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How the Current Geopolitical Tensions Could Affect the Markets

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Julie Gillespie, Head of Market Research, TipRanks

The last few years have shown us that society and the world at large can unravel at an astonishing rate. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to be winding down and a return to normalcy returning, a reality check has reared its ugly head.

After so many had hoped it would not occur, and that it would not persist the way it has, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does not seem to have an end in sight. The war has reached its 15th day, and with each passing moment more innocent civilians lose their livelihoods, or worse. Geopolitically, economically, and of course, mentally, this war will never be forgotten. The post-Cold War world order has shifted, with two powerful sides arming and posturing against one another.

In response, Western allies have levied punishing sanctions against Russian industry and its benefactors. Oil, gas, and energy prices continued to soar with each passing ban. Russia is the world’s second largest crude oil producer in regard to value exported, and now European nations, notably Germany and Italy, are scrambling to figure out how to wane dependencies. Meanwhile, the Kremlin relies overwhelmingly on export funds brought in from this energy source, and Russia’s economy and GDP is expected to shrivel up without its most vital money maker.

Until yesterday’s dramatic decline, the spot price of the commodity had continued to rise this past week, as global supply quickly dried up.

In his recent State of the Union address, President Biden announced a possible release of 30 million barrels of oil from a strategic reserve in order to obstruct the runaway prices. While this is a nice gesture, prices have again risen on Wednesday, as the war rages on. Additionally, he had attempted to reach out to oil rich nations Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, although he was rebuffed for not supporting them in Yemen’s civil war.

Inflation has been on investors’ minds for over a year now, and increased oil prices cause even more costs to rise. Nearly every segment of a supply chain relies somehow on oil, and if producers’ spending rises, those costs are typically passed onto the consumer.

Additionally, factories, ships, trains, trucks, and last-mile delivery methods usually work with thin margins, and it is not unexpected that delivery charges will rise in tandem with oil prices.

The economic outcomes of the war will also affect cybersecurity, the necessity of which has been compounded firstly by the digital transformation that took over business throughout the pandemic, and secondly by the threat from Russian organizations. Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities recently published a report on the matter, writing that he expects a surge of attacks “could change the game for US/ European enterprises and governments over the coming months.” While unfortunate, this possible trend would serve as a boon for cybersecurity stocks.

The cybersecurity industry was already anticipated by Ives to expand 20% year-over-year, and the fallout from Putin’s war should boost spending even higher. Many cybersecurity stocks have already seen their valuations spike in response to the growing threat and demand for their services.

In addition to the Western-imposed sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas sector, several Russian banks have more recently been banned from the SWIFT messaging system, effectively cutting them off from sending and receiving funds abroad. This, coupled with a freezing of Russia’s massive Foreign Reserve assets, has sent the Russian Ruble tumbling for the last two weeks. With a rapidly falling currency, Russian civilians have begun a run on their banks, with lines stretching for hours in some cities as people scramble to withdraw their cash.

The global order between the West and Russia cannot be shifted without also causing prolonged macroeconomic consequences on the world’s most important industries. Ukrainian and Russian officials are said to be in talks for a possible cease-fire, again, but as the siege of Ukraine continues and intensifies, the future will be unclear until the dust fully settles.

This article was submitted by an external contributor and may not represent the views and opinions of Benzinga.

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Original Article: benzinga.com

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren Questions Fidelity on Crypto 401(k) Product: What You Need to Know

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is calling on Fidelity Investments to explain its decision to allow its investors to add Bitcoin BTC/USD to their 401(k) retirement accounts.

What Happened: Warren and Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) sent a letter to Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson expressing concern about the company’s new Digital Assets Account, which allows investors to have a portion of their retirement savings allocated to Bitcoin through their 401(k) plan. The senators claim Fidelity ignored a U.S. Department of Labor warning to 401(k) plan fiduciaries to exercise “extreme care” when deciding to include cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle.

“Investing in cryptocurrencies is a risky and speculative gamble, and we are concerned that Fidelity would take these risks with millions of Americans’ retirement savings,” the senators wrote, adding that “Bitcoin’s volatility is compounded by its susceptibility to the whims of just a handful of influencers. Elon Musk’s tweets alone have led to Bitcoin value fluctuations as high as 8%. The high concentration of Bitcoin ownership and mining exacerbates these volatility risks. One study estimates that just 10% of Bitcoin miners are responsible for processing 90% of Bitcoin transactions and that 1,000 individuals control 3 million Bitcoins – about 15% of the current Bitcoin supply.”

See Also: Biden And Trump Readying For 2024 Rematch, But Who Will Announce First?

What Else Happened: The senators also questioned if the company had a conflict of interest because it was involved in crypto mining.

“Despite a lack of demand for this option – only 2% of employers expressed interest in adding cryptocurrency to their 401(k) menu – Fidelity has decided to move full speed ahead with supporting Bitcoin investments,” they said.

