Connect with us

Government

Could Geopolitical Risk Sideline The Fed?

Could Geopolitical Risk Sideline The Fed?

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

“Geopolitical Risk” could well be…

Published

on

Could Geopolitical Risk Sideline The Fed?

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

“Geopolitical Risk” could well be a reason for the Fed to slow-roll tightening monetary policy in March. With Russia invading Ukraine, such would not be the first time that the Fed used “geopolitical risk” to remain cautious on changes to monetary policy.

“Weak global demand and geopolitical risks also argue for going slow, Mr. Powell said, as well as a lower long-run neutral federal-funds rate and the “apparently elevated sensitivity to financial conditions to monetary policy.” – WSJ, May 2016

In 2018, the Fed was hiking rates and tapering their balance sheet. Then, with the market under duress, rising geopolitical risks with China began to soften the Fed’s more hawkish stance. Not long after, the Fed started cutting rates and bailed out hedge funds through an “unofficial QE” program. That was all before the 2020 “pandemic-shutdown” bailout of everything.

While the Fed suggests it will hike rates at its March meeting to combat current inflation, they face several challenges from falling consumer confidence, weak markets, and very bearish investor confidence. It wasn’t surprising to see Fed member Mary Daly suggest the FOMC “must navigate geopolitical uncertainty.”

With markets sliding and investors more bearish than in 2016, just before global central banks went “full QE” to offset Brexit, the Fed is now faced with “financial instability.”

The fallout of the current Russia/Ukraine standoff is not only impacting markets but undercutting consumer confidence as well.

The Consumer Confidence Key

In the U.S., consumers drive 70% of economic growth. Such is why “price stability” is so crucial to the Fed.

To understand why confidence is so vital, we need to revisit what Ben Bernanke said in 2010 as he launched the second round of QE:

“Easier financial conditions will promote economic growth. For example, lower mortgage rates will make housing more affordable and allow more homeowners to refinance. Lower corporate bond rates will encourage investment. And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending.”

The problem is the economy is no longer a “productive” one but rather a “financial” one. A point made by Ellen Brown previously:

“The financialized economy – including stocks, corporate bonds and real estate – is now booming. Meanwhile, the bulk of the population struggles to meet daily expenses. The world’s 500 richest people got $12 trillion richer in 2019, while 45% of Americans have no savings, and nearly 70% could not come up with $1,000 in an emergency without borrowing.

Central bank policies intended to boost the real economy have had the effect only of boosting the financial economy. The policies’ stated purpose is to increase spending by increasing lending by banks, which are supposed to be the vehicles for liquidity to flow from the financial to the real economy. But this transmission mechanism isn’t working, because consumers are tapped out.”

If consumption retrenches, so does the economy.

The problem for the Fed is that consumer confidence is already declining, tightening monetary policy will exacerbate the decline.

But it isn’t just consumer confidence that’s a problem. The forward yield curve suggests the Fed is already trapped.

The Forward Yield Curve

One of the most accurate indicators of the onset of a recession is an “inversion” of the yield curve. As noted in Potemkin Economy:

The most significant risk is the Fed becoming aggressive with tightening monetary policy to the point something breaks. That concern will manifest itself as a disinflationary impulse that pushes the economy towards a recession. The yield curve may be telling us this already.”

While the yield curve suggests the economy is already weakening, a different yield curve suggests the Fed may be too late. The chart below shows the difference in yields between the 5-year and 1-year forward yields. This particular yield curve indicates that deflation and economic weakness will arrive over the 12-months.

Importantly, note that when this “forward” yield curve becomes inverted, the Fed was close to a peak in their rate hiking cycle. The obvious problem is that the forward yield curve is inverted, and rates remain at zero.

The Fed has little room for error between an inverted forward curve, declining consumer confidence, and increasing geopolitical risk.

While they will try to hike rates, we suspect they will wind up “breaking something.”

History Suggests The Fed Will Make A Mistake

Since 1980, every time the Fed tightened monetary policy by hiking rates, inflation remained “well contained.” The chart below shows the Fed funds rate compared to the consumer price index (CPI) as a proxy for inflation.

There are three essential points in the chart above.

  1. The Fed tends to hike rates along with inflation, to the point it “breaks something” in the market.

  2. For the majority of the last 30-years the Fed has operated with inflation averaging well below 3%.

  3. The current spread between inflation and the Fed funds rate is the largest on record.

Historically, the Fed hiked rates to combat inflation by slowing economic growth.

However, this time the Fed is hiking rates after short-term fiscal stimulus pulled-forward demand, creating an artificial inflation surge.

