• Facebook is blocking a million accounts a day to protect the election: Sandberg
    Yahoo Finance

    Facebook is blocking a million accounts a day to protect the election: Sandberg

    Facebook is removing vast numbers of fake accounts to protect against misinformation.

  • My 3 Top Picks During The Market Crash
    The Motley Fool

    My 3 Top Picks During The Market Crash

    There's always a deal to be made! My three top picks during the market crash are: Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP)(NYSE:SHOP), Tourmaline Oil (TSX:TOU) and Cameo Corp. (TSX:CCO)(NYSE:CCJ).The post My 3 Top Picks During The Market Crash appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

  • Bloomberg

    A Lame-Duck Regulator Who Became the Face of Shale in Oil Wars

    (Bloomberg) -- In just a matter of weeks, Ryan Sitton went from being a lame-duck commissioner of an obscure Texas agency to one of the key figures in a global effort to save the oil market from plummeting prices.Sitton, a Republican who lost the primary election for his own seat on the Texas Railroad Commission just one month ago, said Thursday that he had spoken with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak about cutting global oil supplies and planned to have a conversation with Novak’s counterpart in Saudi Arabia. Two weeks ago, he spoke with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo and was invited to attend a meeting this summer in Vienna.To be clear, these kinds of exchanges between state-level regulators and national energy ministers about capping global oil supplies are not common. In fact, if Sitton attends that OPEC meeting, he would be the first member of the state Railroad Commission to do so since the 1980s. He’s earning a seat at the table just as the OPEC+ alliance, which includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, tries to form a global coalition to cut output, put an end to a war over market share and stem the rout in crude prices brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.A deal with non-OPEC+ nations including the U.S. would set a historic precedent. President Donald Trump hasn’t publicly said whether the U.S. is willing to cut its own domestic production. He met with oil executives at the White House on Friday to discuss ways to shore up the industry.In the absence of federal action, Sitton -- an oil and gas engineer and self-proclaimed energy markets expert who leaves office in January -- became the face of America’s response to a global battle for oil market share. Even before crude collapsed amid the virus and a Saudi-Russia price war, Sitton was in the public eye far more often than his fellow commissioners, Chairman Wayne Christian and Christi Craddick, both Republicans. He regularly appears on television and has his own website, ryansitton.com, where visitors can view everything from his annual oil industry report to a video of a Crossfit class he led for state employees. (Sitton, 45, attributes his more public persona to success early in his career as a business owner that allowed him to take more risks while in office.)To a certain degree, Sitton’s always had an eye on the global market. When the commission was criticized for its lax policy toward natural gas flaring, Sitton took it upon himself to release a report and subsequent video call, saying that the problem was far worse in Iraq and Iran.“Other nations are flaring at levels four times higher than Texas,” he said in the report, which was panned by environmental groups. “They, therefore, present much more efficient paths to global flaring reductions.”The power to manage the state’s oil production has been there all along. Following a slump in the oil market in 1931, the Texas Railroad Commission started periodically implementing a process known as pro-rationing to bolster prices. That ended in the early 1970s, just as OPEC, which had modeled itself on the commission, was rising to a dominant position in the oil market.“There’s this regulatory authority that’s just sitting there unused for all these years but all of a sudden becomes relevant again,” said James Coleman, an energy law professor at Southern Methodist University. “The Texas Railroad Commission, although obscure, has always been an important international player.”Days after prices first crashed below $25 a barrel, Sitton penned an opinion piece advocating for a coordinated response with Saudi Arabia and Russia. He’s urging the agency to consider pro-rationing state production, a proposal that both Christian and Craddick have yet to support. It wouldn’t be the first time Sitton has split with his fellow commissioners: Last year, Craddick nominated Christian to serve as chairman, even though tradition dictated that Sitton would lead the agency as he ended his six-year term.The commission has scheduled a hearing on pro-rationing for later this month, a move Sitton announced in a webinar he hosted to outline his take on the global oil market.“Our constituents elect us for situations like this and look at how we solve problems,” he said in an interview last month. “They don’t need people who sit on the sidelines when you’re in an economic catastrophe like we’re in right now.”Complicated PositionIt’s a complicated political position to take in Texas, a state that prides itself on free markets and individualism. And Sitton doesn’t appear to have much public support, with the exception of Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Parsley Energy Inc. Scott Sheffield, chief executive officer of Pioneer, is himself an unusually public figure for the typically media-shy independent shale producers.Others companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., and major trade groups like the American Petroleum Institute, have said they’re not seeking government intervention, preferring free markets take their course. And Christian and Craddick both reiterated Friday evening that Sitton’s vocal support for a government response doesn’t necessarily reflect their positions.“One commissioner does not speak for” the Texas Railroad Commission, Craddick said. “No decision has been made about proration to limit Texas oil production.”But Sitton may have little to lose. Last month, he lost the Republican primary for his seat in a shocking upset. In November, Jim Wright, a rancher and chief executive of an oilfield-service company, will battle one of two Democrats vying for Sitton’s seat.Now Sitton could be spending his last few months in state office speaking with international energy chiefs and traveling to Vienna.“It’s important to remember that this is the history of the Railroad Commission,” Coleman said. “It’s just amazing how quickly this happened.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • OPEC+ Meeting to Be Delayed on New Saudi, Russia Rift
    Bloomberg