The senators gave Fidelity until May 18 to answer questions regarding risks related to cryptocurrency and whether this offering posed a conflict of interest.

The Wall Street Journal reported Fidelity responded to the senators’ concerns via an emailed statement.

“As a Massachusetts-based company with a proven 75-plus-year history of doing what’s in the best interest of our customers, we look forward to continuing our respectful dialogue with policy makers to responsibly provide access with all appropriate consumer protections and educational guidance for plan sponsors as they consider offering this innovative product,” the company said. “Consistent with our ongoing dialogue with regulators and policy makers, we will respond directly.”

Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

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Original Source: benzinga.com

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OgenaShield Pure Oxygen(R) HD Shampoo Now Available on Amazon

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SARASOTA, Fla., April 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ogena Solutions is pleased to announce that our OgenaShield Pure Oxygen(R) HD Shampoo is now listed for sale on Amazon.com (US only). View our listing.

About OgenaShield Pure Oxygen(R) HD Shampoo

Ogena Solutions Pure Oxygen(R) HD Shampoo is a 100% non-toxic, environmentally safe, and veterinarian-recommended way to clean and deodorize dogs, cats, horses and cattle. This rinse-free, fragrance-free animal shampoo converts to oxygen and water vapor, leaves absolutely no active residue and works gently to relieve the animal’s itchy and irritated skin. Besides being excellent for general shampooing Pure Oxygen(R) has been specifically formulated for use in Ogena’s ANIVAC animal bathing systems and when diluted 50/50 with water can also be used in products such as the Bissell Bark Bath for dogs and the eZall and other foaming bathing system for horses.

Product Testimonials

I’m impressed with this product. Works better than any oral meds or topical or other shampoos I’ve tried in 6 years for animals with skin problems! – Lynn C.

Cleared up my dog’s infection when antibiotics wouldn’t work. Highly recommend it. – Anonymous

Fostered cats for 15 years and recently came across a ringworm fungal strain that was resistant to miconazole topical, terbinafine oral and topical, itraconazole oral and everything else on the planet. This was THE only thing that got rid of it. Miracle product. – S.T.

About Ogena Solutions

Ogena Solutions is a One Health organization focused on safeguarding animals, people and the environment from pathogens and infectious diseases. We offer a Next Generation version of PCO air purifiers, foamers, topicals, application equipment, vacuum systems, and more. All of our products meet a high standard for safety, efficacy, and efficiency, as well as expert protocols for optimum results. Our team has extensive experience working on infection prevention and biosecurity in the veterinary, farm/agriculture, animal shelter and boarding kennel sectors, and we work closely with government agencies, public leaders, corporations and small business owners to implement best practices for the health and safety of their employees, customers and the general public.

For more information, please contact:
Chama Gomez
BD & Technical Support Mgr – U.S.
1-855-900-8822 ext. 227
cgomez@ogenasolutions.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/70f25f1b-09e5-4cdc-a11c-397a94bff576

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Source: benzinga.com

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TierPoint Developing Next Generation Cloud Solutions

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ST. LOUIS, April 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TierPoint, a leading provider of secure, connected data center and cloud solutions at the edge of the internet, today announced it is working with Dell Technologies to develop next generation cloud solutions on Dell APEX.

With cross-cloud/hybrid functionality, APEX solutions provide the agility and speed customers want, combined with the control, performance, security, and consistency they need – all packaged in the simplest way possible.

TierPoint Senior Vice President of Product Development Greg Ahlheim said: “To help fuel the growth and success of their organizations, more and more CIOs are embracing hybrid cloud solutions, allowing them to run each application in the type of cloud – private, multitenant, or public – where it performs best. In addition, today’s CIOs are increasingly seeking the flexibility of pay-as-you-go models for their cloud infrastructure. Dell addresses both of these needs through its APEX offerings, and we’re excited to work with them on developing solutions that combine their technology with the exceptional, cloud-agnostic guidance, service and support for which TierPoint is known.”

The first joint solution of the two companies will be a TierPoint Private Cloud powered by Dell APEX, with continuing collaboration on other APEX-powered solutions.


About TierPoint
Meeting clients where they are on their journey to IT transformation, TierPoint (tierpoint.com) is a leading provider of secure, connected data center and cloud solutions at the edge of the internet. The company has one of the largest customer bases in the industry, with thousands of clients ranging from the public to private sectors, from small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises. TierPoint also has one of the largest and most geographically diversified footprints in the nation, with over 40 world-class data centers in 20 markets and 8 multitenant cloud pods, connected by a coast-to-coast network. Led by a proven management team, TierPoint’s highly experienced IT professionals offer a comprehensive solution portfolio of private, multitenant, managed hyperscale, and hybrid cloud, plus colocation, disaster recovery, security, and other managed IT services.

Contact: Pete Abel, 314-720-3129, Pete.Abel@tierpoint.com

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Original Post: benzinga.com

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