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Economics

Addressing Inflation Pressures Amid an Enduring Pandemic

With inflationary pressures intensifying and Omicron generating new uncertainties, monetary policymakers are facing new and challenging tradeoffs.

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By Tobias Adrian and Gita Gopinath

With inflationary pressures intensifying and Omicron generating new uncertainties, monetary policymakers are facing new and challenging tradeoffs.

The resurgence of the pandemic and the latest variant, Omicron, have sharply increased uncertainty around global economic prospects. This comes as several countries grapple with inflation well above their monetary policy targets. It is however evident that the strength of the economic recovery and magnitude of underlying inflationary pressures vary significantly across countries. Accordingly, policy responses to rising prices must be calibrated to the unique circumstances of individual economies.

Inflation is likely to be higher for longer than previously thought.

We see grounds for monetary policy in the United States—with gross domestic product close to pre-pandemic trends, tight labor markets, and now broad-based inflationary pressures—to place greater weight on inflation risks as compared to some other advanced economies including the euro area. It would be appropriate for the Federal Reserve to accelerate the taper of asset purchases and bring forward the path for policy rate increases.

Over time, if inflationary pressures were to become broad-based in other countries, more may need to tighten earlier than currently expected. In this environment it is essential for major central banks to carefully communicate their policy actions so as not to trigger a market panic that would have deleterious effects not just at home but also abroad, especially on highly leveraged emerging and developing economies. Needless to say, given the extremely high uncertainty, including from Omicron, policymakers should remain agile, data-dependent, and ready to adjust course as needed.

The global inflation landscape

Rising energy and food prices have fueled higher inflation in many countries. These global factors may continue to add to inflation in 2022, especially high commodity food prices. This has particularly negative consequences for households in low-income countries where about 40 percent of consumption spending is on food.

A measure of inflation which strips out volatile fuel and food inflation, so-called core consumer price inflation has also risen but exhibits significant variation across countries. Some of the increase in core inflation in countries reflects reversals of price falls in 2020, such as from the unwinding of VAT tax cuts in Germany. It therefore helps to focus on annualized cumulative inflation since pre-pandemic. By this measure, core inflation among advanced economies has risen most sharply in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada. In the euro area the increase is much less so. There are also limited signs of core inflationary pressures in Asia, including in China, Japan and Indonesia. Among emerging markets, core is dramatically elevated in Turkey.

Median inflation, a measure that is not affected by exceptionally large or small price changes in a few categories of goods and therefore conveys the breadth and likely persistence of price pressures, similarly varies across countries. The recent rise in median inflation for the United States to around 3 percent in October is also higher than for other Group of Seven countries.

While inflation is likely to remain elevated well into 2022 in several countries, measures of inflation expectations for the medium and long-term remain close to policy targets in most economies. This reflects, in addition to expectations of waning inflationary forces, that policy actions can bring inflation back to target.

In the United States, long-term inflation expectations have increased but remain close to historic averages and thus appear well-anchored. Euro area expectations have increased but from levels well below target to now close to it, which suggests long-term expectations may have become better anchored to the European Central Bank’s 2 percent objective. For Japan, inflation expectations remain well below the target.

For several emerging markets, including India, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa, expectations show signs of being anchored. Exceptions include Turkey, where the risk of inflation expectations becoming unmoored is apparent as monetary policy is eased despite rising inflation.

Sources of price pressures

The rise in core inflation reflects multiple factors. Demand has rebounded strongly supported by exceptional fiscal and monetary measures, especially in advanced economies. In addition, supply disruptions caused by the pandemic and climate change, and a shift in spending toward goods over services have increased price pressures. Furthermore, wage pressures are apparent in some segments of labor markets. The United States has experienced a more prolonged reduction in labor-force participation relative to other advanced economies, further adding to wage and inflationary pressures.

We expect the mismatch in supply and demand to attenuate over time reducing some price pressures in countries. Under the baseline, shipping delays, delivery lags, and semiconductor shortages will likely improve in the second half of 2022. Aggregate demand should soften as fiscal measures come off in 2022.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that economic activity has rebounded quickly in several countries, with the United States experiencing the fastest recovery among large, advanced economies. It is in such countries, where economic activity has rebounded more quickly to pre-pandemic trends, that core inflation has risen sharply relative to levels before the crisis. This relationship between recovery strength and core inflation, while far from perfect, suggests stronger underlying inflationary pressures in countries where demand has recovered the fastest.

