Explore/

Recent MACD Bullish Crosses

Recent MACD Bullish Crosses

3.90k followers30 symbols Watchlist by Yahoo Finance

Follow this list to discover and track stocks that have set MACD bullish crosses within the last week. A bullish crossover occurs when the MACD turns up and crosses above the signal line. Our algorithms use 12,26,9 as MACD parameters. This list is generated daily and ranked based on market cap. This list is generated daily, ranked based on market cap and limited to the top 30 stocks that meet the criteria.

30 symbols

  • Competition in retail has become a zero-sum game: Morning Brief
    Yahoo Finance

    Competition in retail has become a zero-sum game: Morning Brief

    Top news and what to watch in the markets on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

  • Jeffrey Gundlach Says ‘Mayor Pete Killed It’ at Democratic Debate
    Bloomberg

    Jeffrey Gundlach Says ‘Mayor Pete Killed It’ at Democratic Debate

    (Bloomberg) -- Count billionaire Jeffrey Gundlach among the finance-industry titans taking note of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.“Mayor Pete killed it tonight,” tweeted Gundlach, whose DoubleLine Capital oversees more than $140 billion, after Wednesday night’s Democratic debate.He joins fellow billionaire investors Paul Tudor Jones, Michael Novogratz and Blackstone Group Inc. Vice Chairman Tony James in showing support for -- or at least being impressed by -- the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, has said he likes Buttigieg even if he’s skeptical he can win, and Jones, founder of Tudor Investment Corp., has called the candidate “my man.”Buttigieg, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant once considered a long-shot candidate, is the emerging front-runner in Iowa, the first caucus state, with a 7 percentage-point lead over the pack, according to RealClear Politics. He received high marks for his debate performance in Atlanta on Wednesday as scrutiny increased along with his poll numbers.A moderate candidate such as Buttigieg may prove more enticing than progressives such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as Democratic voters seek a viable opponent to President Donald Trump in 2020, particularly among swing voters who will play a crucial role in the general election.Wall Street in particular has plenty of reason to be turned off by Democratic candidates on the far left. Sanders and Warren -- both of whom have spurned donations from private, large-dollar fundraisers -- have called for tighter bank regulations and higher taxes on the wealthy, and repeatedly attacked big financial firms and their executives, with billionaires Leon Cooperman and Lloyd Blankfein called out by name in a recent Warren campaign ad.Gundlach was among the few money managers to predict Trump’s victory in the 2016 election. These days, he frequently criticizes the president’s economic policies, such as driving up the federal deficit. Asked to elaborate on his post-debate tweet, Gundlach said it shouldn’t be read as a Buttigieg endorsement.“I have never endorsed a political candidate,” he said Thursday in an emailed statement. “I am not doing so now nor will I in the 2020 presidential race.”He has criticized the prospects for other Democratic candidates, including Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Wednesday’s tweet was Gundlach’s second favorable one about Buttigieg this month, though the last was more equivocal.“Mayor Pete is very smart,” Gundlach wrote on Nov. 7. “His Hunger Games ‘let them kill each other’ strategy is perfect. Can you name a single policy Pete’s advocating?”(Updates with Gundlach comments in seventh, eighth paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Amanda Gordon and Sonali Basak.To contact the reporter on this story: John Gittelsohn in Los Angeles at johngitt@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at smamudi@bloomberg.net, Daniel Taub, Alan GoldsteinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Pelosi, White House Seek USMCA Deal at Crucial Thursday Meeting
    Bloomberg

    Pelosi, White House Seek USMCA Deal at Crucial Thursday Meeting

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is meeting Thursday with President Donald Trump’s trade representative Robert Lighthizer, but she said even if they reach deal on the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, there might not be time to vote this year. “I’m eager to get this done,” Pelosi told reporters ahead of the meeting, while saying she won’t agree to a superficial deal without strengthened enforcement provision that would amount to “NAFTA with sugar on top.”Pelosi said that even if the administration agrees to changes sought by Democrats, the House may not have enough time to write and vote on the legislation before the end of December.Any verbal agreement would still need to be drafted into legislation, evaluated for its budget impact and considered in committee, she said. Changes in the text of the agreement would also need to be agreed to by Mexico and Canada.“We certainly have to make progress today,” she said.Republicans and the business community have increased pressure on Pelosi as they grow more concerned that pushing the vote into an election year will make it less likely to happen.“She’s always close to allowing a vote. Her conference is always almost there,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said of Pelosi on the Senate floor Wednesday. “But we’ve been almost there for months and months with no outcome in sight. Lots of talk; zero results.”Pelosi’s spokesman Henry Connelly shot back on Twitter that Democrats were trying to make the deal enforceable in order to improve conditions for U.S. workers.“Senator McConnell would prefer to lock workers into a weak trade deal that lets big corporations keep outsourcing American jobs,” he tweeted.To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Schwab-Ameritrade Faces Tough Antitrust Scrutiny, Analysts Say
    Bloomberg

