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(Bloomberg) -- The TikTok-tivists are at it again.Thousands of users of the popular video app flocked to the Apple App Store in the last few days to flood U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign app with negative reviews. On Wednesday alone 700 negative reviews were left on the Official Trump 2020 app and 26 positive ones, according to tracking firm Sensor Tower.TikTok fans are retaliating for Trump’s threats to ban the app, which is owned by China’s Bytedance Ltd. and is hugely popular in the U.S., especially among teens. The thought of taking away a key social and entertainment hub in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to outrage.“For Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is our clubhouse and Trump threatened it,” said Yori Blacc, a 19-year-old TikTok user in California who joined in the app protest. “If you’re going to mess with us, we will mess with you.”Blacc said the movement gained steam Wednesday when a popular TikTok user, DeJuan Booker, called on his 750,000 followers to seek revenge. He posted a step-by-step primer on how to degrade the app’s rating, notching 5.6 million views. “Gen Z don’t go down without a fight,” said Booker, who goes by @unusualbeing on TikTok. “Let’s go to war.”The Trump campaign said the effort hasn’t had any impact.“TikTok users don’t affect anything we do. What we do know is that the Chinese use TikTok to spy on its users,” said Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the Trump Campaign. ByteDance has always denied such accusationsThe efforts to push the app low enough so that Apple will remove it from the app store may be misguided. Apple doesn’t delete apps based on their popularity. The App Store may review those that violate its guidelines or are outdated, but not if their ratings sink. A similar tactic was tried in April to protest Google Classroom by kids frustrated with quarantine home-schooling.But young people are looking for ways to make their voices heard, even if some of them can’t yet vote. Last month, many young people organized through TikTok to sign up to attend Trump’s first post-shutdown campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but then didn’t show up. The Trump campaign denied the online organizing effort contributed to lower-than-expected attendance.Nearly 60% of Gen Zers are opposed to a TikTok ban, according to a survey conducted from Tuesday to Thursday of 2,200 adults by Morning Consult Brand Intelligence. Across all ages, about a third of Americans have never heard of TikTok, while a third have a favorable impression and a third have an unfavorable view of the app, the survey found.Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. TikTok experienced connectivity issues on Thursday, according to Downdector, which measures web traffic, but the company said it had resolved them later the same day.Trump’s re-election smartphone app is a big part of the president’s unrivaled digital operation and was meant to circumvent tech companies like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. and give the campaign a direct line to supporters. The app has helped the campaign engage Trump’s die-hard supporters, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, by feeding them his latest tweets and promoting virtual events. Supporters can donate to the president’s campaign or earn rewards for recruiting friends like VIP seats to rallies or photos with the president.The Official Trump 2020 app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times on Google’s Android store as of June 15. Apple doesn’t publish information on downloads.Reviews with titles such as “Terrible App” or “Do Not Download!” have been flooding the App Store since late June. Official Trump 2020 now has more than 103,000 one-star reviews for an overall rating of 1.2.But the uptick of activity has also caused the app to rise in rankings. Users have to download the app to review it, vaulting it to second place on the Apple store from No. 486 on Tuesday, according to Sensor Tower.“Do I think that this is going to fundamentally change the election? No,” said Tim Lim, a veteran Democratic digital strategist. “But it goes to show that they are just as susceptible to these mass actions as anyone else. Trump is starting to see what it feels like to have a massive online army committed to defeating him.”Trump earlier this week said his administration is considering banning TikTok as one way to retaliate against China over its handling of the coronavirus. Trump’s comments came after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Americans not to download the app unless they want to see their private information fall into “the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” Bytedance is also facing a U.S. national security review for its acquisition of startup Musical.ly. It has denied allegations that it poses a threat to U.S. national security.Trump didn’t offer specifics about a potential decision and Pompeo seemed to walk back the idea of a ban in a later statement, saying that the U.S. efforts to protect American consumers’ data don’t relate to any one particular company.Many TikTok users say they care less about potential Chinese snooping and more about Trump taking away their digital hangout. In the U.S., TikTok has been downloaded more than 165 million times, according to Sensor Tower.“I don’t believe Trump is trying to take TikTok away because of national security, but more to retaliate against activism on the app and all the videos about him that drag him through the mud,” said Darius Jackson, an 18-year-old TikTok user in Champaign, Illinois, who asked his followers Wednesday to give Trump’s app a one-star rating.“This is the first year I’ll be able to vote and I think activism on TikTok is going to make a big difference,” Jackson said.(Updates with Trump campaign response from sixth paragraph. A previous version of the story corrected the spelling of the Illinois city in the penultimate paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Once again, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian is singing Amazon’s (AMZN) praises.Extra emphasis on the again here. The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on all aspects of daily life but what it has also inadvertently done, is provide Amazon with a monster surge in demand that shows no signs of slowing down. With the $1 trillion market cap milestone in the rear-view mirror, the Street has been playing catch up all year with Amazon.Amazon’s continued rise comes down to the simple fact that it is exponentially growing in all directions. This point is not lost on Sebastian, who thinks Wall Street is underestimating Amazon’s growth curve.The 5-star analyst said, “Our revised Q2 revenue estimate of $85.2 billion (34%-plus year-over-year) is above consensus of $80.8 billion – we are modeling 40% growth in Online stores (vs. 24%-plus in Q1), 40% growth in Advertising, 35% growth in 3P seller services, 33% growth in AWS, 32% growth in Retail Subscriptions and 10% growth in Physical Stores.”However, while Amazon’s sales got a corona charged boost in the quarter, operating expenses increased significantly, too. The e-commerce giant hired extra hands to meet the demand, increased hourly wages and spent heavily to ensure employees’ safety. That said, Sebastian believes these expenses will be partially offset by “greater marketing efficiencies.” The analyst counts “lower ad prices, lower ad spend in some areas and high levels of repeat purchase activity” as counterpoints to the additional overhead.Sebastian’s updated estimates are accompanied by a new price target of $3,300, raised from $2,750, which suggests 4% upside potential. In addition, his Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating stays as is. (To watch Sebastian’s track record, click here)The rest of the Street keeps Amazon in its good graces, too, going by the 38 Buys, 2 Holds and one lone Sell rating. These add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. However, once again Amazon’s latest share gains (70% year-to-date) have left the $2,856.03 average price target in the dust. The figure now implies shares could drop by 9% over the coming months. (See Amazon stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * GenMark Diagnostics (GNMK) Stock Is a Winner, But How Much Higher Can It Go? * Apple Is Developing Its Own Graphics Cards- Report * Carnival (CCL) Is Still a Very Risky Cruise Line Stock * 3 Small-Cap Stocks Under $6 That Could See Over 70% Gains
How do you pick the next stock to invest in? One way would be to spend days of research browsing through thousands of publicly traded companies. However, an easier way is to look at the stocks that smart money investors are collectively bullish on. Hedge funds and other institutional investors usually invest large amounts of […]
The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st, a week after the market trough. Now, we are […]
Over the last few years, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has been a veritable gain machine. The huge market strides have come hand in hand with a bigger slice of market share, too. AMD has edged ever closer to rivals Nvidia and Intel and has steadily eaten away at the traditionally larger players’ dominance of the GPU and CPU markets, respectively.However, Goldman Sachs analyst Toshiya Hari sounds a note of caution for the near-term, based both on the elevated share price, and concerns regarding a “potentially weaker PC market environment” in 2H20.Although Hari nudged his CY20 revenue estimate for AMD slightly upwards from $8.548 billion to $8.553 billion, he reduced the EPS estimate for the same period from $0.88 to $0.85, reflecting a 2.8% change to the downside.That’s not to say Hari has any issues with the overall health of AMD’s business. The 5-star analyst expects AMD to continue performing well, and said, “We view the company’s improving 1) competitive position in client/server CPU, 2) profitability, and 3) cash flow and balance sheet, positively. We also note that better wafer supply at TSMC, following trade restrictions on Huawei, could support upside for AMD.”Nevertheless, Hari refrains from suggesting investors pull the trigger on AMD shares, as the analyst recommends a Neutral rating “primarily due to limited potential upside.” Indeed, his $50 price target implies shares could drop by 13% from current levels. (To watch Hari’s track record, click here)Looking ahead, Hari’s key points to focus on - which could impact his rating in the future - include “1) better/weaker than expected PC end-demand, 2) rate of adoption of AMD-based solutions in the server space, 3) changes in the competitive dynamics vis-a-vis Intel, 4) execution on product/technology roadmap, and 5) margin execution.”Several of Hari’s fellow analysts also stay on the sidelines, although not enough of them to quell a Moderate Buy consensus rating - based on 12 Buys and 9 Holds. With a $57.36 average price target, the Street sees the stock staying range-bound for now. (See AMD stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes… You do get what you want?After initially being excluded from the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program, Novavax (NVAX) joined the list of companies eligible for federal support.On July 7, the vaccine specialist announced it will receive $1.6 billion from the federal government to support the development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. 5-star B.Riley FBR analyst Mayank Mamtani is impressed by the scale of the award itself, noting: "[T]his funding is the largest granted by OWS to date, correlating with the (1) robustness of preclinical data generated and (2) favorable readthrough from the unequivocally positive Phase 3 NanoFlu study earlier in the year. In comparison, OWS' previously granted $1.2 billion and $0.5 billion to AstraZeneca and Moderna (MRNA), respectively. Most encouraging, this enables OWS to have all platform approaches in its top 3 prioritized vaccine candidates, i.e., messenger RNA from MRNA, adenovirus viral vector approach from AZ, and protein-based approach from NVAX.”The inclusion provides a measure of vindication for Mamtani, who had previously argued the case for Novavax’s place in the program. The analyst believes the funds will now enable Novavax to proceed with a Phase 3 trial in 3Q and to achieve its goal of producing 100 million doses by the end of the year. Should all go as planned – the company expects to enroll 30,000 participants for the fall trial – Novavax could even apply for regulatory approval before the end of 2020.To this end, Mamtani reiterated a Buy rating on NVAX shares, along with a $106 price target. This suggests 10% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)Among Mamtani’s colleagues, the biotech has a Moderate Buy consensus rating, based on 3 Buys and 2 Holds. Following the recent gains, the $101.20 average price target implies shares could rise by a modest 3% from current levels. (See Novavax stock analysis on TipRanks)Overall, Novavax stock has been a Wall Street favorite in 2020, to say the least. The stock has appreciated by a barely believable 2,307% since the turn of the year.To find good ideas for biotech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
The surge in stocks has investors hoping that the general bullish market sentiment we’ve experienced since the end of March may still be with us; there was some worry in June as the markets appeared to hit a plateau. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks, as the S&P tests its 3,200 resistance levels.The best advice for stock pickers right now: stay selective. There are still compelling investing opportunities out there if you know where to look. Investors can find interesting stock choices by following some of Wall Street’s top analysts. These are the analysts with the sharpest stock picking ability — and we can use their price targets as a key indication of how far these stocks can climb in the coming months.With this in mind, we’ve used the TipRanks database to highlight two such stocks; each has received ‘top pick’ status from a 5-star analyst. Here are the details.Avid Technology (AVID)We start in the technology sector, with Avid, a Massachusetts-based multimedia tech company specializing in digital non-linear editing systems for audio and video. The company’s video and audio editing software are held in high regard, as are its music notation products. The company’s flagship product is Media Composer, which got its start in the Apple Mac segment. Avid has expanded since then, and in May announced a five-year working agreement with Microsoft Azure.Avid tackled the coronavirus economic crisis head-on, with a $40 million cost savings plan put in place to help mitigate the business effects of the pandemic. The company was helped along in Q1 by a surge in subscription revenues, which grew 50% year-over-year and pushed recurring revenues to double digit growth. That was the good news. In the bad news, the company still saw a steep quarterly loss due to the recessionary pressures of economic measures put place against the virus, and reported EPS of minus 12 cents per share. Northland’s 5-star analyst Nehal Chokshi explains why this stock remains a top pick: “AVID has 2 layers of loyalty from their largest customers, the professional video & audio editors and the IT staff that ensures the technology is available, which has led to dominant share in high end post-production content creation technology enablement. The dominant share at the high end leads to influencing aspiring creators to adopt AVID software, which is driving market share gains in the company’s high growth high margin subscription business…”To this end, Chokshi rates AVID shares a Buy, and his $14 price target implies a robust 103% upside potential. (To watch Chokshi’s track record, click here)With a share price of only $6.89, AVID is particularly affordable for a 'top pick' stock, and the average price target of $10.38 suggests it has room for a 51% in the coming year. AVID's Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is based on 3 Buys and 1 Hold set in recent months. (See Avid stock analysis on TipRanks)Wells Fargo (WFC)Next up is a name you’ll recognize, Wells Fargo. Long a major player in the banking industry, Wells Fargo offers residential and commercial customers a full range of banking services. WFC is a poster child for ‘too big to fail;’ the company is the fourth-largest bank, both globally and in the US, and even after recent share depreciation in the corona crisis, it still boasts a market cap exceeding $104 billion.Being ‘too big to fail’ might be a bigger asset than is at first apparent. WFC shares are down 44% from February, and the company announced last week that it is cutting its dividend in half. That’s an important development, as the stock’s dividend had been yielding over 8%. The move comes after the bank reported Q1 EPS of just 1 cent, far below the forecast 33 cents. Net income for the quarter, hit hard by the coronavirus, was down 89%.Matt O’Connor, 5-star analyst with Deutsche Bank, has named the stock a 'top pick,' noting: "Regulatory issues will eventually get resolved, so the real long term question is what is the EPS power of WFC--which will be mostly driven by improved efficiency [...] Mgmt expects to improve WFC's long-term efficiency ratio from the high 60s currently and bring it closer to peers. Our guess is that they hope to bring the efficiency ratio to below 60% in 3-5 years. We expect this to be driven by several billion of cost cuts and revenue growth (including recapture of revenue lost due to ongoing regulatory issues)."Based on his assessment, O’Connor maintains his Buy rating here. His $34 price target suggests the stock has room for 41% upside growth in the next year. (To watch O’Connor’s track record, click here)Where O’Connor is cautiously bullish, Wall Street is simply cautious. The analyst consensus rating on WFC shares is a Hold, based on 3 Buy ratings, 11 Holds, and 5 Sells. O’Connor describes the current share price of $24.04 as an opportunity, and there is some evidence that he is not alone. The average price target, of $29.03, indicates a 21% one-year upside potential. (See Wells Fargo stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
(Bloomberg) -- Vanguard Group Inc., the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc. are pushing back on an escalating risk to their bottom lines: threats from Capitol Hill and the Trump administration to dramatically curtail U.S. investments in Chinese companies.During a Thursday panel discussion hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firms’ executives questioned a bill under consideration in Washington that could lead to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Baidu Inc. and other Chinese businesses getting kicked out of American stock markets. The intent of the legislation is to force China to comply with U.S. accounting rules. But among the concerns raised was that it might just prompt companies to relocate to markets with less regulatory oversight.“Companies will likely move their listings,” said Rodney Comegys, a principal at Vanguard. “They’ll move their place from New York to Hong Kong.”The remarks are notable because Wall Street -- hesitant to get in the middle of rising tensions between the U.S. and Beijing -- has been mostly quiet about about Washington’s potential crackdown on Chinese companies.The bill in question cleared the Senate unanimously in May with a companion version now being reviewed by the House. It would trigger the de-listing of Chinese firms if they don’t allow their books to be examined by the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board for three straight years -- a requirement that China has long rejected. The legislation’s Republican and Democratic backers says it’s needed to protect U.S. investors from fraud.Read More: Citadel’s Ken Griffin Urges U.S. Access to Chinese AuditsThe Thursday event also featured SEC staff and executives from major accounting firms. It’s not expected to result in swift policy changes as most regulations take months or even years to enact.Vanguard is among giant money managers whose mutual funds invest in Chinese businesses listed on U.S. exchanges, while NYSE and Nasdaq make millions of dollars in fees by allowing Chinese shares to be traded on their platforms.John Tuttle, chief commercial officer for NYSE Group Inc., said the exchange would support adding an indicator to company tickers to ensure investors are aware of risks associated with firms whose audits aren’t inspected by the PCAOB. But he warned that the proposed legislation could backfire.‘Blunt Tool’“We don’t disagree with it philosophically,” Tuttle said. “However, some of the tactics -- about how they want to get the results they want to get -- we don’t necessarily agree with that.”While he was careful to say that Nasdaq wasn’t opposing the pending bill, John Zecca, the exchange operator’s global chief legal and regulatory officer, was also critical.