Varied policy action

At the onset of the pandemic, policymakers around the world were synchronized in dramatically easing monetary policy and expanding fiscal policy. These actions helped prevent a global financial crisis, despite lockdowns and health shocks causing a historic recession. The confluence of very low inflation and weak demand provided a strong rationale for easy monetary policies.

Earlier this year, when inflation picked up sharply, it was driven by exceptionally high inflation in a few sectors such as energy and autos, much of which was expected to reverse by the end of the year as pandemic related disruptions declined. Central banks, with a long track record of keeping inflation low and stable could appropriately “look through” the runup in inflation and keep interest rates low to support the economic recovery.

However, risks of a further acceleration of inflation previously flagged in our global publications and country-specific reports are materializing, with supply disruptions and elevated demand lasting longer than expected. Inflation is likely to be higher for longer than previously thought, which means that real rates are even lower than before, implying an increasingly expansionary stance of monetary policy.

While we still anticipate that supply-demand imbalances will wane next year, a singular focus of monetary policy on supporting recovery may well fuel substantial and persistent inflationary pressures, with some risk of de-anchoring inflation expectations. Accordingly, in countries where economic recoveries are further along and inflationary pressures more acute it would be appropriate to accelerate the normalization of monetary policy.

Potentially challenging spillovers

The challenge of addressing large and persistent supply shocks is even greater for emerging market central banks. Given the greater risk to de-anchoring of inflation expectations relative to advanced economies, they see the need to get ahead of inflationary pressures and some—such as Brazil and Russia—have raised policy rates sharply. Such tightening comes amid large COVID-related output shortfalls and could further depress output and employment. Emerging markets face potentially challenging spillovers if tightening by advanced economies causes capital outflows and exchange rate pressures that could require them to tighten even more.

Lastly, there remains tremendous uncertainty around the evolution of the pandemic and on its economic consequences. A variant that significantly reduces vaccine efficacy could lead to further supply chain disruptions and contractions in labor supply pushing up inflationary pressures, while lower demand could have opposing effects. The sharp fall in oil prices following the discovery of Omicron and the rapid imposition of travel restrictions by countries is a sign of the volatility ahead.

In sum, policymakers must carefully calibrate their response to incoming data. Varying inflation conditions and strength of recoveries across countries show why the policy response needs to be tailored to country specific circumstances, given sharply higher uncertainty associated with Omicron. Clear central bank communication, too, is key to fostering a durable global recovery.

As we warned in recent reports such as the World Economic Outlook, a more frontloaded Fed response to dampen inflation risks could result in market volatility and create difficulties elsewhere—especially in emerging and developing economies. To avoid that, policy shifts need to be telegraphed well, as has so far been the case. Emerging market and developing economies should also prepare for increases in advanced economy interest rates through debt maturity extensions where feasible, thereby reducing their rollover needs, and regulators should also focus on limiting the buildup of currency mismatches on balance sheets.

Related links:
Inflation Scares in an Uncharted Recovery
Recovery During a Pandemic
Latin America’s Inflation Challenge
A Hobbled Recovery Along Entrenched Fault Lines

 

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Economics

Top Trending Stocks to Buy Today

A few companies have started the season off strong. Let’s examine the top trending stocks investors are excited about.
The post Top Trending Stocks to Buy Today appeared first on Investment U.

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There is a ton of uncertainty in the investing world right now. First, new COVID-19 strains have turned into an ever-present threat to the entire economy. Second, many companies are still struggling with supply chain issues. Finally, analysts expect interest rates to rise at any minute. However, despite all of this turmoil, a few companies have started the season off strong. This is much-needed good news for investors. Let’s examine a few of these top trending stocks and see why investors are excited about them.

NOTE: I’m not a financial advisor and am just offering my own research and commentary. Please do your own due diligence before making any investment decisions.

What Creates Top Trending Stocks?

When you hear the word “trending”, most people think of a viral social media post. These are posts that everyone is talking about and sharing with each other. Honestly, trending stocks are not that different.

