Trade analysis is normally grouped into two categories, Technical and Fundamental. Normally when developing a trading strategy, traders will choose one or even a combination of both forms of analysis when developing a trading plan. While its always important to know and understand key technical levels, it is also good to know what is fundamentally driving market price.
This series of articles is geared to better understating Fundamental trading, and how shifts in market data can affect market price. Today we will begin by reviewing exactly what fundamentals are and where we can find pertinent market data to make better trading decisions.
What is a Fundamental
So what is a market fundamental? A market fundamental is a piece of specific data or event that causes money to flow either in or out of an underlying asset. As a trader we attempt to find the strongest currency and pair it with a weaker one. This means when trading a fundamental strategy, we will be looking for a series of data points that makes one more attractive than the other.
Knowing this, traders should be factoring in things such as employment data, inflation, interest rates and even political turmoil before buying a particular currency. If the underlying fundamental data is improving or getting stronger we have found a candidate currency to buy relative to another with poor performance.
So now that you are a little more familiar with what a fundamental is, now we need to find all this data so we can make an educated trading decision. Every good fundamental trader should have access to an economic calendar. This is where we can see which data points are being released from week to week. DailyFX updates an economic calendar HERE providing insight into what day and time releases are held, along with past data and current expectations.
Traders should keep an eye on the calendar at all times, as data hits or misses expectations this will ultimately change our fundamental outlook on a currency.
Which Events to Track
The final question is which events we should follow. This is a fair question, because there is a slew of economic data released each week! To help make things easier, the high importance events have been marked on the economic calendar as depicted above. These are the events that our normally monitored by policy makers such as central banks and have the ability to immediately influence market price. While these events are certainly important, just watching events such as this week’s employment figures for the US may not give us an overall opinion of the market.
The key to trading fundamentals is to combine a variety of data points to then make an educated trading decision. As we continue our study of fundamentals we will take a look at the main influences on an economy and how they can mold our trading opinion.
Watch the Market
As a fundamental trader, it is important to know how different events affect the valuation of a currency. To follow along with the market, make sure to sign up for a Free Forex Demo account with FXCM. This will allow you to monitor, track and trade currencies in real time.
This will conclude our first look at Forex fundamentals. In our next edition, we will begin looking at capital flows and how they can affect price and our outlook on the market!
---Written by Walker England, Trading Instructor
To contact Walker, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter at @WEnglandFX.
To be added to Walker’s e-mail distribution list, CLICK HERE and enter in your email information
New to the FX market? Save hours in figuring out what FOREX trading is all about. Take this free 20 minute “New to FX” course presented by DailyFX Education. In the course, you will learn about the basics of a FOREX transaction, what leverage is, and how to determine an appropriate amount of leverage for your trading.
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Looking for a career change? There’s no better time to consider a career in cybersecurity. U.S. businesses and government agencies are spending billions of dollars annually to protect their data and assets from malicious attacks. In fact, according to the 2022 Official Cybercrime Report by Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybersecurity spending will total $1.75 trillion between 2021 and 2025.
With the demand for qualified security professionals soaring, certification is a logical way to verify your skills and knowledge and get your resume noticed. We’ll highlight five certifications to help launch your cybersecurity career and offer exam preparation tips.
The following cybersecurity certifications are excellent ways to firm up your skill set and bolster your resume for hiring managers seeking to attract and retain the best employees.
The Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals certification is one of the most “entry-level” certifications we’re highlighting. Aimed at students, business users and IT professionals, this cert recognizes knowledge of numerous cybersecurity topics, including general Microsoft 365 and Azure. It also recognizes general IT knowledge or work experience and familiarity with cloud and networking computing concepts. To achieve certification, you must pass a single exam, which costs $99.
To Boost your chances of achieving this certification, Microsoft recommends using its self-paced Microsoft Learn content. Microsoft also suggests attending instruction events, taking practice exams and shadowing people who work in security, compliance, and identity management.
Did you know?: Microsoft certifications include numerous options for network engineers, security engineers and security operations analysts.
Folks in the security industry know ISACA for such long-running certificates as its Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and similar certifications – all of which grant intermediate to advanced credentials. They’re designed for IT professionals who want to help prevent and avoid network security threats and vulnerabilities.
