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3 “Strong Buy” Penny Stocks With Triple-Digit Upside

3 "Strong Buy" Penny Stocks With Triple-Digit Upside



Given the troubling state of the U.S. economy, what’s driving the bullish sentiment on Wall Street? Stimulus.

Among the bulls is chief investment strategist at CFRA, Sam Stovall, who estimates that the S&P 500 will hit 3,435 within a year. From current levels, this would reflect a double-digit gain, and come in above the 3,393 high-point posted on February 19. Back in March, he even went so far as to call for a new high in the third quarter, but since then he has updated his forecasts.

“We’ve had a lot of people compare it with the Crash of ’29, the Depression of the 1930s, etc. But back then, you had the government actually tightening their reins, balancing their budget — you did not have a reactive Federal Reserve,” Stovall stated. He added, “Who’s to say we don’t go for a retest first? That’s a normal situation. However, I don’t think we’re going to get an even lower low because of the stimulus already injected into the system.”

To this end, risk-tolerant investors are looking to take advantage of lower share prices, which present more attractive entry points. What’s the advantage of stocks with bargain price tags, specifically those trading for less than $5 per share? Should these names, which are deemed “penny stocks," experience even minor share price appreciation, it can translate to massive percentage gains.

Therefore, huge returns are on the table, but penny stocks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some argue that there could be a good reason they are trading at such low levels, and that the risk outweighs the potential rewards.   

Understanding the risk involved, we wanted to see if we could track down any compelling penny stocks in the healthcare space. Using TipRanks’ database, we pinpointed three that have received enough support from Wall Street analysts to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. The cherry on top? All three of the tickers could double in the next year. Let’s dive in.

Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (MRNS)

Focused on the development of neuropsychiatric therapeutics, Marinus is one of the top players in the orphan epileptic disorder space. Following a first quarter update on the company’s progress, Wall Street believes its long-term growth narrative is strong and that its $2.06 share price reflects the ideal entry point.

As part of the update, management announced that the design and dosing for the RSE pivotal Phase 3 trial for its lead development candidate, ganaxolone (GNX), had been confirmed, with it set to begin in the third quarter. The co-primary endpoints for the trial are status cessation within 30 minutes and suppression for at least 24 hours, and it will be powered 90% to hopefully show 30% efficacy for GNX when compared to the placebo.

Commenting for Oppenheimer, analyst Jay Olson said, “We view pivotal Phase 3 design as similar to positive Phase 2 trial while benefiting from longer dosing with 12 hours exposure vs. 8 hours prior. MRNS expects top-line data in the first half of 2022.”

Additionally, the company finished enrolling participants for its CDD pivotal Phase 3 MARIGOLD trial, with the top-line data also slated for release in the third quarter. Olson argues that the discontinuation rate of less than 10% and high enrollment rate imply that tolerability levels are “favorable." The analyst added, “Pre-commercialization and NDA filing preparations remain on track despite COVID-19. We believe MRNS could have a substantial competitive advantage as a first mover.”

If that wasn’t enough, Olson thinks the TSC Phase 2 open-label trial, which should start screening patients in Q2 and could see top-line data published in Q1 2021, could serve as a significant catalyst for shares. While COVID-19's impact on enrollment caused management to downsize the PRE Phase 3 VIOLET trial into a Phase 2 proof-of-concept trial in order to reprioritize resources, MRNS still has plenty going for it.

“We view MRNS as well-positioned despite potential COVID-19 disruptions, with $77.8 million cash balance providing runway into 3Q21. We view MRNS's pipeline as attractive with multiple opportunities and several key near-term catalysts. We believe the current share price provides an attractive entry point,” Olson explained.