There are tons of factors that could lead to a stock starting to trend. Stocks can also trend for both good and bad reasons. For example, a stock might start trending in a good way because it announced a brand new service (Walt Disney Company and Disney Plus). A stock could also start trending in a bad way because of a CEO scandal (Activision and Bobby Kotick). A stock could even start trending for reasons that have nothing to do with the company (i.e. The GameStop Short Squeeze).

The most important thing is to figure out why a stock is trending, whether the news is good or bad, and how to react to it.

For this article, I’ve focused on stocks that recently crushed their Q4 2021 earnings reports. These stocks are all trending because they are performing better than investors expected them to. Let’s take a look.

No. 4 Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI)

Levi’s was founded in 1853. When things are looking bleak, it’s a good idea to invest in companies that have been around since 1853. They have a very proven ability to overcome tough times.

Apparently, even after 169 years, Levi’s are still in. In Q4 2021, Levi’s posted multi-decade records for revenue and profitability. Chip Bergh, President & CEO, attributed this success to a few factors. First, he praised Levi’s strong brand equity. This allows it to maintain pricing control and refrain from discounting too heavily. He also mentioned that Levi’s is expanding its direct-to-consumer business. This DTC division has much higher margins than Levi’s traditional business. It has helped to increase Levi’s profitability.

For Q4 2021, Levi’s reported revenue of $1.7 billion. This was up 22% from 2020 and 7% from 2019. Levi’s also beat both its earnings per share (EPS) expectations (2.43%) and revenue expectations (0.32%).

In more good news, Levi’s set super high growth expectations for 2022. It forecasted growth of 11-13% for next year. Chip even went so far as to say, “As good as this past year has been, I’m confident the future will be even better.”

In even more good news, Levi’s increased its dividend. This is usually the ultimate sign of security for investors. It shows that the business has so much money that it can afford to pay some back to investors. In total, Levi’s paid out $104.4 million in dividends during 2021.

No. 3 Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA)

Tesla is rarely not one of the top trending stocks. Usually, Tesla only trends because of Elon Musk and his antics. This time around, however, Tesla is trending because of very substantial news. Namely, it crushed its earnings report.

Of all industries, electric vehicles were one of the hardest hit by supply chain issues. There are so many pieces (literally) that go into building a car. These pieces are sourced from all over the globe. This leads to a massive supply chain. Additionally, the average EV uses 2,000 processing chips. This means that the EV industry also had to battle the ongoing global chip shortage. A little surprisingly, Tesla was able to navigate these issues with no problem.

In Q4 2021, Tesla produced 305,000 vehicles. It also delivered 308,000 vehicles in Q4 and 936,000 for the year. This resulted in $17.72 billion in Q4 revenue. This was enough to beat both its revenue expectations (6.49%) and EPS expectations (6.88%). In total, Tesla reported a yearly gross profit of $4.8 billion. This was a 135% year-over-year (YOY) increase.

Interestingly, Elon Musk spent a good portion of the earnings call not discussing electric cars. Instead, his focus on was a new humanoid robot called Tesla Bot. Musk described Tesla Bot as, “the most important product that Tesla is developing this year.” He sees it as a potential answer to the current labor shortage.

No. 2 ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW)

ServiceNow is a cloud computing company. It focuses on managing workflows for IT, employees, creators, and customers. Essentially, ServiceNow creates digital experiences to make life easier for your company. Out of all of the top trending stocks, ServiceNow is the most relieving. Let me explain…

In recent months, the technology sector has been beaten down. Badly. It’s been the toughest stretch for tech stocks since the 2008 Financial  Crisis. Many once-popular names like Peloton, Roku, and Fiverr are down 70% or more from their all-time high. This is the case for most Nasdaq. This is why ServiceNow’s earnings report was so critical. ServiceNow sells critical software for businesses. It also works with 80% of the companies in the Fortune 500. If ServiceNow’s business was slowing down, it could be a very bad sign for the economy overall. Luckily, that wasn’t the case.

In Q4 2021, ServiceNow reported revenue of $1.5 billion. This was a 29% increase from 2020. It was also enough to beat both its revenue expectations (2.1%) and EPS expectations (0.59%). The management team at ServiceNow also expects this growth to continue into 2022. They’ve forecasted revenue growth of 26% for 2022.