The Cybersecurity Fundamentals certificate is designed to fill the entry-level niche. This certificate covers four cybersecurity-related domains:
The single exam costs $150 for ISACA members and $199 for nonmembers. The certificate doesn’t expire or require periodic recertification.
Perhaps the most well-known entry-level security certification is the CompTIA Security+, which covers a wide array of security and information assurance topics, including:
The certification meets U.S. Department of Defense Directive 8570.01-M requirements – an essential item for anyone looking to work in IT security for the federal government – and complies with the Federal Information Security Management Act.
CompTIA recommends that candidates have two years of relevant experience and achieve the Network+ credential before taking the Security+ exam. At $392, this exam lands roughly midway between the least and most expensive compared to other entry-level certifications. The Security+ certificate leads to such jobs as security administrator, systems administrator and network engineer, among others.
Tip: CompTIA is known for its vendor-neutral certification program. In general, CompTIA certifications are grouped according to skill set and focus on real-world skills all IT professionals need.
GIAC gears the GISF certification toward system administrators, managers and information security officers who need a solid overview of computer networks, security policies, incident response and cryptographic principles.
The GISF exam is considered to be more challenging than the CompTIA Security+ exam. GIAC certification exams in general require test takers to apply knowledge and problem-solving skills, so hands-on experience gained through training or on-the-job experience is recommended.
The GISF exam costs $949. Although GIAC includes two practice exams in the certification-attempt package, this exam price is exceptionally high.
After achieving the GISF, consider pursuing the GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC), an intermediate-level certification that takes a big step beyond foundational information security concepts.
Tip: Check out our picks for the best business continuity and disaster recovery certifications to help you learn to recover systems after a disaster.
The (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is probably the most recognizable and popular security certification today. But (ISC)2 offers several other security-related certifications, with the ANSI-accredited SSCP filling the entry-level slot.
The SSCP prepares you for such jobs as security analyst, network security engineer and security administrator, which typically start at the junior level if you don’t already have technical or engineering-related information technology experience.
To achieve the SSCP, you must pass a single exam that includes questions that span seven common body of knowledge (CBK) domains:
To ensure that you have sufficient hands-on security knowledge before taking the exam, (ISC)2 recommends that you attend training courses or conference workshops, participate in webinars, and read white papers and books.
The exam costs $2,490, and (ISC)2 offers a variety of study resources for purchase on its website.
Did you know?: Many additional niche cybersecurity certifications can help you advance your IT career. For example, you can also achieve big data certifications, digital forensics certifications, computer hardware certifications and networking certifications.
Regardless of which certification is the best fit for you, be prepared to devote ample self-study time to the effort. Many test takers prefer to use a top-rated study guide along with some practice exams and flashcards when preparing for a certification exam.
If your learning style leans more toward formal, instructor-led training, factor the costs and required time into your plans. Although training costs vary by certification, they typically run from $400 to over $5,000, depending on whether you choose online, virtual classroom or in-classroom delivery.
Entry-level certifications are an excellent way to begin, Boost or navigate your career path as an IT professional. Pursuing and achieving IT certifications helps you demonstrate a willingness to learn while developing the in-demand career skills your employers – and future employers – want.
Max Freedman contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.
The stock market habitually ignores fundamentals completely when the mood is at either the greed or fear extreme. And Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) as simply the latest examples as you can see from the following chart. Not that long ago (around 2021), both stocks had been trading at immense valuation premiums. To wit, BABA demanded a P/S multiple of around 10x and AMZN around 5.0x. Then the bubbles burst quickly and now BABA is trading only at 1.73x P/S ratio and AMZN at 1.97x, both at only a fraction of the market average of 4.61x represented by the NASDAQ 100 index.
Thus, it is the thesis of this article to examine if the above valuation correction is overdone (an almost 6x P/S ratio contraction for BABA and almost 3x contraction for AMZN). And you will see that my conclusion is yes.