To this end, Olson kept his Outperform call and $6 price target as is. Should this target be met, a twelve-month gain of 191% could be in store. (To watch Olson’s track record, click here

What does the rest of the Street think about Marinus’ long-term growth prospects? It turns out that other analysts also have high hopes. Only Buy ratings have been received in the last three months, so the consensus rating is a Strong Buy. In addition, the $5.50 average price target suggests 168% upside potential. (See Marinus stock analysis on TipRanks)

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (ABUS)

With a diverse chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) product pipeline including direct antiviral, host targeting and immune-based approaches, Arbutus Biopharma wants to develop a cure for the condition. Currently going for $1.65 apiece, several members of the Street think now is the time to get on board as multiple catalysts are fast-approaching.

On May 11, the company revealed that it plans to share further results from the week 12 portion of the 60 mg single-dose cohort evaluating its lead candidate, a GalNAc delivered RNAi compound, AB-729, in the second quarter of 2020.

Five-star analyst Mayank Mamtani, of B.Riley FBR, points out that preliminary data from the Phase 1a/1b AB-729 HBV study showed an HBsAg reduction comparable to advanced RNAi peers, even though it enrolled difficult to treat e-antigen negative patients. As HBsAg reduction rose during the study, the analyst argues that this increases the chances of successful follow-up data.

On top of this, ABUS has several ongoing preclinical studies that are progressing right on track, enabling it to advance its next-generation oral capsid inhibitor, AB-836, into the clinic in 2021. This goes hand in hand with the company’s research efforts to develop an oral HBV RNA-destabilizer and an oral anti-PD-L1 inhibitor. Expounding on this, Mamtani commented, “Building on learnings from the previously discontinued AB-506, AB-836 offers increased potency and an enhanced resistance profile with ongoing IND-enabling studies inclusive of a new assay to help better characterize the safety profile.” 

It should also be noted that ABUS is going to start working on a therapy for coronaviruses, specifically targeting RNA-dependent polymerase, nsp12, and viral protease, which play key roles in the replication and transcription cycle of COVID-19. Mamtani thinks this approach is promising as Gilead’s experimental COVID-19 treatment, remdesivir, is a nucleotide analog that binds nsp12, which inhibits viral proliferation and produces clinical benefits.

Mamtani added, “Nsp12 has also been implicated in HCV, HIV, and, notably, HBV, areas in which ABUS has extensive antiviral development expertise. In concert with the biotech and pharma COVID-19 consortium, ABUS anticipates pooling resources along with leveraging primary screening and lead optimization capabilities to advance novel candidates against known and unknown targets, which works ideally as a pan coronavirus agent in order to also prepare for future outbreaks.”

Based on all of the above, it’s no wonder Mamtani reiterated his bullish call. Given the $6 price target, shares could soar 253% in the next twelve months. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)    

Turning now to the rest of the Street, other analysts are on the same page. With 100% Street support, or 3 Buy ratings to be exact, the consensus is unanimous: ABUS is a Strong Buy. The $5 average price target brings the upside potential to 198.5%. (See Arbutus Biopharma stock analysis on TipRanks)

Geron Corporation (GERN)

Last but not least we have Geron, which is primarily focused on the development of imetelstat, a small molecule telomerase inhibitor active in the treatment of highly transfusion-dependent MDS and r/r myelofibrosis (MF). While it’s very likely that the company will experience some delays as a result of COVID-19, the Street cites its promising technology and bargain $1.36 share price as making it a compelling healthcare play.

Some investors have expressed concern regarding GERN’s announcement that it won’t be able to complete enrollment for the Phase 3 IMerge trial by 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. BTIG analyst Thomas Shrader acknowledges that the delay will push back imetelstat’s approval and launch, which he now thinks will come in 2024 instead of 2023. However, he argued, “Geron’s patients are as desperate as they come in r/r MDS and AML and we expect data to date leave physicians and patients highly motivated to find something to try.”

Further explaining the MDS opportunity, Shrader believes the program demonstrates robust levels of durability. Not only does the five-star analyst call the 24-week RBC-TI rate “highly compelling”, but he also highlights the strong safety profile.

