market

A longtime conservative operative is calling on the Trump administration to reform the country’s visa laws after he was falsely accused of a crime he said an illegal alien charged likely in order to score a visa.

A woman in late 2016 claimed Codias Brown harassed and exposed himself to her over a two-week period and said he was seeking her out in public places, according to an arrest affidavit. The accuser, Rosa Patino-Herrera, claimed she encountered Brown — someone she didn’t know personally — around eight different times and believed he was seeking her out around the city of Austin, where he also lived.

The forensic data proved to be a game-changer. Disclosure of Brown’s phone location data showed he was nowhere near any of the locations Patino-Herrera claimed the events took place, according to court documents reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The charges were ultimately dismissed — but not until April 2018.

During the court proceedings, Patino-Herrera admitted she was an illegal immigrant. Work from a private investigator also discovered she was actively seeking a U-visa. Brown’s legal team believes she accused him in order to obtain a U-visa.

Brown, now completely exonerated of the charges, is using his experience to push for reform. The Republican organizer is calling on President Donald Trump and lawmakers in Congress to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act until it’s changed to mandate a criminal conviction before the issuance of a U-visa. Such an amendment, he argues, would incorporate constitutional due process rights not currently embedded in the U-visa application process.

“I hope to work with the Trump administration and lawmakers to reform the laws and policies that made this ordeal possible,” Brown told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Established in 2000, the U-visa program was intended to incentivize immigrants into helping law enforcement catch and prosecute criminals. Foreign nationals who are victims of a crime can apply for a U-visa, allowing them to remain in the country and assist police.

Interest in the U-visa program has exploded in popularity. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 10,937 petitions for U-visa status in the 2009 fiscal year. By the 2016 fiscal year, however, the number of petitions ballooned to 60,710, according to information compiled by Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Immigration experts said the U-visa program is inadvertently designed to attract fraud, and actually does little to help law enforcement.

“The program’s vague standards and lucrative perks, make it a prime target for abuse by well-meaning, but misguided law enforcement agencies — particularly those in so-called ‘sanctuary jurisdictions,’” said Matthew Tragesser, communication specialist for FAIR. “Though the program may offer some help to some aliens who have been exploited by criminals, there is little data suggesting that the program significantly improves the prosecution of crime in immigrant communities, or that it has had a measurable impact on human trafficking.”

Jessica Vaughan, a director with the Center for Immigration Studies, told TheDCNF the U-visa program has become a means for foreign nationals to “launder their status,” with many law enforcement agencies signing off on their applications without any due diligence.

“In the blink of an eye, an illegal alien — aided by social justice warriors parading as cops, prosecutors, and judges — nearly destroyed everything I worked for,” Brown told TheDCNF, describing the day he was arrested.

As Brown and his wife were walking from their Austin, Texas, home to a local grocery store Dec. 9, 2016, he said he was suddenly flanked by a police task force, arrested and sent to jail — where he remained for four days until he was able to be released on $75,000 bond. Even after he was let go from detention, Brown, who said he had no prior criminal history, said he was forced to wear an ankle monitor for several months.

The allegations came with serious consequences. If Brown were convicted, he faced the possibility of up to 10 years in prison. Furthermore, Patino-Herrera was granted a protective order against Brown.

However, Brown was unequivocal in his defense: Not only did he claim he never stalked Patino-Herrera, he said he had never met the woman in his life.

“Brown should never have been arrested because there was no evidence to corroborate these baseless accusations, the accuser made numerous inconsistent and illogical statements throughout the proceedings, and forensic data ultimately proved Brown was not even in the vicinity of the alleged incidents,” said Benjamin Lange, Brown’s attorney.

Numerous inconsistencies emerged as Brown fought for his innocence, according to his legal team. Patino-Herrera, for example, testified she had several conversations with Brown that lasted up to five minutes in length. However, her English was so limited she required an interpreter during court proceedings. Brown, on the other hand, does not speak Spanish.

That the case lingered for so long has been a point of contention for Brown’s legal team.

