Index number – 6 Toros 6 Fri, 01 Jul 2022 00:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Index number – 6 Toros 6 32 32 Analysis: History offers some hope for the bear market blues Fri, 01 Jul 2022 00:00:00 +0000 We’re officially halfway through 2022, and so far, well… let’s just say, if this year was a movie, that’s about the time I’d be storming out and demanding a refund. What kind of sick, morally depraved writers would come up with this garbage?

Anyway, in the spirit of taking the time to reflect on where we are and where we are going from here, my colleague Nicole Goodkind was kind enough to take a look at how Wall Street gate. Short answer: terribly. But the longer answer is more fun, so let’s go.

Here’s the deal: The first half of the year was the worst for the S&P 500, the broadest measure of US markets, in more than 50 years.

The index is down more than 20% for the year, after entering a bear market two weeks ago. The three main US indices – the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 – ended this month and this quarter in the red.

Markets are easily troubled by uncertainty, and 2022 has been a messy queen of drama from the start, with three major events keeping investors on their toes:

  • Russia’s war on Ukraine (and all the supply-side shocks created for oil and commodities)
  • China’s Covid-19 lockdowns crippled manufacturers added more problems in global supply chains
  • And everyone’s favourite: inflation. The relentless rise in prices forced the Fed to switch to raising interest rates.

This unholy trinity of economic forces has made recession forecasting something of a national sport. Investors head for the exits: the S&P 500 has lost $8.2 trillion in total since the start of the year.

So yeah, it’s not good.

But hey, it’s almost the weekend and I want to see the bright side of things, so here’s a dose of optimism.

What we know from history is that the market always goes up. Ultimately.

And as Nicole notes, there is historically little correlation between the performance of the S&P 500 in the first and second half.

In 1970, for example, it fell 21% in the first six months, then rebounded to gain 27%.

Additionally, US stocks typically rise about 15% on average a year after landing in bearish territory. The last three bear markets have taken only four to five months to recoup losses.

Conclusion: hang on, friends.


Transactions thrive when markets are stable and businesses are doing well. When the mood drops, people get nervous, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing in this bear market. Central banks around the world are raising interest rates, making borrowing more expensive and making new listings and mergers shine.

The number of global IPOs has fallen 54% so far this year compared to 2021, according to Dealogic data provided to my colleague Julia Horowitz. Mergers and acquisitions fell 25%.


It’s not unusual for a brand to hire a smart writer to build a bold or offbeat social media presence. Best-case scenario, you get an account like Wendy’s, which manages to deliver genuine customer service while playfully roasting competitors and clinging to memes.

But when RadioShack this week began broadcasting a stream of explicit, non-work-safe tweets, the internet was stunned. It’s honestly the only one I could find that could be put into Nightcap (and you all know how low our standards are).

Obviously you can google the rest if you’re curious, but I can save you some time by making sure they’re not particularly clever or funny, just vulgar.

“WHAT’s going on at TARNATION with the Radio Shack Twitter?????” one user tweeted. Has the account been hacked? Did one of those young social media writers get burned out and forget he was using his Twitter business?

No. Turns out the tech retail zombie of the 90s is turning to crypto, says my colleague Jordan Valinsky. And the obscene tweets were all part of a marketing ploy for the RadioShack Crypto platform.

It describes itself as a “100-year-old brand embedded in the global consciousness” that will “lead the way in blockchain technology.” The “new” RadioShack has its own crypto token called $RADIO, which is basically worthless.


Let the crypto bros turn a legacy of my childhood mall experience into a stupid scheme.

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Stock market indicators investors need to know – Forbes Advisor UK Tue, 28 Jun 2022 10:39:31 +0000

When it comes to investing in stocks and shares, no one has invented a crystal ball that can predict the fate that awaits businesses and investors.

But there are indicators that have in the past helped investors anticipate events, from the onset of recessions to major stock market shocks.

Here’s an overview of the signals and indicators used by finance professionals to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to investing.

VIX index

Several signals have their origin in the behavior of the US stock market. For example, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Indexcommonly abbreviated as “VIX” (also known as the “fear gauge”), is a measure of expected US stock market volatility.

Market volatility is the frequency and magnitude of stock price movements, up or down. The greater and more frequent the fluctuations, the more volatile a market is said to be.

The VIX is designed to reflect investors’ views on future volatility. It assesses how much one of the world’s most influential stock market indices, the S&P 500, could fluctuate over the next 30 days. The higher the VIX rating, the more fearful investors become.

Adrian Lowery, Financial Analyst at Wealth Manager Evelyn Partners, says (June 2022)“The VIX is a far cry from the peak of 82 it reached during the Covid pandemic and when stock markets crashed, or the average level of 57 it continued to hold through March and April 2020. But it has certainly increased this year, almost doubling to its current level of around 31.”

The VIX reached 36 in March 2022 as the war in Ukraine began to take hold. Mr Lowery adds: “But the historical average is around 20 and prolonged periods above 30 tend to suggest worrying times for the stock market.”

Poppy Fox, investment manager at Quilter Cheviot, points out that volatility can be short-lived, adding, “The VIX is a short-term indicator. But it can give you an idea of ​​how the markets react to various information.

“Remarkably, you can also invest in the VIX. But since it is a very volatile index, it is only recommended for the most sophisticated investors.

Inverted yield curve

Regarding the inverted yield curve, Ms. Fox describes it as “perhaps the most watched indicator of financial distress”.

To understand how this works, it’s important to look at the behavior of bonds – IOUs issued by both governments and corporations.

In terms of risk, bonds fall between the relative safety of cash and high-risk investments such as stocks and shares.

The British government issues bonds called “gilts”, while their American equivalents are called “Treasuries”. IOUs issued by companies are called “corporate bonds”. In each case, the bond is issued in exchange for a loan.

