Gold futures log highest finish since late February
  [Source: MarketWatch.com - MarketPulse 2021/04/09-01:37]

Gold futures climbed Thursday to mark their biggest daily gain of the month so far, and highest finish since late February. Prices for the precious metal extended their gains after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday said the central bank wanted to see actual evidence of a strong economy before it would even consider pulling back from its loose policy stance. June gold rose $16.60, or nearly 1%, to settle at $1,758.20 an ounce on Comex. That was the highest most-active contract settlement since Feb. 25, FactSet data show.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Low Inventories, Chip Shortages Spark Unprecedented Spike In Used-Car Prices In March
  [Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml 2021/04/09-01:35]

Low Inventories, Chip Shortages Spark Unprecedented Spike In Used-Car Prices In March

US used car/truck prices are re-accelerating in 2021 - at a stunning rate - after a brief pause from October to December. 

Source: Bloomberg

From 1995 to the end of 2019, used-vehicle prices have risen at around a 1.5% to 2.0% per annum (admittedly with some pops and drops along the way). The last year has seen prices rising at around 15% per annum... and March's 5.9% spike MoM sent the year-over-year change in prices up a stunning 26.3%.

Source: Bloomberg

As we detailed previously, the current semiconductor shortage at automotive assembly plants and very light dealer inventories, especially in pickup trucks, is driving marginal demand here.

While many market observers suggest this pricing rebound should be viewed as a short-term phenomenon, WardsAuto.com notes that the trend has stubbornly continued.

And while low inventories have meant transaction volumes are admittedly much lower than they have been in the years leading up to 2020, this is another example of the importance of the used-vehicle segment in supporting the automotive industry’s recovery in the wake of a tumultuous pandemic year.

The low-inventory scenario on the new-vehicle side of the market has been, and will continue to be, particularly tough, limiting the mid- to-long-term outlook for used-vehicle supply.

There are several reasons for this, not least of which is the fact that the industry is facing a major microchip shortage. The high-tech offerings of the automotive industry have put the sector into fierce competition for critical components with consumer electronics and other segments of the economy that require chipset technologies.

Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights, claims that “the chipset shortage has snowballed into a bigger crisis for the automotive industry.”

As DataTrekResearch's Nick Colas observed from his days covering the auto industry: designing, producing and supplying anything for a passenger car or truck is unlike any other industry you can imagine.

  • First, it takes at least 3 years (an eon in tech-land) to design a vehicle, and these designs are frozen a year or longer before the vehicle is available for sale.

  • Second, OEMs are cheap because the industry is so competitive.

  • Third, anything they put in a vehicle has to have a very low fail rate, which means they will favor older proven technology over newer products.

  • Lastly, governments around the world regulate cars and trucks across a wide spectrum of attributes ranging from safety to fuel economy.

All this is important because there’s so much investor and tech industry enthusiasm about automotive as a growth area. Fair enough – between government mandates for electric vehicles and a lot of capital flowing to autonomous vehicle hardware and software something interesting will develop. But we’re not designing the next cool smartphone handset with a 5 year (at most) useful life. EVs/AVs will have to be as robust and safe as what’s on the market now to succeed. And the auto industry will have to integrate into the world’s tech hardware manufacturing infrastructure better – much better – than it currently is.

We’ll get there, to be sure. But it won’t be a fast move. Nothing in automotive ever is, unless it’s a fully loaded 2-year-old used pickup moving down the auction line next week.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/08/2021 - 13:35
Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Site Shut Down After Adverse Reactions Reported
  [Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml 2021/04/09-01:16]

Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Site Shut Down After Adverse Reactions Reported

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

A mass vaccination site at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado was shut down after several adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson CCP virus vaccine, said Centura Health, which is managing the site.

More than 600 people who had appointments were turned away from the “Vaccines for All” event in Commerce City after 11 people who were administered the shot developed adverse reactions during the on-side observation period, said Kevin Massey, a spokesperson for Centura Health, told local news outlets.

“Following the administration of the J&J vaccine and during onsite observation, we saw a limited number of adverse reactions to the vaccine,” Centura Health said in a separate statement.

The Colorado Department of Public Health said some patients experienced nausea and dizziness after getting the J&J vaccine, while Centura confirmed that nine individuals were monitored on-site and were sent home and two individuals were taken to nearby hospitals out of an abundance of caution.

“Over 1,700 patients received their shots today, and the 640 patients who were unable to receive their vaccine this afternoon will automatically be rescheduled for Sunday, April 11, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Our goal is to continue to vaccinate Coloradans as quickly as possible while keeping our patients’ safety at the forefront,” said Centura.

Massey told the Denver Post that the number of people who experienced adverse reactions was about 0.8 percent.

“We followed our protocols and, in an abundance of caution, made the decision—in partnership with the state—to pause operations for the remainder of the day,” Massey said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose vaccine for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19. That’s opposed to the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that are also approved for emergency use in the United States.

Before Wednesday’s event, the state health department recorded 10 reactions at Colorado’s community mass-vaccination sites, according to the paper.

Reactions to COVID-19 vaccines have been reported in recent weeks, including a Virginia man who suffered a reported skin reaction after what doctors said was from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Colorado Health officials, following the closure of the site, stressed that getting the vaccine is “far safer than getting severely sick with COVID-19.”

European Union health officials on Wednesday made a similar statement after researchers found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca CCP virus vaccine and rare blood clots.

The Epoch Times has contacted Centura for additional comment.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/08/2021 - 13:16
Okta shares jump 7% on move into two multibillion-dollar markets
  [Source: MarketWatch.com - MarketPulse 2021/04/09-01:09]

Shares of Okta Inc. surged 7% Thursday after the cloud-services company announced its move into two multibillion-dollar markets, Identity Governance Administration and Privileged Access Management, that will increase its total addressable market to $80 billion from $55 billion by early 2022. The announcement, during Okta's investor day, underscores its status as a "cloud-first, customer-first" company, Chief Financial Officer Michael Kourey told MarketWatch.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

: FTC slams Facebook as ‘personal social networking’ monopoly in latest filing
  [Source: MarketWatch.com - Top Stories 2021/04/09-01:01]

The Federal Trade Commission ratcheted up the rhetoric in its lawsuit against Facebook Inc. in a filing late Wednesday, calling it a "personal social networking" monopoly that is "violating the antitrust laws by maintaining its monopoly through means other than competition on the merits."