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British intelligence chief says Russians are waking up to cost of Putin’s invasion

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Ordinary Russians are increasingly counting the cost of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and can see more clearly “how poorly Putin has judged the situation,” according to Britain’s intelligence chief.

Sir Jeremy Fleming, head of Britain’s GCHQ electronic intelligence unit, described Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine as a “high-risk strategy” where “the costs to Russia – in personnel and equipment are enormous” and “the Russian people are beginning to understand it”.

We know – and the Russian leaders on the ground know – that their supplies and ammunition are running out. Russian forces are exhausted. The use of prisoners to reinforce, and now mobilization of tens of thousands of inexperienced recruits, Fleming said, speaks of a desperate situation.

Meanwhile, the Russian population “is fleeing military conscription, realizing that they can no longer travel. They know that their access to modern technologies and external influences will be greatly restricted. And they feel the terrible human cost of it.” [Putin’s] War of Choice, Fleming added.

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According to an independent survey conducted by the Russian polling organization Levada Center, nearly half of the Russians polled are worry about packing Although support for Russian military actions remains high. The survey was published on the 1st of September.

Fleming’s comments come after the launch of Russia A series of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities Which Putin said was in retaliation for the explosion at the weekend that led to the collapse of part of the Kerch bridge linking Russia and occupied Crimea.

His comments form part of a longer speech due on Tuesday to the Royal United Services Research Foundation, in which the intelligence chief will also outline the technological threat posed by China.

Describing the security threat posed by Russia as affecting the weather while China impacts the climate, Fleming said Beijing’s increasing technological prowess meant Western nations faced what he called a “sliding door moment in history” that “will define our future.”

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The two countries described their relationship as “without borders,” and Fleming said one of the lessons Beijing was learning from the war in Ukraine was that central cryptocurrency It could “enable China to partially evade the kind of international sanctions currently applied to the Putin regime in Russia.”

He said the Chinese Communist Party is seeking to use major technologies such as digital currencies and satellite systems to consolidate its grip on power at home and spread influence abroad by shaping the global technology ecosystem.

Fleming said that central bank digital currencies could allow the state to monitor the transactions of its users, both abroad and at home.

China may also use files Baidu The satellite navigation system, which Beijing has developed as an alternative platform to the European Galileo system and to the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite systems and forcing “Chinese citizens and companies to adopt”, can also be used to deny other countries access to space in the event of a conflict. . .

Fleming said China seeks to create “client economies and governments” by exporting its technology around the world, and countries that accept Beijing’s offer, often packaged in broader trade deals and aid packages, risk “mortgaging the future.”

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Bank of America CEO: Jobs Report Supports ‘Mild’ Recession Predictions

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American bank CEO Brian Moynihan is sticking to his earlier predictions that, if a recession in the United States occurs, it won’t be as bad as people feared.

“How can you have a recession without unemployment?” Moynihan asked on CBS News Face the nation Sunday program quoting 263,000 new job opportunities It was reported in the US jobs report on Friday.

The CEO of Bank of America said Sunday that he expects the US economy to contract by “only 1%” for the first three quarters of 2023, and then return to positive growth. “This is a milder recession,” Moynihan said.

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Moynihan was more optimistic about the US economy than some of his peers. Last week, the CEO of Bank of America Expect a slight slowdown CNN“Hurricane season is now closed,” quipped. (Moynihan was referring to a comment in June from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon about the US economy was facing “tornado”)

In June, Bank of America’s incoming head of US economics predicted that the US could experience a mild recession by the year. end of 2022. But Strong consumer spending In September, he pushed the Bank of America research team to move its recession forecast to 2023. Moynihan joked last month in a Fortune CEO initiative conspiracy.

Moynihan’s more optimistic stance on the economic future of the United States contrasts sharply with other dire predictions.

In October, Nouriel Roubini, a professor at New York University dubbed “Dr. Doom” for his predictions of the 2007 housing crash, said he expected the United States to face “tall and ugly” Recession.

Last week, Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser to AllianzAnd the Out-of-service Banks predict a “short and easy” recession in an editorial for the financial times. El-Erian says he worries they risk “a repeat of the analytical and behavioral traps that emerged in last year’s ill-fated inflation call.”

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a June survey From financial times I reported that two-thirds of US economists believe a recession will happen next year. CEOs are also worried, as 98% of company leaders are poised for a recession over the next 12-18 months, according to Oct survey from the conference board.

On Sunday, however, Moynihan defended his more optimistic view by pointing to the strong performance of the United States amid the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes.

“The belief was when the Fed started raising interest rates that there would be an immediate surprise to the economy,” Moynihan said. “This did not happen.”

Other banks are also reconsidering the possibility of a recession in the United States, thanks to better-than-expected economic data. Both Goldman Sachs And the Morgan Stanley He predicted in November that the US might narrowly escape recession altogether.

The CEO of Bank of America pointed to some negative indicators, such as a weak housing market and slowing consumer spending. But Moynihan says the volatility proves that the US economy is becoming more sustainable.

