Posts belonging to Category USA



Meme Stocks vs. Wall Street

 How Reddit and GameStop Beat the Bankers

Reddit and Robinhood users have been caught in a firestorm over GameStop stock after shares in the downtrodden company rocketed from $20 to $400 in just two weeks. The story is now front-page news around the world. But how did we get here, and what happens next? At the core of the story is the rapid growth of r/WallStreetBets, a Reddit community famed for its series of high-stakes trades in the market. Three years ago, the WallStreetBets community had 180,000 members. Today that number stands at six million. The rise in r/WallStreetBets membership has been largely driven by the smartphone app, Robinhood. The app changed the investing industry with the launch of commission-free trading.

Crucially, Robinhood also made it free to trade options for the first time. r/WallStreetBets users prefer to trade on the options market rather than buying and selling regular shares because the strategy exponentially amplifies gains and losses. Robinhood became the perfect companion. Equally importantly, by removing the cost barriers, Robinhood allowed more young people than ever to learn about the market and start day-trading. Young people are also Reddit’s largest demographic and the most risk-tolerant from an investment perspective.

Robinhood users gravitated to r/WallStreetBets, and r/WallStreetBets users gravitated to Robinhood. The beginnings of a perfect storm were put in place.

https://www.makeuseof.com/

WallStreetBets traders are pushing risky stocks to all-time highs

A single tweet or a post on Reddit’s WallStreetBets can have significant consequences for individual stocks

The WallStreetBets phenomenon has captured the news cycle in the last week as retail traders are pitted against some renowned hedge funds. What started as a small group on Reddit discussing risky equity positions quickly ballooned into a forum that boasts some 6.2 million members. In the past, markets were moved by earnings reports or announcements of mergers and acquisitions, but these days a single tweet or a post on Reddit’s WallStreetBets can have significant consequences for individual stocks.The prime example is GameStop. Members of WallStreetBets have spent the past three weeks bidding up the video game retailer, causing shares to skyrocket more than 1,200% since January 11.

WSB is a corner of Reddit where users treat markets like a game, make liberal use of profanity, and, in some cases, make tremendous gains in the process of meme’ing stocks to the moon. A peak into WallStreetBest will reveal a few things. Observers will see instances of blind-faith speculation, obscenity-filled posts, and a lot of distrust of the media, Wall Street, brokerages, and the financial “establishment”. However, beneath all of that is also a tight-knit community, and a place where users say they feel like they are standing up to “the man” and to market makers who have rigged the system in their favor. You’ll see small-time investors who have secured profits that will change their lives forever.

Here are 3 of the best recent quotes from WallStreetBets users, lightly edited: Upvote counts are as of 2:29 PM EST on Friday.

  1. “AMERICANS CAN’T BUY GME, BB?!?! HELP IS ON THE WAY!! CANADIANS!! WE HAVE NO SUCH RESTRICTIONS!! BUY ALL THE GME AND BB YOU CAN!!! Not just Canadians!! The whole world is coming to help now!! WE ARE A GLOBAL FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!!! HOLD MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!” – from WSB user ‘SubstantialTent’ 159k upvotes.
  2. “Buy more during dips if you can, but at least hold. We just have to hold until they fold. Today’s actions by several brokers just show how desperate the hedge funds are getting. Hold with your immovable diamond hands for all that you hold dear and we will be breaking Wall Street TOGETHER while making gargantuan tendies in the end!” – from WSB user ‘uwillmire’ 135k upvotes.
  3. “It’s time for a government bailout of GME shareholders at $10,000 per share. This would be roughly equivalent to the $700 billion bank bailout in 08 that was necessary to prevent ‘systemic risk’.” – from WSB user ‘TheHappyHawaiian’ 64.3k upvote.

Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/

Reddit’s forum WallStreetBets initiated ongoing stock market frenzy

Billions of dollars in losses for hedge fund companies

The creator of the Reddit forum at the center of the ongoing stock market frenzy called the recent coordinated strategy to pump ailing stocks like GameStop and AMC a “train wreck.” Jaime Rogozinski, 39, who established Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets in 2012 as a platform to discuss unconventional investing strategies, expressed unease over the forum’s astronomical rise in influence in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s a little like watching one of those horror films where you can see the bad guy slowly going up the stairs,” Rogozinski told the newspaper. “You see this train wreck happening in real time.”

