Crypto Exchange Binance Ending Support for MicroStrategy, Tesla, Coinbase, Apple and Microsoft Stock Tokens

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The Daily Hodl 17 July, 2021 - 03:01pm 72 views

What are stock tokens?

Stock tokens are digital versions of equities pegged to the value of the relevant share. They are usually bought and sold in fractional units, unlike traditional equities. ReutersBinance ditches 'stock tokens' as global crackdown widens

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance says it is ending support for stock tokens on its main trading platform.

Binance says that by halting stock token purchases immediately, it can shift its focus to “other product offerings.”

Binance introduced the stock tokens in early April, which enable users to access shares of companies listed in traditional stock exchanges.

The global crypto exchange started with electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA) and later added stock tokens of software firms MicroStrategy (MSTR) and Microsoft (MSFT), iPhone-maker Apple (AAPL), and crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN). Binance introduced stock token trading in partnership with investment firm CM-Equity AG.

Binance says users have until October 14th at 19:55 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) to voluntarily close their positions in stock tokens.

Users on the exchange who reside in the European Economic Area and Switzerland will be able to migrate their stock tokens to a CM-Equity AG portal that will become operational weeks before the mid-October deadline.

Binance’s decision to withdraw support for stock tokens coincides with the growing regulatory pressure the exchange has been facing. In June, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority announced that Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to operate in the UK.

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'Nobody forced' Binance to cease trading of stock tokens: CM-Equity CEO

The Block Crypto 17 July, 2021 - 05:00pm

As previously reported, a Binance spokesperson told The Block that "shifting our commercial focus to other product offerings will better serve our users," and hence, the exchange decided to stop the stock tokens trading service.

Now Michael Kott, founder and CEO of CM-Equity AG, a 19-year-old German financial services firm through which Binance offered the service, also tells The Block that it was simply a business decision.

"Binance did not [have] to cease this, and I can ensure you nobody forced them," said Kott. "They decided to do so to focus on other crypto-related products, which is their main business."

One question that lingers is why have several regulators issued warnings against Binance's stock token offering and not against FTX and Bittrex Global, which offer similar services also via CM-Equity?

On that question, Kott said he would also like to know the answer. He said CM-Equity is a "fully regulated financial institute" and that the stock tokens offering is also "fully compliant with German and European Financial Market Regulation."

When asked if Binance's stock tokens offering was different from FTX and Bittrex Global, Kott said their services are "identical" but are just named differently.

FTX and Bittrex Global are "happy with this product," said Kott, adding that these exchanges have "different market views and approaches that bring them to different business decisions."

CM-Equity itself is setting up its own stock tokens trading portal for residents of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Binance today said its users in these regions could utilize that portal once launched.

"Those users may transition their stock token balances to CM-Equity AG once its new portal is established," said Binance. "The portal is scheduled to be open approximately two-to-four weeks before 2021-10-15 (UTC), and additional KYC measures will be requested by CM-Equity AG to complete the transition."

Binance has been at the center of global regulatory attention in recent weeks. Government agencies in the U.S, the U.K., Italy, Japan, Thailand, Poland, and the Cayman Islands, have all either issued warnings or taken action against the exchange recently.

Binance Quits Stock Token Trading as Hong Kong Adds to Mounting Regulatory Pressure – Exchanges Bitcoin News

Bitcoin News 17 July, 2021 - 02:30pm

by Lubomir Tassev

Binance, the world’s leading digital asset exchange by daily volume, is ceasing support for stock tokens. The coin trading platform explained that the move is part of its continuous evaluation of products, but it also comes amid an increasing pressure on the exchange from regulators around the world. On Friday, the crypto company said:

Today, we are announcing that we will be winding down support for stock tokens on Binance.com to shift our commercial focus to other product offerings.

The exchange pointed out that the suspension is “effective immediately,” with stock tokens already unavailable for purchase on Binance.com. The platform will not support any stock tokens after Oct. 14, 2021 but investors will be able to hold and sell them over the next 90 days.

The announcement further details that “all stock token positions on Binance.com will be closed at 2021-10-15 13:30 (UTC).” Binance said the closing prices will be based on actual executed prices after the market opens for trading on Oct. 15. It warned these may be different from the rates registered a day earlier. A Binance spokesperson was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as stating:

We believe that shifting our commercial focus to other product offerings will better serve our users for the long term.

Residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will have an option to transfer their stock tokens to a new portal to be launched by CM-Equity AG in early October. The transition will be subject to additional know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, Binance added, noting that all stock tokens listed on Binance.com are products issued and sold by the Germany-based CM-Equity.

