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Top Stock Market News For Today March 21, 2022

Nike to report earnings after today’s market close.
The post Top Stock Market News For Today March 21, 2022 appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes,…



Stock Market Futures On The Decline Following Last Week’s Rally

U.S. stock futures are in the red in early morning trading today. With the start of a new trading week, investors appear to be responding to last week’s broad-based rebound in stocks. In the larger scheme of things, this would be understandable. Sure, stocks did recover from recent lows amid the ongoing situation in Eastern Europe. Besides, the Federal Reserve has also announced an interest rate hike in line with expectations.

Looking towards the week ahead, there is more economic data on tap to digest as well. In particular, a report from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment is set for release on Friday. Ideally, Friday’s report will provide further insight into consumer spending trends as inflation continues to rise. As it stands, the Surveys of Consumers index is currently estimated to come in at 59.7. This would be its lowest level since 2011. Furthermore, it would also be in line with February’s consumer data suggesting that U.S. retail sales growth is slowing. Between the rising costs of items and gas, this is not all too surprising. Nevertheless, it seems like there will be plenty of data points keeping investors on their toes this week. As of 6:48 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading lower by 0.41%, 0.23%, and 0.37% respectively.

General Motors Doubles Down On Self-Driving Tech Division With Almost $3.5 Billion Investment

General Motors (NYSE: GM) could be worth noting at this week’s stock market opening. Overall, this would be thanks to the latest coming from the automotive titan on the investments front. Namely, GM is investing an additional $3.45 billion towards its self-driving car subsidiary, Cruise. The current move by GM follows a complete divestment by Japan’s SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund. In general, the exit comes as SoftBank attempts to get a handle on its overall debt. As such, it would make sense that the conglomerate is looking to trim the higher-risk assets in its portfolio.

Naturally, following such news, investors may be wondering if Cruise can continue to grow in the long run. For some, GM doubling down on the sector could be indicative of potential progress down the line. In detail, GM is agreeing to pay $2.1 billion to buy SoftBank’s stake in Cruise. On top of that, it is also adding $1.35 billion towards funding development. All in all, GM now holds an overwhelming 80% stake in Cruise. Among other notable shareholders are Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT), and Honda (NYSE: HMC).

At the same time, Cruise is still waiting for regulatory approval to charge riders for driverless rides in San Francisco. Also, the company is set to begin production of its first electric vehicle (EV) model, the Cadillac Lyriq this week. With GM seemingly firing on all cylinders now, I could see investors eyeing GM stock now. 

GM stock
Source: TradingView

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Nike Earnings On Tap After Today’s Closing Bell: What To Know

In other news, consumer sports retailer Nike (NYSE: NKE) is set to report its third fiscal quarter earnings after today’s closing bell. Later today, consensus estimates see Nike posting an earnings per share of $0.72 alongside revenue of $10.62 billion. This upcoming quarterly release would likely be closely watched as Nike continues to face supply chain pressure across the board. On one hand, you have growing coronavirus cases in China impacting overall economic recovery in the region. On the other hand, Nike is also halting its operations in Russia as well.

Despite all of this, analysts over at investment banking firm Stifel (NYSE: SF) seem to remain bullish. In particular, Stifel analyst Jim Duffy argues that these headwinds could be offset by Nike’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) digital channels. The likes of which have been and continue to improve as the company terminates wholesale partnerships with other retailers. In doing so, Nike would be working to consolidate distribution within its own channels. Additionally, Duffy also highlights the company’s sales growth in the North America, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa regions as positive factors to consider. As a result of all this, the firm currently has NKE stock at a Buy rating. Regardless of how Nike performs, NKE stock will likely be in focus in the stock market today. 

NKE stock
Source: TradingView

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Private Equity Firm Thoma Bravo To Acquire Anaplan For $10.7 Billion

On the acquisition front,  we have Anaplan (NYSE: PLAN) making headlines today. Over the weekend, news broke of private equity firm Thoma Bravo agreeing to buy Anaplan for $10.7 billion. Going into the details, Thoma Bravo is paying $66 per share for Anaplan. Following the all-cash deal, Anaplan CEO Frank Calderoni will continue to head the company. Because of all this, PLAN stock will likely be gaining attention at this week’s stock market open.

For some context, Anaplan essentially creates cloud-based software that helps organizations plan for and forecasts business outcomes in the long run. Not to mention, the company also boasts an extensive list of high-profile clients. Part of its clientele are firms such as Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), Shell (NYSE: SHEL), and VMware (NYSE: VMW). The overall scale of this purchase is understandable after considering the growing demand for planning software amidst the uncertainties during the pandemic. 