    Schwab-Ameritrade Faces Tough Antitrust Scrutiny, Analysts Say

    (Bloomberg) -- A potential acquisition of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. by Charles Schwab Corp. may draw fierce antitrust scrutiny, analysts said.Shares of the two companies rallied on Thursday, with Schwab rising as much as 14% and TD Ameritrade jumping as much as 26%. Even with such a gain, TD Ameritrade shares would still fail to return to levels they’d traded at earlier this year, before a wave of commission cuts roiled the industry. Other companies in the space didn’t fare as well on Thursday, with E*Trade Financial Corp. tumbling as much as 10% as hopes for a deal for that company faded.Here’s a sample of some of the latest commentary:UBS, Brennan HawkenThe very large and surprising deal “carries a lot of execution risk,” particularly regarding legal and regulatory issues, Hawken warned in a note.Hurdles include the “size the combined entity would represent in the discount brokerage space,” even if regulators were to take into account full-service wealth management firms like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp., he said. Schwab cutting commissions and then bidding for its “most hindered” competitor might also draw legal challenges and further anti-competitive scrutiny, Hawken said.Hawken added that E*Trade was “left out in the cold,” and appears vulnerable as it had begun to reflect an M&A premium and the Schwab-Ameritrade tie-up would reduce the number of potential buyers.BofA, Michael CarrierTD Ameritrade’s relationship with holder Toronto-Dominion Bank “creates some complications,” Carrier wrote, including “dis-synergies and a bit tougher regulatory approvals.”Carrier expects merger discussions and activity in the sector in the near term, which is likely to benefit online broker stocks. He sees the Schwab-Ameritrade deal making “strategic sense” as the two have similar business models, particularly regarding retail and registered investment adviser, or RIA, platforms, and TD Ameritrade lacks a permanent CEO.Most firms in the sector, including E*Trade, will likely conduct merger talks given the “pressures on the business, this transaction, game theory, as well as the attractive synergies and accretion,” he said. Shares of companies that get left out may face pressure.KBW, Kyle VoigtThe deal “makes strong strategic sense and provides room for revenue and cost synergies, but a key focus for investors will be the potential for antitrust hurdles,” KBW’s Voigt wrote.Schwab is the number one player in the RIA business, followed by Fidelity, he said, and may hold about half of the market share of RIA custody assets, while TD Ameritrade may have around 15% to 20%. He flagged E-Trade, Fidelity and larger bank brokers like BofA and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the self-directed retail asset space.Voigt expected E*Trade might drop “meaningfully,” as TD Ameritrade and Schwab were the two most likely acquirers and the stock may have been the “most crowded long in the space, mostly on a takeout potential.”Cowen, Jaret Seiberg“We expect antitrust regulators will approve this deal though it could take until summer,” Seiberg wrote. He sees the biggest risks as “political push-back during the election and a bigger spotlight on payment for order flow.”He noted the deal would come as “intense competition is driving down costs for consumers without apparent harm to the fiscal health of the industry.” Though antitrust regulators “will ask lots of questions and demand significant analysis to ensure the merger does not disrupt this ideal state,” they’ll probably okay the transaction as they’ll have a hard time proving it will harm consumers.Cowen sees no risk of approval going past the 2021 inauguration and becoming an issue for a new administration if President Donald Trump doesn’t win. However, he added that it’s easy to see how the deal might get drawn into an “anti-big business campaign” among Democratic candidates including Senator Elizabeth Warren. “No company wants to become the target of political attacks especially from a potential new president,” he said.Vital Knowledge, Adam CrisafulliNews of Schwab potentially buying TD Ameritrade may weigh on some asset managers as the combined company would be able to exert even more pressure on industry fees, Crisafulli wrote.Bloomberg Intelligence, David Ritter“A sale to Schwab makes strategic sense for TD Ameritrade, but the reported price -- essentially the level before online brokers adopted free stock commissions in October -- indicates the industry’s difficult revenue outlook. TD Bank, owner of more than 40% of Ameritrade, likely endorsed the deal.”National Bank, Gabriel DechaineA Schwab deal to acquire TD Ameritrade may be helpful for Toronto-Dominion Bank’s long-term U.S. strategy, according to Dechaine.Toronto-Dominion may end up with 10% to 15% stake in the combined entity, assuming an “all-stock transaction and no additional deal twists,” he said in a note to clients.“Assuming a smaller stake in a bigger player situation, TD could have a more liquid asset that it could potentially sell to finance a future U.S. regional bank acquisition,” Dechaine said. “As such, it would make it easier for TD to make future acquisitions accretive.”\--With assistance from Doug Alexander and Joshua Fineman.To contact the reporter on this story: Felice Maranz in New York at fmaranz@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Divya BaljiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Brexit Bulletin: Can Corbyn Win?
    Bloomberg

    Brexit Bulletin: Can Corbyn Win?

    Days to General Election: 21(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.Today on the campaign trail: Labour takes aim at bankers and billionaires — and keeps mostly quiet on Brexit.What’s happening? Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pulled no punches as he presented the U.K. with the most radical plan for government since 1983, when the party suffered its worst post-war election defeat.Labour plans to nationalize Britain’s railways, water supply and broadband infrastructure. The government’s total tax revenue would increase by around 10%, funding pay hikes for public-sector workers, free university tuition, free care for the elderly and many other goodies.Sensing that the nation is weary of Brexit, Corbyn kept mentions of it to a minimum. He insists he could negotiate a close relationship with the European Union within three months, a plan Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls unrealistic. But Corbyn’s proposal is no more implausible than Johnson’s promise to negotiate and sign an advanced free-trade arrangement by the end of 2020.Labour believes voters are ready to pay for things to get better. Corbyn reckons Britons are tired of creaking infrastructure, of stepping over homeless people, of waiting for hospital treatment, and of underfunded schools. Or, rather, ready for someone else to pay for things to get better: The tax increases are carefully aimed at companies and the wealthy.Is he right? Labour’s 1983 manifesto was dubbed “the longest suicide note in history” by one of the party’s own lawmakers. Nevertheless, public perception mattered more that year: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was riding high on victory in the Falklands War; Labour’s Michael Foot struggled to shrug off the memory of strikes under the previous Labour government.Today was a dream come true for activists in the room. Labour has a long tradition of accusing its leaders of betraying the beliefs of the party. But today no one was telling members to rein in their ambitions.Labour is offering plenty of things that will look attractive to plenty of people. Ultimately Corbyn’s success or failure will depend on whether voters look at him and see a potential prime minister who could plausibly get any of them done. And there, polls have him struggling.Today’s Must-ReadsBloomberg’s Greg Ritchie runs through the key proposals in Labour’s manifesto, from Brexit to billionaires, transport, taxation, the NHS, climate and more. Boris Johnson is getting a free pass on Brexit during this election campaign — and if he wins, his deal will sail through Parliament with minimal serious scrutiny, Therese Raphael writes for Bloomberg Opinion. Everyone in the U.K. needs to pay more tax. There can be no relying simply on others to pay a larger share, argues Chris Giles in the Financial Times.Brexit in BriefHitting the Ceiling | Bets on a strong pound are getting in the way of a strong pound. Sterling’s recent good run may have reached a ceiling because traders are already positioned for a boost in the months to come.In Debt | U.K. government borrowing is on the rise even before the spending taps open post-election. The budget deficit in the first seven months of the fiscal year came to £46.3 billion ($60 billion), 10% higher than a year earlier. The shortfall in October alone widened to a larger-than-forecast £11.2 billion, the most for the month since 2014.War Chest | Johnson’s Conservative Party brought in almost £5.7 million in donations larger than £7,500 during the first week of the election campaign, the Electoral Commission said. That’s much more its key rivals: The Liberal Democrats received donations worth £275,000, the Brexit Party £250,000 and Labour a total of £218,500 in the week of Nov. 6 to Nov. 12.Immobile | Britain has become much less socially mobile in recent decades, especially in areas that voted for Brexit in 2016, according to a new report by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.Changing Times | Labour has held the northern English seat of Great Grimsby for 74 years, yet could be on the brink of defeat there. The Economist visited the historic fishing port and concluded that if the Conservatives win, it will signify a realignment of British politics.Embattled Bus | The Conservative Party banned a reporter from the Daily Mirror, a tabloid newspaper that backs Labour, from its campaign “battle bus.” Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, called the move an “appalling” decision.Finally, an Answer | Corbyn is the cover star on this week’s edition of the Evening Standard’s ES magazine. Teasing their big interview, the Standard posted a video of Corbyn answering rapid-fire questions. And he gave a definitive answer on Brexit. “Leave or Remain?” asked the Standard. “Both,” came the answer. Glad that’s sorted.Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter, and listen to Bloomberg Westminster every weekday. It’s live at midday on Bloomberg Radio and is available as a podcast too. Share the Brexit Bulletin: Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For full EU coverage, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Adam Blenford at ablenford@bloomberg.net, Lisa FleisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump Pledged to Help Small Farms, But Aid Is Going to Big Ones
    Bloomberg