Shrader said, “Greater than 90% of patients with neutropenias and thrombocytopenias had these AEs resolve prior to the next dose. This reversibility is in contrast to both HMAs and Revlimid where these toxicities result in drug interruptions. A KOL recently commented that the high 68% HI-E response suggests most patients receive some benefit – making any subsequent trials very easy to enroll.”

It should be noted that previously, its IMbark trial had a 32% discontinuation rate thanks to lack of efficacy, but Shrader thinks “these discontinuations may have been premature due to the drug’s slow onset of action and its ‘black box nature’ during the trial.” He added, “Based on increased understanding of how imetelstat works and its promise as a therapeutic, this discontinuation rate is likely to be low in subsequent trials. Imetelstat seems likely to be used after luspatercept in RS+ MDS but could be the only drug after ESAs in other forms of the disease (including RS-).”

With GERN working out the MF trial design and hoping to discuss the regulatory path forward with the FDA in Q2, the deal is sealed for Shrader. Along with a Buy rating, he did trim the price target from $4 to $3, but this still leaves room for 114% upside potential. (To watch Shrader’s track record, click here)

All in all, other analysts echo Shrader’s sentiment. 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. Based on the $3.50 average price target, the upside potential comes in at 149%. (See Geron stock analysis on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

The post 3 "Strong Buy" Penny Stocks With Triple-Digit Upside appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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Delivering a Real-time Genomics OS to Healthcare

When the opportunity arose to work with population genomics company Helix on a large genomic screening program, Judge was incredibly enthusiastic. With…



Daniel Judge, MD
Director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Program and Fellowship Director for Cardiovascular Disease
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

When Daniel Judge, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Genetics program and fellowship director for cardiovascular disease at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), moved over from John Hopkins a bit over five years ago, the use of genetics in clinical practice was absent in South Carolina.

“When you ask a clinician what genetics means, it’s often infants with phenylketonuria (PKU) or inherited disorders of metabolism,” Judge told Inside Precision Medicine. “But for adults with cardiovascular, pulmonary, or renal disease, not everyone uses genetics routinely in practice.”

So when the opportunity arose to work with population genomics company Helix on a large genomic screening program, Judge was incredibly enthusiastic.

“Here’s an opportunity for us and MUSC to stand apart from the large for-profit hospital centers that operate around the state, and for us to provide an academic and improved healthcare approach to things,” said Judge. “This was the opportunity for clinicians who have been doing good clinical work to bring genetics into their practice.”

In 2021, MUSC launched “In Our DNA, SC,” a first-of-its-kind genomics program to drive preventive, precision health care for South Carolinians. The statewide initiative has set out to enroll 100,000 patients in genetic testing over the next four years at no cost to the patients.

Walking the walk

Excluding COVID-19, the top cause of death in South Carolina is heart disease, followed by cancer. In the time that In Our DNA SC has been up and running, the cancer and heart disease rates haven’t yet begun to go down, but that’s the goal. Judge estimates that the program has detected about 175 positive results, which are split across breast cancer, colon cancer, and hyperlipidemia.

“Many of those patients with those results were quite surprised because they don’t have a family history of cancer or heart disease,” said Judge. “It’s nice to diagnose it because we’re seeing the ability to prescribe medications on the clinical side that are available more readily for people with familial hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia.”

Judge is excited about the opportunity to provide an academic and improved healthcare approach. “It’s an opportunity for clinicians who have been doing great clinical work but haven’t integrated genetics into their primary care, or whatever that practice might be,” he said. “I think the use of genetics in clinical practice…is entering that mainstream. The patient benefits, and the family benefits.”

Judge’s experience in clinical genetics started about twenty years ago, and “I’ve always seen this pattern: once people see a successful use of something like this, they want to do more of it,” he said. “I think our clinicians will witness success with their patients and will want to see more.”

