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Top Stock Market News For Today May 23, 2022

Stock futures in the green as investors look to buy on current broad-based weakness in markets.
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Stock Market Futures Gain As World Economic Forum Kicks Off

U.S. stock futures are on the rise heading into the current trading week. This comes at a time when the broader stock market continues to trade in bear market territory. In particular, the S&P 500 is especially feeling the pressure, racking up seven consecutive weeks of losses. Historically, this marks its longest losing streak since 2001 and its second seven-week decline since 1980. Among the core contributors to this would be last week’s less-than-ideal set of earnings from the retail scene.

Speaking on the current state of things is Brian Jacobsen, a senior investment strategist at Allspring Global Investments. He posits, “Investors have been struggling with the three ‘Cs’ so far this year: central banks, conflict in Ukraine, and China’s recurring shutdowns,” Jacobsen continues, “This past week we had to add another ‘C,’ compressing profit margins from big retailers.” On top of that, he also highlights that “There was bound to be some payback from the pandemic-induced profit surge a lot of companies experienced, but that payback might be bigger than originally thought.

In the week ahead, investors also have plenty of economic data to take note of. This would include the Fed’s latest meeting minutes on Wednesday and Thursday’s first-quarter GDP growth estimates. Not forgetting, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will be releasing its monthly personal consumption expenditures print on Thursday as well. After considering all this and today’s stock market news cycle, investors will likely have another busy week ahead. As of 4:39 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.41%, 0.42%, and 0.35% respectively.

Broadcom Reportedly Amidst Ongoing Talks To Acquire VMware

In the news today is a Bloomberg report about Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO) and VMware (NYSE: VMW). Getting straight to it, Bloomberg’s sources suggest that Broadcom is currently engaging in talks to buy the cloud computing software firm. Additionally, another report by the Wall Street Journal notes that the duo are considering a potential cash and stock deal. The report also implies that we could see an agreement come to light soon. On the whole, such news would serve to put VMW stock in the spotlight today. As with most mentions of takeovers, investors could be keen to jump on the company’s shares. At the current time of writing, VMware has a market capitalization of about over $40.3 billion while Broadcom is valued at about $221.7 billion.

For one thing, this would not be Broadcom’s biggest move in recent years. In fact, back in 2017, the semiconductor manufacturer made a bid of over $100 billion for Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). Despite pulling back its bid over government-related hurdles, it would go to show that Broadcom is willing to go the distance to grow its offerings. Regarding its acquisitions on the software front, Broadcom’s last notable purchase was Symantec’s enterprise security business in 2019 for almost $11 billion. In CEO Hock Tan’s words at that time, “M&A has played a central role in Broadcom’s growth strategy and this transaction represents the next logical step in our strategy.” Nonetheless, while talks could still fall through, it would not surprise me to see all eyes on VMW stock at today’s opening bell.

VMW stock
Source: TradingView

[Read More] What Stocks To Buy Today? 3 Tech Stocks For Your Watchlist

Zoom To Report Earnings After Closing Bell: What To Know

Among the major firms reporting earnings today would be Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM). This pandemic-era tech goliath has and continues to experience turbulent times as the world returns to normalcy. While most learn to live with the current endemic, concerns regarding Zoom’s long-term growth sustainability would come into question. As such, here is the current consensus on Wall Street for Zoom’s upcoming earnings report after today’s closing bell. For its first fiscal quarter, analysts anticipate an earnings per share of $0.87 on revenue of $1.07 billion from Zoom. Should this be the case, it would translate to a year-over-year decline of 34.1% for earnings per share and a year-over-year increase of 12.2% for revenue.

Overall, it seems that analysts are expecting another noticeable decline in terms of net income for Zoom. However, another key metric to look out for would be the company’s total number of customers contributing over $100,000 in 12-month trailing revenue. On this front, the consensus on Wall Street is 2996, a sizable year-over-year jump of 49.8%. Why would this measure be crucial might you ask? Well, in theory, a higher number could indicate that Zoom is effectively scaling its offerings towards its clients’ growing demands. Accordingly, this could also serve to attract larger clients as well. Amidst the rising prominence of hybrid work environments, Zoom could remain relevant in professional spaces. Because of all this, some would argue that ZM stock could be worth looking at today.

ZM stock
Source: TradingView

[Read More] Best Stocks To Invest In Right Now? 4 Cyclical Stocks To Watch Today

Oil Futures Gain As U.S. Supplies Hit 35-Year Low

Oil prices are on the rise as we enter another trading week. For the most part, this move is not all too surprising seeing as U.S. demand continues to soar. Alongside this dwindling energy supply, slight weakness in the U.S. dollar and COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai are also weighing in on prices. All in all, Brent crude futures rose by $0.72 to $113.27 a barrel. At the same time, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained by $0.53 to $110.81 a barrel. This would mark further advances in prices for both contracts from last week’s gains.

