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Just In: CBN Raises Interest Rate To 26.75% Amid Surging Inflation
~0.8 mins read

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee has raised the interest rate by 50 basis points, from 26.25% to 26.75% amid surging inflation.

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, announced this at the end of the apex bank’s 296th MPC meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, July 23.

The MPC adjusted the asymmetric corridor around the MPR from +100 to -300 to +500 to -100 basis points.

The MPC also retained the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) of deposit money banks at 45% and merchant banks at 14% and retained the Liquidity Ratio at 30%.

According to him, the decision to further increase the interest rate is to tackle the country’s rising core inflation and food inflation which stood at 34.19 per cent and 40.87 per cent, respectively in June.

He said members of the MPC are not oblivious of the need to address the rising prices of food in Nigeria, necessitating the interest rate hike.

He said despite the June 2024 uptick in inflation, prices are expected to moderate in the near term as monetary policy gaining further traction in addition to further measurers by the fiscal authority to address food inflation.

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Investopedia
Watch These CrowdStrike Price Levels As Stock Continues Falling After Outage
~2.2 mins read

Shares in CrowdStrike (CRWD), the cybersecurity firm at the epicenter of Friday’s global tech outage, plunged more than 13% on Monday, as investors continue to assess the fallout from the software update that caused widespread disruption at banks, airlines, broadcasters, and many other businesses.

Amid the selling—the stock has lost 23% of its value over the last two sessions and has finished lower in five straight sessions—we take a closer look at the CrowdStrike chart and use technical analysis to point out important price levels where the stock may encounter support.

Since bottoming out in January 2023, CrowdStrike shares have trended steadily higher, with momentum accelerating after the 50-day moving average (MA) crossed above the 200-day MA in June last year to generate a golden cross, a chart pattern that often marks the start of a new uptrend.

However, more recently, the cybersecurity giant’s stock price first started showing signs of weakness last Thursday when it closed decisively beneath the 50-day MA, with the shares then gapping sharply lower on Friday, as chaos erupted after the firm's software update mishap. 

The selling has continued into this week, leading to a decisive close below the closely watched 200-day MA on Monday. Moreover, the outage-driven sell-off has occurred on significant trading volume, indicating conviction behind the move lower.

In the weeks ahead, it’s worth keeping an eye on these four important chart levels where the stock may attract buying interest if the shares continue to decline.

The first level sits at $261, just 1% below Monday’s close, where the stock may encounter a confluence of support from the December swing high and an uptrend line stretching back to the January 2023 low. This could also become an area for a short-term bounce, given the relative strength index (RSI) currently indicates deeply oversold conditions, with a reading below 20.

A breakdown below this area could spark a fall to around $212, a level on the chart where buyers could seek entry points near a period of consolidation preceding the late-November stock gap.

Ongoing weakness may see the shares revisit the $190 region, where they could attract support near a swing high that formed in October last year as part of the stock’s longer-term uptrend.

Finally, a deeper retracement could test lower support around $172 near a horizontal line linking a peak and trough on the chart between September and October last year.

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Investopedia
What To To Expect From Friday's Closely Watched US Inflation Report
~2.1 mins read

The Federal Reserve’s favorite measure of inflation likely cooled down in June, confirming the central bank’s efforts to subdue price increases are working, paving the way for rate cuts as soon as September. Forecasters expect Friday’s Personal Consumption Expenditures measure of inflation in June to mirror the trend shown by the Consumer Price Index earlier this month. PCE prices probably rose 2.5% from the year before, down from 2.6% in May, according to a survey of economists by and

The PCE measure of inflation is especially significant because it’s the benchmark that officials at the Federal Reserve pay the most attention to when setting the nation’s monetary policy. The Fed has held its influential fed funds rate at a 23-year high since last July in an effort to push inflation down to its 2% annual goal. 

Fed officials have said falling inflation would prompt them to start lowering the rate, reversing a campaign of rate hikes that began in March 2022.

The high fed funds rate has helped push interest rates on mortgages, credit cards, and other loans up, with many rates at or near their highest in decades. Lower PCE inflation could provide the data the Fed needs to justify a shift away from high rates, which are meant to slow the economy down.Financial markets are pricing in a near certainty that the Fed will hold the fed funds rate steady at its meeting next week but cut it in September, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, which forecasts rate movements based on fed funds futures trading data. 

Rate cuts are growing more likely as PCE inflation edges closer to the 2% mark. Fed Chair Jerome Powell made clear the central bank plans to make cuts before inflation actually falls to the central bank’s goal. 

Powell and other Fed decision-makers especially watch so-called core inflation, which excludes the often-volatile prices for food and energy. Core PCE inflation rose 2.6% over the year in May, and forecasters expect that to fall to a 2.5% annual increase as well. 

Forecasters are looking for core inflation to cool because housing costs—the biggest contributor to overall inflation—are rising more slowly than they have over the past few years. Crucially, rent rose only modestly in June, which helped ease the overall inflation rate in the CPI report earlier this month.