The term of the loan can last as little as a few months or, in the case of government bonds, several decades. Either way, in exchange for their money, bondholders usually receive an interest payment that reflects the security of the IOU in question.

The interest payment is known as the “yield” of the bond, and a yield curve represents the yields available on bonds of different maturities.

Adrian Lowery of Evelyn Partners explains: “When yields on longer-dated government bonds fall below those on shorter-dated debt, this is called an ‘inverted yield curve’ and has been in the past a reliable indicator that a recession is imminent.”

Typically, investors demand a higher yield for holding a longer-maturity bond – an IOU redeemable in 10 to 30 years – than for a shorter-maturity version – one redeemable in three months to two years.

Mr Lowery says: “This is because investors need greater rewards for holding longer-term investments, as inflation and default risks are greater over longer periods.

“When yields on short-term bonds begin to match or exceed those on long-term debt, giving an inverted yield curve, this is considered a strong negative indicator of economic growth.”

This year, soaring inflation and expectations of increases in short-term interest rates have pushed up some short-term bond yields relative to longer-term ones.

For example, in the case of Treasuries, the difference in yields between the 2-year and 10-year versions turned negative in March of this year. In other words, the yield curve inverted, albeit narrowly and briefly, for the first time since September 2019.

Chart 1: 10-year US Treasury yield minus 2-year yield

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

At the same time, a similar event occurred between 5-year and 30-year Treasury bills. It was the first time that the spread between these two bonds had turned negative since 2006. The yield curve for the 2- and 10-year Treasury bills inverted again at the beginning of the month.

Lowery says studies have shown a remarkably strong correlation between yield curve inversions and subsequent recessions. Although, as he points out: “The downturn in some cases happened two or more years later, which some say weakens the indicator.”

Ms Fox adds: “While not an absolute indicator of a recession, the inverted yield curve has been quite reliable in the past and therefore attracts a lot of attention from investors.”

Other indicators

business profits

Stock prices are ultimately determined by how much money a company will make in the future. If earnings are expected to fall, the conventional wisdom is that a company’s share price will follow quickly.

In the context of a potential market downturn or recession, it is crucial to analyze the health of companies in your chosen investment area. Earnings results flashing red across the board are not a good sign.

consumer confidence

Just as it is important to check the trust and health of companies, it is also important to determine what consumers are doing.

If consumers say they are holding back on spending or are generally seen as lacking confidence in the economic outlook, warning signs will begin to flash.

Without a healthy consumer base, neither non-discretionary spending (must-have items) nor discretionary spending (nice-to-have items) will hold up, leading to weak economic growth as many businesses struggle in a challenging environment.

A weak consumer base can lead to a recessionary spiral, with households tightening the purse strings in response to economic concerns.

Mr. Lowery says, “Consumer spending accounts for almost 70% of US economic activity, and that figure is 60% globally. Consequently, the fracture in consumer confidence is often presented as a predictor of recession and/or weakness in stock markets.

Consumer confidence in the United States, as measured by the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index, has plunged below previous levels seen during the 2007/08 financial crisis and is now at an all-time low. since the late 1970s.

Source: University of Michigan Consumer Surveys

If companies start to suffer from collapsing household demand, inflation-induced rising input prices and corporate earnings start to miss their targets, already anxious investors could sell more of their stocks.

Purchasing managers indices

Purchasing Managers Indices, or PMIs, are monthly surveys of a number of companies in various sectors of the economy to see how confident they are about their business and market conditions.

Any score above 50 indicates that companies expect near-term growth, while a score below that level suggests contraction. PMIs provide a good picture of what is happening within companies and therefore indicate economic output.

Ms Fox says: “Currently in the UK, the manufacturing, services and construction PMIs all have readings around the 55 mark, indicating growth. However, that is slowing after a strong boost following the reopening of the post-pandemic economy, where numbers were comfortably in the 60s.

“A recent survey by the Confederation of British Industry indicated that there would be virtually no growth over the next three months, so it would not be surprising to see these numbers fall below 50, the point where the warning signs will begin to flash.”

The pace of stocks to the worst start since 1970 Sun, 26 Jun 2022 18:44:17 +0000

The week ahead will wrap up the second quarter and first half of what has been a tough 2022 for investors.

Several key economic reports, including core PCE inflation – the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of consumer prices – are available, as well as earnings from Nike (NKE), Jefferies (JEF), Micron Technology (MU) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY).

The S&P 500 rose more than 3% on Friday and gained more than 6% for the week, its second-best week this year and its first weekly gain since late May.

The benchmark remains on pace with one of its worst six-month open since 1970. Only five times since 1932 has the S&P 500 lost 15% or more in the first six months of a year; through Friday’s close, the benchmark was down just under 18%.

“As bad as [this year] has been for investors, the good news is that previous years that were down at least 15% midway through the year have seen the last six months higher each time, with an average return of almost 24%,” said LPL Financial’s chief market strategist. ryan derick noted earlier this week.

And indeed, investors generally remain optimistic about the prospect of a rebound despite this year’s downturn.

Although analysts have lowered their price targets on S&P 500 companies in recent months – bringing the index’s upward consensus target price below 5000 for the first time since August 2021 – the estimate of 4987, June 28-23 remains 31.4% above the closing price of the same day’s closing price of 3,795.73, according to FactSet data.

This suggests that analysts expect the index to rise more than 30% over the next 12 months.

The upward target price of the S&P 500. compared to the closing price of the last 12 months.

JP Morgan strategist Marko Kolanovic said in a note to clients on Friday that US stocks could climb up to 7% next week as investors rebalance their portfolios at the end of the month, in the second quarter and in the first half.

