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Mandarin Monday – China’s Economy Slows Considerably

China's growth slowdown suggests recovery is losing steam - BBC News4.9% for Q3 in China.

That's down from 7.9% in Q2 as China struggled with power shortages (which the US did not have) and supply chain issues (which the US does have) as well as Beijing's efforts to reign in the madness in the Real Estate and Technology Sectors before they form a bubble that wipes out everything else (the US just lets it happen).  Delta Covid and the semiconductor shortage were also to blame and will also be factors in our own GDP.  Get ready to be disappointed.

Compared to Q2, China's Q3 GDP was up just 0.2%, which was up just 1.3% from Q1 – not a great year at all.  In an acknowledgment of the mounting risks to the economy, China's Statistics Bureau said that “There are increasing uncertainties in the external environment, while the domestic economic recovery is unstable and unbalanced.”  

On Friday, China Central Bank officials suggested it wouldn’t resort to a relatively large stimulus to drive up the growth rate in the final quarter of the year, for example by flooding the financial system with liquidity or slashing benchmark interest rates.  Officials also played down risks from the debt crisis at China Evergrande Group, the country’s most indebted property concern, whose troubles have rattled markets and raised questions about China’s overall economic and financial health.

We get our own GDP Report next week but, for now, we'll have to content ourselves with the Beige Book, which is like old Uncle Remus stories (now redacted by Disney) about the economy and has nothing to do with data.  This morning we'll get the Industrial Production Report along with the Housing Index, more Housing stuff tomorrow, Wednesday is Beige Book day and Thursday is the Philly Fed along with Leading Economic Indicators and we wrpa it up Friday with PMI.

Earnings, of course, are coming in hot an heavy but it's only the warm-up for Big Tech next week.  

Image

Remember, we are mainly concerned about how companies are dealing with inflation but it also looks like supply and labor shortages are going to give us a disappointing Christmas – that would be interesting but, so far, nothing seems to matter to this bull market, as we start the week back at 4,450 on the S&P 500, 35,100 on the Dow, 15,115 on the Nasdaq and 2,255 on the Russell – well on the way to recovery if we can stay over 4,400:

  • S&P 4,550 to 4,300 was a 250-point drop so 50-point bounce lines are 4,350 (weak) and 4,400 (strong)
  • Dow 35,500 to 33,600 was a 2,000-point drop so the bounce lines are 34,000 (weak) and 34,400 (strong)
  • Nasdaq 15,700 to 14,740 was a 960-point drop so call it 200-point bounces to 14,940 (weak) and 15,140 (strong)
  • Russell 2,340 to 2,130 was a 210-point drop so 42-point bounces to 2,172 (weak) and 2,214 (strong) 

 


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  1. Good morning!

    Inflation in the 21st Century Taking Down the Inflationary Straw Man of the 1970s Four decades of relative fiscal austerity in the United States, coupled with accelerating globalization and technological development, have produced a disinflationary-to-deflationary tendency – extending from prices to labor incomes – that only substantial amounts of targeted federal spending can restore to equilibrium. With sustained levels of accelerating inflation being very unlikely. (Cornell Research Academy of Development, Law, and Economicssee also Inflation in the economy today is different. Here are four charts that can explain why. The delta variant and supply chain backlogs have kept prices elevated. Rising prices are the result of constrained supply, not inflation. (Washington Post)

    The Great Resignation Is Accelerating A lasting effect of this pandemic will be a revolution in worker expectations. (The Atlantic)

    When Investors Overlook Latinx Founders, They Miss Out on a $1.4 Trillion Opportunity Latinx-owned businesses are growing faster than their peers despite significantly less access to capital. So why aren’t investors taking advantage? (Institutional Investor)

    How a $2 Million Luxury Condo in Brooklyn Ends Up With a $157 Tax Bill Opaque methods, hypothetical numbers and ‘bonkers’ adjustments shift the property-tax burden toward middle- and working-class New Yorkers (Businessweek)

    https://ritholtz.com/2021/10/covid-attendance-concerts/

    It’s unclear what is happening in Covid world. Infections are going down in most places, as are deaths, except in a few northern red states, is this the end? Could be, probably not. We know how this ultimately plays out… Monoclonal antibodies, the new pill…the unvaxxed are gonna be saved and then they’re going to declare victory, saying they were right to abstain from the vaccine, despite being wrong, but how long will it take?