Making genomics part of real-time care

James Lu
James Lu, MD, PhD
Founder, Helix

Behind the scenes of the In Our DNA SC initiative is a population genomics company called Helix that strives to accelerate the integration of genomic data into patient care and public health decision-making. Founder James Lu, MD, PhD, has dreamt of a world where genetic testing will provide a real-time response versus one that takes weeks. He set his sights on offering top-tier provider and patient experiences by making genomics a part of the healthcare fabric.

Lu thinks the best way to deliver genomics as a data stream or operating system within healthcare is to work with health systems. “Most of our partnerships are with large-scale health systems and are focused on large-scale, population-level programs,” said Lu. “Typically, a hundred thousand people plus, where they inevitably believe that this is going to become the standard of care over time.”

Lu believes that health systems will want to do this because it allows them to identify patients who are clearly at risk and are hiding in plain sight, such as carriers of well-established deleterious DNA variants. Helix went the route of whole exome sequencing (WES) rather than looking at an entire genome, as Lu believes that the coding regions contain almost all the relevant genomic data for clinical decision-making.

With its genomics data, Helix is currently narrowly focused on the diseases that are part of the CDC Tier 1 genomic application toolkit. This set addresses the nearly two million people in the United States who are at increased risk for adverse health outcomes because they have genetic mutations that predispose them to one of three conditions: hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC), Lynch syndrome (LS), or familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The healthcare system currently has a poor understanding of these conditions, and many affected people and their families are unaware that they are at risk; however, early detection and intervention could significantly lower morbidity and mortality.

The type of work that Helix is doing enables health systems to create fresh population health and value-based care algorithms to manage the health of larger populations. Over time, health systems want to drive the cost of care down while improving the quality of patient experiences.

From sea to shining sea

In addition to In Our DNA, SC, Helix currently has five other major programs running across the country that represent over 100,000 people in total, representing potentially one of the largest-scale programs across America’s health systems.

Leslie Dockan
Leslie Dockan
VP of primary care, clinic operations, and laboratories HealthPartners

In addition to South Carolina, Helix is located in Minnesota, where it is working with HealthPartners on a program called “myGenetics.” This large-scale community health research program, which launched in May 2022, is a first of its kind in Minnesota. Implementing this requires knowing what information to analyze, interpret, and communicate to patients, which Leslie Dockan, VP of primary care, clinic operations, and laboratories at HealthPartners, said aligns nicely with its and Helix’s core principle of providing clinicians with clear decision support.

The myGenetics program is free to the patient, given that it is a research project and the goal is to further biomedical understanding. “We wanted to create workflows that were easy for patients and weren’t disruptive to patient visits in the clinic, because our primary care clinicians have so many responsibilities and so many things that are happening,” said Dockan. This required HealthPartners to work closely with its electronic medical group and Helix to create a seamless workflow.

Multigenerational Group Hug
Credit: DisobeyArt / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A day in the myGenetics life

After signing up and consenting electronically, the patient gets an automatic email to schedule their lab appointment at a pace that suits them. “They can take their time, ask questions, and review the information at a time when they’re comfortable, not feeling pressured to move into this,” said Dockan.

Once the appointment is scheduled, the patient gives a blood sample and receives clear information on what to expect, including how long sample processing takes and the information researchers will be looking for. From the results, HealthPartners shares information with the patient about the genes that it has screened for and what the results mean, in addition to facts about the patient’s ancestry and other genetic insights.

While this is happening, the clinical results for the CDC Tier 1 Genomic Applications Toolkit gets fed into the patient’s clinical record for any positive results. In the case of such a result, a nurse calls the patient and notifies them of the result, and offers a no obligation appointment with a genetic counselor to talk about their risk, what their results mean, and any additional testing that might be needed. Direct referrals get set up with a specialist. “If you need an oncology, cardiac, or a gastroenterology referral, we do that work for them, put the referral in, order any follow-up labs that may be needed, and set them on a clear clinical pathway,” said Dockan.