    OPEC+ Meeting to Be Delayed on New Saudi, Russia Rift

    (Bloomberg) -- The OPEC+ meeting to try to end the oil price war is unlikely to go ahead on Monday as previously expected, as Riyadh and Moscow trade barbs about who’s to blame for the collapse in oil prices.The OPEC+ alliance needs more time for negotiations, a delegate familiar with the matter said, noting the gathering may still happen a few days later next week. Beyond the alliance, Saudi Arabia and Russia have indicated they want other oil countries to join in any output cuts, complicating efforts to call a meeting, the delegate said, asking not to be named discussing diplomatic matters.The delay came hours after Saudi Arabia made a pointed diplomatic attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin, opening a fresh rift between the world’s two largest oil exporters and jeopardizing a deal to cut production.In a statement early on Saturday, the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said comments by Putin laying blame on Riyadh for the end of the OPEC+ pact between the two countries in March were “fully devoid of truth.”The direct criticism of Putin, echoed in a statement by Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, threatens a new agreement to stabilize an oil market that’s been thrown into chaos by the global fight against coronavirus. President Donald Trump had devoted hours of telephone diplomacy last week to brokering a truce in the month-long price war between Moscow and Riyadh.“We always remained skeptical about this wider deal as U.S. producers cannot be mandated to cut,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. “If so, Russia doesn’t come to the table. And if everyone doesn’t cut, Saudi Arabia’s long held stance is that they will not cut either.”OPEC+ initially aimed to meet via videoconference on Monday, but they virtual gathering is now likely to be delayed a few days to allow for more time for negotiations, a delegate familiar with the matter said.The prospect of a new deal spurred a 50% recovery in benchmark oil prices last week as traders saw some relief from the catastrophic oversupply caused by a lockdown of the world’s largest economies, in a bit to halt the coronavirus pandemic. With billions of people forced to stay at home, demand for gasoline, diesel and jet has collapsed by about as much 35 million barrels a day.“Russia was the one that refused the agreement” in early March, the Saudi foreign ministry said. “The kingdom and 22 other countries were trying to to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the agreement.”Read more: Trump Meets U.S. Oil Leaders After OPEC+ Urges Cuts to Stem RoutSponsored by Trump, who’s fretting about the future of America’s shale industry, momentum for a new agreement had built in recent days.A delay is “not a good sign,” said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa at the Eurasia Group consultancy. “This entirely plays negatively for the discussions.”“Part of Putin’s comments are about saving face and also justifying why the oil price crashed and partly to deter criticism from the U.S. Putin doesn’t want to be blamed for any losses in the U.S. energy industry. It seems to me that there’s both a defensive effort to shield from criticism abroad for both the Saudis and the Russians,” Kamel said. Blame GamePutin acknowledged the need for a deal on Friday, saying Russia was willing to contribute cuts. This could be 1 million barrels-a-day if the U.S. joins, according to four people familiar with sentiment in the industry.But he also put responsibility for the downward spiral in prices on Saudi Arabia.“It was the pullout by our partners from Saudi Arabia from the OPEC+ deal, their increase in production and their announcement that they were even ready to give discounts on oil” that contributed to the crash, along with the coronavirus-driven drop in demand, he said.“This was apparently linked to efforts by our partners from Saudi Arabia to eliminate competitors who produce so-called shale oil,” Putin continued. “To do that, the price needs to be below $40 a barrel. And they succeeded in that. But we don’t need that, we never set such a goal.”In fact, at the time the deal collapsed, Russian officials said privately they were seeking to do just that: use lower prices to force U.S. shale producers from the market and reverse some of the losses in market share they’d seen in recent years.Since the original OPEC+ deal fell apart at a March 5 meeting in Vienna, the Saudis have argued Russia decided to walk away and was first to say countries were free to pump as much as possible.Prince Abdulaziz, the energy minister and half-brother of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, made the same point in his statement on Saturday.“The Russian Minister of Energy was first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments,” he said. “This led to the decision by countries to raise their production in order to offset lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns.”But the end of OPEC+, first forged in 2016, reflected long standing tensions between the two most important members in the 24 nation alliance. Saudi Arabia was shouldering most of the burden, producing more than 2 million barrels a day below capacity, while Russia had made a more nominal contribution.The Saudis, who have ramped up production to a record 12 million barrels a day in the past month and massively discounted the price of their oil, have insisted a new agreement must involve significant contributions from all OPEC+ nations and major producers outside the coalition, including the U.S. and Canada.(Updates with further details in 2nd and 14th paragraphs and analyst comment in 6th and 11th)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • NIO Inc. (NIO) Flat As Market Sinks: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    NIO Inc. (NIO) Flat As Market Sinks: What You Should Know

    NIO Inc. (NIO) closed at $2.39 in the latest trading session, marking no change from the prior day.

