What to watch
Paychex: Human resource and payroll outsourcing firm Paychex reports its latest quarterly earnings today. The $28bn market cap firm’s share price is down 8.6% year-to-date, after a 30% surge over the past three months. Analysts are expecting an earnings-per-share figure of $0.60, and overwhelmingly favour a hold rating on the stock. How well technology investments made in recent years have helped the company weather the Covid-19 storm will likely be a focus of analysts on the company’s earnings call.
Levi Strauss & Co: Fashion retailer Levi Strauss has experienced a rough ride in 2020. Its share price has jumped by more than 50% over the past three months, but remains down 25.3% year-to-date. Consumer spending on clothing has sunk due to the pandemic, and the firm only makes a small fraction of its revenue through online sales. Levi Strauss reports its second quarter earnings today, where analysts will be probing for how store reopenings have been translating into revenue, and management’s prognosis for the rest of the year given that surging Covid-19 case numbers in the US threaten to lead to further lockdowns. Analysts are expecting the company to have made a $0.48 per share loss for the quarter.
Job openings: May job openings figures from the US Labor Department will be released on Tuesday, where the expectation is for a decline from April’s figure of five million, which was the lowest figure in over five years. The report lags a month behind nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate data.
Crypto corner: Bitcoin Lightning Network susceptible to looting
Research from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has found Bitcoin’s secondary transaction network may be vulnerable to hackers.
Bitcoin can be slow to settle exchanges as only a few transactions per second are supported. As a result the Bitcoin Lightning Network was established to help buyers and sellers transact more quickly. While it is separate to Bitcoin itself, it is still connected and it is this connection that hackers could exploit, the university explains.
The researchers ran dummy tests to see if its hacking operation could work to ‘loot’ Bitcoin, during periods of transaction congestion and found that they were able to simulate the theft of around $1,021,476 worth of Bitcoin. The researchers did highlight however that while an issue, there were several potential fixes which could be implemented to the network to close the loophole and protect users.
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