Microsoft (MSFT) is climbing higher after unveiling plans to purchase TikTok from it’s current owner, Chinese-based ByteDance NEW YORK, Aug. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Ideanomics, Inc. (“Ideanomics” or the “Company”)(NASDAQ: IDEX) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Juan Carlos I, who is credited with guiding the country out of dictatorship and into democracy, is under investigation by Spanish authorities for his personal Swiss bank account. The new filing in Manhattan Federal Court hinted at the scope of Vance’s investigation, which includes a subpoena for eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns. Cannabis and renewable energy stocks could materially benefit if Joe Biden wins. Grab announced today that its financial unit, which previously focused mainly on services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, is launching a slew of consumer products, including micro-investments, loans, health insurance and a pay-later program. Based in Singapore, Grab began in 2012 as a ride-hailing company before expanding into on-demand deliveries and other services. In January […]
The shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are up 4.4% at $214.04, after the company said it was in talks to purchase the video-sharing app TikTok, from Chinese owner ByteDance. Microsoft hopes to conclude the deal by Sept. 15, eliminating the possibility of it being banned in the U.S. following stark claims to do so by President Donald Trump.
Taking a look at charts, Microsoft stock has had a busy few months since bottoming out to s low of $132.52 during the broader market’s mid-March pullback. In fact, MSFT hit a new all-time high of $216.38 on July 9, but had pulled back to trade between $200 and $205, ahead of today’s jump. The equity is still well above its 40-day moving average, and boasts a solid 30% year-to-date lead.
It’s no surprise then that analysts are extremely optimistic on the Big Tech giant. Of the 23 in coverage, 20 call it a “strong buy,” while one says “buy.” Meanwhile, just two sport a “hold” recommendation. Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $226.93 is a 7.9% premium, and marks levels not yet obtained by MSFT.
Today though, the appetite is definitely leaning toward calls. In just the first hour of trading, over 293,000 calls have changed hands — six times the average intraday amount and more than double the number of puts traded. Most popular is the weekly 8/7 215-strike call, followed closely by the 230-strike call from the same series. New positions are being opened at both.
Author: by Jake Scott
SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in Ideanomics, Inc. of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – IDEX
If you are a shareholder who purchased Ideanomics securities during the Class Period, you have until August 27, 2020, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 7980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.
[Click here for information about joining the class action]
Ideanomics purports to be a global company focused on facilitating the adoption of commercial electric vehicles and developing next generation financial services and Fintech products. Ideanomics common stock trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker “IDEX.” The Company is headquartered in New York, New York, and maintains offices in Beijing and Qingdao, China.
In recent press releases, Ideanomics has lauded its “one million square foot EV expo center in Qingdao, Shandong Province,” in China, also known as the Company’s Mobile Energy Global (MEG) Division, or the “MEG Center.” According to Ideanomics, the MEG Center is “the largest auto trading market in Qingdao,” China.
Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Ideanomics’ MEG Center in Qingdao was not “a one million square foot EV expo center”; (ii) the Company had been using doctored or altered photographs of the purported MEG Center in Qingdao; (iii) the Company’s electric vehicle business in China was not performing nearly as strong as Ideanomics had represented; and (iv) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On June 25, 2020, analyst Hindenburg Research (“Hindenburg”) issued a series of tweets in which it called Ideanomics “an egregious & obvious fraud.” Hindenburg asserted that it found evidence that Ideanomics had doctored photos for use in its press releases to suggest that the Company owns or operates a vehicle sales center in Qingdao, China, when it in fact does not. Hindenburg further asserted that it had an investigator go to Ideanomics’ purported MEG Center in Qingdao, China, where the investigator was unable to find any trace of Ideanomics or its purported MEG Center.
