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Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020

Good Friday evening to all of you here on StockMarket. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020.

Trump’s health and fiscal stimulus fight will steer the markets in the week ahead - (Source)

President Donald Trump’s health and the state of a fiscal stimulus package will be the main focus for markets in the coming week.
In the early morning hours Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and the first lady tested positive for Covid. Stocks sold off hard, but the S&P 500 came off its lows in Friday trading and closed down just under 1%. It was up 1.5% for the week.
The market was helped by signs that a stimulus package is still a possibility, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked airlines not to furlough workers. She promised either a stand alone aid bill, or a bigger negotiated relief legislation that would help the industry.
“The market is going to watch health updates from the White House medical staff, and it’s going to watch how the president communicates with the public,” said Julian Emanuel, head of equities and derivatives at BTIG. “Will we see him in person in the next week in any form? What’s his volume of tweets? All as a way to first gauge the severity of the case.”
Trump and Melania Trump are reported to have mild cases, but as time goes on the market will turn to how the illness could impact the presidential election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden gained slightly in the polls after the first debate Tuesday night, and now the calendar for further debates is in question. The market has seemingly warmed to Biden, and even though he would raise taxes, it is assumed Democrats would quickly pass a major infrastructure package if there is a Democratic sweep of Congress.
Trump, however, is widely seen on Wall Street as stronger on the economy and better for markets.
“What you’ve done from a campaign perspective, is you’ve taken away the thing that gives him the most energy - his ability to interact with crowds,” said Emanuel. “The president had wanted to paint the economic recovery of the last three or four months as the cornerstone, and this basically puts the virus back as topic number 1, number 2 and number 3. And it’s all the more so because the data is coming in weaker than expected.”
The market is fixated on the prospect of stimulus to help business, the unemployed and state and local governments. The House passed a $2.2 trillion package this week, but there is still no agreement with Republicans. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has pushed for a $1.6 trillion package.
“I think there’s an underlying bid under the market because nobody wants to be super short if we get a stimulus approved, but you can’t be too long in case his mild symptoms turn into severe symptoms,” said Scott Redler, partner with T3live.com. “We’re in a tough spot but overall we’re still pretty constructive.”
Emanuel said the fact the president is now ill could hurt confidence and slow down some of the improvement in the economy.
“The underlying tone is, again, whether its directly or later, there’s going to be stimulus,” Emanuel said. ”’Whether it’s this month or November, this reinforces the need for stimulus because the president falling ill signals to, at the margin, the person whose thinking about going out to dinner to think again. It’s a significant economic and psychological hindrance.”
Also coming up in the week ahead is a speech Tuesday by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to the National Association of Business Economists.
Powell is also expected to push for the stimulus package to boost the economy so the recovery does not stall.
“I think his whole objective is to try to get Congress and the Administration to sign onto a fiscal rescue package,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “He’ll all but come out and say [the recovery] is not a ‘V.’ Without additional support from lawmakers, risks are pretty high that we backtrack. I think that’s the kind of outlook he’s going to give. It’s going to be full-throated.”
September’s employment report, released Friday, was seen by some as a warning that the economy is not rebounding as expected. There were 661,000 jobs added in September, well below the 800,000 expected.
Besides Powell, there are a half dozen other Fed speakers. There are also minutes from the Fed’s last minute released Wednesday afternoon.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #2!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #3!)

Make Up Your [email protected]#$%&* Mind!

We've all had versions of this conversation where you or the person you were talking to just couldn't make up their mind. At the end of the day, it only causes trouble and plans are ruined.
The market is having its own back and forth this year trying to decide between growth and value. Just today, growth stocks are getting slaughtered while value stocks are up marginally. As an example, the Russell 1000 Growth index is down 1.8% on the day while the Russell 1000 Value index has managed to rally 0.25%. The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the Russell 1000 Growth index and the Russell 1000 Value index for each day in 2020. Today's performance spread between the two indices marks the ninth time this year that value has outperformed growth by more than two percentage points. At the other extreme, there have also been eight trading days where growth outperformed value by more than two percentage points.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
So how does this year's frequency of days where the performance spread between the two indices was more than two percentage points stack up to other years? The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the two indices going all the way back to 1990. Over the last thirty years, the only two periods where we saw a frequency of these large daily dislocations was back in 2008 and the period spanning 2000 and 2001. In fact, with 17 days this year where the performance spread between the two indices was greater than two percentage points, the only other years that saw a higher frequency of large dislocations were 2000 (54) and 2001 (28). If you think the market has been indecisive this year, in 2000 we saw these types of daily dislocations an average of once per week.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Election Anxiety Weighs on October Market Performance

October often evokes fear on Wall Street as memories are stirred of crashes in 1929, 1987, the 554-point drop on October 27, 1997, back-to-back massacres in 1978 and 1979, Friday the 13th in 1989 and the 733-point drop on October 15, 2008. During the week ending October 10, 2008, Dow lost 1,874.19 points (18.2%), the worst weekly decline in our database going back to 1901, in percentage terms. March 2020 now holds the dubious honor of producing the worst, second and third worst DJIA weekly point declines. The term “Octoberphobia” has been used to describe the phenomenon of major market drops occurring during the month. Market calamities can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so stay on the lookout and don’t get whipsawed if it happens.
But October has become a turnaround month—a “bear killer” if you will. Twelve post-WWII bear markets have ended in October: 1946, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1987, 1990, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2011 (S&P 500 declined 19.4%). However, eight were midterm bottoms. Over the last 21 years, October’s performance has been solid. Average gains over the last 21-years range from 1.3% by Russell 1000 to 2.4% by NASDAQ. Small caps have still struggled though with Russell 2000 gaining a modest 0.5%
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Election-year Octobers rank dead last for Dow, S&P 500 (since 1952), NASDAQ (since 1972), Russell 1000, and Russell 2000 (since 1980). Eliminating gruesome 2008 from the calculation provides a moderate amount of relief, as rankings climb to mid pack. Should a meaningful decline materialize in October it is likely to be an excellent buying opportunity, especially for any depressed technology and small-cap shares.

What Have Democratic Sweeps Meant for the S&P 500?

Headed into the first presidential debate Tuesday night, betting markets (ElectionBettingOdds.com) placed Democratic candidate Joe Biden as the slight favorite to take the White House in November. The debate resulted in Biden gaining another 5 percentage point chance of winning the Presidency. As of this morning, Biden's odds to win are at 59.8% versus Trump's odds of 38.9%. Additionally, Democrats are slight favorites to win control of the Senate (58.4% to 41.5%) and big favorites to maintain the House (82.8% to 17.1%). Given these odds, in the chart below we show the average performance of the S&P 500 from the three months before Election Day through three months after Election Day for all election years post-WWII that resulted in a sweep of the executive and legislative branch by the Democrats.
As shown, on average the S&P 500 has been on the decline in the weeks leading up to Election Day, though in the days just before the Election there has been a small rally that sharply reverses once the results come in. After the initial post-Election drop, the market has trended a bit higher, but by three months after the Election, it has only found itself around the same levels as Election Day; on average a 2.6% loss versus where the index stood three months prior.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
The composite shown above is comprised of six different years: 1948, 1960, 1964, 1976, 1992, and 2008. While on average the S&P 500 has traded lower, it is not necessarily a sure-fire thing. For example, 1948 and 2008 were the only years that saw the S&P 500 trade and stay significantly lower in the wake of the election. In 1976, there was similarly a sell-off in the immediate aftermath of the election, but the index did make its way back up to the highs of that six-month time frame later on albeit no new high was put in place. Meanwhile, 1960, 1964, and 1992 all saw the S&P 500 run higher after the election even despite some periods of consolidation after initial moves higher. In our B.I.G. Tips report from Tuesday, we show these same charts for all Presidential election years post WWII including a look at the average performance given every potential election outcome.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

How Current Returns Stack Up to History

Even after September's weakness, the S&P 500's trailing 12-month total return stood at an impressive 14.9%. Given the events of the last 12 months, one could even say that performance is remarkable. What's even crazier is that the S&P 500's performance over the last 12 months is more than three times stronger than the 12 month period before that (+4.25%). The chart below compares the S&P 500's annualized total returns over the last one, two, five, ten, and twenty years and compares that performance to the historical average return of the index over those same time periods.
The S&P 500's historical average 12-month return is 11.7%, so the current 14.9% gain exceeds that average by more than three full percentage points. Over a two-year window, though, the S&P 500's annualized return of 9.4% is more than a full percentage point below the historical average. Looking further out, the S&P 500's trailing five and ten-year annualized return has been much stronger than average, which makes sense given the long bull market we were in. Over a 20 year window, though, the S&P 500 is only just starting to work off some of the declines from the dot-com bust and as a result, the 6.4% annualized gain is a four and a half percentage points below the long-term average of 10.9%.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Below we show how the current performance of the S&P 500 in each of the time frames shown compares to all other periods on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's performance over the last year, ranks just below 56th percentile of all other periods, while the two-year performance ranks just below the 42nd percentile. Even as the five and ten-year periods have seen well above average returns, they still rank in just the mid-60s on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's ranking over a 20-year time period is a completely different story ranking in single-digits on a percentile basis. Even with the equity market right near record highs, the last two decades have been forgettable for US equities.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Seasonals Are Back In Style Again

There is no denying that market seasonality has not worked so well this year. But we have been here before and history is on our side. Over the long term, intermediate term and short term market seasonality has suffered brief periods when seasonality was overridden by more powerful forces. The COVID pandemic and economic shutdown certainly qualifies. But it is only a matter of time until repetitive human behavior patterns and people and institutions return to moving money around in the usual daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and seasonal patterns.
The return of perennial September weakness is emblematic of a return to normal market behavior and a reflection of the fact that despite the continuing concerns about surges in coronavirus cases life is beginning to return to normal. In our area, about 25-30 miles north of New York City, our kids are beginning hybrid learning, playing rugby, lacrosse and other sports (yes with some COVID protocols, but tackling and facing-off), golf outings are happening and people are going to restaurants and out and about.
The chart here shows the historical One-Year Pattern of the S&P 500 Since 1950 versus 2020. The black line shows the seasonal pattern since 1950. The blue represents the pattern since 1988. We use 1988 as it is the first year after the 1987 Crash when the market underwent a major systemic change with the implementation of downside protection circuit breakers and collars. It is noteworthy how the seasonal pattern persists during both the 70-year and 31-year timeframes.
2020 is plotted on the right axis due to the magnitude of the move this year. The yellow box highlights the rebirth of seasonality this September, especially during this notoriously negative Week After Triple Witching Week as detailed page 108 of the 2020 Almanac, indicated by the two black arrows
Years like 1980, 1982, 2009 and 2016 with unseasonably early weakness and bear markets like 2020 returned to normal seasonal patterns in short order. And years like 1954, 1958, 1980, 1982, 1995 and 2009 that exhibited double-digit gains in the Worst Six Months still proceeded to deliver further sizable gains in the subsequent Best Six Months (page 52, STA 2020). We believe the return of market seasonality is upon us. So remain cautious through the end of September and be alert to Octoberophobia, but remain ready to pounce on our Best Months Seasonal MACD Buy Signal, when it triggers.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for Week Ending October 2nd, 2020

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 10.4.20

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET POSTED.)
Here are the most notable companies (tickers) reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
  • $DPZ
  • $PAYX
  • $RPM
  • $HELE
  • $AYI
  • $LEVI
  • $LW
  • $LNDC
  • $SAR
  • $EXFO
  • $RGP
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 10.5.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Monday 10.5.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Tuesday 10.6.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 10.6.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Domino's Pizza, Inc. $433.78

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.73 per share on revenue of $944.53 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.83 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 33.17% with revenue increasing by 15.07%. Short interest has decreased by 31.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 22.3% above its 200 day moving average of $354.71. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 7.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Paychex, Inc. $79.43

Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.56 per share on revenue of $895.39 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 49% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 21.13% with revenue decreasing by 9.74%. Short interest has decreased by 9.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.0% above its 200 day moving average of $74.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, September 18, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,269 contracts of the $90.00 call expiring on Friday, March 19, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 4.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

RPM International Inc. $82.64

RPM International Inc. (RPM) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.21 per share on revenue of $1.49 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.26 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.37% with revenue increasing by 1.17%. Short interest has decreased by 39.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 3.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.4% above its 200 day moving average of $73.51. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 4.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Helen of Troy Ltd. $199.83

Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.39 per share on revenue of $451.26 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 62% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 18.91% with revenue increasing by 9.00%. Short interest has decreased by 6.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.8% above its 200 day moving average of $177.13. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.9% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Acuity Brands, Inc. $105.61

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:40 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.01 per share on revenue of $814.63 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.12 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 46% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 28.21% with revenue decreasing by 13.16%. Short interest has increased by 62.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.1% above its 200 day moving average of $101.43. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 9.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Levi Strauss & Co. $14.15

Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.27 per share on revenue of $766.84 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.20) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 40% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 187.10% with revenue decreasing by 47.01%. Short interest has increased by 3.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.5% below its 200 day moving average of $14.66. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,166 contracts of the $14.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 10.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.9% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. $67.93

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (LW) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.30 per share on revenue of $877.60 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.28 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 36% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 62.03% with revenue decreasing by 11.26%. Short interest has decreased by 21.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 4.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.8% below its 200 day moving average of $69.17. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,580 contracts of the $70.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 8.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Landec Corp. $9.43

Landec Corp. (LNDC) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:20 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.11 per share on revenue of $127.86 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.09) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 41% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 31.25% with revenue decreasing by 7.82%. Short interest has decreased by 5.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 12.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.4% below its 200 day moving average of $10.30. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 16.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.6% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Saratoga Investment Corp $17.27

Saratoga Investment Corp (SAR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.47 per share on revenue of $12.95 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 48% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 30.88% with revenue decreasing by 6.75%. Short interest has decreased by 60.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.3% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

EXFO Inc. $3.24

EXFO Inc. (EXFO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.07 per share on revenue of $64.85 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.07 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 30% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 40.00% with revenue decreasing by 7.59%. Short interest has decreased by 17.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 14.7% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great trading week ahead StockMarket.
submitted by bigbear0083 to StockMarket [link] [comments]

Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020

Good Saturday morning to all of you here on smallstreetbets. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020.