Binance’s decision coincides with a growing number of regulators expressing concerns over the exchange offering tokenized stocks among other products and services without authorization. The list includes regulatory bodies in Italy, Lithuania, the U.K., Japan, and Germany where the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, Bafin, said earlier this year that tokens linked to stocks of companies like Tesla represent securities, if they can be transferred and traded on a cryptocurrency exchange.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) became the latest agency to issue a warning against Binance. On Friday, the regulator said it’s “aware that Binance has offered trading services in stock tokens in a number of jurisdictions and is concerned that these services may also be offered to Hong Kong investors.” The SFC emphasized that “no entity in the Binance group is licensed or registered to conduct ‘regulated activity’ in Hong Kong.”

The commission elaborated that stock tokens are likely to be “securities” under the Securities and Futures Ordinance of the Chinese special administrative region. And if that’s the case, they should be subject to the regulatory remit of the SFC.

The regulator warned that the marketing and distribution of such tokens, “whether in Hong Kong or targeting Hong Kong investors,” constitute a “regulated activity” and require a license. Anyone offering stock tokens in the city without registration may face criminal charges, the securities commission stressed, urging potential investors to be “extremely careful” with stock token purchases on unregulated platforms.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Are Stock Tokens Behind The Crackdown On Crypto Exchange Binance?

bitcoinist.com 17 July, 2021 - 02:00pm

While crypto exchange Binance continues to face crackdowns from several different countries, it’s looking likely that stock tokens may be behind this.

On Friday, Hong Kong’s market regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), warned the crypto exchange in a press release.

The commission says that it’s concerned about Binance’s stock tokens service, which may be used by Hong Kong investors.

The SFC wishes to make it clear that no entity in the Binance group is licensed or registered to conduct “regulated activity” in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong regulator further clarifies that in Hong Kong, these stock tokens are likely to be considered as “securities” under the Securities and Fund Ordinance (SFO). This means that they are subject to the regulatory remit of the SFC.

The SFC warns that where the Stock Tokens are “securities”, marketing and/or distributing such tokens – whether in Hong Kong or targeting Hong Kong investors – constitute a “regulated activity” and require a licence from the SFC unless an applicable exemption applies.

Lithuania also joined Hong Kong on the same day in issuing warnings to the crypto exchange. The nation’s central bank raised concerns about Binance’s “unlicensed investment services”.

The Bank of Lithuania’s notice reads:

The Bank of Lithuania has warned a virtual currency exchange operator Binance, UAB about its unlicensed investment services provided in Lithuania and ordered the company to ensure that its publicly available information is not misleading.

These announcements come after several other countries have already issued similar warnings to the crypto exchange. These include the likes of UK, Canada, and Japan.

Italy’s financial regulator also called Binance “unauthorized” just a couple of days ago.

Binance has announced that the crypto exchange will no longer be providing services related to stock tokens.

The sale of the tokens has ceased immediately. And the platform will only continue to provide support for tokens already purchased until October.

While it has been just 3 months since the crypto exchange started providing these tokens, Binance says it’s ending support to focus on other products.

The decision to discontinue these tokens could mean that they might be the source of the exchange’s recent problems.

Hong Kong’s SEC also directly referenced stock tokens as their main cause of concern.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin‘s price floats around $31.5k, down 6% in the last 7 days. While the value of the crypto seems to be down 18% compared to one month ago.

Here is a chart showing the trend in BTC’s price:

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Investors Are Still Free To Use Binance, Says Polish Regulator

Cryptonews 16 July, 2021 - 02:00pm

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After warning local investors about Binance last week, Poland’s Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) reminds that they are still free to decide whether to use this platform. As it does not supervise crypto exchanges in Poland, the authority only reacts to situations in which it believes investors could be harmed.

The aim of its latest statement on Binance, in which the regulator advised investors to be careful while using the company’s services, was “to inform investors on the potential risks related to the activities of this entity which have been pointed out by foreign regulators,” a spokesperson for the KNF told Cryptonews.com.

“The decision to use the services of this entity rests entirely on the side of investors. The Financial Supervision Authority does not perform any analyses related to the popularity of particular [cryptocurrency exchange] services, as, in principle, these entities are not regulated by the KNF,” the spokesperson said, adding that the KNF only “responds on an ongoing basis to situations that may put investors at risk."

"In the event that the activities of any of the entities operating in the Polish market will arise the suspicion of the office (or the suspicion of foreign regulatory authorities) regarding the compliance of their activities with the applicable law, the KNF will take appropriate steps in such cases,” the spokesperson said. He didn't comment whether the KNF is planning to issue more similar warnings about other crypto exchanges.

