Elizabeth Martin is betting on engineers to automate trading but not necessarily to make things faster.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global co-head of futures and equities electronic trading says that the ‘Flash Boys’ era of the past decade has ceded some ground to customizing trading for clients.

“I’ve never in my career bet against innovation or smart people being able to make things faster,” she says. “There will be some amount of improvement in speed and latency but in terms of the differentiated drivers of what a broad base of clients need in order to deliver execution for them, it’s less important, because most of the big scale providers offer those services.”

Martin, a 20-year Goldman veteran, relocated to London three years ago and oversees the Wall Street bank’s electronic stock trading business. Martin spoke with Bloomberg about the pandemic, the future of finance and zipping around the city in … Read the rest

A UK book publisher says congestion at Felixstowe Port has left it with no books to sell in the lead up to Christmas.

Colin Hoad and Matt Green run a publishing company, Idesine, which has 4,000 books stuck on a ship that has been trying to dock since 31 October.

They are one of many businesses encountering problems importing goods.

Importers say congestion issues at UK ports have led to shipping firms quadrupling their freight costs.

“People are contacting us saying they’ve paid for books on pre-order as gifts, and we ultimately can’t guarantee delivery,” Mr Hoad said.

Delays at Felixstowe have been caused by a surge in import traffic as companies increased orders after the initial lockdown and some looked to stockpile goods before the end of the Brexit transition period.

The pandemic has made matters worse as large orders of PPE added to the backlog of containers on … Read the rest



Economic Lookahead

Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (preliminary) (Nov,)

Markit Services PMI (Nov.)

Featured Earnings

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) (Q4) EPS projected of 91 cents, compared to 89 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) (Q2) EPS projected for loss of four cents, compared to a gain of 81 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Nutanix (NASDAQ:NTNX) (Q1) EPS projected for loss of 95 cents, compared to a loss of $1.14 in the prior-year quarter.



Economic lookahead

Case-Shiller National Home Price Index (Sept.)

Consumer Confidence Index (Nov.)

Featured Earnings

American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) (Q3) EPS projected for 33 cents, compared to 48 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Burlington Stores, Inc. (NYSE: BURL) (Q3) EPS projected for 19 cents, compared to $1.55 in the prior-year quarter.

Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) (Q3) EPS projected for $1.36 compared to $1.47 in the prior-year quarter.

HP Inc. (NYSE: Read the rest

The recent election gave voice to millions of Americans frustrated with their economic circumstances—a concern that predates the devastation wrought by COVID-19. On one side are the blue-collar victims of deindustrialization who, as in 2016, voted for Donald Trump. On the other side are young college graduates struggling to get ahead who, unable to vote for Bernie Sanders, plumped for Biden. 

Whatever their political leanings, a vast number of Americans have lost faith in capitalism. A May 2020 JUST Capital and Harris poll found that only 25% of those surveyed agreed that “capitalism works for the ordinary American.” Doubts about capitalism are not limited to the U.S. In a 2020, pre-COVID Edelman survey of 34,000 individuals across 28 countries, 56% of respondents agreed with the statement that “capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good.”

Capitalism is charged with being fixated on shareholder returns, myopically short … Read the rest

Some Cineworld cinemas are set to never reopen after the coronavirus lockdown as bosses consider permanent closures and job cuts in a desperate bid to save the struggling cinema chain.

The company has been hammered by the pandemic, which forced industry-wide closures seeing them shut all 128 of its venues earlier this month of its own accord, rather than under government orders – with 5,500 people said to be at risk of losing their jobs.

A lack of new films has meant cinemas have struggled to draw in audiences in recent months, with the postponement of the latest James Bond picture, No Time To Die, cited as the potential final straw for many.

It was reported last night that Cineworld, which owes some £6.2 billion to its lenders, was lining up a rescue package as a result, and that slashing rents and shuttering swathes of sites could be required … Read the rest

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) will apply Friday for an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for their coronavirus vaccine.

If Pfizer’s application is approved, the vaccine will likely be limited and rolled out in phases, with health-care workers, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions getting the first inoculations. Essential workers, teachers and people in homeless shelters and prisons would likely be next, followed by children and young adults.

The FDA process is expected to take a few weeks, and an advisory committee meeting to review the vaccine has been tentatively scheduled for early December. Some Americans could get their first dose of the vaccine in about a month.

Friday’s announcement came two days after Pfizer said a final data analysis found its coronavirus vaccine with BioNTech was 95% effective in preventing Covid, was safe and appeared to fend off severe disease.

The final analysis … Read the rest

With cases of COVID-19 surging across the country, there has been incredible urgency for a safe and effective vaccine. But there are sobering messages from public health officials and vaccine company executives in recent days that the vaccine likely won’t be available to a majority of the U.S. population until well into 2021.

The approval of a vaccine, however, will only be the first step toward restoring the health and security of our nation. There is an important distinction between the creation of a vaccine designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a successful process of manufacturing, distribution, and administration. 

The development of a vaccine—particularly at the scale of supporting the needs of the entire population—takes time. In addition, manufacturing and distributing this vaccine is a monumental logistical and security challenge. A safe and efficient vaccination effort presents one of the most complex logistical challenges the nation has ever … Read the rest