Also on June 25, 2020, analyst J Capital Research issued a report on Ideanomics entitled “Champion of Promotes.” J Capital wrote, in part, that “Ideanomics . . . is a zero. The company changes its name and promotional story so frequently that it’s hard to keep up. One thing remains a constant, despite all the press releases, buzzwords and hype: shareholders get wiped out.” J Capital continued, in a tweet, that “[w]e called all the ‘buyers’ named in [Ideanomics’] press releases this month. Not a single one had made a purchase. One of them thanked us for alerting them to ‘fake news.’”
On this news, Ideanomics’ stock price fell from its June 24, 2020 closing price of $3.09 per share to a June 25, 2020 closing price of $2.44 per share, a one day drop of $0.65 per share, or approximately 21%.
Then on June 26, 2020, Ideanomics issued a press release in which it sought to “clarify the status” of its purported EV hub in Qingdao, China. In this release, Ideanomics walked back certain of its prior statements regarding the MEG Center in Qingdao, stating that it was launching three phases of its MEG Center that will eventually total one million square feet. The first phase, according to Ideanomics, occupies only 215,000 square feet.
The stock price continued to plummet on June 26, 2020, dropping to a close of $1.46 per share. This represents a two day drop of approximately 53%.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com
Author: Pomerantz LLP
Former King Of Spain Is Leaving Country Amid Investigations Into Financial Dealings
Juan Carlos, the former king of Spain, pictured in 2016, is being investigated for possible corruption and is leaving for an undisclosed country.
The former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, is leaving the country, he announced in a letter to his son, the current king, on Monday. He is being investigated for possible financial improprieties.
“A year ago, I expressed my will and desire to stop performing institutional activities. Now, guided by the conviction to perform the best service to the Spanish people, their institutions and you as King, I am communicating my thoughtful decision to move, at this time, outside of Spain,” Carlos wrote to his successor King Felipe VI.
“A decision I make with sadness, but with great serenity. I have been King of Spain for almost forty years and, during all of them, I have always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown.”
The move comes as Spanish and Swiss authorities are investigating the former monarch’s finances. Spain’s supreme court this year opened an investigation into Carlos’ personal Swiss bank account, in which he allegedly hid $100 million given to him by the then-king of Saudi Arabia in 2008.
Carlos’ self-exile marks a stark fall from grace for the man who many credit with ushering Spain into democracy from dictatorship. He led the country for 39 years, from 1975 until 2014, when he abdicated his throne in favor of King Felipe amid reports that he had engaged in tax evasion, extramarital affairs and elephant hunting.
Author: Alana Wise
Manhattan DA Vance probing Trump Organization for ‘insurance and bank fraud’ and ‘pattern of financial misconduct’
President Trump and his company face an investigation for “insurance and bank fraud,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance wrote Monday, asking a judge to uphold a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns.
The new filing in Manhattan Federal Court hinted at the scope of Vance’s investigation, which includes a subpoena for eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns. The probe was previously thought to center on an investigation of how the Trump Organization accounted for hush money payments made to women during the 2016 election. But Carey Dunne, an attorney in Cy Vance’s office, wrote that Trump’s legal challenges of the subpoena are based in part on the “false premise” that the investigation is limited to the hush money payments.
The D.A. needs the “documents to assess whether a pattern of financial misconduct, for example, might violate state criminal law,” wrote Carey Dunne, an attorney for Vance.
The office is also investigating allegations of “insurance and bank fraud by the Trump Organization and its officers,” according to the filing.
Dunne cited news reports of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” as justification for the subpoena.
“These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct,” Dunne wrote.
President Trump during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 3, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Trump continues to fight the demand on his longtime accounting firm, Mazars, despite an historic Supreme Court ruling that he was not entitled to immunity while in the Oval Office and had to comply like any other citizen. Trump’s new challenges center on claims that Vance’s subpoena was “wildly overbroad” and issued in bad faith.
But Dunne wrote that Judge Victor Marrero, who is overseeing the case, already rejected those arguments.
Trump “merely regurgitates allegations and arguments this Court has rejected before,” Dunne wrote.
“Every day that goes by is another day (Trump) effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.”
