically, 10X Genomics has a high handle on a weekly chart, because of the down week. But TXG stock’s “down week” was only off 0.3%.

Netflix stock has a handle on a weekly chart at 559.85. On a daily chart, NFLX stock is on track to have a handle after Tuesday, just in time for Netflix earnings after the close. Netflix is in a base going back to late January but really has been going sideways since last July. So its relative strength line has been trending lower over that time. Investors may want to see a powerful breakout before subscribing to Netflix stock. Even that’s no sure thing: NFLX stock gapped out of a base after Q4 earnings, but then quickly fell back.

Possible Handles

Apple stock technically is three days into a handle, but an investor has to squint to see it. AAPL stock could use a good shakeout in its handle attempt, perhaps with a weekly decline. But until then Apple stock has a cup base with a 145.19 buy point.

Amazon stock is working on a handle, though there hasn’t been much of shakeout. However, the top of this would-be handle came in just shy of the Feb. 3 peak of 3,434, signaling the importance of that key level. For now, investors could treat 3,434.10 as a buy point, as either an early entry on a consolidation going back to early September, or as the top of a cup base within that larger consolidation.

As with NFLX stock, Amazon has been going sideways essentially since last July, giving a woeful RS line.

Tesla stock jumped Monday and Tuesday, moving above its 50-day and 10-week lines as well as its March highs. But share reversed lower on Wednesday, starting a possible handle. A handle could be valid on a daily chart after Tuesday, but a bigger shakeout that shows up on a weekly chart could be healthy. A key negative: Tesla stock’s 50-day line has been in decline for more than a month.

Wait for COIN Stock IPO Base

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange giant, minting real dollars for its digital asset trading. It’s getting a lot of attention and could have a bright future. But it’s not time to jump into COIN stock. It’s better to let a new stock find its footing and set up some sort of base. An IPO base can be very short, and are often highly volatile. But they offer a much-higher chance of success than buying an IPO in its debut or first few days, without any real chart pattern.

Coinbase opened Wednesday at 385, quickly ran up to 429.54, but then sold off. After that first hour of trading, COIN stock has only traded below 385. In the past two days, shares have never topped 350, closing Friday at 342. Anyone who bought COIN stock in the first few minutes is sitting on a big loss.

Market Rally Analysis

The stock market rally is now in a Power Trend, a positive signal. But the S&P 500 and Dow Jones are nearly 6% above their 50-day moving averages. That’s just shy of the 6% level suggesting they’re becoming extended. With Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB) and Nvidia (NVDA) hitting record highs and Apple, Amazon and Tesla rebounding, it’s not that surprising to see the major indexes separate from key levels.

But be on watch for a market pullback, even if it’s fairly modest. Along with ongoing market rally rotation, investors may want to be wary of adding significant new exposure in the very short term.

Other possible issues: Investor bullishness is relatively elevated, according to the Bulls vs. Bears reading and other psychological indicators. The rise in tech titans such as Apple is masking flat action in the Nasdaq advance/decline line.

Still, despite the ongoing sector shifts, a diverse group of stocks has taken advantage of the broad uptrend.

What To Do Now

We’ve gone from cyclicals to chips to big techs and back to cyclicals. Balanced leadership means you can avoid too much exposure to a sector just before a reversal. Keep a broad watchlist, not only for potential buys, but to help you be aware of which sectors are trending or lagging.

Go through your portfolio. You might consider taking partial profits into strength on some winning stocks. For stocks that are lagging or losing, how much patience do you give them?

Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.

Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.


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Demetrius Andrade beats Liam Williams to retain WBO world middleweight title

The fight was delayed a year because of Covid-19 restrictions

Demetrius Andrade defended his WBO world middleweight title by unanimous decision despite a spirited challenge from Liam Williams in Hollywood.

It was a nightmare start for the Welshman who hit the canvas in round two, but took the fight the distance.

The undefeated American used his experience and fought in eye-catching bursts, while Williams struggled to land his shots.

The judges scored the bout 118-109, 118-109 and 116-111.

There had been bad blood in the build-up to the main event, with 33-year-old Andrade unimpressed with the calibre of his mandatory opponent.

Williams, 28, had twice lost to Liam Smith in 2017 before notching up seven successive wins to earn his shot at the title.

Andrade showed little respect, but as the final bell rang at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, he certainly knew he had been in a fight.

Andrade, who now has a perfect record of 30 victories with no defeats, came out with serious intent and it looked like it was to be a short night’s work.

He showed speed, power and accuracy, with Williams doing well to survive the first round after taking some heavy shots.

As he began to regain some composure in the second, Williams was floored by a right-left combination which saw him take every available second of the count to steady himself.

To Williams’ credit, he kept chipping away and the champion looked tired at times, especially in the ninth as he clung on to see out the round.

But Williams, who was bidding to become Wales’ 13th world boxing champion, could not make him pay, and was left to rue his inaccuracy as he ran out of time.

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