Trump’s health and fiscal stimulus fight will steer the markets in the week ahead - (Source)

President Donald Trump’s health and the state of a fiscal stimulus package will be the main focus for markets in the coming week.
In the early morning hours Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and the first lady tested positive for Covid. Stocks sold off hard, but the S&P 500 came off its lows in Friday trading and closed down just under 1%. It was up 1.5% for the week.
The market was helped by signs that a stimulus package is still a possibility, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked airlines not to furlough workers. She promised either a stand alone aid bill, or a bigger negotiated relief legislation that would help the industry.
“The market is going to watch health updates from the White House medical staff, and it’s going to watch how the president communicates with the public,” said Julian Emanuel, head of equities and derivatives at BTIG. “Will we see him in person in the next week in any form? What’s his volume of tweets? All as a way to first gauge the severity of the case.”
Trump and Melania Trump are reported to have mild cases, but as time goes on the market will turn to how the illness could impact the presidential election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden gained slightly in the polls after the first debate Tuesday night, and now the calendar for further debates is in question. The market has seemingly warmed to Biden, and even though he would raise taxes, it is assumed Democrats would quickly pass a major infrastructure package if there is a Democratic sweep of Congress.
Trump, however, is widely seen on Wall Street as stronger on the economy and better for markets.
“What you’ve done from a campaign perspective, is you’ve taken away the thing that gives him the most energy - his ability to interact with crowds,” said Emanuel. “The president had wanted to paint the economic recovery of the last three or four months as the cornerstone, and this basically puts the virus back as topic number 1, number 2 and number 3. And it’s all the more so because the data is coming in weaker than expected.”
The market is fixated on the prospect of stimulus to help business, the unemployed and state and local governments. The House passed a $2.2 trillion package this week, but there is still no agreement with Republicans. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has pushed for a $1.6 trillion package.
“I think there’s an underlying bid under the market because nobody wants to be super short if we get a stimulus approved, but you can’t be too long in case his mild symptoms turn into severe symptoms,” said Scott Redler, partner with T3live.com. “We’re in a tough spot but overall we’re still pretty constructive.”
Emanuel said the fact the president is now ill could hurt confidence and slow down some of the improvement in the economy.
“The underlying tone is, again, whether its directly or later, there’s going to be stimulus,” Emanuel said. ”’Whether it’s this month or November, this reinforces the need for stimulus because the president falling ill signals to, at the margin, the person whose thinking about going out to dinner to think again. It’s a significant economic and psychological hindrance.”
Also coming up in the week ahead is a speech Tuesday by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to the National Association of Business Economists.
Powell is also expected to push for the stimulus package to boost the economy so the recovery does not stall.
“I think his whole objective is to try to get Congress and the Administration to sign onto a fiscal rescue package,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “He’ll all but come out and say [the recovery] is not a ‘V.’ Without additional support from lawmakers, risks are pretty high that we backtrack. I think that’s the kind of outlook he’s going to give. It’s going to be full-throated.”
September’s employment report, released Friday, was seen by some as a warning that the economy is not rebounding as expected. There were 661,000 jobs added in September, well below the 800,000 expected.
Besides Powell, there are a half dozen other Fed speakers. There are also minutes from the Fed’s last minute released Wednesday afternoon.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #2!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #3!)

Make Up Your [email protected]#$%&* Mind!

We've all had versions of this conversation where you or the person you were talking to just couldn't make up their mind. At the end of the day, it only causes trouble and plans are ruined.
The market is having its own back and forth this year trying to decide between growth and value. Just today, growth stocks are getting slaughtered while value stocks are up marginally. As an example, the Russell 1000 Growth index is down 1.8% on the day while the Russell 1000 Value index has managed to rally 0.25%. The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the Russell 1000 Growth index and the Russell 1000 Value index for each day in 2020. Today's performance spread between the two indices marks the ninth time this year that value has outperformed growth by more than two percentage points. At the other extreme, there have also been eight trading days where growth outperformed value by more than two percentage points.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
So how does this year's frequency of days where the performance spread between the two indices was more than two percentage points stack up to other years? The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the two indices going all the way back to 1990. Over the last thirty years, the only two periods where we saw a frequency of these large daily dislocations was back in 2008 and the period spanning 2000 and 2001. In fact, with 17 days this year where the performance spread between the two indices was greater than two percentage points, the only other years that saw a higher frequency of large dislocations were 2000 (54) and 2001 (28). If you think the market has been indecisive this year, in 2000 we saw these types of daily dislocations an average of once per week.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Election Anxiety Weighs on October Market Performance

October often evokes fear on Wall Street as memories are stirred of crashes in 1929, 1987, the 554-point drop on October 27, 1997, back-to-back massacres in 1978 and 1979, Friday the 13th in 1989 and the 733-point drop on October 15, 2008. During the week ending October 10, 2008, Dow lost 1,874.19 points (18.2%), the worst weekly decline in our database going back to 1901, in percentage terms. March 2020 now holds the dubious honor of producing the worst, second and third worst DJIA weekly point declines. The term “Octoberphobia” has been used to describe the phenomenon of major market drops occurring during the month. Market calamities can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so stay on the lookout and don’t get whipsawed if it happens.
But October has become a turnaround month—a “bear killer” if you will. Twelve post-WWII bear markets have ended in October: 1946, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1987, 1990, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2011 (S&P 500 declined 19.4%). However, eight were midterm bottoms. Over the last 21 years, October’s performance has been solid. Average gains over the last 21-years range from 1.3% by Russell 1000 to 2.4% by NASDAQ. Small caps have still struggled though with Russell 2000 gaining a modest 0.5%
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Election-year Octobers rank dead last for Dow, S&P 500 (since 1952), NASDAQ (since 1972), Russell 1000, and Russell 2000 (since 1980). Eliminating gruesome 2008 from the calculation provides a moderate amount of relief, as rankings climb to mid pack. Should a meaningful decline materialize in October it is likely to be an excellent buying opportunity, especially for any depressed technology and small-cap shares.

What Have Democratic Sweeps Meant for the S&P 500?

Headed into the first presidential debate Tuesday night, betting markets (ElectionBettingOdds.com) placed Democratic candidate Joe Biden as the slight favorite to take the White House in November. The debate resulted in Biden gaining another 5 percentage point chance of winning the Presidency. As of this morning, Biden's odds to win are at 59.8% versus Trump's odds of 38.9%. Additionally, Democrats are slight favorites to win control of the Senate (58.4% to 41.5%) and big favorites to maintain the House (82.8% to 17.1%). Given these odds, in the chart below we show the average performance of the S&P 500 from the three months before Election Day through three months after Election Day for all election years post-WWII that resulted in a sweep of the executive and legislative branch by the Democrats.
As shown, on average the S&P 500 has been on the decline in the weeks leading up to Election Day, though in the days just before the Election there has been a small rally that sharply reverses once the results come in. After the initial post-Election drop, the market has trended a bit higher, but by three months after the Election, it has only found itself around the same levels as Election Day; on average a 2.6% loss versus where the index stood three months prior.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
The composite shown above is comprised of six different years: 1948, 1960, 1964, 1976, 1992, and 2008. While on average the S&P 500 has traded lower, it is not necessarily a sure-fire thing. For example, 1948 and 2008 were the only years that saw the S&P 500 trade and stay significantly lower in the wake of the election. In 1976, there was similarly a sell-off in the immediate aftermath of the election, but the index did make its way back up to the highs of that six-month time frame later on albeit no new high was put in place. Meanwhile, 1960, 1964, and 1992 all saw the S&P 500 run higher after the election even despite some periods of consolidation after initial moves higher. In our B.I.G. Tips report from Tuesday, we show these same charts for all Presidential election years post WWII including a look at the average performance given every potential election outcome.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

How Current Returns Stack Up to History

Even after September's weakness, the S&P 500's trailing 12-month total return stood at an impressive 14.9%. Given the events of the last 12 months, one could even say that performance is remarkable. What's even crazier is that the S&P 500's performance over the last 12 months is more than three times stronger than the 12 month period before that (+4.25%). The chart below compares the S&P 500's annualized total returns over the last one, two, five, ten, and twenty years and compares that performance to the historical average return of the index over those same time periods.
The S&P 500's historical average 12-month return is 11.7%, so the current 14.9% gain exceeds that average by more than three full percentage points. Over a two-year window, though, the S&P 500's annualized return of 9.4% is more than a full percentage point below the historical average. Looking further out, the S&P 500's trailing five and ten-year annualized return has been much stronger than average, which makes sense given the long bull market we were in. Over a 20 year window, though, the S&P 500 is only just starting to work off some of the declines from the dot-com bust and as a result, the 6.4% annualized gain is a four and a half percentage points below the long-term average of 10.9%.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Below we show how the current performance of the S&P 500 in each of the time frames shown compares to all other periods on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's performance over the last year, ranks just below 56th percentile of all other periods, while the two-year performance ranks just below the 42nd percentile. Even as the five and ten-year periods have seen well above average returns, they still rank in just the mid-60s on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's ranking over a 20-year time period is a completely different story ranking in single-digits on a percentile basis. Even with the equity market right near record highs, the last two decades have been forgettable for US equities.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Seasonals Are Back In Style Again

There is no denying that market seasonality has not worked so well this year. But we have been here before and history is on our side. Over the long term, intermediate term and short term market seasonality has suffered brief periods when seasonality was overridden by more powerful forces. The COVID pandemic and economic shutdown certainly qualifies. But it is only a matter of time until repetitive human behavior patterns and people and institutions return to moving money around in the usual daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and seasonal patterns.
The return of perennial September weakness is emblematic of a return to normal market behavior and a reflection of the fact that despite the continuing concerns about surges in coronavirus cases life is beginning to return to normal. In our area, about 25-30 miles north of New York City, our kids are beginning hybrid learning, playing rugby, lacrosse and other sports (yes with some COVID protocols, but tackling and facing-off), golf outings are happening and people are going to restaurants and out and about.
The chart here shows the historical One-Year Pattern of the S&P 500 Since 1950 versus 2020. The black line shows the seasonal pattern since 1950. The blue represents the pattern since 1988. We use 1988 as it is the first year after the 1987 Crash when the market underwent a major systemic change with the implementation of downside protection circuit breakers and collars. It is noteworthy how the seasonal pattern persists during both the 70-year and 31-year timeframes.
2020 is plotted on the right axis due to the magnitude of the move this year. The yellow box highlights the rebirth of seasonality this September, especially during this notoriously negative Week After Triple Witching Week as detailed page 108 of the 2020 Almanac, indicated by the two black arrows
Years like 1980, 1982, 2009 and 2016 with unseasonably early weakness and bear markets like 2020 returned to normal seasonal patterns in short order. And years like 1954, 1958, 1980, 1982, 1995 and 2009 that exhibited double-digit gains in the Worst Six Months still proceeded to deliver further sizable gains in the subsequent Best Six Months (page 52, STA 2020). We believe the return of market seasonality is upon us. So remain cautious through the end of September and be alert to Octoberophobia, but remain ready to pounce on our Best Months Seasonal MACD Buy Signal, when it triggers.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for Week Ending October 2nd, 2020

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 10.4.20

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET POSTED.)
Here are the most notable companies (tickers) reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
  • $DPZ
  • $PAYX
  • $RPM
  • $HELE
  • $AYI
  • $LEVI
  • $LW
  • $LNDC
  • $SAR
  • $EXFO
  • $RGP
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 10.5.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Monday 10.5.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Tuesday 10.6.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 10.6.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Domino's Pizza, Inc. $433.78

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.73 per share on revenue of $944.53 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.83 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 33.17% with revenue increasing by 15.07%. Short interest has decreased by 31.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 22.3% above its 200 day moving average of $354.71. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 7.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Paychex, Inc. $79.43

Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.56 per share on revenue of $895.39 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 49% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 21.13% with revenue decreasing by 9.74%. Short interest has decreased by 9.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.0% above its 200 day moving average of $74.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, September 18, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,269 contracts of the $90.00 call expiring on Friday, March 19, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 4.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

RPM International Inc. $82.64

RPM International Inc. (RPM) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.21 per share on revenue of $1.49 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.26 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.37% with revenue increasing by 1.17%. Short interest has decreased by 39.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 3.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.4% above its 200 day moving average of $73.51. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 4.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Helen of Troy Ltd. $199.83

Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.39 per share on revenue of $451.26 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 62% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 18.91% with revenue increasing by 9.00%. Short interest has decreased by 6.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.8% above its 200 day moving average of $177.13. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.9% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Acuity Brands, Inc. $105.61

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:40 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.01 per share on revenue of $814.63 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.12 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 46% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 28.21% with revenue decreasing by 13.16%. Short interest has increased by 62.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.1% above its 200 day moving average of $101.43. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 9.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Levi Strauss & Co. $14.15

Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.27 per share on revenue of $766.84 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.20) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 40% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 187.10% with revenue decreasing by 47.01%. Short interest has increased by 3.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.5% below its 200 day moving average of $14.66. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,166 contracts of the $14.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 10.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.9% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. $67.93

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (LW) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.30 per share on revenue of $877.60 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.28 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 36% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 62.03% with revenue decreasing by 11.26%. Short interest has decreased by 21.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 4.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.8% below its 200 day moving average of $69.17. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,580 contracts of the $70.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 8.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Landec Corp. $9.43

Landec Corp. (LNDC) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:20 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.11 per share on revenue of $127.86 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.09) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 41% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 31.25% with revenue decreasing by 7.82%. Short interest has decreased by 5.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 12.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.4% below its 200 day moving average of $10.30. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 16.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.6% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Saratoga Investment Corp $17.27

Saratoga Investment Corp (SAR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.47 per share on revenue of $12.95 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 48% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 30.88% with revenue decreasing by 6.75%. Short interest has decreased by 60.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.3% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

EXFO Inc. $3.24

EXFO Inc. (EXFO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.07 per share on revenue of $64.85 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.07 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 30% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 40.00% with revenue decreasing by 7.59%. Short interest has decreased by 17.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 14.7% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great trading week ahead smallstreetbets.
submitted by bigbear0083 to smallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020

Good Saturday morning to all of you here on stocks. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020.

