Positive Vaccine News, Economic Recovery Lift Global Markets

The country’s LG Chem has reportedly signed a contract with Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) China unit to supply batteries for the Elon Musk-led electric …

Major indices across Asia, Europe, and the U.S. are trading higher on Monday on positive vaccine newsand economic recovery hopes. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: REGN) COVID-19 treatment secured Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday.

The Dow futures are trading higher at 0.55%, and the S&P 500 futures are up by 0.46% on the last check Monday. WTI crude oil futures have gained 1.44% at $43.03, and the gold futures are up marginally by 0.05% at $1,837.40. Ten-Year Treasury yields are near-flat at 0.831%.

Asia: Japan’s Nikkei 225 is closed for the Workers Day holiday. China’s Shanghai Composite benchmark gained 1.09%, led by gains in materials, energy, and financial stocks. China’s blue-chip index clocked its highest level since 2015, thanks to domestic economic recovery.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed higher by 0.07%, driven by healthcare and tech stocks.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 went up by 0.34% on Monday, as the nation’s manufacturing PMI improved significantly to 56.1 and the services PMI improved to 54.9, signaling expansion in manufacturing and services activities. Major states also lifted border curbs.

India’s Nifty 50 index is trading higher by 0.70%, led by energy and tech stocks.

South Korea’s KOSPI jumped 1.92% on Monday as foreigners remained net buyers for the 13th straight session. Samsung Electronics (OTC: SSNLF) and SK Hynix rose on an optimistic 2021 outlook. The consumer confidence index for November is due later today. The country’s LG Chem has reportedly signed a contract with Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) China unit to supply batteries for the Elon Musk-led electric vehicle maker’s Model Y, according to the Tasmanian.

Europe: Euro Stoxx 50 is trading higher by 1.01% at press time Monday. Manufacturing and Services PMI data for November is scheduled for release today.

London’s FTSE 100 index is up by 0.61% at publication time, driven by gains in consumer, travel, and aerospace stocks. Manufacturing, Services, and Composite PMI data for November are due later today. AstraZeneca Inc. (NASDAQ: AZN) and Oxford University reported high efficacy for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate on Monday.

Germany’s DAX has advanced by 1.18% on Monday. Banks, industrial, and tech stocks are pulling the index higher after it closed up for the third straight week. Investors will be watching for the Manufacturing and Services PMI data for November due today.

France’s CAC 40 is up 0.89%, led by energy and industrial stocks. Spain’s IBEX 35 has gained 0.82% in Monday’s early open trade.

Forex Trading: U.S. Dollar Index futures are down 0.17% at 92.235. The dollar has weakened 0.11% against the Euro to $1.1867, 0.63% against the Sterling Pound to $1.3365, 0.06% against the Japanese Yen to ¥103.78.

For news coverage in Italian or Spanish, check out Benzinga Italia and Benzinga España.

Roblox IPO filing shows revenue surge as gaming thrives during pandemic

Andreessen Horowitz, where it raised $150 million. Reuters reported in October that Roblox expects that going public would double that valuation.

By Anirban Sen

3 Min Read

(Reuters) – Roblox Corporation’s revenue surged in the first nine months of the year, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday in the gaming platform’s first public disclosure of its finances ahead of a U.S. stock listing later this year.

FILE PHOTO: Alice Wilkinson (7) adds a face mask to her character on the game ‘Roblox’ at her home in Manchester, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Manchester, Britain, April 5, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

The IPO plans comes as U.S. demand for video games ramps up with consumers seeking home entertainment amid long periods of home confinement during coronavirus lockdowns.

Roblox’s revenue jumped 68% to $588.7 million for the first nine months of 2020, while net loss attributable to common shareholders widened to $203.2 million compared with $46.3 million a year earlier, the filing showed.

Roblox amortizes revenue from sales on its platform over the duration of its paying user accounts, which is around two years. Roblox’s sales in the first nine months of 2020 totaled $1.24 billion, up 170% on a year earlier.

Looking to cash in on the boom in demand, several gaming firms are aiming to float their shares as U.S. markets hover at record levels this year. Unity Software U.N went public in September, while Playtika is gearing up to debut on the U.S. exchanges in the coming months.

U.S. consumer spending on video games rose 24% year-on-year to a record $11.2 billion in the third quarter, research firm NPD Group said.

Roblox, which is among the world’s most popular gaming sites for children and offers a host of games across mobile devices and games consoles, said its daily active user base soared 82% to 31.1 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30 from the same period a year ago.

The San Mateo, California-based company, which was founded in 2004, was valued at $4 billion in February in a Series G funding round, led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, in which it raised $150 million.

Reuters reported in October that Roblox expects a public listing would double that valuation. The company confidentially submitted paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public last month.

Roblox has filed for an IPO of $1 billion, a placeholder amount that is expected to change. It plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “RBLX”.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Allen & Company, BofA Securities and RBC Capital markets are the underwriters for the IPO.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Aditya Soni, Arun Koyyur and Sam Holmes

Facebook, Apple and Other Big Tech Stocks Aren’t Too Expensive. Here’s Why.

Shipping Giant Maersk Raises Guidance Again and Launches $1.6 Billion Share Buyback. U.S. Demand Is Leading the Recovery.

Lately, investors have taken note of the drastic surge in the five stocks’ valuations. Since September 2, the group is down about 3% on average. Meanwhile, large-cap value stocks, judging by the Vanguard S&P 500 Value ETF (VOOV), have climbed 5.2%. Now, the so-called FAAMG group is trading at roughly 31 times earnings, compared with 20 times for the other 495 stocks.