This information also goes to the primary care physician as part of the patient’s medical record, which impacts their future health maintenance, namely, how often screening occurs. “If they have a genetic variant, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the disease or will get the disease,” said Dockan. “So, we follow them closely and then have that as a part of their ongoing health maintenance and preventative care.”

Dockan said that genomics will be brought into everyday care, such as with pharmacogenomics. “Physicians will be able to see that there are drug-gene interactions,” said Dockan. “If your physician starts to order a drug that’s not going to be compatible with your genetic makeup and how you metabolize drugs, then we want to be able to alert your clinician at the time of order and have them be able to give you an alternative. Today, we have many people on drugs that just don’t work for them, and no one knows why.”

Outreach in every corner

As of June 2023, myGenetics has had 25,000 people consent, which is about the annual number its organizers are shooting for. “We’re starting to see positive results and have more people who are benefiting from this work in a positive way and learning things about themselves,” said Dockan. “We just identified our first early cancer—someone who was underage and not yet even at screening age came back positive for BRCA2. We ended up doing follow-up screening and an MRI, and we found cancer. She’s crediting the program with potentially saving her life.”

Scientist pipetting sample into a vial for DNA testing
Credit: Cavan Images / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dockan would like to see the next step of the program’s outreach be to everyone who’s due for their annual physical or a preventative exam. “We want to offer it with all of our mammography screenings,” said Dockan. “We have amazing screening rates for mammography, and this is just another layer that takes it even further.”

Dockan also wants to make sure that myGenetics is reaching underserved communities. She tells a story about a black woman in her fifties who has a long history of breast cancer in her family and found out that she was positive for one of the gene variants that put her at higher risk. Dockan thinks that this story can have a major influence on the communities of black women in Minnesota. Not only is there a benefit in getting the word out so that people get better immediate treatment, but the myGenetics team knows that patients of color are underrepresented in a lot of research databases and wants to help fuel new therapies and other ways of fighting disease in local underserved populations.

Judge laments that the program wasn’t in place several years earlier so that it could have worked in time for a famous South Carolina resident, Chadwick Bozeman. The actor developed metastatic colon cancer in his late thirties, well before colon cancer screening was done. Part of the plan for In Our DNA SC is to become one of the top-enrolled genomic screening programs for non-white participants. “We are in the southeast U.S., and while we are in the 15–16% range, we want to be like 30% of our participants who are non-white, predominantly black, representing our state,” said Judge. “When we look at what our goal is for inclusion in this program, we want the demographics in our publications to look like the state of South Carolina. We’re not there yet.”


Jonathan D. Grinstein’s wonder for the human mind and body led him to an undergraduate education in Neural Science and Philosophy and a doctorate in Biomedical science. He has 10 years of experience in experimental and computational research, during which he was a co-author on research articles in journals such as Nature and Cell. Since then, Jonathan hung up his lab coat and has explored positions in science writing and editing. Jonathan’s science writing work has been featured in Scientific American, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN), and NEO.LIFE.

The post Delivering a Real-time Genomics OS to Healthcare appeared first on Inside Precision Medicine.

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As Mortgage Rates Hit 8%, US Housing Affordability At Lowest Level Since The ’80s

As Mortgage Rates Hit 8%, US Housing Affordability At Lowest Level Since The ’80s

Update (1320ET): The average rate on the popular 30-year…



As Mortgage Rates Hit 8%, US Housing Affordability At Lowest Level Since The '80s

Update (1320ET): The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 8% Wednesday morning, according to Mortgage News Daily. 

That is the highest level since mid-2000.

“Here’s another milestone that seemed extreme several short months ago,” said Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily.

“The fact is that many borrowers have already seen rates over 8%. That said, many borrowers are still seeing rates in the 7s due to buydowns and discount points.”

As CNBC reports, to put it in perspective, a buyer purchasing a $400,000 home with a 20% down payment would have a monthly payment today of nearly $1,000 more than it would have been two years ago.