  • Stock Investors Hungry for Yield Shun Canadian REITs in Downturn
    Bloomberg

    Stock Investors Hungry for Yield Shun Canadian REITs in Downturn

    (Bloomberg) -- For the longest time, Canadian real estate investment trusts were a stalwart for income investors. Now, dividend payments hang in the balance as commercial and residential tenants struggle to pay rent during a pandemic that has shut down much of the economy.Typically seen as a place to get a high, safe payout in a world of low bond yields, REITs are one of the worst performing groups in the nation’s benchmark index since the peak on Feb. 20, plunging 38%.That has sent yields skyward as share prices fall and investors anticipate dividend cuts or suspensions.Before the market sell-off, the 19 stocks that make up the S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index gave it a dividend yield of 4.1%. That spiked as high as 7.8% last week as the rout got worse, and is now just above 6.5%.“Before we were looking at an average yield in that 3 to 5% range and now you’re looking at yields in the 5 to 10% range,” Jenny Ma, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said by phone. “It has really widened out as far as the individual names go. And in some cases when you have REITs trading at yields in excess of 10%, and in some cases well in excess of 10%, then clearly the market is suggesting that the expectation is for a distribution cut.”Two REITs in the index with double-digit yields both have high exposure to retail. SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust is the landlord to many Walmart outlets and other big-box stores. H&R Real Estate Investment Trust owns retail, industrial and office properties across Canada; it yields more than 17% after a decline of 62% in the stock this year.Cash Flow TroubleIn normal times, falling interest rates are good for REIT shares. But the usual rules don’t apply: commercial property markets in major economies have frozen up as buildings that bustled with diners, shoppers and workers just weeks ago have gone quiet.This isn’t the first time Canadian REITs have hit a wall. Ma believes the global financial crisis in 2008-2009 taught them a valuable lesson that might help them now -- the wisdom of lower payout ratios.Real estate trusts that had strong growth in cash flow, and resisted the urge to pass all that growth to investors in higher dividends, might be a better position today than they were a decade ago, Ma said.What’s different this time around is whether tenants can pay their rent, something that wasn’t as much of an issue during the financial crisis.RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust will lose as much as one-quarter of its revenue in the next two months as retail tenants close their doors due to the coronavirus spread, Chief Executive Officer Ed Sonshine told Bloomberg News last month.Cominar REIT withdrew its 2020 forecast and suggested its retail unit, with heavy exposure to enclosed malls, will be materially affected.“It stands to reason that it’s hard to manage your cash flow if you’re not earning any more,” Ma said. “A lot of companies have been very good and said that they are going to pay their employees. They still have to pay their overhead costs and they have to pay their rent. So there’s a lot of questions as to what’s going to happen there.”Markets -- Just The NumbersChart of The WeekEconomy & PoliticsEconomists will be keeping an eye on March jobs data due April 9 after Bloomberg News reported that more than two million Canadians, making up about 11% of the labor force, applied for jobless claims since the start of nationwide lock downs last month to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Bank of Canada’s business outlook survey is expected on April 6 and March housing starts data is due on April 8.The cost of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s fiscal package to protect the economy from the impact of Covid-19 has hit about C$250 billion ($176 billion). One of the flagship programs, a plan to temporarily subsidize 75% of wages for Canadian workers, will cost C$71 billion, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said. Along with other measures such as a monthly C$2,000 benefit for affected workers, the government expects to spend C$105 billion on direct support for companies and households.TrendingInCanadaPrime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to work with Amazon.com Inc.’s Canadian unit to manage distribution of equipment to provinces and territories has faced backlash among Canadians who believe the nation’s postal service should be doing the job.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Why Shopify (TSX:SHOP) Stock Fell Over 10% Yesterday
    The Motley Fool

    Why Shopify (TSX:SHOP) Stock Fell Over 10% Yesterday

    Shares of Shopify (TSX: SHOP)(NYSE:SHOP) stock tumbled by more than 10% on April 2, even as other stocks in the TSX were making gains.The post Why Shopify (TSX:SHOP) Stock Fell Over 10% Yesterday appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

  • Newmont (NEM) Closes Divestment of Red Lake Complex for $375M
    Zacks

    Newmont (NEM) Closes Divestment of Red Lake Complex for $375M

    Newmont's (NEM) divestment of asset will support its capital allocation priorities.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Eli Lilly, Charter, Eaton, Autodesk and Cypress Semiconductor
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Eli Lilly, Charter, Eaton, Autodesk and Cypress Semiconductor

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Eli Lilly, Charter, Eaton, Autodesk and Cypress Semiconductor

  • USD/CAD Daily Forecast – Canadian Dollar Is Supported By Surging Oil Prices
    FX Empire

    USD/CAD Daily Forecast – Canadian Dollar Is Supported By Surging Oil Prices

    USD/CAD consolidates near 1.4150 as safe haven purchases of U.S. dollar are offset by the strength in the oil market.

  • Putin’s U.S. Virus Aid Flight May Have Carried Sanctioned Goods
    Bloomberg

    Putin’s U.S. Virus Aid Flight May Have Carried Sanctioned Goods

    (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin’s shipment of medical equipment to help the U.S. fight the coronavirus epidemic may have contained a hidden message from the Kremlin.Included in the aid appear to be ventilators produced by a firm under U.S. sanctions, according to video of the plane’s unloading at New York’s JFK airport posted by Russian state-owned news agency Ruptly.Among the boxes were Avanta M ventilators, produced by a subsidiary of KRET, which has been on the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals list since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. RBC newspaper first reported the connection.Even if the ventilators were not purchased directly from KRET, sanctions generally prevent importing anything that an SDN has a property interest in, according to Brian O’Toole, a former senior adviser in Treasury’s sanctions unit and now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.“This is another example of Putin playing the U.S.,” O’Toole said by phone. “While there are no real consequences for the government violating its own sanctions, it looks stupid for them to be breaking their own rules.”A spokeswoman for the KRET subsidiary, based near Yekaterinburg almost 900 miles east of Moscow, referred all questions to the Industry and Trade Ministry. The ministry did not respond to calls or an emailed query.While the aid was billed as a humanitarian shipment, the cost of the shipment was split evenly between U.S. companies and the Kremlin’s sovereign wealth fund. The Russian Direct Investment Fund is subject to sectoral sanctions, which prohibit it from most borrowing in the U.S. but don’t prevent it from doing business with American entities.Despite the tensions between Moscow and Washington, Putin and President Donald Trump enjoy a warm relationship. The leaders agreed on the aid during a March 30 phone call during which they also discussed the collapse of oil prices.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Facebook (FB) Launches Messenger for Windows and Mac Desktop
    Zacks

    Facebook (FB) Launches Messenger for Windows and Mac Desktop

    Facebook (FB) releases Messenger App For Windows and MacOS as usage of desktop browser increases 100% amid coronavirus-induced lockdown.