It is true that both businesses have faced strong headwinds (some common and some unique to each of them) as you can clearly see from the following chart. BABA suffered a large decline in EBIT profit margin since 2021 both due to the macroeconomic slowdown of China's economy and also the tightened regulations. Its EBIT margin dropped from an average of 24% to a bottom of around 0% in the first half of 2022. Its margin has recovered to a healthy 13.5% in the most recent quarter, but still a far cry from its long-term average (only about ½ of its long-term average). The picture of AMZN is quite similar, although less dramatic. Its EBIT margin has been in a nosedive since ~2021 too. Its EBIT margin has been consistently above its average of 5.25% (except for two quarters) before 2021. However, it dropped to below 0% in the first of 2022. Its margin has recovered to a positive 2.8% in the most recent quarter, but still only ½ of its long-term average.
However, in the remainder of this article, I will argue that despite such profitability headwinds, the overvaluation correction is overblown. The current valuations in both stocks have ignored the growth curve from the secular e-commerce penetration and also their various high-growth initiatives. Their current profitability headwinds could persist but are ultimately temporary the way I see things. And furthermore, I see the price volatilities created thy such headwinds to be entry opportunities for long-term investors. To wit, for AMZN, near-term headwinds such as shipping congestion and inflation persisting could cause its prices to be stuck in a $90~$95 trading range, providing a reasonable entry point. For Alibaba, its current valuation is already very attractive, and China's ongoing protest and Zero COVID policy could create an even better entry point for long-term holdings.
First, let me start with what's comparable and what's not between these two businesses. I view BABA and AMZN as the bellwether stocks in the e-commerce sector - that is why this article picked them to gain a more vantage view of the current status of the e-commerce sector. And both stocks are comparable, or even identical, in many of their operation details and initiatives (e.g., both are leaders in the cloud space).
However, the elephant in the room is that BABA faces a "China risk" that AMZN does not. I won't dive too much into the "China risk". It is a broad and vague concept. Different readers and authors seem to interpret it differently. As the title of this article suggests, I will focus more on business fundamentals rather than geopolitics.
For the "China risk", I would refer readers to Ray Dalio and his writing. In particular, I highly recommend his book, The Changing World Order (a few quotes are provided below from this book). I read all of his books (not that many anyway) and follow his writings closely. And I view him as a leading expert on both China and the U.S., and especially their interplays.
- "I urge those of you who have not spent considerable time in China to look past the caricatured pictures that are often painted by biased parties and rid yourself of any stereotypes you might have that are based on what you thought you knew about the old "communist China" - because they are wrong."
- "Triangulate whatever you are hearing or practicing with people who have spent a lot of time in China working with Chinese people."
- "As an aside, I think the widespread medium distortions and the blind and the near-violent loyalties that stand in the way of the thoughtful exploration of our different perspectives are a frightening sign of our times."
As detailed in my earlier writings, for "new-economy" stocks like BABA and AMZN, a key business fundamental aspect I always check is their R&D: especially the sustainability and yield.
Therefore, let's first see how sustainable BABA and AMZN have been funding their new R&D efforts. The chart below displays their R&D expenditures in the past 10 years as a fraction of their total sales. As you can see, both BABA and AMZN have been consistently and also aggressively investing in R&D. In AMZN's case, it has been only spending a minimal amount on R&D before 2016 (less than 1% of its revenues). But after 2016, it cranked up its R&D substantially to a level of 12.0% of its total sales and has maintained it at this level since then. In BABA's case, it has been spending on average 10.0% of total revenues on R&D efforts systematically.
After establishing their R&D sustainability, let's examine how effective their R&D processes have been. The examination in this article follows a method detailed in my earlier article. The essential idea is to apply Buffett's $1 test on R&D expenditures. More specifically:
- The purpose of any corporate R&D is obviously to generate profit. Therefore, this analysis quantifies the yield by taking the ratio between profit and R&D expenditures. We used the operating cash flow as the measure of profit.
- Also, most R&D investments do not produce any results in the same year. They typically have a lifetime of a few years. Therefore, this analysis assumes a 3-year average investment cycle for both BABA and AMZN's R&D expenses. As a result, we used the 3-year moving average of operating cash flow to represent this 3-year cycle.