Marrero declined “to impute bad faith to the District Attorney,” in a ruling last year. After receiving a confidential document detailing Vance’s investigation, the judge also determined the subpoena was reasonably crafted for what Dunne described as a “complex financial investigation.”
That ruling also hinted that Vance’s investigation related to a wide array of Trump’s legal troubles, including a non-prosecution agreement between the federal prosecutors and the publisher of the National Enquirer, the conviction of Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen and “investigations by multiple other New York regulatory authorities.”
Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, among other crimes, in connection with his role arranging the hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both women claim to have had affairs with Trump, which he denies.
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In an evening briefing from the White House, Trump called Monday’s Vance revelations “just a continuation of the witch hunt.”
“It’s Democrat stuff,” he said. “They failed with Mueller and with everything, they failed in every stage … This is a continuation of the worst witch hunt in American history.
“Didn’t work out for Congress, didn’t work out for Mueller, didn’t work out for anybody,” Trump added. “It’s a terrible thing that they do, really a terrible thing. The witch hunt has gone on long enough.”
Trump and Vance have been fighting in court since the D.A. served the subpoena on Mazars on Aug. 1, 2019. Since then, Trump has sought to “delay the grand jury’s investigation,” Vance has argued.
Nevertheless, it’s unlikely Trump’s taxes will become public before the 2020 election. Marrero must rule on the new arguments, which Trump can then appeal. Vance’s office has requested “expedited resolution” of the legal fight.
- President Trump
- Cy Vance
Author: Stephen Rex Brown
These 2 Stock Market Sectors Are Buys if Biden Beats Trump in November
I’m not a political person and do not have a partisan bone in my body. Still, the election this November could shape certain stock market sector performance over the long term. Experienced market participants with time horizons of several years (not months) understand that presidential elections often over promise the implications for equity markets. Regardless, a Biden win could serve as a tailwind for these two sectors:
While there’s no guarantee that Joe Biden will legalize cannabis, his proposed cabinet is full of supporters. Today, America boasts bipartisan support for federal marijuana legalization. With regulation currently up to states, multi-state growers can legally only sell to roughly a third of the American population. This means that illicit markets with no regulations or quality control continue to thrive in many parts of the country. Furthermore, American growers cannot currently export to European nations, however, federal legalization would open up that option.
Image source: Getty Images.
The federal government currently collects zero federal tax on cannabis sales. With the pandemic obliterating government revenues, it is now even more timely for a president to support federal legalization and taxation of cannabis.
Cresco Labs and Green Thumb Industries are two large US multi-state operators that would surely benefit. The bigger boost, however, may be for the Canadian growers. Canada’s population is just over one-tenth the size of the U.S. and has a fraction of the retail footprint. California alone has more legal cannabis consumers than Canada. Federal legalization in the U.S. would mean companies like Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth could export product to the states and enjoy a massive increase in their addressable customer bases. Based on the current supply gluts facing our friends up north, this would be welcome news.
Next is renewable energy and all ancillary companies. Biden’s infrastructure plan aims to pump $2 trillion into green energy investments over four years. The money will be used to build solar panels, charging stations, and more. Obviously, this would be bullish for large renewable energy stocks like First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR). This energy company operates several large-scale solar power plants nationwide and manufactures solar panels using proprietary photovoltaic technology. The benefits, however, extend beyond pure-play green energy companies.
Large industrial companies will surely be needed for such a transformative initiative. That is good news for stocks such as Caterpillar, as $2 trillion in new infrastructure surely requires equipment. Caterpillar sells industrial machines likely needed to build a greener grid. Perhaps even more interesting: The company has a growing solar energy business of its own that could benefit.
Biden’s plan also calls for extensive investments in rebuilding roads & bridges. It’s feasible to think asphalt and concrete giants like Vulcan Materials could benefit.
Silver is also a clear beneficiary. Photovoltaic cells (the most common solar panel type) require large amounts of silver to construct. This is a positive for related tickers such as iShares Silver Trust. Yes, mining is environmentally taxing, but it is also a necessary evil if national solar farms are going to be a reality. The metal is a rare combination of an industrial material used in green energy and an inflation hedge. With all the stimulus money being pumped into the economy, and Joe Biden fully planning on sizable renewable energy spending, now may be a good time to make an investment.