  • RingCentral Unveils Video Chat for Remote Workers Amid Lockdown
    Zacks

    RingCentral Unveils Video Chat for Remote Workers Amid Lockdown

    RingCentral's (RNG) latest launch of RingCentral Video is perfectly timed amid the coronavirus-led global lockdown, which will help it bank on the rising numbers of work-from-home employees.

  • Rescue Plan for U.S. Small Business Kicks Off Beset by Concerns
    Bloomberg

    Rescue Plan for U.S. Small Business Kicks Off Beset by Concerns

    (Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration’s $349 billion small-business rescue kicked off Friday surrounded by concerns about its ability to handle an expected flood of applications and deliver enough aid to mom-and-pop firms hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.Hours before the program started taking applications, lenders complained they lacked sufficient guidance from the Small Business Administration on how to process them. While new rules were issued late Thursday, it wasn’t clear how quickly lenders would be able to comply with them or how many would participate because of what some see as disadvantageous terms.Advocates for lenders and small businesses also expressed concern on the eve of the program’s launch that distributing the money will take far longer than the same-day processing promised early on by the Trump administration. And with demand expected to far outstrip available funding, mom-and-pop shops will be at risk of losing out.“There’s a sense of urgency that there’s not actually enough money in the loan fund for the number of people who actually are desperately in need of help right now,” said Amanda Ballantyne, executive director of Main Street Alliance, an advocacy group for small businesses. “Business owners are sort of scrambling to make sure they can get a spot in line.”The relief package for small businesses is a key piece in the $2 trillion stimulus package President Donald Trump signed on March 27 aimed at shoring up an economy that ground to a halt amid the coronavirus outbreak. The 30 million small businesses in the U.S. employ half of the private workforce and their collapse would have long-lasting effects across the country.Almost a quarter of them have already shut down temporarily in response to the virus, and 11% are on the verge of closing for good within the next month, according to a poll released Friday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. By one estimate, small businesses may need more than $1 trillion to replace lost revenue over the next three months -- about three times the current package.U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing Thursday night that Treasury and SBA officials including the agency’s new administrator Jovita Carranza have been working around the clock to flesh out the program guidelines with input from lenders.“This is an unprecedented effort by this administration to support small businesses, and we know that there will be challenges in the process,” Carranza said.Mnuchin announced at the briefing that the SBA would bump up to 1% the interest rate lenders may charge small businesses under the relief program after lenders complained that the previous rate of 0.5% was below their own cost of funds.In addition to drawing consternation from lenders and small business owners, the rollout is coming under fire from Republican Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas for what they said were restrictions on churches and religious non-profits.The relief package, called the Paycheck Protection Program, allows small businesses to apply for loans of as much as $10 million, with payments deferred for six months. The loans, which are guaranteed by federal government and don’t require collateral, will be forgiven if funds are used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utility payments for two months and if businesses retain and rehire employees.But lenders were still waiting for guidance -- which only arrived Thursday night -- on what documentation they needed from borrowers and other guidelines to process the loans, said Julie Huston, chief executive of lender Immito LLC in Denver and chairwoman of The National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, a trade association of banks and finance companies that make SBA loans.The banks will need time to review and implement the guidance and it isn’t clear whether enough lenders will sign on to the program to fill the need, Huston said.“How crazy is this?” said Robyn Schultz, who operates Quality Electric, a commercial light industrial electrical company based in Birmingham, Alabama, that her husband’s family has run for more than 50 years.“The government is issuing dates for people to apply, but the SBA doesn’t even have the guidelines,” said Schultz, who’d called her bank only to be told they needed more information and the local SBA office wasn’t able to help. “They can’t even tell you what you need to bring in to file the application.”Governments the world over are taking steps to shield small businesses. Those countries with a tradition of state-aid, such as those in Europe, have proved most successful so far in rolling out initiatives.In Germany, for instance, companies facing liquidity squeezes or whose income or capital have been eroded can ask for help from a state-run bank. In France, as of Thursday, 40,000 companies are benefiting from governments guarantees and have sought 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) of loans.A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters on Tuesday there could be millions of applications when the U.S. program goes live Friday. Individual restaurants and hotels that are part of large, multinational chains or owned by private-equity firms also will be able to take advantage of the program, which could squeeze out small businesses.Borrowers must submit a two-page application with approved lenders, who will register the loans with the SBA, verify eligibility and disburse funds on a first-come, first-served basis. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees can apply starting Friday, and independent contractors and the self-employed start April 10.“That doesn’t mean everybody is going to get their loan tomorrow, but the system will be up and running,” Mnuchin said at the White House briefing Thursday. He said he’ll ask Congress for more funding if the money runs out.Huston of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders estimated demand could be three times the available funds.Small businesses that have worked with the SBA in the past or have a disaster relief loan will have a “leg up” on other small businesses because they will have a track record with SBA preferred lenders, said Brian Crawford, executive vice president of government affairs for the American Hotel and Lodging Association.Due to the volume of applications likely to be processed, Frost Bank is making the loans available to existing business customers only, said Bill Day, senior vice president and communications chief.The size of the stimulus package is unprecedented for the SBA, which is on its third administrator under Trump and is already showing signs of strain in carrying out the task. In the past weeks, so many people tried to access an existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan program that SBA’s website failed repeatedly, Bill Koontz, an SBA spokesman in California, said late last week.Furthermore, Carranza, a former top adviser to Mnuchin, has been in the job for barely three months. The agency is seeking to boost employees and the White House is dispatching staff to help, according to people familiar with the matter.“I’m very concerned that the systems that are perfectly adequate for normal operations just won’t be able to handle this,” said Karen Mills, a former SBA administrator.(Updates with poll in sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump Push for OPEC+ Deal to Cut Oil Supply Draws Disbelief
    Bloomberg