    It’s a conundrum. On so many levels America is open for business. Look for masks at sporting events, it’s hard to find ’em. But despite so many out in the world, there are so many who are still trepidatious, and they’re hurting business, in the concert world, the restaurant world… The boomers are the ones with money, and they’ll spend it, but they don’t want to risk dying to have the experience.

    Talk until you’re blue in the face, you can’t convince them otherwise. It’s an internal feeling, which is different from an anti-vaxxer belief. They’d prefer to stay home and be safe rather than sorry. Get old enough and you can miss anything. A youngster needs the cereal in the grocery store, an oldster can pass it up, they know life is long and they want it to be longer.

    So the concert business is not back.

    So many of the dollars are generated by acts appealing to oldsters.

    And it’s not only concerts, it’s movies too.

    “Latest James Bond Film Falls Behind Predecessors as Covid-19 Concerns Linger”: https://on.wsj.com/2YztTPI

    The hype is so heavy you’d believe that the Bond return is a triumph, proving that Covid is in the rearview mirror, that happy days are here again, BUT THAT IS UNTRUE!

    But we live in a world where nobody will speak the truth. Britain is reeling from Brexit, but no one will use the B-word:

    Brexit is Making Britain a Third World Country The Ugly Truth is Brexit Didn’t “Level Up” Britain — It’s Levelling it All the Way Down To Ruin

    Read this article. And remember, the promised touring concessions have yet to be instituted. If you’re an English act trying to tour the Continent…you might as well be from America.

    People are stupid, and those in control won’t speak the truth and they’re kept stupid, if not delusional

    “Hacker X”—the American who built a pro-Trump fake news empire—unmasks himself He was hired to build a fake news op but now wants to put things right. (Arstechnica

    Five Traders Tell Us How to Survive a World of Disrupted Markets Trading requires constant vigilance and the ability to adapt and profit from disruptions. But what happens when the act of trading itself is disrupted? To get a glimpse of the life of a trader in 2021, Bloomberg Markets interviewed traders, quizzed them about how they got into the business, what their typical day is like, how their market and investing strategy is changing, and what advice they’d give to budding traders.  (Bloomberg)

    The Mystery Man Who Made Amazon an Ad Giant Paul Kotas helped turn Amazon into the No. 3 player in the digital advertising market, creating one of its most profitable businesses, all while remaining largely under the radar. Next up for him: a push to snatch more dollars from TV ad budgets. (The Informationsee also Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show A trove of internal Amazon documents reveals how the e-commerce giant ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoff goods and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India – practices it has denied engaging in. And at least two top Amazon executives reviewed the strategy. (Reuters)

    An Empire of Dying Wells: Old oil and gas sites are a climate menace. Meet the company that owns more of America’s decaying wells than any other. We found methane leaks at most of the places we visited. Some sites showed signs of maintenance in recent months, but others looked more or less abandoned. We saw access roads choked by vegetation, machinery buried under vines and weeds, oil dripping onto the ground, and steel doors rusted off their hinges. That’s not to say the wells were unattended. Mud wasps, spiders, mice, snails, and bees made their homes in them, and a porcupine napped under a brine tank. (Bloomberg Green)

    Ordering in: The rapid evolution of food delivery How the world eats is changing dramatically. A little under two decades ago, restaurant-quality meal delivery was still largely limited to foods such as pizza and Chinese. Nowadays, food delivery has become a global market worth more than $150 billion, having more than tripled since 2017. In the United States, the market has more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, following healthy historical growth of 8 percent. (McKinsey)

    Is It Time for a New Economics Curriculum? “The Economy,” a new textbook, is designed for the post-neoliberal age. Economics is a social science, driven by data and equations. But it is also deeply informed by politics, and economists, who have diverse political views, wrangle over ethical values and also numerical ones. (New Yorker)


  2. Phil I like to ask you to go over my structuring on CBRL 
    I presently hold 2 Jan 22 135 long calls. Stock is trading at 134.69 before Monday’s opening. My present loss is 4720.00.
    I roll 2x the Jan22  135 call to the max at present Dec 22 110 call (21.95) cost 4390.00
    I sell 2x the Dec 22 145 call for (13.20) credit 2640.00 
    I sell 1x the Dec 22 120 put for 14.10 credit 1410.00
    Here my calculation if and only if CBRL reaches 145, the value of the spread is 35 x 200 = 7000.00 less 4390.00 = 2610.00 plus 2640.00 = 5250.00 plus 1410.00 =  6660.00 less my original loss of 4720.00 = 1940.00. So this would be the outcome if the stock goes up to 145. 
    Possible selling the 140 caller might be a better deal if the stock does not even reach 145.
    Good practice  for others as well to get out of a loss. 