    Trump Pledged to Help Small Farms, But Aid Is Going to Big Ones

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. With agriculture caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war, Donald Trump promised he would help embattled small farmers. So far though, big farms have been the main beneficiaries of the billions being distributed in aid payments.Half of the Trump administration’s latest trade-war bailout for farmers went to just a 10th of recipients in the program, according to an analysis of payments by an environmental organization. The study showed that the main recipients have been skewed toward larger operations and wealthier producers.The top 1% of beneficiaries from the trade aid received 13% of the money distributed in the first round of payments under this year’s Market Facilitation Program, with an average payment of more than $177,000. But the bottom 80% of recipients received an average payment of $5,136, according to the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.The group’s funders include foundations and companies, including organic-food producers such as Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley.The analysis echoes the findings of an assessment of last year’s trade aid payment that also found benefits were titled toward large farms. That’s likely to stoke criticism of the cost of the $28 billion bailout and accusations of inequities.Senate Democrats earlier this month issued a report arguing Trump’s trade aid favors Southern farmers at the expense of their counterparts in the Midwest and Northern Plains, growers of cotton over soybeans, and large producers over smaller ones.“America’s farm safety-net is broken,” Anne Weir Schechinger, a senior analyst with Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. “Instead of helping small farmers that have been hurt by the Trump administration’s trade war, Trump’s Agriculture Department is wantonly distributing billions of taxpayer dollars to the largest and wealthiest farms.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement earlier this month, the agency defended the program against charges of inequities saying the payment formula is “based on trade damage, not based on region or farm size.”The Trump administration announced an additional $16 billion round of trade aid for farmers this year as the trade dispute with China drags on. That’s on top of a $12 billion pledge in 2018.This year’s payments are being made in three tranches. The Environmental Working Group analysis looked at payments made in the first tranche, from Aug. 19 through Oct. 31, totaling about $6 billion. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced earlier this month the USDA would proceed with a second tranche of aid payments this year, beginning before Thanksgiving.To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Dorning in Washington at mdorning@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Millie Munshi, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Twitter Says It Will Let All Users Hide Replies to Tweets
    Bloomberg

    Twitter Says It Will Let All Users Hide Replies to Tweets

    (Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. said it will start letting all users hide replies to the tweets they send, an effort to improve the health of discussions and interactions on the service.The company has been testing the feature since summer in different markets, including the U.S. and Japan, but is now rolling it out globally. The tool lets users hide specific comments made on their posts, meaning those comments won’t be visible to other users unless they click a button to reveal them. The change provides a degree of control that could be used to keep spammers away, or to hide hateful or inappropriate replies.“Everyone should feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter,” the San Francisco-based company wrote in a blog post Thursday. “To make this happen, we need to change how conversations work on our service.”To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Adobe Adds Features to iPad Photoshop App After Early Criticism
    Bloomberg