    Trump Push for OPEC+ Deal to Cut Oil Supply Draws Disbelief

    (Bloomberg) -- With just one tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump conjured up the prospect of a global oil alliance to rescue the industry from the worst shock in history. The question is whether it evaporates just as quickly.After the president’s social-media intervention on Thursday, oil traders are frantically assessing whether Saudi Arabia, Russia and possibly even the U.S. -- the world’s three biggest producers -- are poised to strike a once-unthinkable grand bargain to cut daily supplies in unison by 10 million to 15 million barrels.It’s unclear whether it’s feasible -- or even legal -- for such a coalition to come together. Or indeed whether it would be enough to tame the tsunami of unwanted crude now bearing down on world markets, which could be two to three times bigger than the cut touted by Trump.“It’s too little, too late,” said Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc. “Cuts are required immediately, and unless they happen, the price is going to go down significantly and force them to happen.”There’s no doubt that the industry could benefit from some intervention. With global oil demand slashed roughly a third by the coronavirus pandemic, a gusher of surplus crude threatens to overwhelm the world’s storage tanks in a matter of months. The meltdown is exacerbated by the dispute between Moscow and Riyadh, prompting the Gulf kingdom to push unprecedented volumes of crude at customers in a tussle for market share.Texas Two-StepTrump’s claim that the two belligerents are ready to end their price war pushed the Brent crude price up by 21% on Thursday. The Saudis partially backed up their U.S. ally with a call for all producers to meet and stabilize the market. The global benchmark climbed further on Friday as OPEC+ prepared to hold an online meeting to discuss their plans next week.Yet the kingdom stopped well short of promising production cuts and maintained its insistence that any deal would require cooperation not just from fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their former ally in the Kremlin, but from all major producers including the U.S. itself. Russia was quick to deny any agreement had been reached.Texas, home to the nation’s shale-oil revolution, has shown some willingness to join in, with the head of the state’s regulator and some companies saying they should participate in production curbs.Trump’s tweet contained no such pledge. Still, a meeting between the president and several CEOs from oil majors scheduled for Friday is further fanning speculation that the White House is receptive to an even wider form of collaboration.Difficult DealThe deal between Riyadh and Moscow that created the OPEC+ group was a long time coming. It was only after two years of rock-bottom oil prices and several false starts that the alliance came together in late 2016. Even then, they were slow to boost crude prices and the group was dogged by accusations that some countries -- including Russia -- were reneging on their promises.Rebuilding the same alliance and adding even more producers into the pact would be a major challenge.“The more people are at the table, the more difficult it is to get a deal,” said Pierre Andurand, whose Andurand Commodities Discretionary Enhanced Fund soared more than 140% last month through bearish bets on crude. “I find it difficult to believe that a deal like that could be agreed quickly.”Even if political and industry leaders in the U.S. backed collaboration with OPEC in principle, operators in the U.S. shale patch would somehow need to parcel out their share of any collective cutback. American anti-trust laws, unless they were changed, would make any such effort fraught with legal risks.Nor is it certain that the Saudis and Russia are ready to heal their split. The two fell out last month when Riyadh failed to convince Moscow to cut production in response to the demand slump caused by the virus. Angered by the splintering of the coalition they’d led for three years, the kingdom responded with an aggressive supply surge to a record 12 million barrels a day and deep price cuts aimed at Russia’s traditional markets.The Saudis still appear to be adamant that all producers must play their part in eliminating the supply surplus. Russia, meanwhile, is holding to the view -- in public at least -- that production curbs are futile compared with the scale of demand destruction inflicted by widespread lockdowns to slow the virus.“It’s very clear that Saudi Arabia is maintaining its position,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultants Energy Aspects Ltd. said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “It will cut only if everyone else cuts.”(An earlier version corrected the name of a fund in the 12th paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • A Sliding Share Price Has Us Looking At Entergy Corporation's (NYSE:ETR) P/E Ratio
    Simply Wall St.

    A Sliding Share Price Has Us Looking At Entergy Corporation's (NYSE:ETR) P/E Ratio

    To the annoyance of some shareholders, Entergy (NYSE:ETR) shares are down a considerable 31% in the last month. Even...