  3. Good Morning.


  4. phil i think the russel numbers are wrong in post


  5. KOLD starting to run


  6. OK, all caught up on my weekend reading…

    Weak PMI surprising the leading Economorons:

    • September Industrial Production-1.3% M/M vs. +0.2% consensus and -0.1% prior (revised).
    • Capacity Utilization 75.2% vs. 76.5% consensus and 76.2% prior (revised).
    • Manufacturing Output: -0.7% M/M vs. +0.3% consensus and -0.4% prior (revised)

    Prior was reported at +0.4% so DISASTER is the proper word for this.

    So now it's two consecutive months of accelerating declines.

    Should have had more conviction and shorted /ES earlier.  

    CBRL/Yodi – That's an interesting thing to invest in.  Nothing wrong with them, just a dull little restaurant chain.  $134.69 is $3.2Bn and they make a pretty solid $200M so 16x and I doubt that will change much up or down.  I don't think I'd be as aggressive with my targets – I wouldn't pay more than 17x for them and really wouldn't be interested above 15x.  

    If you are going to play them, I'd have a little more balls on the short puts, maybe the Dec $130 puts for $18.25 as what's $10 if assigned, better to collect the money now.   As a spread, bottom line is you are down $4,720 so can we make a spread that makes more than $4,720 is the real question.  The options are thinly traded and not at good prices, so it's going to be hard to force a trade – I simply wouldn't play the stock (the short puts are fine – you could just sell 3 of those if you need revenge on this particular stock.  The problem is there is very stupid premium baked into all the Decembers – I guess you can use it to your advantage with the December $100 ($37.50)/135 ($16.50) bull call spread at $11 as that has a $14 upside so two of those ($2,200) less a $130 put ($1,825) is net $375 (+$4,720) on the $7,000 spread – that works.  Of course, if you don't like it enough to DD while it's low, why do it at all?

    RUT/Tommy – Thanks, I thought we corrected those – I copied the mistake I made last time.

    KOLD/Pman – So did you play it?


  7. KOLD/ not in the intelligent PSW way. Just some May 2022 8.00 calls for 2.00, take ½ off the table for a double and let the rest ride to spring.


  8. Covid – When considering a vaccinated Colin Powell – RIP – dies due to covid related complications, I could not agree more with the above-posted Ritholtz article.

     

    for those who cannot find the article… ;)

    https://ritholtz.com/2021/10/covid-attendance-concerts/


  9. Phil thank on CBRL will go over this one.


  10. KOLD/Pman – I know it's getting chilly in Florida.  Close to 70 last night – brrrrr..

    Powell/1020 – 84 year-old people are going to find some reason to die.  He just happened to be famous.

    You're welcome, Yodi. 

    This is the most actionable item from the news above:

    Moderna, Pfizer forecast for a combined $93.2B in COVID vaccine sales in 2022 – FT

    • Pfizer (PFE) is projected to have $54.5B in COVID vaccine revenue, while the figure for Moderna (MRNA) is $38.7B.
    • Airfinity says its estimates are supported by middle- and high-income countries buying booster shots.
    • The firm said that other manufacturers, including AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) will bring in $124B next year.

    PFE's TOTAL SALES in 2019 were $41Bn and $42Bn last year so shots were not a big revenue item last year as shots didn't start until right at the end of last year.  Projected sales for 2021 were $80Bn and that seems right but, at $54.5Bn, 2022 estimates of $71.4Bn are way too low and that means earnings projections of $21Bn are way too low.  PFE is only trading at $232Bn at $41.50 so that's – you guessed it – way too low!  

    Even better for MRNA as last year's sales were $800M, this year $20M and next year projected at $20Bn, both with about $12Bn in profits but WAY TOO LOW by about 50%.

    Of course, the thing about MRNA is that, after Covid, they go back to $1Bn in sales so paying $130Bn for them at $335 is a little iffy (we did just sell 5 2024 $200 puts for $25 in the LTP – still good for a new trade – so we'll leave them alone.

