A Clear-Cut Biden Win Is Emerging as a Bull Case for Stocks

A Clear-Cut Biden Win Is Emerging as a Bull Case for Stocks

(Bloomberg) — With Joe Biden’s lead widening in the polls and President Donald Trump’s campaign sidelined by the virus, investment strategists now say there’s less of a chance for a contested election.
A clear-cut Democrat victory could avoid a long and messy legal battle and provide certainty to markets that have been nervous about election risks, according to strategists from Citigroup Inc. to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The S&P 500 was up about 1% as of 9:32 a.m. in New York, havens including bonds are seeing little demand and the greenback is down.
“Polls are shifting from a close election and prolonged uncertainty to more a dominant Biden and clean succession,” said Peter Rosenstreich, head of market strategy at Swissquote Bank SA. “That is reducing uncertainty and increasing risk appetite.”
JPMorgan Says a Biden Victory Could Mark a Shift in Stock Market
Cross-asset traders are taking the newsflow in their stride, despite confusion over the president’s condition and more positive tests from Republican leaders.
A poll released Sunday — taken between Tuesday’s debate and Friday’s news of the president’s infection — found that Biden’s national lead had leaped to 14 points, from 8 before the debate. Biden also has set two records for monthly fundraising in August and September, giving him enough money to dominate Trump on the airwaves.
“Markets seem have lowered the chance of prolonged uncertainty post-November 3,” Barclays Plc strategists Ajay Rajadhyaksha and Shawn Golhar wrote in a note Sunday. “Given that Vice President Biden has been ahead in most polls, this suggests that markets are assigning a bit more probability to his win and a bit less to a close and contested outcome.”
Barclays strategists point to a currency pair like the Aussie dollar versus the yen, a proxy for risk appetite. Its one-month implied volatility dropped to the lowest in weeks after the presidential debate. It has since rebounded, but remains below its 200-day average. Story continues
The bank’s dollar-neutral Biden currency basket has also risen in recent days, a sign of rising confidence in the former vice-president’s prospects.
The race is still closer in some of the states most needed to win the presidency. The unprecedented number of mail-in ballots being cast this year because of the pandemic means it likely won’t be possible in some battleground states to declare an unofficial winner on election night. Election officials say it could take days or even weeks in some cases to get a complete count, and a final determination could also be delayed by post-election lawsuits challenging the results.
Still, volatility markets have been pricing in risks from the election for months now, raising the bar for bad news to hit trading.
When it comes to futures tied to the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, contracts for the coming three months are all trading above the one expiring in January, signaling investors are expecting wilder equity swings around the election.
But a weekend of confusion over Trump’s state of health has not deepened such anxieties. October’s contracts, which cover the polling date, are down 2% on Monday after jumping nearly 5% on Friday.
On the betting market PredictIt, the chance of a Biden win stands at 64%, a tiny drop from a peak of 66% the day before Trump’s positive test was announced. A long-short strategy betting on Biden’s triumph compiled by Nomura Holdings Inc. and Wolfe Research has hardly moved since reaching a record high on Thursday.
Treasuries fell on Monday, with yields on long-maturity bonds rising more than those at the short end. The difference between five- and 30-year rates increased to almost 124 basis points, the widest in more than a month, as investors pared holdings of havens.
That confidence, combined with a continued economic recovery, will help support equity markets — and potentially even a rotation into riskier shares, according to Evercore ISI.
“Passage of fiscal package 4 plus a Democratic sweep would be a significant support for value and cyclicals near term,” strategists led by Dennis Debusschere wrote in a note Sunday.
If Trump’s condition deteriorates, investors might start to wonder if the election could be postponed or who would run for the presidency in his place. Yet judging from financial markets’ reaction so far, that remains far from traders’ radar.
“Our baseline – of a risk-supportive macro outlook despite election uncertainty – will not change unless the president’s health unexpectedly takes a worse turn,” the Barclays strategists wrote.
At the same time, there is still no shortage of debate over whether Democratic or Republican policies would be better for investors. While some pundits say the former would raise taxes and tighten regulations in a blow to corporate profits, others point out a Democratic sweep could boost government and consumer spending to add a fresh leg to the risk cycle.
