MidWeek Commentary

HI  Market View Commentary 09-25-2023

HI  Market View Commentary 09-25-2023

Yes  On October 9th Columbus Day is NOT a holiday for the markets

How far is the market down for Sept ??? 4.12 S&P 500


How important is it – 09/21/2023

Market down 1.12 Portfolio down 0.0016


How important is protection ? When Markets fall they almost always fall faster than they go up

Do you want to gamble your positions in the market?

Long Put = Right to sell a stock at a certain price for a certain period of time, Debit, BTO

Placed ATM or slightly OTM or ITM

At the start it will make up 0.40 to 0.50 roughly half the downward movement

Which means at the start yes you lose more money on stock than the put can make up

Goal to have the put make up 70% to 90% of the daily downward movement

What is the expontential return?= the percentage of more shares that we buy

IF the stock drops 30% and we add 20% more shares of stock

120 * 50% return = 180% return

When we double up on puts we just want to make more than the stock is losing




Earnings dates:

MU –         9/27







Where will our markets end this week?


DJIA – Bullish

SPX –Bullish

COMP – Bullish


Where Will the SPX end October 2023?

09-25-2023            +1.5%






Tues:           CTAS, COST

Wed:           FUL, MU

Thur:           KMX, JBL,BB,NKE

Fri:              CCL



Econ Reports:


Tue              FHFA Housing Price Index, S&P Case Shiller, Consumer Confidence, New Home Sales

Wed:           MBA, Durable Goods, Durable ex-trans

Thur:           Initial Claims, Continuing Claims, Pending Homes Sales, GDP, Deflator

Fri:              Personal Income, Personal Spending, PCE Prices, Michigan Sentiment, Chicago PMI


How am I looking to trade?

Adding protection based on technical analysis on indexes and earnings seasons starts soon

www.myhurleyinvestment.com = Blogsite

info@hurleyinvestments.com = Email








Govt. shutdown likely because ‘holdouts’ want to ‘sabotage’ spending cuts, Rep. Moore says

By Brigham Tomco, Deseret News | Posted – Sept. 22, 2023 at 3:02 p.m.


Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, speaks at Sutherland Institute’s 2023 Congressional Series at Weber State University in Ogden on Aug. 29. He said Wednesday the country was at a “watershed moment” as national debt exceeded $33 trillion for the first time and spending talks stalled among House Republicans. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Blake Moore said Wednesday the country was at a “watershed moment” as national debt exceeded $33 trillion for the first time and spending talks stalled among House Republicans with a government shutdown on the horizon.

The inability of the Republican conference to unite around a reasonable stopgap funding measure and pass appropriations bills that already contain sizable spending cuts is a sign his colleagues are not taking the problems of government spending seriously, Moore said in an interview with the Deseret News.

“When you look at the table of all 12 appropriations bills, we are cutting an enormous amount of spending,” Moore said. “If the handful of Republicans want to sabotage that and make it so we don’t have the opportunity to cut spending, they should have to answer to their constituents on how they’re allowing for more spending to take place.”

Moore said government shutdowns typically result in greater federal spending and effectively boot House Republicans from the negotiating table.

“If you’re one of the holdouts in the next few weeks, you’re actually creating more opportunities to spend more. And it’s hilarious that people can think otherwise about it, but that’s the reality. That’s the truth,” he said.

House GOP edges toward shutdown

Republican disagreements in the House over how to cut spending seem to be pulling the country toward a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

The House GOP conference has struggled to cobble together a stopgap funding measure to give them more time to work through the 11 remaining annual spending bills before government funding expires at midnight on Sept. 30.

Multiple versions of a “continuing resolution” have failed to gain support in the House, where Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy enjoys a bare three-seat majority.

A handful of members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have stymied McCarthy at every turn, rejecting the speaker’s concessions, sabotaging multiple votes on the Pentagon spending bill and causing the House to close shop for the week on Thursday — effectively canceling a vote on a continuing resolution originally scheduled for Saturday.

Even if the House GOP were to pass a continuing resolution when lawmakers return next week, the Senate will likely amend the bill to remove spending reductions and include Ukraine and disaster funding — essentially sending back a “clean CR” that conservative House members are unlikely to accept.

If the dysfunction continues, moderate House Republicans have said they would consider joining forces with their Democratic colleagues to circumvent McCarthy and approve a continuing resolution, which would likely result in a conservative backlash and McCarthy losing his speakership.

Republicans pass budget resolution out of committee

On Wednesday, the House Budget Committee, on which Moore serves, passed a budget proposal, with recommendations for each of the 12 appropriations bills and a 10-year plan with guidelines for how Congress can reduce the deficit “so we can put our country on a plan that gets us back into that semblance of reality where we can even discuss a balanced budget,” Moore said during Wednesday’s hearing.

The budget resolution will now advance to a floor vote.

The budget resolution is different from the appropriations bills that need to be passed in order to stave off a shutdown. It is a non-binding statement of spending priorities, upon which the appropriation bills are based.