Trump’s health and fiscal stimulus fight will steer the markets in the week ahead - (Source)

President Donald Trump’s health and the state of a fiscal stimulus package will be the main focus for markets in the coming week.
In the early morning hours Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and the first lady tested positive for Covid. Stocks sold off hard, but the S&P 500 came off its lows in Friday trading and closed down just under 1%. It was up 1.5% for the week.
The market was helped by signs that a stimulus package is still a possibility, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked airlines not to furlough workers. She promised either a stand alone aid bill, or a bigger negotiated relief legislation that would help the industry.
“The market is going to watch health updates from the White House medical staff, and it’s going to watch how the president communicates with the public,” said Julian Emanuel, head of equities and derivatives at BTIG. “Will we see him in person in the next week in any form? What’s his volume of tweets? All as a way to first gauge the severity of the case.”
Trump and Melania Trump are reported to have mild cases, but as time goes on the market will turn to how the illness could impact the presidential election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden gained slightly in the polls after the first debate Tuesday night, and now the calendar for further debates is in question. The market has seemingly warmed to Biden, and even though he would raise taxes, it is assumed Democrats would quickly pass a major infrastructure package if there is a Democratic sweep of Congress.
Trump, however, is widely seen on Wall Street as stronger on the economy and better for markets.
“What you’ve done from a campaign perspective, is you’ve taken away the thing that gives him the most energy - his ability to interact with crowds,” said Emanuel. “The president had wanted to paint the economic recovery of the last three or four months as the cornerstone, and this basically puts the virus back as topic number 1, number 2 and number 3. And it’s all the more so because the data is coming in weaker than expected.”
The market is fixated on the prospect of stimulus to help business, the unemployed and state and local governments. The House passed a $2.2 trillion package this week, but there is still no agreement with Republicans. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has pushed for a $1.6 trillion package.
“I think there’s an underlying bid under the market because nobody wants to be super short if we get a stimulus approved, but you can’t be too long in case his mild symptoms turn into severe symptoms,” said Scott Redler, partner with T3live.com. “We’re in a tough spot but overall we’re still pretty constructive.”
Emanuel said the fact the president is now ill could hurt confidence and slow down some of the improvement in the economy.
“The underlying tone is, again, whether its directly or later, there’s going to be stimulus,” Emanuel said. ”’Whether it’s this month or November, this reinforces the need for stimulus because the president falling ill signals to, at the margin, the person whose thinking about going out to dinner to think again. It’s a significant economic and psychological hindrance.”
Also coming up in the week ahead is a speech Tuesday by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to the National Association of Business Economists.
Powell is also expected to push for the stimulus package to boost the economy so the recovery does not stall.
“I think his whole objective is to try to get Congress and the Administration to sign onto a fiscal rescue package,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “He’ll all but come out and say [the recovery] is not a ‘V.’ Without additional support from lawmakers, risks are pretty high that we backtrack. I think that’s the kind of outlook he’s going to give. It’s going to be full-throated.”
September’s employment report, released Friday, was seen by some as a warning that the economy is not rebounding as expected. There were 661,000 jobs added in September, well below the 800,000 expected.
Besides Powell, there are a half dozen other Fed speakers. There are also minutes from the Fed’s last minute released Wednesday afternoon.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #2!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #3!)

Make Up Your [email protected]#$%&* Mind!

We've all had versions of this conversation where you or the person you were talking to just couldn't make up their mind. At the end of the day, it only causes trouble and plans are ruined.
The market is having its own back and forth this year trying to decide between growth and value. Just today, growth stocks are getting slaughtered while value stocks are up marginally. As an example, the Russell 1000 Growth index is down 1.8% on the day while the Russell 1000 Value index has managed to rally 0.25%. The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the Russell 1000 Growth index and the Russell 1000 Value index for each day in 2020. Today's performance spread between the two indices marks the ninth time this year that value has outperformed growth by more than two percentage points. At the other extreme, there have also been eight trading days where growth outperformed value by more than two percentage points.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
So how does this year's frequency of days where the performance spread between the two indices was more than two percentage points stack up to other years? The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the two indices going all the way back to 1990. Over the last thirty years, the only two periods where we saw a frequency of these large daily dislocations was back in 2008 and the period spanning 2000 and 2001. In fact, with 17 days this year where the performance spread between the two indices was greater than two percentage points, the only other years that saw a higher frequency of large dislocations were 2000 (54) and 2001 (28). If you think the market has been indecisive this year, in 2000 we saw these types of daily dislocations an average of once per week.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Election Anxiety Weighs on October Market Performance

October often evokes fear on Wall Street as memories are stirred of crashes in 1929, 1987, the 554-point drop on October 27, 1997, back-to-back massacres in 1978 and 1979, Friday the 13th in 1989 and the 733-point drop on October 15, 2008. During the week ending October 10, 2008, Dow lost 1,874.19 points (18.2%), the worst weekly decline in our database going back to 1901, in percentage terms. March 2020 now holds the dubious honor of producing the worst, second and third worst DJIA weekly point declines. The term “Octoberphobia” has been used to describe the phenomenon of major market drops occurring during the month. Market calamities can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so stay on the lookout and don’t get whipsawed if it happens.
But October has become a turnaround month—a “bear killer” if you will. Twelve post-WWII bear markets have ended in October: 1946, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1987, 1990, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2011 (S&P 500 declined 19.4%). However, eight were midterm bottoms. Over the last 21 years, October’s performance has been solid. Average gains over the last 21-years range from 1.3% by Russell 1000 to 2.4% by NASDAQ. Small caps have still struggled though with Russell 2000 gaining a modest 0.5%
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Election-year Octobers rank dead last for Dow, S&P 500 (since 1952), NASDAQ (since 1972), Russell 1000, and Russell 2000 (since 1980). Eliminating gruesome 2008 from the calculation provides a moderate amount of relief, as rankings climb to mid pack. Should a meaningful decline materialize in October it is likely to be an excellent buying opportunity, especially for any depressed technology and small-cap shares.

What Have Democratic Sweeps Meant for the S&P 500?

Headed into the first presidential debate Tuesday night, betting markets (ElectionBettingOdds.com) placed Democratic candidate Joe Biden as the slight favorite to take the White House in November. The debate resulted in Biden gaining another 5 percentage point chance of winning the Presidency. As of this morning, Biden's odds to win are at 59.8% versus Trump's odds of 38.9%. Additionally, Democrats are slight favorites to win control of the Senate (58.4% to 41.5%) and big favorites to maintain the House (82.8% to 17.1%). Given these odds, in the chart below we show the average performance of the S&P 500 from the three months before Election Day through three months after Election Day for all election years post-WWII that resulted in a sweep of the executive and legislative branch by the Democrats.
As shown, on average the S&P 500 has been on the decline in the weeks leading up to Election Day, though in the days just before the Election there has been a small rally that sharply reverses once the results come in. After the initial post-Election drop, the market has trended a bit higher, but by three months after the Election, it has only found itself around the same levels as Election Day; on average a 2.6% loss versus where the index stood three months prior.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
The composite shown above is comprised of six different years: 1948, 1960, 1964, 1976, 1992, and 2008. While on average the S&P 500 has traded lower, it is not necessarily a sure-fire thing. For example, 1948 and 2008 were the only years that saw the S&P 500 trade and stay significantly lower in the wake of the election. In 1976, there was similarly a sell-off in the immediate aftermath of the election, but the index did make its way back up to the highs of that six-month time frame later on albeit no new high was put in place. Meanwhile, 1960, 1964, and 1992 all saw the S&P 500 run higher after the election even despite some periods of consolidation after initial moves higher. In our B.I.G. Tips report from Tuesday, we show these same charts for all Presidential election years post WWII including a look at the average performance given every potential election outcome.
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How Current Returns Stack Up to History

Even after September's weakness, the S&P 500's trailing 12-month total return stood at an impressive 14.9%. Given the events of the last 12 months, one could even say that performance is remarkable. What's even crazier is that the S&P 500's performance over the last 12 months is more than three times stronger than the 12 month period before that (+4.25%). The chart below compares the S&P 500's annualized total returns over the last one, two, five, ten, and twenty years and compares that performance to the historical average return of the index over those same time periods.
The S&P 500's historical average 12-month return is 11.7%, so the current 14.9% gain exceeds that average by more than three full percentage points. Over a two-year window, though, the S&P 500's annualized return of 9.4% is more than a full percentage point below the historical average. Looking further out, the S&P 500's trailing five and ten-year annualized return has been much stronger than average, which makes sense given the long bull market we were in. Over a 20 year window, though, the S&P 500 is only just starting to work off some of the declines from the dot-com bust and as a result, the 6.4% annualized gain is a four and a half percentage points below the long-term average of 10.9%.
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Below we show how the current performance of the S&P 500 in each of the time frames shown compares to all other periods on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's performance over the last year, ranks just below 56th percentile of all other periods, while the two-year performance ranks just below the 42nd percentile. Even as the five and ten-year periods have seen well above average returns, they still rank in just the mid-60s on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's ranking over a 20-year time period is a completely different story ranking in single-digits on a percentile basis. Even with the equity market right near record highs, the last two decades have been forgettable for US equities.
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Seasonals Are Back In Style Again

There is no denying that market seasonality has not worked so well this year. But we have been here before and history is on our side. Over the long term, intermediate term and short term market seasonality has suffered brief periods when seasonality was overridden by more powerful forces. The COVID pandemic and economic shutdown certainly qualifies. But it is only a matter of time until repetitive human behavior patterns and people and institutions return to moving money around in the usual daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and seasonal patterns.
The return of perennial September weakness is emblematic of a return to normal market behavior and a reflection of the fact that despite the continuing concerns about surges in coronavirus cases life is beginning to return to normal. In our area, about 25-30 miles north of New York City, our kids are beginning hybrid learning, playing rugby, lacrosse and other sports (yes with some COVID protocols, but tackling and facing-off), golf outings are happening and people are going to restaurants and out and about.
The chart here shows the historical One-Year Pattern of the S&P 500 Since 1950 versus 2020. The black line shows the seasonal pattern since 1950. The blue represents the pattern since 1988. We use 1988 as it is the first year after the 1987 Crash when the market underwent a major systemic change with the implementation of downside protection circuit breakers and collars. It is noteworthy how the seasonal pattern persists during both the 70-year and 31-year timeframes.
2020 is plotted on the right axis due to the magnitude of the move this year. The yellow box highlights the rebirth of seasonality this September, especially during this notoriously negative Week After Triple Witching Week as detailed page 108 of the 2020 Almanac, indicated by the two black arrows
Years like 1980, 1982, 2009 and 2016 with unseasonably early weakness and bear markets like 2020 returned to normal seasonal patterns in short order. And years like 1954, 1958, 1980, 1982, 1995 and 2009 that exhibited double-digit gains in the Worst Six Months still proceeded to deliver further sizable gains in the subsequent Best Six Months (page 52, STA 2020). We believe the return of market seasonality is upon us. So remain cautious through the end of September and be alert to Octoberophobia, but remain ready to pounce on our Best Months Seasonal MACD Buy Signal, when it triggers.
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STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for Week Ending October 2nd, 2020

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
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STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 10.4.20

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Here are the most notable companies (tickers) reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
  • $DPZ
  • $PAYX
  • $RPM
  • $HELE
  • $AYI
  • $LEVI
  • $LW
  • $LNDC
  • $SAR
  • $EXFO
  • $RGP
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
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Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 10.5.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Monday 10.5.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Tuesday 10.6.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 10.6.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Domino's Pizza, Inc. $433.78

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.73 per share on revenue of $944.53 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.83 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 33.17% with revenue increasing by 15.07%. Short interest has decreased by 31.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 22.3% above its 200 day moving average of $354.71. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 7.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.2% move in recent quarters.

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Paychex, Inc. $79.43

Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.56 per share on revenue of $895.39 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 49% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 21.13% with revenue decreasing by 9.74%. Short interest has decreased by 9.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.0% above its 200 day moving average of $74.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, September 18, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,269 contracts of the $90.00 call expiring on Friday, March 19, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 4.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.

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RPM International Inc. $82.64

RPM International Inc. (RPM) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.21 per share on revenue of $1.49 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.26 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.37% with revenue increasing by 1.17%. Short interest has decreased by 39.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 3.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.4% above its 200 day moving average of $73.51. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 4.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.3% move in recent quarters.

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Helen of Troy Ltd. $199.83

Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.39 per share on revenue of $451.26 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 62% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 18.91% with revenue increasing by 9.00%. Short interest has decreased by 6.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.8% above its 200 day moving average of $177.13. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.9% move in recent quarters.

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Acuity Brands, Inc. $105.61

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:40 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.01 per share on revenue of $814.63 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.12 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 46% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 28.21% with revenue decreasing by 13.16%. Short interest has increased by 62.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.1% above its 200 day moving average of $101.43. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 9.0% move in recent quarters.

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Levi Strauss & Co. $14.15

Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.27 per share on revenue of $766.84 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.20) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 40% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 187.10% with revenue decreasing by 47.01%. Short interest has increased by 3.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.5% below its 200 day moving average of $14.66. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,166 contracts of the $14.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 10.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.9% move in recent quarters.

