From an update on Apple, up 26% year-to-date, to a breakdown of the agreement reached between the NFL and the NFLPA, here are your top business and sports stories on Wednesday, July 8.
NFL, NFLPA Reach Agreement
The NFL and NFL Players Association came to an agreement on the leagues’ health and safety protocols for training camp.
According to Pro Football Talk, the agreement bans the use of saunas and steam rooms, puts rules in place for team meetings and limits each team to just two fan events. The agreement also mandates all players and team personnel maintain six feet of separation in all locker-rooms and workout rooms. If virtual meetings are not possible, then masks are required.
The NFL and the Players Association have yet to agree on allowing players to opt out of the season due to health concerns over the coronavirus. According to Pro Football Talk, the Players Union argues there shouldn’t be an additional penalty besides forfeiting base salaries, but the NFL doesn’t want opt-outs at all.
Apple Shares Hit All-Time High
Apple Apple shares hit a new all-time-high of $380 a share Wednesday and, in the midst of some supply chain and demand headwinds for iPhones in the pandemic environment, the stocks is up 26% year-to-date. So how has the stock run-up so much? First off, demand trends are stabilizing for iPhones. Secondly, the 5G cycle, excluding more virus-related headwinds, is expected by analysts to reach near pre-virus estimates in terms of volume and pricing by the end of the year. This should be a multi-year cycle of strong demand for the new devices.
Plus, in the stay-at-home environment, some analysts are now looking for roughly 30% year-over-year growth in Apple's high-margin and promising services segment on a sustained basis. That’s up from a pre-COVID estimate of about 20% growth. Recently, analysts have been in revise-upward mode. We’re talking about pretty impressive valuation expansion here, at a time when investors are looking for growth stocks in an uncertain environment anyway.
As for the broader market and the coronavirus, new daily cases hit 60,000, according to Johns Hopkins data. Stocks were led by big tech Wednesday, while economically-sensitive ones fell. Investors see fiscal stimulus as something that can overpower these headwinds, but on days when case counts really jump, the market acts spooked.
Circus Circus Files Lawsuit Against AIG
The owner of Circus Circus casino in Las Vegas filed a federal lawsuit against AIG Speciality Insurance Company for refusing to cover losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, this is Circus Circus’ owner Phil Ruffin’s second lawsuit against AIG. An attorney for Ruffin said, “AIG relies on sleight-of-hand,
distortions of fact and contortions of law to escape from Circus Circus’s covered claim.”
According to the lawsuit, Circus Circus policy covers $500 million for physical or property loss and $97 million for loss of business income.
AIG shares were up about 0.6% Wednesday, while other insurance and financial stocks were down. What AIG investors need to consider in light of this story is, first off, what’s the size of the claim? Secondly, how big an issue are these types of claims in the COVID environment and can we expect a little bit of a claim storm coming AIG’s way? If so, that’s very cash flow negative.
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