“The fact that these allegations made it past the investigative stage, let alone through a Texas grand jury is a travesty. What is particularly concerning is that, even after the forensic evidence proved Brown was not in the vicinity of the alleged incidents, the lead prosecutor in this case, Beverly Mathews, continued the prosecution for nearly a year,” Lange said.

TheDCNF reached out to Beverly Mathews, the assistant district attorney of Travis County, multiple times for comment on this story. However, a spokeswoman for her office eventually said Mathews declined to respond. The office of Detective Scott Donovan, who arrested Brown, did not respond to multiple requests for comment either.

Brown’s legal team raised other red flags while the case lingered on.

A private investigator discovered the social security number apparently being used by Patino-Herrera was issued several years before her listed birthday in court documents, a strong indication she was illegally using someone else’s. Questions over her legal status were confirmed when she voluntarily admitted during a civil protective order hearing she was an undocumented alien.

Another detail emerged that drew the attention of Brown’s team: Patino-Herrera admitted to a private investigator that she was actively seeking a U-visa. Brown’s team believed the issue to be relevant.

“Travis County law enforcement has been actively promoting U visa benefits to illegal aliens for years,” Lange said about the connection. “Shortly after Brown’s local counsel began inquiring into whether the accuser had applied for a U-visa, prosecutors dismissed the case. Later, the accuser admitted to a private investigator that she had been pursuing a U-visa.”

Notably, prosecutors dismissed the charge against him shortly after they asked the court if his accuser had filed for a U-visa. It was months after the dismissal when the investigator prompted Patino-Herrera to admit she was actively seeking a U-visa. Days later, Travis County prosecutors recommended an immediate expunction for Brown.

TheDCNF was not able to reach Patino-Herrera for comment on this article.

Whether she accused Brown in order to obtain a U-visa is unknown, but Brown said the connection is hard to ignore. If true, Brown would not be first person to have fallen victim from U-visa fraud. Other reports have detailed the stories of people facing spurious accusations from foreign nationals applying for the same visas.

U-visa abuse has also been promulgated by police officers themselves. Four law enforcement officers in March, for example, were charged with involvement in fraudulent U nonimmigrant visas. An indictment in that case alleges the officers took bribes in return for creating fraudulent incident reports.

Brown is no stranger to politics. For nearly 10 years, he managed Republican campaigns, working to put conservatives in elected office. Brown’s career as a political operative reached a milestone when, after being tapped by Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential team, he led the former senator’s ground game in the Iowa caucuses and delivered an upset victory.

Brown gained notoriety more recently for his work in the tech world. The Texas Republican in September 2016 launched the eponymous online platform known as “Codias.” A social network geared solely for conservatives, Codias allows like-minded citizens, candidates and organizations to communicate and organize with each other without fear of censorship.

The emotional toll of the ordeal still runs deep for Brown and his family. Personally, he was forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars defending himself in court. Professionally, he said he was unable to raise capital or market his startup company, Codias, for a long time, dealing a devastating blow to his work.

However, the Republican operative said his faith and his loving family kept him going.

“I could not have endured this without a gracious God, a strong and loyal wife, and a faithful circle of family and friends. This experience has only served to strengthen my faith and family as we prepare for more profound battles that lie ahead,” he said.

“We’ve only just begun to fight.”


Alex Jones talks over the phone with callers and gauges their reactions to AG Barr discussing the redacted first part of Mueller’s report.

Source: InfoWars

As the American equity market roars back toward its all-time highs, a majority of the millennial generation is probably learning the true meaning of FOMO, because as study after study has showed, those who came of age immediately before, during and after the financial crisis were so scarred by the experience that they refused to ever buy in to the equity market. 

Overall, equity ownership among American adults remains 8% below its pre-crisis levels.

Of course, the factors behind the millennial generation’s inability to accumulate wealth are myriad: Stagnant wages, crushing student loan debt and widening inequality are just a few reasons why the savings rate among those under the age of 35 is basically nil. And when they do invest, they appear doomed to repeat the mistakes of the not-too-distant past, favoring get-rich-quick bubble plays like marijuana stocks and bitcoin over blue-chip stalwarts like Apple.