    PFE, however, was cashed out of the LTP but it does seem like they have another great year ahead of them, even without more variants and, of course, they have $40Bn in regular sales to fall back on.  So, while they are low in the channel, let's get back into PFE in the LTP with the following:

    • Sell 15 2024 $35 puts for $4 ($6,000) 
    • Buy 25 2024 $35 calls for $8.50 ($21,250)
    • Sell 20 2024 $45 calls for $4 ($8,000) 

    That's net $7,250 on the $25,000 spread that's more than half in the money and the plan would be to sell 10 March $45 calls, which are now $1, for $2, which should happen when PFE hits $45 (since the delta is 0.28) and that would be $2,000 using 151 of the 823 days we have to sell so 5 or 6 of those sales will pay for the whole spread and our worst case would become owning 1,500 shares for $35 ($52,500), which is fine for the LTP.

    This is the point of reading all this news – once in a while we come across actionable items but you can't limit yourself to just reading things that mention stocks you are already watching – you have to let the news lead you to stocks or sectors that are interesting and then our training in spotting undervalued stocks and using options does the rest.   Spend a little time reading and investing and PRESTO! – you have a nice portfolio!  


  11. Phil,

    what's your opinion on VMW (Vmware) ?

    Thanks


  12. Oil coming back down:

        

    VMW/Gard – Good nuts and bolts cloud company with about 10% growth and dropping $3Bn to the bottom line at $65Bn so 22x is fairly valued, not a particular bargain.  If you liked them, where were you last month, 10% ago?  Now they are getting back to the top of their channel so way less sexy to me so I'd watch them and know that below $140 they get interesting.  2024 $140 puts are $20 and the $130 puts are $15 with an 0.26 delta so once it's over $17.50 that nets you in below $112.50 and then we're talking a good deal – so I'd keep an eye out for that.  

    • Dow Inc. (DOW +0.0%) shares wobble between small gains and losses after Wolfe Research downgrades shares to Underperform from Peer Perform with a $55 price target, reflecting the firm's cautious petrochemical view, which stems from a bullish outlook for natural gas, methane and propane.
    • "Our cautious petchem view stems from our bullish natural gas, ethane and propane outlook, which combined with PE prices flatlining and ethylene prices retrenching from early year gains, suggest margins are getting squeezed and this price environment could last for the next six-plus months," Wolfe's Josh Silverstein writes.
    • While Dow previously has used feedstock flexibility to its advantage, with both ethane and propane prices high, Silverstein believes operational flexibility has been reduced.
    • At its Investor Day earlier this month, Dow outlined plans to deliver more than $3B in additional EBITDA by 2030 while still driving toward zero-carbon emissions across its global asset base.
    • Amid an ongoing drumbeat of bad press, Facebook (FB +2.7%) is pushing back, charging the media with a coordinated campaign against the company.
    • The latest entry in The Wall Street Journal's "Facebook Files" series of exposes based on leaked internal documents says that while the company's position is that artificial intelligence will clean up hate speech and excessive violence on the platform, the company's own engineers have doubts about how successful that can be.
    • "Facebook’s AI can’t consistently identify first-person shooting videos, racist rants and even, in one notable episode that puzzled internal researchers for weeks, the difference between cockfighting and car crashes," the latest WSJ report says.
    • Meanwhile, Facebook Communications VP John Pinette says the company believes that while it should be held accountable, "when reporting misrepresents our actions and motivations, we believe we should correct the record." Past weeks have shown how documents can be "mischaracterized," he says.
    • Right now 30+ journalists are finishing up a coordinated series of articles based on thousands of pages of leaked documents," Pinette charges. "We hear that to get the docs, outlets had to agree to the conditions and a schedule laid down by the PR team that worked on earlier leaked docs.
    • "To those news organizations who would like to move beyond an orchestrated ‘gotcha’ campaign, we are ready to engage on the substance," he says.
    • Willis Towers Watson's Thinking Ahead Institute research indicates assets under management at the world's 500 largest asset managers have reached a new record of $119.5T.

    • As of the end of 2020, this represents an increase of 14.5% on the previous year when total AUM was previously $104.4T.
    • Of the top 500 managers, 221 names that were a part of the list 10 years ago in 2011 are now absent in 2021, which  indicates a quickening pace of competition, consolidation and rebranding.
    • Concentration among the top 20 managers intensifies with market share increasing to 44% of total assets during the period; 14 among them are U.S. managers accounting for 78.6% of the top 20 AUM.

    • BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) has retained its position as the largest asset manager in the ranking, followed by Vanguard holding its second-place position for the seventh consecutive year.
    • Overall, passive investments represent 26%, an increase of 16.2% compared with a 15.4% growth in actively managed AUM; passively managed AUM among the largest firms grew to $8.3T in 2020 from $4.8T in 2016.
    • Research findings also state:
    1. Client interest in sustainable investing increased across 91% of the firms surveyed.
    2. 78% of managers increased resources deployed to technology and big data, and 66% increased resources deployed to cybersecurity.
    3. Total investment management fee levels decreased for a quarter of the surveyed managers, but fee levels grew 21% of managers.
    • September AUMs across the board - (NYSE:LAZ)(NASDAQ:TROW)(NYSE:IVZ)(NYSE:BEN)(NYSE:AB)(NYSE:PZN)(NYSE:APAM)(NYSE:CNS) - reported a drop M/M led by unfavorable market returns as the SPX index (SPX) marked a 5% decline in M/M return from Aug to Sept.

    That is just the top 500 managrs!


    • A static labor participation rate has been a concern in recent jobs reports and structural workforce chances mean a full recovery is far away, BofA Securities says.
    • The September participation rate came in at 61.6%, even with August, and it has hit a ceiling at 61.7% so far this year.
    • BofA expects the rate to peak at 62.6% by the end of 2022 and stay there in 2023.
    • "There appear to be structural changes to the workforce: incredible amount of turnover of the workforce with a record high rate of quitting (according to JOLTS, 2.9% of the workforce quit in August)," BofA economists Michelle Meyer and Stephen Juneau write in a note.
    • BofA highlights the four facors of "The Great Resignation," a term coined in July by Anthony Klotz at Texas A&M:
    1. Backlog in quitting as people stayed in jobs in 2020 when the pandemic started.
    2. Heightened burnout.
    3. Shift in identity and/or priorities after the pandemic.
    4. Reluctance to return to the office.
    • "Indeed, according to the Work Trend Index Reports from Microsoft, which studies more than 30K people in 31 countries, 41% of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year with 46% plan to make a major pivot or career transition given the ability to work remotely," Meyer and Juneau say. "And flexibility is top of mind with over 70% of workers looking for flexible remote work options to continue. COVID fundamentally changed the workforce."
    • But they do see the trends in three big constraints to the labor force reversing in the near term:
    1. "COVID cases are down 42% from the Sept 1 peak and are now at the lowest level since Aug 2nd, likely making people more comfortable and able to return to the workplace."
    2. The decline in cases eases childcare responsibilities and October could see a rebound in the labor force participation rate for women 35-45, particulary given seasonal factors.
    3. With the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits, BAC card data shows that "lower income households that are still receiving UI have pulled back on spending given the lower dollar amount of benefits," suggesting "greater payment stress, which could encourage more engagement in the workforce." (See BofA chart at the bottom.)

    • Palm Valley Capital Management argued in a letter to investors that the stock market could suffer a "brutal decline" as a result of high valuations and "shaky fundamental underpinnings."
    • Fund co-founders and portfolio managers Jayme Wiggins and Eric Cinnamond identified inflation as a primary risk to the stock market, as accelerating price increases could force the Federal Reserve to become more hawkish.
    • "We believe higher inflation is one of the primary threats to the carefree stock market, since low inflation provides the cover the Fed needs to continue suppressing interest rates," they said in a fund letter released this month.
    • The Palm Valley portfolio managers contended that inflation rates are actually higher than the rates included in official government data, largely because of the way rent costs are computed.
    • Calling the CPI rent statistics "a fantasy," Wiggins and Cinnamond pointed to stats showing a nearly 19% increase in rent costs over the past year.
    • "Eventually, the truth will be obvious, when the delta between the government’s inflation measurements and U.S. citizens’ real-world experience becomes too large to ignore," they predicted.
    • To counteract the threat of a sharp equity decline, Palm Valley has moved much of its portfolio into cash, which represented nearly 80% of the fund's assets by the end of the third quarter.
    • Otherwise, Palm Valley has looked to resource stocks, particularly targeting silver and gold. The fund views these as a vital hedge against inflation.
    • "We view gold and silver as votes against the longevity of the bubble. The free ride will eventually end, and the shock to financial assets could be severe," Wiggins and Cinnamond said.
    • "With this Fed at the helm, if we took a five-year nap and could only own precious metals or the U.S. stock market at current prices, the choice would be easy," they added.
    • For another bearish look at the stock market, see why Crescat Capital believes that investors have not properly priced stagflation risks.

    • Tesla (TSLA +3.7%) shares climb as the EV pioneer announces the first deliveries of its redesigned Model X SUV and mentions of TSLA rise to the top of the reddit WSB forum ahead of the company's Q3 earnings.
    • Analysts are generally positive ahead of the earnings announcement. Wedbush's Daniel Ives says that he believes the company will beat revenue and EPS expectations based on better than expected car deliveries. “We believe an evolving green tidal wave will push shares of Tesla higher despite the near-term chip shortage with 3Q earnings this week another positive catalyst,” Ives wrote in a note Sunday. Ives holds an Outperform rating on the stock with a price target of $1,000.
    • Analysts expect 55% Y/Y revenue growth and EPS of $1.54 following earnings beats in the past 7 of 8 quarters.
    • At the beginning of October, Tesla reported Q3 deliveries of 241K, surpassing the consensus Street estimate by 8K vehicles and setting the automaker up for a potential earnings beat. When Tesla delivered its Q4 results in 2020, management provided FY 21 delivery guidance of 50% Y/Y growth, translating into roughly 750K vehicles. That number now seems conservative given that Tesla has already delivered 627K vehicles through three quarters.
    • Tesla will report earnings this Wednesday, Oct 20 after the market closes in what will be the most watched earnings this week alongside Netflix and Intel's.
    • Updated 1:50 p.m.: That's a wrap on the Apple event, which had a couple of small surprises but delivered the new pro-end MacBooks and AirPods as expected – along with an even higher-end company-designed chip than promised. Apple stock is up 0.6% as it closes, building on its earlier fractional gain.
    • Updated 1:47 p.m.: After some beastly MacBook Pro specs, brace for the price details: The 16-inch version comes in at $2,499, and the 14-inch version at $1,999. They come in two colors and will be available from next week.
    • Updated 1:31 p.m.: The "redesigned" MacBook Pro comes in a 16-inch display (4.7 pounds) and (for the first time) a 14-inch version at 3.5 pounds. Notably, the Touch Bar is confirmed to be gone now, replaced by a full-size row of function keys. And MagSafe power is coming back to the line.
    • New Retina displays mean 7.7 million pixels on the big MacBook Pro, and 5.9 million pixels on the smaller one.
    • Updated 1:17 p.m.: Time for the "completely reimagined" MacBook Pro, which will tap a higher-end version of Apple's chip, the M1 Pro. CPU performance has improved by some 70% over the original M1, with up to double the graphics performance. But there's not just one but two new chips today: The M1 Max has up to 400 GB/second of memory bandwidth (twice M1 Pro and six times M1), and supports up to 64 GB unified memory; "the largest chip we've ever built by far."
    • Updated 1:10 p.m.:  The first widely expected move from the event comes as Apple announces the third-generation AirPods. They have new audio drivers, sweat and water resistance, and longer battery life (up to six hours, Apple says, with 5 minutes charge time giving a quick hour). They're available for $179 starting next week.
    • Updated 1:06 p.m.: "Today we're focused on two important areas: Music, and the Mac," Tim Cook says in kicking off the event – and the company has dug in with a new low-cost plan for Apple Music. The Voice Plan uses "only your voice and the power of Siri" to access music, priced at $4.99/month (vs. the individual plan's $9.99/month and family plan $14.99/month). It's coming to 17 countries and regions later this fall.
    • Also, a new HomePod Mini smart speaker is coming in three new colors for $99 each, starting in November.
    • Original item: Apple (AAPL +0.3%) is about to start its "Unleashed" event (at 1 p.m. ET), its second major event of the fall (after the higher-profile iPhone 13 launch) – at which the focus will turn to personal computers.
    • The company is widely expected to roll out redesigned MacBook Pros powered by its new chips (even amid an ongoing semiconductor shortage), a new more powerful Mac Mini, and even an update to its AirPods wireless earbuds.
    • Stay tuned here for live updates on any developments.
    • Loup Ventures' Gene Munster says "The Mac is back," and Wedbush's Apple analyst Daniel Ives says the release of key products into the holiday shopping season speaks to the company's confidence in getting new Macs and AirPods into customer hands "despite the doomsday supply chain skeptics."

    Yawn!  You would think they could do a hologram Steve Jobs – like Tupac – for these Apple events.   I bet he'd have "one more thing"!  

    Don't ask why, but you know you're gonna get an iPhone 5: Steve Job's  hologram told me so! [VIDEO] -

    steve jobs | Trending Gifs

    My hero!  


  13. Well, that was a good start to the week.
     

    Now we will see how the earnings go.