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Stock-market bets against Nasdaq index hit decade peak

Stock-market bets against Nasdaq index hit decade peak

The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index stands less than 2% from its early September peak, as of late Tuesday trade, reflecting its resurgence from its jaunt into correction territory less than a month ago.

However, rather than betting on continued progress in the popular benchmark that has led the run-up from coronavirus-induced lows, investors are mounting bets that the benchmark continues to be overpriced and faces a fresh collapse in the near-term.

“Somebody, somewhere, still wants to bet against this market,” writes Jason Goepfert, head of SentimenTrader and founder of independent investment research firm Sundial Capital Research, in a Tuesday research note.

Goepfert writes that so-called short interest, or the total number of shares of a particular stock or fund that have been sold short by investors, but haven’t yet been covered or closed out, on stocks trading on the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-0.10%

rose in the last two weeks of September to around the highest level in 10 years, at around 9.7 billion shares (see chart below expressed as a percentage below a chart of the Nasdaq Composite’s absolute value).


Jason Goepfert at SentimenTrader

Of note, Goepfert said some investors view rising short interest as a contrarian sign, one that may signal a bullish trend for the benchmark market, since it also reflects a potential snapback trade for stocks if bearish investors suddenly are forced to unwind their short bets and buyback stocks they have borrowed in their short bets.

However, the SentimenTrader analyst says investors willing to dismiss the current rise in short-term interest, or view it as a potential cause for buying and not caution, do so at their own peril.

As the stock market has surged higher in the aftermath of its swoon back in March, amid the peak of selling precipitated by worries about the economic

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U.S. PC Market Has Best Quarter in a Decade on Pandemic Demand

U.S. PC Market Has Best Quarter in a Decade on Pandemic Demand

(Bloomberg) — Personal computer shipments rose in the third quarter, with the U.S. market having its best performance in a decade, on demand from consumers working and studying remotely.



a close up of a person using a computer mouse and keyboard: An attendee types on a keyboard during the MarketplaceLIVE Hackathon, sponsored by Digital Realty Trust Inc., in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Digital Realty Trust's clients include domestic and international companies ranging from financial services, cloud and information technology services, to manufacturing, energy, gaming, life sciences and consumer products.


© Bloomberg
An attendee types on a keyboard during the MarketplaceLIVE Hackathon, sponsored by Digital Realty Trust Inc., in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Digital Realty Trust’s clients include domestic and international companies ranging from financial services, cloud and information technology services, to manufacturing, energy, gaming, life sciences and consumer products.

PC makers shipped 3.6% more devices in the three-month period compared with a year earlier, for a total of 71.4 million units, according to preliminary data released Monday by researcher Gartner Inc.

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Shipments of Chromebooks, cheaper web-based laptops that run Google’s Chrome operating system, soared about 90% in the third quarter from a year earlier. That lifted overall market growth to 9%, according to Gartner. The firm usually excludes these machines from its reports, but Chromebooks now represent about 11% of the overall market.

In the U.S., shipments rose 11% year over year, the first time in 10 years the region has seen double-digit growth, Gartner noted.

PC makers have solved their supply chain disruptions related to the Covid-19 pandemic and are now able to meet demand from those forced to work or study at home. Consumer demand was as strong as it has been in five years, and distance learning, especially in the U.S., drove the jump in Chromebook shipments.

“The market is no longer being measured in the number of PCs per household; rather, the dynamics have shifted to account for one PC per person,” Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said.

Lenovo Group retained its lead with 26% of shipments, followed by HP Inc with 22% and Dell Technologies Inc with 15%. Apple Inc.

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PC Demand During Pandemic Fuels Strongest U.S. Market Growth in a Decade

PC Demand During Pandemic Fuels Strongest U.S. Market Growth in a Decade

A surge in remote work, study and home entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic boosted personal computer sales in the third quarter and drove the strongest growth in a decade in the U.S., according to industry data.

Much of the growth came from Chromebooks, with a roughly 90% surge in the third quarter driven by distance learning, especially in the U.S., according to preliminary data from

Gartner Inc.,

one of the firms that tracks PC shipments.

