Crude Oil Futures Settle Notably Higher

Oscar Ready Party Dresses

The most coveted runway is still the Oscars red carpet – and on Sunday there actually will be one after a year of virtual-only awards shows due to the pandemic. Designers channeled a spirited vibe for fall with trends likely to be seen this weekend: big volumes and bright colors, shorter hemlines – and a touch of playfulness we all could use these days.

And more, all over sequin designs, feather embellishments, playful volumes and a touch of retro glam are key elements that define some of the most red-carpet ready dresses of the Fall runways.

How meme stocks like Gamestop and AMC changed Wall Street

The GameStop frenzy in late January forced Wall Street to pay attention to retail investors like never before.

The r/WallStreetBets community piled into the video game retailer's stock and options, triggering a short squeeze and leaving short sellers with huge losses.

In the aftermath, Wall Street and news outlets dove deep into subreddit to understand how this happened. WallStreetBets' unique mix of self-deprecating, camaraderie and tongue-in-cheek humor captured and identified with the American public.

"In the way they define themselves, they are setting up 'this is who we are' and that can bring people in," College of Charleston communication professor Ryan Milner said. "There really is a power in the collectivism happening on WallStreetBets."

Here's an explainer on why these collective actions are becoming more common, the role memes play in these situations and what's next for retail investing.

Gold Futures Settle Lower

Gold prices drifted lower on Friday as rising bond yields amid a surge in new home sales in the U.S. dented demand for the safe-haven asset.

Gold prices advanced despite the dollar’s weakness. The dollar index tumbled to 90.91, losing nearly 0.5%.

Gold futures for June ended down $4.20 or about 0.2% at $1,777.80 an ounce. Gold futures shed about 0.1% in the week.

Silver futures for May ended lower by $0.105 or 0.4% at $26.075 an ounce, while Copper futures for May ended higher by $0.0.630 or 1.5% at $4.3360 per pound.

Data released by the Commerce Department showed new home sales in U.S. skyrocketed by 20.7% to an annual rate of 1.021 million in March after plunging by 16.2% to a revised rate of 846,000 in February.

Economists had expected new home sales to spike by 14.3% to a rate of 886,000 from the 775,000 originally reported for the previous month. With the rebound, new home sales soared from the eight-month low set in February to their highest level since August of 2006.

The flash reading of the IHS Market US. composite purchasing managers index rose to a record high 62.2 in April from 59.7 in March, suggesting both the manufacturing and services sectors are recovering rapidly from the coronavirus pandemic.

Chiefs land Pro Bowl OT Orlando Brown Jr. from Ravens in trade, per report

The Kansas City Chiefs have filled a major hole at left tackle.

On Friday, the defending AFC champions agreed to a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to acquire Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 sixth-round selection in exchange for the No. 31 overall pick this year, 2021 third- and fourth-round picks and a fifth-round selection in 2022, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

The move brings closure to an offensive line that had been under fire since Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz missed the team's Super Bowl 55 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, during which quarterback Patrick Mahomes was under constant pressure. Fisher and Schwartz were both released this offseason as Kansas City moved on from its pair of bookend tackles.

Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings Earned $43 Million In 2020, Ted Sarandos’ Pay Was $39 Million; Both Up From Year Earlier

Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos earned, respectively, $43.2 million and $39.3 million in 2020. The pay was up for both. Chairman and founder Hastings earned $38.6 million the year before, when Sarandos took home $34.7 million.

Hastings base salary was only $650,000 with the bulk of his compensation from a grant of options valued at $42.4 million, according to a proxy statement filed with the SEC.

Sarandos, instead, received a base salary of $20 million and an option grant worth $18.3 million.

Netflix had a blowout 2020 as the quintessential stay-at-home stock as the world braved a global pandemic. On Tuesday, however, it reported lower than expected subscriber growth for the first quarter of 2021.

In a note to shareholders in the proxy, lead independent director Jay Hoag looked back at 2020, when the company “had approximately 204 million paid memberships, achieved approximately $25 billion in revenue, representing 24% year-over-year growth, and approximately $4.6 billion of operating income, representing 76% year-over-year growth, as well as improved our cash flows from operations. We prioritize creating long-term value for our stockholders, demonstrated by our strong total stockholder return. As of December 31, 2020, we delivered 67% in annualized total stockholder return over the prior one-year period and 40% since our initial public offering in 2002 through December 31, 2020.”


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Crude Oil Futures Settle Notably Higher

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, lifting the most active crude futures contract to a firm close for the day, although the contract posted a weekly loss due to weak outlook for energy demand.

The massive surge in coronavirus infections in India, and the Japanese government’s decision to impose another lockdown in Tokyo and a few other cities raised concerns about the outlook for energy demand.

However, amid buoyant demand for energy in the U.S., oil prices recovered well after early weakness today.

West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for June ended up by $0.71 or about 1.2% at $62.14 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed 1.7% in the week.

Brent Crude futures were up $0.76 or 1.16% at $66.16 a barrel a little while ago.

India reported a surge of over 330,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the single largest spike since the pandemic started. Although the government is considering lockdowns as a last resort, oil consumption is likely to drop significantly due to widespread restrictions on movement in several parts of the country.

Data from Baker Hughes showed the total weekly active drilling-rig count in the U.S. was down 1 at 438 this week. The data also showed active oil-rig count dropped by 1 to 343 in the week.