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Biden advisors are increasingly concerned about the lack of intel briefings and Covid-19 coordination

Aides to President-elect Joe Biden said “each passing day” without access to classified intelligence briefings increases the risk to national security….

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U.S. president elect Joe Biden and Vice president-elect Kamala Harris appear on video screens as they hold a virtual meeting with their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advisory council in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. November 9, 2020.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

WASHINGTON — Top advisors on President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team spoke of their growing concerns Friday over the Trump administration’s continued refusal to allow Biden to receive briefings on national security and on the federal coronavirus response.

During a briefing with reporters six days after independent news organizations called the presidential race for Biden, senior transition aides Jen Psaki and Yohannes Abraham lamented the fact that General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy had yet to perform the customary duty of ascertaining that Biden had indeed won the race.

“We’re not interested in having a food fight with the GSA administrator, or anyone really, we just want to get access to intelligence information, to threat assessments, and to the ongoing work on Covid, so that we can prepare to govern, to bring the American people together and to get the pandemic under control,” said Psaki.

Pressed on whether the Biden campaign would consider taking legal action against the GSA, Psaki refused to take any options “off the table” but added: “Our preference would be that the ascertainment happens, that the letter is signed and that we all move forward in preparing President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to govern.”

President Donald Trump, however, is still claiming the election was “rigged” and that he should have won it, despite the fact that he currently trails Biden by nearly 70 electoral votes and his campaign lost a series of lawsuits this week aimed at challenging the election results.

As long as Trump refuses to accept his defeat, federal agencies have been instructed not to engage with anyone from Biden’s transition teams.

In recent days, two types of briefings have emerged as flashpoints in the ongoing deadlock over when Biden’s transition can formally begin: The first is the Presidential Daily Briefing on national security threats; the other is the internal planning for the government’s Covid-19 response.

With “each passing day, the lack of access to current classified operations, or to back-channel conversations that are happening, really puts the American people’s interest as it relates to their national security at risk,” said Abraham.

States must certify their election results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14. It is unclear if or when Trump might concede or what impact that would have on the GSA ascertainment process.

Biden plans to spend the weekend relaxing at his family’s beach house in Rehobeth, Delaware.

Next week, said Psaki, Biden will bring Republicans and Democrats together “who are committed to putting Americans back to work,” suggesting that economic recovery and stimulus talks could be a top priority.

Psaki declined to provide details on any economic stimulus plans currently being discussed by transition officials, nor would she elaborate on whom, precisely, Biden has been speaking with in the Republican caucus.

Earlier this week, Biden announced a new Covid-19 advisory board of health experts, as well as a 30-person volunteer agency review team focused solely on the Department of Health and Human Services, the lead agency overseeing the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

New coronavirus infections skyrocketed this week, and on Thursday the nation marked a grim new milestone: Over 150,000 cases were reported in a single day. Across the country, city and state leaders are weighing calls for new restrictions on schools, indoor dining and private gatherings against the potential damage further shutdowns could inflict on a still-vulnerable economic recovery.

As soon as the first coronavirus vaccine is approved for widespread use, the federal government is expected to launch an unprecedented, quasi-wartime effort to manufacture and distribute hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine.

The bulk of this distribution is expected to take place after Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, making it all the more important that his incoming staff gets access to the planning and preparations for the vaccine effort.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/13/biden-advisors-concerned-about-lack-of-intel-briefings-covid-19-coordination.html

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Stitch Fix shares surge as online styling service reports surprise profit

Stitch Fix shares jumped after the online shopping and styling service reported a surprise profit for its fiscal fourth quarter.

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The Stitch Fix application for download in the Apple App Store on a smartphone arranged in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, U.S., on Saturday, June 5, 2021. Stitch Fix Inc. is scheduled to release earning on June 7.

Tiffany Hagler-Geard | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stitch Fix shares jumped 14% in extended trading Tuesday after the online shopping and styling service reported a surprise profit for its fiscal fourth quarter.

Sales for the three-month period ended July 31 also came in higher than analysts were expecting, thanks to outsized growth in Stitch Fix’s women’s and kids’ categories. Menswear has been growing more slowly, the company said.

Consumers have been splurging on new outfits in recent months, as many head back to school and return to social gatherings. Some have also citied the need for new clothes after either gaining or losing weight during the Covid pandemic.

Here’s how Stitch Fix did compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 19 cents vs. a loss of 13 cents expected
  • Revenue: $571.2 million vs. $548 million expected

Net income attributable to shareholders was $28 million, or 19 cents per share, in the latest period. A year ago, it posted a net loss of $44.5 million, or 44 cents a share. Analysts had been looking for the company to book a loss of 13 cents per share.

Revenue grew to $571.2 million from $443.4 million a year earlier. That was better than analysts’ expectations for $548 million.

Stitch Fix reported nearly 4.2 million active clients, up 18% from a year earlier. The company said net revenue per active client was $505, surpassing the $500 threshold for the first time ever. Customers have been purchasing more items to keep at home, Stitch Fix said, as they have more brands and price points to choose from.

Stitch Fix defines active clients as people who either ordered a “Fix” subscription or bought an item directly from its website in the preceding 52 weeks from the final day of the quarter.

The company also said it had its lowest ever churn rate at the end of the period, meaning its customers are sticking around.

Last month, Stitch Fix finally opened up its direct-buy option, which is now known as “Freestyle,” to the public. This allows people to shop Stitch Fix for individual items of clothing, without needing to sign up for a subscription.

CEO Elizabeth Spaulding said this should help Stitch Fix grow its addressable market in the year ahead. The company’s next initiative will be to market and raise broader awareness around the offering, she said. Stitch Fix is preparing to roll out a national advertising campaign on the debut.

Early indications are that “Freestyle” is meaningfully accretive to the company’s revenue per active client metric, Spaulding told analysts on a conference call.

“Clients have agency, flexibility and choice while also experiencing a highly personalized shopping experience,” Spaulding said.

For its fiscal first quarter, Stitch Fix said it sees sales in a range of $560 million to $575 million. That’s below analysts’ expectations for $588 million.

For the upcoming fiscal year, Stitch Fix anticipates sales rising 15% or more from the prior year. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had been looking for an 18% increase.

While the entire retail industry is working through supply chain complications, Stitch Fix said it is seeing a small impact, but nothing that will hurt the business in the fall and winter months. The company said it is less reliant on Vietnam, where manufacturing has largely come to a standstill due to ongoing pandemic lockdowns in the region.

As of Tuesday’s market close, Stitch Fix shares have fallen nearly 39% this year. The company has a market cap of $3.8 billion.

Find the full press release from Stitch Fix here.

Sales for the three-month period ended July 31 also came in higher than analysts were expecting, thanks to outsized growth in Stitch Fix’s women’s and kids’ categories. Menswear has been growing more slowly, the company said.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/21/stitch-fix-sfix-q4-2021-earnings.html

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Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis.

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