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US July High-Grade Credit Supply Expected to Slow – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Syndicate desk estimates for U.S. investment-grade bond supply in July are centered around $90 billion, as funding costs remain extremely attractive for issuers.

While that’s a slowdown from the more than $112 billion which priced in June, investors shouldn’t expect a full-on summer supply lull. The tightest high-yield and investment-grade corporate bond spreads in decades suggest U.S. companies have a growing incentive to issue debt over the coming months rather than wait until later in the year.

Treasury yields also remain low, and the spread differential between U.S. junk and high-grade bonds this week fell to 184 basis points, the lowest since July 2007. That’s creating plenty of reasons for both high-grade and junk issuers to keep borrowing.

Bank of America Corp. strategists are calling for $15 billion to $20 billion of high-grade supply in the coming holiday shortened week. They see potential for issuance to slow in the second half of the year because it was so heavy year-to-date — but they also note the attractive funding conditions.

“Demand creates supply, and the combination of historically low yields and spreads at post-crisis tights may attract opportunistic issuance,” strategists led by Hans Mikkelsen wrote in a report Thursday.

Still, it won’t be easy to match the nearly $800 billion of high-grade bonds sold so far this year in the second half.

“I would expect new issuance to moderate this year to more normalized level of around $1.2 trillion to $1.4 trillion,” Monica Erickson, head of investment-grade corporates at DoubleLine Capital, said in a live Q&A on the Bloomberg Terminal on June 29.

High Yield

In U.S. leveraged loans, Verizon Communications Inc.’s media division is tapping the market to fund its $5 billion leveraged buyout by Apollo Global Management Inc. Verizon Media is selling two new loans totaling $1.5 billion. A lender call is scheduled for July 8.

Another lender call is set for Tuesday for KKR & Co.’s $1.65 billion term loans to help finance its acquisition of Atlantic Aviation.

At least two loan deals have commitments due next week.

A huge pipeline of loans funding acquisitions and buyouts is expected to bring even more sales in the quarter ahead, after June saw the most loan launches in three months. $529.9 billion in loans have launched this year through June, making it the biggest half-year since 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The junk-bond pipeline is quiet heading into the new week.

In distressed debt, GTT Communications Inc. has a forbearance agreement with its lenders set for July 6. The company has been in ongoing negotiations with creditors around a potential bankruptcy filing and recently de-listed its stock from publicly trading on the NYSE after it failed to restate its financials on time.

Sequential Brands Group faces its own deadline on July 8 when an extended waiver to deliver first quarter financials expires.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Cat simulator 'Stray' heads to PlayStation and PC in early 2022 – Engadget

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The last time we saw Stray was in the form of a cinematic trailer Sony shared in 2020 that highlighted the game’s futuristic neon-soaked setting and adorable feline protagonist. At the time, we didn’t get to see the game in action, a fact that Annapurna Interactive has now remedied. The publisher shared a slice of gameplay footage from the title during its recent showcase and said it would release Stray sometime in early 2022.

In the opening moments of Stray, our feline protagonist finds himself injured and separated from his family. Gameplay involves using his physical abilities as a cat to navigate the environment and solve puzzles. In the time-honored tradition of duos like Ratchet and Clank, partway through the adventure, you’ll meet a drone named B-12. They will allow you to converse with the city’s other robotic inhabitants and interact with certain objects in the environment. The cat has a playful side to his personality, and you can do things like scratch furniture, interact with vending machines and rub up against the legs of the robots you meet. Good stuff.

When Stray comes out next year, it will be available on PlayStation 4, PS5 and PC. Developer BlueTwelve Studio promised to show off more of the game before then.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Cat simulator 'Stray' heads to PlayStation and PC in early 2022 – Yahoo News Canada

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The last time we saw Stray was in the form of a cinematic trailer Sony shared in 2020 that highlighted the game’s futuristic neon-soaked setting and adorable feline protagonist. At the time, we didn’t get to see the game in action, a fact that Annapurna Interactive has now remedied. The publisher shared a slice of gameplay footage from the title during its recent showcase and said it would release Stray sometime in early 2022.

In the opening moments of Stray, our feline protagonist finds himself injured and separated from his family. Gameplay involves using his physical abilities as a cat to navigate the environment and solve puzzles. In the time-honored tradition of duos like Ratchet and Clank, partway through the adventure, you’ll meet a drone named B-12. They will allow you to converse with the city’s other robotic inhabitants and interact with certain objects in the environment. The cat has a playful side to his personality, and you can do things like scratch furniture, interact with vending machines and rub up against the legs of the robots you meet. Good stuff.

When Stray comes out next year, it will be available on PlayStation 4, PS5 and PC. Developer BlueTwelve Studio promised to show off more of the game before then.

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Sony’s new PS5 beta update also fixes one of its silliest flaws – The Verge

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The first major system update for Sony’s PlayStation 5 is arriving in beta form today, finally letting you expand the console’s 667GB of usable storage by adding your own PCIe Gen 4 SSD as well as testing new UI options and expanding 3D Audio support. But the full changelog also includes a few features that Sony didn’t highlight to press — including a way to easily update your DualSense controller if you press the wrong button!

You see, the PS5 currently has a very silly flaw: the only time you can update your controller is when you boot the console. And if you say no or accidentally press the O button instead of X, you can’t trigger that update until 24 hours have passed (or you tweak your PS5’s internal clock to cheat it).

But in Beta 2.0, there’s now a dedicated menu for that under Settings > Accessories > Controllers called Wireless Controller Device Software. Please forgive my grainy photo.

You’ll still see controller update prompts when you launch the console, too — and hitting the circle button will still instantly dismiss them.

The beta also makes one of our other UI frustrations slightly better: the ability to easily turn off the console. It’s still a mystery why Sony switched away from letting you long-press the PS button to requiring extra taps, but at least now you can change how many taps it takes. Pressing the hamburger / start button in the PS5’s quick actions menu now lets you drag any of them (including the PS5’s digital power button) to a different position in that menu.

Separately, did you know the PS5 lets you set up all kinds of parental controls for your kid on what they can play, watch, and do, and it lets you remotely approve their requests over the web? I didn’t realize that, and the beta update now lets you see and respond to those asks through the latest version of the mobile PlayStation App, not just via email.

Frankly, it still needs work: it’s a convoluted process that kicks you out to a web browser for setup, requires your kid to be signed into a PlayStation Network account (not just a local profile), has you set up all kinds of limits, and kicks you out to a web browser again (requiring you to log in) when you want to approve a request. And once you let your kid play a particular game, they get to keep playing until you remove it from the whitelist.

What I want is a simple rich phone notification that effectively lets me tap “yes, you can play this for 30 minutes” or “not right now, kid” and be done with it right away. Perhaps there’s time before the 2.0 software goes gold? Or perhaps in a future update.

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