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Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army

Defense stocks strongly support the U.S. Army in the biggest procurement cycle since the Reagan administration in the 1980s. The defense stocks’ strong…

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Defense stocks strongly support the U.S. Army in the biggest procurement cycle since the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

The defense stocks’ strong returns in 2022 gained a heightened boost on Dec. 29 when President Biden signed a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that provided the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) $797.7 billion in discretionary funds for fiscal year 2023, up $69.3 billion, or 9.5%, from fiscal year 2022. The amount appropriated for the national defense topped the president’s DoD budget request by $36.1 billion.

The spending is intended to develop, maintain and equip the U.S. military and intelligence community. The legislation also expanded weapons procurement by $5.9 billion, a $1.1 billion increase from President Biden’s request, Russia’s war against Ukraine rages.

In addition, China is increasing its threatening military flyovers and other provocations against Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Bipartisan support for enhanced U.S. defense spending resembles what occurred during President Reagan’s pro-military administration that began with his inauguration on January 20, 1981, ending with his second term on January 20, 1989.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army: Manufacturer of Advanced Composites

The defense stocks to serve the U.S. Army outperformed the overall market in 2022 by jumping as the major indices fell. Momentum seems intact for 2023 on the heels of President Biden signing legislation to enhance U.S. warfighting capabilities.

On of the defense stocks that is strongly supporting the U.S. Army is Hexcel (NYSE: HXL), a Stamford, Connecticut, company engaged in the space and defense market. Hexcel manufactures advanced composites used in commercial helicopters and in military aircraft. It currently is qualified to supply materials to a broad range of more than 100 helicopter, military aircraft and space programs.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army: Hexcel

Hexcel’s top 10 programs by revenues represent about 56% of sales for its Space and Defense business segment. Key programs include the F-35 joint strike fighter, or JSF, Sikorsky CH53K King Stallion, V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft, UH60M Blackhawk, AH-64 Apache, A400M military transport, European Fighter Aircraft (Typhoon), F/A-18E/F (Hornet), Rafale fighter jet, and MH90 Enforcer.

Space applications for advanced composites include solid rocket booster cases, fairings and payload doors for launch vehicles, and bus and solar arrays for military and commercial satellites. Hexcel also produces advanced composites for helicopter blades. Numerous new helicopter programs in development, as well as upgrade or retrofit programs, have an increased reliance on composite materials products such as carbon fiber, prepregs and honeycomb core to improve blade performance.

BoA Global Research placed a buy recommendation on Hexcel. The investment firm placed a $70 price objective on the stock.

Jim Woods, a seasoned stock picker and the leader of the Bullseye Stock Trader advisory service, recommends stocks and options that include defense investments. Woods, who concurrently heads the Intelligence Report investment newsletter, is a former Army paratrooper who has strategically invested in defense stocks profitably. In fact, he recently recommended the stock and options in a traditional defense investment.

Paul Dykewicz meets with Jim Woods, head of Bullseye Stock Trader.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army with Joint Strike Fighter: Howmet Aerospace

Howmet Aerospace (NYSE: HWM), an advanced engineering company in Pittsburgh, received a buy recommendation and a $45 a share price target from BoA Global Research. The JSF hits Mach 1.6 under the thrust of possibly the most advanced engine on earth. It is built with cutting-edge materials, integrated airframe design and next-generation avionics to enable this fifth-generation fighter to operate with unprecedented stealth, speed and agility in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

In developing this complex machine, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) turned to Howmet Aerospace for many of its critical parts. These include single-piece forged aluminum bulkheads that form the “backbone” of the aircraft structure and save 300 to 400 pounds per jet, while cutting costs by 20%. The fighter jet also has titanium bulkheads and uses titanium to manufacture other airframe structures for all three F-35 JSF variants. Howmet supplies single-crystal, nickel-based superalloy blades and vanes that operate in environments hotter than the melting point of the metal to propel the engine.

Joint Strike Fighter Is a Multirole Combat Jet Capable of Flying at Mach 1.6.

To hold together the design, Howmet’s vibration-resistant fasteners are engineered to endure the most extreme G-forces and performance requirements. From nose to tail, Howmet Aerospace helps its customers meet aggressive weight, range and fuel efficiency targets to enable the F-35 to do what other military aircraft cannot.

Woods also teams up with Mark Skousen, the head of the Forecasts & Strategies investment newsletter, on the Fast Money Alert trading service that invests in stocks and options. Skousen queried SpaceX and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) founder Elon Musk at the annual Baron Investment Conference held in New York on Nov. 4. Skousen, who also is a Chapman University Presidential Fellow and recently was named the first Doti-Spogli Chair in Free Enterprise at its Argyros School of Business and Economics, recommended Tesla with Woods in Fast Money Alert earlier this month due to the stock’s reduced valuation, after plunging 64.4% in the last year through Jan. 17.

