- Five leaders of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), including the board chairman and board vice chairman, are resigning effective Wednesday, Feb. 24.
- KTRK – Houston
ABC13 Chief Meteorologist Travis Herzog and ABC13 Chief Forecaster David Tillman join Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner and NOAA meteorologist Jeff Evans to explain how the 2021 Winter Storm formed and what this means for the future of Texas weather.
Central banks in Asia struggled to smother a selloff in global bonds on Friday, piling pressure on their bigger peers to do more, as spooked investors sold assets to cover deepening losses and rushed out of crowded positions in stocks. The erratic trade evoked memories of last March and comes as the pandemic recovery enters a delicate phase, with financial markets moving swiftly to price in an end to the cheap money that had lit a fire under world stocks for a year. Australia's central bank launched a surprise bond buying operation to try and staunch the bleeding, calming cash markets but barely taming the fear, evident in more liquid futures trade.
(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. is ramping up its preference for developed markets because of efforts to combat climate change, and touting the risk for developing nations and their more carbon-intensive economies.Technology and health-care stocks will prove more resilient to the shift, and those industries make up a comparatively bigger slice of advanced markets, according to Jean Boivin, head of BlackRock Investment Institute, the research arm of the world’s largest asset manager. The energy and utilities sectors, meanwhile, may face structural challenges as investors become more climate aware -- weighing on high-yield debt returns as well as some developing-nation bonds, he added.“The climate transition will be a persistent driver of these returns going forward, so it needs to be reflected in our expectations,” Boivin said during a webinar Thursday. “The greener sectors that are at the forefront will have a significant edge.”BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink has amped up his focus on climate change and efforts to ameliorate it. Earlier this month, the company -- whose trillions of dollars of investment money make it the world’s biggest shareholder -- told companies how it wants them to address climate risk.The money manager is challenging the notion that tackling climate change could drag on global economic growth, betting that a transition to a net-zero economy can lead to a cumulative output gain of nearly 25% over the next 20 years when compared to a scenario in which no changes are made to prevent climate change.“Sustainability creates both risk and opportunities,” Simona Paravani-Mellinghoff, BlackRock’s global chief investment officer of solutions within multi-asset strategies, said during the webinar. “I cannot emphasize enough how critical a step this is. We should monitor ESG exposure as we do with every other driver of portfolio performance.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Tech shares led a rout in U.S. stocks while the selloff in global bonds deepened, with the benchmark Treasury yield spiking to a one-year high and debt from the U.K. to Australia coming under pressure.The Nasdaq 100 tumbled 3.6%, the most since October, as investors rotated away from pandemic-era winners toward companies poised to benefit from an end to lockdowns. About 10 stocks fell for every one that gained on the S&P 500. Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF extended its decline, leaving it 15% lower for the week. Stocks popular with the day-trader crowd surged once again, with GameStop Corp. doubling at one point before ending 19% higher.Earnings that came after the close were mixed. Airbnb Inc. rose about 4% in late trading after reporting sales that beat estimates, while DoorDash Inc. fell about 14% after losses more than doubled from a year earlier. Beyond Meat Inc. added about 7% after announcing a partnership with McDonald’s.Ten-year Treasury yields spiked after tepid demand at an auction for government bonds, surging as much as 23 basis points to 1.6%, the highest since last February. The increase forced a crucial group of investors such as holders of mortgage securities to sell Treasuries, which in turn led to further increases in yields.Across markets, investors are betting on a sunnier outlook for the global economy, with U.S. jobless claims data the latest to support that idea. But some traders worry that resurgent growth is already priced into stocks, and they’re staring down the risk that accelerating inflation is just around the corner, a development that would dent the appeal of equities.“It’s all about interest rates,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Schwab Center for Financial Research. Tech “has been a relative outperformer. As it led on the way up, it will likely lead on the way down too.”In remarks this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell offered reassurance that policy would continue to be supportive and look beyond a temporary pick-up in inflation, especially from a low base.That’s given the bond market enough reason to keep driving yields higher. The 10-year U.S. yield adjusted for inflation rose to its highest level since June, a warning sign for riskier assets that have benefited from exceptionally loose financial conditions amid the pandemic.Read more: Soaring U.S. Yields Send Risk Assets Warning as Real Rates RiseElsewhere in markets, Asian bourses closed broadly higher. Bitcoin traded just below $50,000.Some key events to watch this week:Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 will meet virtually Friday. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be among the attendees.These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index fell 2.5% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index surged 0.8%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index added 0.2%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.6%.The euro climbed 0.1% to $1.2173.The British pound fell 0.8% to $1.4024.The Japanese yen weakened 0.3% to 106.22 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries increased 15 basis points to 1.52%.Germany’s 10-year yield jumped seven basis points to -0.23%.Britain’s 10-year yield increased five basis points to 0.78%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4% to $63.45 a barrel.Gold weakened 1.8% to $1,773.03 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The U.S. House votes Friday on a bill to give you a third payment. Could there be another?
Last night on MSNBC, Bloomberg reporter Tim O'Brien speculated that the lead accountant on the Trump Organization's taxes may turn state's evidence. Allen Weisselberg is the chief financial officer of...
- Yahoo Finance
Robocalls are exploding again, but there are some ways to stop these nuisances.
Borrowers are backing off, mortgage demand is falling — but what if rates go even higher?
The U.S. securities regulator on Friday suspended trading in the securities of 15 companies because of "questionable trading and social media activity," the latest in a string of temporary trading halts amid volatile trading in so-called "meme stocks." The Securities and Exchange Commission acted because none of the companies have filed any information with the regulator for over a year, it said in a statement. This is the regulator's third and largest wave of suspensions in response to social media activity.
Here's what still has to happen following the big vote in the U.S. House.
Americans can’t file their income taxes fast enough — but they should brace for some unwelcome news in their 2020 refunds
The IRS has received approximately 21% more individual returns than the agency received last year by Feb. 7, which was 12 days into the tax season last year.
According to a Twitter account called @WaitingOnBiden, today is the 38th day that President Biden has not sent $2,000 stimulus payments to Americans, something he promised he would usher out immediately after he assumed office. The last relief bill passed in December, while Trump was still president. The relief bill before that was passed in late March 2020, and now we’re just a few days away from March 2021. The good news is that the House is finally voting on the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan today, which includes a $1,400 stimulus payment to those who fall within the income limits. It will pass in the Democrat-controlled House, and it is likely to pass in the Senate through a process called budget reconciliation, which essentially allows lawmakers to pass fiscal bills more quickly because it only requires a simple majority to pass, instead of 60 votes. Beyond the stimulus payments, the relief bill also contains a $400 per week federal unemployment boost. The current set of federal unemployment provisions are set to expire by March 14, essentially giving Congress a hard deadline by which to pass the relief bill. While $1.9 trillion might sound like a lot, economists generally agree that the government should spend as much as it needs to help its citizens — that is its mandate, after all — without handwringing over what-ifs such as inflation or “overheating” the economy. The bad news, though, is that a key part of the relief bill — a $15 federal minimum wage hike — will likely not be included. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled yesterday that the inclusion of a minimum wage raise broke the rules of what can and can’t be included in a reconciliation bill. But what is a Parliamentarian, you ask? Turns out, it is not someone who only smokes Parliaments. The Parliamentarian is a non-partisan advisor who interprets rules and precedents within the Senate. It is an appointment and not an elected position. The Senate also doesn’t have to listen to the Parliamentarian’s rulings; the “presiding officer” of the Senate — in other words, the Vice President — can ignore the Parliamentarian. There’s precedent for that. According to Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein, however, Vice President Harris will not be overruling MacDonough. That means that the minimum wage provision will be removed from the bill in the Senate and return to the House for another vote. It also means that any attempt to raise the federal minimum wage — which has not been raised since 2009 and remains at $7.25 — will need to be introduced in a standalone bill that won’t be able to pass via budget reconciliation, needing to clear the bar of 60 votes. Top Democrats have already announced an alternate plan that would impose a 5% tax on big corporations if they don’t raise their wages and even tax credits for small businesses that do raise wages. But some economists are concerned that a tax disincentive, or tax credits, would not do enough to actually raise wages for a broad swath of workers. While many conservatives have bristled at the idea of a $15 federal minimum wage, American wages have generally remained at a standstill for decades. If the minimum wage had kept pace with workers’ productivity and inflation, it would be around $20 per hour right now. We also need to acknowledge the huge impact a minimum wage hike would have on the people who have been most harmed by the pandemic. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) recently released an analysis of wages in the past year and found that average, inflation-adjusted wages in the U.S. had actually gone up in 2020. Great news, right? Wrong. The EPI found that average wages had increased because the makeup of the American workforce had changed so drastically — a huge proportion of those who lost their jobs during the pandemic were those making low wages, or around $14 per hour or less. In contrast, people making $25 per hour and above actually saw job gains overall in 2020. With so many low-wage jobs having disappeared, we get the illusion that there’s been progress instead of a downslide. A $15 minimum wage would be life-changing to so many Americans, and its exclusion from the next stimulus bill is an enormous disappointment. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?New Stimulus Checks Will Go Out To Fewer PeopleWhat To Know About Biden's COVID-19 Relief PlanBiden Is Making Sweeping Changes To Minimum Wage
- LA Times
Did Xavier Becerra sue nuns to force them to pay for contraceptives? Nope.
- LA Times
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is still throwing sand in the gears of good government. The result risks bankrupt states and localities.
‘She is a financial idiot and partier’: I loaned my sister $4,780 for a lawyer during her divorce. I am still chasing her to repay me
‘She earns $90,000 to $95,000 a year, but this year’s excuse is that she is in arrears for child-support payments.’
Not all housing markets are equal — and some might be a struggle for buyers. If you're buying a home, be aware of cities where houses are being sold quickly.
(Bloomberg) -- Ark Investment Management’s miserable week showed signs of easing on Friday, with its flagship exchange-traded fund halting a four-day slide.The ARK Innovation ETF (ticker ARKK) closed higher, after swinging between gains and losses throughout the session. It still dropped 15% this week amid a technology selloff that was triggered by rising Treasury yields, putting pressure on high-flying stocks. One of those shares is electric-car maker Tesla Inc., which remains as the ETF’s biggest holding and has faced intense volatility.The last time Ark founder Cathie Wood suffered a weekly run this bad was almost a year ago, during the worst of the Covid-fueled mayhem. Her main fund is now 11 times larger than it was then. It got close to erasing its gains for 2021 this week after soaring as much as 26% since the end of December.Assets in the ETF have slumped by $4.9 billion this week to $23.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The figure doesn’t include flows from Thursday, when ARKK dropped 6.4% for its worst day in almost six months. Investors pulled about $200 million from the fund in Wednesday trading. That brings total weekly outflows to $638 million, on pace to be the worst on record.“Money that is ‘easy come’ tends to be money that is ‘easy go’,” said Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s global director of ETF research. “You’re going to see similar, if not potentially greater, market impact on the way down, especially given that this is an actively managed ETF and a fully transparent one. The market is hanging on their every move, they’re watching their every move.”Bearish bets against the ETF continue to grow, with short interest now accounting for more than 4% of available shares, according to data from IHS Markit Ltd.Michael Purves, chief executive officer at Tallbacken Capital Advisors, said in a note Thursday that his firm is taking profits on ARKK puts, but “will look to re-enter a second bearish trade on a bounce.”Ark Investment slipped to the eighth place among the largest exchange-traded fund issuers in the $5.9 trillion industry, after becoming the seventh biggest earlier this month. Total ETF assets for the company are now just shy of $53 billion, down from more than $60 billion at the prior peak.Wood’s $10.6 billion ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) lost $154 million on Wednesday, for its third straight day of outflows. At the same time, traders pulled another $48 million from ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW).“If one were still in agreement with Ark on their long-term investment thesis, a meaningful market correction might provide an opportunity to participate more,” Linda Zhang, founder of Purview Investments.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The world’s largest Bitcoin fund is selling off faster than the cryptocurrency itself as investors rush to the exits.The $31.6 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (ticker GBTC) plunged 22% this week, outpacing a 17% decline in the world’s largest cryptocurrency. That’s evaporated GBTC’s once-massive premium to the Bitcoin it holds, with the price of GBTC closing 3.8% below the value of its underlying holdings on Thursday -- a record discount, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.It’s an unusual situation for GBTC, which has persistently traded at a premium to its net asset value since the fund’s launch in 2013. That figure soared to 40% in late 2020, with investors willing to pay a markup for exposure to Bitcoin‘s dizzying rally. That avalanche of inflows swelled the number of GBTC shares outstanding to a record 692 million. However, GBTC doesn’t allow redemptions -- meaning that shares can only be created, but not destroyed. With Bitcoin’s climb now stalling, that’s created a supply and demand imbalance as participants in the trust seek to find buyers in the secondary market.“It’s more indicative of the fact that there are so many shares are available, and it indicates demand for Bitcoin at these prices is falling off,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart.Bitcoin surged to a record of over $58,000 last weekend, but has stumbled since. The cryptocurrency slipped another 0.2% on Friday, on track for its worst weekly pullback in a year. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, tracking Bitcoin, Ether and three other cryptocurrencies, is down 19.7% this week.Bitcoin’s lurch lower is part of a broader risk asset stumble, as spiking Treasury yields rattle the market’s more speculative fringes. High-flying tech stocks have been hammered as investors reassess lofty valuations, with the Nasdaq 100 on track for its worst week since March.Among those hit the hardest is Cathie Wood’s lineup of Ark Investment Management ETFs. The flagship ARK Innovation ETF is on track for a fifth consecutive day of declines, and is poised to erase its year-to-date gains after a nearly 150% surge in 2020. Ark Investment is the fourth-largest holder in GBTC.Michael Sonnenshein, chief executive officer of Grayscale Investments, acknowledged the risk of GBTC’s premium disappearing while speaking in a panel for the Bloomberg Crypto Summit on Thursday.“It’s certainly a risk, no question about it, but ultimately price discovery in GBTC every day is driven entirely by market forces,” Sonnenshein said.A host of new entrants could also be challenging GBTC’s command of the competitive landscape. The Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund, the Osprey Bitcoin Trust and the SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund LP have all launched within the past three months. Meanwhile, two Bitcoin ETFs -- a structure yet to be approved by U.S. regulators -- began trading this month in Canada.“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen the launch of multiple competing products,” said Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, an advisory firm. “The unpleasant truth for GBTC investors is that competition erodes demand for the product, which can lead to a collapsing premium or even a discount.”(Updates prices throughout.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
- USA TODAY
Tax refunds are flowing into pocketbooks — and the overall economy — much slower this season after a late start.
- Yahoo Finance
The NEXT: 21 to watch in 2021 —Representative Young Kim talks to Yahoo Finance about her goal of finding common ground and the future of the GOP.