    Adobe Adds Features to iPad Photoshop App After Early Criticism

    (Bloomberg) -- Adobe Inc. said new features are coming to its Photoshop for iPad application, responding to criticism that the first version lacked basic functions users expected would be retained from the desktop model of the best-selling image-editing software.The company said Thursday that before the end of the year it would add a Select Subject mode, which uses artificial intelligence to automatically identify and select a subject in an image, and an upgraded version of the Cloud documents function, which synchronizes Photoshop files between the desktop and iPad apps. In the first half of 2020, Photoshop for iPad will get support for Curves, which adjusts the color of an image, and improvements to layers, brush sensitivity, the ability to rotate the canvas and integration with the Lightroom app, the company said in a blog post.Adobe didn’t address other missing elements that users have complained about, including RAW image editing and smart objects. Bloomberg News reported earlier this year that beta testers of Photoshop for iPad said the app was far more watered down than expected.Earlier this month, Scott Belsky, chief product officer of Adobe’s Creative Cloud division, tweeted about the “painful” early reviews for a product his team has worked on for years. Right now in Apple’s App Store, Photoshop for iPad has a user review rating of two of five stars.Adobe is trying to move its most successful software franchises to mobile devices as a way to boost revenue and maintain its stature as the world’s largest maker of creative software. The San Jose, California-based company also recently said it will bring Illustrator to the iPad in 2020.While the apps cater to creative professionals seeking the ability to work on the go, Adobe also is trying to expand the appeal of its photo-editing and illustration software to hobbyists.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in San Francisco at mgurman1@bloomberg.net;Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    PayPal Slips as Wall Street Questions Benefits of Honey Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- PayPal Holdings Inc. fell as much as 1.9% early Thursday after the payments company said it will acquire online coupon site Honey Science Corp. for about $4 billion, its largest-ever acquisition. Some analysts praised the deal’s strategy and growth potential, but others flagged the steep price and wondered whether Honey was the best M&A target for PayPal.Here’s a sample of the latest commentary:SunTrust, Andrew JeffreyJeffrey in a note recommended that investors stay on the sidelines as “this is not the deal PayPal needs to secure its position among premium valued network stocks.”Instead, SunTrust views Honey as a “sort of ‘shoot-the-moon’ attempt to more deeply entrench PayPal in the consumer e-commerce experience while also bolstering its merchant value proposition. Unfortunately for investors, the company is paying a large premium, in our opinion, for an unproven solution which does little to advance its ability to monetize beyond e-commerce.”Though PayPal can probably “elegantly integrate Honey into its core app and Venmo,” it may not “significantly advance the company’s market share amid rising competition,” he said. The deal also “does nothing to extend PayPal’s physical world reach, where 85%-plus of all transaction volume occurs.” Jeffrey did flag one positive: Honey is a small acquisition relative to PayPal’s market cap, which may limit downside risk. He rates shares hold, with a price target of $105.Raymond James, John Davis“While the strategic rationale makes a great deal of sense as it touches both the consumer and merchant side of PayPal’s platform and the cross sell opportunities are significant, it certainly didn’t come cheap,” Davis wrote. “Any way you slice it, $4 billion is a lot to pay for a company making little to no money.” Rates shares outperform, with a target price of $122.MoffettNathanson, Lisa EllisThe acquisition is “strategically attractive” for PayPal, as it’s imperative for the firm to strengthen its network by enhancing merchant and consumer value propositions as the “wallet wars” wage on, Ellis wrote in a note.Buying Honey is “well aligned with this critical strategic priority,” as Honey’s tools will strengthen PayPal’s suite of merchant services while integrating Honey’s services into PayPal and Venmo apps will boost consumer engagement, she said.Ellis views the $4 billion price as “consistent with comps for other small, high growth firms in payments and tech,” like PayPal’s iZettle deal. She rates shares buy, with a target price of $135.BofA, Jason KupferbergKupferberg views the deal as “strategically compelling” as PayPal can leverage the high-growth asset to “generate meaningful revenue synergies over time.” That’s even as the $4 billion value “represents a steep revenue multiple,” he said.The purchase also “represents a new breed of acquisition,” he added, as PayPal has in the past mostly acquired payments companies but now seeks to go “deeper into the e-commerce ecosystem by moving up to the front-end of the shopping experience as opposed to being on the back-end at checkout.” He flagged that Honey is working with 30,000 merchants including Expedia, Macy’s, Priceline and Sephora.Kupferberg expects PayPal will update its outlook on its fourth-quarter earnings call in January to include Honey. He doesn’t see the proposed deal changing the company’s capital allocation policy, as PayPal “has the balance sheet flexibility for continued share repurchases and additional M&A.” Keeps buy rating, target $127.(Updates share trading in first paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Felice Maranz in New York at fmaranz@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Steven Fromm, Janet FreundFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Selling a Truck to Detroit’s Loyal Owners May Be Tesla’s Toughest Challenge Yet
    Bloomberg

    Selling a Truck to Detroit’s Loyal Owners May Be Tesla’s Toughest Challenge Yet

    (Bloomberg) -- A year before Elon Musk was ready to unveil Tesla’s first pickup model, the chief executive officer was setting a low bar for the amount of demand it will draw. Dig into the dynamics of the fiercely competitive and tough-to-crack U.S. truck market, and it’s easy to see why.Japanese automakers have spent two decades and billions of dollars trying to get in on the big pickup gravy train. But 20 years after Toyota first started making the Tundra, Detroit brands continue to crush the competition, controlling almost 92% of the half-ton truck segment, according to IHS Markit. Customers who own Ram pickups are more loyal than owners of any other model line in the U.S., the researcher says, and brand loyalty to Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet isn’t far behind.Late Thursday, Musk will start his ascent up arguably the toughest hill Tesla has tried to climb yet with the debut of Cybertruck. He cautioned in November of last year that he wasn’t sure if a lot of people will buy the pickup and in June said the design won’t be for everyone. The comments contrast starkly with the bold predictions the billionaire has made about how many Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers his company will manage to sell in the coming years.“An electric pickup truck needs to meet the needs and capabilities of current pickup trucks and deliver a little bit more,” Stephanie Brinley, an IHS Markit analyst, said by phone. “A traditional pickup-truck buyer may consider electric, but they are not going to give up on capability.”Detroit automakers aren’t waiting for Musk to take the wraps off his truck before starting to talk a little trash. Thirteen months after the Tesla boss tweeted that his pickup will boast 300,000 pounds of towing capacity, Ford released a video of an electric F-150 prototype dragging 1 million pounds of double-decker rail cars. Ahead of this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, the vice president of marketing for General Motors’ GMC brand doubted Tesla’s pickup will be in the same league.“I suspect price-wise there might be some similarities, but I think in terms of size and capabilities, there might be a difference,” GMC’s Phil Brook said in an interview. “People who buy our trucks, they are very proud of the fact that they’ll take their trucks anywhere, they’ll get them dirty, then they’ll wash them out and go to a five-star restaurant for dinner. So they’re not people who just drive them around and want to look good.”On a RollMusk told a Tesla enthusiast podcast earlier this year that he wants his truck to start at less than $50,000. Not all of his comments about the pickup have moderated expectations: During an October earnings call, he declared it will be the company’s “best product ever.”Tesla shares have been on a roll since that quarterly report, surging 42% on optimism the company can produce profits on a more sustainable basis. But it’s unclear how soon the new truck will contribute to those efforts. The Model Y crossover is scheduled to launch next summer, and limited production of the Semi truck is planned for next year. Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, expects Tesla to begin building the pickup in late 2020 or early 2021.Tesla shares rose 1.7% to $358.06 as of 9:43 a.m. Thursday in New York.Tesla probably won’t have the electric-truck market to itself for long, if at all. Amazon-backed Rivian Automotive plans to launch its R1T pickup late next year. Ford has vowed to start selling hybrid-electric and battery-electric versions of the F-150 starting in 2020, and GM has committed to producing plug-in pickups at a plant it had been planning to shutter in the Detroit area.Battery prices will have to drop significantly for electric trucks to reach parity with combustion engine-powered pickups, according to Dan Levy, an analyst at Credit Suisse.“Given electrification cost constraints and customer preferences, we expect the large-truck segment will be among the last segments to see an inflection in volumes toward electrification,” Levy wrote in a report this week. He assumes Tesla will be selling about 50,000 pickups by 2025, compared with roughly 300,000 Model 3 and 400,000 Model Y.One obstacle that shouldn’t be overlooked is the tough time Tesla has had operating in truck country. Texas, which bars manufacturers from selling vehicles direct to consumers, is the top state for U.S. registrations of half-ton pickups, according to IHS. The state’s share of the nationwide total this year through September -- 14% -- is more than double the runner-up, Michigan, which also has a ban.‘Blade Runner’Tesla’s Thursday night event bookends the press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show, where Ford generated buzz with the debut of the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. But seeking attention of his own wasn’t the only motivation for Musk to stage his truck reveal now and near the show. When announcing the date and locale, he joked on Twitter they were “strangely familiar” and shared a link to the opening credits and scene of the 1982 film “Blade Runner,” which was set in November 2019. He had referenced the movie before as inspiration for the pickup’s futuristic design.“Musk has indicated it ‘looks like an armored personnel carrier from the future,’ from the set of Blade Runner, and is ‘unrecognizable from the trucks from the past 20-40 years,’ which we think could carry the risk of not attracting traditional pickup buyers, leaving it a lower-volume niche product,” Emmanuel Rosner, a Deutsche Bank analyst, wrote in a report this week. Investors will want to know more about production timing, increased capital-spending requirements and where Tesla will build the truck, he said.Musk is scheduled to begin making remarks around 8 p.m. local time at Tesla’s design center in Hawthorne, California.(Updates with Thursday opening shares in ninth paragraph)\--With assistance from Keith Naughton.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, ;Chester Dawson at cdawson54@bloomberg.net, Melinda GrenierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Factors Setting the Tone for Cracker Barrel (CBRL) Q1 Earnings
    Zacks