Mark Skousen, a scion of Ben Franklin and chief of Fast Money Alert, meets Paul Dykewicz.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) is the top defense stock that Woods chose to offer attendees at the 2023 MoneyShow selections. LMT is the world’s largest defense contractor, and it has dominated the Western market for high-end fighter aircraft since the F-35 program was awarded in 2001. Lockheed’s largest segment is aeronautics, but the company also offers rotary and mission systems, missiles and fire control and space systems.

In December 2022, the United States was in the process of finalizing plans to provide Ukraine with Patriot missile-defense systems in its war against Russia, and this could be a big revenue driver for LMT. That’s because while the Patriot system is built by Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX), the missiles it fires are made by Lockheed.

Think of the Patriot deal as offering bullish “NewsQ,” i.e., information that can lift stocks, Woods said. Such news can help drive LMT shares higher in 2023, Woods added.

“Yet what I like about LMT is not just the bullish NewsQ, but also its earnings growth and its 2022 share price performance,” Woods commented. “On the earnings front, the company’s recent quarterly and annual earnings per share growth rates are in the top quintile of all companies, and I expect this metric to rise into next year.”

On the share price performance front, LMT’s 2022 gain vaulted it into the top 6% of all companies in terms of relative price strength, Woods commented. Finally, the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war shows the world is still a very dangerous place, and one where conventional warfare in Europe could very well be a reality. As a result, governments must get ready, and that means they need LMT capabilities.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army: L3Harris Technologies

L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX), a Melbourne, Florida-based defense contractor and information technology services provider, produces C6ISR systems and products, wireless equipment and tactical radios. It also netted a buy recommendation from BofA Global Research. The defense company, consisting of Integrated Mission Systems; Space & Airborne Systems, and Communication Systems, received a $285 price objective from BofA.

The valuation is in line with the median for a pure play defense stock, BofA wrote. However, an improved sentiment on defense spending should sustain a relative valuation slightly above the historical average, the investment firm added.

Potential reasons for the company to beat its price target include winning more business on new and existing programs versus BofA’s current expectations. Risk to the stock includes possible integration of past acquisitions that may put a strain on the company’s cash and impact free cash flow estimates.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

MAG Aerospace and L3Harris Technologies provide enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to support the Army’s Theater Level High-Altitude Expeditionary Next Airborne ISR Radar (ATHENA-R) program. The ATHENA-R aircraft, converted Bombardier Global Express 6500s with ISR mission capabilities, will support U.S. Army missions in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area. Designed to close the gap between the Army’s medium- and high-altitude ISR aircraft fleet, the ATHENA-R provides longer range, greater endurance, more capacity for bigger payloads and standoff ranges, as well as leading-edge sensor technology.

The partnership with L3Harris will deliver breakthrough C5ISR capability to Army combatant commands, said Joseph Reale, CEO, MAG Aerospace. The two companies will equip the aircraft with new radar and electronic and communications intelligence capabilities. MAG delivers world-class command, control, computers, communications, cyber and ISR service delivery expertise to bring turnkey disruptive technology to U.S. government and allied customers around the world. L3Harris currently operates a Bombardier Global Series jet as part of its Airborne Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare System (ARES) supporting Army Pacific Command and expands its extensive Army ISR portfolio as part of the L3Harris and MAG ATHENA partnership.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army: Leidos Holdings

Reston, Virginia-based Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), a science and technology company, has been awarded a prime contracts by the U.S. Army to support the U.S. Army. One example is the Geospatial Center’s (AGC) High-Resolution Three Dimensional (HR3D) Geospatial Information Operation and Technology Integration program. That single-award contract has a total estimated value of $600 million if all options are exercised.

The period of performance for the contract includes a one-year base, as well as three one-year options. Work will be performed predominately in Virginia and other locations.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Leidos, previously known as Science Applications International Corporation, serves the U.S. defense, aviation, information technology and biomedical research industries. The company also provides scientific, engineering systems integration and technical services.

BofA set a price target of $130 on Leidos, forecasting that the company should trade in line in the defense prime contractors amid strong U.S. national security demand for innovative technologies and solutions. The company also has solid free cash flow, countered by a lumpy contract award environment, near-term supply chain pressures and mounting concerns about labor inflation.

Risks to reach the price target include cuts to the U.S. government budget, compared to expectations, increased competition from non-traditional competitors and problems integrating mergers and acquisitions (M&As), hiring the right personnel, containing costs, estimating costs and executing on fixed price contracts. The company also could face reputational risk.