While Gartner doesn’t include Chromebooks in its traditional PC market results, on Monday it said that including Chromebooks, world-wide PC shipments rose around 9% year over year in the quarter, with Chromebooks representing about 11% of the combined PC/Chromebook market.

Data from research firm Canalys showed notebook and mobile workstation shipments also driving growth in the quarter, while sales of desktops and desktop workstations declined 26%.

International Data Corp. recorded growth in notebook shipments, driven by consumer sales and education, but the desktop segment saw a year-over-year decline with gaming offering some respite.

The pandemic, the data show, has put PCs back in the spotlight.

“It used to be the case that smartphones were king,” said Jitesh Ubrani, IDC’s research manager for Mobile Device Trackers.

Mr. Ubrani noted smartphone shipments declined in the second quarter and are expected to decline in the third quarter.

“At the start of the pandemic,” he said, people “pulled out their old PCs in many cases and they realized that this PC is really too old to be productive.”

Overall, PC shipments rose 3.6% to 71.4 million units in the third quarter, driven by an 11.4% growth in the U.S., the first time in a decade that the region has seen double-digit growth, according to preliminary data from Gartner.

IDC pegged the increase at 14.6% to 81.3 million units, also

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Q3 PC shipments hit fastest growth in a decade

Q3 PC shipments hit fastest growth in a decade

A customer looks at Dell computers at a Best Buy store in Orem, Utah.

George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Computer makers shipped 79.2 million PCs in the third quarter, up 12.7% year over year, showing the fastest growth in a decade, technology research company Canalys estimated on Friday.

Despite the swelling popularity of phones and tablets in recent years, people have been leaning harder on personal computers while working or studying from home in the past several months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Acer of Taiwan was the biggest individual beneficiary from the trend in the third quarter, shipping 5.6 million PCs, up 15%, according to the Canalys estimates, which include Chromebooks that run Google-led Chrome OS. The company said Lenovo, the largest PC maker by shipments in the quarter, shipped 19.3 million PCs, up 11.4%.

Microsoft, whose Windows 10 operating system runs on over 1 billion devices, said in May that people are spending more than 4 trillion minutes per month on Windows 10, up 75% on an annualized basis.

Other firms such as Gartner and IDC have not issued third-quarter estimates yet. Gartner said in July that second-quarter PC shipments grew 2.8%.

WATCH: HP Inc CEO on strong Q3 sales: ‘We have never shipped so many PCs’

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Job-Based Health Insurance Costs Are Up 4% This Year, 55% in Past Decade

Job-Based Health Insurance Costs Are Up 4% This Year, 55% in Past Decade

Health insurance costs for Americans who get their coverage through work continued a relentless march upward with average family premiums rising 4% to $21,342 this year, according to a study published Thursday.

The annual survey by KFF found workers on average are paying nearly $5,600 this year toward family coverage, up from about $4,000 in 2010 and $1,600 in 2000. (KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF.)

While health insurance costs rose a modest amount in 2020, as has been the trend in recent years, they soared 55% in the past decade — more than twice the pace of inflation and wages.

(KFF)

About 157 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored coverage — far more than any other type of coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid and individually purchased insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. More than half of employers provide insurance to at least some workers.

“Conducted partly before the pandemic, our survey shows the burden of health costs on workers remains high, though not getting dramatically worse,” Drew Altman, KFF’s CEO, said in a statement. “Things may look different moving forward as employers grapple with the economic and health upheaval sparked by the pandemic.”

The survey was conducted from January to July as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and upended the nation’s economy. Many of the details of the employers’ plans that the researchers examined were set before the virus hit.

Since 2012, the cost of family coverage has increased 3% to 5% annually. It’s been more than 15 years since these costs were rising at double-digit rates.

Employers help shield workers from much of the cost of their health insurance premiums, though employees often feel the impact via higher deductibles, copayments and lower wages.

On average, workers pay 17% of the premium for single coverage and 27% for

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