Despite the committee being tasked with producing a budget outline every year to guide the appropriations process, this is the first to see the light of day since Democratic leadership took charge of the committee in 2019.

While missing its target deadline by several months, Moore says the committee’s “Reverse the Curse” Blueprint still played a large role in shaping the FY 2024 appropriations bills to meet the top line number decided in May’s debt ceiling deal of $1.471 trillion, bringing spending back down to FY 2022 levels.

“It’s important to put the marker down,” Moore said to the Deseret News. “That’s what the budget committee is supposed to do. They’re supposed to set the levels, and then all the other committees are supposed to adhere to it.”

The proposal would rescind the energy subsidies approved under the Inflation Reduction Act, which Moore says have been used to fund “pet projects” and wasteful spending. The bill, which despite its name, is mostly focused on funding environmental projects, was originally predicted to cost $400 billion. A year after its passage, it is projected to cost the government more than $1 trillion, according to estimates by the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model.

Moore says the budget resolution also proposes cuts to long-term spending programs like Highway Trust Fund and canceling student loan repayment plans.

Moore, a second-term congressman who campaigned on reversing “Washington’s dangerous debt culture,” delivered remarks Wednesday shortly before the House Budget Committee passed its first budget resolution in four years.

Moore: Time to stop deficit spending

“For too long we’ve simply spent money we did not have,” said Moore, who represents Utah’s 1st Congressional District. “We need to act now to reverse this curse.”

While it’s not a solution to Republican infighting over next year’s spending bills, Moore says the budget resolution is a significant step towards giving Americans “hope” that there is a way out of ever-growing debt and interest payments that will cause economic stagnation.

Every single American, regardless of your party affiliation, your ideology, knows that debt is a curse, that interest overtakes too much of your budget so you can’t invest in the things you want to invest in,” Moore said at the hearing.

America’s national debt hit $33 trillion for the first time Monday and is expected to top $50 trillion by the end of the decade. This level of borrowing comes with serious consequences, Moore explained, forcing the U.S. government to devote an ever-greater portion of its budget to paying interest on its loans.

Interest payments are projected to total more than $650 billion in 2023, $750 billion in 2024, and $10.6 trillion over the next decade, according to Congressional Budget Office. Moore pointed out that this means interest payments are on track to overtake defense, Medicare and Social Security as the largest line item in our budget.

“These numbers are so hard for folks to grapple with,” Moore said in an interview with the Deseret News, adding, “And there’s nothing else that’s more important.”

Shortfalls and surpluses for the budget

Shortly after the committee’s budget “blueprint” was unveiled on Tuesday, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonprofit organization focused on educating the public about fiscal policy, applauded Moore and his colleagues for “finally” producing “an actual budget.”

However, the organization criticized the plan as too little, too late, saying it fell “far short of the serious effort that will be needed to truly bring deficits under control” because of its unrealistic economic assumptions and unwillingness to rethink the nation’s largest spending programs.

Moore concedes there is much more to be done but says the budget sends an important message to Congress. What Moore, as a former business consultant, is most concerned with, he says, is changing the conversation around debt — and the country’s interest payments on that debt — to make its reduction a priority among lawmakers and voters alike.

“That’s the thing I think is most important, is getting out of the head of the interest juggernaut, because if that ultimately takes over and is the top budget item we have, like we’re in a whole new paradigm of fiscal insanity once that happens,” Moore said. “But we’re not there yet. And I think we have a chance to sort of curb that. And that’s what we’re trying to do.”



Wall Street’s ‘meh’ response to tech IPOs shows Silicon Valley’s valuation problem




  • Arm, Instacart and Klaviyo are all trading near their IPO price, showing a lack of enthusiasm among public investors for new tech opportunities.
  • The tech IPO market had been largely shuttered for 21 months, as investors turned away from risk with interest rates rising.
  • “People are worried about valuations,” said Eric Juergens, a partner at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton who focuses on capital markets and private equity.

After a 21-month tech IPO freeze, the market has cracked opened in the past week. But the early results can’t be encouraging to any late-stage startups lingering on the sidelines.

Chip designer Arm debuted last Thursday, followed by grocery-delivery company Instacart this Tuesday, and cloud software vendor Klaviyo the following day. They’re three very different companies in disparate parts of the tech sector, but Wall Street’s reaction has been consistent.

Investors who bought at the IPO price made money if they sold right away. Just about everyone else is in the red. That’s fine if a company’s goal is just to be public and create the opportunity for employees and early investors to get liquidity. But for most companies in the pipeline, particularly those with sufficient capital on their balance sheet to stay private, it offers little allure.

“People are worried about valuations,” said Eric Juergens, a partner at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton who focuses on capital markets and private equity. “Seeing how those companies trade over the next couple months will be important to see how IPO markets and equity markets more generally are valuing those companies and how they may value comparable companies looking to go public.”

Juergens said that based on his conversations with companies the market is likely to open up further in the first half of 2024 simply because of pressure from investors and employees as well as financing requirements.