“Legislation is a very blunt tool,” he said. “The government already has a number of tools to address this.”The issue of Chinese stock listings has attracted the attention of President Donald Trump, who has ratcheted up his attacks on China over the coronavirus pandemic and as friction mounts due to Beijing’s recent moves that chip away at Hong Kong’s political freedoms.Trump has ordered regulators to review Chinese companies’ lack of adherence to U.S. accounting rules and submit recommendations by early August on how to fix the problem, putting the SEC at the center of the fight. The president’s critiques come as slumping poll numbers show he faces a difficult road to winning re-election in November.Luckin ScandalAdding urgency to the debate over Chinese companies is this year’s high-profile accounting scandal at Luckin Coffee Inc. Since reaching a high of $50 a share in January, the Chinese chain has cratered more than 90% in Nasdaq trading, a plunge that’s erased about $11 billion of market value. Following an internal investigation, Luckin disclosed earlier this month that fabricated transactions had inflated its 2019 revenue by about $300 million.SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has said he supports the legislation because denying access to PCAOB examiners creates an “unlevel playing field” for U.S. investors. Clayton, in remarks prepared for Thursday’s event, said he expected the panelists’ comments to inform recommendations that regulators are preparing for Trump.The longstanding requirement that all companies that trade on U.S. exchanges submit their audits for PCAOB inspections was implemented in the wake of Enron Corp.’s 2001 accounting scandal. There are more than 200 Chinese corporations that have been allowed to sell shares in the U.S. without complying, according to the PCAOB. Their market capitalization is roughly $1.8 trillion, with Alibaba making up about one-third of the total.Bad AuditsFamous short seller Carson Block was among Thursday’s panelists who said the U.S. needs to do much more to prevent fraudulent Chinese companies from ripping off American investors.The Muddy Waters Capital founder said that when Chinese companies trading in the U.S. blow up, American affiliates of global accounting firms should be held financially responsible. The proposal is provocative because U.S. accounting firms have no role in scrutinizing the books of Chinese companies, which are typically examined by Chinese audit affiliates. Block said audits of Chinese companies are akin to a “rubber stamp.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
America is built on optimism, but it is not immune to the laws of science. It's a lesson some U.S. airlines have learned the past two weeks, as Covid-19 cases continue to increase in many regions. As cases go up, some state and city governments have instituted new quarantines that limit what travelers can do […]
* EUR/USD retreats from the 1.1370 as market sentiment deteriorates. * US Initial Jobless Claims came in better than expected but were largely ignored. * The pair needs to hold above 20-day SMA to keep focus on the upside.After reaching a fresh four-week high during the Asian session at 1.1370, EUR/USD came under pressure and accelerated to the downside in the New York trade, turning negative for the day. A bout of dollar demand, a retreat in Wall Street indexes made the market mood swing evident. Renewed concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a Supreme Court ruling granting access to a New York Prosecutor to US President Donald Trump's tax returns, cast a shadow over investors.US data failed to boost market mood and went largely unnoticed. There were 1,314,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits in the US during the week ending July 4th, following the previous week's print of 1,413,000 (revised from 1,427,000) and slightly better than the market expectation of 1,375,000.The EUR/USD pair retreated sharply from its daily peak of 1.1370 and slid back below the 1.1300 mark. The pullback also sent the pair back below a descending trendline coming from February 2018 highs, questioning bulls' ability to sustain the upmove. The short-term technical picture has deteriorated, with indicators falling below their mid-lines in the 4-hour chart. However, the bias remains slightly bullish in the daily chart, with 1.1400 as the next target. The EUR/USD needs to hold above the 20-day SMA at 1.1255 to keep focus on the upside, while a loss of this level could point to a deeper correction to the 1.1190-70 area. Support levels: 1.1255 1.1190 1.1168Resistance levels: 1.1370 1.1400 1.1422View Live Chart for the EUR/USDSee more from Benzinga * AUD/USD Forecast: Resurgent Coronavirus Contagions Weigh On The Aussie * EUR/USD Forecast: Comfortable Around 1.1300 * AUD/USD Forecast: Neutral-To-Bullish In The Short-Term And Heading Towards 0.7063(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Livongo Health (NASDAQ: LVGO) shares are trading higher on Thursday on continued strength after the company on Tuesday raised second-quarter sales guidance.Additionally, an Accenture survey showed that many patients are intended to continue using virtual care services after the coronavirus pandemic ends.Livongo Health provides a data science and technology-enabled platform for the detection of diabetes. Its additional solutions include