All told, between the disruption wrought by the pandemic and a volatile sitting president, a humdrum transfer of power is seen as providing investor solace.
“We do have sympathy with the idea that a clean election outcome is likely a positive event from here given the “chaos” risk overhanging markets,” strategists at Jefferies wrote in a note.
(Updates market moves throughout, adds quote in fourth and additional election context)
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©2020 Bloomberg L.P. Shares of General Electric Co. took a sudden dive Tuesday afternoon, after the industrial conglomerate disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering civil action against the company for possible securities law violations. TipRanks Strong Insider Buying Could Indicate a Bottom in These 3 Stocks The stock markets are all about timing. Whether your investment strategy is bullish or bearish, what matters is making the right moves at the right time. This is the truth at the heart of the old Wall Street cliché that bulls and bears make money, while pigs get slaughtered. If you get greedy, and start chasing money, you’ll overlook the signs that tell you when to buy or sell. Smart investors will be looking for reliable signs that will indicate a stock’s likely movement. In volatile times like these, those signs are more necessary than ever. One signal that has been correlated with a stock’s future performance is insider activity. This makes sense. Insiders, the corporate officers charged with running a company and producing profitable results for shareholders, are privy to far more information than the average stock investor – and they will use it to trade. Following an insider’s trading activity – buy or sell – is a viable strategy for investors.How can you find the hottest insider trading stocks right now? There is a simple answer: TipRanks’ Insider Hot Stocks tool. This collates all the recent insider transactions to reveal stocks with the most bullish insider sentiment. Plus all the insiders are ranked so you can make sure you follow only the insiders that are actually making money. With this in mind, here is the scoop on three beaten-down stocks that have seen recent multi-million purchase activity. Liberty Global PLC (LILA)First on our list is a major telecom company in the Western Hemisphere, Liberty Latin America. The company has its hands in broadband internet, mobile services, telephone services, and broadcast video, along with other entertainment services, and its main presence reflects its name: it is most active in Chile, Colombia, Central America, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. Liberty Latin America is also active in Florida, where there is a large minority population drawn from these regions.The COVID crisis has had a heavy impact on LILA’s performance. The company’s financials hit bottom in April, at the beginning of Q2, when positive first quarter performance turned south. Q2 ended with a sequential revenue loss of 8.9%, and deep net loss in EPS. Share prices started falling at the end of February and beginning of March, and have failed to regain traction since. The stock is down 52% year-to-date.But management is confident that business is returning to normal. And that confidence attracted some strong insider buys during the Latin American recent stock sale. Three of those informative transactions were for million-dollar-plus buys.The largest came from Eric Zinterhofer, of the Board of Directors, who bought up over 2.96 million shares for a $21,149,572. Fellow Board member John Malone made the second largest purchase, of 2.74 million shares for $19,559,030. And finally, President and CEO Michael Fries, of the original parent company Liberty Global, bought 172,196 shares for $1.229,479. These purchases, along with several smaller, pushed the insider sentiment on LILA shares strongly positive.This was noted by Benchmark’s 5-star analyst Matthew Harrigan, who wrote, “…we believe LILA executed well against its business plan despite operating performance that has been hampered by COVID-19 dislocations, especially in Chile. LILA also focuses on a Latin Emerging Markets region that is now decidedly out of favor with investors. This is as [the CEO and CFO] have made recent open market share purchases even beyond the rights offering.”Harrigan’s $17 price target suggests an impressive 93% upside for the stock, and supports his Buy rating. (To watch Harrigan’s track record, click here)Overall, Liberty Global has a Moderate Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on a 1:1 split between Buy and Hold reviews. The stock is selling for $8.81, and the average price target of $14.39 suggests a 63% upside in the coming year. (See LILA stock analysis on TipRanks)Continental Resources (CLR)Next on our list is a player in the North American oil and gas industry. Continental produced 340K barrel of oil equivalent per day last year, producing over $4.63 billion in total revenue. The company operates in Oklahoma, but its major presence is in the Bakken formation of North Dakota and Montana.Falling prices and falling demand during 1H20 hurt the company, as the