“At some point companies need to go public, whether it’s a PE fund looking to exit or employees looking for liquidity or just the need to raise capital in a high interest rate environment,” he said.

Arm, which is controlled by Japan’s SoftBank, saw its shares jump 25% in their first day of trading to close at $63.59. Every day since then, the stock has fallen, and it closed on Thursday at $52.16, narrowly above its $51 IPO price.

Instacart popped 40% immediately after selling shares at $30. But by the end of its first day of trading, it was up just 12%, and that gain was practically all wiped out on day two. The stock rose 1.8% on Thursday to close at $30.65.

Klaviyo rose 23% based on its first trade on Wednesday, before selling off throughout the day to close at $32.76, just 9% higher than its IPO price. It rose 2.9% on Thursday to $33.72.

None of these companies were expecting, or even hoping for, a big pop. In 2020 and 2021, during the frothy zero interest rate days, first-day jumps were so dramatic that bankers were criticized for handing out free money to their buy-side buddies, and companies were slammed for leaving too much cash on the table.

But the lack of excitement over the past week — amounting to a collective “meh” across Wall Street — is certainly not the desired outcome either.

Instacart CEO Fidji Simo acknowledged that her company’s initial public offering wasn’t about trying to optimize pricing. Instacart only sold the equivalent of 5% of outstanding shares in the offering, with co-founders, early employees, former staffers and other existing investors selling another 3%.

“We felt that it was really important to give our employees liquidity,” Simo told CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa in an interview after the offering. “This IPO is not about raising money for us. It’s really about making sure that all employees can have liquidity on stocks that they work very hard for. We weren’t looking for a perfect market window.”

Odds are the window was never going to be perfect for Instacart. At the tech market peak in 2021, Instacart raised capital at a $39 billion valuation, or $125 a share, from top-tier investors including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and T. Rowe Price.

During last year’s market plunge, Instacart had to slash its valuation multiple times and switch from growth to profit mode to make sure it could generate cash as interest rates were rising and investors were retreating from risk.

Growing into valuation

The combination of the Covid delivery boom, low interest rates and a decadelong bull market in tech drove Instacart and other internet, software and e-commerce businesses to unsustainable heights. Now it’s just a matter of when they take their medicine.

Klaviyo, which provides marketing automation technology to businesses, never got as overheated as many others in the industry, raising at a peak valuation of $9.5 billion in 2021. Its IPO valuation was just below that, and CEO Andrew Bialecki told CNBC the company wasn’t under pressure to go public.

“We’ve got a lot of momentum as a business. Now is a great time for us to go public especially as we move up in the enterprise,” Bialecki said. “There really wasn’t any pressure at all.”

Klaviyo’s revenue increased 51% in the latest quarter from a year earlier to $165 million, and the company swung to profitability, generating almost $11 million in net income after losing $11.7 million in the same period the prior year.

Even though it avoided a major down round, Klaviyo had to increase its revenue by about 150% over two years and turn profitable to roughly keep its valuation.

“We think companies should be profitable,” Bialecki said. “That way you can be in control of your own destiny.”

While profitability is great for showing sustainability, it isn’t what tech investors cared about during the record IPO years of 2020 and 2021. Valuations were based on a multiple to future sales at the expense of potential earnings.

Cloud software and infrastructure businesses were in the midst of a land grab at the time. Venture firms and large asset managers were subsidizing their growth, encouraging them to go big on sales reps and burn piles of cash to get their products in customers’ hands. On the consumer side, startups raised hundreds of millions of dollars to pour into advertising and, in the case of gig economy companies like Instacart, to entice contract workers to choose them over the competition.

Instacart was proactive in pulling down its valuation to reset investor and employee expectations, while Klaviyo grew into its lofty price. Among high-valued companies that are still private, payments software developer Stripe has cut its valuation by almost half to $50 billion, and design software startup Canva lowered its valuation in a secondary transaction by 36% to $25.5 billion.

Private equity firms and venture capitalists are in the business of profiting on their investments, so eventually their portfolio companies need to hit the public market or get acquired. But for founders and management teams, being public means a potentially volatile stock price and a need to update investors every quarter.

Given how Wall Street has received the first notable tech IPOs since late 2021, there may not be a ton of reward for all that hassle.

Still, Aswarth Damodaran, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said that with all the skepticism in the market, the latest IPOs are performing admirably enough because there was a fear they could drop 20% to 25% out of the gate.

“At one level the people pushing these companies are probably heaving a sigh of relief because there was a very real chance of catastrophe on these companies,” Damodaran told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. “I have a feeling it will take a week or two for this to play out. But if the stock price stays above the offer price two weeks from now, I think these companies will all view that as a win.”




Sen. Mike Lee doesn’t want a shutdown, but wants ‘out-of-control’ spending to stop

By Brigham Tomco, Deseret News | Posted – Sept. 23, 2023 at 7:06 p.m.


