Horace Mann Educators Corp.
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By Alexandra Alper and Daphne Psaledakis WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government put investment and export restrictions on dozens of Chinese companies on Thursday, including top drone maker DJI, accusing them of complicity in the oppression of China's Uyghur minority or helping the military, further ratcheting up tensions between the world's top two economies. Blaming DJI and seven other tech firms for supporting "the biometric surveillance and tracking" of Uyghurs, the U.S. Treasury Department added them to a list of entities suspected of having Chinese military links, barring Americans from trading in their securities. Separately, the Commerce Department added China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes to a trade blacklist, restricting access to U.S. exports. It said the academy uses biotechnology for military uses, including "purported brain-control weaponry", without defining the technology further. The term was used by the academy's president in a 2015 Chinese military newspaper article outlining future warfare, to describe "equipment that interferes with and controls human consciousness" during combat. Reuters recently reported that a four year project by the academy's head of brain science included China's biggest gene firm BGI conducting genetic research on military recruits at high altitude in Tibet. Two BGI Group subsidiaries were put on the trade blacklist last year. The department also added HMN International, formerly Huawei Marine, Jiangsu Hengtong Marine Cable Systems, Jiangsu Hengtong OpticElectric, Shanghai Aoshi Control Technology Co, Ltd, and Zhongtian Technology Submarine Cable to the list over U.S. allegations of acquiring, or attempting to acquire, technology from the United States to help modernize the People's Liberation Army. The Chinese embassy in Washington called the actions "unwarranted suppression" that violated free trade rules, adding that Beijing would take "all essential measures" to uphold the interests of Chinese companies and research institutions. "China's development of biotechnology has always been for the well-being of mankind. The relevant claims of the U.S. side are totally groundless," embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said in an email. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing on Friday that China firmly opposes the latest U.S. moves and urged the U.S. to "rectify" its "mistaken ways". Echoing these remarks, China's commerce ministry described the U.S. actions as "bullying" and said they were not conducive to the recovery of the global economy. It added in a statement that in the absence of any factual basis for the measures, Washington has "fabricated reasons out of thin air". A DJI spokesperson declined to comment on the U.S. announcement on Friday, but directed Reuters to the company's statement when the U.S. Commerce Department put it on the so-called entity list a year ago for the same reasons. That step barred it from buying or using U.S. technology or components. At the time, DJI said it had done nothing to justify the move and would continue to sell products in the United States. U.N. experts and rights groups estimate that more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a vast system of camps in China's far-west region of Xinjiang. China denies rights abuses in Xinjiang and has pushed back against U.S. "interference" in its affairs, vowing to protect its companies against U.S. sanctions. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said China is choosing to use biotechnologies "to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups." "We cannot allow U.S. commodities, technologies, and software that support medical science and biotechnical innovation to be diverted toward uses contrary to U.S. national security," she said in a statement. Thursday's announcement coupled with last week's investment ban on Chinese facial recognition company SenseTime could worsen already rocky relations between Beijing and Washington, despite President Joe Biden’s trying in a November virtual meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping to establish “guardrails” to prevent the two superpowers from sliding toward conflict. Also on Thursday, the Senate passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Biden has said he will sign it into law. The bill would ban imports from China's Xinjiang region over concerns about forced labor. SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY The investment ban, which will also apply to Megvii Technology Limited and Cloudwalk Technology Co Ltd, was first imposed by Donald Trump's administration and revised by Biden. It prohibits U.S. entities from investing in dozens of Chinese companies with alleged ties to the defense or surveillance technology sectors. It now spans dozens of companies, from China's top chipmaker SMIC to oil producer CNOOC (NYSE:CEO). All eight companies added to the list on Thursday are already on the entity list. The list has become a go-to tool for Washington in the U.S.