  • Bloomberg

    Truckers Hauling Food Mean No Nation Is an Island

    (Bloomberg) -- Jack Fleming, chief executive of the U.K. trucking-logistics firm Chill-Chain, ditched the office recently and headed for a place where he knew he would find refrigerated lorries moving food during the coronavirus pandemic: Dover, England’s closest port to France.“I stood there with a notebook writing down all the fleets coming in,” says Fleming, who sent another member of his team to do the same at a key road crossing over the River Thames on the outskirts of London.Chill-Chain’s recon missions illustrate how the transportation industry is scrambling to keep food supplies stocked on grocery shelves. Across the globe, truckers are encountering delays along distribution chains snarled by the coronavirus pandemic.At a briefing Friday in Geneva, a United Nations spokesman said European shops and supermarkets generally have enough fruits and vegetables but cautioned that there will be more food-supply difficulties and price increases.For the U.K., truckers are a particularly important economic lifeline, and it doesn’t help that there was already a shortage of British heavy-goods vehicle drivers, estimated at around 60,000 last year by the Freight Transport Association — roughly one for every 1,100 residents. The dearth in haulage capacity has forced the U.K. government into changing its regulations, relaxing rules limiting drivers’ hours and temporarily lifting the requirement for existing truckers to retrain every five years.But how could there be a food truck shortage when so much industrial production is idle? Shifting freight capacity across industries is expensive and timely. On top of that, some fleets that are facing weak demand now are furloughing staff while others like supermarket suppliers are overbooked and even vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed.The situation may get worse as drivers fall ill. British importers are already struggling to find truckers and paying more when they do. According to Lee Stiles, secretary of the Lea Valley Growers Association, deliveries of fresh produce from farms in Spain cost an extra 2,000 pounds ($2,500) per trip due to a shortage of available drivers willing to take the journey with nothing to carry back.Richard Harrow, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation, said drivers getting sick are “high on everyone’s agenda” and he’s working with other labor associations to facilitate moving workers to the areas of supply chains most under pressure. Last week, his federation launched a plea for haulage firms with idle vehicles that can be re-appropriated to keep the food chain moving.If not, Fleming may need to make another run to Dover. “There will be another capacity crunch in the coming weeks as the capacity of road transport all across Europe gets eroded as drivers catch the virus,” he says.Charting the Trade TurmoilToday’s Must ReadsSupply scramble | U.S. demand for masks, gloves, face shields and body bags to help states deal with the  pandemic has outstripped the federal government’s ability to respond. Fear factor | Companies and governments are trying to strike a balance between worker confinement and productivity as timetables for factory shutdowns shift from weeks to months.  Inadequate and idle | India empowered almost 200 state-run and private labs to conduct virus of its dense population. Weeks into the outbreak, those labs are largely standing idle. Down the drain | With milk prices plunging to lows that haven’t been seen in nearly four years, American dairy cooperatives are dumping the product to reduce oversupply. Protecting the workforce | Lowe’s and Target are the latest U.S. retailers to say they will provide masks and gloves to employees in ramping up social-distancing measures. Purchasing power | Chewy Inc. is seeing a surge in online sales as new pet owners and existing customers stock up on supplies for their dogs, cats and other companions.Bloomberg AnalysisLow demand | South Korea’s exports show weakness in external demand. Medical stockpiles | Pandemic puts U.S. national security focus on biotech, health industries. Use the AHOY function to track global commodities trade flows. See BNEF for BloombergNEF’s analysis of clean energy, advanced transport, digital industry, innovative materials, and commodities. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • So This Is How the Tech Bubble Finally Ends: Fully Charged
    Bloomberg

    So This Is How the Tech Bubble Finally Ends: Fully Charged

    The tech bubble is popping, but not in the way anyone expected. After years of fretting that free-spending startups with unrealistic valuations would bring down the startup economy on its own, a global pandemic is doing it in instead.

  • A Sliding Share Price Has Us Looking At CDK Global, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:CDK) P/E Ratio
    Simply Wall St.

    A Sliding Share Price Has Us Looking At CDK Global, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:CDK) P/E Ratio

    Unfortunately for some shareholders, the CDK Global (NASDAQ:CDK) share price has dived 34% in the last thirty days...