In an interview with the Deseret News, Lee says he would support a continuing resolution but lawmakers need to take the appropriations process back from party leadership. (Michelle Budge, Deseret News / Source: Getty Images)


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Estimated read time: 9-10 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Amid stalled spending talks in Congress, Utah Sen. Mike Lee said he hopes Republicans can avoid a shutdown.

With temperatures high on Capitol Hill because of disagreements over how to proceed with negotiations, Lee, Utah’s senior U.S. Senator, spoke with the Deseret News about how we got to this point and why this spending fight might be different than others in recent years.

“I don’t think deep down anyone in Congress would choose a shutdown,” Lee said. “That is not a good thing for anyone.”

But as worries grow over a ballooning national debt, the country appears to be heading toward its fifth “true” shutdown, and the first since January 2019, which would impact “non-essential” government services as hundreds of thousands of federal employees are furloughed.

Lee said he would have voted in favor of a continuing resolution that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy brought to members of the House of Representatives this week. It failed to win enough votes to pass the House, bringing Congress one step closer to a shutdown.

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But Lee provides a caveat to his support — he said Republicans in both chambers must stand up to party leadership to reform the appropriations process and get spending under control.

“What’s happened is that the debt, and the interest on the debt, has finally caught up to us to the point where people in both houses of Congress are starting to be really worried and they’ve seen the cycle repeat itself so many times,” Lee said.

Members of Congress want things to be different, Lee explained, during an extended conversation. “The question is just how much they’re willing to stand up to leadership and say ‘No.'”

Congress edges toward shutdown

This week, the House Republican conference struggled to agree on language for a continuing resolution, a short-term measure that would give them more time to work through the 11 remaining annual spending bills beyond the deadline when government funding expires at midnight on Sept. 30.

A handful of members of the House Freedom Caucus — between five to 10, depending on the vote — have stymied Speaker Kevin McCarthy at every turn, sayingthey will never support a continuing resolution or omnibus spending package. These holdouts caused the House to close shop early on Thursday after several failed votes — effectively canceling a continuing resolution vote scheduled for Saturday.

Lee respects those who voted against the continuing resolution, saying the “GOP is showing greater political will on this front than you have seen in the past,” but said if he “were in the House,” he would have voted in favor of the stopgap spending measure.

“I was encouraging people over there to support stuff like that, because the way they did that I thought brought about some reforms, while reducing the risk of a shutdown,” Lee said.

The deal, negotiated by members of the House Freedom Caucus and the Main Street Caucus, would have extended funding for Congress’ 12 appropriations bills until Oct. 31 at slightly less than FY 2023 levels.

It included an 8% cut in discretionary spending across all government agencies — excluding disaster, defense and veterans funding — in addition to including provisions from the Secure the Border Act, which would defund Biden administration policies related to transporting immigrants who enter the country illegally and processing asylum claims.

“Some of the guys in the House who opposed this thing this week did so on the grounds that ‘I will never vote for any (continuing resolution).’ I don’t share that view at all,” Lee said. “A (continuing resolution) can serve an appropriate purpose. … And I thought that (continuing resolution) was good.”

McCarthy has promised he will try again to pass a stopgap funding measure next week. But a few Freedom Caucus members have gone as far as to argue a shutdown is necessary to catalyze a dramatic shift in the way Congress approaches spending.

“The way we do things in this town has to change,” said Arizona Republican Rep. Eli Crane on Friday. “And, unfortunately, the only way we’re going to get any change in this town is through force.”

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, left, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., and Rep. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, join lawmakers from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, the conservatives who are challenging Speaker McCarthy on the government funding bill, for a news conference outside the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 12. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press)

While saying it’s not his place to make judgments about “internal House dynamics,” Lee suspects House Republicans holding this view, like Crane, or Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., want to strengthen their negotiating position by not committing to avoiding a shutdown and might be concerned that by passing a continuing resolution they would signal things can return to business as usual, with party leadership stitching together a massive spending bill and forcing a last-minute vote.

Despite Republicans lacking control of the Senate or White House, Lee says the Republican majority in the House should mean something.

“And there are a number of them that want it to mean something,” Lee said. “And they want to make sure that there are some Republican priorities, especially spending, that are addressed in some meaningful way.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday if the House doesn’t pass a stopgap bill, the Senate, in an unusual move, will send their own to the House for a bipartisan vote. And moderate House Republicans have already threatened to join forces with their Democratic colleagues to circumvent McCarthy and approve a stopgap funding bill if the dysfunction continues — which would likely result in a conservative backlash and McCarthy potentially losing his speakership,

Lee said if Senate leadership produces a continuing resolution he will judge whether to give or withhold his support based “on a number of factors,” but he is not opposed to the idea.

At the time of the interview, Lee had just gotten off the phone with some House and Senate colleagues who said there were efforts to pass several appropriations bills in the next few days to “at least get part of the government funded” in case next Saturday’s deadline arrives with no continuing resolution.

When asked what a conservative “win” would look like coming out of next week’s appropriations battle, Lee’s focus was more on a shift in expectations than a breakthrough solution.