WallStreetBets has played a prominent role boosting GameStop, and other similar ebbing companies, playing host to many of the amateur investors driving the stock prices up. The move has resulted in billions of dollars in losses for hedge fund companies that shorted those same businesses.

https://nypost.com/

3 Stocks To Be The Next GameStop According To Reddit Investors

BlackBerry (NYSE: BB), AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC), Nokia (NYSE: NOK)

GameStop (NYSE: GME) isn’t just any typical brick-and-mortar store that sells video games. Unless you have been living under a rock, you would almost certainly come across GME stock. You may have been dumbfounded by what is happening with it? Well, you are not alone. There’s isn’t any specific news you can find that almost doubled its stock price on Tuesday. And it’s even absurd to think that GME stock climbed to around $364 per share in Wednesday’s trading session as of 11:11 a.m. ET, up from $18 just a couple of weeks ago.

Nothing that GameStop has done warrants this,” says Michael Futter, a game industry analyst and founder of the consulting firm F-Squared.

Perhaps, investors could argue that Michael Burry of The Big Short fame helped laid the foundation for the bullish stance on GameStop. But we all know that’s not really the case because he expressed his bullish stance some time ago. Way before the ongoing retail frenzy. The truth is, the spike we saw in GME stock recently was purely due to what appears to be a group of retail investors on Reddit taking on Wall Street. As a result, short-seller Melvin Capital had to secure additional funding. If you thought 2020 was an unprecedented year in the financial markets, you haven’t seen 2021.
Top Stocks To Watch For Potential Breakout Gains Like GameStop:

BlackBerry (NYSE: BB), AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC), Nokia (NYSE: NOK)

https://www.nasdaq.com/

IMF lifts global growth forecast for 2021

Exceptional uncertainty

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the coronavirus-triggered downturn in 2020 would be nearly a full percentage point less severe than expected.

It said multiple vaccine approvals and the launch of vaccinations in some countries in December had boosted hopes of an eventual end to the pandemic that has now infected nearly 100 million people and claimed the lives of over 2.1 million globally.

But it warned that the world economy continued to face “exceptional uncertainty” and new waves of COVID-19 infections and variants posed risks, and global activity would remain well below pre-COVID projections made one year ago.

Close to 90 million people are likely to fall below the extreme poverty threshold during 2020-2021, with the pandemic wiping out progress made in reducing poverty over the past two decades. Large numbers of people remained unemployed and underemployed in many countries, including the United States.

https://www.reuters.com/

Could Biden Stimulus Further Inflating Epic Bubble?

Inevitable crash

In the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency,  investor Jeremy Grantham warned that U.S. stocks were in an epic bubble. He now predicts Joe Biden’s economic-recovery plan will propel them to perilous new heights, followed by an inevitable crash.

“We will have a few weeks of extra money and a few weeks of putting your last, desperate chips into the game, and then an even more spectacular bust,” Grantham, the value-investing legend and co-founder of Boston-based GMO, said in a Bloomberg “Front Row” interview. “When you have reached this level of obvious super-enthusiasm, the bubble has always, without exception, broken in the next few months, not a few years.”

Data show risk-taking exploded following the last round of pandemic-relief checks. Grantham has “no doubt” at least some of the $1.9 trillion in federal aid Biden is seeking from Congress will end up being spent on stocks instead of food or shelter.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Amazon prepares to deliver 100 Million Vaccines in 100 days

Amazon offers to help Joe Biden deliver 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office

As first reported by Reuters, on Wednesday in a letter sent to President Joe Biden, Amazon offered to pitch in and help him in his mission to deliver 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses within his first 100 days in office. Because who better really?

It’s no secret the Amazonian giant had a contentious relationship with former President Trump, Bezos’s ownership of the Washington Post and Trump’s claims of unfair coverage wedged between them. So it no surprise that the offer came in on the same day Biden became the 46th President of the United States.

As the Biden administration is faced with a massive challenge in speeding up the vaccine rollout, a little help from the supply chain optimization king and his network of world-class facilities must be most welcome.

The world’s largest online retailer has an agreement with a healthcare provider to administer vaccines on-site at its facilities and will move forward once doses are available, Dave Clark, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, said in the letter. He also pushed for Amazon’s essential workers, of which there are more than 800,000 to be prioritized in the vaccine rollout.

https://www.supplychaindigital.com/

A look at Biden’s first executive orders in office

In his first official acts as president, Joe Biden is signing executives orders on a broad range of issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and immigration, to fulfill campaign promises. Biden is requiring the use of masks and social distancing in all federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors. Consistently masking up is a practice that science has shown to be effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, particularly when social distancing is difficult to maintain. He is challenging all Americans to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his administration. That’s a critical period, since communities will still be vulnerable to the virus even as the pace of vaccination increases in pursuit of Biden’s goal of 100 million shots in 100 days.
Biden also is directing the government to rejoin the World Health Organization, which Donald Trump withdrew from earlier this year after accusing it of incompetence and bowing to Chinese pressure over the coronavirus. Symbolizing Biden’s commitment to a more prominent global role, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will deliver a speech Thursday to the WHO as head of a U.S. delegation. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, will lay out how the administration intends to work with the WHO on reforms, supporting the coronavirus response and promoting global health and health security

Biden will sign an executive orders to rejoin the Paris climate accord, fulfilling a campaign pledge to get back into the global climate pact on Day One. Trump, a supporter of oil, gas and coal, had made a first priority of pulling out of global efforts to cut climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions. It will take 30 days for the U.S. to officially be back in.

