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Exam Code: SC-900 Practice test 2022 by Killexams.com team
SC-900 Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals

Exam Number: test SC-900
Exam Name : Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals


The content of this test was updated on July 26, 2021. Please get the test skills outline below to see what changed.
Describe the concepts of security, compliance, and identity (10-15%)
Describe the capabilities of Microsoft identity and access management solutions (30-35%)
Describe the capabilities of Microsoft security solutions (35-40%)
Describe the capabilities of Microsoft compliance solutions (25-30%)

Describe the Concepts of Security, Compliance, and Identity (10-15%)
Describe security and compliance concepts & methodologies
 describe the Zero-Trust methodology
 describe the shared responsibility model
 define defense in depth
 describe common threats
 describe encryption
 describe cloud adoption framework
Define identity concepts
 define identity as the primary security perimeter
 define authentication
 define authorization
 describe what identity providers are
 describe what Active Directory is
 describe the concept of Federated services
 define common Identity Attacks
Describe the capabilities of Microsoft Identity and Access Management
Solutions (30-35%)
Describe the basic identity services and identity types of Azure AD
 describe what Azure Active Directory is
 describe Azure AD identities (users, devices, groups, service principals/applications)
 describe what hybrid identity is
 describe the different external identity types (Guest Users)
Describe the authentication capabilities of Azure AD
 describe the different authentication methods
 describe self-service password reset
 describe password protection and management capabilities
 describe Multi-factor Authentication
 describe Windows Hello for Business
Describe access management capabilities of Azure AD
 describe what conditional access is
 describe uses and benefits of conditional access
 describe the benefits of Azure AD roles
Describe the identity protection & governance capabilities of Azure AD
 describe what identity governance is
 describe what entitlement management and access reviews is
 describe the capabilities of PIM
 describe Azure AD Identity Protection
Describe the capabilities of Microsoft Security Solutions (35-40%)
Describe basic security capabilities in Azure
 describe Azure Network Security groups
 describe Azure DDoS protection
 describe what Azure Firewall is
 describe what Azure Bastion is
 describe what Web Application Firewall is
 describe ways Azure encrypts data
Describe security management capabilities of Azure
 describe the Azure Security center
 describe Azure Secure score
 describe the benefit and use cases of Azure Defender - previously the cloud workload
protection platform (CWPP)
 describe Cloud security posture management (CSPM)
 describe security baselines for Azure
Describe security capabilities of Azure Sentinel
 define the concepts of SIEM, SOAR, XDR
 describe the role and value of Azure Sentinel to provide integrated threat protection
Describe threat protection with Microsoft 365 Defender
 describe Microsoft 365 Defender services
 describe Microsoft Defender for Identity (formerly Azure ATP)
 describe Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (formerly Office 365 ATP)
 describe Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (formerly Microsoft Defender ATP)
 describe Microsoft Cloud App Security
Describe security management capabilities of Microsoft 365
 describe the Microsoft 365 Defender portal
 describe how to use Microsoft Secure Score
 describe security reports and dashboards
 describe incidents and incident management capabilities
Describe endpoint security with Microsoft Intune
 describe what Intune is
 describe endpoint security with Intune
 describe the endpoint security with the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center
Describe the Capabilities of Microsoft Compliance Solutions (25-30%)
Describe the compliance management capabilities in Microsoft
 describe the offerings of the Service Trust portal
 describe Microsoft’s privacy principles
 describe the compliance center
 describe compliance manager
 describe use and benefits of compliance score
Describe information protection and governance capabilities of Microsoft 365
 describe data classification capabilities
 describe the value of content and activity explorer
 describe sensitivity labels
 describe Retention Polices and Retention Labels
 describe Records Management
 describe Data Loss Prevention
Describe insider risk capabilities in Microsoft 365
 describe Insider risk management solution
 describe communication compliance
 describe information barriers
 describe privileged access management
 describe customer lockbox
Describe the eDiscovery and audit capabilities of Microsoft 365
 describe the purpose of eDiscovery
 describe the capabilities of the content search tool
 describe the core eDiscovery workflow
 describe the advanced eDiscovery workflow
 describe the core audit capabilities of M365
 describe purpose and value of Advanced Auditing
Describe resource governance capabilities in Azure
 describe the use of Azure Resource locks
 describe what Azure Blueprints is
 define Azure Policy and describe its use cases

Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals
Microsoft Fundamentals information hunger
Killexams : Microsoft Fundamentals information hunger - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/SC-900 Search results Killexams : Microsoft Fundamentals information hunger - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/SC-900 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Microsoft Killexams : Startups News No result found, try new keyword!Showcase your company news with guaranteed exposure both in print and online Online registration is now closed. If you are looking to purchase single tickets please email… Ready to embrace the ... Thu, 04 Aug 2022 06:27:00 -0500 text/html https://www.bizjournals.com/news/technology/startups Killexams : Microsoft, Google among latest tech giants to hit brakes on hiring

With recession fears mounting—and inflation, the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic taking a toll—many tech companies are rethinking their staffing needs, with some of them instituting hiring freezes, rescinding offers and even starting layoffs.

Microsoft, Google and Lyft are some of the latest companies to pull back. Microsoft said Wednesday it was eliminating many job openings. Google is pausing hiring for the next two weeks, while Lyft is shutting down a division and trimming jobs.

