Money managers at the virtual Milken 2020 Global Conference were largely bullish about stocks, but they outlined a litany of risks facing investors.

Uncertainty on multiple fronts is leaving investors trying to position for a range of outcomes—even the possibility of burgeoning debt loads leaves the U.S. facing a systemic financial crisis or a move toward socialism.

The annual conference, sponsored by former junk-bond investor Michael Milken’s Milken Institute think tank, brings together business leaders, policy makers, money managers, and Wall Street power brokers and is taking place online through Oct. 21.

Myriad uncertainties created by the variance in how countries were dealing with the pandemic, populism, geopolitical tensions, and broader divisiveness are forcing investors to grapple with an array of outcomes as varied as a multidecade growth slump or 1970s-style stagflation and requires “an enormous” amount of diversification, said Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick.


Carlyle Group

CEO Kewsong Lee called out the uneven nature of the recovery, even within asset classes and sectors. And while the 2008-09 financial crisis saw a lot of solvent companies become illiquid, the massive stimulus this year has left a lot of insolvent companies that are liquid—including many in industries with existential issues ahead, Lee said. That requires caution as investors look through battered industries.

A lot depends on the trajectory of the virus, but Agnès Belaisch, Barings Investment Institute’s chief European strategist, played down the magnitude of the risk posed by recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Europe. At the beginning of the crisis, about 40% of the population was furloughed, but that is now down to just 6%. “It’s a slow process, but a process back to normal,” Belaisch said. She argued that European policy makers’ ability to get monetary and fiscal policy through without talk of austerity and a focus on

The holiday season holds robust growth prospects as it provides retail companies with the scope of additional revenue generation. Hence, the season is significant for both online and offline retailers.

Keeping this in mind, Amazon AMZN, which comes out with record-breaking holiday sales every year, has planned differently this year, with a two-day special Prime Day mega shopping event that is set to start from Oct 13.

The online retail giant is conducting Prime Day event twice a year for the first time, which is allowing it to gain investors’ confidence further as the event date is nearing. Notably, the stock has soared 6% in the past week.

The move is likely to drive the company’s momentum among customers as well as sellers, which, in turn, will likely strengthen its 2020 holiday performance.

Past-Week’s Price Performance

 

 

Additionally, conducting the Prime Day event during this time of the year is likely to be a game-changer for the company’s holiday season initiatives amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of e-commerce technology.

Moreover, on the heels of its second Prime Day event, Amazon poses a strong challengeto the retail behemoths like Walmart WMT, Target TGT, Bed Bath & Beyond BBBY, DICK’S Sporting Goods DKS, and Big Lots BIG,which are leaving no stone unturned to bolster their holiday performance and bridge their gap with this e-commerce dominant.

Amazon to Remain Ahead of the Pack

Amazon is expected to remain ahead of the above-mentioned companies in the holiday season on the back of a lot of enticing Prime Day deals and other holiday initiatives

Notably, the company isinvesting $100 million on special Prime Day and holiday promotional programs in a bid to deliver an enhanced shopping experience to buyers and support sellers, especially smaller businesses.

Amazon is offering great deals on items

A township in Cape May County said it has scheduled a property tax sale in October to help recoup losses from state-ordered, coronavirus shutdowns and restrictions.

Ten of the 15 properties up for sale in Middle Township are in the Whitesboro area of the township, a community established in 1901 for Black settlers to own homes, especially to escape the violence and racial oppression in Jim Crow America. The sale has some community members wondering if their historic shore community will retain its identity as an area established primarily for people of color.

“This was an African-American safe haven,” said Shirley Green, a longtime resident and local historian. “For them to be tax selling is pretty-much running us out of our quality of life.”

But Green said she understands both sides of the issue. She owns nearly two dozen properties in Whitesboro, many of which are residential rentals. She said she has tried to work with tenants but the township hasn’t worked with her as a property owner who is also experiencing shortfalls.

The parcels that will be auctioned up range in size from a mobile home lot in a campground to a nearly 3-acre lot on Gibbs Street in a wooded area with no structure on it in Whitesboro. Three of the 15 parcels for sale have residential structures on them but none are occupied, a local official said.

The properties will be sold at auction on October 28 with opening bids ranging from $7,600 for a parcel on Matthews Street in Whitesboro to $83,400 for a lot with no structure on it in the 1100 block of Golf Club Road on the east side of the Garden State Parkway. Most of the township, including Whitesboro, is west of the Garden State Parkway.

“We have been preparing for some

Pandemics became the top concern for insurance professionals this year as the COVID-19 crisis roils the industry worldwide.

Infectious diseases and pandemics were ranked as the most significant risks to society over the next five to 10 years in a study published Thursday by French insurer AXA SA. That’s a reversal from last year, when climate change was seen as the biggest concern. (Editor’s note: The report is available to download here).

COVID-19 is proving to be a major challenge for insurers, especially those that provide cover for canceled events such as sports matches and concerts. Disputes over coverage have led some policyholders to take legal action, with AXA recently losing a lawsuit against five restaurant operators. The insurer said it will appeal the ruling.

The survey of 2,600 insurance professionals in 53 countries, found that 56% of the respondents consider pandemics one of the top five emerging risks, up from 23% in 2019. Climate change is now the second biggest worry overall, but the views vary geographically as it remains the top priority in Europe but falls to the third place in the U.S. and Asia.

The reduced emphasis on climate change “is concerning, especially among our American and Asian respondents, as we believe that shorter-term issues around the pandemic should not completely overshadow longer-term threats,” AXA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Buberl said in a statement.

The European insurance industry has been working on ideas to develop state-backed solutions to protect businesses against future pandemics. The French government, which has sought public comment on a series of proposals this summer, hopes to complete work on a coverage plan by the end of the year.

Photograph: Medics from Beijing Fengsheng Special Hospital of Traditional Medical Traumatology and Orthopaedics on June 24, 2020 prepare for their shift at the Jinrong Street