The week of April 18 was eventful for streaming video providers as their business model came into question. Netflix announced an ad supported tier and CNN’s new parent company pulled the plug CNN+.
Iran last week unveiled a handful of new missile systems and advanced war drones amid escalating threats to attack Israel if the Jewish state makes “even a small mistake” in the region, according to reports in Iran’s state-controlled press.
The country unveiled the missile systems during military parades held last week celebrating Iran’s National Army Day. The hardline regime’s air force, ground force, navy, and air defense forces all displayed new domestically produced weaponry designed to deter and intimidate Israel from launching operations on Tehran’s contested nuclear program, which has expanded in the years since President Joe Biden began diplomacy aimed at securing a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The military event featured a line of armed drones, including an advanced “suicide drone” that Iranian military leaders said is produced to counter Israel’s Harop drones, which can target enemies on the ground and self-destruct. The new drone “could be flown from both ground and offshore launchers,” according to Iranian officials quoted in the state-run Tasnim News Agency.
Iran revealed the new military equipment on the same day its president, Ebrahim Raisi, issued threats to attack Israel. The warnings come as Israel considers its options in response to Iran’s escalating nuclear program. Israel is believed to have launched several covert operations to sabotage Tehran’s program during the past several years and could strike the country’s nuclear infrastructure, especially if Iran’s program reaches advanced stages of development on an atomic weapon.
“Not a small movement of the enemy is hidden before the sharp eyes of the Iranian Armed Forces,” Raisi said, referring to Israel. “If they make the smallest mistake, our response will be given at the center of the Zionist regime and our Armed Forces won’t let them relax.”
Raisi’s comments were directed toward the “Zionist regime” and meant to signal that “Iran’s security forces are monitoring all of its activities.”
In addition to the new suicide drones, Iran displayed what it called a “new generation of Ababil drones,” a long-range surveillance drone used for targeting. The Ababils were billed as a “major achievement” and displayed on trucks during the military parade.
Iran says the new drones are equipped with an assortment of air-to-ground and surface-to-air missiles, all of which it could use in a potential standoff with Israel.
Three new missile systems also were announced during the event.
The Fath 360 system is a ground-to-ground missile system that fires long-range artillery rockets and also could be used for strikes on Israel and other neighboring countries. A second system is reportedly constructed to perform radar operations and missile launches simultaneously. The third system, called Dezful, is an air defense system modeled off Russia’s Tor missile system, which fires short-range surface-to-air munitions.
“Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made great headways in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere,” Tasmin reported.
Iran also announced in recent days that it is expanding Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) operations in international waters. The IRGC’s navy division is drafting plans to expand its forces’ “operational depth” in “faraway waters.” The announcement comes as Iran seeks to increase its presence in South America and other areas close to the United States. This includes a January operation in which an Iranian tanker delivered oil to Venezuela, in violation of U.S. sanctions.
Behnam Ben-Taleblu, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, said Iran’s increasingly sophisticated arsenal of drones “should be of particular interest for policymakers in the U.S. and security planners in the region.”
“Drones are increasingly being used, along with missiles and rockets, in Middle Eastern conflict zones where the Islamic Republic has a partner or proxy in the field,” Taleblu said. “Not only are sanctioned Iranian defense contractors and the regime’s military-industrial complex engaged in drone production, but Iran is supporting the capabilities of its proxies through part proliferation, transfers, and aiding local production.”
The production of this equipment is likely to embolden Iran and create a “lower bar for [the weapons’] use and greater Iranian sense of confidence that they can manage regional escalation dynamics,” according to Taleblu. “Drones are an increasingly lethal element of Iran’s ‘long arm’ that can strike or harass enemy targets and positions in the region.”
The post War Footing: Iran Parades New Missiles, Drones Amid Threats To Strike Israel appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
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Key Events This Busy Week: PCE, Employment Costs, Durables And Barrage Of Earnings
It’ a busy week with over a hundred companies reporting, and a barrage of economic data on deck. According to DB’s Jim Reid, the week is also important for European inflation with German CPI on Thursday and the French and Italian equivalent (plus PPI) on Friday with the overall Euro CPI the same day. US (Thursday) and European Q1 GDP (Friday) will also be of interest. Unlike last week, when a relentless barrage of chattering central bank uberhawks sent stocks spiraling lower, we are now in the Fed blackout period ahead of the FOMC’s meeting in the first week of May, so they won’t add to the hawkishness for the 9.5 days before we get the FOMC decision. Note that the BoJ meet on Thursday although nothing suggests they are going to pivot and will remain the last hawkish shoe to drop.
Back to the US where inflation-related data will be the closest watched with Friday’s ECI expected to be strong. This is one of the key indicators the Fed use for labor market strength. The core PCE deflator (the Fed’s preferred inflation measure) also comes out as part of the income and spending report data on Friday. The rate of growth may well tick down here so this might provide a shred of good news on inflation without changing the story too much.
