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Cramer’s week ahead: This is the ‘most overbought market in history’

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday said a confluence of late buyers and rebound sellers defined the trading activity of the session.

After a roller-coaster day where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ran as high as 3% before dropping as low as 0.2% during intraday trading, the 30-stock index finished the day up 477 points, or 1.90%, to close at 25,605.54.

The S&P 500 ended up 1.31% at 3,041.31 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.01% to close at 9,588.81.

“When you try to rebound from a down-1,800-point day, what we had yesterday, you do get all these anxious” investors who run “smack into a wall of sellers” who are “delighted to get out at a higher price,” the “Mad Money” host said. “That’s what defined today’s choppy action.”

Cramer said the market is being shaped by amateur investors biting at low dollar stocks and warned that “rampant speculation” tends to end in disappointment. He said the market, which is attempting to bounce back after being hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic, was due for a pullback.

“If that keeps happening, then we haven’t seen the last of those painful reversals, like we had yesterday or in the middle of the day [today], as we work off the most overbought market in history, or at least the most overbought market since S&P started measuring these things 35 years ago,” the former hedge fund manager said. “It got too easy and now we all have to suffer as the get-rich-quick crowd gets blown out.”

Friday marked the end of a three-week win streak as investors weigh the odds of another Covid-19 outbreak that could slow down America’s reopening efforts.

“As long as you think we aren’t going into a second lockdown, even as Covid cases spike, then you want to buy your favorite stocks into weakness here,” Cramer said.

He went on to give a preview of what’s to come for the market next week. All earnings projections are based on FactSet estimates.

Monday: Empire State Manufacturing Survey

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will reveal its June survey of manufacturers in New York, which will give investors a read on general business conditions in the state and region. The May survey came in at minus 9, which followed a record low reading of minus 78.2 in April.

The report “will tell us whether we’re dealing with a Covid-19 depression or just a recession,” Cramer said. New York City is the “hardest hit area in the country, so I bet this is going to be the worst number ever recorded. If we get a spike in new cases over the weekend … and we get a lousy Empire Manufacturing number, then Monday’s gonna be bad.”

Tuesday: Lennar, Oracle earnings

Lennar reports earnings for its fiscal 2020 second quarter before the market opens. Executives of the homebuilder will host a conference call at 11 a.m.

  • Projected revenue: $5.11 billion
  • Projected EPS: $1.20

“Housing’s roaring because ultra-low mortgage rates have brought out buyers and tons of people are fleeing cities for the suburbs,” Cramer said. “The problem here is that we all know Lennar will report a good quarter, so it won’t surprise anymore, and if it doesn’t’ surprise anyone then it might not go up.”

Oracle reports fiscal 2020 fourth-quarter results after the market closes.

  • Projected EPS: $10.66 billion
  • Projected EPS: $1.15

Just like Lennar, Oracle must meet a high bar for its stock to run on the report, although the company “always manages to say something positive and it inches up the stock a little bit,” he said.

Wednesday: Federal Reserve; housing data

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to deliver a semiannual monetary policy report to Congress at noon.

Cramer called the central bank’s head the “hero of the stock market” for shutting down any thought about raising the overnight bank lending rate earlier this week.

The U.S. Census Bureau is set to release its housing starts data for the month of May.

“The only part of the economy that’s doing really well right now is housing,” he said. “I bet [the results are] strong, but, again, not enough to move the needle on the $19 trillion economy.”

Thursday: Kroger earnings

Kroger reports fiscal 2020 first-quarter earnings in the morning.

  • Projected revenue: $40.43 billion
  • Protected EPS: $1.07

“The supermarket business has become, really, dog-eat-dog. Kroger’s not doing the eating; they’re being eaten,” Cramer said. “But ever since Warren Buffett … bought a $500 million stake at the end of February, Wall Street’s fallen in love with this thing. I think that’s about to end after we see these numbers.”

Friday: CarMax, Jabil

CarMax reports fiscal 2021 first-quarter earnings before the morning bell.

  • Projected revenue: $2.54 billion
  • Projected EPS: 3 cents

“CarMax sells used cars and with all these new social distancing rules, I bet car ownership is headed higher,” Cramer said.

Jabil reports third-quarter earnings for fiscal 2020 before the market opens for trading.

  • Projected revenue: $5.61 billion
  • Projected EPS: 34 cents

“They usually have quite a bit of work for Apple, and we know Apple’s stock has been a real horse here,” he said. “Maybe Jabil can explain what’s driving it, although they can’t mention Apple by name because Apple doesn’t like that. You’ve got to read between the lines.”

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Apple.

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/12/cramer-week-ahead-this-is-the-most-overbought-market-in-history.html

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Pinterest is reportedly in talks to acquire VSCO

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So what can Pinterest do to jump higher up the list of social networking sites? According to a report by the New York Times, one possibility is acquiring the owner of VSCO, the app for editing / sharing photos and videos that has brought in-depth tools to mobile users for years. Neither side directly confirmed the negotiations, and there’s no word on a possible price, but maybe combining forces can bring some Instagram-like glow. 