    Factors Setting the Tone for Cracker Barrel (CBRL) Q1 Earnings

    Cracker Barrel's (CBRL) first-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings are likely to have driven by robust comparable restaurant sales growth.

  • Jack in the Box (JACK) Q4 Earnings Meet, Revenues Miss Mark
    Zacks

    Jack in the Box (JACK) Q4 Earnings Meet, Revenues Miss Mark

    Jack in the Box (JACK) results in fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 gain from average check and transactions growth.

  • Bloomberg

    Google’s Micro-Targeting Ban Won’t Improve Political Ads

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Google says it will limit the targeting of political ads to make it harder to sneak misinformation to impressionable voters. That puts the company ahead of the pack when it comes to making the political business of big internet platforms look less threatening. But the efficiency of political micro-targeting is questionable, and Google is responding to a moral panic rather than any real danger to democracy.Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the public has become aware of techniques that allow advertisers to aim their messages at narrow groups of people, sliced not just by place of residence, age and sex, but also by consumer and political preferences, browsing histories, voting records and other kinds of personal data. This culminated in the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, when news reports showed that the U.K.-based micro-targeting firm had improperly harvested lots of private user data from Facebook. The platforms were on the spot to do something. Twitter has banned political ads entirely, but then it didn’t sell many, anyway, serving instead as a free platform for political messages. In an op-ed in the Washington Post following Twitter’s announcement, Ellen Weintraub, chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission, called for an end to political micro-targeting instead of an ad ban. “It is easy to single out susceptible groups and direct political misinformation to them with little accountability, because the public at large never sees the ad,” she argued.That was a controversial proposal. Writing in the same newspaper, Chris Wilson, who had been responsible for digital strategy in Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign (which was the first in that election to hire Cambridge Analytica), countered that micro-targeting has helped increase voter turnout and drive down advertising costs for campaigns. His suggestion was to make the targeting more transparent.Google, however, found it more expedient to go along with Weintraub’s proposal than to fight an uphill battle using Wilson’s arguments. In a blog post on Wednesday, the company said it would no longer let advertisers target messages “based on public voter records and general political affiliations (left-leaning, right-leaning, and independent).” Only basic targeting by age, gender and postal code would be allowed.This, is course, is no more than Russian trolls would have required in 2016 — as Wilson pointed out in his Washington Post op-ed. Their propaganda campaign was largely geographically targeted. There’s still no proof that micro-targeting is more effective than other forms of advertising. Academic work on the subject has tended to be rather theoretical, while experimental evidence is scarce. In a paper published this year, German researcher Lennart Krotzek concluded after an experiment matching ads to personality profiles that “candidate messages are more effective in improving a voter’s feeling toward a candidate when the messages are congruent with the voter’s personality profile, but they do not result in a higher propensity to vote for the advertised candidate.”Internet platforms have done little to further the study of political targeting.Google offers a transparency report on political ads placed on its various properties — search pages, YouTube, the sites of media partners. It says that the biggest U.S. advertiser in the last 12 months is the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which has spent $8.5 million. The report discloses that the pro-Trump group has targeted its most recent ads at all people older than 18 throughout the U.S., but offers no clues as to whether any more precise targeting was used. That’s the case with the rest of the advertisers, too.Facebook’s transparency report is just as opaque when it comes to the precise targeting of ads by voters’ interests and political leanings.  It’s easier for Google than for Facebook to abandon precise targeting, because one of its key strengths is being able to link ads to search words. That’s a form of rather precise targeting not affected by Google’s policy change. Slicing and dicing the audience is at the heart of Facebook’s offering to advertisers, so it’s understandably hesitant to disable the feature, thought it, too, has been mulling some targeting curbs.But Facebook doesn’t have to make the sacrifice. It would make more sense to reveal exactly how each political ad is targeted — and to cooperate with researchers interested in evaluating the ads’ efficiency. Facebook has the means to deliver messages from such researchers to the target audiences, which would help them recruit subjects for experiments. Google should have done the same instead of introducing drastic curbs that probably won’t do much to raise the level of political discourse, anyway. Policymakers need data, not hype, to make informed decisions on how to regulate modern advertising.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Why Is Chipotle (CMG) Down 1.6% Since Last Earnings Report?
    Zacks

    Why Is Chipotle (CMG) Down 1.6% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Chipotle (CMG) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • RUTH or CMG: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?
    Zacks

    RUTH or CMG: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

    RUTH vs. CMG: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

  • Kenya Central Bank Increases Capital as State Demands More Cash
    Bloomberg

    Kenya Central Bank Increases Capital as State Demands More Cash

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterKenya’s central bank increased its authorized and paid-up capital amid demands by the government that state-owned corporations remit more dividends to its coffers.The central bank strengthened its paid-up capital by 75% to 35 billion shillings ($345.3 million) in September from 20 billion shillings, having increased authorized capital to 50 billion shillings from 5 billion shillings, the lender said on its Twitter account.The statement follows acting Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani‘s comments to lawmakers on Tuesday that he expected 78.7 billion shillings in dividends from state corporations, including the central bank, to help finance a widening budget deficit. The state closed the past fiscal year with 94 billion shillings of unpaid bills, he said.The Central Bank of Kenya transferred 4 billion shillings to the state’s Consolidated Fund on Sept. 16 after its board considered the “financial needs with the objective of ensuring the central bank is well-resourced to deliver on its mandate.”The retained cash will be spent on modernizing its facilities, issuing new banknotes and strengthening its financial position to withstand shocks, it said.To contact the reporter on this story: Helen Nyambura in Nairobi at hnyambura@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at dmalingha@bloomberg.net, Hilton Shone, Michael GunnFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Yes, You Can Time the Market. Find out How - November 21, 2019
    Zacks

    Yes, You Can Time the Market. Find out How - November 21, 2019

    Have you ever dreamed of being that one in a million investor who has the talent to perfectly time the markets?