The spokesperson stressed that cryptoassets are not a supervised market in Poland and the KNF does not issue licenses, register, or supervise crypto exchanges: "There are also no legal instruments that serve to support those customers who are victims of these entities."

Asked whether the KNF or other Polish state-run bodies were developing any regulations related to cryptocurrencies, the spokesperson replied that the most important regulation is currently prepared at the EU level, and he referred to the European Commission’s draft Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) which is advancing through its first readings in the Council and the European Parliament. The KNF is contributing to the development of this regulation via the Polish Ministry of Finance.

Yesterday, Italy became another country that warned investors against using Binance, saying that the companies of the Binance Group are not authorized to provide investment services and activities in this country, not even through the website binance.com whose sections called "derivatives" and "Stock Token." Meanwhile, today, theSecurities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong also warned that no entity in the Binance group is licensed or registered to conduct "regulated activity" in Hong Kong. The SFC said it is concerned that Binance is offering stock tokens, that represent stocks of listed companies, to local investors too.

"In Hong Kong, Stock Tokens are likely to be “securities” under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) and if so, they are subject to the regulatory remit of the SFC," it said. The Bank of Lithuania has also issued a similar warning today.

However, after multiple warnings, Binance said today that stock tokens are already unavailable for purchase on Binance.com, and Binance.com will no longer support any such tokens as the platform shifts its "commercial focus to other product offerings." Users who currently hold stock tokens may sell or hold them over the next 90 days, while users residing in the European Economic Area and Switzerland may send their stock token balances to CM-Equity AG once its new portal is established.

In either case, as reported, a similar warning in the UK has benefited a number of its rivals, including Bitstamp, Kraken, and Gemini, that saw sharp increases in signups from the UK.

At 15:44 UTC, BNB, the native token of Binance, trades at USD 311 and is down by 1% in a day. The price is up by 8% in the past two weeks, trimming its monthly losses to almost 15%. BNB skyrocketed by 1,673% in a year.

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Binance Pulls Plug on Digital Stocks Amid Regulatory Scrutiny

The Wall Street Journal 16 July, 2021 - 12:46pm

Stock tokens will be unavailable for purchase on Binance effective immediately, the crypto exchange said on its website Friday.  Customers who own the tokens may sell them over the next 90 days, and Binance will cease to support the products on Oct. 14, the exchange said.

“We believe that shifting our commercial focus to other product offerings will better serve our users for the long term,” a Binance spokesperson said.

Binance’s move came as regulators around the world have stepped up pressure on the crypto exchange. Some of the agencies have singled out Binance’s stock tokens for appearing to violate local securities regulations.

Hong Kong’s markets regulator on Friday became the latest regulatory body to warn investors about Binance’s stock tokens.

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Lithuania and Hong Kong Warn Against Binance - BeInCrypto

BeInCrypto 16 July, 2021 - 12:45pm

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Financial institutions of Lithuania and Hong Kong have both issued warning statements against Binance.

Lithuania says it will take action against unregulated activity, while Hong Kong authorities are more concerned with Binance’s stock tokens.

This news comes just after authorities halted Binance’s operations in Italy, and the exchange stopped selling stock tokens.

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The Bank of Lithuania warned Binance about its unlicensed investment services provided in Lithuania. It ordered the company to ensure that its publicly available information was not misleading. Meanwhile, Hong Kong is more concerned about Binance’s stock token offerings.

To preface the warning in its announcement, the Bank of Lithuania noted that crypto-asset related services are not regulated or supervised. Having assessed publicly available information, it assessed Binance as a virtual currency exchange operator and a virtual currency wallet operator. 

However, it warned the company that some of its ​​investment services are unlicensed. For instance, Binance enables their customers to invest in derivative financial instruments related to crypto-assets. According to Lithuanian law, these means are considered financial instruments, for which services must be licensed. The authority said it would monitor for any unlicensed activities in the country and would cease provision of such services if found.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong said it was concerned that the stock tokens Binance was offering would be available to its investors. The SFC recalled that no entity in the Binance group is licensed or registered to conduct “regulated activity” in Hong Kong.

According to authorities, stock tokens are likely to be considered “securities” under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO). If found so, they are subject to the regulatory remit of the SFC. The SFC also warned that where stock tokens are considered “securities,” they also require proper licensing.

It turns out that the SFC won’t have to concern itself with any stock token regulation for the time being. Earlier today, Binance announced that it would cease selling stock tokens. The crypto exchange added that they would continue to service them until October. At that point, any customers continuing to hold stock tokens will be closed out of their positions.