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Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. $67.93

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (LW) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.30 per share on revenue of $877.60 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.28 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 36% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 62.03% with revenue decreasing by 11.26%. Short interest has decreased by 21.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 4.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.8% below its 200 day moving average of $69.17. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,580 contracts of the $70.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 8.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.

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Landec Corp. $9.43

Landec Corp. (LNDC) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:20 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.11 per share on revenue of $127.86 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.09) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 41% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 31.25% with revenue decreasing by 7.82%. Short interest has decreased by 5.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 12.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.4% below its 200 day moving average of $10.30. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 16.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.6% move in recent quarters.

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Saratoga Investment Corp $17.27

Saratoga Investment Corp (SAR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.47 per share on revenue of $12.95 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 48% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 30.88% with revenue decreasing by 6.75%. Short interest has decreased by 60.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.3% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release.

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EXFO Inc. $3.24

EXFO Inc. (EXFO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.07 per share on revenue of $64.85 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.07 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 30% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 40.00% with revenue decreasing by 7.59%. Short interest has decreased by 17.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 14.7% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release.

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DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great trading week ahead stocks.
submitted by bigbear0083 to stocks [link] [comments]

Debris: [Part 38]

[First] [Previous] [Next]
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Mark stepped out from below X'rtani House. He never realized just how much he had missed regular exercise of the caliber he was used to. Every part of him was sore in the warm, fulfilling way the gym usually left him in. One part he still missed was the communal aspect; feeling that sense of pride in another when a New Year's newbie kept up their training, spotting for friends both below and above your weight bracket, seeing the dedication on the face of someone determined to reach their ideal physique. That sense of belonging to a community that he connected with, he missed it dearly. While it was easy for him to get back in the habit of regular exercise, it was far more daunting for him to return to a proper diet. Although the all meat menu he was relegated to provided him with more protein than he knew what to do with, T'aro's message to him earlier that day shone a light on the nutritional deficiencies he was bound to run into should he stick to the average X'erren diet. Although an air of distrust hung between the two, the points T'aro raised were too valid to rightly ignore. It took a bit of Flow browsing to find an operator's manual for the omni-cooker in the kitchen, but once he knew exactly what features the appliance had and how to use them, it was fairly simple to whip up a surprisingly filling meal out of three different varieties of meat and a nutritional supplement sauce that was to be portioned with meals; it tasted bitter in a way he hadn't encountered before, but it wasn't entirely unpleasant.
Passing the cafeteria, he waved to Arnd, who was in the middle of her morning breakfast and browse routine. The person to receive the greeting, however, was not the distracted Arnd, but a Rilk'r who had just deposited his used tray. <"Hey, Mark! How's it going? You got that bank card yet?">
"Not yet, but I reckon I'll have it soon. I just need to find a break in my schedule long enough to get out to the bank and get it done; that shouldn't be too hard." That express permission to walk the city streets he received from T'aro went a long way to improving Mark's overall mood. Yet in knowing the very real threat posed by less open minded figures in the political sphere, Mark's eagerness to utilize his newfound freedom was tempered, at least for the moment.
<"Shame. But still, you got a moment? It's about your ship.">
"... Alright." Mark replied, taking a seat at a nearby table.
Rilk'r joined him. <"So, it took some serious trial and error, what with alien circuits and language and all, but we managed to get your cockpit up and running. Given how compact the whole thing really is, I imagine your ship's main computer would've been kept somewhere else on the ship?">
"Yeah, just below the main deck." Insofar as it could have been called a main deck: a cramped space accessed from a short corridor leading from the cockpit's main hatch with a single swiveling chair, the main store of rations, and a computer terminal.
<"I thought as much, we couldn't access anything but a few basic flight aides and diagnostics. It's a wonder you managed to get that thing off the ground, let alone out here with backup programs that bare.">
"It wasn't my job to program the interface, I just worked with it."
<"First thing, the first thing you make sure of is that there are sufficient redundancies!"> he preached, slapping the table. <"A proper craft wouldn't make it through its first iteration without them these days. How long were they developing that thing for?">
"It was in the pipeline for a while, but proper development went on for about twelve years. Apparently we went over budget by quite a ways before I stepped into the pilot's seat."
<"Well that explains a lot. It took us a few decades to nail our first Slipspace capable craft. Over two hundred unsuccessful tests if I remember right."> It had been a few years since he last read up on the history of Slipspace travel.
"Well, looking at it all objectively, I think we did pretty good for our first field test."
Rilk'r paused. <"Come again?">
"... Looking at it all objectively, I think we did pretty good for our first field test."
Rilk'r's eyes narrowed. <"... This was your first test?">
"Field test." Mark assured him. "We ran... I think it was close to a million simulations? This was just the first practical test flight. The suits wanted to prove to the public that it was safe for actual people to pilot it and, given the fact that I'm here at all, I think they're on to something." Whether Mark wanted them to be on to something or not, he was still deciding.
Arnd walked past, her breakfast having been just as unsubstantial as usual. She tried to pay no attention to the conversation or the pair engaged in it.
Rilk'r 's face lit up in disbelief. <"Are they mad on top of having no damn clue what they're doing?! You were drifting in the void! If we weren't on our way to Men-te, you'd be dead!">
Mark sombered a little. "Yeah... probably."
Arnd paused, grit her teeth and chastised herself for not realizing it sooner. <"You owe me."> she grumbled over her shoulder, and walked off into the bar.
Rilk'r blinked. <"Are you two okay?">
Mark blinked. "I... don't know. Which is kind of a bummer because she's teaching the lesson on the spirits of the land and their history I have in... right now." He jumped out of the seat and made after Arnd. "Nice chatting with you, Rilk'r!"
Rilk'r stared stupidly at the door for a long moment. He still had a million questions on his mind: What was the rest of Mark's ship like? What could it do? How did they go about achieving Slipspace tech? He resigned himself to waiting yet again for answers, and strode off toward the elevators.
Uns'la, waiting while leant on the banister, linked up with her friend as he passed. <"So, what'd you find out from Tiny?">
<"That humans are insane.">