COVID pandemic put massive downward pressure on the economy. Revenues slipped to just $175 million in Q2, generating a net EPS loss of 71 cents. But there is a rebound as the economy restarts, and the outlook for Q3 is better – a projected EPS loss of 27 cents. The company is in the midst of streamlining operations, shutting down unproductive wells to cut costs and focus efforts on the most profitable activities. Sliding 63% year-to-date, one board member sees better days ahead. Harold Hamm spent over $9.74 million buying up 769,235 shares in the company. His move made the net insider sentiment positive on CLR stock.MKM analysts John Gerdes believes the stock is undervalued at current levels, noting, “CLR has depreciated over 30% (vs. XOP -~25%) since early June and reflects over 40% intrinsic value upside… Our 3Q20 production expectation is ~295 Mboepd is in the upper half of guidance, and our YE20 production outlook of ~323 Mmboepd is 1% above the midpoint of guidance…”Gerdes sets his price target at $20, implying a 58% upside for the coming year, which fully backs his Buy recommendation. (To watch Gerdes’ track record, click here)The overall view on CLR stock is cautious; Wall Street’s analyst consensus rating is a Hold, based on 12 reviews breaking down to 3 Buy, 7 Holds, and 2 Sells. However, the average price target is $16.54, suggesting a 30% one-year upside from the current share price of $12.69. (See CLR stock analysis on TipRanks)Net 1 UEPS Technologies (UEPS)South Africa-based Net 1 is a is tech company, with a non-exclusive worldwide license for the Universal Electronic Payment System. The company is a leader in providing financial tech, payment solutions, and transaction processing in multiple emerging economies and across multiple industries. The company offers services through an alliance network with banks, card issuers, and retailers.Like the other companies on this list, Net 1 saw revenues and earnings fall when corona shut down the economy. The general slowdown in economic activity, especially in retail, was a hard blow. Q2 number reflected that, with the top line at just $25 million and EPS deep in negative territory with a 69-cent net loss. Share price has been volatile, and has not yet recovered from losses sustained early in the crisis. UEPS is down 20% from its peak in early February.There are some bright spots. The outlook for Q3 is better, with the EPS loss projected at just 9 cents. And the company ended the second quarter with no debt and unrestricted cash on hand of $218 million. This puts UEPS in a strong position to rebound as the economy starts revving again.Turning to the insider trades, Anthony Ball of the Board of Directors has the most recent informative buy. Last week, he purchased over 350,024 shares, laying out $1.2 million for the stock.Rajiv Sharma, of B. Riley FBR, has written the only recent review of UEPS on file, and he is upbeat on the stock. “We believe UEPS’ long-term investment portfolio holds solid promise, especially its MobiKwik investment in India and despite their illiquid status. Despite ST COVIDrelated setbacks to UEPS’ operating business in South Africa, we believe it holds promise as a valuable business given its hold on micro lending and a sizable potential subscriber market in South Africa. There is a good chance that UEPS could grow its customer base substantially from here and continue to add ancillary services to their core businesses.”Sharma rates UEPS share a Buy, and his $5 price target suggests room for 45% growth from the current share price of $3.44. (To watch Sharma’s track record, click here)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment. MarketWatch ‘There is a huge pay gap between us, as my husband has more education and has an uninterrupted work history as he has continued to climb the corporate ladder.’ MoneyWise The billionaire investing guru has shared these money tips for the coronavirus era. Yahoo Finance Stocks struggled for direction Tuesday morning, as investors digested a number of developments around President Donald Trump’s health and considered a moving target of possible election outcomes and prospects for further fiscal stimulus. TechCrunch I’m a software engineer at Uber and I’m voting against Prop 22 Before joining Uber, I worked a range of low-wage jobs from customer service at Disneyland to delivering pizza with no benefits. At work, management tells us that passing Prop 22 is for the best because it is critical for the company’s bottom line. Uber claims Prop 22 would be good for drivers, but that depends on Uber the company treating drivers better. Investor’s Business Daily The Dow Jones fell hard with the other major stock indexes in late-afternoon trading after President Trump called off stimulus talks. Bloomberg The Unemployed Trader Who Became a $700 Million Exile (Bloomberg) — When Sanjay Shah lost his job during the financial crisis more than a decade ago, he was one of thousands of mid-level traders suddenly out of work.Shah didn’t take long to get back into the game, setting up his own fund targeting gaps in dividend-tax laws. Within a few years, he charted a spectacular rise from trading-floor obscurity to amassing as much as $700 million and a property portfolio that stretched from Regent’s Park in his native London to Dubai. He commanded a 62-foot yacht and booked Drake, Elton John and Jennifer Lopez to play for an autism charity he’d founded.Fueling his ascent were what he maintains were legal, if ultimately controversial, Cum-Ex trades. Transactions like these exploited legal loopholes across Europe, allowing traders to repeatedly reap dividend tax refunds on a single holding of stock. The deals proved hugely lucrative for those involved — except, of course, for the governments that paid up billions. German lawmakers have called it the greatest tax heist in history.Denmark, which is trying to recoup some 12.7 billion krone ($2 billion), or close to 1% of its gross domestic product, says the entire enterprise was a charade. Its lawyers are seeking to gain access to bank records that they maintain will prove that point. Authorities have now frozen much of Shah’s fortune and he’s fighting lawsuits and criminal probes in several countries. His lawyers have told him he’ll be arrested if he leaves the Gulf city for Europe, though he’s yet to be charged.But in a series of recent interviews from his $4.5 million home in Dubai, Shah was unrepentant.“Bankers don’t have morals,” the 50-year-old said on a video call. “Hedge-fund managers, and so on, they don’t have morals. I made the money legally.”‘Allowed It’Shah and the firm he set up — Solo Capital Partners LLP — are central figures in the Danish Cum-Ex scandal, in which he said his company helped investors to rapidly sell shares and claim multiple refunds on dividend taxes.Read more: How the ‘Cum-Ex’ Tax Dodge Works: QuickTakeAuthorities have been probing hundreds of bankers, traders and lawyers in several countries as they try to account for the billions of euros in taxpayer funds that they say were reaped. But Shah says he’s being made a “scapegoat” for figuring out how to legally profit from obscure tax-code loopholes that allowed Cum-Ex trades, named for the Latin term for “With-Without.”“Prove that any law was broken,” Shah said. “Prove that there was fraud. The legal system allowed it.”The Danish tax agency, Skat, says it’s frozen as much as 3.5 billion Danish kroner of Shah’s assets, including a $20-million London mansion, as part of a sprawling lawsuit against the former banker and his alleged associates.The agency hasn’t seen “evidence that supports that real shares were involved in the trades relating to the dividend refunds reclaimed in the Shah universe,” it said in a statement. “It looks like paper transactions with no connection to any real holding of shares.”Shah still reaps about 200,000 pounds ($250,000) a year from renting out his properties, he said, less than half of what he got before the arrival of Covid-19.The former trader faces additional heat in Germany, where prosecutors are probing him as part of a nationwide dragnet that’s targeted hundreds of suspects throughout the finance industry.Feeling RobbedIn Denmark, the case against Shah has triggered public anger. The country, which is in the middle of an economic recession wrought by the coronavirus, claims it has been robbed.“In a country like Denmark, and mainly in the times of Covid-19, it is of substantial importance,” said Alexandra Andhov, a law professor at the University of Copenhagen. The nation’s tax authorities have dealt with alleged fraud cases before but “not in the amount of $2 billion,” she said.Shah appeared at ease and upbeat while outlining how he’d be arrested if he tried to fly home to London. Married with three children and based in Dubai since 2009, Shah has spent the past five years engrossed in legal papers and talking to his lawyers, he said. To the authorities trying to extract him from his exile, he has a piece of advice: know your tax code.“It’s very nice to put somebody’s face on a front page of a newspaper and say ‘Look at this guy living in Dubai, sitting on the beach every day sipping a Pina Colada while you’re broke and you don’t have a job’,” he said. “I would say look at your legal system.”First StridesShah is hardly the only person ensnared in the European Cum-Ex scandal. German prosecutors have been more aggressive than their Danish counterparts and have already charged more than 20 people. At a landmark trial earlier this year, two ex-UniCredit SpA traders were convicted of aggravated tax evasion.One of them, Martin Shields, told the Bonn court that while he had made millions from Cum-Ex, he now regretted his actions.“Knowing what I now know, I would not have involved myself in the Cum-Ex industry,” said Shields, who avoided jail time because he cooperated with the investigation.A decade ago, Cum-Ex deals were wildly popular throughout the financial industry. Shah says he picked up the idea during his years as a trader in London for some of the world’s biggest banks.The son of a surgeon, Shah dropped out of medical school in the 1990s and moved into finance. He first observed traders exploiting dividend taxes while at Credit Suisse Group AG in the early 2000s, a strategy known as dividend arbitrage. Will Bowen, a spokesman for the Swiss bank in London, said “the lawsuits referred to relate to a period after Sanjay Shah worked at Credit Suisse.”Shah didn’t fully embrace Cum-Ex until he was hired by Amsterdam-based Rabobank Group several years later as the financial crisis was beginning to rip through the industry. Rishi Sethi, a spokesman for Rabobank, declined to comment on former employees.Big AmbitionsAfter being laid off, Shah says he received offers from several brokerage firms that included profit-sharing. But that wasn’t enough for him, so he set up his own firm.“I don’t want to make a share,” he said. “I want to make the whole lot.”That ambition was memorialized in the name that Shah picked for his company: Solo Capital Partners.Shah said he had about half a million pounds when he started Solo. Within half a decade, his net worth would soar to many multiples of that. According to his recollection, JPMorgan Chase & Co. also played a pivotal role in helping him get started because they were the firm’s first custodian bank. Patrick Burton, a spokesman for the New York-based bank, declined to comment.The scheme that Shah allegedly orchestrated was audacious. A small group of agents in the U.K. wrote to Skat between 2012 and 2015, claiming to represent hundreds of overseas entities — including small U.S. pension funds along with firms in Malaysia and Luxembourg — that had received dividends from Danish stocks and were entitled to tax refunds. Satisfied with the proof they received, the Danes say they handed over some $2 billion.Luxury HomesBut most of the money, authorities say, flowed instead directly into Shah’s pockets. The agents and the hundreds of overseas entities had merely been part of an elaborate web he’d created along with a series of dizzying “sham transactions” set up to generate illicit refund requests, according to the country’s claim in U.K. courts.Starting in January 2014, more than $700 million allegedly landed in Shah’s accounts. He funneled his wealth into property across London, Hong Kong, Dubai and Tokyo, Shah said, amassing a portfolio that he put at about 70 million pounds. He bought a 36-foot yacht for $500,000 in 2014 and called it Solo before upgrading to a $2 million, 62-ft model, the Solo II.Shah’s lawyers said in his latest filing in the London lawsuit last month that Solo — which went into administration in 2016 — provided “clearing services for clients to engage in lawful and legitimate trading strategies that were conducted at all times in accordance with Danish law.”They said that dividend arbitrage trading is a widely known and “wholly legitimate trading strategy.” Shah’s lawyers are also contesting whether Denmark has jurisdiction to pursue its claim in the English courts.It’s been five years since Shah learned he was facing a criminal probe, when the U.K. National Crime Agency raided Solo’s offices following a tip to British tax authorities from the company’s compliance officer.Slightly BoredHis lawyer at the time, Geoffrey Cox, told him in 2015 that he had nothing to fear and that it would all be over soon, Shah said. Cox, who would go on to become U.K. Attorney General and play a pivotal role during various Brexit crises last year, declined to comment.But instead Shah’s legal problems are just beginning. A mammoth three-part civil trial covering Skat’s allegations against Shah will start in London next year. The accusations are also at the heart of a massive U.S. civil case targeting other participants in the alleged scam.Criminal probes in Germany and Denmark are still rumbling on. While Shah said he hasn’t been contacted by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the watchdog said in February that it’s investigating “substantial and suspected abusive share trading in London’s markets” tied to Cum-Ex schemes. A Dubai court threw out Denmark’s lawsuit against Shah in August, though it is appealing the decision.Back in Dubai, Shah said the ongoing saga is starting to wear him down.”It’s been quite nice spending time with the kids and family but now where I am, I’m just getting bored and fed up,” Shah said. “It’s been five years. I don’t know how long it will take for matters to conclude.”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. Investor’s Business Daily Presidential medical scares don’t usually mean much to S&P 500 investors. But President Trump’s Covid-19 treatment turned into overnight gold for some. TheStreet.com Can small businesses hold on until after the election? The airlines? Restaurants? With stimulus talks halted, Jim Cramer looks at what stocks investors should turn to. Bloomberg Cybersecurity Pioneer McAfee Arrested for U.S. Tax Evasion (Bloomberg) — Elusive cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee was arrested in Spain for tax evasion in the U.S., the Justice Department in Washington said.McAfee is accused of failing to file U.S. tax returns from 2014 to 2018 and hiding assets including real estate, a vehicle and a yacht in the name of others, prosecutors said. An indictment returned in June was unsealed on Tuesday after he was taken into custody. He’s being held pending extradition, the Justice Department said.He was arrested on Oct. 3 at Barcelona airport while traveling to Istanbul, according to an official at Spain’s national police force, who can’t be identified under internal policies.U.S. prosecutors claim McAfee earned millions of dollars through the promotion of cryptocurrencies, speaking engagements, consulting jobs and the sale of the rights to his life story for a documentary, but never filed tax returns. Instead, his income was paid into accounts held in the names of others, prosecutors claim. He faces as long as five years in prison if convicted of tax evasion and a year if found guilty of failing to file taxes.It’s the latest legal complication for the eccentric software mogul, who was a person of interest in a murder in Belize, though not charged with a crime, and last year he was detained in the Dominican Republic for entering the country with a cache of firearms and ammunition. He was also briefly a candidate for president in this year’s U.S. election, ending his run from abroad in March.The criminal charges were announced just hours after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued McAfee for promoting the sale of cryptocurrencies without disclosing that he was being paid to do so.The commission claims McAfee recommended at least seven initial coin offerings to his Twitter followers from at least November 2017 to February 2018 without revealing that he earned more than $23 million to boost them. He’s also accused of denying that he was being paid when asked by investors.Read more on McAfee fleeing BelizeThe SEC is seeking to force McAfee to disgorge all his ill-gotten gains, and to prohibit him from taking part in the issuance, purchase or sale of any digital asset securities and unspecified monetary penalties.McAfee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The commission also accused McAfee of claiming to be an investor or technical advisor, “creating the impression that he had vetted these companies, that they were benefiting from his technical expertise, and that he was willing to invest in the ventures.”When a blogger exposed that he was being paid, McAfee was still holding “virtually worthless” securities from the offerings he promoted and encouraged investors to buy them — without revealing that they were his own securities and he had paid a third party to recommend them, according to the complaint.McAfee also engaged in a practice called scalping, in which he accumulated large amounts of digital securities and promoted them on Twitter without disclosing his intention to sell, the SEC said.McAfee founded his epynonymous software firm in 1987. Intel Corp., seeking to build security features directly into its chips, bought the company for $7.7 billion in 2010, with TPG and Thoma Bravo taking stakes later. In 2016, Intel announced that it had signed a deal to transfer a 51% stake in the business to TPG for $1.1 billion. The company filed to go public last month.(Add details on arrest in third 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. TipRanks Nikola Stock Will Surge 70% From Current Levels, Says Analyst The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster ride for Nikola (NKLA). Shares of the electric truck maker have plummeted following a damning report accusing the company’s founder Trevor Milton of making fraudulent claims and duping investors. Shares took another dive as Milton subsequently resigned from the company, leaving questions whether Nikola has any future without its notorious ringleader at the helm. But is a comeback in the cards? Last week the stock clawed back a hefty amount of the loss, gaining 36% in three consecutive sessions.A business update by management in which the company reiterated its plan to become a leader in zero-emissions transportation appears to have soothed investors’ jittery nerves.Nikola anticipates completing five prototype Nikola Tre BEV trucks at the IVECO JV facility over the following weeks, expects to road test them in Germany this year, and to begin production shipments, as planned, in late 2021.Additionally, assuaging investors’ biggest fears, the company’s planned partnership with General Motors still appears on track.While Nikola’s partnership model has been subject to criticism lately, J.P. Morgan analyst Paul Coster calls it “a compelling strategy.”However, Coster also points out Nikola’s near-term success hinges on GM signing on the dotted line.“We think the GM partnership deal is the most important near-term catalyst,” Coster said. “Failure to consummate the GM deal would be a fatal blow for the Badger initiative, but a serious blow to the more important Truck initiative too, in our view. The fuel station partnership announcement is less important, in our view, though a potential validation of the company that could resonate with investors. Pending completion of the five Nikola Tre trucks could be a boost to credibility, obviously… For now, the GM partnership is a stress-test for the company.”Coster remains positive on Nikola and keeps an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating along with a bullish $41 price target. The analyst, therefore, expects shares to add nearly 70% from current levels. (To watch Coster’s track record, click here)Nikola appears to be the subject of much head scratching on Wall Street. On the one hand, based on 2 Buys and Holds, each, and 1 Sell, the stock has a Hold consensus rating. Conversely, an average price target of $37, suggests potential upside of 55.5% in the year ahead. (See NKLA stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment. Investor’s Business Daily Dow Jones futures were in focus after the new stock market rally sold off on President Trump’s stimulus tweets. The new Apple iPhone is set for reveal. Bloomberg Billionaire’s Tool Firm Taps Loans for Fifth Payout in a Decade (Bloomberg) — Companies have been selling risky loans to fund payouts at the fastest pace in years. Harbor Freight Tools USA Inc., a discount tools retailer run by billionaire Eric Smidt, is the latest borrower looking to line its pockets.The company, which sells $7.99 wrenches and $8.99 plier sets, is seeking to borrow $3 billion in what will be its fifth such deal in the past decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.It plans to use some of the proceeds to refinance existing debt and the rest for a dividend, according to a person familiar with the matter. Credit Suisse Group AG, which is leading the seven-year deal, kicked off marketing on Monday and the offering may price as soon as Oct. 14, said the person, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter.Representatives for the Camarillo, California-based company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A representative for Credit Suisse declined to comment.So-called dividend recapitalizations have soared in recent weeks amid low borrowing costs fueled in part by liquidity-boosting policies by the Federal Reserve and rising demand from yield-starved investors that have little else to buy. About $12.6 billion of loans funding payouts to shareholders were launched in September, the most for any month in about six years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.Read more: Private equity using loans for payouts at fastest pace in yearsSmidt, Harbor Freight’s chairman and chief executive officer, has been steadily raising debt against the closely held company since 2005, with dividend deals issued in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2016, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. Smidt’s net worth is $5.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Harbor Freight is offering investors a spread of 3.25 to 3.5 percentage points above the London interbank offered rate for the loan, according to the person. Like other recent deals of its kind, the debt is rated in the top tier of junk debt at Ba3 by Moody’s Investors Service, or three levels below investment grade.Its business has also fared relatively well during the pandemic, with stores deemed as essential and the vast majority of its premises remaining open with modified hours during the outbreak, according to Moody’s. The dividend deal will add about $850 million of additional debt to the company’s balance sheet but it could deleverage quickly, according to Moody’s.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. Investor’s Business Daily Westwater Resources soared afresh as the rare earths miner lauded President Trump’s support for building domestic supplies of critical battery materials. U.S.News & World Report Chevron vs. Exxon: Which Is a Better Buy? Oil behemoths Chevron Corp. (ticker: CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp. ( XOM) have struggled in 2020 as the beaten-down sector faced many challenges as demand shrunk rapidly this spring, tanking crude oil prices. Oil prices dipped again recently and are hovering around $40 a barrel. Both oil companies are good buys for their traditional base of investors who seek yield and dividends, says Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. Fox Business The Small Business Administration is in the process of forgiving potentially millions of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program that were approved to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, expecting the process will proceed efficiently. Reuters Tesla’s quarterly report could land Musk another $3 billion The electric car maker on Tuesday saw the six-month average of its stock market value hit $250 billion, a milestone toward triggering the fourth of 12 tranches of options to buy Tesla stock at a discount, granted to the billionaire in his 2018 pay package. Musk’s compensation is exclusively made up of a series of potential stock options rewards based on market capitalization and operational goals. To secure Musk’s fourth tranche, Tesla still must hit a goal related to revenue or profitability, and that could happen in the company’s third-quarter report, the date of which has yet to be announced. BBC The bank says no offence was intended, after reports that black ex-chief Tidjane Thiam walked out. Fox Business Walmart is entering the health insurance business, just in time for those signing up for Medicare open enrollment this fall. More Stories

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