“Next week’s rebalancing is significant as equity markets have fallen significantly over the past month, past quarter, and past half year,” Kolanovic said. “On top of that, the market is in an oversold condition, cash balances are at record highs and recent market short selling activity has reached levels not seen since 2008.”

On the economic calendar, personal consumption expenditure (PCE) data will be closely watched by traders this week. The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its monthly PCE deflator on Thursday, giving investors the latest view on inflation in the U.S. economy as the Federal Reserve raises its benchmark interest rate to rein in price rises.

Economists polled by Bloomberg expect the PCE to rise 0.7% in May from 0.2% the previous month. On an annual basis, the PCE deflator is expected to accelerate to 6.4%, from a rise of 6.3% in April.

The core PCE index, which excludes the cost of food and energy, is expected to remain stable compared to the previous month’s print. Economists expect the core PCE to rise 5.1% in May, compared to April’s 5.1% rise.

U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

The latest data from the PCE will come as the US central bank‘s fight against inflation looks increasingly complex, with a growing number of economists and strategists on Wall Street suggesting the Fed will not be able to rein in prices without tipping the economy into a recession.

“I fear that the likelihood of a soft landing, meaning you reduce inflation without unduly harming growth and jobs, has fallen significantly due to a series of errors by the Federal Reserve. “, said the economist Mohamed El-Erian told Yahoo Finance Live last week.

Elsewhere on the economic calendar, investors will be keeping a close eye on Monday’s durable goods numbers, Tuesday’s Conference Board consumer confidence reading and several manufacturing and housing reports throughout the week. Investors will also get a third and final reading of first quarter GDP.

On the earnings side, reports from Nike (NKE), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Jefferies (JEF) and Micron Technology (MU) will be featured.

Economic Calendar

Monday: Durable Goods OrdersMay Preliminary (0.2% expected, 0.5% in previous month); Durable goods excluding transportMay Preliminary (0.3% expected, 0.4% in previous month); Door-to-door sales pendingmonth-over-month, May (-3.9% expected, -3.9% in prior month); Home sales pending NSAyear-over-year, April (-11.5% over the prior month); Dallas Fed Manufacturing ActivityJune (-6.5 expected, -7.3 in previous month)

Tuesday: ​​Expected merchandise trade balanceMay (-$105.4 billion expected, -$105.9 billion in prior month, revised to -$106.7 billion); Wholesale inventorymonth-over-month, May preliminary (2.2% expected, 2.2% in prior month); Retail inventorymonth-over-month, May (1.6 expected, 0.7% in prior month); FHFA Housing Price IndexApril (1.6% expected, 1.5% in previous month); Composite S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20 citiesmonth-over-month, April (1.85% expected, 2.42% in prior month); Composite S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20 citiesYoY, April (21.20% expected, 21.17% in prior month); US National S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller House Price Indexyear-over-year, April (20.55% over the previous month); Conference Board Consumer ConfidenceJune (100 expected, 106.4 in previous month); Richmond Fed Manufacturing IndexJune (-5 expected, -9 in previous month)

Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applicationsweek ended June 24 (-4.2% over the previous week); Annualized GDPquarter over quarter, third quarter (-1.5% expected, -1.5% before); Personal consumptionquarter over quarter, third quarter (3.1% expected, 3.1% before); GDP price indexquarter over quarter, third quarter (8.1% expected, 8.1% before); Basic PCEquarter to quarter, 1T second (5.1% expected, 5.1% before)

Thursday: Personal incomemonth-over-month, May (0.5% expected, 0.4% in prior month); Personal expensesmonth-over-month, May (0.4% expected, 0.9% in prior month); Actual personal expensesmonth-over-month, May (-0.2% expected, 0.7% in prior month); Initial jobless claimsweek ended June 25 (230,000 expected, 229,000 the previous week); Continuing claimsweek ended June 18 (1.310 million expected, 1.315 million the previous week); PCE deflatormonth-over-month, May (0.7% expected, 0.2% in prior month); PCE deflatoryear-on-year, May (6.4% expected, 6.3% in prior month); Basic PCE deflatormonth-over-month, May (0.4% expected, 0.3% in prior month); Basic PCE deflatoryear-over-year, May (4.8% expected, 4.9% in prior month); IMN Chicago PMIJune (58 expected, 60.3 in previous month)

Friday: US S&P Global Manufacturing PMIJune final (52.4 expected, 52.4 before); Building expensesmonth-over-month, May (0.4% expected, 0.2% in prior month); ISM manufacturingJune (54.7 expected, 56.1 in previous month); ISM prices paidJune (80.0 expected, 82.2 in previous month), ISM New Orders, June (55.1 in previous month); ISM Jobs, June (49.6 in the previous month); Total vehicle salesJune (13.40 million, 12.68 in the previous month)

Earnings Calendar


Before the market opens: No notable reports scheduled for publication.

After grant: Nike (NKE), Jefferies Financial Group (I F), Group (TCOM)


Before the market opens: No notable reports scheduled for publication.

After grant: AeroVironment (AVAV)


Before the market opens: Barnes & Noble Education (BNED), Bed bath and beyond (BBBY), General Mills (GIS), McCormick & Co. (MKC), Payment (PAYX)

After grant: MillerKnoll (MLKN)


Before the market opens: Constellation Brands (STZ)

After grant: Micron Technology (MU), Walgreens Boot Alliance (WBA)


No notable reports scheduled for publication.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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Boris Johnson’s future in jeopardy as Conservative Party hit by double UK by-election losses Fri, 24 Jun 2022 09:51:00 +0000 Labour’s Simon Lightwood won the seat of Wakefield in the north of England, West Yorkshire, with a majority of 4,925 votes over a 12.7 percentage point gap between the Tories and Labor .