<"... From there, the wobunil is yanked from the mountainside, where it falls to its death. While scientists have since confirmed that the animal's death was usually instant upon impact, committees expressed concern that this method was unduly cruel to the animals, sparking innovations in lasso design and technique that ensured the initial tightening of the rope around the wobunil's neck instantly snaps the spinal cord, leading to an instant and painless death without upsetting the animal."> read Arnd deadpan, verbatim from the article on her device. She and Mark hadn't uttered a single non-lesson related word to each other since Mark arrived, which was fine by her.
Mark, however, grew increasingly concerned at his teacher's disposition. Bound as he was to his word in regards to Arnd dealing with herself, he couldn't help but feel that if nothing was done, their dynamic would soon become openly hostile. This concern wasn't aided by the fact that Arnd neglected to wait for him to board the shuttle before leaving. "Uh-"
<"Yes?"> she snapped. Any motherly hint her voice usually carried during lessons had vanished entirely, with apathy taking it's place.
"I... was just wondering... why am I being taught this? I don't picture myself scaling mountainsides hunting these lumpy things any time soon." Mark knew his improvisation was going to fail him one day.
Today was not that day. <"The cultural significance of wobunil hunting has persisted until today. Many architects hide small wobunil statues and carvings in the high places of their works to both honor where we came from as a nation and to bestow upon their works the watchful protection of the wobunil's spirit."> She stared at him as though her eyes could carve her words into his brain. <"Now keep pace with those notes of yours, I won't be repeating myself.">
"Yes, sir."
The lesson stretched on. From the wobunil delicately climbing steep mountainsides to the kaoul stalking their way along tide-filtered beaches and all the myriad creatures in between, Mark came to learn of their behaviour, natural and adapted habitats, the sweeping variety of hunting methods each beast required, and the spiritual significance they carried.
"... and sprinkling powdered palute carapace into the mortar as it's laid is said to bestow the brickwork with unnatural strength as befitting of the beast from which the material came." recited Mark after three long hours of notation and recital.
Arnd looked on him a moment. <"Good. We're done here."> She changed the channel to a paused film she was watching before breakfast and took a seat on her sofa. The movie continued, with Arnd saying nothing and throwing not so much as a brief glance in Mark's direction. The human took the hint, and made for the door.
He paused as he reached for the button. "Arnd."
Nothing.
"Arnd." he repeated.
<"Yes?">
"I owe a debt to you. I have a good idea of what it is, but it doesn't matter. What can I do to repay it?"
Arnd paused the film and breathed. <"Just leave me alone."> She wanted to say: 'Just leave me alone and stop making it so damn complicated.'
Mark understood. "See you tomorrow." he said weakly before leaving.
A silent minute after the door closed behind the human, Arnd scrunched her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose. <"Four days, Arnd. Just four more days. You can do this."> she muttered to herself reassuringly. She wasn't entirely convinced. She continued the film, trying to return to the captivation she felt before Mark arrived as she watched a pair of lovers, battered and bruised, crawl agonizingly toward each other.
...
Arnd groaned aloud and shut the film off. Soon, she had quickly hashed out her daily report, but by that time, any desire she had to continue the film had drained from her. Frustrated, she randomly flipped through channels until something caught her eye. When she realized what she was looking at, she felt the overpowering urge to scream in blinding rage.
~~~
The prison yard was abuzz with activity. Beyond the typical swathes of women exercising, engaging in a number of sports, and the occasional fight between more disruptive prisoners, chat abounded of the new developments happening below on Kerc-en. A new tabloid segment comprised of clips submitted by the general public paired with sensationalist commentary. Everyone watching knew that it was little more than a trashy cash grab capitalizing on current events, but the content presented struck just the right nerve to keep their attention: MarkWatch.
Everything from Mark's poorly-hidden curiosity, to the lavish suits he and Arnd wore, to even the route they took, nothing showcased in the programme was left unmentioned in the yard. Behn paid it no mind, and focused on making laps of the yard. Of course she'd seen the programme, it aired during lunchtime, and the guards seemed bent on keeping everyone up to speed. Of course she'd watched as her mother guided Mark through the city. Of course she saw her wearing something classier than anything she ever wore on special occasions, like graduations, or birthdays, if she even attended in the first place. Behn slowed after realizing that her stable jog had turned into a rage-fueled sprint that drew unwanted attention from across both yards, and decided then and there that she had run enough. She slathered her neck and back as she made for the benches outside the joffur court, eager to get all of this out of her mind.
<"So,"> spoke Wora curiously, sidling up beside Behn after spectating a scuffle happening across the yard that necessitated the intervention of several guards to break up. <"did you see your mum on TV earlier?">
<"Yes."> Her glare had knives in it.
<"Okay..."> Wora sat down next to Behn. <"Do you wanna talk about it?">
The pair sat in silence a long while, staring out at the twinkling stars beyond everything she had ever known and plundered. <"She..."> Behn began, her tone somber. <"She's a hard worker. Too hard a worker. I don't remember my first few years, I was too young. But I remember, when I was... I want to say six, when a sitter came over. Mum ruffled the fur on my cheeks, said goodbye, and was gone for three weeks. I cried when she returned, I'd missed her.">
There was a pause, and Wora took in the words. She didn't expect this, and wasn't used to it either.
<"Then things were fine for a month or so. She helped with homework when I got home from school; she couldn't cook to save her life, but she always got good food on the table; she'd take me out to the fair or to the markets up in the Wings. It was fun. Then she left again, and I was being taken care of by the sitter again. She- Gon'on was her name, Gon'on wasn't nasty at all, she was actually really nice. She could cook, for one, and damn well, too. She'd do everything that Mum did, Mum didn't want her to feel like a stranger. And after a while, she didn't. It was like she was always there, like she was family. And for a few years, that's how it went: Mum would be my parent for about a month, then she'd leave for work, and Gon'on would take her place for a few weeks. It was unorthodox, but it worked. Then Mum left for five weeks, then six, then a month, with shorter home visits in between.">
<"I take it your dad wasn't in the picture?"> Wora slammed her mouth shut too late to stop herself from blurting out her words.
<"No, he wasn't."> Wora breathed a sigh of relief. <"He and Mum broke up before I was born, Mum found out he was cheating and kicked him out. After some pestering, I managed to get in contact with him and, while he's absolutely a shitheel, he wasn't quite as bad as Mum made him out to be. Turned out he was the grandson of some CEO, so I can see where he got his assholery from. I'm getting off track.
<"So, Mum'd be gone longer and longer, and Gon'on was always there in her place. Eventually, I got too old to have a sitter over, and I'd be left alone to wait for her to get back. I invited Gon'on over anyway. She taught me how to cook, how to take care of the house, everything. After a while, she became more of a mother to me than Mum was. Then she died. Turns out she was using her paychecks to pay off a gang debt, and when the money stopped coming in, the gang did."> Wora kept her mouth shut, that sounded vaguely like something she heard her boyfriend say to his gang buddies in another room. <"I resented Mum for that for a while, but I eventually got over it all, she didn't know about any of that gang stuff. Didn't stop her from leaving for a month and a half at a time; that, I continued to resent her for. But I always thought that one day, things might change. Until one day, after two months on the job, she walked in, threw off her uniform, and went to bed. No 'Hi Behn' or 'Sorry I was gone so long', nothing, like I wasn't even there. She left for work the next day and didn't come back for a month, didn't notice me as she left, either. It got to the point that I had to see her at the hangar if I was gonna see her at all, and sometimes I didn't even get that.">
Wora sat, stunned at what she was hearing. <"I... wow. What the fuck is wrong with her?">
Behn opened her mouth to speak, her fangs subtly bared, but slowly shut it. <"The- the thing is that, I know she genuinely loves me. She made sure I never ran out of funds to take care of myself, and every time she was there for me, she'd make it count. She told me that everything she did, she did for me, and I believe it. Wasn't enough, though. I appreciate what she did for me, I don't doubt that it was tough, but it doesn't make up for what amounts to willingly removing herself from my life, nothing she can do is going to make up for it."> She stared at the ground, an anguished grimace on her face.
Wora hesitated a moment before laying a hand on Behn's shoulder. An alarm sounded, signaling the prisoners to return to the building. No more words were said between the women, and they walked back to the complex together.

Wrath: Chapter 8. Verse 10.
Wey'sai spoke unto the chiefs' armies: <"Know that I am returned. Lay your weapons down and know the peace I offer.">
The chiefs replied: <"I would sooner welcome death than permit the heathens to live!"> and drew their blades.
Armies clashed and blood was spilt. Naught a man unbroken existed upon the field ere day's end.
Wey'sai looked upon the ruins, and wept.
Ledrn collected his meal and began making his way to his seat when a man slid into his periphery.
Ledrn remained silent, staring ahead. He had finally grown confident enough in his ability to use his non-dominant hand to begin exercising again, not that there was much to do besides during yard times. The extra physical activity didn't stop him from thinking, however, as he had thoroughly planned out his ongoing narrative for the psychiatrist, his righteous outburst two days ago be damned. All he had left to do on that front is execute. Yet the issue of the administration not taking the demon's growing favour remained as yet unsolved, and it was proving difficult to formulate a solution.
He reached a lonely table and sat. The man sat down opposite him, remaining silent. He didn't touch his food, or appear to have food. Ledrn looked up from his tray and saw a face he last remembered seeing behind a humming laser grid.
<"Hello."> said Ser'ke.
<"Pirate."> replied Ledrn with disdain. An ember floated in his mind, dim and unnoticed.
<"Former, I want to atone.">
Ledrn raised an eyebrow, it had been quite some time since he was looked up to as an authority in any capacity that wasn't related to security. <"Then you will stay out of trouble and remain true to the Holy Wisdom.">
<"Y-yes."> Ser'ke stammered. He began to eat, a look of subdued regret on his face. <"I should have listened to you back on that ship. I should have believed you when you told me it was a demon.">
Ledrn fought to keep his eyes from widening. Part of him wanted to ask the man to confirm his statement, but he thought better. <"Indeed. Pale as in death and with might unnatural, a twisted and vicious mockery of the souls we lost. It should be obvious to anyone.">
<"Of course."> He paused, considering his words. <"Should- should I inform the others?">
Ledrn laid his utensils down, his meal finished. <"Do what you believe to be just. I'm glad we were able to reconcile, no matter how little. Good day."> The pair nodded to each other, and Ledrn took his tray to the disposal chute. His thoughts turned again to the future of the cause; the ember had struck home, and a fire alighted.
~~~
Being locked out of X'rtan Freight's database hadn't stopped Du'fra from spending every spare moment he had in combing public records, searching for any sign of money that shouldn't be there. That, however, didn't stop Du'fra's search from being ultimately fruitless. High-ranking figures in the company spent frivolously, but that was already in line with their previous purchasing habits, and with no significant change in expense. He could glean little else, as the details of his opposition's bank accounts were private, and their net worth, so far as the public was permitted to know, was fairly standard in terms of growth for people in their wealth bracket. This didn't deter Du'fra, who turned to every remaining company contact he had, the list of which, as he soon found out, was far slimmer than he either wanted or expected. These too proved of little use, with each either deflecting, speaking around the question, or openly calling him out on what could debatably be called ill-advised managerial decisions. None of them, it was clear, cared as much about the company as he. Regardless of these numerous setbacks, Du'fra's determination to see the company he loved survive remained, and he sped off in the cold night to save it. Lu'su had to believe him.
He arrived at Lu'su's abode, dressed and groomed more immaculately than he ever had before. He strode determinedly past the doorman and into the building, where already the company's elite feigned raucous laughter at Lu'su's increasingly stale jokes and stories. Du'fra rounded the corner into the open lounge and found, to his shock, that Lu'su was not present. Rather, a large hologram projected in the center of the room depicted the man laid in a bed. Lu'su rotated, looking down at the men assembled in a circle around the image, once again relaying his tale of wartime bravado, when he locked eyes on Du'fra. Immediately, his look of nostalgic joy turned to an upset scowl. <"What are you doing here, son?"> he said, his voice raspier than usual.
Du'fra shook off his initial shock. <"Chief, I've come to tell you that the men assembled here have been embezzling company funds and have been doing so for years now! Careful inspection of the company's financial records show a slow decline in profits that's in stark contrast to the growing rate of incoming contracts! Maintenance, refurbishing, and the costs of new hires and equipment don't make up so much as a tenth of the money that's being lost here! And it all travels through the hands of these men before anything else! Chief, you have to believe me!">
<"On what proof, Neem? I've recently performed an inspection of the financial records and have found nothing of what you claim."> The elder snapped back, coughing as he did. At these words, Du'fra's heart sank. <"And besides, how am I to trust the word of a clear bigot? Mister Vuk'li here shared with me a quite telling snippet of security footage corroborated by numerous people both working under him and not. Far more substantial than your claims.">
Du'fra didn't hear the man's words past the first sentence, his mind was reeling. <'It was in the heat of the moment, I didn't mean it! I couldn't let them ruin this company! It- it's X'rtan Freight, not X'oland Freight!'> The little hope he had left after it was dashed by the CEO's words was burned away, leaving nothing in it's place.
Lu'su's scowl deepened. <"I do not permit bigots to work in my company, especially bigots who make mistakes as disastrous as letting go of what could very well be the single most important woman of our age!"> The coughing returned, escalating into violent hacking.
<"Get some rest, Chief, I'll make sure the guards escort him out."> spoke Vuk'li, standing from his seat
Lu'su composed himself. <"See that you do. Goodbye, Mister Neem."> The hologram vanished.
<"What. Is. Going. On?"> growled Du'fra, hate dripping from every syllable.
<"The Chief caught a minor illness some days ago. If it were any of us, I wouldn't doubt that we'd shake it off no problem, but at his age, well, he's not doing so well. He can't effectively run a company from his bed while coughing his guts up, so somebody had to take up the responsibility, and he was all too happy to hand it to me."> His smugness was echoed by his cohorts, chuckling among themselves.
Du'fra's fangs were on full display, and his eyes were wild with fury, bathing everything he saw in a blood-yellow hue. <"How fucking dare you?! You're bleeding the company dry, the same company that probably helped pay for the houses your employees grew up in, the same company that has sent aid to countless worlds in crisis! How dare you pervert it, you parasitic monster?!">
<"I'm a businessman, Neem, I do business, and I do it well."> He raised his hands and clapped loud enough to send the sound echoing off the walls. <"Guards! We have an unwanted guest causing trouble for us and Mister Lu'su, please remove him from the premises!">
And once again, before he knew it, his wrists were clapped in restraints behind his back and he was being dragged off, with no amount of writing and struggling slowing the sentry any.
<"Expect a defamation suit in the mail, Neem. See you in court."> sneered Vuk'li as he watched Du'fra being lugged away, flashing the tips of his fangs in a thin and cruel smile.
<'You want to make it legal, Vuk'li? Fine.'> though Du'fra, recognizing his lone remaining chance at staying in this ruthless game. He found his feet, and slowly righted himself as much as he could in the guard's unshakable grip. <"I declare Kre'gadol!"> he bellowed. A moment of shocked silence followed, then a chorus of laughter the likes of which Lu'su never genuinely received rang out in the hall, all the crueler for its authenticity. Drink was spilled and glasses were carelessly dropped to the floor as the elite fell into the throes of laughter, with some threatening even to fall out of their chairs. Demoralization of that caliber was not something Du'fra had ever encountered, but it hit all the same, and he shut his eyes, doing all he could to keep from weeping.
Then a voice rose over the top of the mad cackling that threw a silence over all in earshot. <"I accept!"> Vuk'li stepped forward, a look of fiendish curiosity on his face. <"You're that desperate to cling to this company? Alright, I'll bite. I'm more than confident that my lawyers can shoot down a premeditated attack charge and if they can't, it's not like I'm hurting for bail money."> he chuckled. Du'fra found a new hope to cling on to, and he stood up straight, staring his opponent down.
Vuk'li's expression hardened. <"But if we're going to do this, we're doing it legit: No interference">—Vuk'li shot a glance to his co-conspirators, his gaze genuine—<"no lethal strikes, with proper mediation and documentation. I'm giving you one chance to reconsider. Is this the path you want to take?">
<"Yes it is!"> Du'fra snapped, puffing out his chest. The shackles binding him were released at a nod by Vuk'li. The pair stared each other down, and knew that there was no going back from this.

The room was made suitable, every obstacle being removed from the center of the room, leaving a circular ring with only a short hologram projector in the center remaining, a feature accepted by both combatants. The guard was tasked with being the impartial judge, and the abode's security system was tuned to document the match. Vuk'li's coworkers sat on the sidelines, quietly making bets among themselves, as was their opportunistic nature.
In the center of the room, to one side of the projector, Du'fra and Vuk'li stared each other down. They had each removed each other's shirts and jackets, laying them over their opponent's shoulders as representative of the final, thin thread keeping them tied to the peace that came with civilization. The pair each gripped one end of their tops, eager and twitching to throw them off at any moment.
Du'fra eyed up his opponent. <'There's no getting around it, he's in far better shape than myself. That, and his ethnically consistent height brings with it a big range advantage. Thing is, I'm not only much, much heavier than he is, I have far more to lose. I'm not giving up until this company is safe, or I'm dead.'> He tensed in anticipation.
The guard stomped, demanding attention. <"The fighters will step forward!">
Du'fra and Vuk'li complied, neither daring to break the stare.
<"The fighters will now vow to honor the sanctity of this duel!">
Du'fra and Vuk'li each extended their right hands, and touched each other's chests with tightly balled fists. <"This duel is sacred, and it shall be respected as such. I vow to fight with honor and purpose."> spoke both fighters in unison.
<"Return to the starting distance!"> bellowed the guard.
The two combatants obeyed, and a long, slow silence followed. Each fighter stood still as a statue, not risking even the slightest show of weakness. Their eyes remained locked as though in a duel of their own: Vuk'li's calm superiority versus Du'fra's impassioned vigor. The quiet dragged on.
<"Begin!">
<"Kre'gadol!"> The two combatants threw their garments away, and the duel began.
Du'fra charged, keeping his arms high to guard his head as he quickly closed the distance. Vuk'li anticipated this, sidestepping and kicking upward into Du'fra's exposed belly; the blow knocking the wind out of him made Du'fra realize that his opponent's arrogance was somewhat justified. Du'fra capitalized, however, by catching Vuk'li's leg in an arm lock and pulling him in closer; he threw a haymaker that connected with Vuk'li's jaw, much to his satisfaction.
With his advantageous position inside his opponent's range, Du'fra kept the pressure on, lashing out with blow after blow, repeatedly hammering and slashing Vuk'li with his fists and talons wherever he could find an opening. This streak was ended with a single well placed knee to the chin by Vuk'li, followed up with a swift, toe-led kick to the stomach, driving his talons into Du'fra's blubbery abdomen. Du'fra cried in pain, and once again grabbed Vuk'li's leg. This time, he forcibly wrenched backward, forcing Vuk'li to topple to the floor, whereupon Du'fra dived upon him.
And the two wrestled on the floor, with Du'fra holding much of an advantage thanks to his considerable bulk, but said bulk and related health issues were starting to catch up with him, and his momentum waned. Before long, Du'fra found himself powerless to resist Vuk'li's legs mightily kicking him off the businessman, sending him sprawling backward onto the projector. Winded and with stamina rapidly draining, Du'fra laid on the projector a moment to catch his breath.
A moment was all Vuk'li needed. Quickly righting himself, Vuk'li bolted around the projector and with one quick, violent, viscerally satisfying stamp downward, broke Du'fra's left arm over the projector's edge with a sickening snap. The audience and guard winced while Du'fra wailed in excruciating agony.
The guard stepped forward to end the duel, but Du'fra forced his body up and into a standing position opposite the projector to Vuk'li, and shot a death glare and the man. The guard backed off just in time for Vuk'li to once again speed around the center obstacle and land a vicious strike on an off-guard Du'fra; a claw swipe across his right cheek.
Du'fra, fresh adrenaline surging through his body, reacted before Vuk'li could step outside his range, and pinned Vuk'li's foot to the floor with his own. Vuk'li lashed out with a left straight, leaving his side wide open to a heavy kick from Du'fra, driving his talons into Vuk'li's exposed obliques. But, in the moment following, where his face was on the receiving end of Vuk'li raining blows down upon it, Du'fra realized that his spike of adrenaline had just expired. The sound in his ears grew muffled as one last punch hit home, the face of its furious deliverer remained etched into his sight for a moment before all he could see was black.