-China tech feud. Suppliers to companies on the list must seek a special license from the Commerce Department to ship goods to the targeted company. The license requests face a tough standard of review. Cloudwalk and Megvii both said in separate statements they opposed the U.S. Treasury's decision, with Megvii adding that its inclusion on the list would not impact the company's daily operations. Beijing and Washington have clashed over several issues, including U.S. criticism of China’s expanding nuclear arsenal and the Biden administration’s decision this month for U.S. government officials to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics over rights abuses. China’s telecommunications equipment company Huawei Technologies was added to the entity list in 2019. Submarine cable maker HMN Technologies was added later that year. Washington has become increasingly concerned about security threats posed by the company's role in building undersea internet cables, which have far greater data capacity than satellites. Last year, it sent warnings to Pacific Island nations about HMN's bid to participate in a project to improve communications in the region, Reuters reported. Beijing says it has no intention of using cable infrastructure for spying.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2021 Futures Up/Down % Last Dow 130.00 0.38% 34,000 S&P 500 12.00 0.27% 4,303 Nasdaq 43.50 0.30% 14,506 U.S, futures are trying to bounce after another brutal Monday on Wall Street that saw broad based weakness with the Nasdaq Composite hitting its lowest levels since late June, falling for the 6th time in the last 7-trading sessions and as the S&P 500 dropped over 1.2%, now more than 5% off its all-time highs, led by another decline in tech stocks. Bespoke noted that the NY FANG+ index closed below its 200-DMA today for the first time in 378 trading days and is now down more than 9% from its Sept. 7 record close. Many of the same concerns remain Tuesday, with a global energy crunch lifting oil prices to the highest in seven years, inflation momentum accelerating amid supply chain disruptions and soaring input costs, and the specter of a U.S. default as lawmakers continue to haggle over the extension of the country’s $28.4 trillion debt ceiling. The U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield ended a three-day losing streak on Monday as growth stocks plunged and concerns about a potential U.S. government debt default offered another reason for caution. The Dow, &P 500, and Nasdaq Composite ended the day down around 4%-7% from their recent closing highs. In Asian markets, The Nikkei Index fell -622 points to 27,822, the Shanghai Index remained closed for Golden Week holiday, and the Hang Seng Index gained 57 points to settle at 24,104. In Europe, the German DAX is up around60-points to 15,100, while the FTSE 100 gains around 50-points to 7,050. Crypto currencies adding to recent gains as Bitcoin tops the $50,000 level and Ethereum rises over 2% topping $3,450. Gold prices are near overnight lows as December gold futures fall -0.6% at $1,758 an ounce as the dollar edges higher and risk sentiment rising overnight. Events Calendar for Today 7:45 AM ET ICSC Weekly Retail Sales 8:30 AM ET International Trade for Aug…est. (-$70.5B) 8:55 AM ET Johnson/Redbook Weekly Sales 9:45 AM ET Markit Composite PMI-F 9:45 AM ET Markit Services PMI-F 10:00 AM ET ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for Sept…est. 60.0 4:30 PM ET API Weekly Inventory Data Earnings Calendar: Earnings Before the Open: PEP Earnings After the Close: SAR Other Key Events: Cowen 24th Annual Therapeutics Conference, 10/5-10/6, in Boston, MA Deutsche Bank Annual Leveraged Finance Conference (virtual), 10/4-10/6 Market Closing Prices Yesterday The S&P 500 Index tumbled -56.58 points, or 1.30%, to 4,300.46 The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell -323.54 points, or 0.94%, to 34,002.92 The Nasdaq Composite plunged -311.21 points, or 2.14%, to 14,255.48 The Russell 2000 Index declined -24.16 points, or 1.08% to 2,217.47 Macro Up/Down Last Nymex 0.39 77.99 Brent 0.48 81.74 Gold -11.40 1,758.00 EUR/USD -0.0025 1.1597 JPY/USD 0.31 111.18 10-Year Note +0.017 1.496% World News President Joe Biden said on Monday the federal government could breach its $28.4 trillion debt limit in a historic default unless Republicans join Democrats in voting to raise it in the two next weeks. Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have twice in recent weeks blocked action to raise the debt ceiling, saying they do want action but will not help by voting for the move The Australia Central Bank (RBA) Rate Decision kept rats unchanged at 0.1%, and QE unchanged at purchase rate of A$4b a week until at least mid Feb ’22, central scenario is conditions for rate rise won’t be met before 2024, RBA says it is committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions European PMI data: Spain Sep Services PMI: 56.9 vs 58.0 consensus; Italy Sep Services PMI: 55.5 vs 56.5 consensus; France Sep Services PMI: 56.2 vs 56.0 consensus; Germany Sep Services PMI: 56.2 vs 56.0 consensus; Eurozone Sep Services PMI: 56.4 vs 56.3 consensus Japan Sept CPI higher as rises +0.3% y/y vs. decline of -0.4% consensus; Japan Sept CPI ex-fresh food lower rises +0.1% y/y vs 0.2% consensus; Japan Sep Services PMI higher at 47.8 vs 42.9 previous Sector News Breakdown Consumer PepsiCo ($PEP) Q3 core EPS $1.79 vs. est. $1.73; Q3 revs $20.19B vs. est. $19.39M; sees FY21 core EPS of at least $6.20 vs. est. $6.24; says now expects to deliver approximately 8% organic revenue growth for FY21 vs. prior view of 6% and at least 11% core constant currency EPS growth vs. prior view of 11% and at least 12% core; completed share buyback, doesn’t expect more buybacks this year Lordstown Motors $RIDE downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley and cut tgt to $2 from $8 Columbia Sportswear ($COLM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank America and lower tgt to $108 from $137 Volvo (VLVLY) reports sales declined 30.2% Y/Y to 47,223 units in September; sales in Europe fell 41.5% and down 9% in the United States. Lululemon Athletica ($LULU) approved $500M boost in buyback program Duckhorn Portfolio ($NAPA) 4Q adj EPS $0.08 vs est. $0.01 on sales $70.9Mm vs est. $59.6Mm; guides FY22 adj EPS $0.54-0.57 vs est. $0.50, sees FY22 net sales $353-360Mm vs est. $350.2Mm Everi Holdings ($EVRI) tightens full year 2021 net income and adjusted Ebitda guidance to top of the previously provided range; now expects 2021 full year net income will be $90M-$95M & adj. Ebitda will be $337M-$342M Group 1 Automotive ($GPI) announces acquisition of two dealerships in Texas – the two stores are expected to generate approximately $150M in annualized revenues Scientific Games ($SGMS) said it landed major contracts from the Pennsylvania Lottery, announcing a ten-year base contract from the PA lottery will cover instant games and Scientific Games Enhanced Partnership for lottery instant game services Energy, Industrials and Materials Coal stocks jumped again on Monday as Arch Resources ($ARCH), CONSOL Energy ($CEIX) and BTU Energy ($BTU) topped multi-year high as coal from the central Appalachia region rose $2.20 to $73.25/ton last week, according to U.S. government data, up 35% YTD Renewable Energy ($REGI) extended, increased line of credit to maximum of $250 mln October prelim Class 8 from ACT truck orders was 27,400 units, compares to 36,900 in August and 25,480 in July (shares of CMI, PCAR and ALSN leveraged to monthly Class 8 data) Patterson-UTI Energy ($PTEN) reports an average of 83 drilling rigs operating for the month of September, 2021 Celanese (C$E) will raise prices of all acetate tow product grades sold globally by $ 0.40/kg Financials Horace Mann ($HMN) estimates third-quarter 2021 catastrophe losses in range of $35-$40 million, partially offsetting continued strong business performance Healthcare Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) announces submission of emergency use authorization amendment to the FDA to support booster of its single-shot covid-19 vaccine; submission includes data showing a booster increased protection to 94% against moderate to severe/critical covid-19 in the U.S.; substantial increase in immune response when booster was given at six months AstraZeneca ($AZN) said it has submitted a request to the us food and drug administration for emergency use approval of azd7442, which is intended as prophylaxis for symptomatic covid-19. Elanco ($ELAN) reaffirms expectation 2025 innovation rev. $600M-$700M Syndax Pharmaceuticals ($SNDX) said Daphne Karydas has notified the company of her intention to resign as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), treasurer, principal financial officer effective October 22, 2021, in order to pursue another opportunity. Pfizer Inc ($PFE)/BioNTech SE ($BNTX) vaccine effectiveness in preventing infection by the coronavirus dropped to 47% from 88% six months after the second dose, according to data published on Monday that U.S. health agencies considered when deciding on the need for booster shots. The data, which was published in the Lancet medical journal, had been previously released in August ahead of peer review. The analysis showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death remained high at 90% for at least six months. Xenon Pharmaceuticals ($XENE) files mixed securities shelf Technology, Media & Telecom Facebook ($FB) and its Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp reconnected late on Monday afternoon after a nearly six-hour outage that prevented the company’s 3.5 billion users from accessing its social media and messaging services. Facebook apologized but did not immediately explain what caused the failure. Comtech Telecommunications Corp ($CMTL) 4Q adj EPS $0.23 vs est. $0.24 on net sales $145.8Mm vs est. $149.7Mm; guides FY22 adj EBITDA $70-76Mm vs est. $80.5Mm, sees FY22 net sales $580-600Mm vs est. $600.2Mm; says on a consolidated basis, 1H22 financial performance expected to be significantly lower than 1H21