“It would be a good thing if we could avoid a shutdown in a way that doesn’t entrench the omnibus package and that builds support for dealing with these bills one by one, that builds support for the idea that we need to rein in federal spending and have more accountability,” Lee said.

How did we get here?

While prescriptions may differ among fiscal hawks within the House, and between the House and the Senate, Lee says their diagnosis is the same: Congress’ spending process has deteriorated in recent decades to the point that serious procedural changes are necessary.

Invariably, every year, Lee says, the leadership of both parties in the House and the Senate refuse to pressure appropriators to meet certain deadlines and also delay bringing appropriations bills to the floor. Such scheduling malpractice creates a sense of urgency come each September, Lee says, giving the House speaker and Senate majority leader permission to make appropriations discussions private, only to reveal a massive omnibus spending package — where all 12 appropriations bills are combined — just days, or sometimes hours, before the deadline.

This process, which has become the norm, according to Lee, reduces the window for congress members to debate controversial issues, amend specific provisions, or completely understand the way Congress spends taxpayer funds and borrows money every year, even as it centralizes more power in the hands of party leadership — what Lee calls “the firm.”

“One of the problems with that is the firm tends to not be very cautious about how we spend money,” Lee said. “This is how we end up with trillion dollar, sometimes multi-trillion, dollar annual deficits. And that’s exactly why we’re $33 trillion in debt now, is that this has gone on for year, after year, after year. … It makes the firm and those who assist in this process more powerful every time they do it. But it does so at the expense of the American people.”

What needs to change?

Lee said he “wholeheartedly” supports rule changes secured by House Freedom Caucus members during the debt ceiling deal, and the efforts of Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., in the Senate, to reinstitute the norm of voting on spending bills separately.

“The way it’s supposed to work is that Congress is supposed to pass spending bills by category,” Lee said, listing the dozen categories from memory. “The reason that we should do it that way, and it works better that way, is because you don’t want funding for one part of government, and disputes surrounding that, to be held hostage to hold back funding for every other part of government. It becomes dangerous.”

Lee hopes the current spending fight will communicate to House and Senate leadership, who control the calendar of when members of Congress are in session and when bills will appear for a floor vote, that in the future they must incentivize Appropriations Committee members to finish their proposals, and members of Congress to work through them, long before the fiscal year nears its end.

He also supports the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, sponsored by his colleagues Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla, and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and championed by Sen. Johnson in recent days, that would avert shutdowns — and remove them as leverage to pass an omnibus bill — by initiating an automatic 14-day continuing resolution upon reaching the appropriations deadline and requiring lawmakers to stay in Washington seven days a week to work through each of the 12 spending bills until a final budget is passed.

According to Lee, this would allow lawmakers sufficient time to amend bills and discuss spending cuts with more seriousness, and without the threat of a government shutdown.

“The American people and the people of Utah, regardless of what their view of any particular government program is, and regardless of what they think is the appropriate level of government sponsored spending, either generally or in any particular area, they all have an interest in having Congress, as an elected legislative body, be in a position where each member can have adequate time to review and debate and discuss and confer with their constituents about spending levels and the contents of a spending bill,” Lee said.

“This is about restoring that. And by restoring that we will be in a better position to control total levels of spending, and with it our out-of-control debt and deficit, which is going to cripple us if we don’t stop it.”



Poll: Overwhelming majorities express concerns about Biden, Trump ahead of 2024 race


Mark Murray, Bianca Seward and Alec Hernández

Three-quarters of voters say they’re concerned about President Joe Biden’s age and mental fitness, while nearly two-thirds have concerns about the multiple trials former President Donald Trump faces, a new national NBC News poll finds, casting a gloomy shadow over the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

The poll also shows Trump expanding his national lead in the Republican presidential nominating contest to more than 40 points over his nearest competition, and it has Biden and Trump deadlocked in a hypothetical rematch more than a year before the general election.

Yet what also stands out in the poll are the warning signs for Biden beyond his age — including an all-time high disapproval of his job performance, fewer than 4 in 10 voters approving of his handling of the economy and lagging interest in the election among key parts of the Democratic base.

“This survey is a startling flashing red light for an incumbent party,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted the poll with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt and his team at Hart Research Associates.

But Trump and Republicans have their own challenges — such as the GOP front-runner’s overall unpopularity with the general electorate, as well as how Trump galvanizes the political opposition, including those who have reservations about Biden.

“Yes, the numbers for Biden aren’t where he needs them to be,” said Horwitt, the Democratic pollster. “But the lens for most voters is still through Donald Trump first.”

The NBC News poll — conducted Sept. 15-19 — comes a month after the latest indictment of Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, days before Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate (which Trump won’t attend), and as Biden faces only nominal opposition for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Yet according to the poll, a combined 74% of registered voters say they have major concerns (59%) or moderate concerns (15%) that Biden, at age 80, doesn’t have the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term.

According to the poll, 62% have either major concerns (52%) or moderate concerns (10%) about Trump facing different criminal and civil trials for alleged wrongdoing, including for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Another 60% have major concerns (45%) or moderate concerns (15%) about Biden’s possible awareness or involvement in the business dealings of his son, Hunter, including alleged financial wrongdoing and corruption.

