Met Gala 2023 theme will celebrate late designer Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld attends the Conde’ Nast International Luxury Conference at Palazzo Vecchio on April 22, 2015 in Florence, Italy.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto | Getty Images

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced on Friday next year’s Met Gala theme: a celebration of the works of the late German designer Karl Lagerfeld.

The Gala, formally known as The Costume Institute Benefit, is an annual fundraiser scheduled for the first Monday in May — for next year, that means May 1. It is followed by the institute’s annual spring exhibition, this year titled “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” which will be on view from May 5 through July 16.

Lagerfeld spent the majority of his life in the fashion world, with his first designs debuting in the 1950s. His final collection — following a nearly seven-decade career — was released in 2019. Lagerfeld died that same year at the age of 85. The Met’s exhibition will showcase approximately 150 garments from Lagerfeld’s time as creative director at several iconic, high-fashion retailers, including Chloé, Fendi and Chanel, as well as from his eponymous label.

“This immersive exhibition will unpack his singular artistic practice, inviting the public to experience an essential part of Lagerfeld’s boundless imagination and passion for innovation,” Max Hollein, a director at The Met, said in a press release.

The pieces will also be accompanied by Lagerfeld’s sketches.

The Gala operates on an invitation-only basis, bringing celebrities, influencers and media personalities from around the globe. Themes are intended to guide attendees’ fashion choices. This past year’s theme, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” focused on American fashion throughout the decades. Other notable recent themes include “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018) and “China Through the Looking Glass” (2015).

The benefit serves as The Costume Institute’s main source of funding for its exhibitions, publications and other operations. This year’s celebrity co-chairs — who will follow on the heels of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds — are yet to be announced.

Funding for this year’s event comes from Chanel and Fendi, as well as from Karl Lagerfeld and Condé Nast.

Electric and autonomous vehicle ETF falls 15% in September

GMC vehicles sit on display at the Sterling McCall Buick GMC dealership on February 02, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

A key ETF for electric and autonomous vehicle stocks suffered an ugly month in September, falling nearly 15% amid fears a recession could slow revenue for the automakers.

The Global X Autonomous and Electric Vehicles ETF closed on Friday at about $20, more than 37% off the group’s 52-week high. It was the second worst-performing month for the group on a percentage basis on record, behind only March 2020 when the overall stock market saw dramatic declines.

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Investors are growing concerned that the potential for a recession won’t deter the Federal Reserve Bank from its plan to continue hiking interest rates, which in turn could make new vehicles more costly for consumers and businesses that need to finance the purchases.

Consumers are already grappling with sticker prices that are higher than ever – and with tight supplies that have led some dealers to demand additional premiums. According to J.D. Power estimates, the average transaction price for a new car sold in August was $46,259, the highest on record.

TrueCar analyst Zack Krelle thinks consumers are already beginning to balk at those high prices, especially as inflation drives their other expenses higher – and especially as interest rates continue to rise.

“We’re seeing consumers faced with the reality that to afford the same vehicle at the same monthly payment as last year, they are forced to increase their down payment, which is creating new affordability challenges,” Krelle said in a statement on Thursday. “With increasing interest rates, affordability is being tested.”

It’s likely that automakers’ profits will slump if the U.S. enters a recession. That has put pressure on the stocks of auto giants like Ford Motor (down 27% in September), General Motors (down 18%), and Volkswagen (down 13%), all of which are included in the ETF’s holdings.

It’s also pressuring shares of the suppliers and startups in the EV and autonomous-driving spaces that make up the majority of the ETF’s portfolio. Not only would a recession limit automakers’ ability to invest in new technologies, but higher interest rates — and the market weakness that could accompany a recession — would also make it harder for those smaller companies to raise additional capital from other investors.

Most major automakers are prepared to ride out a recession. But many of the smaller companies in the EV and self-driving spaces could struggle. Some of the names that have attracted investor attention over the last couple of years are still a long way from sustainable profitability and are likely to need additional cash infusions over the next few years.

Some, like EV battery startup QuantumScape (a constituent of the ETF, down 21% in September) may not even have meaningful revenue for several more quarters, much less profits.

Among the ETF’s other big movers in September:

  • Lidar maker Luminar Technologies was down 13% for the month.
  • Chinese electric-vehicle makers Nio and XPeng ended the month down 20% and 34%, respectively.
  • Electric heavy-truck maker Nikola fell 35% in September.