And the results are shown in the chart below for BABA and AMZN. As you can see, their R&D yields are different qualitatively, with BABA's yielding about $3.31 per $1 of R&D expenses and AMZN yielding only about $0.90. However, note that despite the qualitative differences, both BABA and AMZN have been demonstrating consistency in their R&D yield, signaling an efficient and sustainable process.
Also, to put things under a broader perspective, the next chart compares BABA and AMZN against the rest of the FAAMG stocks. As seen, the FAAMG stocks as a group feature an average R&D yield of $2.94. And BABA's $3.13 is only behind Apple and Facebook (or Meta Platforms).
We've examined their profitability above by the EBIT margin. Here, I will use ROCE (return on capital employed) as the main metric to take a closer look. As detailed in my blog article, ROCE is the most fundamental metric because:
ROCE considers the return of capital ACTUALLY employed and therefore provides insight into how much additional capital a business needs to invest to earn a given extra amount of income - a key to estimating the long-term growth rate. Because when we think as long-term business owners, the growth rate is "simply" the product of ROCE and reinvestment rate, i.e.,
Long-Term Growth Rate = ROCE * Reinvestment Rate
The ROCE results for BABA and AMZN are shown in the chart below. It is no secret that BABA's profitability has suffered tremendously in the past few years, and this is clearly shown in its ROCE data. Even just a few years back in 2019~2020, its ROCE has been astronomical, exceeding 100% (rivaling that of AAPL, the one with the highest ROCE in the FAAMG pack). But as aforementioned, due to the slowdown of China's macroeconomic growth and also the tightened regulation controls since 2021, its ROCE has suffered immensely. To wit, its ROCE has been on average 79.5% since 2020. And it currently hovers around 62.4% based on its most recent 2022 Q3 TTM financials as shown in the 2nd chart below.
AMZN's ROCE in recent years has unfortunately followed a similar trend as seen, except with a less dramatic decline. AMZN boasted a superb ROCE in the earlier part of the decade too, between 50% and 100%. In recent years since 2020, AMZN's ROCE has contracted substantially to an average of 29.0%. And its most recent 2022 Q3 TTM ROCE is even below this average as seen.
However, when we broaden our view a bit wider, both AMZN and BABA still enjoy robust ROCE. As a reference point, the overall economy's ROCE is around 20%. And as I will argue next, AMZN and BABA enjoy far better growth potential than the overall economy thanks to the secular shift towards e-commerce.
As aforementioned, I see BABA and AMZN as the bellwether stocks in the e-commerce space, and I also see both of the best-positioned stocks to capitalize on the secular growth of e-commerce. With all the online shopping apps installed on our smartphones, it is sometimes easy to form the misconception that e-commerce penetration is already toward an end. But the reality is nothing but. The global e-commerce penetration is at ~20%. Thus, the majority (80% of it) of commerce is still offline. Global retail e-commerce sales only reached $4.2 trillion in 2020. The bulk of the growth curve is still yet to come, with retail e-commerce projected to double in size by 2026, hitting $7.4 trillion.
Another key growth area for both BABA and AMZN is could. AMZN is the leading cloud provider in the U.S., with a market share far higher than MSFT and GOOG as seen from the following IOT report. In particular,
The cloud market has seen revenues grow at high double digits for years according to the report. The global public cloud market reached $157 billion in 2021and is expected to grow into a $2 to $10 trillion industry in a few years according to another.
And just AMZN is the dominant cloud provider in the U.S., BABA is the dominant player in China and other overseas markets. With the rapid growth potential in the could space, I anticipate AMZN and BABA to enjoy the support of this secular trend for many years to come.
As aforementioned, there are definitely headwinds for both stocks in the near term. For BABA, China's COVID-19 restrictions are still impacting many parts of the country's economy (with ripple effects to other countries). Customer growth in its China Commerce division (TaoBao and Tmall in particular) could take time to recover depending on the macroeconomic conditions. AMZN faces a range of near-term uncertainties such as inflation, supply chain pressures, and also currency exchange rates. The profitability of AMZN has been pressured by these headwinds in recent years as mentioned above and I see them persisting into 2023. These headwinds have created a challenging environment for its retail operations, which reported operating losses in recent quarters (as seen from the EBIT margin earlier). In response, AMZN has been dealing with cost control issues. For example, it had to shut down its subsidiary, fabric.com (which sold fabrics for almost 30 years), as a way to slash costs.