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Many on Wall Street are wary of big tech as these multiples would seem bound to continue falling after their meteoric rise this year, and as interest rates rise when the economy starts to see a more solid recovery. Tech stocks, after all, would see less of a benefit from a firming economy. Mostly, growth stocks such as these five tend to have idiosyncratic revenue drivers that aren’t affected by changes in the economy—while the revenues of value stocks like consumer discretionary are very much tied to consumer spending trends and economic growth.

Evercore strategists recently said they only see S&P 500 gains of roughly 5% in the next year or so because they don’t expect big tech to outperform the way it has in recent history.

But David Kostin, Goldman Sachs’ chief US equity strategist, argues in a note that “fundamentals support higher valuation for FAAMG.”

Kostin noted that the near-term earnings outlook for FAAMG stocks supports the current valuations. Goldman is looking for S&P 500 companies to post a median annual earnings per share growth of 8% for the next few years. The tech group is expected to see EPS growth of about 17%.

Comparing these companies’ earnings multiples to their near-term earnings growth rates—which many analysts do to determine how fair a valuation is—further justifies Kostin’s point. Facebook’s PEG ratio—calculated by taking the stock’s forward price-to-earnings ratio and dividing by its projected earnings growth rate—is 1.2 times, roughly in line with in its five-year average of 1.1, according to data from FactSet. Amazon’s PEG ratio is 1.6 times, notably lower than its five-year average of 2.4. Alphabet’s PEG is at 1.9 against an average of 1.5, although its five-year high is above 2. Microsoft’s PEG is 2, in line with its average. Apple is the most overvalued by the metric, with a PEG of 2.6 against an average of 1.5.

With the exception of Apple, these companies are expected to see EPS compound an annual rate between the midteens in percentage terms to above 30%. If investors are willing to pay top dollar for these stocks, earnings growth could continue to take them higher.

All five have dominant platforms that create seemingly endless synergies. Amazon’s new online drug business, for example, offers perks to their roughly 70 million Prime members. This can drive adoption of the new offering, but can also drive new prime customers.

The point is tech stocks are pricey for good reason—don’t count them out.

Eleven partners with Socium Fund Services to bring electronic transactions to private investments

… transforms how investments in private equity funds and hedge funds are … Socium Fund Services has been working with Eleven to ensure that the …

Cloud-based technology company Eleven has announced the beta release of new technology that transforms how investments in private equity funds and hedge funds are made.

The technology was built in collaboration with Socium Fund Services, a leading provider of fund administration services for alternative investment funds, and moves the fund subscription process to a three-way digital workflow between the investor, fund administrator and fund manager that using each fund’s existing subscription documentation.

Importantly, the electronic transaction workflows are integrated in the same, all-in-one digital ecosystem General Partners use to securely and compliantly service investors and drive engagement with them throughout the entire lifecycle of the relationship from inception. It also saves fund administrators the expense of having to build or maintain a separate, standalone investor servicing portal.

Socium Fund Services has been working with Eleven to ensure that the technology can be adopted by fund administrators of all sizes, no matter what technology they use to process NAVs, as well as ensuring AML and KYC compliance. Socium will be rolling out the technology to its clients this year.

“We partnered with Eleven because they were the only technology offering transformational solutions to this degree,” says Michael Von Bevern, CEO of Socium. “Eleven’s electronic investment workflows are going to scale private investing and disrupt traditional fund administration practices.”

With this new release, Eleven is turning investor portals from cost centers to differentiating infrastructure fund administrators can deploy that helps their fund manager clients grow and drive continuous engagement with investors after they subscribe.

Eleven’s new capabilities mean fund administrators can:

• Receive digital fund subscriptions submissions submitted from the GP’s portal and access user-generated activity logs

• Distribute NAVs, documents and data to fund investors in the GP’s online ecosystem

• Build, update and maintain GP-branded dashboards with fund-level and investment-specific data

• Launch funds and set up fund investors with do-it-yourself, easy-to-use workflows

In addition, fund managers can:

• Move investors from engagement to transaction by enabling investors to make fund subscriptions digitally, in your investor servicing centre and with your existing subscription agreements

• Offer straight-through, online 24/7 subscription processing with your fund administrator overseeing the entire process

• Enable fund investors to receive information from the administrator in the same environment

• View real-time subscription activity

Fund investors meanwhile, can:

• Maintain secure Investor Profiles to transact digitally, just like a digital wallet

• Receive information from the fund administrator, such as NAVs, monthly statements, tax documents and digital dashboards, and the fund manager, such as performance, analytics, communications and newsletters

• Access information across your private investments with a single login

Boeing, Pfizer, Lowe’s: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

Here’s what we are watching as markets kick into gear Wednesday. — Pfizer and BioNTech said they would seek authorization for use of their …

Here’s what we are watching as markets kick into gear Wednesday.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they would seek authorization for use of their Covid-19 vaccine within days after it appeared 95% effective in final trial results and showed signs of being safe. Pfizer shares rose 2.9% premarket and BioNTech’s U.S.-listed ADR jumped almost 6%.

Their performance beat the rest of the market as stock futures edged higher, with investors weighing the risks to the economy from rising coronavirus-infection levels against the prospect of vaccines that could halt the pandemic.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked up 0.2%, with contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.3% and the Nasdaq-100 edging up 0.1%. Wall Street’s fear gauge dropped, with the CBOE Volatility Index down more than 3%. Read our full market wrap here.

What’s coming up. Jack in the Box , L Brands and Nvidia are expected to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell.