Day: July 15, 2020

Trump administration drops plan to deport international students in online-only classes

Two of the country’s top universities won a major victory over the Trump administration on Tuesday, after the government agreed to halt its plan to deport international college students who only use online courses to study this fall.

The decision marks a stunning retreat for the Trump administration, which left schools and students reeling following a July 6 announcement that spurred lawsuits and condemnation from a growing list of states, schools, politicians, labor unions and tech sector giants. That included the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which announced it was “pleased that the Department of Homeland Security rescinded its ill-conceived policy regarding international students” following the decision.

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued both DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, days after the government warned schools it would begin to reinstate tight restrictions on the number of online classes foreign students are allowed to take while

Read More

Classes Will Be Online Until 2021, Prince George’s Schools Say

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — Online classes will be the new norm in Prince George’s County. The school system said Wednesday that distance learning will continue until at least Jan. 29. Classes will start on Aug. 31.

The announcement comes a day after the state teachers’ union and PTA said they prefer to start the fall semester with virtual learning. Prince George’s County is the second in Maryland to commit to starting the school year online. Montgomery County was the first.

Prince George’s County schools have been closed since the state superintendent, Karen Salmon, shut down all Maryland public schools in March. The school system will remain closed until Salmon and Hogan indicate otherwise.

Prince George’s County continues to have the most coronavirus cases in the state, surpassing 20,000 infections on Wednesday. Nearly 700 county residents have died from the virus

“Prince George’s County Public Schools and our county is

Read More

We Need to Change How We Share Our Personal Data Online in the Age of COVID-19

A few months into the coronavirus pandemic, the web is more central to humanity’s functioning than I could have imagined 30 years ago. It’s now a lifeline for billions of people and businesses worldwide. But I’m more frustrated now with the current state of the web than ever before. We could be doing so much better.

COVID-19 underscores how urgently we need a new approach to organizing and sharing personal data. You only have to look at the limited scope and the widespread adoption challenges of the pandemic apps offered by various tech companies and governments.

Think of all the data about your life accumulated in the various applications you use – social gatherings, frequent contacts, recent travel, health, fitness, photos, and so on. Why is it that none of that information can be combined and used to help you, especially during a crisis?

It’s because you aren’t in control

Read More

ETFs to Buy as Netflix Tops Disney Ahead of Q2 Earnings

Netflix NFLX is set to release second-quarter 2020 results on Jul 16 after market close. Being the world’s largest video streaming company, it is worth taking a look at its fundamentals ahead of the results.

The stock has jumped more than 73% since mid-March and 19.6% over the past three months, outperforming the industry’s average growth of 16.2%. In fact, Netflix shares have seen a remarkable rally of 29% over the past 10 trading days that has pushed up its market valuation to $250 billion. The surge makes Netflix more valuable than Walt Disney DIS, AT&T T, Verizon Communications VZ and Comcast CMCSA.

The outperformance is expected to continue given that the company has strong chances of beating estimates and witnessed positive earnings estimate revisions, which are generally a precursor to an earnings beat.

Earnings Whispers

Netflix has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and an Earnings ESP of +2.27%. According

Read More

YETI Holdings, Express, Align Technology and Tesla highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 15, 2020 – Zacks Equity Research Shares of YETI Holdings, Inc. YETI as the Bull of the Day, Express, Inc. EXPR asthe Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Align Technology, Inc. ALGN and Tesla, Inc. TSLA.

Here is a synopsis of all four stocks:

Bull of the Day:

YETI Holdings designs and distributes consumer outdoor and recreational products under the popular YETI brand. Its line-up is made for activities like hunting, fishing, and camping, and includes premium coolers, drinkware, waterproof and everyday bags, and other outdoor gear.

Q1 Earnings Recap

Back in May, YETI reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Net sales increased 12% to $174 million, while EPS came in at $0.10 per share. Gross margin expanded 370 basis points.

Its direct-to-consumer net sales surged 29% to $79.6 million

Read More

These Retailers Stand to Gain

E-commerce is hogging limelight now due to the convenience and safety it is offering amid the ongoing pandemic. E-commerce has revolutionized the retail universe in the recent past. From browsing a product to making quick order, delivery, return, personalization and after-sale service, online shopping addresses all. And COVID-19 jitters are most likely to further transform the online world.

Shedding further light on e-commerce, Americans now prefer e-retailing over physical retailing. Per the Digital Commerce 360 data, total U.S. online sales were $73.2 billion in June, up significantly from $41.5 billion in the year-earlier period. According to the eMarketer forecast, U.S. e-commerce sales are expected to increase 18% this year, with spending of nearly $709.8 billion on e-commerce. This is likely to account for 14.5% of the overall U.S. retail sales. The report also predicts U.S. click-and-collect e-commerce sales to reach $58.5 billion, mirroring 60.4% growth from the initial projection.

As

Read More

Remote Working Drives PC Peripheral Demand: 5 Stocks to Watch

The coronavirus pandemic has radically changed the work environment. With more employees forced to work remotely to maintain social distancing, there has been a surge in demand for computer and computer peripherals. People are equipping their home offices as the work-from-home trend is here to continue for an uncertain period of time.

Home to Office Transformation Boosts PC Peripheral Sales

In March, Shopify provided a $1,000 stipend to its employees for buying office supplies. While several companies have allowed employees to take their computers and laptops home, there was a spike in demand for peripherals like pointing devices, webcams, speakers, microphones and storage devices.

In fact, per NPD data, mice and keyboard sales grew 10% in the first two weeks of March. The report also said that shift to working from home has also boosted sales of webcams. Additional sales of big screens and dual monitor setups surged with 80,000

Read More

Credit card spending fell 50% at start of lockdown

Credit cards spending dropped by nearly half at the start of lockdown as people played safe with their finances and shunned big purchases.

A total of £8.7bn was spent on credit cards in the first full month of lockdown in April, half the level of April last year, UK Finance said.

The banking trade body said this was the lowest level of spending seen since the last economic downturn.

The cancellation of holiday plans is one likely reason for the fall.

Safety-first

Consumers often use credit cards to pay for summer getaways or major purchases such as household appliances, owing to the extra protection available if something goes wrong.

Many people uncertain about the coronavirus effect on their jobs and finances would have put off buying these items, UK Finance said.

The temporary closure of shops and travel restrictions would also have meant many people put these buying decisions on

Read More

4 effective ways to make your virtual workplace more inclusive

Let’s be honest: pre-pandemic, working from home was a dream. After COVID-19 forced almost everyone to work remotely, we’ve discovered the new virtual workplace encompasses more than Zoom calls, virtual coffees, and cat memes in Slack.

Tech companies did not exactly embrace working from home before the worldwide lockdown, despite studies showing working from home increases employee productivity. Skilled remote workers are also happier employees that are 9% more engaged and 50% less likely to quit their job.

The crisis disproved the perception that working from home was counterproductive. By mid-May, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey emailed his employees that the entire workforce was allowed to permanently work from home – Slack followed suit in June. Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft recommended their employees work remotely until October or for the remainder of the year.

Work-life balance, mental health, and diversity and inclusion were already important subjects

Read More

The Effects of Coronavirus Panic-Buying

For long-time residents of the United States, the sight of empty grocery store shelves is more than just a mere oddity. It’s mildly panic-inducing to be reminded that so much of your existence is inherently linked to certain inventory at your local Walmart or Kroger. The ultimate effect of the panic created by COVID-19 has resulted in a run on a wide variety of goods at stores across the country. From toilet paper to quick-dry yeast, people everywhere are finding themselves one step behind their neighbors when it comes to panic-buying.

It has also put an enormous infrastructure that feeds the entire country under a microscope, showing Americans the time and effort that goes into getting the goods they need onto those store shelves as efficiently as possible. You might never have given shipping logistics a moment’s thought before a few weeks ago, but staring at that steadily dwindling pile … Read More