“The downshift in rents back to a pre-pandemic pace is likely to give Fed officials increased confidence that inflation is on a sustainable path back to 2%,” economists at Deutsche Bank wrote in a research note. 

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Investopedia
Tesla Stock Jumps Ahead Of Earnings, As Musk Says Humanoid Robot Will Come In 2025
~1.3 mins read

Tesla (TSLA) shares gained over 5% Monday, ahead of the electric vehicle (EV) maker's earnings report Tuesday, as CEO Elon Musk said the company will have humanoid robots in production for internal use in 2025.

"Tesla will have genuinely useful humanoid robots in low production for Tesla internal use next year and, hopefully, high production for other companies in 2026," Musk said in an X post Monday.

The CEO has previously said that Tesla's humanoid robot Optimus does "simple factory tasks" in the lab, could be expected to be in Tesla's factory by the end of 2024, and may be ready for external sale by the end of 2025. However, the company has a history of delaying projects past ambitious deadlines announced by Musk, including the upcoming robotaxi launch.

Last week, Musk said Tesla's robotaxi event would be postponed from its original date on Aug. 8 due to a design change he requested, and suggested the extra time would allow Tesla to "show off a few other things" at the event. A new date for the event has not been set yet.

Analysts suggested the robotaxi event's delay could raise the likelihood of Tesla revealing more new products and features when the event happens. The EV maker could also provide investors more information about its plans during its earnings call Tuesday.

Tesla shares closed 5.2% higher at $251.51 Monday, and have gained about 1.2% since the start of the year.

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Investopedia
Once An Advocate Of Higher Rates, Powell Now Looks Like A ‘Dove’
~2.3 mins read

Is Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell becoming a dove?

Powell has historically leaned in favor of higher interest rates, according to a recent review by Deutsche Bank. However, he now could be spearheading the charge to lower rates faster than some of his Federal Reserve colleagues would advocate for, the analysis showed.

In terms of economics, “doves” tend to favor lower interest rates, while “hawks” generally press for interest rates to be higher. 

From 2012 to 2013 and 2016 through 2018, then-Federal Reserve Gov. Powell mostly stuck to the center of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) member projections, Deutsche Bank said. When he did deviate, Powell tended to vote for higher rates.

“Some of this skew appears to be motivated by Powell's economic forecasts, which tended to be more optimistic on growth and the labor market and near the median on inflation,” said the note authored by a team led by economists Matthew Luzzetti and Amy Yang.

While current voting records are anonymous—including the projections on the “dot plot”—the Deutsche Bank review sought to match the current dots with FOMC members based on their public comments.

According to their estimation, Powell’s votes line up with the bottom tier of interest rate projections. His current views are similar to Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, and other “doves” who have said weaker labor conditions may require the Fed to act more quickly to lower interest rates.

“We put substantial weight on Powell's recent comments, which clearly skew in a dovish direction relative to many of his colleagues,” the analysis said. 

Powell’s interest rate projections were about half a percentage point lower than the “hawks,” including Federal Reserve Gov. Michelle Bowman and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester.

The review noted when Powell was pressing for higher rates, it was in different economic conditions, before the pandemic and amidst strong growth. Powell’s position change showed he can stay ahead of the curve, the note said. 

“Powell's flexibility to be above the median during a hiking cycle and below the median as the Fed prepares to cut rates likely reflects him taking leadership to lead the Committee toward the appropriate direction of travel,” the note said. 

The review comes ahead of the FOMC meeting at the end of July, where officials are expected to keep interest rates unchanged, though some economists have pressed for a rate cut. The Fed is widely expected to start cutting its benchmark rate, which is at a 23-year high, before the end of the year as data shows economic activity slowing and inflation moderating.

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Investopedia
The $5 McDonald's Value Meal Deal Is Sticking Around For Awhile
~1.1 mins read

McDonald’s (MCD) will extend its $5 value meal promotion longer than anticipated because of solid demand, according to reports.

reported the deal — for a sandwich, drink, french fries and chicken nuggets — was supposed to run for four weeks from its June 25 launch, but some locations will keep it into August. It cited an internal memo saying that 93% of McDonald’s restaurants have agreed to an extension.

Shares of McDonald's were recently up about 0.5%, trailing the S&P 500's advance. The news comes as several fast-food companies have offered deals meant to give customers relief from inflation. McDonald’s and other chains have struggled as high inflation has reduced discretionary spending and cut into sales.

The news organization said the memo, by Chief Marketing Officer Tariq Hassan and National Field President Myra Doria, said that the early performance of the promotion “is meeting the objective of driving guests back to our restaurants.”

When McDonald's customers are buying their $5 means, the memo said, “they aren’t visiting the competition," according to a CNBC report. McDonald's did not immediately respond to Investopedia's request for comment.

McDonald's shares have fallen a bit more than 12% this year.

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