Speaking on this is Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management. He says, “Oil prices are supported as gasoline markets remain tight amid solid demand heading into the peak U.S. driving season.” Innes also adds that “Refineries are typically in ramp-up mode to feed U.S. drivers’ unquenching thirst at the pump.” For those uninitiated, Innes is referring to the U.S. peak driving season that usually begins at the end of May (Memorial Day weekend) till Labor Day In September. Not to mention, mobility data from TomTom (OTCMKTS: TMOAF) and Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google already suggest that roads remain as busy as ever in the U.S. in recent weeks. With all this in mind, I could see oil stocks and oil firms also coming into focus now.

[Read More] Top Stocks To Buy Now? 3 Consumer Staples Stocks To Watch

Other Earnings To Consider In The Stock Market Today

Aside from Zoom, there are several other firms reporting their latest financials today. In the pre-market, Xpeng (NYSE: XPEV), Niu (NASDAQ: NIU), Qiwi (NASDAQ: QIWI), and China Automotive Systems (NASDAQ: CAAS) are on tap. On the flip side, Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP), and America’s Car-Mart (NASDAQ: CRMT) are representing the automotive space during the post-market hours. Also, Nordson (NASDAQ: NDSN) and Walkme (NASDAQ: WKME) are hosting their earnings calls after the closing bell as well. Safe to say there is no shortage of exciting stock market news to keep investors on their toes now.

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The post Top Stock Market News For Today May 23, 2022 appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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Government

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

New Hampshire’s Republican…

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New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a bill that would have made Ivermectin available without a prescription.

Ivermectin tablets packaged for human use. (Natasha Holt/The Epoch Times)

The Republican governor vetoed the bill on June 24, the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Some fellow Republicans questioned the timing.

It certainly seemed like a convenient way to bury a veto of a bill that won support from the vast majority of Republicans in New Hampshire,” JR Hoell, co-founder of the conservative watchdog group RebuildNH, told The Epoch Times.

Hoell is a former four-term House Republican planning to seek re-election after a four-year hiatus from the the New Hampshire legislature.

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Department of Children Youth and Family (DCYF) tried to take custody of Hoell’s 13-year old son after a nurse reported him for giving human-grade ivermectin to the teen months earlier.

Several states have introduced bills to make human-grade ivermectin available without a prescription at a brick and mortar store. Currently, it can be ordered online from another country. In April, Tennessee became the the first state to sign such a measure into law. New Hampshire lawmakers were first to introduce the idea.

Both chambers of the state’s Republican controlled legislature approved the bill.

In his statement explaining the veto, Sununu noted that there are only four other controlled medications available without a prescription in New Hampshire and that each were only made available after “rigorous reviews and vetting to ensure” before being dispensed.

“Patients should always consult their doctor before taking medications so that they are fully aware of treatment options and potential unintended consequences of taking a medication that may limit other treatment options in the future,” Sununu said in his statement.

Sununu’s statement is very similar to testimony given by Paula Minnehan, senior vice president of state government regulations for the New Hampshire Hospital Association, at hearings on the bill.

Minnehan too placed emphasis on the review that went into the four prescription medications the state made available under a standing order. They include naloxone, the generic name for Narcan, which is used to counter opioid overdoses, hormone replacement therapy drugs, and a prescription-version of the morning after pill.

It also includes a collection of smoking cessation therapy drugs like Chantix, which has been linked to suicide, depression, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Last year, Pfizer, the leading maker of the FDA-approved drug, conducted a voluntarily recall of Chantix. Narcan has also been linked to deaths caused by severe withdrawals that have led to acute respiratory distress.

Rep. Melissa Blasek, a Republican co-sponsor of the New Hampshire ivermectin bill, told The Epoch Times, that one could veto any drug-related bill under the pretense of overdose concerns.

The reality is you can overdose on Tylenol,” she said. “Ivermectin has one of the safest track records of any drug.”

The use of human-grade ivermectin became controversial when some doctors began promoting it for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Government agencies including the FDA and CDC issued warnings against its use while groups like Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) heavily promoted it.

Some doctors were  disciplined for prescribing human-grade ivermectin for COVID-19 including a Maine doctor whose medical license was suspended by the state.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 20:30

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Economics

The One Housing Chart That Shows A ‘Buyer’s Market’ Has Returned

The One Housing Chart That Shows A ‘Buyer’s Market’ Has Returned

The red hot pandemic-era housing market is cooling as historically tight…

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The One Housing Chart That Shows A 'Buyer's Market' Has Returned

The red hot pandemic-era housing market is cooling as historically tight available inventory shows signs of reversing. 