But while most would probably chalk millennials’ aversion to investing up to the fact that they don’t have any savings or income to spare, one recent study suggested that even if they had the money, they wouldn’t put it in stocks.

Lexington Law, a firm that offers services to help people fix their credit, asked 1,000 millennials how they would invest $10,000 if they had it to spare.

Nearly half – 46% – said they wouldn’t put the money in stocks.

Only one in three respondents said they would rely on a financial advisor, reflecting a distrust of financial ‘professionals’ that has lingered since the crash.

And although a slightly higher percentage of men than women said they would rely on their own advice, most expressed a lack of confidence in their investing acumen that was reflective of their lack of acumen.

As the study’s authors  argued, this distrust in the financial system isn’t terribly surprising.

Considering the effects of the last market crash, it’s not terribly surprising that 46 percent of adults aged 25 to 34 said they wouldn’t invest in the stock market. Many of the financial institutions that played a role in the last recession continue to operate as investment banks today. Though employment and wages are up, the crisis hasn’t been forgotten.

We wonder if their attitudes would be different if Congress and the Fed didn’t step in to bail out banks and the wealthy while leaving average working Americans to shoulder the brunt of the consequences?

Source: InfoWars

Construction worker builds a single family home in San Diego, California
FILE PHOTO: A construction worker builds a single family home in San Diego, California, U.S. February 15, 2017. Picture taken February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

April 19, 2019

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. homebuilding dropped to a near two-year low in March, pulled down by persistent weakness in the single-family housing segment, suggesting the housing market continued to struggle despite declining mortgage rates.

Housing starts fell 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.139 million units last month, the lowest level since May 2017, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

Data for February was revised down to show homebuilding tumbling to a pace of 1.142 million units instead of the previously reported 1.162 million-unit rate.

Building permits fell 1.7 percent to a rate of 1.269 million units in March, the lowest in five months. Building permits have now declined for three straight month. Permits for single-family housing dropped to a more than 1-1/2 year low in March, a bad omen for starts in the coming months.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts increasing to a pace of 1.230 million units in March.

The prolonged weakness in homebuilding likely reflects land and labor shortages, as well as expensive building materials.

A survey on Tuesday showed that though builders reported strong demand for new homes, they continued to highlight “affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots.”

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped from a peak of about 4.94 percent in November to around 4.12 percent, according to data from mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac. Declining mortgage rates reflect a recent decision by the Federal Reserve to suspend its three-year monetary policy tightening campaign.

The housing market hit a soft patch last year, with investment in homebuilding contracting 0.3 percent, the weakest performance since 2010.

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, dropped 0.4 percent to a rate of 785,000 units in March, the lowest level since September 2016.

Single-family homebuilding fell in the South and Midwest, but rose in the Northeast and South. The sharp drop in the Midwest likely reflected flooding in the region.

Permits to build single-family homes dropped 1.1 percent to a rate of 808,000 units in March, the lowest since August 2017. Single-family home building permits have now declined for four straight months.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment were unchanged at a rate of 354,00 units in March. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes dropped 2.7 percent to a pace of 461,00 units last month.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Source: OANN

CEO of NSPK Komlev attends an interview with Reuters in NSPK office in Moscow
CEO of Russian National Payment Card System (NSPK) Vladimir Komlev attends an interview with Reuters in NSPK office in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

April 19, 2019

By Tatiana Voronova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber

MOSCOW (Reuters) – After Western sanctions gutted Russia’s financial system five years ago, a new bank card began appearing in the wallets of many Russians.

Now the country is hoping to introduce its cards, known as Mir cards, to foreign markets where Russian nationals live and travel, Vladimir Komlev, the head of Russia’s National Card Payment System (NSPK), told Reuters in an interview.

“In the next three years we want Mir cards to be operational in countries where Russians are used to traveling,” Komlev said. “It’s the hardest task in terms of returns on investment.”

Russia created its own card payment system in 2014 because it feared U.S. and European sanctions against some Russian banks and businesspeople over the annexation of Crimea could block transactions made with U.S.-based Mastercard and Visa.

NSPK said Turkey’s Isbank had started accepting Mir cards as of Thursday. Russians made 5.7 million trips to Turkey last year, according to state statistics agency Rosstat.

Komlev projected Mir cards would be operational at some banks in 12 foreign countries by the end of the year. He would not, however, disclose which countries those might be.

NSPK is not subject to Western sanctions, but some foreign companies are wary of doing business with Russian firms in case further restrictions are put in place.

EXPANDING AT HOME

More than 56 million Mir cards have been issued and they currently make up more than 20 percent of Russia’s bank card market, Komlev said.

Mir means “World” or “Peace” in Russian.

NSPK, which was created by the central bank, has received a boost from legislation obliging civil servants to receive their salaries on Mir cards. It aims for Mir cards’ share of the market to reach 30 percent over the next couple of years.

Starting next year, pension payments, as well as child and unemployment benefits, will only be paid on the cards.

These measures have made Mir a rival to Mastercard and Visa in Russia. But its shortcomings – its incompatibility with many international shopping platforms and its limited use outside Russia – have prompted Russian officials to call for more support to help it to take on U.S. competitors.

“At this time, it’s difficult for Mir to compete with Visa and Mastercard,” Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, said this month. “We need to develop its functionality, its social orientation.”

Mastercard, which operates a co-branded card with Mir, said it “supported the development of the payment industry and fair competition.” Visa did not reply to a request for comment.

Mir has develop its own “Mir Pay” smartphone application and is available on Samsung Pay. Komlev said NSPK had not reached an agreement with Apple to make Mir cards available on its mobile payment platform.

Komlev said another of NSPK’s priorities was to get major international online booking services for airline tickets and accommodation to accept Mir cards.

“Business and geopolitics have mixed here, so it’s not as easy to implement as we would like,” he said.

(Reporting by Tatiana Voronova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Additional reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Worker stands on the scaffolding at a construction site against a backdrop of residential buildings in Huaian
FILE PHOTO: A worker stands on the scaffolding at a construction site against a backdrop of residential buildings in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

April 19, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will maintain policy support for the economy, which still faces “downward pressure” and difficulties after better-than-expected first quarter growth, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body said on Friday.

The statement from the politburo came two days after China reported had steady 6.4 percent annual growth in January-March, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement.

“While fully affirming the achievements, we should clearly see that there are still many difficulties and problems in economic operations,” the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.

“The external economic environment is generally tightening and the domestic economy is under downward pressure.”

China will implement counter-cyclical adjustments “in a timely and appropriate manner”, while the pro-active fiscal policy will become more forceful and effective, and the prudent monetary policy will be neither too tight nor too loose, it said.

For this year, the government has unveiled tax and fee cuts amounting to 2 trillion yuan ($298.35 billion) to ease burdens on firms, while the central bank has cut banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRR) five times since early 2018 to spur lending.

Further policy easing is widely expected.

On Friday, the politburo reiterated that the government will effectively support the private economy and the development of small- and medium-sized firms.Authorities will strike a balance between stabilizing economic growth, promoting reforms, controlling risks and improving people’s livelihoods, the politburo said.

China will push forward structural deleveraging and prevent speculation in the property market, it said.

“We should adhere to the orientation that houses are used for living, not for speculation,” the politburo said, reaffirming a city-based approach in controlling the property sector.

China’s economic growth is expected to slow to a near 30-year low of 6.2 percent this year, a Reuters poll showed last week, as sluggish demand at home and abroad weigh on activity despite a flurry of policy support measures.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Kevin Yao; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Source: OANN

A seller holds a piece of Gouda cheese at the cheese market in Gouda
A seller holds a piece of Gouda cheese at the cheese market in Gouda, Netherlands April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

April 19, 2019

GOUDA, Netherlands (Reuters) – Surrounded by 15-kg (33 lb) wheels of cheese ready to be carted away in horse-drawn carriages, a dairy farmer in the Dutch city of Gouda faces off against a cheese trader wearing traditional wooden clogs.

Staring each other in the eyes, they clap their hands together until they seal a deal, recreating an auction ritual that dates back to medieval times.

These days the historical cheese market — now a tourist attraction — operates under a shadow.