And 47% have either major concerns (34%) or moderate concerns (13%) about Trump, at age 77, not having the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term.

“I know that he’s 80. I know that 80-year-olds are perfectly capable. I worry more about Biden’s physical health. He seems a little bit feeble and this job does take a toll,” said Mary Lyon, 53, a Democrat from Tucson, Arizona.

Kevin Chester, an Arizona Republican who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, said he will not vote for Trump in 2024 if he’s the GOP nominee because “nothing will get done. He will litigate the past. It will be tit for tat.”

“I would vote third party in protest if it was Trump versus Biden,” Chester added.

Trump’s lead grows in GOP race

Despite facing several indictments, having his mugshot released in August and skipping the first Republican debate, Trump now leads the Republican presidential contest by more than 40 points, according to the poll.

He’s the first-choice pick of 59% of national Republican primary voters, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gets support from 16% — followed by former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley at 7% and former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 4% each.

In June’s NBC News survey, Trump was ahead of DeSantis by 29 points, 51% to 22%.

The former president’s gains have come from men, seniors and moderate Republican primary voters.

At the same time, the poll finds that the share of GOP primary voters who believe Trump should continue to be the Republican Party’s leader has increased, from 49% in June to 58% now.

A combined 86% of Republican primary voters say they’re either very satisfied (42%) or fairly satisfied (44%) with the choice of GOP candidates for president.

Biden’s disapproval rating reaches new high

Meanwhile, Biden’s job rating among registered voters stands at 41% approve and 56% disapprove — the highest disapproval rating of his presidency.

Deeper inside those numbers, Biden is underwater among voters between the ages of 18 and 34 (46% of them approve of his job performance), all women (46%), Latinos (43%) and independents (36%).

What’s more, the NBC News poll finds 37% of voters approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, and 41% approve of his handling of foreign policy.

Only 28% of all voters say they’re satisfied with the state of the economy (down from 48% who said this at the beginning of Biden’s presidency in April 2021), though 55% say they’re satisfied with their own financial situation. Still, that 55% figure is tied for a record low on this poll question dating back to 1994.

And on top of all of those numbers, nearly 6 in 10 Democratic primary voters — 59% — say they want a Democratic candidate to challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2024, even though a major intraparty challenger hasn’t emerged.

Biden is tied with Trump — but trails Haley by 5 points

Looking ahead to the 2024 general election, the NBC News poll shows Biden and Trump tied in a hypothetical contest among registered voters, 46% to 46%.

In June, Biden held a 4-point lead over Trump, 49% to 45%.

According to the new poll, Biden is ahead of Trump among Black voters (76% to 14%), voters between the ages of 18 and 34 (57% to 34%), whites with college degrees (56% to 34%), Latinos (51% to 39%) and women (51% to 41%).

Trump is ahead among rural voters (67% to 31%), men (51% to 40%) white voters (51% to 41%) and whites without college degree (63% to 32%).

Among independents, Biden gets 42%, while Trump gets 35%.

Notably, Biden leads Trump by 18 points among those who “somewhat disapprove” of the president’s job performance (49% to 31%). And nearly 1 in 5 registered voters who say they have concerns about Biden’s age still vote for him over Trump.

In other hypothetical matchups, Biden holds a 1-point lead over DeSantis, 46% to 45%, well within the poll’s margin of error.

And the president trails Haley by 5 points, 46% to 41%. Haley overperforms Trump and DeSantis among independents and college-educated voters, though nearly 30% of all voters say they aren’t familiar with her.

“She is serving as the functional generic Republican candidate,” said McInturff, the GOP pollster, of Haley.

In a multi-candidate field including third parties, Trump gets 39% from registered voters, Biden gets 36%, an unnamed Libertarian Party nominee gets 5%, an unnamed No Labels candidate gets 5% and an unnamed Green Party candidate gets 4%.

And 67% of all voters say they have high interest in the 2024 elections — registering either a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale of interest — which is lower than this same point in time before the 2020 election (when 72% had high interest), but higher than this point in time in the 2016 cycle (64%). Voter turnout was significantly higher in 2020 than in 2016.

A greater share of Republican voters (75%) than Democratic voters (68%) have high interest in the upcoming election, while key parts of the Democratic base — younger voters, Black voters and Latino voters — have lower interest than at this same point in past election cycles.

Other key findings in the poll

Biden’s net favorability rating (39% positive, 49% negative) is higher than Trump’s (35% positive, 54% negative) and Vice President Kamala Harris’ (31% positive, 51% negative).

In the Biden vs. Trump hypothetical matchup, a majority of Biden voters (58%) say their vote is more against Trump than for Biden, while a majority of Trump voters (57%) say their vote is more for Trump than against Biden.

Voting preference for next year’s congressional elections is essentially tied, with 46% of voters preferring a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 45% who prefer Republicans to be in charge — virtually unchanged from June.