It is also a crucial week for corporate earnings with 179 of the S&P 500 reporting and 134 in the Stoxx 600. Big US tech will be the highlight with Microsoft and Alphabet (tomorrow), Meta (Wednesday), and Apple and Amazon (Thursday). Some context here: the Nasdaq 100 Index has erased about $1 trillion in market value since Netflix released disappointing earnings and is closing in on oversold levels; the tech-heavy FANGMAN basket has lost $2.4 trillion in market cap from 2021 ATH as Netflix and
Meanwhile, consumption patterns will be in focus when we get results from Coca-Cola (today), Mondelez, Chipotle (tomorrow), Kraft Heinz (Wednesday) and McDonald’s (Thursday). Meanwhile, a range of banks across the globe will give a pulse check on consumer credit. Notable reporters will include HSBC, UBS, Santander (tomorrow), Credit Suisse (Wednesday), Barclays (Thursday), finishing with BBVA and NatWest on Friday. Other notable financials reporting will include Visa (tomorrow), PayPal (Wednesday) and Mastercard (Thursday).
Other tech-related companies releasing results will include Activision Blizzard (Monday), LG, Qualcomm, Spotify (Wednesday), Samsung, Intel and Twitter (Thursday). In healthcare, another sector that benefitted from the pandemic, reporters will include Novartis (tomorrow), GlaxoSmithKline (Wednesday), Eli Lilly, Merck, Sanofi (Thursday) and AstraZeneca (Friday).
To see how the commodity rally and the focus on energy transition affected major commodity companies worldwide, markets will get earnings from Iberdrola, Vale (Wednesday), Total, Repsol (Thursday), Exxon, Orsted, Chevron and Eni (Friday). Downstream users like transport firms will report too, including General Motors (tomorrow), Boeing, Mercedes-Benz and Ford (Wednesday). Other notable corporates releasing results will include Texas Instruments, General Electric, UPS and Caterpillar.
The rest of the day by day calendar of events is shown below.
Day-by-day calendar of events
Monday April 25
- Data: US April Dallas Fed Manufacturing activity, March Chicago Fed national activity index, Japan March services PPI, Germany April
- IFO business climate, Eurozone February construction output
- Earnings: Coca-Cola, Activision Blizzard, Vivendi
Tuesday April 26
- Data: US April Conference Board consumer confidence, Richmond Fed manufacturing index, March durable goods orders, new home sales, February FHFA house price index, Japan March jobless rate, UK March public finances
- Central banks: ECB’s Villeroy speaks
- Earnings: Microsoft, Alphabet, Atlas Copco, Visa, PepsiCo, Novartis, UPS, Texas Instruments, Raytheon Technologies, Ganfeng Lithium, HSBC, General Electric, Mondelez, 3M, UBS, General Motors, Capital One, Warner Bros Discovery, Santander, ADM, Valero, Chipotle, MSCI
Wednesday April 27
- Data: US March wholesale inventories, pending home sales, China March industrial profits, Germany May GfK consumer confidence, France April consumer confidence
- Earnings: LG, Meta, Vale, T-Mobile, Qualcomm, Amgen, Yara, Boeing, PayPal, Canadian Pacific, GlaxoSmithKline, Mercedes-Benz, Iberdrola, Ford, Kraft Heinz, Hess, Lloyds, Spotify, UniCredit, Credit Suisse, Hertz
Thursday April 28
- Data: US Q1 GDP, personal consumption, core PCE, initial jobless claims, April Kansas City Fed manufacturing activity, Japan March retail sales, industrial production, housing starts, Germany April CPI, Italy April consumer, manufacturing confidence, economic sentiment, March hourly wages, February industrial sales, Eurozone April economic confidence
- Central banks: BoJ decision, ECB’s Economic Bulletin, ECB’s Wunsch speaks
- Earnings: Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Mastercard, Eli Lilly, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Merck, Comcast, Intel, McDonald’s, Swedbank, Linde, Sanofi, Caterpillar, TotalEnergies, Gilead Sciences, Twitter, Nordic Semiconductor, PG&E, Southwest Airlines, Nokia, Barclays, Repsol, Carlyle, Zendesk, Roku
Friday April 29
- Data: US Q1 employment cost index, March personal income and spending, PCE deflator, April MNI Chicago PMI, France April CPI, March consumer spending, PPI, Q1 GDP, Italy Q1 GDP, April CPI, March PPI, Germany Q1 GDP, March import price index, Eurozone Q1 GDP, April CPI, March M3, Canada February GDP
- Earnings: Bank of China, Exxon Mobil, Orsted, Chevron, AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Honeywell, DBS, Colgate-Palmolive, Eni, Neste Oyj, BBVA, NIO, CaixaBank, NatWest
* * *
Finally, looking at just the US, Goldman writes that the key economic data releases this week are the durable goods report on Tuesday, the Q1 GDP advance release on Thursday, and the employment cost index and core PCE reports on Friday. There are no speaking engagements from Fed officials this week, reflecting the FOMC blackout period.