Until November, there will be an overwhelming amount of political commentary to digest. Some will be useful for investors but most won’t. For market participants more interested in stocks than following a campaign, this is an objective take on the cause and effect of a Biden win. Cannabis and renewables look poised to gain from a Biden victory that will lead to legislation.
Author: Bradley Freeman
Grab launches new consumer financial services, including micro-investments and loans – TechCrunch
Grab announced today that its financial unit, which previously focused mainly on services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, is launching a slew of consumer products, including micro-investments, loans, health insurance and a pay-later program.
Based in Singapore, Grab began in 2012 as a ride-hailing company before expanding into on-demand deliveries and other services. In January 2019, it formed a joint venture with ZhongAn Insurance to build a digital insurance marketplace. Since then, its financial services portfolio has grown through a series of partnerships and the acquisition of Bento, which allowed it to offer investment and wealth management services as well.
In February, Grab announced that it had raised up to $856 million to speed up development of its payments and financial services.
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Grab raised $200 billion from South Korean private equity firm Stic, bringing its total funding so far to more than $10 billion at a valuation of about $14.3 billion. A Grab spokesperson declined TechCrunch’s request for comment on that raise.
During a call with reporters today, when asked if Grab has a timeline for reaching profitability, Reuben Lai, senior managing director at Grab Financial Group, said there isn’t one yet, but “research has shown that there is a real demand for the products we are launching today. What we really want to do is focus on consumers and make sure we deliver products they use. We think profitability and sustainability will follow.”
Grab Financial Group’s new products including AutoInvest, a platform that allows consumers to invest small sums of money through Grab’s app; consumer loans; a buy now, pay later program; and expanded insurance offerings, including hospital insurance that will first launch in Indonesia.
While Grab’s new consumer products were in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic, Lai said the crisis has accelerated demand for services like online shopping, digital payments and insurance.
Grab’s consumer products will compete with services like StashAway, an online investment platform based in Singapore, but Lai said Grab Financial Group’s competitive edge is that there are already millions of Grab users in Southeast Asia. This gives it a built-in consumer base and also data to continually refresh the scoring models it uses to determine creditworthiness.
According to a 2019 report by e-Conomy Asia, a research program run by Google and Temasek, about 70% of people in Southeast Asia are “underbanked,” meaning that they lack access to credit cards or long-term savings products. Even in Singapore, one of Asia’s financial centers, about 40% of consumers qualify as underbanked. Bain and e-Conomy estimate that the digital financial services in Southeast Asia can generate $60 billion in revenue by 2025, making it a lucrative market for Grab.
Most of the unit’s insurance was previously focused on Grab’s ecosystem, including drivers and merchants on its platform. But new products, like hospital coverage that will launch in Indonesia first to supplement the country’s national healthcare system, are targeted at consumers.
Chandrima Das, who founded Bento in 2016 and is now head of GrabInvest, said Grab’s new micro-investment solution will be accessible through Grab’s digital wallet. It allows users to invest as little as SGD $1 at a time into liquid fixed-income funds managed by Fullerton Fund Management and UOB Asset Management, with the potential to earn returns of about 1.8%. It will launch first in Singapore at the beginning of September.
While Grab Financial Group already offers working capital loans to drivers and purchase financing for merchants on its platform, its new consumer credit products include PayLater, which allows users to pay for Grab services at the end of each month, and will first be available in Singapore and Malaysia.
The company is also offering consumer loans from third-party licensed banks and financial institutions with an application process that it Ankur Mehrotra, Grab Financial Group’s head of lending, says is so simple “you can do it while sitting on your couch watching Netflix.”
Mehrotra said benefits of the program for merchants include increased gross merchandise value, larger basket sizes and lower cart abandonment rates.
Author: Catherine Shu