  • PayPal Acquires Honey Science, Boosts E-commerce Presence
    Zacks

    PayPal Acquires Honey Science, Boosts E-commerce Presence

    PayPal Holdings (PYPL) acquires a private e-commerce company, Honey Science, for approximately $4 billion.

  • Bets on a Strong Pound Are Getting in the Way of a Strong Pound
    Bloomberg

    Bets on a Strong Pound Are Getting in the Way of a Strong Pound

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Investor optimism on the pound hasn’t been this high for quite some time, yet that may have landed the currency in something of a Catch-22.Unlikely as it sounds, one reason why sterling is struggling to extend October’s sizzling run is probably an overwhelmingly bullish option-market bias.For one, traders already positioned for a stronger U.K. currency via derivatives may wait to get past the uncertainty around the Dec. 12 election before adding to allocations. Also, investors long on options tend to sell the currency in the spot market every time it rallies, in order to protect the value of their contracts -- a practice known as delta hedging.Option bets for a stronger pound have climbed to levels unseen earlier this year after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s success last month in securing a Brexit deal and winning preliminary approval from lawmakers. Demand for vanilla sterling calls now outweighs that for puts by 50% since October, after remaining almost perfectly balanced on average through the first nine months of the year, data from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation show.The median forecast of strategists for sterling’s year-end level has jumped almost 6% from October’s lows to $1.29, according to Bloomberg surveys. The currency was around $1.2940 Thursday, little changed in November after last month’s 5.3% gain that was the biggest since 2009.To be sure, the pound’s listlessness also has a more straightforward reason -- the currency has already had a stellar rally of more than 8% from September’s three-year low, and that means most short-term traders are probably satisfied with returns for now.While the fear of a no-deal Brexit has faded, some analysts remain concerned that a floundering U.K. economy and the prospect of fraught trade talks with the European Union could rein in the pound. The risks surrounding next month’s vote -- particularly the prospect of a hung parliament or a coalition led by the Labour Party -- are also seen as headwinds for the currency.Still, most potential election outcomes point to a stronger sterling -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees a rally of almost 8% in 2020 on the prospect of a win for the ruling Conservative Party that would put an end to the Brexit deadlock. However, for any significant gains to materialize, some of the outstanding options need to expire or be rolled over to make room for fresh momentum to emerge. Thursday alone, 3.38 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) are due to expire at strike prices ranging from $1.2945 to $1.3000.NOTE: Vassilis Karamanis is an FX and rates strategist who writes for Bloomberg. The observations he makes are his own and are not intended as investment adviceTo contact the reporter on this story: Vassilis Karamanis in Athens at vkaramanis1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at delbaltaji@bloomberg.net, Anil Varma, Neil ChatterjeeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Disney: Streaming Hero or Supervillain?
    Bloomberg

    Disney: Streaming Hero or Supervillain?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The latest buzz in Hollywood is that the U.S. Justice Department wants to abolish an outdated rule known as the Paramount consent decree, which would allow studio giants to own movie theaters — something that hasn’t been permitted since the 1940s. My first thought was that it's a bit of a nothingburger. Studios like Warner Bros. and Universal probably aren’t eager to scoop up debt-laden cinema operators when their top priority is investing in streaming-TV content and services. And while mom-and-pop theaters may fear the change will breed anti-competitive behavior, that’s not as big of a concern for the big multiplex chains, nor does it signal an end to antitrust oversight. But that doesn’t mean everything is hunky-dory in the industry.Take a look at the U.S. box office this year. The content uniformity aside — four of the top seven movies descended from comic books, and the other three from cartoon franchises — most of the year’s leading films are Walt Disney Co. productions. There are more to come, with “Frozen 2” set to hits theaters on Friday, followed by the December release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” It has me wondering, is this healthy? Disney films account for nearly a third of the $9.5 billion of cinema tickets sold so far in 2019. Warner Bros., owned by AT&T Inc., lags far behind with a 16% share, trailed by Comcast Corp.’s Universal and Sony Corp.’s namesake distribution business; 20th Century Fox would normally be high in the ranking, too, but Disney acquired it earlier this year as part of an $85 billion deal with Rupert Murdoch.Look, I get it. Lots of people love Disney’s Marvel and animated features, and the box office is simply reflecting that. The situation is more complicated than just looking at the data and determining that the company has too much power; there’s nothing about the industry structurally that would give it an unfair advantage. Disney has just done a really good job of consistently giving fans what they want, and CEO Bob Iger made a series of smart acquisitions that continue to pay off: Pixar in 2006; Marvel in 2009; and Lucasfilm (home of “Star Wars”) in 2012. They’ve all absolutely flourished within Disney, with each bringing with it beloved franchises and story lines just waiting to be further developed and amplified for the big screen.It’s not like Warner Bros., Universal and Sony haven’t had the same opportunities. Warner Bros. has DC Comics, “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings,” and the studio shares a home with HBO and “Game of Thrones.” Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man; it even had the chance to buy the entire Marvel roster in the late 1990s (for pennies compared to what Disney paid). It's hard, though, to imagine Marvel would have become what it is today had it landed at Sony instead of Disney. And that’s kind of my point.Matthew Ball, the former Amazon Studios executive, made a similar argument recently: “Disney isn’t a monopoly,” he tweeted Nov. 5. “Its competitors just need to do better. ... You make success. No one believed in comics being huge 20 years ago.”It's conceivable that Disney may end up atop the streaming world, too. Apple TV+ hasn't lived up to the hype, while AT&T’s HBO Max may suffer for its delayed arrival to the market (in May 2020). In very Comcast fashion, the cable giant isn’t so much plunging into streaming as it is dipping a toe into the waters with its Peacock app next year. And Sony’s PlayStation Vue service has already thrown in the towel. Meanwhile, Disney+ had a wildly successful launch on Nov. 12, signing up 10 million subscribers on the first day, despite widespread technological glitches and shortcomings in app functionality. Disney is also the first to experiment with bundles, a relic of the cable-TV market that I’ve argued will help ease one of the worst consumer pain points of streaming: the inability to access all your favorite content through a single subscription.But when people are rooting for Disney to be the “Netflix killer,” they’re rooting against themselves. Netflix Inc.’s innovation brought us affordable TV entertainment that didn't require a cable subscription or patience for commercial breaks. Its success forced other more complacent companies to rethink their businesses. By contrast, the box office shows what happens when a single company winds up with outsize influence.The Justice Department’s move to terminate the Paramount consent decree may not mean much (Disney wasn’t even one of the studios bound by it). But Disney doesn’t need to buy a theater anyway — it already owns the box office. Other media and tech giants should take that as a warning to step up their streaming game. Healthy competition ensures better content, more choice and further Netflix-like advances. Plus, the world needs only so many superhero flicks.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • CLOs Cracked Like No Other Credit Market. So Now What?
    Bloomberg