PLAN stock
Source: TradingView

[Read More] 3 Top Health Care Stocks To Watch Right Now

Nielsen Focuses On Share Repurchase Plans After Rejecting Takeover Offer

Another piece of news regarding acquisition offers today would be from Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN). Diving in, the information, data, and market measurement firm is rejecting a takeover offer from a private equity consortium. According to Nielsen, the current offer significantly undervalues that company at $25.40 per share. The company notes that its board “unanimously determined that the consortium’s offer significantly undervalues the company and does not adequately compensate shareholders for Nielsen’s growth prospects.

Sharing the board’s opinions on this is WindAcre, one of Nielsen’s largest shareholders. According to Snehal Amin, Managing Partner of WindAcre, the firm does not “believe the offer comes close to recognizing Nielsen’s intrinsic value.” Amin also adds that WindAcre was already intending to block the transaction to “realize, in time, the intrinsic value,” of its investments in Nielsen.

This follows reports from last week suggesting that Elliott Management and Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM) were in advanced talks with Nielsen. According to the previous report, the consortium was planning for a $15 billion takeover, including debt. Moreover, alongside the offer rejection, Nielsen is planning to begin its $1 billion share buyback authorization later next month. With all this buzz around the company now, investors may want to keep an eye on NLSN stock this week.

NLSN stock
Source: TradingView

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The post Top Stock Market News For Today March 21, 2022 appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information |

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COVID-19 lockdowns linked to less accurate recollection of event timing

Participants in a survey study made a relatively high number of errors when asked to recollect the timing of major events that took place in 2021, providing…



Participants in a survey study made a relatively high number of errors when asked to recollect the timing of major events that took place in 2021, providing new insights into how COVID-19 lockdowns impacted perception of time. Daria Pawlak and Arash Sahraie of the University of Aberdeen, UK, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 31, 2023.

Credit: Arianna Sahraie Photography, CC-BY 4.0 (

Participants in a survey study made a relatively high number of errors when asked to recollect the timing of major events that took place in 2021, providing new insights into how COVID-19 lockdowns impacted perception of time. Daria Pawlak and Arash Sahraie of the University of Aberdeen, UK, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 31, 2023.

Remembering when past events occurred becomes more difficult as more time passes. In addition, people’s activities and emotions can influence their perception of the passage of time. The social isolation resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns significantly impacted people’s activities and emotions, and prior research has shown that the pandemic triggered distortions in people’s perception of time.

Inspired by that earlier research and clinical reports that patients have become less able to report accurate timelines of their medical conditions, Pawlak and Sahraie set out to deepen understanding of the pandemic’s impact on time perception.

In May 2022, the researchers conducted an online survey in which they asked 277 participants to give the year in which several notable recent events occurred, such as when Brexit was finalized or when Meghan Markle joined the British royal family. Participants also completed standard evaluations for factors related to mental health, including levels of boredom, depression, and resilience.

As expected, participants’ recollection of events that occurred further in the past was less accurate. However, their perception of the timing of events that occurred in 2021—one year prior to the survey—was just an inaccurate as for events that occurred three to four years earlier. In other words, many participants had difficulty recalling the timing of events coinciding with COVID-19 lockdowns.

Additionally, participants who made more errors in event timing were also more likely to show greater levels of depression, anxiety, and physical mental demands during the pandemic, but had less resilience. Boredom was not significantly associated with timeline accuracy.

These findings are similar to those previously reported for prison inmates. The authors suggest that accurate recollection of event timing requires “anchoring” life events, such as birthday celebrations and vacations, which were lacking during COVID-19 lockdowns.

The authors add: “Our paper reports on altered timescapes during the pandemic. In a landscape, if features are not clearly discernible, it is harder to place objects/yourself in relation to other features. Restrictions imposed during the pandemic have impoverished our timescape, affecting the perception of event timelines. We can recall that events happened, we just don’t remember when.


In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE:

Citation: Pawlak DA, Sahraie A (2023) Lost time: Perception of events timeline affected by the COVID pandemic. PLoS ONE 18(5): e0278250.

Author Countries: UK

Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

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Hyro secures $20M for its AI-powered, healthcare-focused conversational platform

Israel Krush and Rom Cohen first met in an AI course at Cornell Tech, where they bonded over a shared desire to apply AI voice technologies to the healthcare…



Israel Krush and Rom Cohen first met in an AI course at Cornell Tech, where they bonded over a shared desire to apply AI voice technologies to the healthcare sector. Specifically, they sought to automate the routine messages and calls that often lead to administrative burnout, like calls about scheduling, prescription refills and searching through physician directories.