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Friday, July 2, 2021 Futures Up/Down % Last Dow -5.00 0.01% 34,509 S&P 500 0.75 0.02% 4,311 Nasdaq 25.00 0.17% 14,573 Stocks are generally flat in pre-market trading as the S&P seeks to hit a new record intraday high and close every day this week. Yesterday’s high was 4,312 and it appears the index is on track to open right around that level. However, things can quickly change after the nonfarm payrolls jobs report at 8:30. Economists are estimating that around 700,000 new jobs were created in June, though the consensus view was too optimistic for each of the past 2 months. However, monthly private payrolls and weekly jobless claims were both better than expected this week. In other news, yesterday’s OPEC+ meeting was extended to today, and reports said that the UAE blocked an agreement to raise supply by 400k bpd from August-September at the last minute. If the group cannot come to an agreement, current production levels will remain stable, likely leading to higher prices in the face of higher demand. Oil prices are slightly lower than yesterday when it hit its highest price since October 2018. In Asian markets, The Nikkei Index is higher by 76 points, the Shanghai Index is down 70 points, and the Hang Seng Index is sliding 575 points. In Europe, the German DAX is up 58 points, while the FTSE 100 has inched higher 6 points. Market Closing Prices Yesterday The S&P 500 Index rose 22.31 points, or 0.52%, to 4,319 The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 130.76 points, or 0.38%, to 34,633 The Nasdaq Composite advanced 18.42 points, or 0.13%, to 14,522 The Russell 2000 Index climbed 18.80 points, or 0.81% to 2,329 Events Calendar for Today 8:30 AM ET Nonfarm Payrolls for June 8:30 AM ET Private Payrolls for June 8:30 AM ET Manufacturing Payrolls for June 8:30 AM ET Unemployment Rate for June 8:30 AM ET Average Hourly Earnings for June 8:30 AM ET International Trade for May 10:00 AM ET Factory Orders MoM for May 1:00 PM EST Baker Hughes Weekly rig count data Macro Up/Down Last Nymex -0.13 75.10 Brent -0.15 75.69 Gold 10.85 1,787 EUR/USD -0.0015 1.1831 JPY/USD -0.06 111.44 10-Year Note -0.039 1.441% Sector News Breakdown Consumer Bespoke Capital Acquisition Corp ($VWE) new Buy at Citi Thor Industries ($THO) new Underperform, Winnebago (WGO) new Market Perform, Camping World (CWH) new Outperform with a $45 at Raymond James BMY ($BMWYY) brand unit sales rose 89.5% Y/Y to 96,561 units in Q2 and increased 15% vs. 2Q19; North America Q2 sales 105,901 (+89.5%); total brand sales for the 1H are +52.2% YoY, +8.9% vs 2019 Li Auto ($LI) delivered 7,713 Li ONE vehicles in June (+320.6% YoY) and total Q2 deliveries 17,575 (+166.1%) exceeded the top end of its guidance range Energy, Industrials & Materials Werner Enterprises ($WERN) buys 80% of ECM Transport Group for $142.4M Virgin Galactic ($SPCE) announced its next flight will be July 11 and founder Richard Branson will be on board. This is 11 days before Blue Origin’s scheduled 7/20 flight that will include Jeff Bezos Financials Horace Mann Educators ($HMN) raised 2021 EPS guidance to $3.50-$3.70 vs est. $3.30 from $3-$3.20 largely on strength of net investment income and impact of lower-than-guided catastrophe losses in second quarter; now expect catastrophe losses for just-ended Q2 will be about $15M-$18M, revised FY 2021 guidance assumes total net investment income to increase to range of $385M-$405M due to Q2 results Bank OZK ($OZK) raised its quarterly dividend to 28.5c/share from 28c Baird assumed coverage on National Storage ($NSA) at Outperform with a $54 price target Healthcare Biosig Technologies ($BSGM) announced public offering Stephens initiated OW ratings on Healthequity (HQY) with a $100 target and CloudMD Software & Services ($DOCRF) with a $5 target Merck ($MRK) plans to withdraw the US accelerated approval indication for Keytruda for patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic gastric cancer as a third-line treatment after the drug failed to meet its post-marketing requirement of showing an overall survival benefit in a late-stage study. Merck said it plans the pullout in six months and does not affect other indications for Keytruda. Technology, Media & Telecom Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment ($CSSE) intends to offer stock Verizon ($VZ) told federal regulators it would keep supporting low-cost wireless service for three years if it is allowed to buy TracFone as negotiations continue with the FCC to close the $6.9B acquisition ContextLogic ($WISH) downgraded to In-Line at Evercore
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Horace Mann is the largest financial services company focused on providing America's educators and school employees with insurance and retirement solutions. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Ill.
CEO: Marita Zuraitis
HQ: 1 Horace Mann Plz Springfield, 62715-0001 Illinois