*  *  *

As Andrew Moran detailed earlier via The Epoch Times, the U.S. housing market has witnessed a slowdown in activity this year due to tighter supply, says Thomas Barkin, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Speaking at a Real Estate Roundtable event in Washington, D.C., Mr. Barkin explained that home prices have remained strong in an environment of higher interest rates and slowing sales volumes.

But the industry has been pining for lower rates, he noted.

"You may know that the last time the Fed tackled high inflation, in the ’80s, homebuilders sent Paul Volcker two-by-fours inscribed with the message: Lower interest rates," he said.

In a letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell by the National Association of Home Builders, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, the central bank was urged not to pull the trigger on more rate hikes.

"Further rate increases and a persistently wide spread pose broader risks to economic growth, heightening the likelihood and magnitude of a recession," the letter stated.

A treasure trove of data and research shows that further Fed tightening could exacerbate current conditions in the real estate sector, especially regarding affordability.

Housing Affordability Challenges

With supply failing to keep up with demand and mortgage rates marching toward 8 percent, housing affordability deteriorated to a fresh all-time low in August, new industry data show.

The NAR Housing Affordability Index clocked in at 91.7 in August, down from 93.9 in July - anything below 100 indicates a household with a median income does not earn enough to be approved for a mortgage on a median-priced home. This was the lowest reading since at least the early 1980s.

NAR figures highlighted that the typical family needed to earn $107,232 in August to qualify for a mortgage, based on a 20 percent downpayment. It was the third consecutive month of a six-figure headline number.

Meanwhile, the organization reported that the average family spent more than one-quarter (27 percent) of their income on annual mortgage payments.

Housing inventories have worsened over the past year. Existing home sales have declined in 13 of the last 15 months, including a 0.7 percent drop in August.

The challenge faced by the U.S. real estate market today is that homeowners are not erecting for-sale signs on their front lawns.

When the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to nearly zero during the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage rates crashed to their lowest levels on record.

According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage collapsed to 2.77 percent in August 2021. For the week ending Oct. 12, 2023, it is close to a 23-year high of 7.6 percent.

Home prices have also surged since the public health crisis, rising nearly 30 percent to a median sales price of $416,100.

The mix of high mortgages and prices has prevented the new generation of homebuyers from achieving the American dream of homeownership. However, anyone who purchased a home before the U.S. central bank launched its quantitative tightening cycle is in good shape: a 2 to 4 percent 30-year mortgage rate and a residential property that has accumulated plenty of equity.

This past summer, a Redfin analysis revealed that 92 percent of homeowners enjoyed a mortgage rate below 6 percent, offering minimal incentive for owners to sell their properties and move to another home with a higher rate. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) maintain a rate below 3 percent, close to a record high achieved in the first quarter of 2022.

Ultimately, it could be a tale of two housing market participants.

Andy Walden, the ICE vice president of enterprise research, warned that incomes would have to spike 55 percent or home prices would have to collapse 35 percent to restore affordability.

"Those are massive movements we're talking about, and none of them are going to happen in a vacuum, and none of those one single factors are going to make the move," Mr. Walden told CNBC earlier this month.

Mortgage Rates Now and Beyond

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) found that builder confidence in the real estate market for newly constructed single-family homes slumped for the third consecutive month in October. They are seeing lower levels of buyer traffic as some buyers, including the younger families, are "priced out of the market because of higher interest rates," says NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey, a custom home builder and developer.

"Higher rates are also increasing the cost and availability of builder development and construction loans, which harms supply and contributes to lower housing affordability," Ms. Huey added.

A construction worker carries materials as he works on a home under construction at a housing development in Petaluma, Calif., on March 23, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted that one of the primary tools available to solve the housing affordability crisis is contributing "attainable, affordably supply."