Importantly, many of those crisis points were credit-related. With debt and leverage near historic high levels, increasing interest rates inevitably causes a problem. As Former Fed Governor Randall Kroszner previously said:

“The big debts that governments are racking up are going to make it difficult for central banks to raise rates when they feel the need to do so because that will increase borrowing costs.”

In an economy laden by more than $75 Trillion in debt, a record number of “Zombie” companies kept alive by low borrowing costs, and a near-record number of companies with negative equity, higher rates will be a problem. The only question is when?

As noted above, the last time that “geopolitical risks” were of concern to the Fed was in 2018 and 2019. Currently, the market is mapping out much the same course.

We will not be surprised to see the Fed soften its position on rate hikes in March for all of these reasons.

The 2018 analog may already be telling us the same.

Tyler Durden Fri, 02/25/2022 - 10:45

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

GSK and IQVIA launch platform of US vaccination data, showing drop in adult rates

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of vaccine uptake has been a point of contention, but a new platform from GSK and IQVIA is hoping to shed more…

Published

on

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of vaccine uptake has been a point of contention, but a new platform from GSK and IQVIA is hoping to shed more light on vaccine data, via new transparency and general awareness.

The two companies have launched Vaccine Track, a platform intended to be used by public health officials, medical professionals and others to strengthen data transparency and display vaccination trends. According to the companies, the platform is intended to aid in increasing vaccine rates and will provide data on trends to assist public health efforts.

Judy Stewart

The platform will also allow users to identify vaccination trends for adults in the US across multiple vaccine types. Users will also be able to scan claims data nationally to track trends alongside pre-Covid metrics.

“For the first time, Vaccine Track brings quarterly data tracking and trends together in a comprehensive platform for immunization partners, decision-makers and stakeholders. Our goal for Vaccine Track is to support the return to pre-pandemic vaccination rates for adults and to go beyond by empowering the vaccine and public health community with frequently updated, actionable information to get ahead of disease together,” said Judy Stewart, GSK’s head of vaccines in a statement.

This move comes as vaccination rates in adults were already low even before the pandemic, with a CDC report stressing that vaccine coverage in adults was low across all age groups.

So far the platform’s data show a decline in adult immunizations, excluding flu vaccinations, across the country during the pandemic. The platform currently only has information from January 2019 to December 2021 on hand but will be updated every quarter.

The data itself observed that rates were especially low in minority populations, which were already showing lower rates of immunization pre-pandemic.

The platform also showed that national trends for adults aged 19 and older are still low, with an average decrease of 18% through last year in overall claims. Average monthly claims through 2021 for recommended vaccines were between 12% and 42% below 2019 rates, with nearly half of the states in the US facing greater than 30% reductions in overall claims for recommended vaccines from pre-pandemic levels.

In Medicare patients, the platform’s analysis found a more than 30% reduction in overall claims for recommended vaccines among Black and Hispanic populations between 2019 and 2021.

The information itself is sourced from medical claims data and longitudinal prescription data, the companies said.

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

Prevalence of gender-diverse youth in rural Appalachia exceeds previous estimates, WVU study shows

Gender-diverse youth are at an increased risk of suicide and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the prevalence…

Published

on

Gender-diverse youth are at an increased risk of suicide and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the prevalence of gender diversity is largely unknown—especially in rural areas, where studies of the topic are rare. 

Credit: WVU Photo/Sean Hines

Gender-diverse youth are at an increased risk of suicide and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the prevalence of gender diversity is largely unknown—especially in rural areas, where studies of the topic are rare. 

To fill that knowledge gap, researchers at West Virginia University— along with their colleagues at the University of Washington and Boise State University — surveyed junior high and high school students in rural Appalachia about their gender identity. They asked about the students’ internal sense of being male, being female or having another identity, like nonbinary. They found that more than 7% of young people surveyed shared a gender identity that did not fully align with the sex they were assigned at birth.  

These findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Being gender diverse, including being transgender, nonbinary or having another gender identity that doesn’t match the sex assigned at birth, is not a medical concern and is considered a normal part of human experience, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Even though gender diversity isn’t an illness, some young people who are gender diverse experience distress when their gender doesn’t align with their physical characteristics or treatment in society. This distress, called “gender dysphoria,” can be associated with higher rates of depression or even thoughts of self-harm, prior research suggests.

“We have a lot of studies that suggest gender-diverse youth are two to four times as likely to experience depression and thoughts of self-harm as their cisgender peers, or young people whose sex assigned at birth and gender identity fully align,” said WVU School of Medicine researcher Dr. Kacie Kidd, who co-authored the study. “This is an area where we need to do more research. We need to better understand how to support these young people, especially now that we are increasingly recognizing that they are here and would likely benefit from the support.”