Two famed Dutch cheeses, Gouda Holland and Edam Holland, are among the many artisanal European products threatened with U.S. tariffs the Trump administration announced on April 8.

“If they cannot be exported to America, we will have to find another outlet,” said Jan de Goeij, a retired cheesemaker who plays the part of trader. He knows that would mean accepting lower prices.

“So we are very concerned about that threat from Trump. I hope it won’t happen.”

The United States could impose $11 billion worth of European export products with tariffs over subsidies for Airbus, and Europe threatens to retaliate over U.S. tax breaks for Boeing, a dispute that seems far removed from the Dutch cheese industry.

The Dutch, the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter after the United States, send 78 million euros ($88 million)worth of cheese products to the U.S. every year, according to Statistics Netherlands.

Ironically, Gouda gave U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra an honorary title – Waegemeester, or “Master of the Scales” – just days before the tariff threat was announced.

“I don’t think Ambassador Hoekstra should give that honorary title back,” said Gouda cheese producer Johan de Wit.

“If we now ask it back we will only get negative effects.”

Gouda and Edam cheeses can be made anywhere in the world by farmers who follow the correct processes. But the “Gouda Holland” and “Edam Holland” geographical designations can only refer to cheeses made entirely in the Netherlands.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A worker cycles near a factory at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki
FILE PHOTO: A worker cycles near a factory at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, Japan February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

April 19, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s March factory output is forecast to have slipped for the first time in two months, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, though the central bank is expected to stand pat on policy as it bets on a gradual economic recovery despite rising risks to growth.

The poll of 17 economists predicted the Bank of Japan will retain its massive stimulus as well as the short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1 percent, while also maintaining its pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around zero percent at its April 24-25 meeting.

The BOJ is facing a daunting task in its years-long efforts to help push up inflation toward its 2 percent goal, with a slowdown in global growth and trade making its task even more difficult.

Factories have been under strain in the past few months, and the poll forecast industrial production to have slipped 0.1 percent in March from the previous month after it rose 0.7 percent in February.

“Exports are weakening due to the global economic slowdown, which appears to have impacted on factory output,” said Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.

“The economy is either at a temporarily lull or worsening slightly. But it requires more data to assess whether the economy contracted in the first quarter.”

The trade ministry will publish the factory output at 8:50 a.m. April 26, Japan time (2350 GMT April 25).

Data on the nation’s retail sector, due at the same time with the factory output numbers, is projected to show sales rising 0.8 percent last month from a year earlier, the poll found, accelerating from a 0.4 percent increase in February.

Recent gains in oil prices appear to have supported fuel retailers and demand from inbound tourists likely also boosted the overall retail sales, analysts said.

Yet the positive retail impulse would need to be sustained for some months to help boost inflation and overall consumption.

Indeed, the BOJ is expected to forecast next week that inflation will remain below its 2 percent target through the fiscal year that ends in March 2022, sources say.

The central bank is also seen sticking to its view that Japan’s economy will emerge from a soft patch and resume a moderate expansion in the second half of 2019.

“We forecast the BOJ won’t largely change its economic view, so the central bank will likely keep its current pace of stimulus policy,” said Shuji Tonouchi, senior market economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

The poll also found Tokyo’s core consumer prices (CPI) index, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, rose 1.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the same pace as in March.

Price gains in oil related products probably contributed to Tokyo’s core CPI, while falls in costs of electricity and city gas weighed on the index, analysts said.

The poll showed the jobless rate pushed up to 2.4 percent in March from 2.3 percent in February, and the jobs-to-applicants ratio improved to 1.64, which would be an over 40-year high, from 1.63 in February.

The government will publish Tokyo’s core CPI and jobs data at 8:30 a.m. on April 26 (2330 GMT on April 25).

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source: OANN

The Nintendo booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO – The Nintendo booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2017. REUTERS/ Mike Blake

April 19, 2019

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nintendo shares jumped 13 percent in early Tokyo trade on Friday, a day after China’s Tencent won a key approval to begin selling Nintendo’s Switch console in China, the world’s largest games market.