— CNBC’s Gina Francolla contributed to this report.

Trump urged to tell Digital World shareholders to vote on Truth Social merger delay

Homepage and app announcement of “Truth Social.”

Christoph Dernbach | picture alliance | Getty Images

Patrick Orlando, the CEO of the shell company set to take Trump Media and Technology Group public, on Friday urged Donald Trump and Trump Media CEO Devin Nunes to promote an upcoming vote to extend the merger deadline for the two companies.

“@realDonaldTrump @DevinNunes let’s get the vote awareness up,” the Digital World Acquisition Corp. chief wrote in a Truth Social post that attached information about the shareholder vote.

Representatives for DWAC and TMTG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

DWAC stockholders will vote on Oct. 10 to approve an extension to the merger deadline. A similar vote in September failed to garner the necessary 65% investor support. Orlando then injected $2.8 million from his company Arc Global Investments II into a trust for DWAC, helping it stave off liquidation for the moment. 

The former president has already hinted at killing the deal to go public and using his own money to finance the media venture. “Who knows? In any event, I don’t need financing, ‘I’m really rich!’ Private company anyone???” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post in early September.

DWAC is a special purpose acquistion company, or SPAC. These so-called blank check companies find businesses to take into public stock markets.

DWAC has until December to complete the merger with Trump Media and take the former president’s company, giving it access to billions of dollars. A successful shareholder vote would extend the deadline by about a year.

Another key deadline for the deal passed in September. Private investors who agreed to provide around $1 billion following the merger are no longer contractually obliged to provide that capital. DWAC reported last week that $138 million of the private investment has already been withdrawn.

These are far from the only issues facing DWAC and Trump Media. The two companies are the subject of a Justice Department probe into possible securities violations relating to conversations that occurred between the company representatives prior to the merger. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating the deal.

Trump Media has said it was exploring legal proceedings against the SEC, saying the regulator has delayed the merger. 

The former president is also the subject of multiple investigations of his own. New York Attorney General Letitia James recently announced civil proceedings against him, the Trump Organization and his three eldest kids for fraud. He is also under investigation for his actions relating to the removal of sensitive documents from the White House, his alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election and for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. 

Trump launched Truth Social and Trump Media after he was banned from Twitter and other social media platforms after the riot, when hundreds of his supporters stormed Congress in a failed bid to prevent lawmakers from confirming Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.

DWAC closed more than 3% higher at $16.81, but is far off its 2022 high of about $97.

expect humanoid robot Optimus demo

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and leaders from the company’s AI and hardware teams are expected to speak at the company’s AI Day 2022, an engineer-recruiting event, which will be live-streamed on Friday starting around 5:00 p.m. in California. You can watch AI Day 2022 here.

During the last AI Day in August 2021, Musk said Tesla was going to build a humanoid robot, which is referred to as either the Tesla Bot or Optimus today.

“It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate through a world of humans, and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks,” Musk said at the time.

Tesla didn’t have a hardware prototype to show last year and made the 2021 announcement with an actor dressed in a Tesla Bot body suit dancing on stage. The stunt drew sneers from critics and cheers from fans.

This year, investors are expecting a real tech demonstration of the robot, along with updates on Tesla’s progress developing self-driving technology that can turn the company’s existing electric vehicles into robotaxis.

Musk has been promising a truly self-driving Tesla since 2016 when he said a coast-to-coast demo would happen by the end of 2017. To-date the company has only released driver assistance systems that need to be constantly supervised by a human driver who remains attentive to the road and their car, ready to take over at any time.

When Musk originally floated the humanoid robot concept at AI Day 2021, Musk said of Optimus, “It should be able to, ‘please go to the store and get me the following groceries,’ that kind of thing.”

Later, Musk said that robots made by Tesla will one day be worth more than its cars, and that thousands of them would be put to work moving parts around the factories, where humans build cars and batteries.

During Tesla’s 2021 fourth-quarter earnings call, Musk remarked: “If you think about the economy– the foundation of the economy is labor. Capital equipment is distilled labor. So what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage? I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about, so very important.” 

Tesla has a mixed record with automation.

As Bernstein senior research analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a September 30 note ahead of AI Day 2022, In 2018 Tesla “had mistakenly tried to hyper-automate its final assembly (i.e. putting parts into cars).” The result was that Musk soon admitted “excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” and “humans are underrated.”

Tesla brought more people back to its manufacturing and assembly lines after that, but Sacconaghi writes that today Tesla is over-automating its customer service. Tesla owners generally find it difficult to get in touch with individual sales and service reps at Tesla, and are steered to conduct all possible resolution of complaints through Tesla’s mobile app.

A long-time robotics engineer, Alexander Kernbaum, who now serves as interim director of robotics at the vaunted research and development non-profit SRI International, says whether Tesla impresses with its robotics update at AI Day or not, the company has the resources to develop something meaningful and has inspired new interest in the field.

However, Kernbaum notes, when it comes to creating a robot that can make a difference in an car assembly plant, there’s really no need for Tesla to develop a bi-pedal robot. “Mobile robots will find uses,” he explains, “But mobility should be as simple as possible for a factory environment meaning wheels would be the way to go, not legs.”

Robotic legs require a lot of power, for one thing, which would put strain on any battery Tesla develops for its robotics. Additionally, legged robots — like people — can trip and fall. Wheeled robots would not be as likely to tip over. The safety concern should be tantamount in a factory, Kernbaum suggests.

Kernbaum believes Tesla would be best-served to focus on robotic hands. He said, “Hands are like the ultimate multi-tool. Dexterity and in-hand object manipulation are the grand 10-year challenges that will have an obvious impact on all precision manufacturing and on everything really.”

AI Day 2022 will be the company’s first major event since former AI leader of Tesla Andrej Karpathy resigned. AI Day precedes Tesla’s third-quarter vehicle production and deliveries report which is expected within days.

Over 700,000 borrowers no longer qualify for student loan relief

Hundreds of thousands of borrowers will no longer qualify for President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, according to new guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. 

In a stunning reversal from previous guidelines, many borrowers who have federal student loans that are owned by private entities are no longer eligible for debt relief. 

“As recently as yesterday, the site said they were working on a solution for these borrowers,” Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, tweeted. “This is a gut punch, to say the least.”

In August, the Biden administration announced that the government would forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loans for those making less than $125,000 a year for individuals or $250,000 for married couples or heads of households and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients who meet the income threshold. Private loan holders are not included in the plan.

Here’s what the updated guidance — and a new legal challenge to Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan —mean for borrowers.

Who no longer qualifies for debt relief? 

How can I check if I am still eligible for student loan forgiveness? 

First, you should verify that you meet the income threshold by checking your 2020 and 2021 tax returns, as experts say that the administration will likely estimate your annual income from either, or both, of those forms.

The best way to confirm whether or not you will be affected by changes to the program is by calling your loan servicer and asking what kind of loans you have, says Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance. 

Since the FFEL program ended in 2010, if you took out any federal loans after that year, they’re likely held by the government, and you’ll still qualify for relief, Buchanan adds.

Could legal challenges to the forgiveness plan delay relief?

Earlier this week, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative law organization, launched the first major legal challenge to Biden’s plan.

“This won’t be the last legal challenge we’ll see, and any of those have the potential to delay or indefinitely pause the rollout of the relief,” Dimino says. “There’s a lot of complicated factors for the department to work through, because no other administration has attempted wide-scale debt relief like this before.”

Attorneys general in Missouri, Arizona, Texas and other states are also “considering their options” to block loan forgiveness, CNBC reports. 

Buchanan adds that while there’s been a lot of noise, the most reliable source borrowers can check for information about the plan is what the Education Department is publishing on its FAQ page. He also encourages borrowers to sign up for the department’s “federal student loan borrower updates” emails to be notified when the application is live.

On its website, the department said it is still assessing “whether there are alternative pathways to provide relief to borrowers with federal student loans not held by [the Education Department], including FFEL Program loans and Perkins Loans,” and is discussing possible actions with private lenders. 

Check out:

Borrowers react to student loan forgiveness: ‘A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders’

Biden announces $10,000 student loan forgiveness plan—here’s who qualifies

Student debt experts say $10,000 isn’t enough specifically for Black borrowers—here’s why

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Ford (F) stock up 70% since Jim Farley became CEO, but he has work to do

Ford CEO Jim Farley poses with the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck in Dearborn, Michigan, May 19, 2021.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

DETROIT – As incoming CEO of Ford Motor, Jim Farley promised more transparency to Wall Street as well as a clear plan for the future.