Other study authors include Alfgeir Kristjansson, an associate professor with the WVU School of Public Health; Brandon Benton, a nurse with WVU Medicine; Gina Sequeira, of the University of Washington; and Michael Mann and Megan Smith, of Boise State University. 

Few studies have asked young people directly about their gender identity. 

A 2017 study suggested that West Virginia had the highest per capita rate of transgender youth in the country at just over 1%. 

“Prior studies have used less inclusive questions when asking young people about their identity,” said Kidd, an assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine. “We suspected that this underestimated the prevalence of gender-diverse youth.” 

She and her colleagues had previously asked these more inclusive questions to young people in Pittsburgh, a city in Appalachia. Nearly 10% of youth in that sample reported having a gender-diverse identity. 

“Despite the high prevalence of gender-diverse identities found in our Pittsburgh study, information about rural areas was still unknown,” Kidd said. “We suspect that many of the young people in rural Appalachia who shared their gender-diverse identities with us in this study may benefit from additional support, especially if they do not feel seen and supported at home and in their community.” 

This new study is one of many to recognize that researchers interested in gender diversity face a dearth of data when it comes to rural areas.  

It’s also one of many studies to recognize that gender-diverse individuals can face a scarcity of health care options, affirming social networks and other forms of support in those same rural areas.

For example, in a recent study led by Megan Gandy, BSW program director and assistant professor at the WVU School of Social Work, up to 61% of participants said they had to travel out of West Virginia to access gender-related care.

And another recent study conducted by Zachary Ramsey, a doctoral candidate in the WVU School of Public Health, found that rural areas could present unique barriers to sexual and gender minorities. 

Those barriers included discrimination and heteronormativity — or, the belief that a heterosexual and cisgender identity is the only “normal” one. They also included a lack of training for health care providers in handling LGBTQ concerns.

“Adolescent mental health is at a crisis point, according to the Centers for Disease Control,” Kidd said. “We have an access concern because so many young people need mental health services nationwide and we just don’t have enough mental health professionals to meet that need. It’s a growing problem and certainly gender-diverse youth are at an even greater risk.” 

In CDC data, the number of adolescents reporting poor mental health has increased, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Support from parents, schools, communities and health care providers has been associated with improved mental health outcomes, especially for gender-diverse youth.  

“Gender-diverse youth are incredible young people, and — as our study found — many of them live in rural areas,” Kidd said. “It is important that we ensure they have access to support so that they are able to thrive.”

Citation: The prevalence of gender-diverse youth in a rural Appalachian region”

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Award Number U48DP006391 and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality under Award Number 5K12HS02693-03. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or AHRQ.


Read More

Continue Reading

Stocks

Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now

Penny stocks to buy: Here’s what short interest traders think
The post Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now appeared first on…

Published

on

Penny Stocks To Buy: What To Look For

This article will discuss a handful of penny stocks to buy according to those looking for short squeeze stocks. If you’ve seen our other articles about cheap stocks with high short interest, you know that there are a lot of risks that go along with potential rewards. A quick yield means everything to traders looking to catch a short squeeze. The moves up can be legendary, but the moves lower can bring crushing blows to anyway caught on the wrong side of the trade.

The last few weeks have shown the market exactly how massive short squeezes can grow. AMTD Digital (NYSE:HKD) was the fuse that sparked the snowball effect for these trading trends. This week that continued with the latest penny stock to squeeze: Intelligent Living (NASDAQ:ILAG).

In most cases, there is very little news, if any, to act as a fundamental catalyst. With the majority of short-interest stocks, technical aspects of trading take precedence. Case in point, ILAG stock exploded 260% within about a day’s worth of time and the company didn’t release a shred of news or a single corporate filing. But it does have a tiny float and bullish momentum heading into the Monday session, which set the stage for the latest move.

Penny Stocks To Buy With High Short Interest

Does this mean all penny stocks with high short interest are destined for massive breakouts? No, and there’s usually a reason for high short interest. It usually doesn’t coincide with companies doing record revenues or experiencing ongoing growth.

Short interest grows based on traders betting the stock will fail. They’ll short it by borrowing shares from a broker, selling them, then repurchasing them later when prices are lower to return the borrow.

How To Find Short Squeeze Stocks

When a short squeeze triggers, prices move in the opposite direction, forcing shorts to cover their positions early and either break even or take a loss. This short covering, paired with high levels of retail buying, triggers a more significant move in the stock.

Let’s look at a handful of penny stocks with higher short interest. Data we’ve found using resources like TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool.

