10 things before the opening bell

Zillow

Welcome to 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

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1. Zillow is giving up on its house-flipping business - and its stock is paying the price. Shares slid as much as 28% on Wednesday alone, the biggest intraday drop since March 2020. That extended the stock's three-day skid to 39%.

At the heart of Zillow's decision to leave house-flipping behind is an algorithm that caused the company to overpay for properties at a time when the housing market was starting to slow slightly. It's now selling significant portions of homes in cities like Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix at a loss. That recently manifested itself as a $380 million loss in the third quarter.

"Fundamentally, we have been unable to predict future pricing of homes to a level of accuracy that makes this a safe business to be in," Zillow CEO Rich Barton said on the company's recent earnings call.

To make matters even worse, Zillow said it plans to lay off 25% of its workforce. It will also offload thousands of homes to institutional buyers, while taking writedowns worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Still unsure if you should be worried? Check out our explainer on the whole ordeal.


2. Global stocks notch record highs after the Fed pulls off a dovish taper. The well-signaled move and Powell's cautious tone on a rate hike spurred US stocks to fresh records. Here's what is going on in the market.

3. Value investor John Flynn has beaten all but two large-cap funds over the past year. By picking value stocks downtrodden for reasons he views as temporary, he's been able to return 72% over 12 months. He told us exactly what he bought and how he finds the right stocks.

4. Earnings on deck: Alibaba, Square, Airbnb, all reporting.

5. The long-awaited Fed taper is here. The latest FOMC meeting saw the central bank say it will scale back bond purchases by $15 billion a month starting in November. Read Fed Chair Powell's detailed remarks, as well as his outlook for a rate hike.

6. JPMorgan renewed its prediction that bitcoin could hit $146,000. The bank - which first made the forecast in January - said cryptos are "on a multi-year structural uptrend." Check out the firm's full prediction for a 130% bitcoin surge.

7. No-fee trading is come for (some) Coinbase users. The crypto-trading platform is testing a subscription service for a small number of its users, who could be eligible for up to a $1 million reimbursement if hacked.

8. Don't expect lumber to go back to pre-pandemic levels. That's according to Frost Investment's Mace McCain, who sees prices climbing another 5% next year. He breaks down the factors informing his forecast.

9. The recent 'Squid Game' crypto scam has people talking about how to avoid the next one. We spoke to 4 experts who laid out their best advice. They shared 3 smart ways to spot a fraudulent token and invest safely.

10. We talked to the longest-standing tech analyst on Wall Street about his favorite stocks. Mark Mahaney shared 4 criteria he uses to identify the biggest winners in the market. He also laid out 2 stocks he thinks could be among the next FAANGs.


Compiled by Phil Rosen. Feedback? Email [email protected] or tweet @philrosenn.

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