At the time, Ford was considered behind the industry when it came to all-electric and autonomous vehicles, connectivity and software. Its messaging and plans were unclear to Wall Street, causing shares to tumble.

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Two years later, Farley, 60, has largely delivered on his promises through the company’s ongoing Ford+ transformation plan, but there remains work to be done.

He has restructured operations and largely brought Wall Street back into the automaker’s corner for the first time since Alan Mulally – credited with saving the automaker from bankruptcy in 2009 – stepped down as CEO eight years ago. Ford’s stock is up about 70% since Farley took over, despite recent declines.

“What matters to us and the team is delivering on strong business results,” said Farley told CNBC in August 2020, when he was announced as incoming CEO. “As far as communicating to Wall Street … one of the most important commitments that we’re making as a team is a clear and specific plan for the company and the company’s transformation.”

Both of Farley’s predecessors – Jim Hackett and Mark Fields – left the automaker amid lackluster stock prices and failing to create confidence in the automaker on Wall Street. Under Hackett, a former CEO of furniture company Steelcase, Ford’s stock price declined by 40%.

But, as Farley routinely says, the automaker remains in the early innings of its Ford+ transformation plan and the industry’s shift to electric vehicles – likely representing the stock’s improvement under Farley but also its recent fall amid a larger market decline. Ford’s stock achieved decades-high prices of more than $25 a share to begin the year, but it’s off about 56% from its peak in January.

There remain doubts about the outlook for the auto industry as well as Ford’s ability to execute on its plans. The company has continued to experience problems with vehicle launches, warranty costs and supply chains – all things Farley vowed to fix upon becoming CEO.

“Key risks to our view relate to Ford’s ability to profitably pivot to growth areas such as EVs and AVs, the auto cycle, market share, and margins (both margin pressure in a downturn and margin expansion longer term from company specific initiatives),” Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney said in a note to investors last week.

Most recently, the company surprised Wall Street by pre-releasing part of its third-quarter earnings report, warning investors of $1 billion in unexpected supplier costs. Since then, shares of the company are down by more than 23%, including its largest daily fall in 11 years a day after the announcement.

Ford Chair Bill Ford and President and CEO Jim Farley converse in front of newly revealed Mustang Dark Horse at The Stampede in downtown Detroit on Sept. 14, 2022.


“I think the biggest thing he’s done is get the market to believe in Ford again. That belief has perhaps been put on hold now until they show they can meet full year 2022 guidance in light of the Q3 preannounce not being well received at all,” Morningstar analyst David Whiston told CNBC, echoing other analysts.

Whiston describes Farley as a “blunt communicator” who’s “not afraid to take some bold courses of action,” such as internally separating Ford’s traditional and electric vehicle businesses; increasing investments in electric vehicles to $50 billion through 2025; and cost-cutting and headcount reductions.

“He’s also a ‘car guy’ which I like because he has passion for product, which helps get vehicles like the Mach-E as opposed to a crappy (economy box battery-electric vehicle) that no one wants,” Whiston said, before adding he’d like to see fewer recalls and improvement on warranty costs. “But I think Ford is in great hands with Farley in charge.”

Ford’s stock is rated overweight with a price target of $16.12 – roughly $4 more than its current price, according to average estimates of analysts compiled by FactSet.

Here are the stock’s best and worst days during Farley’s tenure as CEO so far:

  • Jan. 4, 2022, +11.7%: Ford announces plans to nearly double annual production capacity of its electric F-150 pickup to 150,000 vehicles per year at a plant in Michigan.
  • Dec. 10, 2021, +9.6%: Farley tells CNBC Investing Club with Jim Cramer that the company has closed reservations for its electric F-150 Lightning after topping 200,000 units.
  • Oct. 28, 2021, +8.7%:  Ford nearly doubles Wall Street’s earnings expectations and slightly beats revenue projections for the third quarter, leading the automaker to increase its annual guidance for the second time last year.
  • Sept. 20, 2022, -12.3%:  Ford pre-releases part of its third-quarter earnings report and warns investors of $1 billion in unexpected supplier costs.
  • Feb. 4, 2022, -9.7%: Ford significantly misses Wall Street’s fourth-quarter earnings expectations and slightly misses on revenue.    
  • April 29, 2021, -9.4%: Ford impresses Wall Street with its first-quarter earnings results, but the company’s lackluster guidance for the year surprises, even confuses, investors and analyst.

– CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

Ford shares fall after company warns of extra $1 billion in costs

Intel-owned Mobileye files S-1 for IPO

Mobileye’s CEO Amnon Shashua poses with a Mobileye driverless vehicle at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, July 20, 2021.

Jeenah Moon | Reuters

Mobileye, an Intel-owned company that makes chips, maps, and software for self-driving cars, has filed for an IPO, according to a prospectus filed with the SEC on Friday.

Mobileye’s filling indicates strong revenue growth for the Israeli-based subsidiary, from $879 million in sales in 2019, to $967 million in 2020, to $1.39 billion last year. Losses have shrunk from $328 million in 2019 to $75 million last year.

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The move to list Mobileye on the Nasdaq is part of Intel’s broader strategy to turn around its core business. Intel acquired the company for $15.3 billion in 2017 and had previously announced plans to take Mobileye public this year.

Intel previously said that it would use some funds from the Mobileye listing to build more chip factories as it embarks on a capital-intensive process to become a foundry for other chipmakers.

Mobileye, founded in 1999, has partnered with Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, GM, and Ford to develop advanced driving and safety features such as driver assist and lane-keeping using the company’s “EyeQ” camera, chips, and software. Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua said in the filing that 50 companies are currently using the company’s technology across 800 vehicle models.

The prospectus says that Mobileye is planning to list Class A common stock, but did not provide the number of shares or price range for the proposed offering. Intel will maintain ownership of Class B shares that have ten times the votes of Class A shares, according to the prospectus, giving it control over the company’s board and other decisions.

Intel is looking to test the public markets at a time where the appetite for futuristic growth technology like self-driving cars have slowed significantly in the face of rising inflation and macroeconomic concerns.

Intel stock was up less than 1% in extended trading.

3 events will set the market’s tone for October

Cramer's week ahead: 3 events will determine if markets' bad momentum will continue in October

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday said that three key events next week will determine if the nightmarish month for the stock market will continue into October.

Here are the events:

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  • The release of the nonfarm labor report Friday. Cramer said he expects it to show inflated hiring and wages.
  • Two speaking engagements by Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, who Cramer believes is the primary inflation hawk on the Federal Open Market Committee. “She wants to protect us … from high inflation, even if that means raising interest rates into a recession,” he said.

The S&P 500 closed out its worst month since March 2020 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite fell 8.8% and 10.5%, respectively, for the month.

While it’s likely that Mester and the report will both bring bad news, investors can protect themselves from the market wreckage if they stick to a solid game plan, according to Cramer. 

“Own high-quality companies with good balance sheets and high dividends that will benefit from a decline in inflation, because that’s what’s going to happen,” he said.

He also previewed next week’s slate of earnings. All earnings and revenue estimates are courtesy of FactSet.

Wednesday: Helen of Troy, Lamb Wesson

Helen of Troy

  • Q2 2023 earnings release before the bell; conference call at 9 a.m. ET
  • Projected EPS: $2.21
  • Projected revenue: $521 million

Lamb Weston Holdings

  • Q1 2023 earnings release at 8:30 a.m. ET; conference call at 10 a.m. ET
  • Projected EPS: 79 cents
  • Projected revenue: $1.21 billion

“We saw this from Nike last night — all that happens is the downside gets accentuated as the upside just treads water or goes marginally higher. That’s what I expect will happen with both when they report,” Cramer said.

Thursday: Constellation Brands, Conagra Brands, McCormick, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Constellation Brands

  • Q2 2023 earnings release at 7:30 a.m. ET; conference call at 10:30 a.m. ET
  • Projected EPS: $2.81
  • Projected revenue: $2.51 billion

He said he expects the company’s top line to be “extraordinarily good.”

Conagra Brands

  • Q1 2023 earnings release at 7:30 a.m. ET; conference call at 9:30 a.m. ET
  • Projected EPS: 52 cents
  • Projected revenue: $2.85 billion

The company needs to grow its business, according to Cramer.


  • Q3 2022 earnings release at 6:30 a.m. ET; conference call at 8 a.m. ET
  • Projected EPS: 71 cents
  • Projected revenue: $1.6 billion

Cramer said that the company’s earnings call will simply reinforce its preannounced weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings and full-year outlook cut earlier this month.

Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Investor meeting at 10 a.m. ET

Cramer said that he expects Norwegian to be performing better than competitor Carnival, which struggled with higher costs in its latest quarter, but it’s unclear whether that will be enough to help Norwegian’s stock.

Friday: Tilray Brands

  • Q1 2023 earnings release at 7 a.m. ET; conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET
  • Projected loss: loss of 5 cents per share
  • Projected revenue: $169 million

He predicted that the company will make a “bold” statement about the legalization of cannabis and said he’s pondering whether this could be a great speculative stock to own during the Biden administration.

Disclosure: Cramer’s Charitable Trust owns shares of Constellation Brands.

Cramer's game plan for the trading week of Oct. 3

Jim Cramer’s Guide to Investing

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Charts suggest it’s ‘way too early’ for the market to rebound

Charts suggest it's 'way too early' to be bullish, Jim Cramer says

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday warned investors that the stock market is unlikely to recover anytime soon.

“The charts, as interpreted by Mark Sebastian … suggest that this market’s got more downside, and it’s way too early to go really bullish,” he said. 

“Unlike him, I also believe we could get a sharp spike up, but, for our Charitable Trust, if that happens we’re going to have to do some selling,” he added.

The S&P 500 closed out its worst month since March 2020 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 8.8% for the month, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 10.5%.

Before getting into Sebastian’s analysis, Cramer first explained that when the S&P 500 goes lower, the CBOE Volatility Index, also known as the VIX or fear gauge, typically moves higher. And when the S&P moves higher, the VIX typically goes lower. 

He then examined a pair of charts showing the daily action in the S&P and the VIX:

While the S&P and VIX moved at the same pace in June, things took a turn in August. Sebastian notes that when the S&P started falling in late August, the VIX had a “slow-rolling rally” instead of roaring like it typically would, according to Cramer.

This mismatch in movement between the S&P and VIX’s movements continued through early September but only really exploded this week, Cramer said, adding that the market still is a long way from recovering.

“Sebastian’s waiting for the S&P to go down while the VIX also goes down — that’s a classic tell that a sell-off’s coming to an end,” he said. “That is not happening right now.”

For more analysis, watch Cramer’s full explanation below.

Watch Jim Cramer break down fresh technical analysis from Mark Sebastian

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Biden warns Putin on NATO threat as Russia annexes Ukraine regions

U.S. President Joe Biden makes remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments on the military conflict in Ukraine after delivering remarks on the federal response to Hurricane Ian at the White House in Washington, September 30, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden sharply warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against making any threat to NATO territory as Putin escalates his nation’s war against Ukraine.

“America’s fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory. Every single inch,” Biden said at the White House.

“So, Mr. Putin, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Every inch,” said Biden, hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country is submitting an “accelerated” application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance.

“America and its allies are not going, let me emphasize this, are not going to be intimidated by Putin and his reckless words and threats,” Biden said.

U.S. pushes back against Putin annexation claim

“He’s not going to scare us, and he doesn’t intimidate us. Putin’s actions are a sign he’s struggling.”

Biden also said that he has been in touch with U.S. allies and stated the Nord Stream pipeline leaks were intentional.

“It was a deliberate act of sabotage and now the Russians are pumping out disinformation, lies,” Biden said. “We’re going to work with our allies to get to the bottom of exactly what, precisely what happened.”

“At my direction, I’ve already begun to help our allies enhance the protection of critical infrastructure, and at the appropriate moment when things calm down we’re going to send divers down to find out exactly what happened.”

Putin earlier Friday sought to justify Russia’s illegal annexation of four regions of Ukraine on the grounds of referendums in which people in those areas purportedly approved the takeover. Western officials have called the votes a sham.

Shortly afterward, the U.S. announced new economic sanctions on hundreds of Russian officials and entities in response to the Kremlin’s annexations.

The sanctions target several front companies outside of Russia that were created this year to help major Russian military suppliers evade the sanctions they had already faced. The U.S. also expanded existing sanctions on top Kremlin officials to include their wives and adult children.

Correction: This article has been updated to correctly reflect President Biden’s statement “It was a deliberate act of sabotage and now the Russians are pumping out disinformation, lies.” A previous version contained a typographical error.