  • Trump Eyes Global Oil Output Cut of 10 Million Barrels a Day
    Bloomberg

    Trump Eyes Global Oil Output Cut of 10 Million Barrels a Day

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump is trying to get the world to cut oil production by at least 10 million barrels a day in an effort to end a market-share war that sent crude prices plunging to the lowest levels in two decades.Trump shocked markets on Thursday by tweeting that he expected Russia and Saudi Arabia alone to cut about 10 million barrels -- or roughly a 10th of global petroleum, sending oil prices soaring. He later told reporters they could cut by as much as 15 million barrels.A person familiar with the discussion later said that Trump, after a call with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was hoping to get other oil market participants to contribute to the cut, too. A second person familiar with the situation said Trump’s goal is purely aspirational and will ultimately hinge on whether Saudi Arabia and Russia can reach a deal.In the latest twist on Friday, the OPEC+ coalition, which includes both Russia and the Saudis, was said to be making preparations for a meeting as early as next week.Saudi Arabia, which hasn’t voiced outright support for a cut, has been calling for such a meeting to discuss a “fair agreement.” The response signals the country will only cut output if others do so and raises the question of whether the Trump administration is willing to cap America’s own production to reach a global accord.Russia’s response has been arguably harsher. In his tweet, Trump said he had spoken to MBS, who had in turn spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the conversation hadn’t happened and confirmed that no production cut had been agreed to with the Saudis.An OPEC+ delegate familiar with the conversations similarly said Saudi Arabia and Russia had yet to agree to production cuts -- let alone their size. Any proposed curbs would be conditioned upon every other major oil producer also agreeing to reduce production, the person said, asking not to be named discussing diplomatic conversations.Meanwhile, Trump told reporters on Thursday that he expected a deal to be reached soon.“It would be great for Russia, it would be great for Saudi Arabia -- I hope they make that deal but that’s what they told me,” he said. “Can something happen where it doesn’t happen? I guess? In which case there’s another alternative, but I’d rather not see the other alternative.”Import TariffsThe White House has considered tariffs on foreign oil imports to protect U.S. producers, though the idea is opposed by some top Trump advisers led by Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, according to people familiar with the matter.Saudi Arabia wants countries that aren’t part of the OPEC+ alliance to join in any future pro-rationing. Although Riyadh hasn’t drawn up a formal list, in the past OPEC+ had invited big American oil producers, Brazil and Canada to its meetings. Both Canada and Brazil have previously declined.In a rare move for a state energy regulator, Ryan Sitton -- one of three commissioners at the Texas Railroad Commission that oversees the state’s powerful oil industry -- said on Twitter Thursday that he had discussed a 10 million-barrel-a-day cut to global supplies with Russia Energy Minister Alexander Novak and planned to speak with Saudi Arabia’s energy minister. Sitton has been pitching a plan for days that would have the U.S. and OPEC working to cut production together.The idea of a U.S. production cut, probably executed by capping exports, is also on the table at the White House, though many oil industry representatives have warned that the approach would cause the U.S. to cede the very “energy dominance” Trump has repeatedly celebrated.Export LimitsA chief argument is that dialing down U.S. production is not aligned with the president’s “America First” agenda, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing lobbying strategy. For his part, Trump said Thursday that he had not discussed the possibility of U.S. oil production cuts.“It’s not clear what mechanism the White House could use, and I don’t think a lot of the tools that have been publicly reported would have the effect of cutting production,” said Katie Bays, co-founder of Washington-based Sandhill Strategy LLC.Restricting exports would likely be the most effective method of scaling down U.S. production, she said. That, coupled with letting producers use the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve as oil storage, “would functionally seem to work for the next few months to take oil off the water,” Bays said.Internal ConfusionBefore Thursday, the U.S. president had signaled some ambivalence about the oil price war. He’s remarked that low prices at the pump for American consumers amounts to a tax cut, while also saying he didn’t want the U.S. shale drilling industry to collapse.Conflicting messages from the Trump administration -- the president has said he likes low gasoline prices, while Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and others have urged the Saudis to cut production -- have undermined the U.S. government’s leverage, one person familiar with the discussions said, asking not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.Read more: Why OPEC-Russia Blowup Sparked All-Out Oil Price War: QuickTakeThe White House had said that, in a call with Putin earlier this week, the two leaders agreed that “stability” was important for energy markets.Brent crude, the international benchmark, ended Thursday up 21% after Trump’s tweet. Prices slipped back Friday as doubts grew about the viability or such a deal, trading down 3.5% at $28.89 a barrel as 2:39 p.m. in Singapore.Trump is scheduled to speak with the leaders of U.S. oil producers and refiners on Friday. One industry executive said the president may have been motivated to remark on the surplus oil production because the U.S. is literally running out of physical space to store crude.“I think something like this was inevitable because there is nowhere to put the oil,” said Dan Eberhart, a Trump donor and chief executive of drilling services company Canary Drilling Services. “I think this is out of necessity, not out of gamesmanship.”(Updates with OPEC+ talks in fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of SNA earnings conference call or presentation 18-Apr-19 2:00pm GMT

    Q1 2019 Snap-On Inc Earnings Call

  • U.K.’s Sunak Expands Coronavirus Loan Program to Help More Firms
    Bloomberg

    U.K.’s Sunak Expands Coronavirus Loan Program to Help More Firms

    (Bloomberg) -- Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Friday will expand the U.K.’s program of loan guarantees for companies hit by the coronavirus outbreak, as he revealed firms have already benefited to the tune of more than 3.5 billion pounds ($4.3 billion).Responding to criticism that earlier measures omitted medium sized companies, Sunak is set to announce a new loan guarantee plan to benefit firms with an annual turnover of between 45 million pounds and 500 million pounds. He’ll also unveil changes to the program for small companies to address complaints that they were being forced to apply for loans on commercial terms before they could access the emergency funding.Bloombreg Economics Primer: Pandemic Will Push U.K. Into Deep RecessionTreasury officials are scrambling to save as many viable companies and jobs as they can to ensure the economy is well-placed to rebound from the economic downturn that’s expected to result from the pandemic. Sunak in March laid out four packages of measures to help companies and their employees weather the economic fallout and the government lockdown, and he’s now trying to perfect those measures.“This is a national effort, and we’ll continue to work with the financial services sector to ensure that the 330 billion pounds of government support, through loans and guarantees, reaches as many businesses in need as possible,” Sunak said late Thursday in a statement.Billions EarmarkedAlso on Friday, the Department for Transport announced 400 million pounds of funding to keep bus services running during the pandemic, ensuring doctors, nurses and other key workers can get to work. That included 167 million pounds of new funding that’s contingent on operators maintaining a certain level of service, as well as a guarantee that 200 million pounds of funding linked to fuel usage is still paid out, despite reduced services.Sunak’s total plans to date amount to more than 60 billion pounds ($75 billion) of direct aid – bigger than during the financial crisis a decade ago -- as well as 330 billion pounds of loan guarantees.Some 1.9 billion pounds of finance has already been provided to large companies under one guarantee program operated by the Bank of England, according to the Treasury. A further 1.6 billion pounds is due to go out by Monday.U.K.’s Faltering Economic Rescue Adds to Challenges for JohnsonUnder the guarantee program for smaller firms, some 90 million pounds worth of loans to nearly 1,000 companies has been approved by commercial banks since it became operational last week.Sunak is now extending the scope of that plan -- under which the government shoulders interest payments and fees for a year -- to include all small companies affected by the outbreak, and not just those that couldn’t obtain a loan on commercial terms. He also barred lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under 250,000 pounds, responding to another criticism that some banks required directors to personally guarantee any borrowings.The program for mid-sized companies is modeled on the one for smaller ones, but the government won’t pay interest and fees.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Service Sector PMI and U.S Nonfarm Payrolls Put the EUR and USD in the Spotlight
    FX Empire