And asked about the House Republican impeachment inquiry into Biden, a majority of voters — 56% — oppose Congress holding impeachment hearings to remove Biden from office, while 39% back the hearings.

The national NBC News poll was conducted Sept. 15-19 of 1,000 registered voters — including 848 contacted by cell phone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The margin of error for the 321 Republican primary voters in the survey is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.



S&P 500 is little changed as traders kick off final trading week of September: Live updates

The S&P 500 was little changed Monday as the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose, and the market kicked off the final week of trading in September with big losses.

The broader index fell by 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite was flat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 76 points, or 0.2%.

The 10-year Treasury yield topped 4.5%, trading near levels last seen in 2007 when it climbed as high as 4.57%. It was last higher by more than 7 basis points at 4.519%.

Elsewhere, Amazon shares rose more than 1% after the online retail giant said Monday it will invest up to $4 billion in artificial intelligence firm Anthropic. Shares of Nvidia rose 1.5%.

“We got interest rates, very negative, AI, very positive,” said Jay Hatfield, chief executive officer at Infrastructure Capital Management. “The two are meeting in the middle and we’re going nowhere.”

Investors are wrapping up a seasonally weak month for markets as the Federal Reserve signaled higher interest rates for longer, sending bond yields rising. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield has surged more than 30 basis points this month to 4.43%. The market also contended with a rally in crude oil and a winning streak in the dollar during the seasonally weak trading month.

The S&P 500 has fallen more than 4% in September, on pace for its second straight losing month and its worst month since December. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is down 6% in September as growth stocks bore the brunt of the sell-off, also headed for its biggest monthly loss since December. The blue-chip Dow is off by a more modest 2% this month.

Investors are also closely monitoring progress on a budget resolution in Washington. Lawmakers over the weekend expressed few signs of movement on a deal that would keep the U.S. government funded for the remainder of the fiscal year.




10-Year U.S. Treasury Note: What It Is, Investment Advantages



What Is a 10-Year Treasury Note?

The 10-year Treasury note is a debt obligation issued by the United States government with a maturity of 10 years upon initial issuance. A 10-year Treasury note pays interest at a fixed rate once every six months and pays the face value to the holder at maturity. The U.S. government partially funds itself by issuing 10-year Treasury notes.

Understanding 10-Year Treasury Notes

The U.S. government issues three different types of debt securities to fund its obligations: Treasury bills, Treasury notes, and Treasury bonds. Bills, bonds, and notes are distinguished by their length of maturity.

Treasury bills (T-bills) have the shortest maturities, with durations only up to a year. The Treasury offers T-bills with maturities of four, eight, 13, 26, and 52 weeks. Treasury notes have maturities ranging from a year to 10 years, while bonds are Treasury securities with maturities longer than 10 years.1

Treasury notes and bonds pay interest at a fixed rate every six months to maturity, and are then redeemed at par value, meaning the Treasury repays the principal it borrowed.1

In contrast, T-bills are issued at discounts to par and pay no coupon payments. The interest earned on T-bills is the difference between the face value repaid at maturity and the purchase price paid.2

The 10-Year Note Yield as a Benchmark

The 10-year T-note is the most widely tracked government debt instrument in finance. Its yield is often used as a benchmark for other interest rates, like those on mortgages and corporate debt, though commercial interest rates do not track the 10-year yield exactly.

Below is a chart of the 10-year Treasury yield from March 2019 to March 2020. Over that span, the yield steadily declined with expectations that the Federal Reserve would maintain low interest rates or cut them further. In late February 2020, the decline in yield accelerated amid growing concerns about the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Fed ordered an emergency rate cut of 50 basis points in early March, the decline of the 10-year yield accelerated even further, with the yield dropping to 0.32%, a record low, before rebounding.3

The Advantages of Investing in Treasury Notes

Fixed-income securities offer important portfolio diversification benefits, because their returns are not correlated with the performance of stocks.

Government debt and the 10-year Treasury note in particular is considered a relatively safe investment, so its price often (but not always) moves inversely to the trend of the major stock-market indices. In a recession, central banks tend to lower interest rates, which lowers the coupon rate on new Treasuries and, subsequently, makes older Treasury securities with higher coupon rates more desirable.

Another advantage of investing in 10-year Treasury notes and other federal government securities is that the coupon payments are exempt from state and local income taxes. However, they are still taxable at the federal level.4 The U.S. Treasury sells 10-year notes and those with shorter maturities, as well as T-bills and bonds, directly through the TreasuryDirect website via competitive or noncompetitive bidding, with a minimum purchase of $100 and in $100 increments. Treasury securities can also be purchased through a bank or broker.