Several years after graduating, Krush and Cohen productized their ideas with Hyro, which uses AI to facilitate text and voice conversations across the web, call centers and apps between healthcare organizations and their clients. Hyro today announced that it raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Liberty Mutual, Macquarie Capital and Black Opal, bringing the startup’s total raised to $35 million.

Krush says that the new cash will be put toward expanding Hyro’s go-to-market teams and R&D.

“When we searched for a domain that would benefit from transforming these technologies most, we discovered and validated that healthcare, with staffing shortages and antiquated processes, had the greatest need and pain points, and have continued to focus on this particular vertical,” Krush told TechCrunch in an email interview.

To Krush’s point, the healthcare industry faces a major staffing shortfall, exacerbated by the logistical complications that arose during the pandemic. In a recent interview with Keona Health, Halee Fischer-Wright, CEO of Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), said that MGMA’s heard that 88% of medical practices have had difficulties recruiting front-of-office staff over the last year. By another estimates, the healthcare field has lost 20% of its workforce.

Hyro doesn’t attempt to replace staffers. But it does inject automation into the equation. The platform is essentially a drop-in replacement for traditional IVR systems, handling calls and texts automatically using conversational AI.

Hyro can answer common questions and handle tasks like booking or rescheduling an appointment, providing engagement and conversion metrics on the backend as it does so.

Plenty of platforms do — or at least claim to. See RedRoute, a voice-based conversational AI startup that delivers an “Alexa-like” customer service experience over the phone. Elsewhere, there’s Omilia, which provides a conversational solution that works on all platforms (e.g. phone, web chat, social networks, SMS and more) and integrates with existing customer support systems.

But Krush claims that Hyro is differentiated. For one, he says, it offers an AI-powered search feature that scrapes up-to-date information from a customer’s website — ostensibly preventing wrong answers to questions (a notorious problem with text-generating AI). Hyro also boasts “smart routing,” which enables it to “intelligently” decide whether to complete a task automatically, send a link to self-serve via SMS or route a request to the right department.

A bot created using Hyro’s development tools. Image Credits: Hyro

“Our AI assistants have been used by tens of millions of patients, automating conversations on various channels,” Krush said. “Hyro creates a feedback loop by identifying missing knowledge gaps, basically mimicking the operations of a call center agent. It also shows within a conversation exactly how the AI assistant deduced the correct response to a patient or customer query, meaning that if incorrect answers were given, an enterprise can understand exactly which piece of content or dataset is labeled incorrectly and fix accordingly.”

Of course, no technology’s perfect, and Hyro’s likely isn’t an exception to the rule. But the startup’s sales pitch was enough to win over dozens of healthcare networks, providers and hospitals as clients, including Weill Cornell Medicine. Annual recurring revenue has doubled since Hyro went to market in 2019, Krush claims.

Hyro’s future plans entail expanding to industries adjacent to healthcare, including real estate and the public sector, as well as rounding out the platform with more customization options, business optimization recommendations and “variety” in the AI skills that Hyro supports.

“The pandemic expedited digital transformation for healthcare and made the problems we’re solving very clear and obvious (e.g. the spike in calls surrounding information, access to testing, etc.),” Krush said. “We were one of the first to offer a COVID-19 virtual assistant that deployed in under 48 hours based on trusted information from the health system and trusted resources such as the CDC and World Health Organization …. Hyro is well funded, with good growth and momentum, and we’ve always managed a responsible budget, so we’re actually looking to expand and gather more market share while competitors are slowing down.”

Hyro secures $20M for its AI-powered, healthcare-focused conversational platform by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch

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How to hone your leadership skills, and what your company can do to help

In the rapidly changing, ambiguous and unpredictable world of work, future leaders must be able to learn fast.




Leadership potential. GaudiLab/Shutterstock

The UK labour market has finally started to see a fall in vacancies following a post-COVID spike in open positions. But there are still more than a million job vacancies, which are “damaging the economy by preventing firms from fulfilling order books and taking on new work”, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.

A recent survey by this business lobby group found four-fifths of firms can’t recruit the people they need. Companies often look outside for external candidates to fill senior roles, but this overlooks current employees who may have the potential to move up within an organisation – even if they do not know it yet.

Overlooking employees often happens when management plays it safe, rather than risking giving “one of their own” an important new assignment. The resulting untapped employee potential can leave people feeling underused and frustrated. You need to be given opportunities to stretch, learn and develop to fulfil your potential at work.

