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Gold Hits Record High

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Gold hit a record high on Monday as increasing numbers of nervous investors sought a safe place to put their money.
Rising political tensions between the US and China joined the ever-present worries over the continuing coronavirus pandemic to boost the spot price to $1,944.92 an ounce,
Covid-19 cases have risen to more than 16 million globally.
Many investors shun gold as it doesn’t pay dividends or interest rates but it tends to rise in troubled times,
Interest rates are currently near zero and dividend returns from companies are uncertain at best, with so many struggling.
So far this year, gold prices have risen 28%.
In the latest development between the US and China, China took over the premises of the US consulate in the south western city of Chengdu.
The move was in retaliation for the US closing down China’s diplomatic base in Houston, Texas.
This sent the dollar index to its lowest since September 2018.
The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, is meeting this week to decide on monetary policy.
Mihir Kapadia, head of Sun Global Investments, thinks that could also help boost the price further: “With eyes on the upcoming Fed policy meeting later this week and more concerns over geopolitical tensions, further gains can be expected with these factors likely to weigh heavily on the stock markets for a few more weeks to come.”
Fellow precious metal silver was also higher, it rose more than 6% to $24.36, its highest since September 2013.

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Apex Fintech Solutions Announces Blow-Out Earnings Ahead Of NYSE Listing

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Blank-check company Northern Star Investment Corporation II (NYSE: NSTB) announced that Apex Fintech Solutions LLC, a business-to-business platform that powers innovation in fintech, investing and wealth management, reported its results for the first quarter of 2021.

What To Know: Founded in 2012, Apex offers a full suite of custody, clearing, and API solutions that enable financial services firms to quickly launch and scale.

In a move to disrupt banking, investing, lending and insurance, as well as financial management, Apex entered into a merger with Northern Star, to become a public company listed under ticker APX, at the New York Stock Exchange.

Since the announcement, the company reported its earnings results.

In short, Apex saw its total customer accounts grow by 85% to 14.4 million and customer trades increased 183% year-over-year to $235.5 million. Additionally, net revenue ended at $145.9 million while net income rose 414% o $36.3 million.

For adjusted figures, net revenue was $102.4 million and EBITDA rose 262% to $46.1 million.

Why It Matters: Over the years, Apex honed in on financial technology; the addition of tools like Apex Extend, allows fintech, RIA, broker-dealers, and non-financial organizations the ability to create, launch, and run investing or advisory platforms on a modern back- and middle-office infrastructure.

“The financial industry is in the early innings of a massive digital transformation and our record quarterly results demonstrate that Apex is at the center of this transformation,” said Bill Capuzzi, Chief Executive Officer.

“This quarter is further proof of the scalability of Apex’s platform and business model as we capitalized on volatility and interest in the markets to drive explosive growth in customer accounts and customer trading volumes. With a strong first quarter in the books, we are well on our way to achieving our prior projections for full-year performance. As we approach the milestone of becoming a public company, we believe Apex is strategically positioned to continue to capture market share through continued innovation and first-to-market products.”

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A Look Into Nasdaq’s Debt

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Shares of Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) moved higher by 13.73% in the past three months. Before having a look at the importance of debt, let us look at how much debt Nasdaq has.

Nasdaq’s Debt

Based on Nasdaq’s balance sheet as of February 23, 2021, long-term debt is at $5.54 billion and current debt is at $224.00 million, amounting to $5.76 billion in total debt. Adjusted for $2.75 billion in cash-equivalents, the company’s net debt is at $3.02 billion.

Let’s define some of the terms we used in the paragraph above. Current debt is the portion of a company’s debt which is due within 1 year, while long-term debt is the portion due in more than 1 year. Cash equivalents include cash and any liquid securities with maturity periods of 90 days or less. Total debt equals current debt plus long-term debt minus cash equivalents.

To understand the degree of financial leverage a company has, investors look at the debt ratio. Considering Nasdaq’s $17.98 billion in total assets, the debt-ratio is at 0.32. As a rule of thumb, a debt-ratio more than one indicates that a considerable portion of debt is funded by assets. A higher debt-ratio can also imply that the company might be putting itself at risk for default, if interest rates were to increase. However, debt-ratios vary widely across different industries. A debt ratio of 35% might be higher for one industry and average for another.

Why Debt Is Important

Debt is an important factor in the capital structure of a company, and can help it attain growth. Debt usually has a relatively lower financing cost than equity, which makes it an attractive option for executives.

Interest-payment obligations can impact the cash-flow of the company. Equity owners can keep excess profit, generated from the debt capital, when companies use the debt capital for its business operations.

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Tesla, AMD And Amazon Lead The Nasdaq Lower

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The Nasdaq fell for the day as several technology companies were trading lower, potentially amid a rotation out of the space and into reopening-related sectors. Investors also continue to weigh recent earnings reports in the sector.

  • The Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 (NASDAQ: QQQ) closed lower by 0.53% at $336.19.
  • The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (NASDAQ: DIA) finished higher by 0.64% at $341.11.
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NASDAQ: SPY) closed higher by 0.22% at $418.20.

Here are the day’s winners and losers from the QQQ, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

Several leaders for the QQQ were from e-commerce and biotech: eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY), Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB).

eBay shares traded higher by 4.23% after eBay’s CEO discussed how the large online auction and transaction platform could play into the growth of non-fungible tokens…

On the flip side, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) were among the most hammered names for the Nasdaq.

Elsewhere On The Street

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) confirmed it has sold its Verizon Media assets, including the AOL and Yahoo platforms, to Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) for $5 billion. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company and CEO Guru Gowrappan will retain the leadership role…

Palantir Technologies Inc (NYSE: PLTR) made its public debut on Sept. 30, 2020, and IPO investors have significantly outperformed the market in the seven-plus months that have followed…

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) and Aphria, Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) have merged after months of negotiations, creating a company with a combined market cap of $3.3 billion.

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