That is the biggest percentage gain since July 2016, when enthusiasm for hit mobile game Pokemon Go sent Nintendo shares rocketing. Friday’s jump sent the stock to its highest level since October and pushed its year-to-date gain to 32 percent.

Nintendo’s U.S.-listed shares rose 12 percent overnight after the Chinese province of Guangdong approved Tencent to distribute the Switch console with a test version of the “New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe” game.

The Kyoto-based games maker has been hampered by Japanese regulations and the search for a partner in its efforts to bring its hybrid home-portable Switch console to China, holding back the development of console gaming there.

Nintendo shares sold off toward the end of last year over concerns about weakness in its Switch games pipeline. Media reports saying Nintendo will launch a low-price Switch version have helped bolster sentiment in recent weeks.

It remains unclear when the console may go on sale in China, with games needing to clear a separate approval process.

Chinese gaming industry leader Tencent is trying to recover from a lengthy video game approval freeze in China last year. It is listed in Hong Kong, where financial markets are closed on Friday for a national holiday.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Paul Tait and Christopher Cushing)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

April 18, 2019

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s markets regulator Bafin on Friday said its two-month ban on short-selling shares of payments company Wirecard had expired.

In February, Bafin initiated the ban due to volatility in Wirecard’s stock following reports in the Financial Times that became the subject of an investigation by German authorities.

Wirecard has denied wrongdoing and the FT has stood by its reporting.

The short-selling ban “has now expired”, Bafin said in a statement, without elaborating further. Short-selling is when an investor borrows shares to sell in the hope of being able to buy them back later at a lower price.

Earlier this week, Bafin filed a complaint with the Munich Prosecutor’s Office alleging market manipulation in the shares of Wirecard.

A series of reports run by the FT, citing a whistleblower’s claims of fraud and creative accounting at its Singapore office, have wiped billions off Wirecard’s market value and triggered a police investigation in the Asian state.

(Reporting by Tom Sims, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

A computer screen showing stock graphs is reflected on glasses in this illustration photo taken in Bordeaux
FILE PHOTO – A computer screen showing stock graphs is reflected on glasses in this illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

April 18, 2019

By Jennifer Ablan

(Reuters) – Investors’ appetite for risk was on display yet again this week with huge cash inflows into U.S.-based stock exchange-traded funds, corporate bond funds and high-yield “junk” bond portfolios, according to Refinitiv’s Lipper research service data on Thursday.

U.S.-based investment-grade corporate bond funds attracted more than $2.3 billion in the week ended Wednesday, extending their weekly inflow streak since late January, Lipper said. U.S.-based high-yield junk bond funds attracted more than $1.1 billion in the week ended Wednesday, their sixth consecutive week of inflows, Lipper said.

Stock exchange-traded funds (ETFs) attracted about $7.35 billion of inflows, Lipper said. Investors in exchange-traded funds are thought to represent institutional investors, including hedge funds. Mutual funds are thought to represent retail investors. U.S. stock mutual funds posted cash withdrawals of more than $1.84 billion, Lipper added.

Tom Roseen, head of research services at Lipper, said a “tale of two cities” still exists within equities.

“Mom and Pop are still net sellers of equity funds, withdrawing $1.8 billion for the week, while (institutional investors) continue to pad the coffers of equity ETFs,” Roseen said. “But for the 14th consecutive week, the average fund investor remained enamored by fixed-income funds, pouring in roughly $1.7 billion this week.”

All told, Roseen said investors put money to work, partly evident in the cash withdrawals from money-market funds. Investors yanked cash from money funds to pay for taxes but they also felt compelled to put money to work in rising markets, he said. U.S.-based money market funds posted $54.5 billion in outflows in the week ended Wednesday, their largest cash withdrawal since August 2011.

“I am attributing that to tax season and investors’ moves back into bonds and equity funds,” Roseen said.

Outside the United States, U.S.-based emerging market funds attracted more than $417 million in the week ended Wednesday, extending their weekly inflow streak since early January, according to Lipper. U.S.-based international funds attracted $1.22 billion in the week ended Wednesday, their first inflows since mid-March, Lipper said.

(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN


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