An affordability crisis has removed millions of new home buyers as the number of active US listings soared 18.7% in June from a year earlier, the most significant increase in Realtor.com's data going back to 2017, according to Bloomberg. The days of insane bidding wars, waiving home inspections, and putting in an offer 20% or more over the list price appear to be over. In other words, a buyer's market could be emerging. 

"While we anticipate that more inventory will eventually cool the feverish pace of competition, the typical buyer has yet to see meaningful relief from quick-selling homes and record-high asking prices," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. 

Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Raleigh, North Carolina saw active listings more than double from a year ago. Nashville, Tennessee, active listings jumped 86%, and 72% in the Riverside, California. 

The Federal Reserve's most aggressive tightening campaign sent the 30-year fixed-loan mortgage rate from 3% to over 6% this year (back in March, we warned coming rate explosion would trigger a housing affordability crisis), removing millions of new home buyers who can't afford the cost of homeownership as the median existing-home sales price was around $407k in May. 

Even though inventory is historically tight, supply is expected to increase in markets across the country as demand for loan applications among prospective buyers slumps. Fewer buyers equal more inventory. 

The takeaway is that inventory is rising as homes stay on the market longer because demand evaporated thanks to the housing affordability crisis -- this could mean a housing top is nearing. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 18:50

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Economics

States Need To Avoid ‘Cures’ That Can Make Inflation Worse

States Need To Avoid ‘Cures’ That Can Make Inflation Worse

Authored by Regina M. Egea and Danielle Zanzalari via RealClearPolicy.com,

Across…

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States Need To Avoid 'Cures' That Can Make Inflation Worse

Authored by Regina M. Egea and Danielle Zanzalari via RealClearPolicy.com,

Across the United States, state governments are awash in cash. In a sharp contrast, American taxpayers are enduring a rate of inflation unseen in four decades, with the costs of everything from food to gasoline at record highs.

In our home state of New Jersey, Trenton is looking at an unprecedented surplus of $8 billion through a combination of increased tax revenue, federal pandemic aid and borrowing.

A natural impulse among residents and policymakers is to offer residents “relief” in the form of rebate checks.

The reality is that relying exclusively on rebates or direct cash transfers to individuals will only lead to more inflation as this puts more money in consumers’ hands exacerbating the same problem as today - too many dollars chasing too few goods.

Rather, it is prudent that states focus on long-term investment and responsible budgeting to ensure economic growth now and in the future. This is especially important in high tax, big spending states due to the greater flexibility in work arrangements that have exposed the reality that wealth is mobile.

With more residents fleeing high tax states to low tax states, states will need to reevaluate their tax and regulatory climate to stay competitive. 

Regulation can raise the costs for consumers and slow job growth. A series of studies shows the regulation raises prices and worsens poverty.

Working with local governments to revisit restrictive laws that contribute to higher housing prices, such as building height restrictions and zoning rules, as well as removing unnecessary restrictions on business operations will lead to more economic growth.

Another way states can aid productivity and long-term economic growth with their temporary budget surplus, is to fund training programs for middle-skilled jobs.

Nearly every industry has experienced labor shortages and that reality is especially acute in trades like auto, refrigeration, HVAC, electrical, welding, and manufacturing.

States can invest in these skills through high school and vocational school programs. With college borrowing costs astronomically high, this encourages individuals to pursue careers that are lucrative and budget friendly, as well as fill the over 75,000 job openings that our state of New Jersey is projected to need in just a few years.

To further long-term economic growth many states should also concentrate on fixing their unfunded pension liabilities for public employees. This impacts red and blue states alike, with massive liabilities in California ($1.53 trillion), Illinois ($533.72 billion), Texas ($529.70 billion), New York ($508.70 billion) and Ohio ($429.53 billion). Here in New Jersey, our liability is nearly $40,000 for every resident of the state, which can dramatically deter future growth. Beyond using some of states’ budget surplus to shore up pension liabilities, states should move public employees to defined contribution plans, which are used by more than 100 million Americans. These are found to have better investment returns than state-wide pension plans and cost taxpayers less.

Our final recommendation is perhaps our most important: Save for a rainy day. If the U.S. economy enters into a recession, this will mean fewer jobs and less tax revenue for states. To prepare for the future when states again face a budget shortfall, which may be sooner than we think, states should follow best practices of reserving 10% of their budget in a rainy day fund, to sustain essential programs should a downturn occur in the future.

As state leaders consider their budgets, they should focus on long-term economic growth initiatives. Proposals like funding middle-skilled job trainings ensure workers are ready for the next decade, whereas eliminating unnecessary regulations and focusing on pro-growth tax reforms encourages residents to build businesses and create jobs. Lastly, taking care of state finances by properly funding state employees’ retirement plans and saving for a rainy day will ensure that no state is left behind in the next economic downturn.

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 17:50

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