Moments later, Liberal Democrat Richard Foord won the Tiverton and Honiton by-election in Devon, west England, with a spectacular swing of nearly 30 points. The Conservatives had taken the seat with a majority of over 24,000 votes, so the victory was one of the largest majorities ever overthrown in a British parliamentary election.

Helen Hurford, the defeated Conservative Party candidate, had locked herself in a room previously reserved for media interviews at the counting venue and allegedly refused to speak to any media, PA Media reported.

“This is a historic victory for the Liberal Democrats and a devastating blow for Tory MPs who continue to support Boris Johnson,” a Liberal Democrat spokesman told British media.

Johnson said the UK government must “listen to the results” of the crushing by-election losses, prompting the Conservative Party’s own chairman, Oliver Dowden, to step down.

Speaking in a panel interview during a visit to Rwanda, Johnson called the “difficult” results “a reflection of a lot of things”, acknowledging that British voters are “going through a difficult time at the moment”.

“As a government, I have to listen to what people are saying. And the difficulties that people are facing with the cost of living, which is, I think, for most people, the number one problem,” said notice Johnson.

Thursday’s by-elections were sparked by high-profile resignations by Tory lawmakers – one who admitted watching pornography in the chamber of Britain’s parliament and another convicted of sexually abusing a teenager.

The results are significant – and deeply concerning for the ruling Conservative party – for two reasons. The defeat of Tiverton and Honiton means that many once secure seats in the south and west of England could be at risk at the next general election. Wakefield’s result suggests Labor could take over many of the so-called red wall seats that swung to Johnson’s party in the 2019 election.

Friday’s defeats come on the heels of the damaging Partygate scandal in which lockdown events took place in Downing Street, and a vote of confidence in Johnson’s leadership earlier this month where more than 41% of lawmakers in his own party voted to get rid of him.

Johnson has faced numerous other scandals that have rocked his standing in the polls – despite winning a landslide 80 seats just two and a half years ago. These include accusations of misusing donor money to pay for renovations to his Downing Street home and whipping MPs to protect a colleague who broke lobbying rules.

Few tools in the box

If these scandals – often dismissed by government ministers as “Westminster Bubble” stories – were the only concern of Britons, Johnson might not have such serious problems. But perhaps the biggest problem facing the Prime Minister is one that, to some extent, is beyond his control.

The cost of living crisis is deepening and the government has few tools in its box to make life easier for British citizens. There have been energy rebates and subsidies to help those most affected, but given the pace of inflation, they fail to address the scale of the problems.

This week alone, the country went through the worst railway strike in 30 years. Unions and opposition politicians point the finger squarely at Johnson for refusing to negotiate with unions.

Analysis: Boris Johnson is still in charge.  But behind closed doors, rivals are plotting his ouster

Johnson’s allies will likely spend the next few days declaring that he is the only person capable of turning the tide and getting the party back to a winning position before the next general election, currently scheduled for 2024.

It may be true. But it could also be that the public has made a decision about him. Where once many admired him as the ‘Who Got Brexit Done’ man touted on his campaign posters – now he may just be another regular politician for much of the public.

Johnson is out of the country for the weekend, attending Commonwealth, G7 and NATO summits in Rwanda, Germany and Spain. It’s usually when the leader is out of the country that Westminster’s biggest plotters do their best. And there are a significant number of Tories who believe Johnson is dragging the party into oblivion and will cost them their jobs – and their power.

He has already faced a vote of confidence. He could very well face another before the end of the year. But the question some Tory MPs are quietly asking is: has Johnson’s premiership burned the earth? Is there anyone who could rebrand the party, as Johnson did in 2019, and lead a renewed party to another victory?

Barring a snap election, the Conservatives will be in power for 14 years when they ask the people to give them five more. By that time they will have had three very different leaders who were, it was thought at the time, the best people for the job.

If the country still feels like it’s going backwards, it will be very difficult for Johnson – or any other conservative – to argue that they are the people to drive it forward and keep a straight face.

CNN’s Niamh Kennedy contributed to this report.

Live updates: EasyJet cuts more summer flights as staff shortage hits Mon, 20 Jun 2022 06:37:50 +0000

A train sits at North Acton station in London. The Metro faces another staff walkout © John Sibley / Reuters

What started with misery at the pumps due to rising fuel prices, then air travel disruption due to understaffing will this week spread to problems on trains – in the country that gave you this mode transport. A series of nationwide rail strikes and, in London, another underground strike, threaten to cripple the network.

The dispute centers on wage demands and the impact on jobs of efficiency savings made more urgent by falling incomes during pandemic shutdowns. Government ministers, who as this article notes now effectively control all rail funding following changes made during the pandemic, declined to speak directly with the RMT, the main union calling for action.

Whether this will have a big impact on Thursday’s two UK by-elections – this week’s top election news – is a moot point given that the poll already points to a double whammy for the Tories – a “red wall” and a “ blue wall” constituency – amid anger at their leader and the country’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The aviation industry will also be in the spotlight this week as the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (Iata) is held in Doha. The news here is unlikely to be very positive. Last October, Iata predicted that 2.3 billion people would fly in 2021 and 3.4 billion in 2022, compared to 4.5 billion people who traveled in 2019.

Another international gathering this week will be the delayed meeting of Commonwealth Heads of State in Rwanda. The venue will provoke uncomfortable questions for Prince Charles, who will attend on behalf of the Queen, given the UK’s deal with the country to take in British asylum seekers, a policy the heir to the throne had described as “appalling” according to a report in the Times newspaper.

The week will end with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hosting his counterparts from other G7 nations for a summit at Bavaria’s secluded Schloss Elmau castle, the same venue his predecessor Angela Merkel chose in 2015. The most notable point here, however , is special guest , India’s Narendra Modi, and whether it will help the Western powers – Australia will do something similar during a state visit to India earlier in the week – in the battle for allies to counter the growing closeness between Russia and China.