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Declining and turnover jobs, in particular, aren’t good for individual job seekers, Moynihan says, but they are “actually good signs for the economy in that it’s starting to get into a better position that it can grow at a more normal rate.”

Bank of America economists predict that unemployment will a plus to 5.5% by next year, according to a research note published last week. People losing their jobs is “a horrible thing to think about,” Moynihan said Sunday, but the US has seen this unemployment rate before. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States recently had an unemployment rate of 5.5% May 2015.

“We weren’t freaked out at the time,” Moynihan said.

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5 takes from Wall Street analysts

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There is no doubt that Costco (cost) had a good year.

For one thing, Yahoo Finance has outperformed the 2022 bear market — the stock is down 13% so far this year to about $495 a share compared to a 15% drop for the S&P 500 (^ The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat) as of December 2. In addition, many investors love the big retail store because of its die-hard clientele and solid balance sheet.

Of course there are some critics. They worry about the company’s high valuation amid scary times in the markets and the economy.

So what are the prospects for COST? Yahoo Finance recently spoke with five Wall Street securities analysts to get their thoughts. Here are their edited excerpts:

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Evan Feneth, Tigress Financial Partners

What’s good about Costco stock: The Company consistently reports strong same-store sales growth in both good and challenging retail environments. Costco remains well-positioned to see increases in traffic online and in stores, largely because it provides consumers with an important low-cost value proposition. In addition, Costco is taking advantage of its expanding service offerings, including travel, home improvement, and expanded business services. Renewal rates are also at an all-time high.

What does it matter: What is always of concern are changes in consumer spending trends in light of economic changes.

Rating / Target Price: Buy / $678

Final thoughts: Costco continues to see the good times as consumers spend more on discretionary items (such as air travel). In tough economic times consumers are looking for bargains. You can see this in the strength of memberships that continue to grow. Their customers pay for the opportunity to shop there and believe it is worth the fee because of Costco’s strong value proposition.

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Oliver Chen, Quinn

What’s good about Costco stock: Costco continues to be a leading consumer brand for us — what we’re seeing is the company is well positioned for strong first-class performance given the encouraging historical consistency and unique membership model that focuses on deep value. We especially like Costco’s differentiation with its Kirkland Signature private label and limited assortment across 3,500 stock keeping units (SKU’s), which gives the company massive buying power.

What does it matter: In our view, the key arguments about Costco remain: (1) the emergence of more stringent comparable metrics as the company continues to drive steady growth; (ii) the evolution of consumer behaviors, the company’s ability to maintain loyalty, and consistent membership metrics; (3) High current given rating The price-to-earnings ratio, which contracted five percent from its three-year average.

Rating / Target Price: Exceed / $650

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Final thoughts: We believe the company has both the ability and experience to drive continued strong retail execution and believe core competencies. One of its main strengths is that Costco is one of the few American concepts that is relatively successful on a global scale. Also: Its size makes it one of the best buys with great buying power across a limited selection of items. Finally, Costco’s unique vertically integrated supply chain delivers outstanding distribution and cost effectiveness, (for this reason) we maintain a “Superior” rating.

Michael Baker, DA Davidson

What’s good about Costco stock: Inventory positives include significant and consistent same-store sales growth.

What does it matter: Our biggest concern and the reason we have a neutral rating is the above average COST multiplier. We also saw some declines in gross margin.

Rating / Target Price: Neutral/ $455

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Final thoughts: Costco is a top-tier operator with strong sales and earnings trends and forecasts. But we think that’s reflected in the current share price.

Chuck Groom, Gordon Haskett Research Consultants

What’s good about Costco stock: Consistency of the underlying comp business month to month, usually driven by healthy traffic trends. Also, the membership fee stream is an annuity for the long haul. The balance sheet is also very good with low leverage and ample cash.

What does it matter: Valuation has always been a sticking point for investors, but that’s been the case for the more than 20 years Costco has covered it.

Rating/Price Target: Buy / $600

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Final thoughtsCostco does what’s right for its customers first, employees second, and shareholders third. This approach makes it one of the best retailers we cover.

Corey Tarlow, Jefferies

What’s good about Costco stock: Well…for now [economic] The background, it’s a business with a really good standing. It has a membership model that drives recurring revenue; Very stable margins and predictable cash flow. It’s a business in times when inflation is at 8%, more consumers are looking for ways to save money. And Costco is a great way to do that at better prices than most other retailers in the US, it’s a company that also has several growth drivers (such as) a potential membership fee increase.

What does it matter: It’s been a really strong year this year. So this year’s winding may be a little tricky hurdle next year. But it is nonetheless something that I think Costco will be able to achieve.

Rating / Target Price: Buy / $610

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Final thoughts: It’s a business that’s really well-positioned in the current environment. We do not know what to expect from a macroeconomic point of view in the future. But it’s a business that, like I said, performs admirably in the good times, and even in the bad. It’s a stock you want to own today.

More Yahoo Finance coverage for 2022:

Dylan Kroll is a reporter and researcher for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @tweet.

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TherapeuticsMD enters into product licensing agreements for Mayne Pharma

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TherapeuticsMD enters into product licensing agreements for Mayne Pharma

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