This earnings beat came at the perfect time. ServiceNow is one of just a few tech stocks that has notched any green days at all lately.

Top Trending Stocks No. 1 Intel (Nasdaq: INTC)

Intel falls into a very similar category as ServiceNow. It is one of the world’s largest companies and sells a wide variety of different business solutions. Due to this, a slowdown in Intel’s business can be viewed as a bad sign for the overall economy. Luckily, Intel also just recently beat earnings. It also helps us round out this list of top trending stocks.

Intel reported Q4 revenue of $19.45 billion. This was enough to beat both revenue expectations (6.4%) and EPS expectations (19.75%). Notably, Intel trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of under 10 right now. This means that it is valued incredibly cheaply for the amount of money it makes. Most companies of Intel’s size trade at P/E ratios of closer to 20 or 30.

One reason why Intel is trading so cheaply might be due to investor uncertainty. Intel recently got a new CEO (Pat Gelsinger) in February 2021. He is currently investing heavily to help Intel increase its production capacity. The company plans to present more detailed plans on February 17, 2022. To read more on Intel, check out my Intel stock forecast.

I hope that you’ve found this article valuable in learning a few of the top trending stocks to buy. Please base all investment decisions on your own due diligence.

The post Top Trending Stocks to Buy Today appeared first on Investment U.

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Spread & Containment

Best Penny Stocks to Buy Next Month? Check These 3 Out

Can these penny stocks push up next month?
The post Best Penny Stocks to Buy Next Month? Check These 3 Out appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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3 Penny Stocks to Add to Your Watchlist in February 2022 

With February only a few days away, trading penny stocks remains extremely popular. Now, to make money with penny stocks in 2022, investors need to have a thorough understanding of what is going on in the stock market. Right now, the most pressing factors include Covid, inflation, the Fed monetary policy, and certain geopolitical tensions. And because penny stocks are so speculative, these factors all have a major and material effect on how they trade. 

[Read More] Why These 3 Penny Stocks Are Exploding Today

So, when you’re making a penny stocks trading strategy, having all of these in mind will help immensely. And, your strategy should also be able to adapt to the ever changing conditions of the stock market. As we all know, trading penny stocks in 2022 is not easy. And in the past week or so, the market has been in a major downtrend. But, with a lot to look forward to regarding the future, investors are excited about the next few months. With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at three penny stocks to add to your watchlist in February 2022. 

3 Penny Stocks to Watch in February 2022 

  1. Gingko Bioworks Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DNA
  2. Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHIP
  3. Root Inc. (NASDAQ: ROOT

Gingko Bioworks Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DNA) 

Today, shares of DNA stock managed to climb by almost 7% at midday. While many large gains like this occur without news, there are a few reasons why DNA stock is climbing right now. Today, Bank of America Securities announced coverage of Gingko Bioworks, initiating a Buy rating and an $8 price target.

While price targets are simply that, they are still crucial for investors to consider. This seems to be the main reason that DNA stock is climbing right now. However, the company did make an exciting announcement a week or so ago. On January 19th, Gingko announced the acquisition of Project Beacon Covid-19 LLC. This is a Boston-based social organization that is working on increasing the availability of Covid testing in Massachusetts. 

“As we embark on a new wave of the pandemic and grapple with the spread of the Omicron variant, large-scale testing will be critical to help keep kids in schools and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. ntegrating Project Beacon’s capabilities with our Concentric by Ginkgo offering will enable us to further empower communities in Massachusetts and beyond with the tools they need to make important public health decisions.”

The Chief Commercial Officer of Gingko, Matt McKnight,

This is very exciting news, and any company involved in treating, diagnosing, or curing Covid-19, has come into the public eye in the past few months. So, with that in mind, will DNA stock make your list of penny stocks to watch?

Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHIP) 

Today, shares of SHIP stock managed to climb by almost 12% at midday. It’s tough to say why SHIP stock is moving so heavily right now, but, it did make an exciting announcement on January 24th. On Monday, the company stated that it expects its Q4 TCE (time charter equivalent) to exceed $36,000 per ship per day. This is above the previous guidance of $35,200 per ship per day. 

“As a result of our pro-active hedging strategy in 2H21, we estimate that we will overperform the current spot market rate by approximately 50% in the first quarter. Moreover, our robust EBITDA generating capacity in multiple freight environments attests to our firm belief that our shares are currently significantly undervalued.” 