Du'fra's eyelids fluttered. He was wrapped in a cocoon of throbbing pain, but felt that he was cushioned by soft bedding. His eyes shot open to a stark white light. He looked down and saw a hospital bed. He took a moment to recall what had just happened. He began to sob, curling into a ball beneath the sheets. Everything he had done, he had done for the company, the company that rescued him and his family from poverty, the company that was now in the hands of the men who would see it burn if the ashes helped to line their pockets. His sorrow turned slowly into hot, simmering rage, his conviction to fight and die for the company was all too real. But he knew that his anger would have nowhere to go; as of now, and with the defamation suit that would inevitably tarnish his reputation, Vuk'li was untouchable. Du'fra's eyes narrowed, his pupils constricting as his anger boiled over into a focused and dangerous mania. <'If I can't yet punch upward,'> he thought in his manic rage. <'I'll just have to begin by punching downward.'>
At this thought, his injuries flared again, shocking him into unconsciousness. As his consciousness faded, a name came to his mind, a name that by now every x'erren alive knew. It was all too perfect, the woman that was the crux of Vuk'li's masterstroke had to be working with him. The salvation of X'rtan Freight would begin with her.
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submitted by TheAusNerd to HFY [link] [comments]

Blunt Resume Advice for Recent Graduates in Technical Fields

I have reviewed a lot of resumes over the past several years. I have had more than my fair share of jobs in the technology industry where I have been both a job applicant and hiring manager. In recent years I have returned to academia where I get to help students prepare for that job market. I keep seeing the same missteps and offering the same advice on the matter so I thought I would right this up. ADMINS feel free to pin.
Now as a disclaimer before I begin. I am speaking ONLY about my experience in the Computing technology sector (Finance, Pharma, Telecom, and Marketing). Much of this will probably apply to similar or adjacent fields. Design or office administration jobs probably none of it.
EDIT: This is LONG. Be sure to have your resume handy when you go through it so you can edit as you go. Stick around for the end where I added a sample technical resume.
TL;DR: Think like a hiring manager, focus on what they want to see. You are ultimately going to be a cog in a machine for the first few years so leave off all of the fluff. Be clear, concise and focused. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SKILLS.

Objectives / Summary

Let me begin by addressing my biggest pet peeve: Objectives. I don’t know who keeps recommending this for resumes for anyone other than Vice President or “C” level executives. Your objective is irrelevant to the company. Your objective is to do whatever you are asked to do in order to get the job. Your objective is to be the best damned cog in the machine as you can be because that is what you are being hired to be. No one cares what the Cog wants to achieve in this role. There will come a time when it is more important. Your first post-college job is not it. Sorry, not sorry.

Education

If you graduate in an off month (Not may or june) then don’t list the month, people assume the worst. "BUT ProfessorOfLies, I had a really good reason for taking that extra semester!" It was because of my [internship|pandemic|family emergency|Early Graduation|Whatever]. It doesn’t matter. Anything you need to explain on your resume, you will never get a chance to.
Don’t list GPA unless over 3.5. Know what it is. If an employer asks then answer truthfully, but do not volunteer it.
Associates Degrees are made irrelevant by your bachelors degree IF it is in the same field. IE: your BCC degree in CS is no longer worth mentioning after your CS degree from NJIT/Rutgers/Steven’s. Now you got your associate degree in MATH and then a Bachelors in CS. YES advertise that!

Skills

Skills are the most important part of your resume. Some people might say work experience but the things that are important from your work experience are the SKILLS you applied and learned while on the job. What any hiring manager wants to see is if the applicant can fit the hole in their team. They need a set of skills to get a job done and they want to get the best candidate that they can with those skills. So make sure your skills are right near the top of your resume. Make sure every project and job you have had reinforces those skills. Your resume should say “I have these skills and LOOK at all the ways I have demonstrated that I have these skills!”
To that effect I would suggest making sure your skills section is easy to read and categorized for convenient skimming. For example:
SKILLS
Programming Languages: C/C++, Java, C#
Scripting Languages: HTML/CSS/Javascript, PHP, Python, Perl, BASH
System Administration: Windows (Server, 10, 7), Linux (RedHat, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu), Solaris
Database Administration: MySQL, SQLite, Oracle, MangoDB
Project Management: JIRA, Trello, Git, AGILE, SCRUM
Skills should be listed from MOST proficient to least proficient. In general for a technical resume I would shy away from using qualifying language. Proficient in, experienced with, once read about it in a textbook, etc. The reality is that if you put it on your resume you better be at least proficient in it enough to answer interview questions about it. Google interview questions for each skill you list. Make sure you are prepared to answer them. If you are not then don’t list them, if you are close then STUDY until you are prepared.
Read through job sites. Technology evolves constantly. Buzzwords change. New things become popular. Classwork doesn’t always make it clear what things you do in class are worth mentioning and which are not. So read through the job descriptions. Take note of the skills that they are looking for. Perhaps you have some but didn’t mention them in your resume because you thought that it wasn't relevant. Maybe you had it down, but described it in a different or outdated way. Adapt the resume to the job description (BUT DON’T LIE).
Human languages (as opposed to programming languages) DO require qualifying language. Having taken a French class in high school is not the same as a native speaker. Being fluent in a language means more than a casual speaker. If you mention a language make sure you list your level in the language. It may actually help if you are applying for a company that has business dealings in different languages.
NOTE: IF you mention a non-English language, be sure to mention English and your level in it. You may think that English is a given, it is not. People will also assume that if you know another language that your English skills are probably poor. So PLEASE remember to list English and your level in it. Especially if you grew up in a bilingual household.
EDIT: I don't want to forget to mention that if you come from a technical field you do NOT need to mention Office as a skill. That is a muggle skill, we are better than that.

Work Experience

Work experience can be a tough one for a college student. Not everyone can get or afford to take an internship or co-op. Sometimes your work is hard to justify on your resume. There is pressure to list every job you have ever had, but the reality is that it is just not necessary.
If you have had a string of retail / clerk jobs, you really don’t have to show them all. Pick the most recent one to list. IF you managed to do anything related to the field (Helped with the company website for instance) then list that as a bullet, but do not feel the need to go into detail about it. We all know what hell you go through. The only purpose this serves is to show employers that yes indeed you can hold a job.
For each job you held you want to list the standard information in the top line for it: Company, Title, Location, Dates (year - year is fine unless you NEED to be more granular because you worked a few in the same year). Then a BRIEF one line description of the role. You can even leave it off if you are doing that clerk job (Sales Associate at BLAH).
Then you want to list 2 or 3 bullets about your SPECIFIC accomplishments while in that role. Resist the urge to go through ALL the responsibilities you had in the role. Yes there is paperwork and teamwork and meetings and documentation in every role. Those are not going to highlight your technical skills!
Example entry:
Back End Developer, South Hill Apparel Newark, NJ Summer 2019
Supported and developed new features for the remote procedure calls for retail websites.
Note how each bullet mentions what the achievement was and then name drops the technical skills used in the process. This will now reinforce the assertion that your skills in Node.js, MYSQL, ZeroMQ, AWS, and Google Dart are legit.

Projects

Passion projects, Hackathon / Game Jam projects, and class projects are excellent things to put on the resume. Treat them like jobs (But make sure they are under the correct category) in formatting. Since few college students would have had relevant work experience you really want to focus on the projects section. This is something that I wish I knew when I was a recent graduate. I never had an internship but I had a TON of passion projects.
Not only will projects show that you have experience in the skills you are claiming, but it will also tell the employer that you are actually INTERESTED in the field you want to work in. That you will constantly be learning new skills and technologies that may benefit the company. Your projects will likely have exposed you to things not mentioned in the rest of the resume that could pay out in the future.

Professional Associations

If you belong to one of the industry related professional societies, be sure to list them. I am talking specifically about IEEE, ACM, IGDA, etc. For other extra curricular activities see the section below (Spoilers: DON’T list them). These will again show that you are serious about your interests in the field.

Conclusion

At this point I have gone over everything that SHOULD be in a resume (everything after Objective that is). As a new job seeker I would even recommend it be in that order:
Education, Skills, Work Experience, Projects, and Professional Associations. The minute you have that industry job though, Put Work Experience at the top and move Education to the bottom.
You may be wondering at this point that I left some things out. If you keep reading below "Additional Thoughts" you will see what I left out and why.

Additional Thoughts

One Page Resume

The one page resume is largely a thing of the past. When the most common way to get your resume in front of an employer was to attend a career fair or trade show, the one page resume made more sense. You basically need it to be your elevator pitch and no one at a busy fair wants to go through a long resume.
These days we mostly distribute resumes digitally (PLEASE USE PDF, not DOC) and the hiring managers will go through them in bulk when they have time to think. This doesn’t mean you should be sending out 5 page documents, ain’t no one got time to go through that. But if your resume goes over a page up to a full second page I would not worry.
Now Career fairs and trade shows ARE still a thing. So have a 1 page version of your resume with ample copies printed out when you attend these events. Do not be surprised if you hand a recruiter your resume, they read it for a minute and then go, “This looks great, here is my card. Email it to me” or “This looks great, here is the company job site, please apply and mention my name.” THEN when you send in your digital resume, send in the full resume.

Never Submit the same resume twice

EVERY time you apply for a job, look at the job posting. Match your resume as best as you can to the description. Use their language. Highlight the skills that they are looking for, cut down things that are not relevant to that specific job. Even if you apply to the same company more than once, each position should get a tailor made resume.
Hell make a MASTER resume with EVERYTHING you have ever done that might be relevant. And then cut it down to suit a job in question.

If you have to explain something, you will never get the chance

I mentioned this in the education section, but this bears repeating. The resume is a filter of sorts, so if something looks OFF, it will be thrown out. You may have an EXCELLENT reason for including something weird or off, but you will never get a chance to defend it. Just do yourself a favor and don’t put it on the resume. Maybe it will come up during the interview, and if so then you can give a full explanation and maybe the thing will work out for you.

Cover Letters

This is where you would put that fluff you wrote for your objective btw. But no one reads them. Even when they are required, no one actually reads them. Do you know when people read them? When you made a glaring mistake on them. Applying for a job at Prudential but accidentally mentioned how much you want to work for FedEx? Well you can bet someone WILL read it that time.
Write a good heartfelt cover letter for a job at a company that you really want to work for, and then adapt it to the job you are applying for. AND THEN PROOFREAD IT. I can’t stress this enough READ IT, adapt it, and make sure it makes sense because no one really cares what you wrote it in unless you made a HUGE careless mistake.

Github

Definitely have a github with examples of your work. Try to curate it to show your best, but a few old projects that were not great are fine and can show your growth. Finally public repos give programmers the ability to have a portfolio. Also try to make sure your username is sanitary. I can get away with EngineerOfLies because I have been in the industry long enough. You can't. At least not yet.

LinkedIn

Make sure you have a LinkedIn page and DO NOT TREAT IT LIKE FACEBOOK. LinkedIn is like your living resume. Treat it as such. Make sure it's up to date and leave your personal life and politics off of it.
And a side note: Make sure your FB is set to Friends only. You WILL be looked up on there. Sanitize it.

Relevant Courses

This is something that I see a lot on resumes from students. You are rightfully proud of the work you did in your undergraduate degree however, listing the courses doesn’t really help you on your resume. If you are being considered for a position then they will request your transcript and it will all be there. Before that though you need to show that you have the skills that they care about. “But ProfessorOfLies,” I hear you say, “I did some excellent relevant work in those courses!” And you are right, but the way to showcase that work is with the PROJECTS section. You can hone in on that one gem of a project you did in that class without mentioning the class title.
Note on class prefixes and numbers: Even when listing class work under the projects section DO NOT use the prefix and course numbers. NO ONE OUTSIDE YOUR UNIVERSITY KNOWS WHAT CS 345 IS! Hell most people IN your university won’t know what that is.
Note on class titles: Most course titles are generic and vague by design. When we propose a course we need to future proof ourselves. Technologies change all the time and even methodologies come and go. So when we make a course title and description we tend to make them generic enough to not require updating when technology does. Also these courses have to get through committees staffed by faculty from different departments. Sometimes interdepartmental politics will mutate a course title into something ridiculous because of some petty squabble. So when mentioning a class (under the projects section) use a DESCRIPTIVE title not the authentic one if the authentic one is weird. The actual title will be seen on your transcript.

Graphics

Just a reminder that all of this advice is for a technical resume. This may not apply to graphic designers, web designers, UX designers, Writers, Administrators, etc. With that said, DO NOT PUT GRAPHICS ON YOUR RESUME! You may think that logos may look nice or highlight the big name companies you interned for, but they are tacky and take up a ton of space on the page.
DO NOT get fancy with your templates either. Again, if you are not going for a design job you are FINE with just a drab easy to read resume.
DO NOT put your picture on the resume. That is what LinkedIn is for.

Extra Curriculars

Hobbies, clubs, student senate, Sports, eSports, fraternities and sororities please leave them off the resume. NO ONE CARES.
Follow up note on Frats and Sororities: DO NOT LIST THEM on your resume. You may have heard anecdotes about that one frat brother got the job because another brother was the hiring manager. Anecdotes are not data. The sad reality is that Frats have a bad reputation. To anyone who was not part of greek life you are seen as drunken party animals and sexual predators (I am not saying that all people in greek life are like that, I am saying that your reputation has painted it like that). Hell to people who were part of greek life that is how they are seen. Worse still, you know how Frats have rivals? What if the hiring manager was greek and from a rival frat, or at their school their chapter was a rival to your fraternity even if you had a good relationship with your local chapter? The best way to use your greek connection is to ask around from within your own organization and find out if the hiring manager is an older brother or sister. Barring that just wear a ring or something to the job interview. IF it comes up and you luck out it will be a huge bonus. If not, then it won’t hurt you.

Sample Resume

College Student Name

11111 Bleeker St Newark NJ 555 555-5555 github.com/baapsjfl;kasjdf;kjasdf;j LinkedIn link goes here

Education

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science Information Technology (expected 2021)

Skills

System Administration: Linux (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS), Windows 10
Programming Languages: C / C++, Java, C#, Pascal, Fortran, Erlang
Libraries: STL, Boost, OpenGL, SDL, Glib, GTK, Qt, Web Sockets, BSD Sockets,MySQLi, RabbitMQ, AJAX
Scripting Languages: PHP, Python, Bash, HTML, CSS, Javascript
Database Administration: MySQL, NoSQL, MongoDB
Technologies: AMQP, RabbitMQ, Wordpress, Git, Apache2, Cron, SOAP, CURL, Trello

Work Experience

Sales Associate, Retail Giant Hometown, NJ 2018 - Present
Responsible for managing stock, orders from corporate, and large ticket items.