Potential outperformance could come from a better-than-expected federal budget allocated to innovative technologies and modernization, inexpensive and well-integrated M&A activity, along with unexpected capital return to shareholdres through dividends or share buybacks, market share gains, or better-than-forecast margin, BoA wrote.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army: $600 Million Contract Supports Geospatial Center

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), a global aerospace and defense company based in Reston, Virginia, is a recommendation of stock picker Jim Woods in his monthly Intelligence Report investment newsletter. He put the dividend-paying defense stock in his Income Multipliers portfolio.

The company produces combat vehicles, nuclear-powered submarines and communications systems to provide safety and security during military missions. General Dynamics employs more than 100,000 people worldwide and generated $38.5 billion in revenue in 2021. Woods noted that the company pays a dividend that currently yields more than 2%.

General Dynamics also received a “buy” recommendation from BofA, which set a price objective of $305, based partly on a 5.0% 2025-2030 growth rate and 2.8% long-term growth rate, as well as increased defense budget expectations. BofA wrote that the company’s defense program provides exposure to land and sea priorities, coupled with its Gulfstream business jet manufacturing segment, offering near-term and medium-term organic growth.

Other pluses are the company’s strong balance sheet and solid cash generation, helping to sustain dividend growth and share repurchases, BofA wrote. Potential downside risks to reaching that price target, according to BofA, are a possible drop in business jet sales due to an exogenous factor and the pricing of business jets in dollars, making the company vulnerable to an unexpected devaluation of the U.S. dollar that could significantly impact orders. Any adverse impact on margins for defense programs and unforeseen government budget cuts could limit growth in the medium- and long-term.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), a multinational aerospace and defense technology company headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers with 90,000 employees and $30 billion-plus in annual revenue. It also is a recommendation of BofA and has the potential to rise 20-25% in the next 12-18 months compared to the company’s current share price, said Michelle Connell, a former portfolio manager who heads Dallas-based Portia Capital Management.

Michelle Connell leads Dallas-based Portia Capital Management.

Increased geopolitical tensions do not look likely to end soon and defense stocks should continue to have an allocation in an investor’s portfolio, Connell counseled. Until the “exacerbated pullback” in the markets, defense stocks such as Northrop Grumman had performed very well, she added.

Northrop Grumman stands out from the defense pack, Connell said, partly due to:

-Developing the first B-21 bomber for the Air Force, after the company passed its first round of tests about the efficacy of the bomber that is expected to be released in 2023.

-Preparing next-generation ballistic missile systems under the name of Sentinel.

-Growing three-year revenue and profits strongly, even though sales were weak in the last quarter due to shortages of labor and supply chain issues that could continue into the rest of 2022.

Interested buyers of the stock may want to wade in with purchases and take a first step before July 29 to receive the next dividend payment, Connell advised.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army Amid Institutional Buying

“I take some solace in knowing that before the recent pullback, the stock volume and institutional buying for NOC had increased,” Connell said.

BofA derived a $550 price objective on the stock, partially due to a 4% year over year growth rate for 2025-2030 estimates and a 2.5% long-term growth rate. In addition, the U.S. Defense Budget Authorization has grown at a 1.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in constant dollars since post World War II, BofA’s Epstein wrote.

Northrop Grumman’s growth rate may exceed the industry norm with the most profitable production phase of the B-21 Raider program starting in about 10 years and the U.S. Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) entering production at the end of this decade. The GBSD is the replacement weapon system for the aging LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system.

Potential risks to the stock include possible defense program cost overruns and margin contractions. Further stumbles could come from unexpected cancellations to both the company’s commercial and military programs.

Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

China’s COVID Cases Jump After Easing Zero-Tolerance Policy as Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army

Satellite images of Chinese cities have shown crowding at crematoriums and funeral homes, with the world’s most populous country waging a battle with a new wave of COVID-19 infections after relaxing its strict pandemic restrictions.

The number of COVID-19 cases has reached a record high in mainland China, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). However, cases in China reportedly have fallen in recent weeks, but possibly due to reduced availability of tests to detect cases.

The U.S. government began requiring negative COVID-19 tests starting Thursday, Jan. 5, for all passengers seeking to enter the country from China after the latter country’s spike in COVID-19 cases. France and several other countries also mandated clean COVID-19 tests for passengers arriving from China, reflecting global concern that new variants could emerge in the ongoing outbreak.

China has been accused of lacking transparency since the virus emerged in late 2019. Critics contend China may not be sharing data about evolving strains that may spark fresh outbreaks in other countries.

Along with the United States, Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Italy have announced passengers from China will need to test negative for COVID. An internal meeting of China’s National Health Commission estimated that up to 248 million people contracted the coronavirus during the first 20 days of December. COVID-19 still is roaring through cities in China.

Satellite images of Chinese cities have shown crowded crematoriums and funeral homes, with the world’s most populous country battling a new wave of COVID-19 infections after relaxing its strict pandemic restrictions. The number of COVID-19 cases has reached a record high in mainland China, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). However, cases in China reportedly have fallen in recent weeks, possibly due to reduced availability of tests.