Investors can choose to hold Treasury notes until maturity or sell them early in the secondary market. There is no minimum holding term. Although the Treasury issues new T-notes of shorter maturities every month, new 10-year notes are issued only in February, May, August, and November. In other months, the Treasury sells additional 10-year notes from the most recent issue in what is known as a re-opening. Re-opened notes have the same maturity date and coupon interest rate as the original issue, but a different issue date and a purchase price reflecting subsequent change in market interest rates.5

All T-notes are issued electronically, meaning investors cannot obtain paper certificates.6 Series I Savings Bonds are the only Treasury securities currently issued in paper form, and they can only be bought in paper form with the proceeds of a tax refund.7



Apple buying Disney would be a storybook ending for Iger, but fairy tales aren’t real


Alex Sherman@SHERMAN4949


  • For years, analysts and reporters have speculated Apple might want to buy Disney.
  • There would likely be major regulatory issues, and media mega mergers have a long track record of abject failure and value destruction.
  • Apple’s history suggests it stays away from large M&A, and there’s little evidence Apple wants to buy Disney.

About 10 years ago, I invented a rule about covering mergers and acquisitions that still hasn’t failed me.

Here it is: Will Apple buy [insert company of your choice here]? –> No.

Apple almost never buys name-brand companies. Its largest takeover was 2014′s $3 billion deal for Beats Electronics. Apple is strict about its culture and its focus. While Microsoft has acquired its way to increased scale — buying Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, LinkedIn for $26 billion, Nuance Communications for $20 billion, and five other companies for more than $5 billion — M&A isn’t in Apple’s DNA.

Read more: Iger, Chapek and the making of Disney’s succession mess

For years, analysts and reporters have speculated Apple might want to buy Disney, a company with a market valuation of nearly $150 billion. The ties between the two companies are historically strong. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs became Disney’s largest individual shareholder after Disney acquired Pixar, then owned by Jobs, for $7.4 billion in 2006. The deal also gave Jobs a seat on the Disney board and fostered a close friendship between Jobs and Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger.

Apple’s market capitalization is near $3 trillion. Buying Disney wouldn’t even classify as a bet-the-company transaction.

In his 2019 autobiography, “The Ride of a Lifetime,” Iger acknowledged he believes Disney and Apple may have merged if Jobs, who passed away in 2011, had lived longer.

“I believe that if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously,” Iger wrote.

Since his return as CEO in November, Iger has kept Disney’s connection with Jobs alive. A few months ago, many Disney employees came to their offices to find copies of a book, “Make Something Wonderful: Steve Jobs in His Own Words,” on their desks. Iger sent an email to all Disney employees touting the book, describing it as “another tool from Steve — a resource for you, the reader, to spark the creativity that lives inside all of us.”

Selling Disney to Apple could be a storybook ending for Iger, who could argue the best way to transition Disney into a modern media company is to pair up with the most successful technology company in history. Disney’s family-friendly brand may be a fit with Apple, which appeals to consumers around the world.

Still, it’s not clear Apple would have any interest in buying Disney. Beyond its treatment of M&A as anathema, Apple has no core competency running theme parks or selling the kinds of consumer products Disney offers. It almost certainly wouldn’t want to be in the dying cable television business.

While Apple has dabbled in owning sports rights and creating scripted content for Apple TV+, the businesses are so small relative to making and selling devices that they’re essentially non-material to the company. Apple hasn’t bothered to tell investors the number of Apple TV+ subscribers.

On one hand, buying Disney would supercharge those fledging businesses, which could help with Apple device churn while growing subscription revenue.

On the other, if Apple wants to spend more than $100 billion on an acquisition, getting an ESPN business with shrinking subscribers and a content business centered around streaming, which currently loses money, may not be its deal of choice.

Apple could buy Disney to make content for its augmented reality headset, potentially the company’s next major growth division, but that’s probably not enough of a reason to make an acquisition.

Regulatory and culture issues

Even if Apple CEO Tim Cook fell in love with the notion of owning Disney and its associated perks (free Disney World rides for Apple employees! Content synergies for device owners!), it’s ambiguous at best, and unlikely at worst, whether regulators would allow a deal to proceed.

With Lina Khan running the Federal Trade Commission, which has tried to crack down on big tech acquisitions under her watch, the chances of the U.S. government allowing Apple to increase its dominance over the global economy seem minute. Perhaps Apple and Disney could sue to win approval — the businesses don’t have much overlap — but the process would be time-consuming and messy, bringing unneeded uncertainty to both companies.

For the sake of argument, let’s say Apple does want to buy Disney. Let’s say Disney divests or sells its legacy cable assets, ridding itself of no-growth businesses that would weigh on Apple’s earnings. Let’s even say the regulatory environment changes so the U.S. government would be more amenable to a deal.

An agreement would mean Disney’s corporate culture would have to blend with Apple’s culture. The Bob Chapek era at Disney illustrated the strength of Disney’s existing culture and showcased how changing employee attitudes and expectations isn’t easy — even for someone who had spent three decades at the company. Merging the two distinct, well-established cultures seems like a potential recipe for disaster.

The overwhelming evidence on large media mergers — AOL buying Time Warner, AT&T buying Time Warner, CBS and Viacom merging, Discovery and WarnerMedia merging — is immense value destruction.

So, could Apple one day buy Disney? Sure. But I’m in no rush to alter my M&A cardinal rule.


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