All told, I see the market sentiment toward the eCommerce sector has shifted from extreme greed to extreme fear in the past 2 years, as represented by the tremendous valuation contraction in BABA and AZMN stocks. However, business fundamentals still matter and will always matter. As you can see from the table below (which summarizes the key fundamentals and valuation metrics discussed throughout the article), both are still excellent businesses if you just look past the immediate headwinds. In particular, the PE of BABA (around 10x) is so low that it implies a permanently stagnating business despite the tremendous growth opportunities mentioned above. In particular, its cloud segment and International Commerce Retail segment, including Lazada and AliExpress, offer plenty of growth potential.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints coach Dennis Allen placed a renewed focus on fundamentals during the past week of practice and it appeared to pay off.
New Orleans did not turn the ball over, didn't have many missed tackles and was called for just two penalties during a 27-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday that kept the Saints within 1 1/2 games of first place in the NFC South, where no team has a winning record.
“Our tackling was really good," Allen said Monday after reviewing game video. "Our fundamentals on both sides of the ball were pretty good.
“A lot of times, penalties are a result of utilizing poor fundamentals or technique and then you get caught in a bad position,” Allen noted.
Playing with a patchwork offensive line that was missing three starters, the Saints prevented Rams star defensive lineman Aaron Donald from getting a sack or otherwise making a game-changing play.
Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who along with right guard Cesar Ruiz were the only regular starting offensive linemen to play in the game, said New Orleans' success likely stemmed in part from a “shared sense of urgency” that has players holding one another accountable.
With six games to play, the Saints have a decreasing margin for error if they want to catch first-place Tampa Bay (5-5).
“There’s no time for mishaps, miscommunication, any of that stuff,” Ramczyk said. "We've got to be locked in every week and I think that’s known. There’s a huge sense of urgency right now in this locker room.”
Allen said the premium the Saints have placed on character and leadership leaves him certain that if the Saints falter, it won't be because players checked out mentally as a difficult season wore on.
“Everybody faces adversity at some point in time, in life or in the game of football," Allen said. "How you respond to it says a lot about who you are as an individual.
“I’ve never questioned whether this team was going to go out there and fight,” Allen continued. "I don’t know that we’ve always executed as well as we would like and so, therefor, we haven’t probably gotten as good as results as we would like, but there’s no quit in this team.”
Beyond giving up one long Rams TD pass, the Saints didn't give up another reception longer than 20 yards in the game and ranked eighth in the NFL against the pass through Sunday's games. It helps that the Saints have been effective lately in pressuring the quarterback with 10 sacks in the past two games.
"I know we didn’t start off the season pressuring the quarterback as well, but now we’re getting to the point where we’re getting some pretty good pressure on the quarterback and affecting the quarterback,” Allen said.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The Saints defense has needed to Boost its ability to create turnovers all season — and that still hasn't changed after the unit forced no turnovers in Week 11. New Orleans has just two interceptions and five fumble recoveries in 11 gams and has an NFL-worst turnover differential of minus-12.
Linebacker Kaden Ellis has had to play more because of linebacker Pete Werner's injury. He was in on 10 tackles and credited with a 1 1/2 sacks against the Rams. ... Tight end Juwan Johnson has five touchdowns in the past five games.
Defensive back Chris Harris, who was brought in for depth but has been pressed into a more prominent role because of injuries to cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Roby, was beaten deep down the left sideline on Sunday by Tutu Atwell for a 62-yard touchdown.
The Saints were down three defensive ends after Payton Turner went out with an ankle injury Sunday. Cameron Jordan (eye) and Marcus Davenport (calf) missed the Rams game entirely. The Saints' defense also was without Lattimore for a sixth straight game. Werner has missed two games. Left tackle James Hurst is trying to come back from a concussion that sidelined him last weekend.
1 — The number of times the Saints have won this season on the road, where they play their next two games.