The U.S. government began requiring negative COVID-19 tests starting Thursday, Jan. 5, for all passengers seeking to enter the country from China after the latter country’s spike in COVID-19 cases. France and several other countries also mandated clean COVID-19 tests for passengers arriving from China, reflecting global concern that new variants could emerge.

China has been accused of lacking transparency since the virus emerged in late 2019. Critics contend China may not be sharing data about evolving strains and fresh outbreaks.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army as Worldwide COVID Cases Reach 667.5 Million 

Worldwide COVID-19 deaths soared to 6,726,410 people, with total cases of 667,517,345, Johns Hopkins announced on Jan. 17. COVID-19 cases in the United States totaled 101,724,888, while deaths reached 1,100,595, as of Jan. 17, according to Johns Hopkins University. Until recent news that estimated China had 248 million cases of COVID-19, America had the dreaded distinction as the nation with the most coronavirus cases and deaths.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 268,556,888 people, or 80.9% the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as of Jan. 11. People who have completed the primary COVID-19 doses totaled 229,359,062 of the U.S. population, or 69.1%, according to the CDC. The United States also has given a bivalent COVID-19 booster to 45,882,482 people who are age 18 and up, equaling 18.2% as of Jan. 11, up from 17.7% as of Jan. 4, 17.3% as of Dec.28, rising from 16.8% the previous week, up from 16.3% the week before that one and and jumping from 15.5% the preceding week.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s secret Dec. 21 flight to Washington, D.C., let him appeal face-to-face to U.S. President Joe Biden to advocate for additional military supplies to defend against Russia’s continuing attacks. Zelensky’s address to a joint session of Congress that evening appears to have swayed many U.S. lawmakers. The surprise visit marked Zelensky’s first international trip since Russia’s invasion.

Russia is continuing its onslaught of intensified strikes that began in October, targeting Ukraine’s energy and civilian infrastructure.

Defense Stocks Strongly Support the U.S. Army Amid Russia’s War Against Ukraine

Most recently, Russia, whose leaders describe their attack of Ukraine that began Feb. 24 as a “special military operation,” are escalating their assault of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. One of Russia’s military leaders said his troops had gained control of a nearby city in eastern Ukraine called Soledar.

Defense stocks strongly support the U.S. Army, and are assisting Ukraine in waging a defense against deadly attacks from Russia. Many U.S. weapons have been sent to Ukraine to aid in its defense in the face of unrelenting off Russia’s attacks against them. Kremlin leaders have called up 300,000 conscripts and plans to expand the eligible age for its draft as part of an announced strategy to wage a long-term war that should continue to attract investors to dividend-paying defense investments that focus on protecting freedom around the world.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We are having our Eagle Virtual Trading Event on Thursday, Jan. 19. If you haven’t signed up for this yet, there’s still time. Just click here now to sign up for free. Believe me, you won’t want to miss this online event — as we bring together all of Eagle’s investment experts at the same time to reveal our Top 6 Picks for 2023. Reserve your seat now by clicking here.

Paul Dykewicz, www.pauldykewicz.com, is an accomplished, award-winning journalist who has written for Dow Jones, the Wall Street JournalInvestor’s Business DailyUSA Today, the Journal of Commerce, Seeking Alpha, Guru Focus and other publications and websites. Paul, who can be followed on Twitter @PaulDykewicz, is the editor of StockInvestor.com and DividendInvestor.com, a writer for both websites and a columnist. He further is editorial director of Eagle Financial Publications in Washington, D.C., where he edits monthly investment newsletters, time-sensitive trading alerts, free e-letters and other investment reports. Paul previously served as business editor of Baltimore’s Daily Record newspaper. Special Holiday Offer: Paul is the author of an inspirational book, “Holy Smokes! Golden Guidance from Notre Dame’s Championship Chaplain,” with a foreword by former national championship-winning football coach Lou Holtz. The uplifting book is great gift and is endorsed by Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Ara Parseghian, “Rocket” Ismail, Reggie Brooks, Dick Vitale and many othersCall 202-677-4457 for special pricing on multiple-book purchases.

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The Great Silence

The Great Silence

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via DailyReckoning.com,

The kids are two years behind in education. Inflation still rages. White-collar…

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The Great Silence

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via DailyReckoning.com,

The kids are two years behind in education. Inflation still rages. White-collar jobs are disappearing thanks to the reversal of Fed policy. Household finances are a wreck. The medical industry is in upheaval. Trust in government has never been lower.

Major media too is discredited. Young people are dying at levels never seen. Populations are still on the move from lockdown states to where it is less likely. Surveillance is everywhere, and so is political persecution. Public health is in a disastrous state, with substance abuse and obesity all at new records.

Each one of these, and many more besides, are continued fallout from the pandemic response that began in March 2020. And yet here we are 38 months later and we still don’t have honesty or truth about the experience.

Officials have resigned, politicians have tumbled out of office and lifetime civil servants have departed their posts, but they don’t cite the great disaster as the excuse. There is always some other reason.

This is the period of the great silence. We’ve all noticed it. The stories in the press recounting all the above are conventionally scrupulous about naming the pandemic response much less naming the individuals responsible.

Maybe there is a Freudian explanation: things so obviously terrible and in such recent memory are too painful to mentally process, so we just pretend it didn’t happen. Plenty in power like this solution.

Everyone in a position of influence knows the rules. Don’t talk about the lockdowns. Don’t talk about the mask mandates. Don’t talk about the vaccine mandates that proved useless and damaging and led to millions of professional upheavals.

Don’t talk about the economics of it. Don’t talk about collateral damage. When the topic comes up, just say, “We did the best we could with the knowledge we had,” even if that is an obvious lie.

Above all, don’t seek justice.

Where’s the National Commission?

There is this document intended to be the “Warren Commission” of COVID slapped together by the old gangsters who advocated for lockdowns. It is called Lessons from the Covid War: An Investigative Report.

The authors are people like Michael Callahan (Massachusetts General Hospital), Gary Edson (former deputy national security adviser), Richard Hatchett (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), Marc Lipsitch (Harvard University), Carter Mecher (Veterans Affairs), and Rajeev Venkayya (former Gates Foundation and now Aerium Therapeutics).

If you have been following this disaster, you might know at least some of the names. Years before 2020, they were pushing lockdowns as the solution for infectious disease. Some claim credit for having invented pandemic planning. The years 2020–2022 were their experiment.

As it was ongoing, they became media stars, pushing compliance, condemning as disinformation and misinformation anyone who disagreed with them. They were at the heart of the coup d’etat, as engineers or champions of it, that replaced representative democracy with quasi-martial law run by the administrative state.

The first sentence of the report is a complaint:

We were supposed to lay the groundwork for a National COVID Commission. The COVID Crisis Group formed at the beginning of 2021, one year into the pandemic. We thought the U.S. government would soon create or facilitate a commission to study the biggest global crisis so far in the 21st century. It has not.

That is true. There is no National COVID Commission. You know why? Because they could never get away with it, not with legions of experts and passionate citizens who wouldn’t tolerate a coverup.

The public anger is too intense. Lawmakers would be flooded with emails, phone calls and daily expressions of disgust. It would be a disaster. An honest commission would demand answers that the ruling class is not prepared to give. An “official commission” perpetuating a bunch of baloney would be dead on arrival.

This by itself is a huge victory and a tribute to indefatigable critics.

‘We Didn’t Crack Down Hard Enough’

Instead, the “COVID Crisis Group” met with funding from the Rockefeller and Charles Koch foundations and slapped together this report. Despite being celebrated as definitive by The New York Times and The Washington Post, it has mostly had no impact at all.

It is far from obtaining the status of being some kind of canonical assessment. It reads like they were on deadline, fed up, typed lots of words and called it a day.

Of course it is whitewash.

It begins with a bang to denounce the U.S. policy response: “Our institutions did not meet the moment. They did not have adequate practical strategies or capabilities to prevent, to warn, to defend their communities or fight back in a coordinated way, in the United States and globally.”

Mistakes were made, as they say.

Of course the upshot of this kvetching is not to criticize what Justice Neil Gorsuch calls “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country.” They hardly mention those at all.

Instead they conclude that the U.S. should have surveilled more, locked down sooner (“We believe that on Jan. 28 the U.S. government should have started mobilizing for a possible COVID war”), directed more funds to this agency rather than that and centralized the response so that rogue states like South Dakota and Florida could not evade centralized authoritarian diktats next time.

The authors propose a series of lessons that are anodyne, bloodless and carefully crafted to be more-or-less true but ultimately structured to minimize the sheer radicalism and destructiveness of what they favored and did. The lessons are clichés such as we need “not just goals but road maps,” and next time we need more “situation awareness.”

There is no new information in the book that I could find, unless something is hidden therein that escaped my notice. It’s more interesting for what it does not say. Some words that never appear in the text: Sweden, ivermectin, ventilators, remdesivir and myocarditis.

‘Look, Lockdowns and Mandates Worked!’

Perhaps this gives you a sense of the book and its mission. And on matters of the lockdowns, readers are forced to endure claims such as “all of New England — Massachusetts, the city of Boston, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine — seem to us to have done relatively well, including their ad hoc crisis management setups.”

Oh really! Boston destroyed thousands of small businesses and imposed vaccine passports, closed churches, persecuted people for holding house parties, and imposed travel restrictions. There is a reason why the authors don’t elaborate on such preposterous claims. They are simply unsustainable.

