Short-seller Andrew Left does not usually smoke. But on Monday he had a cigarette to calm his nerves as shares of GameStop Corp, the stock he had shorted, continued to rocket higher.
Left, who has built a reputation by targeting companies he thinks are overvalued, is as convinced as ever that videogame retailer GameStop is a dying business whose stock price will fall sharply someday. He said on Tuesday he is still short the stock, which means he has bet that the price will fall, and more convinced than ever of his position.
“If I had never been involved in GameStop and came to this right now, would I still be short this stock? 100 percent,” Left, who runs Citron Research and a hedge fund, told Reuters on Tuesday. “This is an old school, failing mall-based video retailer and investors can’t change the perception of that.”
GameStop did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Shares of GameStop jumped 22% on Tuesday after surging 144% a day earlier, as individual investors again piled into a number of niche stocks, prompting short sellers to scramble to cover losing bets.
Left shorted the company’s stock – selling borrowed shares in a bet that the price will fall and that the shares can be bought back at a lower level – when it traded around $40 a share and forecast publicly that it would tumble to $20 a share.
Since Left spoke out publicly about GameStop earlier this month, other investors have turned out en masse to take the other side of short-sellers’ bets, forcing the stock up some 308% this year to trade at $112.45, or up 47% on Tuesday.
Along the way, Left said he has been threatened – although he declined to specify how – and asked authorities to investigate.
“Everyone thinks this stock sucks and the only reason people are buying it and own it is that for them it is a game.”
He added, “I created this game, based on uncovering the truths … so I can’t get mad at people for taking the other side.”
The market fury, however, is something that Left, who has been posting his research for two decades and has taken on prominent hedge fund managers like Bill Ackman at companies like Valeant, has not seen before.
Short selling is something every hedge fund is technically able to do but only a handful of firms – including Citron, Jim Chanos’ Kynikos Associates, Carson Block’s Muddy Waters Research, and Ben Axler’s Spruce Point Capital Management – specialize in.
Many hedge funds acknowledged over the last months that shorting had hurt their performance and Melvin Capital, a $13 billion hedge fund, on Monday received a financial lifeline from hedge funds Citadel and Point72 Asset Management after having been deeply hurt by short bets that went the other way.
The pain continues for short investors as some of the market’s most shorted stocks like retailers Bed Bath & Beyond and Dillard’s Inc have marched higher in the last days.
“I don’t smoke but yesterday I was outside smoking a cigarette,” Left acknowledged with a laugh, explaining his current stress. Last year his two-year-old fund returned 155%, after gaining 43% in 2019.
This year the Citron fund is off 2.5% since the beginning of January, Left said. “This kind of situation teaches you proper allocation,” he said.
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World shares sink after inflation driven retreat on Wall St – Business News – Castanet.net
Shares declined in Europe and Asia on Thursday after a broad retreat on Wall Street triggered by worries over the impact of persistent high inflation on corporate profits and consumer spending.
U.S. futures were lower, while oil prices advanced.
Germany’s DAX lost 2% to 13,731.64 and the CAC 40 in Paris declined 1.9% to 6,234.78. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 1.7% to 3,537.99. The future for the S&P 500 was 1% lower while the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.9%.
The Dow industrials sank more than 1,100 points, or 3.6% on Wednesday, and the S&P 500 had its biggest drop in nearly two years, shedding 4%. That was its steepest decline since June 2020. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.7%.
The benchmark index is now down more than 18% from the record high it reached at the beginning of the year. That’s just shy of the 20% decline that’s considered a bear market.
“The sentiment in the market is highly negative as traders and investors are largely concerned about an economic downturn and soaring inflation,” Naeem Aslam of Avatrade said in a commentary.
The Federal Reserve is trying to temper the impact from the highest inflation in four decades by raising interest rates. Many other central banks are on a similar track. But the Bank of Japan has stuck to its low interest rate policy and the gap between those benchmark rates of the world’s largest and third-largest economies has pushed the dollar’s value up against the Japanese yen.
Japan reported a trade deficit for April as its imports ballooned 28%. The shift reflects surging energy costs amid the war in Ukraine and a weakening of the yen against the U.S. dollar.
Japan’s exports grew to 8.076 trillion yen ($63 billion) last month, up 12.5% from the previous year, according to Ministry of Finance data released Thursday. Imports totaled 8.915 trillion yen ($70 billion) in April, up from 6.953 trillion yen in April 2021, and the highest since comparable numbers began to be taken in 1979.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 1.9% to 26,402.84 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 2.5% to 20,120.60. In South Korea, the Kospi shed 1.3% to 2,592.34, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up 1.7% to 7,064.50.