Projects

Front End Developer - Systems Integration Project Spring 2020
Project involved integrating a third party data source with a custom front end through a multiple server environment. I was responsible for Project Management, setting up the Front End server and implementing the third party api

Professional Associations

IEEE, ACM, IGDA
submitted by ProfessorOfLies to NJTech [link] [comments]

Debris [Part 38]

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Mark stepped out from below X'rtani House. He never realized just how much he had missed regular exercise of the caliber he was used to. Every part of him was sore in the warm, fulfilling way the gym usually left him in. One part he still missed was the communal aspect; feeling that sense of pride in another when a New Year's newbie kept up their training, spotting for friends both below and above your weight bracket, seeing the dedication on the face of someone determined to reach their ideal physique.That sense of belonging to a community that he connected with, he missed it dearly. While it was easy for him to get back in the habit of regular exercise, it was far more daunting for him to return to a proper diet. Although the all meat menu he was relegated to provided him with more protein than he knew what to do with, T'aro's message to him earlier that day shone a light on the nutritional deficiencies he was bound to run into should he stick to the average X'erren diet. Although an air of distrust hung between the two, the points T'aro raised were too valid to rightly ignore. It took a bit of Flow browsing to find an operator's manual for the omni-cooker in the kitchen, but once he knew exactly what features the appliance had and how to use them, it was fairly simple to whip up a surprisingly filling meal out of three different varieties of meat and a nutritional supplement sauce that was to be portioned with meals; it tasted bitter in a way he hadn't encountered before, but it wasn't entirely unpleasant.
Passing the cafeteria, he waved to Arnd, who was in the middle of her morning breakfast and browse routine. The person to receive the greeting, however, was not the distracted Arnd, but a Rilk'r who had just deposited his used tray. <"Hey, Mark! How's it going? You got that bank card yet?">
"Not yet, but I reckon I'll have it soon. I just need to find a break in my schedule long enough to get out to the bank and get it done; that shouldn't be too hard." That express permission to walk the city streets he received from T'aro went a long way to improving Mark's overall mood. Yet in knowing the very real threat posed by less open minded figures in the political sphere, Mark's eagerness to utilize his newfound freedom was tempered, at least for the moment.
<"Shame. But still, you got a moment? It's about your ship.">
"... Alright." Mark replied, taking a seat at a nearby table.
Rilk'r joined him. <"So, it took some serious trial and error, what with alien circuits and language and all, but we managed to get your cockpit up and running. Given how compact the whole thing really is, I imagine your ship's main computer would've been kept somewhere else on the ship?">
"Yeah, just below the main deck." Insofar as it could have been called a main deck: a cramped space accessed from a short corridor leading from the cockpit's main hatch with a single swiveling chair, the main store of rations, and a computer terminal.
<"I thought as much, we couldn't access anything but a few basic flight aides and diagnostics. It's a wonder you managed to get that thing off the ground, let alone out here with backup programs that bare.">
"It wasn't my job to program the interface, I just worked with it."
<"First thing, the first thing you make sure of is that there are sufficient redundancies!"> he preached, slapping the table. <"A proper craft wouldn't make it through its first iteration without them these days. How long were they developing that thing for?">
"It was in the pipeline for a while, but proper development went on for about twelve years. Apparently we went over budget by quite a ways before I stepped into the pilot's seat."
<"Well that explains a lot. It took us a few decades to nail our first Slipspace capable craft. Over two hundred unsuccessful tests if I remember right."> It had been a few years since he last read up on the history of Slipspace travel.
"Well, looking at it all objectively, I think we did pretty good for our first field test."
Rilk'r paused. <"Come again?">
"... Looking at it all objectively, I think we did pretty good for our first field test."
Rilk'r's eyes narrowed. <"... This was your first test?">
"Field test." Mark assured him. "We ran... I think it was close to a million simulations? This was just the first practical test flight. The suits wanted to prove to the public that it was safe for actual people to pilot it and, given the fact that I'm here at all, I think they're on to something." Whether Mark wanted them to be on to something or not, he was still deciding.
Arnd walked past, her breakfast having been just as unsubstantial as usual. She tried to pay no attention to the conversation or the pair engaged in it.
Rilk'r 's face lit up in disbelief. <"Are they mad on top of having no damn clue what they're doing?! You were drifting in the void! If we weren't on our way to Men-te, you'd be dead!">
Mark sombered a little. "Yeah... probably."
Arnd paused, grit her teeth and chastised herself for not realizing it sooner. <"You owe me."> she grumbled over her shoulder, and walked off into the bar.
Rilk'r blinked. <"Are you two okay?">
Mark blinked. "I... don't know. Which is kind of a bummer because she's teaching the lesson on the spirits of the land and their history I have in... right now." He jumped out of the seat and made after Arnd. "Nice chatting with you, Rilk'r!"
Rilk'r stared stupidly at the door for a long moment. He still had a million questions on his mind: What was the rest of Mark's ship like? What could it do? How did they go about achieving Slipspace tech? He resigned himself to waiting yet again fro answers, and strode off toward the elevators.
Uns'la, waiting while leant on the banister, linked up with her friend as he passed. <"So, what'd you find out from Tiny?">
<"That humans are insane.">
<"... From there, the robunil is yanked from the mountainside, where it falls to its death. While scientists have since confirmed that the animal's death was usually instant upon impact, committees expressed concern that this method was unduly cruel to the animals, sparking innovations in lasso design and technique that ensured the initial tightening of the rope around the robunil's neck instantly snaps the spinal cord, leading to an instant and painless death without upsetting the animal."> read Arnd deadpan, verbatim from the article on her device. She and Mark hadn't uttered a single non-lesson related word to each other since Mark arrived, which was fine by her.
Mark, however, grew increasingly concerned at his teacher's disposition. Bound as he was to his word in regards to Arnd dealing with herself, he couldn't help but feel that if nothing was done, their dynamic would soon become openly hostile. This concern wasn't aided by the fact that Arnd neglected to wait for him to board the shuttle before leaving. "Uh-"
<"Yes?"> she snapped. Any motherly hint her voice usually carried during lessons had vanished entirely, with apathy taking it's place.
"I... was just wondering... why am I being taught this? I don't picture myself scaling mountainsides hunting these lumpy things any time soon." Mark knew his improvisation was going to fail him one day.
Today was not that day. <"The cultural significance of robunil hunting has persisted until today. Many architects hide small robunil statues and carvings in the high places of their works to both honor where we came from as a nation and to bestow upon their works the watchful protection of the robunil's spirit."> She stared at him as though her eyes could carve her words into his brain. <"Now keep pace with those notes of yours, I won't be repeating myself.">
"Yes, sir."
The lesson stretched on. From the robunil delicately climbing steep mountainsides to the kaoul stalking their way along tide-filtered beaches and all the myriad creatures in between, Mark came to learn of their behaviour, natural and adapted habitats, the sweeping variety of hunting methods each beast required, and the spiritual significance they carried.
"... and sprinkling powdered palute carapace into the mortar as it's laid is said to bestow the brickwork with unnatural strength as befitting of the beast from which the material came." recited Mark after three long hours of notation and recital.
Arnd looked on him a moment. <"Good. We're done here."> She changed the channel to a paused film she was watching before breakfast and took a seat on her sofa. The movie continued, with Arnd saying nothing and throwing not so much as a brief glance in Mark's direction. The human took the hint, and made for the door.
He paused as he reached for the button. "Arnd."
Nothing.
"Arnd." he repeated.
<"Yes?">
"I owe a debt to you. I have a good idea of what it is, but it doesn't matter. What can I do to repay it?"
Arnd paused the film and breathed. <"Just leave me alone."> She wanted to say: 'Just leave me alone and stop making it so damn complicated.'
Mark understood. "See you tomorrow." he said weakly before leaving.
A silent minute after the door closed behind the human, Arnd scrunched her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose. <"Four days, Arnd. Just four more days. You can do this."> she muttered to herself reassuringly. She wasn't entirely convinced. She continued the film, trying to return to the captivation she felt before Mark arrived as she watched a pair of lovers, battered and bruised, crawl agonizingly toward each other.
...
Arnd groaned aloud and shut the film off. Soon, she had quickly hashed out her daily report, but by that time, any desire she had to continue the film had drained from her. Frustrated, she randomly flipped through channels until something caught her eye. When she realized what she was looking at, she felt the overpowering urge to scream in blinding rage.
~~~
The prison yard was abuzz with activity. Beyond the typical swathes of women exercising, engaging in a number of sports, and the occasional fight between more disruptive prisoners, chat abounded of the new developments happening below on Kerc-en. A new tabloid segment comprised of clips submitted by the general public paired with sensationalist commentary. Everyone watching knew that it was little more than a trashy cash grab capitalizing on current events, but the content presented struck just the right nerve to keep their attention: MarkWatch.
Everything from Mark's poorly-hidden curiosity, to the lavish suits he and Arnd wore, to even the route they took, nothing showcased in the programme was left unmentioned in the yard. Behn paid it no mind, and focused on making laps of the yard. Of course she'd seen the programme, it aired during lunchtime, and the guards seemed bent on keeping everyone up to speed. Of course she'd watched as her mother guided Mark through the city. Of course she saw her wearing something classier than anything she ever wore on special occasions, like graduations, or birthdays, if she even attended in the first place. Behn slowed after realizing that her stable jog had turned into a rage-fueled sprint that drew unwanted attention from across both yards, and decided then and there that she had run enough. She slathered her neck and back as she made for the benches outside the joffur court, eager to get all of this out of her mind.
<"So,"> spoke Wora curiously, sidling up beside Behn after spectating a scuffle happening across the yard that necessitated the intervention of several guards to break up. <"did you see your mum on TV earlier?">
<"Yes."> Her glare had knives in it.
<"Okay..."> Wora sat down next to Behn. <"Do you wanna talk about it?">
The pair sat in silence a long while, staring out at the twinkling stars beyond everything she had ever known and plundered. <"She..."> Behn began, her tone somber. <"She's a hard worker. Too hard a worker. I don't remember my first few years, I was too young. But I remember, when I was... I want to say six, when a sitter came over. Mum ruffled the fur on my cheeks, said goodbye, and was gone for three weeks. I cried when she returned, I'd missed her.">
There was a pause, and Wora took in the words. She didn't expect this, and wasn't used to it either.
<"Then things were fine for a month or so. She helped with homework when I got home from school; she couldn't cook to save her life, but she always got good food on the table; she'd take me out to the fair or to the markets up in the Wings. It was fun. Then she left again, and I was being taken care of by the sitter again. She- Gon'on was her name, Gon'on wasn't nasty at all, she was actually really nice. She could cook, for one, and damn well, too. She'd do everything that Mum did, Mum didn't want her to feel like a stranger. And after a while, she didn't. It was like she was always there, like she was family. And for a few years, that's how it went: Mum would be my parent for about a month, then she'd leave for work, and Gon'on would take her place for a few weeks. It was unorthodox, but it worked. Then Mum left for five weeks, then six, then a month, with shorter home visits in between.">
<"I take it your dad wasn't in the picture?"> Wora slammed her mouth shut too late to stop herself from blurting out her words.
<"No, he wasn't."> Wora breathed a sigh of relief. <"He and Mum broke up before I was born, Mum found out he was cheating and kicked him out. After some pestering, I managed to get in contact with him and, while he's absolutely a shitheel, he wasn't quite as bad as Mum made him out to be. Turned out he was the grandson of some CEO, so I can see where he got his assholery from. I'm getting off track.
<"So, Mum'd be gone longer and longer, and Gon'on was always there in her place. Eventually, I got too old to have a sitter over, and I'd be left alone to wait for her to get back. I invited Gon'on over anyway. She taught me how to cook, how to take care of the house, everything. After a while, she became more of a mother to me than Mum was. Then she died. Turns out she was using her paychecks to pay off a gang debt, and when the money stopped coming in, the gang did."> Wora kept her mouth shut, that sounded vaguely like something she heard her boyfriend say to his gang buddies in another room. <"I resented Mum for that for a while, but I eventually got over it all, she didn't know about any of that gang stuff. Didn't stop her from leaving for a month and a half at a time; that, I continued to resent her for. But I always thought that one day, things might change. Until one day, after two months on the job, she walked in, threw off her uniform, and went to bed. No 'Hi Behn' or 'Sorry I was gone so long', nothing, like I wasn't even there. She left for work the next day and didn't come back for a month, didn't notice me as she left, either. It got to the point that I had to see her at the hangar if I was gonna see her at all, and sometimes I didn't even get that.">
Wora sat, stunned at what she was hearing. <"I... wow. What the fuck is wrong with her?">
Behn opened her mouth to speak, her fangs subtly bared, but slowly shut it. <"The- the thing is that, I know she genuinely loves me. She made sure I never ran out of funds to take care of myself, and every time she was there for me, she'd make it count. She told me that everything she did, she did for me, and I believe it. Wasn't enough, though. I appreciate what she did for me, I don't doubt that it was tough, but it doesn't make up for what amounts to willingly removing herself from my life, nothing she can do is going to make up for it."> She stared at the ground, an anguished grimace on her face.
Wora hesitated a moment before laying a hand on Behn's shoulder. An alarm sounded, signaling the prisoners to return to the building. No more words were said between the women, and they walked back to the complex together.

Wrath: Chapter 8. Verse 10. Wey'sai spoke unto the chiefs' armies: <"Know that I am returned. Lay your weapons down and know the peace I offer."> The chiefs replied: <"I would sooner welcome death than permit the heathens to live!"> and drew their blades. Armies clashed and blood was spilt. Naught a man unbroken existed upon the field ere day's end. Wey'sai looked upon the ruins, and wept.