One amusing feature seems to me to be a foreshadowing of what is coming. They throw Anthony Fauci under the bus with sniffy dismissals: “Fauci was vulnerable to some attacks because he tried to cover the waterfront in briefing the press and public, stretching beyond his core expertise—and sometimes it showed.”

Ooooh, burn!

“Trump Was a Comorbidity”

This is very likely the future. At some point, Fauci will be scapegoated for the whole disaster. He will be assigned to take the fall for what is really the failure of the national security arm of the administrative bureaucracy, which in fact took charge of all rule-making from March 13, 2020, onward, along with their intellectual cheerleaders. The public health people were just there to provide cover.

Curious about the political bias of the book? It is summed up in this passing statement: “Trump was a comorbidity.”

Oh how highbrow! How clever! No political bias here!

Maybe this book by the Covid Crisis Group hopes to be the last word. This will never happen. We are only at the beginning of this. As the economic, social, cultural, and political problems mount, it will become impossible to ignore the incredibly obvious.

The masters of lockdowns are influential and well-connected but not even they can invent their own reality.

Tyler Durden Mon, 05/29/2023 - 16:00

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Pandemic babies’ developmental milestones: Not as bad as we feared, but not as good as before

Research findings are mostly reassuring for parents — despite the disruptions to nearly every aspect of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, most children…

Scientists and physicians raised concerns early in the pandemic that increased parental stress, COVID infections, reduced interactions with other babies and adults, and changes to health care may affect child development. (Shutterstock)

The COVID-19 pandemic created conditions that threatened children’s healthy development.

Scientists and physicians raised concerns early in the pandemic, pointing out that increased parental stress, COVID infections, reduced interactions with other babies and adults and changes to health care could affect child development. Furthermore, some children could be especially vulnerable to the pandemic circumstances.

With these concerns in mind, we started a longitudinal study of pregnant Canadians to understand how pandemic stressors might influence later child development.

Our initial findings were alarming: the rates of anxiety and depression among pregnant individuals were two to four times higher during the early phase of the pandemic compared to numerous pregnancy studies prior to the pandemic. This worrisome increase in mental health problems was seen worldwide.

Impact on children’s development

To determine how the pandemic might be affecting children’s development, we measured developmental milestones in 3,742 12-month-old infants born during the first 18 months of the pandemic. We then compared these infants to a similar group of 2,898 Canadian infants born between 2015 and 2018.

A pregnant woman and a doctor both wearing face masks in the doctor's office
Rates of anxiety and depression among pregnant individuals were two to four times higher during the early phase of the pandemic compared to numerous pregnancy studies prior to the pandemic. (Shutterstock)

The study evaluated developmental milestones using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3. The ASQ-3 is a parent report of child behaviour that can help identify children at risk of developmental delays in five separate domains: Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Personal-Social and Problem Solving.

In a study to be published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, we found that most children born during the pandemic were doing fine, with almost 90 per cent meeting their key developmental milestones in each area. This should be reassuring for parents, caregivers and communities, because it suggests that most children are developing normally despite adverse early circumstances.

However, a slightly higher proportion of children born during the pandemic were at risk of developmental delay in Communication, Gross Motor and Personal-Social domains, compared to children born before the pandemic. Our findings are consistent with prior smaller studies showing only small increases in the risk for poor verbal, motor and cognitive performance among 12-month-old infants born during the pandemic.

A woman smiling and playing with her baby in her lap
Engaging an infant in conversation or song (even a pre-verbal infant) is a powerful way to encourage language learning. (Shutterstock)

The largest effects we observed were in the Communication and Personal-Social domains. Infants born during the pandemic were almost twice as likely to score below cutoffs compared to pre-pandemic infants.

This represents an increase of about one to two additional children in 100 who are at risk, but highlights some potentially concerning effects of the pandemic on early child development. Across Canada, this could result in service demands for 20,000-40,000 additional preschool children.

Although small in absolute terms, these increases have important implications, since already limited resources will need to increase to meet the needs of more children. Certainly, it will be important to continue monitoring infants/children born during the pandemic to determine how long-lasting these effects are.

Reassuringly, early interventions can be highly effective for children who are struggling.

Concerns about child development

A smiling baby crawling towards the camera in the foreground, and a young man smiling in the background
Provide your child with many opportunities for one-on-one interaction with a caring and responsive adult. (Shutterstock)

Parents should be mostly reassured by these findings. Despite the disruptions to nearly every aspect of life during the pandemic, the majority of children continue to show healthy development. Parents with concerns about their child’s development may find these suggestions helpful:

  1. Provide your child with many opportunities for one-on-one interaction with a caring and responsive adult. The Harvard Center on the Developing Child describes the back-and-forth interactions that form the key processes of child development as “serve and return.”

  2. Believe in “ordinary magic.” This is the phrase that child development expert Ann Masten uses to describe how resilience emerges from ordinary, everyday processes and interactions. Children develop resilience when they have access to the right environments, the right relationships and the right chances to be able to safely explore themselves and the world around them.

  3. Talk and sing with your child. Engaging an infant in conversation or song (even a pre-verbal infant) is a powerful way to encourage language learning.

  4. There is a wide range of development that is considered “normal.” It is okay for your child to be at a different stage than other children their age, as long as your child is still showing signs of development.

  5. If you are concerned about your child’s development after some time of monitoring, discuss your concerns with a qualified health professional to determine if further investigation is needed.

Overall, the findings of our study (and others) suggest that the effects of the pandemic on infant development (at least to one year of age) have not been as bad as we feared. However, a greater number of children will likely require further evaluation and support compared to pre-pandemic.

Gerald Giesbrecht receives funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation.

Catherine Lebel receives funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Brain Canada, the Azrieli Foundation, Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, and the Canada Research Chairs program.

Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen receives funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Brain Canada, Calgary Health Trust, the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation and the Weston Foundation.

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Nasdaq statistics in 2023

The Nasdaq is the world’s largest electronic stock exchange and second-largest stock exchange globally in terms of market capitalization behind the New…

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The Nasdaq is the world’s largest electronic stock exchange and second-largest stock exchange globally in terms of market capitalization behind the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).  It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in New York City. The Nasdaq stock exchange lists over 3,500 companies, including many of the world’s leading technology companies.

The Nasdaq Composite Index, which is the largest index on the Nasdaq, measures all domestic and international common type stocks. The market-capitalization-weighted index is the second-largest stock market index in the world, after the S&P 500. 

In terms of performance, Nasdaq stocks have often outperformed the broader stock market, with the Nasdaq 100 doing better than the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average in recent years. 

Here is a summary of key Nasdaq stocks statistics for 2023.

Key takeaways

  • More than 3,500 companies are listed on Nasdaq.
  • Nasdaq’s listed companies have a total market capitalization of $25.3 trillion.
  • Over 4.3 billion shares are traded daily on the Nasdaq exchange.
  • Technology stocks make up more than half of companies in the Nasdaq Composite. 
  • The Nasdaq 100 index comprises the largest 100 companies traded on the Nasdaq, with nearly 60% being in the tech sector.

Nasdaq stocks: market summary

1.There are over 3,500 companies listed on Nasdaq

More than 3,500 companies are listed on the NASDAQ stock market. According to this FactSheet by Nasdaq, these companies represent a wide variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, and financial services.

2. The market capitalization of the nasdaq stock market is $25.3 trillion

The total market capitalization of all Nasdaq stocks is $25.3 trillion (as of May 29, 2023). This is the second-largest market capitalization in the stock exchange industry, only behind the NYSE. Compared in terms of growth, the Nasdaq shows a faster pace since January 2018, when it had a market cap of about $11 trillion. The NYSE had a market cap of $23 trillion at the time.

3. Over $200 billion worth of stocks trade on Nasdaq daily

In 2023, an average of over $200 billion worth of stocks were traded on Nasdaq daily, with $290 billion traded on 25 May 2023. 

4. An average of 4.3 billion shares are traded daily on Nasdaq

According to daily market data for Nasdaq, an average of 4.3 billion shares in volume are traded daily on the Nasdaq exchange.

5. There are over 1000 international stocks listed on the Nasdaq

There are a total of 1,000 foreign companies listed on the Nasdaq stock market. These companies represent a wide variety of countries, including China, India, and Japan.

Nasdaq markets and indices stats

6. Nasdaq operates 29 markets, a clearinghouse, and 5 central securities depositories

The Nasdaq’s operations encompass 29 markets for stocks, bonds, derivatives and commodities.  It also operates a clearinghouse and five central securities depositories.

7. Nasdaq’s trading technology is used by over 100 exchanges globally

Nasdaq’s growth as a leading electronic stock exchange has seen its proprietary trading technology deployed by 100 exchanges across 50 countries.

8. Nasdaq trades under the ticker NDAQ and part of the S&P 500 since 2008

The Nasdaq Inc stock trades under the symbol NDAQ on the Nasdaq exchange. The company has also been a component of the S&P 500 Index since 2008.

9. The Nasdaq has two major indexes

Nasdaq has two major indexes that track the performance of Nasdaq stocks daily. There’s the Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tracks most securities on the Nasdaq exchange (except for mutual funds, preferred stocks, and derivatives).  

10. More than half of Nasdaq Composite stocks are tech companies

Tech stocks account for 52% of the total market weight of Nasdaq Composite, with 457 tech companies currently making up the index. Consumer Discretionary is next with about 18% and 450 stocks while healthcare is the third largest with 9% and 1,078 companies.