  1. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:KPTI)
  2. Helbiz Inc. (NASDAQ:HLBZ)
  3. Purple Innovation Inc. (NASDAQ:PRPL)
  4. Ostin Technology Group (NASDAQ:OST)

1. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KPTI)

KPTI Stock Price as of this Article: $4.85

What Does Karyopharm Therapeutics Do?

The commercial stage pharmaceutical company develops cancer therapies, including multiple myeloma, endometrial cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes and myelofibrosis. Its lead SINE compound and XPOVIO platform is approved in the US in three oncology indications. Last quarter, the company achieved net product revenue 44% higher than Q2 2021 at $29 million. It also received full marketing authorization by the European Commission Expanding Indication for NEXPOVIO (trade name in Europe) for adults with multiple myeloma.

[Read More] Best Penny Stocks To Buy In August According To Insiders, 1 Bet Over $2 Million

A sales and earnings beat has helped build back some optimism that was lost over the last few months. It was also enough to raise the eyebrows of HC Wainwright analysts, who reiterated a Buy on KPTI stock and paired it with an $18 target.

KPTI Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on KPTI stock is 25.11%.

2. Helbiz Inc. (NASDAQ: HLBZ)

HLBZ Stock Price as of this Article: $1.31

What Does Helbiz Do?

Another one of the names on this list of penny stocks is Helbiz Inc. The company specializes in “micro-mobility,” which is a fancy word for things like eScooters, eBikes, and eMopeds. Its fleet management technology uses artificial intelligence and environmental mapping to sustainably scale and manage its assets.

A recent partnership with Logan City Council in Australia will see Helbiz operate up to 400 eScooters and 400 eBikes later this month. “This latest partnership marks a significant step towards bringing safe, sustainable transportation alternatives to Australia. This announcement follows the plan to introduce 500 e-bikes in Sydney and 100 e-scooters in Alloggio resorts later this year,” said Mitchell Price, Helbiz Australia Managing Director.

HLBZ Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on HLBZ stock is 32.64%.

3. Purple Innovation Inc. (NASDAQ: PRPL)

PRPL Stock Price as of this Article: $4.22

What Does Purple Innovation Do?

Purple Innovation is a slower and steadier mover compared to other names on this list of penny stocks. Shares have climbed from lows of $2.90 to highs of $4.40 over the last few weeks as PRPL stock attempts to reclaim some of this year’s losses.

[Read More] Best Penny Stocks To Buy? 3 To Watch After MEGL Stock Hits 5798%

You may have seen Purple advertised on social media for its “no pressure mattress” technology. The company offers “comfort solutions” ranging from mattresses and pillows to bedding and frames. This week investors are likely waiting to see if Purple can turn things around. The next round of earnings comes on August 9th, and guidance will probably be on the menu. Last quarter, Purple management cut its guidance.

Chief Executive Officer Rob DeMartini explained, “We remain in the early stages of creating the framework for strong operational execution. While we are making progress and believe we will see sequential improvements, including second-half profitability during this year, evolving economic and post-pandemic headwinds such as a shift in consumer buying behavior from online to in-stores and away from home related categories toward experiences and travel, has caused us to adopt a more conservative view on the remainder of 2022.”

PRPL Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on PRPL stock is 25.24%.

4. Ostin Technology Group (NASDAQ:OST)

OST Stock Price as of this Article: $3.12

What Does Ostin Technology Do?

Ostin Technology supplies display modules and polarizers in China. It recently secured a $2.6 million deal for a purchase order of LCD/TP display modules expected for use in iGame G-ONE Plus gaming PCs.

CEO Tao Ling said in a July update, “We believe our products are able to power the iGame G-ONE Plus AIO gaming PC and provide an unrivaled gaming experience for gamers. We are dedicated to meet our customers’ evolving needs and have focused on establishing and maintaining long term relationships with our customers, in an effort to ensure our sustained development and improved profitability.”

OST Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

Other than the short float percentage, the borrow fee rate is something that traders look at. This is a fee that a broker charges for borrowing shares. Typically, the higher the fee, the more difficult it is to borrow the stock. According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current borrow fee rate on OST stock is 56.71%.

Penny Stocks To Buy For Beginners

If you’re brand new to trading penny stocks in 2022, here are a few good articles to check out and some extra info on the best way to learn how to day trade, swing trade, or invest for the long-term:

If you’re interested in learning more about penny stocks, the stock market, and how to trade, check out True Trading Group, the fastest growing & highest-rated online premium educational platform available today. True Trading Group offers a 7-day Trial of its platform for $3 (non-autorenewing, nonrecurring): To Learn More Click Here.

If you enjoyed this article and you’re interested in learning how to trade so you can have the best chance to profit consistently then you need to checkout this YouTube channel. CLICK HERE RIGHT NOW!!

The post Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending