a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters


© Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

  • BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Tuesday stocks have more upside ahead and most investors should put more money to work in the market.
  • “I believe we still have more to go on the upside even in front of probably rising infection rates with COVID-19,” Fink said. 
  • With interest rates lower for longer and the likelihood of a second fiscal stimulus, Fink expects the market to move higher.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Tuesday that stocks have more upside ahead and investors should put more money to work in the market. 

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“We have a strong conviction that the average investor still is under-invested and they’re going to have to be putting more and more money to work over the coming months and maybe even years,” Fink said. “I believe we still have more to go on the upside even in front of probably rising infection rates with COVID-19.” 

The CEO of the world’s largest asset manager said that he’s not concerned about markets, citing the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates lower for longer, and saying he expects the US will see another fiscal stimulus “whether it occurs this month or in January.” He added that even as coronavirus infection rates rise, hospitalizations are falling. 

Read more: Good deals in pandemic-hit companies are proving hard to find. Here’s how big investors that raised billions to pounce on corporate distress are changing up their playbooks.

Another factor likely supporting the stock market’s climb upward is the record amount of retail participation, Fink said. He added that the coronavirus pandemic likely caused this surge in individual investing activity.

Fink told CNBC: “You report a lot about Robinhood and the day traders but across the board the average investor is putting more

In an unexpected announcement on Octobr 12th Alex Cruz, who became Chairman and Chief Executive of British Airways in 2016, is stepping down to be replaced by Sean Doyle, currently CEO of Aer Lingus, who previously spent 20 years at BA.

I have known Alex Cruz since he was CEO at Click Air, a low cost subsidiary of Iberia, which merged with Vueling, another low cost airline, where he subsequently also became CEO.

At that time, I came to know an energetic boss who led a dynamic, growing and profitable airline, held in high regard by his young team.

Move from Vueling to British Airways

Moving to British Airways, Cruz had a clear remit to bring his skills in low cost management to further improve the airline’s own efficiency as it faced not only growing low cost short haul competition, but emerging threats from long haul low cost airlines, such as Norwegian.

Some suggest that cost cutting was his only objective, but this neither matches reality nor recognises the achievements which he has delivered whilst at the airline.

Challenges

There have certainly been difficulties over the past four years. Several IT failures hit the airline and a data breach compromised customer information. To blame Cruz for these is simply lazy. In part legacy systems, which arguably should have been upgraded or replaced years earlier, failed by chance on his watch. A data breach, whilst far from acceptable, is not unique to BA nor to other airlines or indeed other industries. Alex Cruz is highly tech savvy and interested in technology, if anything he was upping BA’s game in this arena and moving it more fully into the

“It’s going to be a very challenging winter for the whole European airline industry,” said Andrew Lobbenberg, an equities analyst at HSBC, who specializes in the transport industry. In China, Russia and to a lesser extent in the United States, large domestic markets are improving for the airline industry. But Europe’s market has been fractured by travel restrictions, he said.

Airlines that do more long-haul travel, including British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa, will also struggle. “For BA, corporate travel is incredibly important, and it’s vanished,” Mr. Lobbenberg said.

In May, Lufthansa received a German government bailout worth €9 billion, but last month said it would cut more than 22,000 jobs. Short-haul carrier easyJet said last week that it would report its first ever annual loss and planned to fly only a quarter of its normal capacity in the last three months of 2020. Virgin Atlantic laid off almost half of its staff even after it devised a £1.2 billion private rescue deal.

Mr. Cruz, who previously led Vueling, a low-cost Spanish airline controlled by IAG, had run-ins with organized labor as the British Airways chief. The job cuts announced this summer prompted the labor union Unite to accuse the airline of “betrayal” and trying to fire cabin crew and then rehire them on worse terms in new contracts. In response, the airline said it wouldn’t issue new contracts, but instead make amendments to existing contracts.

The airline said that by the end of August, it had cut more than 8,000 jobs and had come to agreements with pilots, engineers and Heathrow Airport staff.

British Airways has had a contentious relationship with unions in the past. In September 2019, a pay dispute led pilots to go on strike for 48 hours, forcing the cancellation of thousands of flights.

In recent

New reports suggest that Apollo CEO Leon Black may have funneled as much as $75 million to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein before supposedly cutting ties in 2018.

The initial report published by the New York Times uncovers a number of alleged payments from Black to Epstein made through several companies.

A company that owned Black’s yacht wired $22.5 million to a company in 2017 that managed Epstein’s private jet – a move that raised questions at Deutsche Bank, the report said.

Other transactions passed through Black-owned businesses, according to the report, including a company that Black used to buy much of his billion-dollar art collection. The total amount of money that Black may have funneled to Epstein is around $75 million, which may have allowed Epstein to continue building wealth following his first criminal case.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
APO APOLLO GLOBAL MGMT 44.97 -1.54 -3.31%

Black owns roughly 23% of Apollo Management Group, according to a Forbes profile on the financier. He also chairs the New York Museum of Modern Art and serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Since the initial subpoena of Black in August, Apollo’s stock has steadily declined, falling from around $54 a share to around $42 a share in late September. The stock started to rally over the past couple of weeks, but these revelations may rock the stock’s value again.

TESLA CEO ELON MUSK CRITICIZES WAYMO’S AUTONOMOUS TECH ON TWITTER

Apollo accordingly moved swiftly to distance both Black and itself from Epstein’s dealings.

“Apollo never did any business with Mr. Epstein,” a spokesperson for Black said in a statement to FOX Business. “We understand that the

British Airways, which is slashing thousands of jobs as coronavirus decimates demand for air travel, announced Monday that CEO Alex Cruz is stepping down “with immediate effect” but gave no reason for his unexpected departure.

Parent group IAG added in a statement that the Spanish businessman, who had been BA chief executive for four and half years, will be replaced by its Aer Lingus boss Sean Doyle.

New IAG chief executive Luis Gallego, a fellow Spaniard who took the reins from Willie Walsh just last month, said the company’s management reshuffle was aimed at emerging stronger from the health crisis.

“We’re navigating the worst crisis faced in our industry and I’m confident … IAG is well placed to emerge in a strong position,” Gallego said.

“I want to thank Alex for all that he has done at British Airways. He worked tirelessly to modernise the airline. He has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees.”

Investors fretted over the news, sending IAG shares down two percent to 101.45 pence in late Monday morning deals.

Faced with the global travel crisis, the stock has plummeted by a staggering 75 percent since the start of the year — making it the worst performer listed on London’s FTSE 100 index.

“British Airways is going to need a new pair of wings if it is to fly through the pandemic in one piece. The airline is now getting new leadership in the form of Sean Doyle,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the nature of the departure of Cruz, who has overseen a massive cost-slashing drive and will remain non-executive chairman.

British Airways is in the process of axing 13,000 jobs or about one third