Livongo for Hypertension, Livongo for Prediabetes and Weight Management, and Livongo for Behavioral Health by myStrength.The company's clients comprise of employers, health plans, government entities, and labor unions. Its operations are primarily located in the U.S.Livongo Health shares were trading up 12.06% at $108.50 at the time of publication on Thursday. The stock has a 52-week high of $108.87 and a 52-week low of $15.12.Related Links:Livongo Health Shares Open Well Above IPO PriceLivongo Health IPO: What You Need To KnowSee more from Benzinga * Why Livongo Health's Stock Is Trading Higher Today * Why Livongo Health's Stock Is Trading Higher Today(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) shares are trading higher on Thursday amid growing concerns of U.S. coronavirus cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier said the company will likely be going into advanced Phase 3 trials by the end of July.Moderna is engaged in creating transformative medicines based on messenger RNA, or mRNA. It transfers the information stored in the genes to the cellular machinery that makes all the proteins required for life. The firm is developing therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases.Moderna shares were trading up 5.17% at $64.76 at the time of publication on Thursday. The stock has a 52-week high of $87 and a 52-week low of $11.54.See Also:Moderna Strikes Another Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturing Deal To Ensure Overseas SupplySee more from Benzinga * Strategist Expects Gold, Silver To Gain As Pandemic Panic Subsides * Why Moderna's Stock Is Trading Higher Today(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether investors can challenge the 2012 agreements that let the federal government collect hundreds of billions of dollars of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s profits.The justices said they will hear an appeal by President Donald Trump’s administration of a ruling that would force the government to defend against a shareholder lawsuit. The investors say the agreements exceed the authority of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the two mortgage giants.Fannie jumped 5.7% to $2.22 in New York trading as of 3:11 pm, while Freddie rose 6% to $2.22.A ruling in the investors’ favor would give them a chance to collect a massive settlement. Fannie and Freddie have paid more than $300 billion in dividends to the Treasury under the so-called net-worth sweep.The administration told the court the dispute “is of immense practical importance.” The justices will hear the case in the nine-month term that starts in October.The Supreme Court on Thursday also agreed to hear an appeal from shareholders challenging the profit sweep under a different legal theory.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac keep the U.S. housing market humming by buying mortgages from lenders and packaging them into bonds that are sold to investors with guarantees of interest and principal.‘Cloud of Uncertainty’After the housing market cratered in 2008, the companies were put into federal conservatorship and sustained by taxpayer aid. They have since returned to profitability and paid $115 billion more in dividends to the Treasury than they received in bailout funds. Since 2013, most of their profits have been sent to the Treasury under the net-worth sweep.The administration contends the 2008 law that set up the FHFA precludes lawsuits that challenge the profit sweep. The law bars courts from doing anything to “restrain or affect the exercise of powers or functions of the agency as a conservator.”A splintered New Orleans-based federal appeals court let the lawsuit go forward, saying the FHFA wasn’t acting as a conservator when it agreed to the net-worth sweep.The suing shareholders said the appeals court reached the right conclusion. But they nonetheless urged the Supreme Court to hear the Trump administration appeal, saying all sides would benefit from clarity.“So long as there is a credible threat that litigation will invalidate the net-worth sweep, a cloud of uncertainty will hang over the companies’ capital structure,” the shareholders told the Supreme Court. “Investors will not be willing to supply the tens of billions of dollars in new capital that are essential to Treasury’s reform plan.”Shareholders in the New Orleans court said that the FHFA, which has a single director who can’t be fired without cause, has an unconstitutional structure, making its decision to enter the profit sweep invalid. While the divided New Orleans court agreed with shareholders that the FHFA’s structure is unconstitutional, it said that fact alone could not invalidate the sweep, leading to the shareholder appeal.Trump administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have long stated that they want to end federal control by releasing Fannie and Freddie from conservatorship. Wall Street analysts have said they are skeptical of that happening before the November election, meaning the administration’s goal largely depends on Trump winning a second term.The government’s appeal is Mnuchin v. Collins, 19-563., and the shareholders’ appeal is Collins v. Mnuchin, 19-422.(Updates shares, second case granted starting in 3rd paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.