The Saints will travel to San Francisco hoping to win two straight for the first time this season. If they do, it sets up a potentially pivotal game in the NFC South in Week 13, when the Saints visit division leader Tampa Bay in a Monday night game.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
As one of only two teams in the league with two or fewer wins entering Week 11, it’s fair to say the Raiders are performing severely below expectations.
After finishing 10-7 with a Wild Card berth in 2021 and making significant offseason additions like Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, the Raiders are 14th in points scored and 17th in total yards. Defensively, they’re 28th in points allowed and yards allowed.
So as the 2-7 club prepares for a matchup against the division-rival Broncos — one of two teams Las Vegas has defeated this season — offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham both put an emphasis on one word in their Tuesday press conferences:
“I keep saying it over and over again, but we’ve strung good days together on the practice field,” Lombardi said. “And I think the belief from the players and from the coaching staff and everybody, is that stringing good days together on the practice field is going to result in opportunities on Sunday to produce some plays. … We’ve just got to keep putting positive days together and focus on the fundamentals to reduce the negative plays.”
“Just in terms of when you’re not getting the results, the process is the process in terms of what we’re trying to build here, and what we’re going to build here,” Graham said. “The thing you got to stick to is just the fundamentals of the game. It comes down to running, tackling, block destruction, trying to cause turnovers. There’s a lot of stuff to Boost upon right now. But the focus has to be on, defensively, tackling, defeating blocks, defending the deep part of the field. Nothing new there because if we just have incremental improvement there, then the results change.
“So, that’s a big focus for us and then just getting better at that. That’s how I know how to go through the process. In my 14 years in the league and my 21 years coaching, that’s really been a good guideline for me and the teams I’ve been a part of.”
When a team is struggling as much as the Raiders have, there isn’t much else to fall back on. We’ll see if the Raiders look more like the team that beat the Broncos 32-23 back in Week Four or the one that has collapsed in losses to the Jaguars and Colts in the last two weeks on Sunday.
Raiders coordinators stressing fundamentals after latest loss originally appeared on Pro Football Talk
Industry-driven nationally recognized certification for students, dislocated workers, and new-to-the-industry employees
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- SME, a nationally recognized certifying body in manufacturing, announced today that it has developed and will offer the Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals (RMF) credential. The new certification, focused on assessing a candidate's comprehension of fundamental robotics concepts, may be used by those currently looking to upskill or reskill into manufacturing careers before pursuing equipment-specific or career pathway-specific training in robotics. The credential can help individuals begin a lifelong career in an industry where there is opportunity for advancement and good-paying jobs.
The industry-recognized RMF credential was developed by SME, with two leading organizations in the robotics education area: Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and FIRST®.
"Through our extensive networks in industry, education and workforce, SME identified a common need for a robotics credential that demonstrates certification holders have a basic understanding of robotics concepts before starting a more advanced training program," said Jeannine Kunz, Chief Workforce Development Officer, SME and member of the Education and Workforce Advisory Committee of ARM, the Robotics Institute. "We worked closely with the REC Foundation and FIRST to validate the body of knowledge to cover courses relevant for foundational robotics courses across a wide range of industries."
The RMF credential, focused on the fundamentals of manufacturing robotics, provides a starting point for any career pathway a candidate may pursue in the field of robotics.
"The global robotics market is expected to reach $74 billion by 2026 and there is tremendous opportunity for those who want to advance their career," Kunz said. "To keep our industry thriving, we need to help meet the high demand for advanced manufacturing and robotics talent in our country."
With a RMF credential and the fundamental knowledge it represents, a candidate has many options available to them including:
"It is important for FIRST to recognize the high value of skills and experiences that students gain through robotics programs," said Chris Rake, Chief Operating Officer, FIRST. "The RMF credential unlocks exciting career pathways, helping us inspire young people to become leaders in robotics and advanced manufacturing, and we're proud to join SME in developing this program."
The RMF credential is ideal for high school and college students, dislocated workers, under-employed individuals, veterans, at-risk youth, and others who are seeking new employment in high-demand manufacturing jobs.