"Boosting housing production would help reduce the shelter inflation component that was responsible for more than half of the overall Consumer Price Index increase in September and aid the Fed’s mission to bring inflation back down to 2%," he said. "However, uncertainty regarding monetary policy is contributing to affordability challenges in the market.”

The September consumer price index (CPI) shelter index is up 7.2 percent compared to a year ago.

While the futures market is pricing in the Fed, keeping rates unchanged at the November and December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meetings, the central bank’s Summary of Economic Projections suggests officials are planning one more rate hike this year.

In addition, Treasury yields have been accelerating, with the 2-, 10-, and 30-year yields touching their highest levels in 16 years. The volatility in the bond market has played a critical role in the housing market because mortgage lenders tie their interest rates closely to Treasury bond rates.

As a result, Fannie Mae projects that mortgage rates will hover in the 7 percent range for most of next year before sliding to 6.7 percent by the end of 2024.

"In many ways, the housing market experienced four years of business in a two-year period between mid-2020 and mid-2022," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.

"With ongoing affordability constraints and rising mortgage rates, much of that activity has essentially been given back. We expect the higher mortgage rate environment to continue to dampen housing activity and further complicate housing affordability into 2024."

The FOMC will hold its next two-day policy meeting on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Tyler Durden Wed, 10/18/2023 - 13:40

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Backlash forces Goldman Sachs CEO to give up side gig he absolutely loves

It was the day the music died at Goldman Sachs as the CEO reportedly packs in his side hustle.



Hey, Mr D.J.--get back to work!

Everyone knows that party can't get started until the DJ shows up. 

Weddings, private parties, holiday bashes, you need somebody to spin records, get people dancing and to make sure that nobody's car is blocking the driveway.

Related: Elon Musk takes a shot at Tesla's most prominent U.S. electric vehicle rival

Just think of some the legendary DJs, such as Grandmaster Flash, Frankie Knuckles, David Guetta, and, of course, DJ D-Sol.

Goldman CEO David Solomon drops the beat.

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Casamigos

Wait, what? Who was that last guy?

Proceeds go to charities 

DJ D-Sol is the nom de disc of David Solomon, whose day job is chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs  (GS) - Get Free Report.

Solomon, 61, has performed a variety of high-profile gigs in recent years, including a performance last summer at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

However, the top executive has changed his tune and pulled the plug on his musical side hustle, according to the Financial Times.

His hobby reportedly hit a sour note in some circles within the company, who felt that his DJ schtick created a distraction from his work leading the Wall Street firm, the publication reported, citing people with knowledge of the decision. 

Some folks were uneasy about his decision in 2019 to perform at Tomorrowland, a Belgian music festival known for heavy drug taking.

Solomon, who was  named chief executive in 2018, also apologized to Goldman’s board in 2020 after he DJed at a 2020 event in the Hamptons resort area of New York that was criticized for blowing off social distancing rules during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

His interest in DJing started more than a decade ago when he was working on a financing deal for a Las Vegas casino. He has said that proceeds from his performance have gone towards charities combating addiction.

'Music not a distraction'

Few colleagues remarked on his hobby before he became CEO, but his decision to keep it up after taking over the top spot was controversial for some employees who felt it brought unwelcome attention. 

Amid all this, Solomon has been under fire from some investors over the bank's lackluster profits.

In the second quarter, Goldman posted its lowest quarterly profit in three years, as a costly retreat from consumer banking was compounded by the industry-wide slowdown in deals and trading

The investment bank posted better-than-expected third quarter earnings on Oct. 17, but booked more than $800 million in write downs linked to its real estate and home improvement lending divisions.

Goldman Sachs maintains that any controversy about Solomon's deejaying is just so much chin music.

"This is not news," spokesman Tony Fratto told the Financial Times. "David hasn’t publicly DJed an event in well over a year, which we have confirmed multiple times in the past."

"Music was not a distraction from David’s work," Fratto added. "The media attention became a distraction."

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