Quarter life, a series by The Conversation

This article is part of Quarter Life, a series about issues affecting those of us in our twenties and thirties. From the challenges of beginning a career and taking care of our mental health, to the excitement of starting a family, adopting a pet or just making friends as an adult. The articles in this series explore the questions and bring answers as we navigate this turbulent period of life. You may be interested in:

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Human resource managers use potential – and in particular, leadership potential – to identify the employees that could be their organisation’s future leaders. In the business world (and often in academic research too), the term “high potential” typically means you are able to develop further and faster than others in a similar situation.

Someone with leadership potential has the capacity to be an effective leader in the future, but may need support to develop the right skills and experience to succeed. So, how can you work out your own leadership potential? Research highlights three main traits you need:

1. Growth: learning and motivation

Many studies identify the ability to learn as key to predicting future leadership effectiveness. This incorporates keenness to learn, the ability to extract as many lessons as possible from different experiences, and to adapt by applying these to enhance your future performance.

This explains why some people learn more from their experiences (and develop faster) than others. There is also a motivational component that includes drive and perseverance to achieve results, and the ambition to lead.

2. Foundational: cognitive and personality characteristics

Research shows that people who are more emotionally balanced, sociable, ambitious, conscientious and curious are more likely to become leaders.

Also, because it’s important to be able to make decisions effectively in any senior role, cognitive capabilities are key. These typically include strong judgment skills in complex and ambiguous situations, and being able to collect and evaluate information from diverse sources to reach solid decisions.

3. Career: qualities specific to the future role

Some models of potential also include “career dimensions”, which are specific skills relevant to a future role. For leadership potential, these might include qualities such as strategic thinking or collaboration.

New technology and workplace trends are among the factors that are changing how we work. This means the demands of future roles – and the career-specific qualities required to excel in them – may be quite different to those of your current job. In fact, research shows that more than 70% of today’s top performers still lack the key qualities that will help them to be successful in their future roles.

How can you develop these qualities?

As rapid change renders knowledge and skills out of date at an astonishing rate, the ability to learn is increasingly crucial to future leaders. Rather than “having all the answers”, you need to be able to find or figure the answers out. This means that leaders need the humility to know they don’t know it all, and the interpersonal skills to listen openly and learn from a diverse network of people.

At the height of the COVID pandemic, for example, New Zealand’s then prime minister Jacinda Ardern didn’t have all the answers. But she used her platform to quite literally ask for information. Ardern did a series of video interviews with different experts to get some key answers, speaking to a psychologist about coping with the stresses of the pandemic, and an experienced business mentor about supporting small businesses.

Having asked, listened and sought varied insights, leaders must then apply strong judgment and problem-solving skills to decide on the best way forward – even if there is no obvious path. This draws upon cognitive ability, but it also involves skills that can be learnt.

Man in shirt at laptop, looking forward and sitting between two other people, raising hand.
People with leadership potential ask questions and learn from their experiences. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Problems identifying potential

Unfortunately, organisations often rely upon current (or past) performance as a barometer of potential, which is far from ideal – not just because only a small proportion of current high performers also have high potential, but because people with strong potential may not currently be performing at their best. Perhaps they aren’t in the right role, or aren’t being sufficiently stretched or supported.

Either way, your employer shouldn’t conflate your current performance with your potential. This could also perpetuate the lack of diversity that persists at leadership level in many firms. Past performance is limited by opportunity. Some people, due to biases and stereotypes, may not have been offered the chance to show what they are capable of yet.

To avoid these problems, organisations need to assess their employees objectively to find those with leadership potential. This could include doing psychometric tests of their personality and cognitive and learning abilities. Simulations of typical tasks or problems could also replicate the likely cognitive demands of future leadership roles, helping to identify people who can best cope and learn from the experience.

Supporting future leaders

It’s important to remember that potential does not automatically unfold once it’s identified. Indeed, some studies claim that 40% of high-potential promotions end in failure.

However, if you’re good at learning from experiences and applying this to improve how you do things, and are motivated to progress and grow, you have a good chance of developing the career dimension qualities needed to be a future leader – and to do this faster than your peers.

But organisations must help by finding ways to stretch employees, while also building the scaffolding to support their learning and development. They should balance challenge with support through coaching, to help employees learn as much as they can from their experiences. If you want to be a future leader, you can then use these experiences to enhance your job performance and reach your full potential.

Zara Whysall also works for Kiddy & Partners, part of Gateley Plc.

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