"The REC Foundation is pleased to partner with SME to create the Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals certification as a way to recognize students that are pursuing Industry 4.0 technology careers," said Dan Mantz, CEO, REC Foundation. "Manufacturing is evolving and today's manufacturing jobs require high tech skills. But there is a critical shortage of tech workers for these jobs so students earning this certification will have excellent career opportunities. The Robotics in Manufacturing Fundamentals certification is an exciting complement to the existing REC Foundation industry certifications in Pre-engineering and Robotics that are part of our workforce development initiatives."
SME has led the manufacturing industry in providing industry-recognized certifications for over 50 years, including Lean Certification, Additive Manufacturing Certification, Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA), Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT), and Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE).Supporting Knowledge
Candidates may pursue the RMF credential on their own, work with their local training provider, or access Tooling U-SME resources to prepare for the exam.
Tooling U-SME offers an optional preparatory program of 22 online classes covering foundational manufacturing courses such as an introduction to manufacturing, applied mathematics, robotic applications, robot systems and components, robot programming concepts, and more – courses agreed upon by manufacturing experts as being relevant for foundational robotics knowledge across a wide-range of industries. Following completion of the training program, passing the certification exam validates knowledge gained.
With each class lasting approximately 60 minutes, the training program can be completed in just a few weeks (typically less than one month) or in one semester as part of an Introduction to Robotics course at school, offering short-term, but comprehensive, preparation for the certification exam.
With the prospect of over 2 million jobs expected to be left open due to a lack of trained workers, there is plenty of opportunity for career advancement.
Additionally, employees are more open to the field than ever before. According to ARM Institute, 77 percent of workers say that they would be happy to work alongside robotics in manufacturing if it meant having to perform fewer manual processes.About SME
We believe in the power of technology and the innovation of people to advance our nation and solve the world's greatest problems. For 90 years, SME has been leading the manufacturing ecosystem to elevate manufacturers, academia, professionals, and the communities in which they operate. We build the bridge from today to the future by developing the next generation of manufacturing talent and informing industry on technology advances that can propel their operations into excellence. Learn more at sme.org, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter, or facebook.com/SMEmfg.About The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC Foundation) provides educators with competition, education, and workforce readiness programs to increase student engagement in science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science. Through its robotics and drone initiatives, the REC Foundation is inspiring and preparing a global community of over one million students to become innovative leaders. Visit roboticseducation.org to learn more and follow us on Twitter @REC_Foundation or facebook.com/RECFoundation.About FIRST
FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Participants and alumni of FIRST programs gain access to education and career discovery opportunities, connections to exclusive scholarships and employers, and a place in the FIRST community for life. Learn more at firstinspires.org.
View original content to obtain multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sme-introduces-robotics-in-manufacturing-fundamentals-certification-301691579.html
On Wednesday at the U.S. Supreme Court, justices will hear arguments in a case out of North Carolina that could fundamentally transform federal elections in our country. The case was brought by Republican legislative leaders after the state Supreme Court redrew congressional districts it determined were so gerrymandered by the legislature, that they violated the state constitution.
Now Moore v. Harper will determine what role state courts can play in such redistricting matters. The case has captivated the attention of legal scholars and resulted in some sounding alarms about the future of election administration in America.
Here is a primer on Moore v. Harper and why it's so significant.
In very basic terms — power, maintaining power, and congressional redistricting.
It’s also about checks and balances. And in this case, a central question is if a state legislature draws congressional districts that are illegal, whether a state supreme court can step in and implement new maps? This is precisely what happened in North Carolina in February 2022. And the very thing North Carolina lawmakers want state courts to be prevented from doing in the future.
Yup. The well-respected SCOTUS blog has called this an 800-pound gorilla.
Rebecca Harper, the named plaintiff, and 25 other North Carolina voters sued North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, the named defendant, after the General Assembly enacted new congressional districts in 2021.
Harper and the other plaintiffs argued that the new map should not be allowed to take effect because it violated numerous provisions of the state constitution. Initially, the state Supreme Court agreed, and the legislature was granted another chance to draw legal maps. After the legislature’s next set of lines didn’t pass muster, the court adopted a congressional map established by three court-appointed experts. The case, Moore v. Harper, is now on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.