Economic data

Polls are the theme this week with a series of Purchasing Managers’ Index reports, regional announcements from the Fed in the US and Ifo Business Confidence figures in Germany.

The culmination of speeches by central bankers — and there are a few this week — will be Jay Powell’s semiannual appearance before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee to present his report on monetary policy. And in case you don’t have enough cost of living data, we’ll also get more inflation updates from Germany, Canada, the UK and Japan.


A Carrefour in Saint-Herblain, on the outskirts of Nantes

Among the speakers at the Consumer Goods Forum, Alexandre Bompard, CEO of Carrefour © Loïc Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Cost of living and shopping trends will be at the heart of discussions among global retail groups meeting in Dublin this week for the Consumer Goods Forum. The business leaders of Unilever, Coca-Cola, Carrefour, Tesco and walmart are on the list of speakers.

Not many results announcements this week. FedEx will release fourth-quarter numbers on Thursday, but that was anticipated last week as the U.S. delivery company shrugged off concerns about the economy when it announced a dividend increase and two new board members.

Read the full schedule for the coming week here

Mental health groups are concerned about the readiness of a new suicide prevention hotline Sat, 18 Jun 2022 14:05:00 +0000 From July 16, people seeking mental health services can call 988 to access counselors and response teams from the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Calls will be redirected to the current number, 1-800-273-8255, which will remain operational during and after the 988 expansion.

The new number is intended to make it easier for people in crisis to contact someone who can help them, and the federal agency in charge of the hotline expects the number of callers to double from 2020. But with more than 200 call centers currently in existence across the country already stretched thin, mental health groups fear 988 will drain resources and lead to longer wait times and dropped calls. Without additional funding for future service, these groups say, callers won’t get the help they need, and officials acknowledge the hotline is not expected to be fully staffed when it rolls out.

“While this is a watershed moment, although this is an exciting opportunity to transform our current system of crisis care into something that is not a one-size-fits-all model, but takes into account lived experiences and realities of many communities experiencing behavioral or mental health crisis, we are a bit concerned that the implementation is not ready,” said Preston Mitchum, director of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project , a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth.

Bob Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, told CNN that a “big concern is that demands could exceed capacity very quickly and these centers will be overwhelmed.”

“When this happens, calls drop, wait times increase, and people who are on the other end and struggling don’t get the connection they need,” Gebbia said.

Bracing for intensive use

The hotline received 3.6 million calls, chats and texts in 2020. After the 988 transition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, expects contact volume to double in that first year to 6 million, possibly up to 12 million.

Since the FCC approved 988 in 2020, the federal government and the hotline’s administrator, Vibrant Emotional Health, have been preparing for national implementation of the three-digit number by providing grants to states to supporting call centers and actively trying to recruit more crisis counsellors. (Those interested in learning more can visit

The Biden administration provided $282 million for the 988 transition, including funding for states and territories to improve response rates and the ability to meet future demand. A 2021 SAMHSA appropriations report to Congress indicated vital capacity was sufficient to handle approximately 85% of calls, based on internal data analysis from Vibrant as of December 2020, the most recent data available.

Dr. John Palmieri, acting director of 988 and SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Crisis Coordination Office, acknowledged to CNN that states are currently at varying levels of preparedness, adding, “It will take us some time to build the capacity of the manner that we believe is necessary.” According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

SAMHSA and mental health groups have all stressed the need for states to approve the fee, saying it will help keep 988 going beyond this year.

But in the meantime, several states have reported difficulty in upgrading.

One such lifeline member, the Arkansas Crisis Center, has seen a 700% increase in calls over the past two years but worked with the same number of staff, according to its executive director, Rebecca Brubaker.

Alaska’s Careline Crisis Intervention Service said it recently had the opportunity to increase salaries and is now seeing a significant increase in applicants, executive director Susanna Marchuk said. But with the short timeline for the July 16 deployment, replenishing the workforce after departures amid the Covid-19 pandemic presented another challenge.

The Central Wyoming Counseling Center currently has the staff to answer the approximately 500 phone calls it receives per month and recently received a one-time funding injection of $2.1 million from the state legislature to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to Andi Summerville, the executive. director of the Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substances Abuse Center. But Summerville called the funding a “band-aid” and said after two years it would not have the funding to maintain 24-hour service.

Training requirements for hotline staff members vary from state to state and may require hours of instruction. The Alaska Crisis Center, for example, averages about 50 hours of “class time” coupled with 30 hours of “shadow time,” Marchuk said.

Hannah Wesolowski, head of advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, told CNN her organization is “really worried” about the surge in demand once people learn about 988 in July and November. Beyond that, as “call centers struggle to keep up.” ask now.”

“Some states are well equipped to respond, and others will rely heavily on national rescue centers, which means not all callers will get the value of a local response they urgently need,” she said.

A boost to “fill these gaps”

John Draper, executive director of lifeline and executive vice president of national networks at Vibrant, admitted to CNN that the challenge with 988 lies in funding the crisis centers, which he says operate “with little money. For years”.

And he acknowledged that not all centers will have the staff they need by July, calling it a “long-term building process”.

Vibrant’s “most intensive focus right now” is supporting national emergency call centers, so that by July they will be able to “fill the gaps where there are insufficient crisis services to respond locally “Draper said.

Palmieri told CNN it would also take time to build the capacity of national rescue centers, saying they are currently comparable to the capacity of local call centers.

But, in Wesolowski’s view, “Ideally, we want those calls to be answered locally.”

“Because it’s only a local call center that can connect a person to resources in their community and dispatch emergency services when needed,” she said.

And without states and communities taking action to build the capacity of local call centers, Wesolowski warned, “we’re really in a tough spot.”