The Shanghai Composite index reversed earlier losses, gaining 0.4% to 3.096.96.
On Wednesday, retailer Target lost a quarter of its value after reporting earnings that fell far short of analysts’ forecasts. Inflation, especially for shipping costs, dragged its operating margin for the first quarter to 5.3%. It had been expecting 8% or higher.
The company warned that its costs for freight this year would be $1 billion higher than it estimated just three months ago.
The report comes a day after Walmart said its profit took a hit from higher costs. The nation’s largest retailer fell 6.8%, adding to its losses from Tuesday.
Target and Walmart each provided anecdotal evidence that inflation is weighing on consumers, saying they held back on purchasing big-ticket items and changed from national brands to less expensive store brands.
The weak reports stoked concerns that stubbornly rising inflation is putting a tighter squeeze on a wide range of businesses and could cut deeper into their profits.
Other big retailers also have racked up hefty losses.
The data are not entirely consistent. On Tuesday, the market cheered an encouraging report from the Commerce Department that showed retail sales rose in April, driven by higher sales of cars, electronics, and more spending at restaurants.
Investors worry the Fed could trigger a recession if it raises interest rates too high or too quickly. Worries persist about global growth as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts even more pressure on prices for oil and food while lockdowns in China to stem COVID-19 cases worsens supply chain problems.
In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 56 cents to $110.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $2.81 to $109.59 on Wednesday.
Brent crude, the basis for pricing for international trading, climbed $1.19 to $110.30 per barrel.
The dollar fell to 128.14 Japanese yen from 128.20 yen late Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.0481 from $1.0464.
Gold prices holding at session highs as U.S. existing home sales fall 2.4% in April – Kitco NEWS
(Kitco News) – The gold market continues to trade near session highs, supported by more disappointing economic data. Rising interest rates continue to cool down the U.S. housing market as fewer consumers purchased home last month, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Existing home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.61 million units last month, down 2.4% compared to March’s annualized rate of 5.75 million homes, the NAR said on Thursday. Market consensus projections called for existing home sales to fall only slightly to 5.65 million.
For the year, home sales are down 5.9%, the report said.
The gold market has seen some renewed technical buying momentum, which has been supported by weaker-than-expected economic data. June gold futures last traded at $1,842.40 an ounce, up nearly 1.5% on the day.
The U.S. housing sector has faced some challenging headwinds as the Federal Reserve looks to aggressively raise interest rates, which in turn is pushing mortgage rates higher.
“Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “It looks like more declines are imminent in the upcoming months, and we’ll likely return to the pre-pandemic home sales activity after the remarkable surge over the past two years.”
Yun noted that the falling sales space is helping to boost the supply of existing homes. The report said that the inventory of homes for sale totaled 1,030,000 in April, representing a 2.2-month supply.
Although sales are down, Yun said that home prices still remain elevated.
“The market is quite unusual as sales are coming down, but listed homes are still selling swiftly, and home prices are much higher than a year ago,” he said.
The report said the median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $391,200, up 14.8% from April 2021.
Ford recalling 350,000 SUVs due to unexplained engine fires, including some sold in Canada – CBC News
Ford is asking the owners of 350,000 SUVs from the 2021 model year to take them to dealers for repairs because the engines can catch fire.
Ford says in U.S. government documents posted Thursday that it doesn’t know what’s causing fires in some Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs from the 2021 model year.
2863 of the vehicles were sold in Canada: 2,354 Expeditions, and 509 Navigators.
Owners are being advised to park them outside if possible because engine fires have been reported even when the vehicles were not in use.
Ford has reports of 16 fires under the hood, 12 of which started when the engine was off. One person was burned.
Trying to notify customers
So far it hasn’t developed a repair for the fires, which appear to start at the back of the engine compartment on the passenger side.
Ford says it’s treating the recall urgently and will use apps and mail to notify customers as soon as it develops a list of vehicle owners and addresses.
“We are working around the clock to determine the root cause of this issue and subsequent remedy so that customers can continue to enjoy using their vehicles,” Jeffrey Marentic, general manager of Ford passenger vehicles, said in a statement.
Ford began investigating fire reports on March 24. It says the fires appear to be limited to SUVs built from Dec. 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. The company says it has no fire reports from vehicles built before or after those dates.
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