    CLOs Cracked Like No Other Credit Market. So Now What?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors and strategists in the bond markets rarely, if ever, come out firmly against their own asset class. Rather, they opt to use language like “be selective,” “move up in credit quality” or “clean up portfolios.”This is what’s happening now in the once red-hot market for collateralized loan obligations. In October, while U.S. stocks soared to records and high-yield bonds posted their fifth consecutive monthly gain, the pools of leveraged loans quietly faced something of a reckoning. Prices on double-B CLOs tumbled to the lowest in more than three years, according to data from Palmer Square Capital Management. In the span of about six weeks, their yields shot higher by 110 basis points while those on double-B corporate bonds dropped by 43 basis points, creating the widest spread between the two similarly rated assets since March 2016. Double-B leveraged loans themselves barely budged.At first glance, this would seem to be an obvious buying opportunity. A double-B rating is below investment grade but doesn’t signal inevitable distress, after all. Of course, there’s a catch — and it’s a big one. The same capital structure that has long been cited as an appealing attribute of CLOs is now seen as a looming hazard for investors. The weakest leveraged loans are looking more vulnerable to default. If enough did so, that would threaten portions of the CLO debt stack, often starting with the double-B segment.“Loans, as a whole, absorbed much of the public market lending excesses in recent years,” Citigroup Inc. strategists led by Michael Anderson wrote in a Nov. 15 report. “Loans financed over the past few years during extremely loose lending standards are beginning to season and reveal fundamental cracks. We expect that trend to continue. Consequently, we recommend investors focus on clean portfolios from stronger managers.”Morgan Stanley, in a Nov. 19 report, drew a similar conclusion. “Our Leveraged Finance Strategy team is calling for leveraged loan defaults to double next year and for downgrade pressures to continue. Higher default rates will likely be accompanied by lower recoveries resulting from an increase in loan-only structures and weakening covenant quality.” In the bank’s base-case scenario for 2020, top-rated CLOs will outperform double-B rated debt. There’s still a ways to go before those who have long predicted doom for CLOs are proved right. In many ways, this is all just another side of the consensus story in credit markets. The lowest-rated corporate debt has stumbled in 2019 as investors increasingly fret that slowing global growth will spell trouble for teetering companies. If a larger number of weak leveraged loans fail to pay, that would first choke off payments to holders of CLO equity, followed by the single-B CLO tranche (if there is one), then the double-B tranche, and so on.The pressing question for CLO investors is the magnitude of any shakeout. By Morgan Stanley’s calculations, it would take a so-called constant default rate within the pool of 11.5% over the life of the deal for the double-B tranche to take a principal writedown. By contrast, it would take a whopping 80.8% default rate for top-rated CLOs to take a hit. That huge buffer is why they famously never defaulted, even during the financial crisis.I hesitate to draw parallels between weak leveraged loan covenants and poor underwriting standards for subprime mortgages in the mid-2000s because calling CLOs the next CDOs is too neat a comparison and unlikely to play out in reality. And CLOs are certainly nothing like the toxic “CDO-squared” structures, which created all sorts of now-obvious contagion risks. Plus, financial regulators are well aware of the boom in leveraged lending, and everyone from the Financial Stability Board to the International Monetary Fund to the Bank for International Settlements has said they’re monitoring the risks. If loan defaults start to pile up, few can feign ignorance.However, subprime mortgage default rates are a stark reminder of what a true worst-case scenario looks like. According to a 2010 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 23.4% of subprime mortgage loans originated in 2004 defaulted within the first 21 months. That figure jumped to 31.7% for 2005 and 43.8% for 2006 before coming down to 32.2% for 2007.Unless the U.S. falls into a deep and long-lasting recession, it seems highly unlikely that leveraged loans could even come close to reaching such lofty default figures. I buy the argument that the corporate debt is less concentrated in one specific area and therefore less prone to widespread collapse. And there’s obviously a difference between weaker loan covenants and some of the outright fraud perpetuated during the subprime crisis.And yet a low-double-digit default rate doesn’t feel impossible, which helps explain the sell-off in double-B CLOs. Fitch Ratings said in a note this month that loans on its troubled-loan watchlist made up 6.2% of the overall CLO portfolio at the end of the third quarter, up from less than 5% three months earlier. In at least some pockets of the leveraged-loan market, things are starting to become dicey. Morgan Stanley’s report makes clear what’s at stake for investors in the coming year. The bank’s base case calls for a modest 0.75% excess return in 2020 for double-B CLOs. However, its bullish case sees a 25.75% gain for the debt, while the bearish case would produce a 9.25% loss. That’s a wide range of outcomes. “If sentiment on corporate credit materially improves, we think high-beta CLO BBs offer more upside than any other investment in the securitized products space,” the strategists wrote.Is that a risk worth taking? Judging by last week, at least some investors are betting the sell-off went too far, with the yield on double-B CLOs falling by the most since May.But nothing has changed fundamentally as of late. Bond investors are still shying away from the riskiest credits, even with the widest spreads in 11 months. The economic outlook calls for slow, unspectacular growth, and news that “phase one” of a U.S.-China trade deal could be pushed off until next year doesn’t help matters. It’s not exactly a robust environment for shaky companies.So in that sense, it’s understandable why CLO investors are getting picky. It’s not time to bail on the structures entirely, but seeking higher ground might not be such a bad idea when the potential wave of defaults is just starting to form.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Inside Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut
    Bloomberg