“The crisis system we seek to build is coming together quickly, but there is still a lot to do,” Wesolowski said. “We’re in a better place than just a few months ago, and the system is improving day by day. But it’s going to take a lot of work.”

Biden slams ‘foreign’ shipping companies for helping boost inflation as he signs new law Thu, 16 Jun 2022 21:22:00 +0000 The president also attacked ‘foreign’ shipping companies, saying: ‘They raked in the profits and the costs were passed on, as you might guess, directly to consumers, sticking to American families and businesses. because they could – furniture, appliances, clothes, anything and everything across the Pacific on a ship from Asia – saw a skyrocketing price tag, and families and businesses felt the pressure here at home.”

The new law aims to improve oversight of shipping and makes changes that proponents say will reduce inflation and reduce export backlogs. The White House said the law would help reduce costs for American retailers, farmers and consumers.

A ceremony Thursday at the White House to sign the bill took place amid a number of recent economic concerns facing the nation.

At the consumer level, supply issues remain regarding consumer access to key products such as infant formula and tampons.
The national average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline hit $5 for the first time ever. Last Friday’s Consumer Price Index report showed inflation rising faster than expected, adding to concern that prompted the Federal Reserve to issue its biggest interest rate hike in 22 year. Mortgage rates jumped more than half a percentage point on Thursday – the biggest one-week increase since 1987. And ahead of this week’s rate hike, the S&P 500 on Tuesday wiped out all of its gains since the inauguration of Biden at the beginning of last year.

At Thursday’s ceremony, Biden reiterated that tackling inflation remained his “number one priority,” saying he believed the legislation would reduce inflation “at least marginally.”

And despite comments from his staff and advisers in recent weeks pushing back on inflation concerns by suggesting that high inflation or gasoline prices remain worse in other parts of the world, the president remarked that “it’s no consolation that inflation is higher in the rest of the world, and gas prices are higher everywhere else in the world. It doesn’t matter. It’s way too high here.

Yet Biden and the White House have largely blamed factors beyond their control for the state of the economy, such as oil giants raking in high profits and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as Russian President Vladimir’s war. Putin in Ukraine and its effect on everything from the world’s oil supply to fertilizer to grain.

During his State of the Union address in March, the president criticized the “exploitation” that shipping companies are doing by passing on high prices to consumers. And ahead of the signing ceremony, a White House official explained that rising shipping costs “is a major contributing factor to rising costs for American families.”

“During the pandemic, shipping carriers have raised their prices by up to 1,000%. And, too often, these shipping carriers refuse to bring U.S. exports back to Asia, leaving with empty containers instead. farmers and ranchers – and our economy – a lot of money,” the official added.

China urges university graduates to work in villages as urban unemployment soars Mon, 13 Jun 2022 14:01:00 +0000 Local governments should encourage university graduates to work as village officials, says joint statement published last week by the Ministries of Education, Finance, Civil Affairs, Human Resources and Social Security.

The government will provide tax incentives and loans to university graduates who set up businesses to serve the rural community, the statement added. Similar benefits will be offered to existing small businesses in villages that hire university graduates, including in areas such as housekeeping and elderly care.

Generally, college graduates in China prefer to work for high-paying companies in big cities, and there is a significant income gap between rural and urban areas. But this is not the first time in recent years that the government has urged to seek employment in the vast but less developed countryside of the country.

In July 2020, when the first coronavirus outbreak hit China’s economy, authorities encouraged university graduates to move to rural areas, rather than congregating in cities and fighting for limited job opportunities. .

These calls reminded many on Chinese social media of a government initiative during the tumultuous times of Communist China’s founder, Mao Zedong. Known as the “Movement Up to the mountain and up to the countryside“, the original policy was launched by communist leaders in the 1960s, ostensibly to move privileged urban youth to remote corners to learn farming and politics from poor peasants. The result: the “lost generation” of China who wasted their best years in the countryside.

But this year, students are running out of options.

Chinese graduates face toughest graduation season as a record 10.76 million are expected to complete college in the next two months.

The world’s second largest economy slowed significantly in the first half of this year, meaning there are fewer urban jobs available. Small businesses – a major source of jobs – have been hammered by China’s massive Covid lockdowns.
China’s huge tech sector is also facing a severe jobs crisis. The once freewheeling industry has long been China’s main source of well-paying jobs, but big companies are said to have cut their workforces on a scale never seen before to cope with the President Xi Jinping’s regulatory offensive against private enterprise.

The urban unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds reached a historic high of 18.2% in May, according to the latest government statistics. The figure does not take into account new university graduates for this year.

China only surveys employment in urban areas.

The ‘incredibly’ tough college entrance exams

As the employment situation deteriorates, getting into college is becoming even more difficult in China.

A record 11.93 million students sat the country’s grueling university entrance exam last week. These students are competing to enter the best universities in the country, often under enormous pressure from their parents and families.

This year, students took to social media to complain about the exceptional difficulty of the exam, and related topics have been trending on Weibo since the weekend.

According to social media posts, many students burst into tears while taking the math test, and some complained that the Chinese Literature test questions were so “incredibly” difficult that even the authors of these classic books would not be able to understand them.
Responding to the online controversy, the Ministry of Education said in an interview with state media that the challenge of the math exam is to “play the screening role” and better serve the government’s goal of building a quality education system.
Analysis: Boris Johnson is still in charge. But behind closed doors, rivals are plotting his ouster Sat, 11 Jun 2022 04:00:00 +0000 Johnson’s government is currently believed to have between 170 and 180 MPs on its payroll. As the vote was private, that meant that at best, Johnson was only able to secure a handful of backbench votes. In the worst case, employees voted against him the second they were granted the protection of anonymity.