As it is, Pinterest is still mostly known for planning and organizing, and as the NYT article points out, other than some recent acquisitions, VSCO is currently best known for the “VSCO girls” meme.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/vsco-pinterest-014258107.html

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A sealed copy of ‘Super Mario Bros.’ just sold for $660,000

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A nearly perfect copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES has sold for $660,000 at auction. In what turned out to be a 13-bidder contest, $550,000 went to the game’s original owner. The copy was one of the earliest shrink-wrapped versions of the games you could buy in the US (Super Mario Bros. eventually had 11 different box variants, according to WATA Games).

Heritage Auctions, the firm that oversaw the sale, told Ars Technica it dates back to late 1986. It was reportedly bought as a Christmas gift and sat unopened in a desk drawer for the better part of four decades. “I never thought anything about it,” the seller, who asked to remain anonymous, told the auction house.

The $660,000 this copy of Super Mario Bros. sold for is crazy when you consider the Nintendo PlayStation, a one-of-a-kind prototype representing a unique piece of gaming history, sold for $360,000 at auction last year. More recently, someone paid $156,000 to buy a pristine copy of Super Mario Bros. 3. It makes you wonder how much the owner would have walked away with had they simultaneously tried to cash in on the NFT craze somehow.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/super-mario-bros-auction-000001095.html

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‘Lost Tapes of the 27 Club’ used Google AI to ‘write’ a new Nirvana song

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Were he still alive today, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain would be 52 years old. Every February 20th, on the day of his birthday, fans wonder what songs he would write if he hadn’t died of suicide nearly 30 years ago. While we’ll never know the answer to that question, an AI is attempting to fill the gap.

A mental health organization called Over the Bridge used Google’s Magenta AI and a generic neural network to examine more than two dozen songs by Nirvana to create a ‘new’ track from the band. “Drowned in the Sun” opens with reverb-soaked plucking before turning into an assault of distorted power chords. “I don’t care/I feel as one, drowned in the sun,” Nirvana tribute band frontman Eric Hogan sings in the chorus. In execution, it sounds not all that dissimilar from “You Know You’re Right,” one of the last songs Nirvana recorded before Cobain’s death in 1994.

Other than the voice of Hogan, everything you hear in the song was generated by the two AI programs Over the Bridge used. The organization first fed Magenta songs as MIDI files so that the software could learn the specific notes and harmonies that made the band’s tunes so iconic. Humorously, Cobain’s loose and aggressive guitar playing style gave Magenta some trouble, with the AI mostly outputting a wall of distortion instead of something akin to his signature melodies. “It was a lot of trial and error,” Over the Bridge board member Sean O’Connor told Rolling Stone. Once they had some musical and lyrical samples, the creative team picked the best bits to record. Most of the instrumentation you hear are MIDI tracks with different effects layered on top.

One thing neither AI gave direction on is how exactly Cobain would have sung the song. Outside of cadence and tone, Hogan had to interpret how the grunge star, who famously suffered from crippling stomach pain, would have channeled his anguish into the lyrics.

Over the Bridge isn’t the first group to use AI to emulate a dead artist. But the intent here is different from similar past projects. “Drowned in the Sun” is part of the organization’s Lost Tapes of the 27 Club initiative. They set out to record AI-generated songs by musicians who died at the age of 27 to raise awareness about mental health resources musicians, and people more generally, can turn to when they feel they need help. The Toronto-based non-profit has a Facebook page where it offers support. It also offers online sessions and workshops.

If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or over an online chat.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/over-the-bridge-lost-tapes-of-the-27-club-223000315.html

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Microsoft’s online-only Build conference starts on May 25th

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Spring is fully upon us, which means the calendar is starting to fill up with high-profile tech events. And the latest addition? Microsoft confirmed today that its online-only Build developer conference will run between May 25th and May 27th, though there’s still no word on when registration will open. (If last year is any indication, our money is on “the end of April.”)

“Microsoft Build is where developers, architects, start-ups, and students learn, connect, and code together, sharing knowledge and expanding their skillset, while exploring new ways of innovating for tomorrow,” the company’s events page explains. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft has yet to update its Build-specific webpage with information about this year’s priorities or schedule, but we’re almost certainly looking at another packed event. Last year, Microsoft went on (among other things) about improved collaboration tools for its suite of Office productivity apps, an AI-focused supercomputer running on its Azure cloud platform, and new cloud tools designed specifically for healthcare practitioners. 

Historically, spring and summer are been jam-packed with large, in-person events where app and software developers get their first glimpse at upcoming platform and strategy updates, attend workshops and code reviews, and generally mingle with their colleagues. Starting last year, though, the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has forced companies that stage these events to rapidly rethink their approaches.

Some, like Microsoft and Apple, quickly pivoted to informative online-only affairs that include full days worth of sessions, demos and fireside chats. (For what it’s worth, Apple announced this week that its own Worldwide Developer Conference will also proceed as an online-only event from June 7-11.) Meanwhile, Google has not yet confirmed whether it plans to stage its Google I/O developer conference at all this year — the company cancelled the show entirely in 2020, but said last month that it does plan to host some version of its annual Google Cloud Next event this October. 

Between a surge in COVID-19 vaccine production and news of relaxed restrictions for vaccinated travelers, Build 2021 may well be the last purely virtual developer conference Microsoft will ever need to put on. With any luck, devs will resume their pilgrimages to Seattle next year, and who knows — maybe those tiny emotional support horses from Build 2018 will show up again too.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/microsoft-build-2021-may-25-to-27-developer-conference-official-212230206.html

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