Day: May 13, 2020

Microsoft ETFs to Watch on Surging Cloud Ahead of Q3 Earnings

Microsoft MSFT is set to release fiscal third-quarter 2020 results on Apr 29 after market close. Being the world’s largest software maker, it is worth taking a look at the company’s fundamentals ahead of its results.

Over the past three months, the stock has gained 5.2% outperforming the industry, which has shed nearly 8%. The outperformance is expected to continue if the software leader beats estimates (see: all the Technology ETFs here).

Inside Our Methodology

Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of -0.81%. According to our surprise prediction methodology, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 increases the odds of an earnings beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

The stock saw negative earnings estimate revision of a couple of cents for

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COVID-19 Exposes How Many Unemployment Websites Are Truly Terrible

As soon as Diane completed her unemployment application, she knew something was wrong. 

Each time the 65-year-old disabled North Carolina resident reached the final page of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) application, the website wouldn’t let her select “submit.” But when she, like many others, contacted the state’s Division of Employment Security for help, she reached the same voicemail over and over: All of their lines were busy, no one could talk to her and she would have to try calling back later. Click. 

By her 20th call, someone eventually picked up ― an employee representing North Carolina’s call center but located in a different state. Diane said the employee seemed almost as confused as she was with the state’s online unemployment application for claims involving the coronavirus pandemic. Diane realized the next day that the employee had filled out her application incorrectly. She’s tried calling back but hasn’t been

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Understanding Smart Beta ETFs’ Indexes

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Smart beta ETFs make up a small, but growing, slice of the top three index providers’ business, based on ETF assets.

At First Bridge Data, a CFRA company, index-based ETFs are split between traditional beta funds that track a market-cap-weighted index; smart beta funds that track an alternatively weighted index; and leveraged/inverse ETFs that either amplify or seek to benefit from the decline in the returns of market-cap-weighted indexes.

Smart beta funds have gained in popularity in recent years, as investors have sought to improve on the reward or reduce the risk of traditional beta funds without employing leverage. Some smart beta types include dividend, low volatility, value and multifactor; the latter combines multiple metrics in one index-based approach.

Yet smart beta remains a modest percentage of ETF assets tied to indexes from the top three index providers as demand for lower-cost traditional beta funds has been even stronger.

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Tencent’s Absence Is a Drag for Lagging Asia Tech Stocks

(Bloomberg) — U.S. technology stocks are on their hottest winning streak of the year, yet those gains aren’t necessarily translating to the same boost for their peers in Asia.

The tech benchmark Nasdaq 100 Index, heavily skewed toward the so-called FAANG stocks — Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. — as well as top position Microsoft Corp., has now rallied for six straight days. It has rebounded 33% since a low in March as investors piled into technology and biotech shares seen as winners amid the social-distancing lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read: Nasdaq’s Resilience Pushes Benchmark Dominance to 20-Year High

There’s no equivalent tech mainboard in Asia, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Information Technology Index the closest comparable. It’s up a comparatively weak 24% since mid-March, and the top stocks in the gauge, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co., have lagged

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