Ending ban on Muslim travelers: Biden is ending what is variously known as the “travel ban” or the “Muslim ban,” one of the first acts of the Trump administration. Trump in January 2017 banned foreign nationals from seven mostly Muslim countries from entry into the country. After a lengthy court fight, a watered-down version of the rule was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 2018. The new administration says it will improve the screening of visitors by strengthening information sharing with foreign governments and other measures.

Biden is immediately ending the national emergency that Trump declared on the border in February 2018 to divert billions of dollars from the Defense Department to wall construction. He also is halting construction to review contracts and how wall money might be redirected. Despite Trump’s repeated promises that Mexico would pay for the wall, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says Americans have committed $15 billion for more than 700 miles (1,120 kilometers). It is unclear how many miles are under contract and what penalties the government would have to pay for canceling them. The Supreme Court has scheduled arguments Feb. 22 on the legality of Trump’s diverting Defense Department funds for counter-narcotics efforts and military construction projects to wall construction.

Biden will order his Cabinet to work to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has shielded hundreds of thousands of people who came to the country as young children from deportation since it was introduced in 2012.  Trump ordered an end to DACA in 2017, triggering a legal challenge that ended in June when the Supreme Court ruled that it should be kept in place because the Trump administration failed to follow federal rule-making guidelines in undoing it. But DACA is still facing legal challenges.

In his presidential proclamation, Biden is calling on Congress to adopt legislation that gives DACA recipients permanent legal status and a path to citizenship. There are currently about 700,000 people enrolled. Biden is revoking one of Trump’s first executive orders, which declared that all of the roughly 11 million people in the country illegally are considered priorities for deportation. The Department of Homeland Security will conduct a review of enforcement priorities. Biden’s campaign site says deportations will focus on national security and public safety threats. The order says nothing about a 100-day moratorium on deportations that Biden promised during the campaign. Susan Rice, who is tapped to run the White House Domestic Policy Council, says any decision on moratoriums would come from Homeland Security.

Biden is reversing a Trump plan to exclude people in the country illegally from being counted in the 2020 Census. The once-a-decade census is used to determine how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets, as well as the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending each year. Biden’s team says the new administration will ensure the Census Bureau has time to complete an accurate count for each state and that the apportionment is “fair and accurate.” Biden is also proposing legislation that would grant green cards and a path to citizenship to anyone in the United States before Jan. 1, 2021, an estimated 11 million people. Most would have to wait eight years for citizenship but people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for young immigrants and with Temporary Protective Status for fleeing strife-torn countries would only wait three years. Other provisions lessen the time that many people have to wait outside the United States for green cards, provide development aid to Central America and reduce the 1.2-million-case backlog in immigration courts.

Biden is asking the Education Department to extend a pause on federal student loan payments through at least Sept. 30, continuing a moratorium that began early in the pandemic but was set to expire at the end of January. Borrowers, who owe a collective $1.5 trillion, would not be required to make payments on their federal student loans, their loans would not accrue any interest, and all debt collection activity would halt through September. Congress paused student debt payments last March as part of a virus relief package, and the Trump administration extended it twice.
Biden’s order does not include the type of mass debt cancellation that some Democrats asked him to orchestrate through executive action. He has said that action should come from Congress.Housing foreclosures and evictions would be delayed until at least March 31, 2021. Almost 12 percent of homeowners with mortgages are, while 19 percent of renters are behind, according to a Census Bureau survey of households. The federal moratoriums would ensure that people could stay in their homes even if they cannot afford their monthly bills. Biden is also calling on Congress to extend assistance to renters. While the moratoriums have aided several million Americans during the pandemic and helped to contain the disease, they have also meant that billions of dollars in housing costs have gone unpaid.

https://www.pbs.org/

New Covid variant linked to several large outbreaks in California

Fast-growing share of new cases

coronavirus variant first identified in Denmark has ripped through Northern California — including outbreaks at nursing homes, jails and a hospital in the San Jose area — prompting state and local officials to investigate whether it may be more transmissible. California officials disclosed the rise of the variant Sunday night after genetic monitoring linked it to a fast-growing share of new cases, as well as to the outbreaks in Santa Clara county, which includes San Jose.

This rising variant is distinct from the highly contagious mutation discovered by Britain, which has also been found in California, and which federal health officials project could become the dominant strain in the United States by March based on its proven higher transmissibility.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

Biden unveils $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus package

$1tn in relief to families

Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9tn coronavirus relief proposal, aimed at urgently combating the pandemic and the economic crisis it has triggered. As the US faces its deadliest stage of the pandemic, Biden described the moment as “a crisis of deep human suffering”.

The ambitious, wide-ranging plan includes $160bn to bolster vaccination and testing efforts, and other health programs and $350bn for state and local governments, as well as $1tn in relief to families, via direct payments and unemployment insurance.

If adopted, the proposal would tack on $1,400 to the $600 in direct payments for individuals that Congress approved most recently. “We will finish the job of getting a total of $2,000 in relief to people who need it the most,” Biden said.

https://www.theguardian.com/

Millions Flock to Telegram and Signal as Fears Grow Over Big Tech

Tens of millions of people have downloaded Signal and Telegram

The encrypted messaging services have become the world’s hottest apps over the last week, driven by growing anxiety over the power of the biggest tech companies and privacy concerns. Neeraj Agrawal, a spokesman for a cryptocurrency think tank, has typically used the encrypted messaging app Signal to chat with privacy-minded colleagues and peers. So he was surprised on Monday when the app alerted him to two new users: Mom and Dad. “Signal still had a subversive shine to it,” said Mr. Agrawal, 32. “Now my parents are on it.”

Twitter’s stock falls after Trump’s account is suspended

Advertisers want to avoid sponsoring content on a platform that has become polarizing

Shares of Twitter fell Monday after the company announced late Friday that it had permanently banned President Donald Trump from the platform. Twitter joins a growing list of companies distancing themselves from Trump following the deadly attack at the Capitol last week by a mob of the president’s supporters, many of whom believe Trump’s false assertion that the election was stolen from him.

From a financial perspective, investors may believe banning Trump could hurt Twitter because some former followers of his feed may decide to leave the platform due to their belief that the company is silencing conservative voices. There’s also the fact that even before Trump’s ban, advertisers may have decided they want to avoid sponsoring content on a platform that has become polarizing.

Twitter shares fell as much as nearly 10% early Monday before paring some losses and trading down 6% by midday.

https://edition.cnn.com/

Hyundai Motor says it’s in early talks with Apple to develop a car

Shares soaring 19%

Shares of Hyundai Motor surged 19% after the South Korean automaker said it was in early-stage talks with Apple over potentially working together to develop an electric car. “We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor. As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided,” a representative from Hyundai Motor told CNBC’s Chery Kang.

The statement followed a local report from the Korea Economic Daily that said Apple suggested the tie-up and Hyundai Motor was reviewing the terms. The report said both electric vehicle production as well as battery development were included in the proposal, and that the car could potentially be released in 2027.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Elon Musk is now the richest man on the planet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fortune rose to $188.5 billion on Thursday, $1.5 billion more than Bezos

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is no longer the richest man in the world, after Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fortune on Thursday rose to $188.5 billion, $1.5 billion more than Bezos. Shares in electric carmaker Tesla rose by more than 6 percent on Thursday to push South African-born Musk into the top spot, dethroning Bezos from the place he has occupied for more than three years, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Tesla’s market capitalization, a measurement of the company’s stock price multiplied by its number of shares, has been on a tear since the beginning of last year, rising from about $80 billion in January 2020 to just over $760 billion today. Musk’s personal fortune, which is tied to Tesla’s share price, rose by more than $150 billion last year. The new valuation is more than eight times the combined values of the traditional “Big Three” U.S. automakers, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

https://www.nbcnews.com/

Incited by the President, Trump Supporters Violently Storm the Capitol

Woman dies after shooting in U.S. Capitol; D.C

Seething with anger, mostly unmasked, Donald Trump’s supporters stormed and breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, stoked by his defiant speech claiming the election had been stolen from him. Tens of thousands of supporters braved bone-chilling temperatures to hear him speak at the Ellipse below the White House, then many marched to Capitol Hill and up the steps, pushing their way past Capitol Police, as some of the lawmakers’ office buildings were evacuated. Washington, DC’s mayor issued a city-wide curfew, from nightfall through the next morning.

Democrat Rep. Elaine Luria, a Navy veteran, tweeted: “I had to evacuate my office because of a pipe bomb reported outside. Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sounds like multiple gunshots.”

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut tweeted that lawmakers had been asked to get out gas masks “as there has been tear gas used in the rotunda,” the circular building in the center of the Capitol. By nightfall, one woman who was shot at the Capitol had died, according to a spokesperson for Washington D.C’s Metropolitan Police Department.

https://time.com/