Monday, April 25
- 10:30 AM Dallas Fed manufacturing index, April (consensus 4.5, last 8.7)
Tuesday, April 26
- 08:30 AM Durable goods orders, March preliminary (GS +0.7%, consensus +1.0%, last -2.1%); Durable goods orders ex-transportation, March preliminary (GS +0.7%, consensus +0.6%, last -0.6%); Core capital goods orders, March preliminary (GS +0.7%, consensus +0.4%, last -0.2%); Core capital goods shipments, March preliminary (GS +0.7%, consensus +0.5%, last +0.3%): We estimate that durable goods orders increased 0.7% in the preliminary March report, following a 2.1% decline in February.
- 09:00 AM FHFA house price index, February (consensus +1.5%, last +1.6%)
- 09:00 AM S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, February (GS +1.6%, consensus +1.50%, last +1.79%); We estimate that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose by 1.6% in February, following a 1.79% (19.1% yoy) increase in January.
- 10:00 AM Conference Board consumer confidence, April (GS 107.2, consensus 108.5, last 107.2); We estimate that the Conference Board consumer confidence index was flat at 107.2 in April, reflecting weaker signals from other confidence measures.
- 10:00 AM New home sales, March (GS -1.0%, consensus +1.3%, last -2.0%): We estimate that new home sales declined 1.0% in March, following a 2.0% decline in February.
- 10:00 AM Richmond Fed manufacturing index, April (consensus 8, last 13)
Wednesday, April 27
- 08:30 AM Advance goods trade balance, March (GS -$110.0bn, consensus -$105.0bn, last -$106.3bn); We estimate that the goods trade deficit increased by $3.7bn to $110.0bn in March compared to the final February report, reflecting an increase in imports.
- 08:30 AM Wholesale inventories, March preliminary (consensus +1.5%, last +2.5%): Retail inventories, March (consensus +1.6%, last +1.1%)
- 10:00 AM Pending home sales, March (GS -2.0%, consensus -1.0%, last -4.1%): We estimate that pending home sales decreased by 2.0% in March, following a 4.1% decrease in February.
Thursday, April 28
- 08:30 AM Initial jobless claims, week ended April 23 (GS 185k, consensus 180k, last 184k); Continuing jobless claims, week ended April 16 (consensus 1,393k, last 1,417k): We estimate that initial jobless claims edged up to 185k in the week ended April 23.
- 08:30 AM GDP, Q1 advance (GS +1.5%, consensus, +1.0%, last +6.9%); Personal consumption, Q1 advance (GS +3.6%, consensus +3.4%, last +2.5%): We estimate that GDP growth slowed to +1½% annualized in the advance reading for Q1, following a 6.9% annualized increase in Q4. Our forecast reflects firming consumption growth (to +3.6%) and strong growth in business structures and equipment investment, offset by a drag from net exports (-2.1pp). We also expect a negative contribution from slower inventory growth (-0.8pp), following a strong positive contribution in Q4 (+5.1pp).
- 11:00 AM Kansas City Fed manufacturing index, April (consensus +35, last +37)
Friday, April 29
- 08:30 AM Employment cost index, Q1 (GS +1.3%, consensus +1.1%, prior +1.0%): We estimate that the employment cost index rose 1.3% in Q1 (qoq sa), which would boost the year-on-year rate by five tenths to +4.5%. Our forecast reflects larger-than-normal annual raises due to labor shortages and the elevated quits rate. Relatedly, the share of workers with unchanged wages fell to a 15-year low in the quarter (11%, yoy basis, Atlanta Fed wage tracker). Incentive-paid industries also weighed on the Q4 ECI reading, whereas we expect a flat or positive contribution in Q1.
- 08:30 AM Personal income, March (GS +0.5%, consensus +0.4%, last +0.5%); Personal spending, March (GS +0.7%, consensus +0.6%, last +0.2%); PCE price index, March (GS +0.83%, consensus +0.9%, last +0.58%); PCE price index (yoy), March (GS +6.63%, consensus +6.7%, last +6.35%); Core PCE price index, March (GS +0.25%, consensus +0.3%, last +0.35%); Core PCE price index (yoy), March (GS +5.22%, consensus +5.3%, last +5.40%): Based on details in the PPI, CPI, and import price reports, we forecast that the core PCE price index rose by 0.25% month-over-month in March, corresponding to a 5.22% increase from a year earlier. Additionally, we expect that the headline PCE price index increased by 0.83% in March, corresponding to a 6.63% increase from a year earlier. We expect that personal income increased by 0.5% and personal spending increased by 0.7% in March.