    Service Sector PMI and U.S Nonfarm Payrolls Put the EUR and USD in the Spotlight

    Nonfarm payrolls and service sector PMIs are in focus today. With the West in shutdown mode, both labor market numbers and PMIs are expected to be dire…

  • Bloomberg

    Zoom Grapples With Security Flaws That Sour Users on App

    (Bloomberg) -- During the coronavirus pandemic, it seems as if everyone is connecting with Zoom’s videoconferencing app -- including, on occasion, unwanted visitors.Online trolls have been sneaking into web meetings and disrupting them with profanities and pornography for at least the better part of the last month. Cybersecurity researchers fear these disruptions could be a precursor to more harmful attacks allowing hackers to commandeer connected machines to access secure files or other corporate software.“Much of our current reality is unchartered territory, and this growing dependence on Zoom at home is just another one,” said Mark Ostrowski, regional head of engineering for Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. “As soon as a platform’s attack surface gets big enough, you can only expect that they’ll become more interesting to attackers. That’s what’s happened to Zoom.”In a Wednesday blog post, Zoom said that it takes security concerns “extremely seriously” and is working to address them. In addition, a Zoom representative said in an email that the company is upset about reports of harassment on Zoom and has sought to educate users about protecting meetings.Zoom also apologized, in another blog, for “the confusion we have caused by incorrectly suggesting that Zoom meetings were capable of using end-to-end encryption.” While the company strives to use encryption in as many scenarios as possible, “we recognize that there is a discrepancy between the commonly accepted definition of end-to-end encryption and how we were using it.”But there’s good news. Users don’t have to follow Elon Musk, whose SpaceX has banned the use of Zoom Video Communications Inc. amid privacy concerns.There are a few simple steps to host secure video meetings, according to security experts. For instance, ensure your meeting is password protected, and don’t share meeting IDs and passwords on social media, where criminal hackers may grab the credentials.Experts also recommend that meeting or classroom organizers take attendance and kick out unwanted visitors. Here are a few more tips:Use the waiting-room feature to screen meeting participants before allowing them to interact in the meeting room. This can be accessed by clicking on the settings tab and then the In Meeting (Advanced) option.Use conference IDs instead of links when inviting others to join. Links can be malicious and used to hack unsuspecting users.Don’t repeat meeting IDs to keep unwanted participants out of meetings.Apply scrutiny to links and documents, which can contain malicious code.When not using computer microphones and webcams, use blockers or covers, both of which can be purchased online.Zoom’s shares have more than doubled this year as investors bet that the teleconferencing company would be one of the rare winners from the coronavirus pandemic. The company has become wildly popular, reaching more than 200 million daily meeting participants in March, according to its blog. But it has also drawn increased scrutiny from cybersecurity and privacy experts.The most recent incident came on Monday when Patrick Wardle, principal security researcher at Jamf, published a blog about two new flaws in Zoom. If already infected with malware, the Mac OS desktop version could enable attackers to gain high-level privileges and hijack the webcam and microphone, he said. Zoom said it subsequently released fixes for the issues.Zoom appears to have been designed with security as an “afterthought,” Wardle said, adding that it was a common phenomenon among startups primarily focused on users and funding.But Zoom’s meteoric popularity has drawn additional scrutiny.“We did not design the product with the foresight that, in a matter of weeks, every person in the world would suddenly be working, studying, and socializing from home,” Zoom said in the blog post. The influx of new users has presented the company with “challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived” and that company “committed to learning from them and doing better in the future.”On March 30, the FBI issued a warning about so-called “zoom-bombing,” urging users not to make classes or meetings public or share links to teleconferences on social media.That same day, a Zoom user sued the company claiming its services were illegally disclosing personal information.The company collects information when users install or open the Zoom application and shares it, without proper notice, to third parties including Facebook Inc., according to the federal lawsuit. Yet Zoom’s privacy policy doesn’t explain to users that its app contains code that discloses information to others, according to the complaint.Zoom acknowledged that it shares data with Facebook in a blog post on March 27.In addition, New York State Attorney General Letitia James wrote a recent letter to Zoom that included “a number of questions to ensure the company will take appropriate steps to ensure users’ privacy and security is protected,” according to a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, who declined to share a copy of the letter.Concerns over Zoom’s security practices aren’t new. Last year, a researcher named Jonathan Leitschuh discovered that the desktop version of Zoom for Macs quietly installed a web server -- one that remained on systems even if the app was removed -- that presented a new way for hackers to access webcams, he said. Apple Inc. released an update in July that plugged the security hole.Holding Zoom’s “feet to the fire” around security and privacy amid the app’s new popularity will create incentives for the company to adapt, Leitschuh said in an interview.(Updates with details on encryption on fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Twitter (TWTR) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Twitter (TWTR) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Twitter (TWTR) closed the most recent trading day at $23.02, moving -1.29% from the previous trading session.