The CEO and Chairman of Seanergy, Stamatis Tsantanis

This is great news and could be the reason that SHIP stock is moving right now. In the past five days, shares have climbed by around 16%, which is no small feat. Considering all of this, will SHIP stock be on your penny stocks watchlist next month?

Penny_Stocks_to_Watch_Seanergy

Root Inc. (NASDAQ: ROOT) 

Another sizable gainer of the day is ROOT stock, which shot up by over 15%. Before we get into why, it’s important to understand what Root Inc. does. The company is a provider of insurance, revolutionizing the industry through data science and technology.

[Read More] 5 Top Penny Stocks To Buy Under $5 Right Now

It works to provide customers with a personalized and fair experience in modern insurance. The big news for the company came today when it announced a new term loan facility with BlackRock Financial Management Inc. The deal, with $300 million, will provide the company with ample credit to move forward with certain operations. 

“We are pleased with the successful execution of this new term facility. It accomplished several important objectives including extending our debt maturity and further enhancing our liquidity position with a partner focused on the long-term success of Root.

We are executing on a disciplined strategy to create enduring value through strong underwriting results, the development of our embedded product, and prudent capital management.”

The CEO and Co-Founder of Root, Alex Timm

Specifically, this deal with carry an interest rate of around 9% and includes an issuance of warrants from Root to Blackrock equal to 2% of issued and outstanding shares. This includes an exercise price of $9 per share. This is exciting news for the company and should help to stimulate growth for it in the short and long term. Considering that, will ROOT be on your buy list in February or not?

Penny_Stocks_to_Watch_Root

Which Penny Stocks Are You Watching Right Now?

If you’re looking for the best penny stocks to buy, there are hundreds to choose from. While it can be complicated given the sheer number of penny stocks out there, with research on hand, it is much easier than previously imagined. 

[Read More] Investing in Top Penny Stocks: Why, When, and How?

Now, to find the best penny stocks to buy, investors need to know exactly what is going on in the stock market and how to take advantage. This involves looking at the news, understanding how it may affect different industries and considering the future. With all of that in mind, which penny stocks are you watching right now?


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The post Best Penny Stocks to Buy Next Month? Check These 3 Out appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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Economics

Is it too late to buy Visa after shares jumped 9.0% on record revenue?

Wedgewood Partners’ CIO says Visa Inc (NYSE: V) is a promising reopening stock a day after the financial services company reported record revenue for its fiscal first quarter. Rolfe’s bull case for Visa Inc Visa reported a 40% YoY increase in its…

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Wedgewood Partners’ CIO says Visa Inc (NYSE: V) is a promising reopening stock a day after the financial services company reported record revenue for its fiscal first quarter.

Rolfe’s bull case for Visa Inc

Visa reported a 40% YoY increase in its quarterly cross-border volume last night that David Rolfe sees as a positive catalyst for the stock. This afternoon on CNBC’s “TechCheck”, he said:

Now that the world is opening up post-COVID-19 pandemic, the all-important cross-border revenues are coming back. On top of it, it’s a stock that’s trading at 28 times this year’s earnings and about 24 times 2023. Probably one of the most dominant business models in the world.

His outlook is similar to Gradient Investments’ Jeremy Bryan, who also expects 2022 to be a great year for Visa. The stock jumped nearly 10% this morning and wiped its entire year-to-date loss. A double-digit single-day gain is fairly unusual for Visa; seen last in April 2020.

Fintech startups are not a threat for Visa

The chief investment officer does not see the rise of fintech solutions as a threat for Visa, which is now a sizable position for his investment management company. He added:

The narrative that Visa is going to lose market share versus some of these startup fintech companies just isn’t the case. These companies are partners; they ride on Visa’s rails. Square, PayPal, Coinbase, Strip; they are all partners.

Rolfe agreed the stock was a bit on the pricier side last year, but said it’s not anymore. “V” traded at a high of about $250 in July 2021 versus $222 at present. According to Rolfe, Wedgewood Partners has been loading up on “V” in recent weeks.

La notizia Is it too late to buy Visa after shares jumped 9.0% on record revenue? era stato segnalata su Invezz.

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