- 09:45 AM Chicago PMI, April (GS 62.9, consensus 62.0, last 62.9): We estimate that the Chicago PMI was unchanged in April at 62.9.
- 10:00 AM University of Michigan consumer sentiment, April final (GS 65.0, consensus 65.7, last 65.7): We expect the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index decreased by 0.7pt to 65.0 in the final April reading.
Source: DB, BofA, Goldman
Mon, 04/25/2022 – 09:30
After Musk confirmed last week he has financing to buy Twitter, the social media company’s leadership began giving his acquisition offer a second look, the Wall Street Journal reported.
After a great week for Arsenal, the club has a two-point advantage over Spurs.
On ABC’s This Week, co-anchor Martha Raddatz invited Doctor Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy to discuss how the country should move forward in light of a federal court ruling that struck down the CDC’s federal mask mandate. Raddatz ended up just whining that Americans are done with the pandemic.
Osterholm told Raddatz that while he is in support of “respiratory protection”, the current policy of just requiring passengers to cover their face with any type of mask or face covering is tantamount to “just check[ing] a box.”
He explained that because “you have most people not wearing an N95, they’re wearing a face cloth covering or even a surgical mask which is not effective in reducing transmission.”
Further questioning the current mask policy, he noted how “if you’re eating or drinking you don’t have to have something on your face, and then finally about a quarter of all people wear it underneath their nose which is like closing only three of the five-screen doors on your submarine.” He then remarked that “what we want to do is stop talking about masking and talking about effective respiratory protection.”
Raddatz bemoaned that when she was on an airplane this week, “about a fifth of the people maybe had a mask on, the others seemed jubilant that they didn’t have to wear a mask.”
Desperately wanting everyone to mask up again, she asked Osterholm: “how do you really return to that or advise people? They seem done with it!”
Osterholm was forced to break the bad news to Raddatz that “the U.S. public is done with the pandemic.” He also noted how the masking requirements have become a “philosophical and political issue, not a science issue” and rightly noted how “the media at the very outset is one of the problems” because “they keep talking about masks. That’s like talking about the difference between a condom that’s intact and a condom that has a hundred holes in it.”
Raddatz whining that Americans are done with pandemic restrictions was made possible by lucrative sponsorships by CarFax & Fidelity. Their information is linked.
To read the relevant transcript of this segment, click “expand”:
ABC’s This Week
9:20:27 p.m. Eastern
MARTHA RADDATZ: The overall mask mandate is totally confusing, especially this week, mandates lifted. Mandates returned, reinstated. Lifted again. You told “The New York Times” this week public health advice has been way off the mark. All along, about mask protection. So what do you see as the best guidance?
DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM (DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH & POLICY): Well, it is off. First of all, let me be really clear. I am very, very strongly supportive of respiratory protection. Someone can do a great deal to protect themselves and protect others if they’re using an N95 respirator but this virus is transported by what we call aerosol, these very fine particles that float into the air. It’s like smoke, it’s like perfume and you have to have a high-quality respiratory protection device to protect yourself. What happens on airplanes today, is really more just check a box, it is not effective. Why? Because first of all, you have most people not wearing an N95, they’re wearing a face cloth covering or even a surgical mask which is not effective in reducing transmission.
Then when you get on board, if you’re eating or drinking you don’t have to have something on your face, and then finally about a quarter of all people wear it underneath their nose which is like closing only three of the five-screen doors on your submarine. And so that from that perspective, it really isn’t all that effective. And so I think that what we want to do is stop talking about masking and talking about effective respiratory protection.
RADDATZ: And how do you do that? You talk about flying. I flew across the country this week. About a fifth of the people maybe had a mask on, the others seemed jubilant that they didn’t have to wear a mask. So how do you really return to that or advise people? They seem done with it!
OSTERHOLM: Well, first of all, the U.S. public is done with the pandemic. Even though the virus is not done with us and we have to recognize that in public health. You know, you can’t swim against a tide of this magnitude so what is it that we can do? Well, we have to have credibility, and, again, what has happened has this has become really a philosophical and political issue, not a science issue. So in the media at the very outset is one of the problems. They keep talking about masks. That’s like talking about the difference between a condom that’s intact and a condom that has a hundred holes in it. But it’s a condom! No, there is very different effectiveness using these different approaches so from my perspective I would say particularly if you’re an immunocompromised individual, someone who’s at serious risk of illness and serious illness, you need to wear that N95 respirator. If everybody can do that they would keep it on through the duration of the flight, not wear it underneath their nose then that would be a very effective way to have a mandate but what we’re doing now is we are literally just basically addressing a political issue, not a science issue.
ALEXANDRA SHULMAN: Last week, a House of Commons data manager called Alison Baker won a case arguing that she had the right to her own desk.