That’s correct. Republican lawmakers are using an old, and for a long time seldom referenced, provision from the U.S. Constitution to make their case. It’s called the Independent State Legislature Theory. The elections clause of the constitution reads:
"The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators."
Lawmakers are testing this theory. And MIT Political Science Professor Charles Stewart says the one element of the case amounts to a question of constitutional hardball.
“You know, pushing arguments to their limits, and avoiding norms that have grown up over the last century around the rules of democracy," says Stewart. "And I think it's a fact that Democrats have not been willing to play that hardball game yet, to the degree that Republicans have.”
Not exactly. In a brief with the court, Republicans addressed this very question and said that there are guardrails in place, including some challenges that could be made in federal court. Professor Stewart agrees there would be some guardrails, however, he has questions.
"The question is whose guardrails? And where? And what are the rules that they would be using? And what kind of guardrail is it?" asks Stewart. "There would still be federal law passed by Congress. There would still be the federal courts, there would still be the federal constitution. I think that's the argument being made by the legislators."
Stewart pushes back on one commonly presented argument.
"I don't think it's credible to make the argument that the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to hand down a decision which says that state legislators can do pretty much whatever they want to whenever they want to, in administering elections, including deciding who the winners are, I just don't think that's a plausible position."
Attorneys for the plaintiffs say this whole legal attempt is radical, dangerous, and holds the potential to upend congressional and presidential elections as we’ve known them. They are dismissive of the Independent State Legislature Theory on its face and are worried that a favorable ruling to Republican lawmakers will give them near unfettered power over congressional districts.
Additionally, the plaintiffs contend this kind of one-way street could allow legislatures even more autonomy over elections and issues ranging from photo identification requirements, to scheduling, to election processes, to — eventually — presidential electors. For their part, defendants have said the plaintiffs' arguments here are narrow in scope and have accused critics of fearmongering and overstating the argument at hand.
Investors have been conditioned to expect a Santa Claus rally in the stock market heading into year-end as trading volumes decline, news flows dwindle, and positive psychology permeates among retail investors, but that may not be the case this year.
According to a note from TS Lombard, while positive seasonals definitely boost the prospect of further gains, they're outweighed by the fundamentals.
And right now, three bearish fundamental factors are dominating the markets and increase the likelihood that the typical Santa Claus rally stumbles this year, according to the note.
Stocks have already seen big gains since their mid-October low, with the S&P 500 rallying 13%, and up 10% so far in the fourth quarter. But those gains are double the median fourth-quarter rally of 5.5%, and the average fourth-quarter rally of 4.3%.
"Additionally, when the S&P rallies above its 50 and 100-day moving average, it looks technically vulnerable as it heads towards its 200-day moving average," TS Lombard said. That's exactly what's happening, as the index backed away from its 200-day moving average in recent days, falling more than 2%.
"Moreover, the rally in equities contrasts with the rates volatility rebound on the recent spate of Fed hawkish speak," TS Lombard said. The 10-year US Treasury yield has surged nearly 20 basis points over the past two days to 3.77%.
"This week alone we will have a key speech from Powell, US core PCE and a jobs report, followed by an OPEC meeting at the weekend. Then virtually every developed market central bank will report over a two-week period. Plus there will be the US CPI one day before the final Fed meeting of the year, where we will get a new set of projections, dots, and the markets pivot narrative will be put to the test," TS Lombard said.
That's a lot of volatile events for investors to digest in such a short period of time, and it could ultimately lead to big downside moves in the stock market.
As yield curves turn inverted, the writing is on the wall: an economic recession is imminent. That's been TS Lombard's base case since the summer, and the effects of a economy slow walking into a recession means investor sentiment is likely to plummet.
"It is important to note that as the economy deteriorates into a recession, adverse sentiment kicks in and things tend to become non-linear, accelerating the slowdown. Correspondingly, volatility tends to rise form half a year before the recession begins, spiking at the start of the recession," TS Lombard said.
Altogether, the heightened risk for the economy and volatility means that while the end of the year tends to be positive for the stock market based on seasonals, there's high likelihood that bearish fundamentals could dominate and lead to a fizzled out rally.