While Johnson and his allies have since claimed the victory was compelling and a decisive result that gives the prime minister a renewed term, the reality is that 41% of his own MPs do not want him in office. The number is worse than the result of a no-confidence vote for Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, in 2018 and is expected to rise in the coming months.

For now, however, Johnson’s job is safe. Conservative Party rules protect him from another confidence vote for 12 months. There is speculation that the party could try to rewrite these rules, but given the private nature of the Tories, it is difficult to have any real idea of ​​the likelihood of this.

So what happens next?

Johnson announces a flurry of policy ideas designed to cheer up his backbenchers and constituents. More homes, more doctors, more police, crackdown on illegal immigration to name a few.

Meanwhile, those who most want to see his downfall aren’t sitting on their hands. Publicly, MPs say the result of the confidence vote means they owe their loyalty to Johnson – for now. He deserves the time to turn things around, they say.

However, multiple sources confirmed to CNN that those with their eye on the top job are already building their power bases and preparing to launch leadership bids when the time comes.

Dinners with donors who would fund individual campaigns have already taken place, hosted by MPs who have already chosen their leader. Influential MPs have been courted to test the waters.

“The phone calls tend to start with 15 minutes of insisting that Boris has his full support and that they don’t think a leadership race will take place. Then they lay out their vision for how they would make things better. It’s low key, but it happens,” a senior conservative official told CNN.

The most outspoken acting prospects are unsurprisingly long-term critics of Johnson.

“Most of the activity seems to be around Jeremy Hunt and other Remainer elders,” says a veteran Tory and former cabinet minister, referring to those who wanted the UK to stay in the European Union. “It makes sense because they never wanted Boris in the first place and have the least to lose.”

Hunt, who has held three cabinet posts, including health, is arguably the most prominent candidate on the moderate and ex-remain side of the party. However, it comes with baggage, and opposition Labor sources told CNN they are already writing lines of attack.

Jeremy Hunt is arguably the most prominent candidate on the moderate and ex-Remain side of the Conservative Party.

A senior Tory official said his fellow MPs were aware of this. “It can’t be Jeremy. Labor can say he ran healthcare for six years and failed to prepare for a pandemic. They can say that when he was secretary at culture, he bonded with the Murdochs during the phone hacking scandal. He will be crushed,” the source said.

Other potential candidates on this side of the party include Tom Tugendhat, a former military man who chairs the foreign affairs select committee, and current education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

Tugendhat impressed his colleagues with his eloquence and seriousness, especially when he spoke about the fall of Afghanistan, a country where he had served in the army.

Although he voted to leave the EU in 2016, Zahawi is widely admired among party moderates. Basically, as a Tory source put it, ‘he hasn’t been in government long enough to have any obvious flaws and, although he backed Boris even after the confidence vote, he isn’t too tainted of association”.

Obviously, it’s harder to run a stealth leadership campaign if you’re a sitting minister. How do you defend the Prime Minister after the confidence vote while courting MPs to test the waters?

This is the problem faced by those considered to be candidates for leave.

Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, voted to Remain in 2016 but has since become one of the strongest Eurosceptic voices in government, particularly on Northern Ireland. She has a great and dedicated team around her – some of whom have worked in Number 10 before – who have produced stylish videos and photos of her looking like a statesman. Which might be helpful if she ran for leader, a cynic might say.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss voted to stay in 2016 but has since become one of the strongest Eurosceptic voices in government, particularly on Northern Ireland.

A source working at the Foreign Office told CNN that since Monday Truss “has had endless meetings with MPs”, adding that although the meetings are officially about Northern Ireland “it has been insinuated that she sees what her base of support is, if the time comes.”

Truss’s office denies any secret leadership bids. She said before the vote of confidence that she supported Johnson “100%” and encouraged her colleagues to do the same. After the vote, she urged MPs to say it was time to move on to “get behind the Prime Minister”.

Truss’ most obvious rival is current Home Secretary Priti Patel. One of the conservative sources said Patel’s stealth campaign “has been busy, organized and underway for about a year.”

Patel is very popular among the party base and the more conservative wing. She’s a lifelong Eurosceptic with years of fierce discussions about immigration, crime and the economy under her belt. She was famous for supporting the return of the death penalty, although she has since moved away from that.

Both cabinet ministers publicly back the prime minister and officials say their aim is to implement Johnson’s agenda, nothing else.

However, a government minister told CNN that some cabinet ministers “use their office to promote themselves and engage with MPs.”

While it’s nothing new to invite influential MPs to your big state office, the minister says the tone in Westminster “has changed since Monday. Everyone expects there to be a vacancy at some point in the near future”.

The next major hurdle for Johnson to overcome is the two by-elections on June 23. If he loses both, which is not impossible, his detractors will move again. The party could try to rewrite the rules so it faces another leadership vote.

If the party does not rewrite the rules, it will struggle to overturn its own popularity and that of its party before the next elections scheduled for 2024.

It’s an unenviable task, given that the UK is in a cost of living crisis and the Tories have been in power for 12 years. And under normal circumstances, you’d be forgiven for thinking Johnson is safe because no one in their right mind wants the job.

But that’s how it goes wrong. Despite the gravity of the next few years for the UK, ambitious politicians are ready to throw their hats into the ring at what could be the worst possible time and risk their entire careers. Because if they don’t, anyone can guess how far Johnson could take his party with him.

Stifling heat to cook the South-West before swallowing the South, the South-East Thu, 09 Jun 2022 14:26:18 +0000
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Temperatures are soaring as we head into the weekend under an intense, sprawling heat dome that will bring triple-digit heat to 45 million Americans in the coming week. Heat advisories and excessive heat watches and warnings cover the map in the desert southwest and California, with heat expected to spread across the central United States this weekend.