    Inside Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is overhauling how it tests software after a swarm of bugs marred the latest iPhone and iPad operating systems, according to people familiar with the shift.Software chief Craig Federighi and lieutenants including Stacey Lysik announced the changes at a recent internal “kickoff” meeting with the company’s software developers. The new approach calls for Apple's development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags, allowing them to isolate the impact of each individual addition on the system.When the company’s iOS 13 was released alongside the iPhone 11 in September, iPhone owners and app developers were confronted with a litany of software glitches. Apps crashed or launched slowly. Cellular signal was inconsistent. There were user interface errors in apps like Messages, system-wide search issues and problems loading emails. Some new features, such as sharing file folders over iCloud and streaming music to multiple sets of AirPods, were either delayed or are still missing. This amounted to one of the most troubled and unpolished operating system updates in Apple’s history.“iOS 13 continues to destroy my morale,” Marco Arment, a well known developer, wrote on Twitter. “Same,” replied Jason Marr, co-creator of grocery list app AnyList. “Apple's really shown a lack of respect for both its developers and its customers with iOS 13.” The issues show how complex iPhones have become and how easily users can be disappointed by a company known for the smooth integration of hardware and software. Annual software updates timed for release with the latest iPhones are a critical way for Apple to add new capabilities and keep users from defecting to archrival Android. Refreshed operating systems also give developers more tools for app creation, catalyzing more revenue for Apple from its App Store. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment.The new development process will help early internal iOS versions to be more usable, or “livable,” in Apple parlance. Prior to iOS 14’s development, some teams would add features every day that weren’t fully tested, while other teams would contribute changes weekly. “Daily builds were like a recipe with lots of cooks adding ingredients,” a person with knowledge of the process said. Test software got so crammed with changes at different stages of development that the devices often became difficult to use. Because of this, some “testers would go days without a livable build, so they wouldn’t really have a handle on what’s working and not working,” the person said. This defeated the main goal of the testing process as Apple engineers struggled to check how the operating system was reacting to many of the new features, leading to some of iOS 13’s problems.Apple measures and ranks the quality of its software using a scale of 1 to 100 that’s based on what’s known internally as a “white glove” test. Buggy releases might get a score in the low 60s whereas more stable software would be above 80. iOS 13 scored lower on that scale than the more polished iOS 12 that preceded it. Apple teams also assign green, yellow and red color codes to features to indicate their quality during development. A priority scale of 0 through 5, with 0 being a critical issue and 5 being minor, is used to determine the gravity of individual bugs.The new strategy is already being applied to the development of  iOS 14, codenamed “Azul” internally, ahead of its debut next year. Apple has also considered delaying some iOS 14 features until 2021 — in an update called “Azul +1” internally that will likely become known as iOS 15 externally — to give the company more time to focus on performance. Still, iOS 14 is expected to rival iOS 13 in the breadth of its new capabilities, the people familiar with Apple’s plans said.The testing shift will apply to all of Apple’s operating systems, including iPadOS, watchOS, macOS and tvOS. The latest Mac computer operating system, macOS Catalina, has also manifested bugs such as incompatibility with many apps and missing messages in Mail. Some HomePod speakers, which run an iOS-based operating system, stopped working after a recent iOS 13 update, leading Apple to temporarily pull the upgrade. The latest Apple Watch and Apple TV updates, on the other hand, have gone more smoothly. Apple executives hope that the overhauled testing approach will improve the quality of the company’s software over the long term. But this isn’t the first time that Apple engineers have heard this from management.Last year, Apple delayed several iOS 12 features — including redesigns for CarPlay and the iPad home screen — specifically so it could focus on reliability and performance. At an all-hands meeting in January 2018, Federighi said the company had prioritized new features too much and should return to giving consumers the quality and stability that they wanted first.Apple then established so-called Tiger Teams to address performance issues in specific parts of iOS. The company reassigned engineers from across the software division to focus on tasks such as speeding up app launch times, improving network connectivity and boosting battery life. When iOS 12 came out in the fall of 2018, it was a stable release that required just two updates in the first two months.That success didn’t carry over to this year. The initial version of iOS 13 was so buggy that Apple has had to rush out several patches. In the first two months of iOS 13, there have been eight updates, the most since 2012 when Federighi took over Apple’s iOS software engineering group. The company is currently testing another new version, iOS 13.3, and there’s already a follow-up in the works for the spring.About a month before Apple’s 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the company’s software engineers started to realize that iOS 13, then known internally as “Yukon,” wasn’t performing as well as previous versions. Some people who worked on the project said development was a “mess.”By August, realizing that the initial iOS 13.0 set to ship with new iPhones a few weeks later wouldn’t hit quality standards, Apple engineers decided to mostly abandon that work and focus on improving iOS 13.1, the first update. Apple privately considered iOS 13.1 the “actual public release” with a quality level matching iOS 12. The company expected only die-hard Apple fans to load iOS 13.0 onto their phones.The timing of the iOS 13.1 update was moved up by a week to Sept. 24, compressing the time that iOS 13.0 was Apple’s flagship OS release. New iPhones are so tightly integrated with Apple software that it would have been technically impossible to launch the iPhone 11 with iOS 12, and since 13.1 wasn’t ready in time, Apple’s only choice was to ship with 13.0 and update everyone to 13.1 as quickly as it could.While the iOS 13 issues did upset iPhone owners, they still updated fairly quickly. As of mid-October, half of all Apple device users were running a version of iOS 13, according to Apple. That upgrade pace is still far ahead of Google’s Android.Once iOS 13.1 was released, Apple’s software engineering division pivoted to iOS 13.2 with a quality goal of being better than iOS 12. This update has had fewer complaints than its predecessors in the iOS 13 family but did introduce a short-lived bug around apps closing in the background when they shouldn’t.“iOS 13 has felt like a super-messy release, something we haven't seen this bad since iOS 8 or so,” Steve Troughton-Smith, a veteran developer of Apple apps, wrote on Twitter.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at abarr18@bloomberg.net, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.