11. About 6 out of 10 companies in Nasdaq 100 are tech stocks

Nearly 60%, or approximately six out of every 10 of the companies that make up the Nasdaq 100 are in the technology sector.  

12. Apple is the top stock by market capitalization in the Nasdaq Composite

The top 3 components on the Nasdaq Composite are Apple, Microsoft and Amazon with 13.2%, 10.87% and 5.36% respectively. Nvidia, Tesla, Alphabet and Meta Platforms are in the top 10. Apple has a market capitalization of $2.76 trillion. 

Nasdaq IPOs and ETFs

13. A total of 156 IPOs went live on Nasdaq in 2022

There were a total of 156 IPOs on the NASDAQ stock market in 2022. According to market details the exchange’s website, there were also 29 exchange transfers.

14. IPOs on Nasdaq raised $2.1 billion in Q1, 2023

IPOs statistics show the Nasdaq attracted $2.1 billion in new listings in the first quarter of 2023, making the stock exchange the fourth largest in Q1.

15. The Nasdaq also lists more than 2,300 ETFs

There are a total of 2,300 etf listings on the Nasdaq stock market. These etfs track a wide variety of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, and commodities.

Nasdaq stocks: performance, key milestones and facts

16. The Nasdaq Composite stocks are 24% up year-to-date

As of May 2023, the Nasdaq Composite has returned over 24%, with gains in the past month nearly at 7%.

17. The Nasdaq Composite’s YTD return is higher than that of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average

This Nasdaq statistic will surprise investors, but the 24% year-to-date returns for the Nasdaq Composite index are higher than the 9.97% for the S&P 500 and -0.13% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

18. Nasdaq-100 ‘s YTD and 1-Year returns are 13% and 32% respectively

Over the past year, the Nasdaq-100 Index has returned roughly 13% after most stocks dipped in 2022 amid economic and geopolitical headwinds headlined by rising inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war. However, the index is 32% up so far (as of May 29, 2023).

19. NVIDIA, Meta and Tesla are the best performing Nasdaq stocks in 2023 so far

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is the best performing mega cap on Nasdaq with 172% YTD return so far. It was followed by Meta (NASDAQ:META) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), up 110% and 78%, respectively. Nvidia’s stock exploded in May as the company highlighted major revenue gains in coming quarters due to demand for AI-powered chips.

20. Nasdaq-100 Index stocks have added just 101% in five years

Over a 5-year time frame, the Nasdaq-100 Index has yielded a positive return of 101%. The period with the sharpest climb for the index in the last five years was between March 2020 and November 2021.

21. Nasdaq-100 Index’s 10-year return is about 358%

The NASDAQ-100 Index has returned +358.37% over a 10-year period and an impressive +3,088% since May 1995.

22. Nasdaq Composite stocks have returned about 71% in the past five years

Nasdaq statistics over the past five years show that the Nasdaq Composite Index has gained 71% in that period and 285% over the past 10 years. Since 1983 (40 years), the index has gained by over 4,000%. This suggests that investing over extended time frames can come with considerable returns on investments.

23. Nasdaq’s largest point increase: 760.97 points

On October 11, 2022, the Nasdaq Composite witnessed an unprecedented positivity to record a historic surge. The index closed a staggering 760.97 points higher, marking its largest ever single-day points increase.

24. The Nasdaq Composite declined 13.3% in April 2022, its worst monthly performance since October 2008

After notching its all-time high in November 2021, the Nasdaq Composite declined sharply by 23%. This included a 13.3% dip in April 2022 that was the index’s worst monthly return since October 2008. At the time, it had fallen 17.4% as the global financial crisis raged.

25. The largest single-day points decrease for Nasdaq Composite was 970.28 points

The Nasdaq Composite experienced its most substantial single-day points drop on March 16, 2020. Amid the global panic due to the covid-19 pandemic, the index plummeted by 970.28 points.

26. Nasdaq’s highest daily trading volume was over 12 billion trades

January 27, 2021, stands as a historic day for Nasdaq in terms of trading volume. On this day, the total trading volume reached a record-breaking 12,030,107,207 trades.

Conclusion

The Nasdaq stock market is currently one of the most important stock exchanges in the world. It is home to a wide variety of companies, lists thousands of companies and its indexes have outperformed the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average in recent years. 

The strong performance of the Nasdaq stock market is due to a number of factors, including the growth of the technology and healthcare sectors. This sees the Nasdaq Composite Index up over 24% year-to-date.

In terms of investment, the Nasdaq is a popular choice for investors who are looking for exposure to growth stocks and international exposure as it lists over 1000 companies from more than 100 countries.

The post Nasdaq statistics in 2023 appeared first on Invezz.

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