Early next week, the sweltering heat dome will move eastward from the Lower 48, baking the Ohio Valley, Midwest, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Highs could be 10 to 15 degrees above normal, with readings peaking in the upper 90s and heat indices exceeding 100.

Excessive heat: Temperatures above 100 swell from Texas to California

Records could be under threat in many major cities, with conditions that could prove downright dangerous for the elderly, homeless and other vulnerable populations.

The National Weather Service issued excessive warnings or heat advisories for more than 30 million desert southwest residents across California’s Central Valley through the weekend.

High in the desert southwest

Phoenix and Las Vegas are under excessive heat warnings through Sunday, with temperatures expected to break records.

“Typically, we usually see the first excessive heat warning in early to mid-June, so that in itself isn’t incredibly abnormal, but temperatures will be approaching record highs,” said National meteorologist Jenn Varian. Weather Service. office in Las Vegas.

Record highs are forecast for Thursday and Friday in Vegas – the number to beat Thursday is 108 degrees, and a high of 109 is expected. That surpasses the record set in 1996. Saturday’s predicted high of 109 degrees would tie a record. The average high in Las Vegas at this time of year is around 100 degrees.

“The excessive heat is here. No change in forecast thinking,” the Las Vegas Weather Service office wrote in its online forecast discussion. “Temperatures will remain elevated at dangerous levels.”

He survived Sharpiegate. Now he heads the weather service.

The heat affecting Las Vegas actually covers most of the southwest, encompassing southern and western Arizona, most of southern California, including the Inland Empire and deserts, and the densely populated San Joaquin Valley in California.

Phoenix, a city of nearly 1.7 million, is expected to hit 110 degrees Thursday, 113 Friday, 114 Saturday and 113 degrees Sunday. That should break records on Thursday and Saturday and tie on a Friday. It hit 110 degrees for the first time this year on Wednesday.

“The risk of high to very high heat will prevail throughout the region through Sunday,” wrote the Weather Service for Phoenix, where an excessive heat warning is in effect through Sunday.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has also issued an air quality alert, which means ground-level ozone could reach dangerous levels. Ozone production near the surface is catalyzed by excessive heat and can cause breathing difficulties. The agency is urging those using gas-powered equipment to wait until late in the day.

In Las Vegas and Phoenix, as well as many other communities in the Southwest, the biggest concern isn’t the triple-digit daytime highs – it’s the unusually warm nighttime lows, which may not drop below the 80s in many places.

“The overnight lows are the worst part of it in general,” Varian said. “If we just have highs approaching record highs and it gets colder overnight, we probably won’t issue an excessive heat warning. But for people who are homeless, who may not have housing or who try to save a dime with air conditioning, their body can’t cool down at night.That’s when the impacts start.

Maricopa County has opened dozens of cooling shelters in the Phoenix metro, though the vast majority are only open during the day. A site shared by the department allows residents to search for the nearest location using their address.

In Las Vegas, the Salvation Army has received funding from Clark County to reopen the daytime cooling shelter that had been closed in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. A few more chills shelters were also opening.

Excessive heat warnings are in effect through tonight for northern parts of California’s Central Valley, where readings in the valleys and foothills are expected to be between 100 and 107 degrees today. It is likely that the alerts will be extended or reissued in the coming days.

“In addition to hot temperatures during the day, there will be little heat relief overnight,” the Hanford, Calif., weather service warned.

Sacramento is expected to hit 101 degrees Thursday afternoon, 105 Friday and 102 Saturday before returning to the upper 80s on Sunday. That could tie a record on Thursday.

The heat advisories cover the rest of the Central Valley south to where the excessive heat warning begins in Southern California but also reaches west towards the Bay Area. Downtown San Francisco is not under any type of alert, but Friday’s expected high of 81 degrees is about nine degrees above average.

In Death Valley, Calif., the high is expected to hit 120 degrees on Friday and 121 degrees on Saturday — tough daily records, with overnight lows at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in the lower 90s. Nearby needles should be between 113 and 117 degrees, just a hair’s breadth from the records.

Texas and Central United States

Tens of millions of people in the Lone Star State are also expected to face sweltering temperatures. Unlike its counterparts to the west, however, the heat that will grip Southeast Texas, including Houston and Galveston and the Interstate 10 corridor, is not dry heat.

“The combination of near-record high temperatures and high dew points will produce increasingly dangerous heat index values ​​between 100 and 106 degrees today,” the Houston Weather Service wrote in a special weather release. The bureau predicts heat indices above 108 between Friday and Sunday, which could lead it to issue a heat advisory.

“Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable, and all heat-related safety precautions should be taken even if there is no heat advisory in effect!” he wrote.

Houston could hit 100 degrees any day through Sunday before returning to the mid-90s.

“Yes, Houston is hot in the summer, but usually not as hot in June,” headlined an article for SpaceCityWeather.coma Houston weather website.

Further north, Dallas is expected to be around 102 degrees Thursday and Friday before catching a 105 on Saturday and 103 on Sunday. With the heat dome lingering overhead, the Metroplex is likely to remain elevated above 100 through the middle of next week.

Austin will be between 100 and 105 every day, as will San Antonio, and no immediate relief is in sight.

The heat is entirely due to a high pressure dome, which brings clear skies and hot, dry, descending air. The jet stream diverts north of the high, taking all the weather and storms with it. This allows for abundant sunlight, allowing sunlight to pour in and heat the ground unhindered.

The science of heated domes and how drought and climate change are making them worse

This heat dome will be centered over the Four Corners region on Saturday, but is expected to move east over the plains on Sunday and reach the eastern United States by Tuesday. Thereafter, it may persist, bringing widespread highs of 10 to 15 degrees above normal.

It is likely to usher in what could be the first major East Coast heat wave of the season.

Human-caused climate change amplifies heat waves like this, making them more intense and longer lasting.