This news comes on the heels of regulators announcing that they will bar Binance from operating in Italy. This in turn came after the UK’s own financial watchdog shutting the door on Binance’s activities within its country.

Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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Binance discontinues stock tokens after ‘coordinated’ regulatory setbacks

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The world’s largest crypto-exchange by volume, Binance is in the news today after it announced the discontinuation of its newly-launched and popular service of Stock Tokens “effective immediately.” As per the released notice, stock tokens will be unavailable for purchase on Binance’s official website, Binance.com.

The announcement read,

“Today, we are announcing that we will be winding down support for stock tokens on Binance.com to shift our commercial focus to other product offerings. Effective immediately, stock tokens are unavailable for purchase on Binance.com, and Binance.com will no longer support any stock tokens after 2021-10-14 19:55 (UTC).”

Stock tokens were launched only in April by the crypto-exchange, with the same aimed at enabling a larger section of the public to pocket capital returns on equities, including potential dividends, without having to purchase full, traditional shares.

While Binance has not confirmed a particular reason for this discontinuation, the timing is really suspicious, especially on the back of several regulatory setbacks around the world. In fact, the said announcement coincided with reports which suggested that Hong Kong’s Securities & Futures Commission [SFC] has said that “no entity in the Binance Group is licensed or registered to conduct regulated activity” in the country.

HONG KONG'S SFC SAYS NO ENTITY IN THE BINANCE GROUP IS LICENSED OR REGISTERED TO CONDUCT "REGULATED ACTIVITY" IN HONG KONG

— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) July 16, 2021

If this stands true, Binance will be facing trouble in Hong Kong too after remaining functional since 2018.

While some in the community were quick to raise the specter of a “coordinated attack” on Binance, others believe it could be a regulatory trick to set a precedent in the sector.

size. regulators always go after the biggest player in the space. then once regulators set a precedent everyone else just follows that precedent and pays some fines.

— TheReal_Crypto🌋 (@TheReal_Crypto) July 16, 2021

It’s worth pointing out though that upon launch, stock tokens did not gather much favor from British and European regulators. In April, Binance was being grilled for non-compliance with securities laws, after which its problems kept escalating not just in Europe, but across the world, which included ceasing operations in the Canadian province of Ontario.

With Binance trying to paddle through the aforementioned roadblocks, stock token holders were advised the following by the exchange,

“Users who currently hold stock tokens may sell or hold them over the next 90 days. Users will no longer be able to manually sell or close their positions after 2021-10-14 19:55 (UTC). Thereafter all stock token positions on Binance.com will be closed at 2021-10-15 13:30 (UTC).”

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Namrata is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto covering the US and Indian market. A graduate in Mass communication, while majoring in Journalism, she writes mainly about regulations and its impact with a focus on technological advancements in the crypto space.

Disclaimer: AMBCrypto's content is meant to be informational in nature and should not be interpreted as investment advice. Trading, buying or selling cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk investment and every reader is advised to do their own research before making any decisions.

Binance abandons crypto tokens pegged to listed stocks

Financial News 16 July, 2021 - 08:02am

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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has stopped offering digital tokens tied to the value of listed equities, amid wider regulatory scrutiny of its business.

The tokens are often formatted as fractional units of shares in companies such as Tesla and Apple, which are then bought and sold on Binance’s website.

Binance ditches 'stock tokens' as global crackdown widens

Yahoo Finance 16 July, 2021 - 05:34am

LONDON (Reuters) -Binance said on Friday it had stopped selling digital tokens linked to shares, as Hong Kong's financial watchdog became the latest in a string of regulators to crack down on the cryptocurrency exchange platform's "stock tokens" offerings.

Stock tokens are digital versions of equities pegged to the value of the relevant share. They are usually bought and sold in fractional units, unlike traditional equities.

"Effective immediately, stock tokens are unavailable for purchase on Binance.com," the exchange said https://www.binance.com/en/support/announcement/3a0304f3ee1c43668959c1b01f610d59 on its website, adding it would cease all support for the products in October.

Global scrutiny of the cryptocurrency sector has grown amid worries over lax consumer protection and the use of digital coins for money laundering, with authorities in recent months zeroing in on Binance, one of the world's biggest platforms.

Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said https://apps.sfc.hk/edistributionWeb/gateway/EN/news-and-announcements/news/doc?refNo=21PR76 after Binance's move that the exchange was not licensed to carry out regulated activities in the city. Offering stock tokens to the Hong Kong public without authorisation could be an offence it added.

"Any person who contravenes a relevant provision may be prosecuted and, if convicted, subject to criminal sanctions," the SFC said.