Ledrn collected his meal and began making his way to his seat when a man slid into his periphery.
Ledrn remained silent, staring ahead. He had finally grown confident enough in his ability to use his non-dominant hand to begin exercising again, not that there was much to do besides during yard times. The extra physical activity didn't stop him from thinking, however, as he had thoroughly planned out his ongoing narrative for the psychiatrist, his righteous outburst two days ago be damned. All he had left to do on that front is execute. Yet the issue of the administration not taking the demon's growing favour remained as yet unsolved, and it was proving difficult to formulate a solution.
He reached a lonely table and sat. The man sat down opposite him, remaining silent. He didn't touch his food, or appear to have food. Ledrn looked up from his tray and saw a face he last remembered seeing behind a humming laser grid.
<"Hello."> said Ser'ke.
<"Pirate."> replied Ledrn with disdain. An ember floated in his mind, dim and unnoticed.
<"Former, I want to atone.">
Ledrn raised an eyebrow, it had been quite some time since he was looked up to as an authority in any capacity that wasn't related to security. <"Then you will stay out of trouble and remain true to the Holy Wisdom.">
<"Y-yes."> Ser'ke stammered. He began to eat, a look of subdued regret on his face. <"I should have listened to you back on that ship. I should have believed you when you told me it was a demon.">
Ledrn fought to keep his eyes from widening. Part of him wanted to ask the man to confirm his statement, but he thought better. <"Indeed. Pale as in death and with might unnatural, a twisted and vicious mockery of the souls we lost. It should be obvious to anyone.">
<"Of course."> He paused, considering his words. <"Should- should I inform the others?">
Ledrn laid his utensils down, his meal finished. <"Do what you believe to be just. I'm glad we were able to reconcile, no matter how little. Good day."> The pair nodded to each other, and Ledrn took his tray to the disposal chute. His thoughts turned again to the future of the cause; the ember had struck home, and a fire alighted.
~~~
Being locked out of X'rtan Freight's database hadn't stopped Du'fra from spending every spare moment he had in combing public records, searching for any sign of money that shouldn't be there. That, however, didn't stop Du'fra's search from being ultimately fruitless. High-ranking figures in the company spent frivolously, but that was already in line with their previous purchasing habits, and with no significant change in expense. He could glean little else, as the details of his opposition's bank accounts were private, and their net worth, so far as the public was permitted to know, was fairly standard in terms of growth for people in their wealth bracket. This didn't deter Du'fra, who turned to every remaining company contact he ad, the list of which, as he soon found out, was far slimmer than he either wanted or expected. These too proved of little use, with each either deflecting, speaking around the question, or openly calling him out on what could debatably be called ill-advised managerial decisions. None of them, it was clear, cared as much about the company as he. Regardless of these numerous setbacks, Du'fra's determination to see the company he loved survive remained, and he sped off in the cold night to save it. Lu'su had to believe him.
He arrived at Lu'su's abode, dressed and groomed more immaculately than he ever had before. He strode determinedly past the doorman and into the building, where already the company's elite feigned raucous laughter at Lu'su's increasingly stale jokes and stories. Du'fra rounded the corner into the open lounge and found, to his shock, that Lu'su was not present. Rather, a large hologram projected in the center of the room depicted the man laid in a bed. Lu'su rotated, looking down at the men assembled in a circle around the image, once again relaying his tale of wartime bravado, when he locked eyes on Du'fra. Immediately, his look of nostalgic joy turned to an upset scowl. <"What are you doing here, son?"> he said, his voice raspier than usual.
Du'fra shook off his initial shock. <"Chief, I've come to tell you that the men assembled here have been embezzling company funds and have been doing so for years now! Careful inspection of the company's financial records show a slow decline in profits that's in stark contrast to the growing rate of incoming contracts! Maintenance, refurbishing, and the costs of new hires and equipment don't make up so much as a tenth of the money that's being lost here! And it all travels through the hands of these men before anything else! Chief, you have to believe me!">
<"On what proof, Neem? I've recently performed an inspection of the financial records and have found nothing of what you claim."> The elder snapped back, coughing as he did. At these words, Du'fra's heart sank. <"And besides, how am I to trust the word of a clear bigot? Mister Vuk'li here shared with me a quite telling snippet of security footage corroborated by numerous people both working under him and not. Far more substantial than your claims.">
Du'fra didn't hear the man's words past the first sentence, his mind was reeling. <'It was in the heat of the moment, I didn't mean it! I couldn't let them ruin this company! It- it's X'rtan Freight, not X'oland Freight!'> The little hope he had left after it was dashed by the CEO's words was burned away, leaving nothing in it's place.
Lu'su's scowl deepened. <"I do not permit bigots to work in my company, especially bigots who make mistakes as disastrous as letting go of what could very well be the single most important woman of our age!"> The coughing returned, escalating into violent hacking.
<"Get some rest, Chief, I'll make sure the guards escort him out."> spoke Vuk'li, standing from his seat
Lu'su composed himself. <"See that you do. Goodbye, Mister Neem."> The hologram vanished.
<"What. Is. Going. On?"> growled Du'fra, hate dripping from every syllable.
<"The Chief caught a minor illness some days ago. If it were any of us, I wouldn't doubt that we'd shake it off no problem, but at his age, well, he's not doing so well. He can't effectively run a company from his bed while coughing his guts up, so somebody had to take up the responsibility, and he was all too happy to hand it to me."> His smugness was echoed by his cohorts, chuckling among themselves.
Du'fra's fangs were on full display, and his eyes were wild with fury, bathing everything he saw in a blood-yellow hue. <"How fucking dare you?! You're bleeding the company dry, the same company that probably helped pay for the houses your employees grew up in, the same company that has sent aid to countless worlds in crisis! How dare you pervert it, you parasitic monster?!">
<"I'm a businessman, Neem, I do business, and I do it well."> He raised his hands and clapped loud enough to send the sound echoing off the walls. <"Guards! We have an unwanted guest causing trouble for us and Mister Lu'su, please remove him from the premises!">
And once again, before he knew it, his wrists were clapped in restraints behind his back and he was being dragged off, with no amount of writing and struggling slowing the sentry any.
<"Expect a defamation suit in the mail, Neem. See you in court."> sneered Vuk'li as he watched Du'fra being lugged away, flashing the tips of his fangs in a thin and cruel smile.
<'You want to make it legal, Vuk'li? Fine.'> though Du'fra, recognizing his lone remaining chance at staying in this ruthless game. He found his feet, and slowly righted himself as much as he could in the guard's unshakable grip. <"I declare Kre'gadol!"> he bellowed. A moment of shocked silence followed, then a chorus of laughter the likes of which Lu'su never genuinely received rang out in the hall, all the crueler for its authenticity. Drink was spilled and glasses were carelessly dropped to the floor as the elite fell into the throes of laughter, with some threatening even to fall out of their chairs. Demoralization of that caliber was not something Du'fra had ever encountered, but it hit all the same, and he shut his eyes, doing all he could to keep from weeping.
Then a voice rose over the top of the mad cackling that threw a silence over all in earshot. <"I accept!"> Vuk'li stepped forward, a look of fiendish curiosity on his face. <"You're that desperate to cling to this company? Alright, I'll bite. I'm more than confident that my lawyers can shoot down a premeditated attack charge and if they can't, it's not like I'm hurting for bail money."> he chuckled. Du'fra found a new hope to cling on to, and he stood up straight, staring his opponent down.
Vuk'li's expression hardened. <"But if we're going to do this, we're doing it legit: No interference">—Vuk'li shot a glance to his co-conspirators, his gaze genuine—<"no lethal strikes, with proper mediation and documentation. I'm giving you one chance to reconsider. Is this the path you want to take?">
<"Yes it is!"> Du'fra snapped, puffing out his chest. The shackles binding him were released at a nod by Vuk'li. The pair stared each other down, and knew that there was no going back from this.
The room was made suitable, every obstacle being removed from the center of the room, leaving a circular ring with only a short hologram projector in the center remaining, a feature accepted by both combatants. The guard was tasked with being the impartial judge, and the abode's security system was tuned to document the match. Vuk'li's coworkers sat on the sidelines, quietly making bets among themselves, as was their opportunistic nature.
In the center of the room, to one side of the projector, Du'fra and Vuk'li stared each other down. They had each removed each other's shirts and jackets, laying them over their opponent's shoulders as representative of the final, thin thread keeping them tied to the peace that came with civilization. The pair each gripped one end of their tops, eager and twitching to throw them off at any moment.
Du'fra eyed up his opponent. <'There's no getting around it, he's in far better shape than myself. That, and his ethnically consistent height brings with it a big range advantage. Thing is, I'm not only much, much heavier than he is, I have far more to lose. I'm not giving up until this company is safe, or I'm dead.'> He tensed in anticipation.
The guard stomped, demanding attention. <"The fighters will step forward!">
Du'fra and Vuk'li complied, neither daring to break the stare.
<"The fighters will now vow to honor the sanctity of this duel!">
Du'fra and Vuk'li each extended their right hands, and touched each other's chests with tightly balled fists. <"This duel is sacred, and it shall be respected as such. I vow to fight with honor and purpose."> spoke both fighters in unison.
<"Return to the starting distance!"> bellowed the guard.
The two combatants obeyed, and a long, slow silence followed. Each fighter stood still as a statue, not risking even the slightest show of weakness. Their eyes remained locked as though in a duel of their own: Vuk'li's calm superiority versus Du'fra's impassioned vigor. The quiet dragged on.
<"Begin!">
<"Kre'gadol!"> The two combatants threw their garments away, and the duel began.
Du'fra charged, keeping his arms high to guard his head as he quickly closed the distance. Vuk'li anticipated this, sidestepping and kicking upward into Du'fra's exposed belly; the blow knocking the wind out of him made Du'fra realize that his opponent's arrogance was somewhat justified. Du'fra capitalized, however, by catching Vuk'li's leg in an arm lock and pulling him in closer; he threw a haymaker that connected with Vuk'li's jaw, much to his satisfaction.
With his advantageous position inside his opponent's range, Du'fra kept the pressure on, lashing out with blow after blow, repeatedly hammering and slashing Vuk'li with his fists and talons wherever he could find an opening. This streak was ended with a single well placed knee to the chin by Vuk'li, followed up with a swift, toe-led kick to the stomach, driving his talons into Du'fra's blubbery abdomen. Du'fra cried in pain, and once again grabbed Vuk'li's leg. This time, he forcibly wrenched backward, forcing Vuk'li to topple to the floor, whereupon Du'fra dived upon him.
And the two wrestled on the floor, with Du'fra holding much of an advantage thanks to his considerable bulk, but said bulk and related health issues were starting to catch up with him, and his momentum waned. Before long, Du'fra found himself powerless to resist Vuk'li's legs mightily kicking him off the businessman, sending him sprawling backward onto the projector. Winded and with stamina rapidly draining, Du'fra laid on the projector a moment to catch his breath.
A moment was all Vuk'li needed. Quickly righting himself, Vuk'li bolted around the projector and with one quick, violent, viscerally satisfying stamp downward, broke Du'fra's left arm over the projector's edge with a sickening snap. The audience and guard winced while Du'fra wailed in excruciating agony.
The guard stepped forward to end the duel, but Du'fra forced his body up and into a standing position opposite the projector to Vuk'li, and shot a death glare and the man. The guard backed off just in time for Vuk'li to once again speed around the center obstacle and land a vicious strike on an off-guard Du'fra; a claw swipe across his right cheek.
Du'fra, fresh adrenaline surging through his body, reacted before Vuk'li could step outside his range, and pinned Vuk'li's foot to the floor with his own. Vuk'li lashed out with a left straight, leaving his side wide open to a heavy kick from Du'fra, driving his talons into Vuk'li's exposed obliques. But, in the moment following, where his face was on the receiving end of Vuk'li raining blows down upon it, Du'fra realized that his spike of adrenaline had just expired. The sound in his ears grew muffled as one last punch hit home, the face of its furious deliverer remained etched into his sight for a moment before all he could see was black.
Du'fra's eyelids fluttered. He was wrapped in a cocoon of throbbing pain, but felt that he was cushioned by soft bedding. His eyes shot open to a stark white light. He looked down and saw a hospital bed. He took a moment to recall what had just happened. He began to sob, curling into a ball beneath the sheets. Everything he had done, he had done for the company, the company that rescued him and his family from poverty, the company that was now in the hands of the men who would see it burn if the ashes helped to line their pockets. His sorrow turned slowly into hot, simmering rage, his conviction to fight and die for the company was all too real. But he knew that his anger would have nowhere to go; as of now, and with the defamation suit that would inevitably tarnish his reputation, Vuk'li was untouchable. Du'fra's eyes narrowed, his pupils constricting as his anger boiled over into a focused and dangerous mania. <'If I can't yet punch upward,'> he thought in his manic rage. <'I'll just have to begin by punching downward.'>
At this thought, his injuries flared again, shocking him into unconsciousness. As his consciousness faded, a name came to his mind, a name that by now every x'erren alive knew. It was all too perfect, the woman that was the crux of Vuk'li's masterstroke had to be working with him. The salvation of X'rtan Freight would begin with her.
-----
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Sports Betting Explained: Pros vs Joes (Sharp Sports ... Creating a Sports Betting Model 101 - Intro to Adjusted ... HOW I WILL RETIRE IN MY 20s THROUGH SPORTS BETTING - YouTube Sports Betting: The Trend Query Database Sports Betting Analytics - Using a Monte Carlo Simulation ...

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Sports Betting Explained: Pros vs Joes (Sharp Sports ...

For those of you curious, I finished the night up about $40: https://i.imgur.com/VKCB8rO.png This video demonstrates how I use my in-game MLB dashboard I dev... Building a power rating system is a way a lot of people try to bet on sports. There are a lot of ways to go about doing this but most importantly you have to... Bet Labs Full Tour - Historical Odds Database Sports Betting Software - Sports Insights Video - Duration: 9:25. Sports Insights 7,449 views. 9:25. How does sports betting at Unibet work? See the video for explanation of odds compiling, pre-match and live betting, payback and risk management. The reality of betting on sports for a living. #FreePicks #MLBpicks #FreeMLBpicks

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