A Binance spokesperson declined to comment on the SFC's move, which came a day after Italian regulators made a similar announcement.

Binance does not currently have exchange operations in Hong Kong and takes its legal obligations seriously, the spokesperson added.

It was not immediately clear whether global regulators have coordinated their moves, which have created unprecedented global pressure on a major cryptocurrency firm.

Binance, the world's biggest exchange by spot trading volumes last month, offers a wide range of services to users, from cryptocurrency spot and derivatives trading to digital wallets and stock tokens.

It was offering tokens for companies including Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc.

Later on Friday, Lithuania's central bank said it had warned Binance about its "unlicensed investment services". Consumers risk losing all their investments on crypto-asset related services, it said https://www.lb.lt/en/news/bank-of-lithuania-issued-warning-regarding-binance-uab-and-other-crypto-asset-service-providers.

Regulators in Britain, Germany, Japan and some other countries have stepped up warnings over Binance, with the United States also reportedly investigating the exchange.

Italy's market watchdog on Thursday said Binance was not authorised to provide investment services and activities in the country. Its website has offered information in Italian on products including stock tokens.

Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which last month said Binance could not carry out regulated activities, declined to comment on whether it had been in contact with other regulators.

The FCA routinely cooperates and shares information with regulators globally on a range of issues, a spokesperson said.

BaFin, the German regulator, said in April that Binance risked being fined for offering stock tokens without publishing an investor prospectus.

Binance users holding stock tokens can sell or hold them over the next 90 days, the exchange said, but will no longer be able to sell or close positions after Oct. 14.

"We believe that shifting our commercial focus to other product offerings will better serve our users, and we are committed to making this transition as straightforward as possible for those affected," a Binance spokesperson said.

(Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Rachel Armstrong, John Stonestreet and Catherine Evans)

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Hong Kong's markets watchdog on Friday said Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, was not licensed to sell 'stock tokens' in the city, products it said the exchange had offered in other markets. Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) also said in its statement that "no entity in the Binance group is licensed or registered to conduct “regulated activity” in Hong Kong." Stock tokens are virtual assets that are represented to be backed by depository portfolios of underlying overseas listed stock.

Crypto exchange Binance has announced it is to cease trading of its stock tokens. Users of Binance.com are now no longer able to buy stock tokens – which include Apple, Microsoft, Coinbase, MicroStrategy and Tesla – effective immediately.

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The knee-jerk expectation in markets is that when interest rates rise, tech stocks fall, and vice versa. Historical data don't back that up.

Washington Nationals infielder Starlin Castro was placed on administrative leave Friday by Major League Baseball under its domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. The leave was imposed under the policy adopted by MLB and the players’ union in 2015 and can be the initial step leading to a longer suspension. The administrative leave — during which a player is paid but cannot play for up to seven days — has been extended for players under the policy in the past while MLB investigates an allegation.

Is the slump in Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) finally over? It's no secret by now -- the price of the world's foremost cryptocurrency has cratered over the last couple of months, falling 46% from its highs in early May. But on Friday, Bitcoin's price appeared to finally show signs of stabilizing, actually ticking up about 0.2% through 10:40 a.m. EDT. Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) owners in particular are sitting on a 5% loss today, according to the latest data from Coinbase -- and the difference between what just happened to Bitcoin and what's still happening to Dogecoin may come down to just one factor: Square (NYSE: SQ).

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese social media and e-commerce startup Xiaohongshu, or “Little Red Book,” is putting its U.S. initial public offering plans on hold after China tightened rules on overseas listings, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The online platform, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is discussing with advisers on alternatives as the company would likely be subject to a cybersecurity review under Beijing’s proposed policy for firms listing abroa

Ford announced Friday it is recalling about 775,000 Explorer vehicles due to a problem in the rear of the car that can reduce steering control and increase crash risk.

In this article, we discuss the 10 stocks Reddit’s WallStreetBets is now targeting. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to Beyond GameStop: Reddit’s WallStreetBets is Now Targeting These 5 Stocks. Retail investors have been exercising ever greater influence on the overall market dynamics the past few months, as […]

What portfolio changes should you make if you’re worried about a black swan event? Black swans in the stock market are sudden, unpredictable and rare — like a market crash. Just because you can’t predict when a black swan event will occur doesn’t mean you can’t predict that one is likely at some point.

In this article, we discuss the 15 best Jim Cramer stocks to buy now. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to the 5 Best Jim Cramer Stocks to Buy Now. Jim Cramer, a former hedge fund manager and present host of Mad Money on news platform CNBC, is […]

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