Here’s a look at some of the dozens of companies that are tapping the brakes.

– Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, has been decelerating its recruiting efforts. CEO Sundar Pichai told employees this month that—although the business added 10,000 Googlers in the second quarter—it will be slowing the pace of hiring for the rest of the year and prioritizing engineering and technical talent. “Like all companies, we’re not immune to economic headwinds,” he said. The hiring pause announced Wednesday is part of that slowdown, Google said, “to enable teams to prioritize their roles and hiring plans for the rest of the year.” It had nearly 164,000 employees at the end of March.

– Amazon.com Inc. said in April that it was overstaffed after ramping up during the pandemic and needed to cut back. “As the variant subsided in the second half of the quarter and employees returned from leave, we quickly transitioned from being understaffed to being overstaffed, resulting in lower productivity,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said. Amazon is subleasing some warehouse space and has paused development of facilities meant for office workers, saying it needs more time to figure out how much space employees will require for hybrid work. The company had 1.6 million workers as of March, making it the biggest employer in the tech world.

– Apple Inc. is planning to slow hiring and spending at some divisions next year to cope with a potential economic slump, according to people familiar with the matter. But it’s not a companywide policy, and the iPhone maker is still moving forward with an aggressive product-release schedule. Apple had 154,000 employees in September, when its last fiscal year ended.

– Carvana Co., an online used car retailer, laid off 2,500 people in May, about 12% of its workforce. In an unusual move, the executive team will forego salaries for the rest of the year to pay severance to those who were let go, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had more than 21,000 full-time and part-time employees at the end of last year.

– Coinbase Global Inc., a cryptocurrency exchange, told employees it was cutting 18% of staff in June to prepare for an economic downturn. It also rescinded job offers. “We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom,” CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post. “While it’s hard to predict the economy or the markets, we always plan for the worst so we can operate the business through any environment,” he said. The company ended the quarter with about 5,000 employees.

– Compass Inc., a real estate brokerage platform, is eliminating 450 positions, about 10% of its staff, according to a filing last month. The company had nearly 5,000 employees at the end of 2021.

– Gemini Trust Co., a cryptocurrency exchange founded by Bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced a 10% staff reduction in June.

– GoPuff, a grocery delivery app, is laying off 10% of its workforce and closing dozens of warehouses. The cuts will affect about 1,500 staff members-a mix of corporate and warehouse employees.

– Lyft told employees it was reining in hiring in May after its stock dropped precipitously. The company went further this week, announcing plans to shutter its car-rental business and cut about 60 jobs. Lyft had about 4,500 employees in 2021. Archrival Uber Technologies Inc., meanwhile, has been more upbeat. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg in June that his company was “recession resistant” and had no plans for layoffs.

– Meta Platforms Inc., the parent of Facebook, slashed plans to hire engineers by at least 30%. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees that he’s anticipating one of the worst downturns in accurate history. The company had more than 77,800 employees at the end of March.

– Microsoft told workers in May that it was slowing down hiring in the Windows, Office and Teams groups as it braces for economic volatility. The company had 181,000 employees in 2021. More recently, the software maker cut some jobs—less than 1% of its total—as part of a reorganization. This week, the company said it began eliminating many job openings-a freeze that will last indefinitely.

– Netflix Inc., the streaming giant, has had several rounds of highly publicized layoffs since it reported the loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter. In April, it began scaling back some marketing initiatives, then cut 150 employees in May and 300 in June. Last quarter, it reported $70 million in expenses from severance and shed an additional 970,000 subscribers. Netflix had 11,300 employees in 2021.

– Niantic Inc., maker of the Pokemon Go video game, fired 8% of its team in June. It was an effort to streamline operations and position the company to weather economic storms, CEO John Hanke told staff in an email. Niantic had around 800 employees at the end of last year.

– Peloton Interactive Inc. announced plans to cut about 2,800 jobs globally, roughly 20% of its corporate roles, as part of a surprise shake-up in February that saw its CEO John Foley and several executive team members step down. In 2021, the company reported having nearly 9,000 employees.

– Redfin Corp., another real estate brokerage, cut 8% of its staff in June. “We don’t have enough work for our agents and support staff,” CEO Glenn Kelman wrote in a blog post, saying that May demand was 17% below projections and that he expected the company to grow more slowly during a housing downturn. Redfin had about 6,500 employees at the end of last year.

– Robinhood Markets Inc., the online brokerage, terminated 9% of its workforce in April. It had about 3,800 employees at the end of last year and racked up more than $2 billion of losses since going public last July.

– Rivian Automotive Inc. is planning to cut hundreds of non-manufacturing jobs and teams with duplicate functions. The Southern California electric-vehicle maker, which has more than 14,000 employees, could make an overall reduction of around 5%. In a memo to employees, CEO RJ Scaringe said, “We will always be focused on growth; however, Rivian is not immune to the current economic circumstances and we need to make sure we can grow sustainably.”

– Salesforce Inc., the cloud computing platform, has been slowing hiring and reducing travel expenses, according to a leaked memo reported in May by Insider.

– Shutterfly Inc., a maker of personalized photo items, laid off 100 staffers in June, CEO Hilary Schneider told Bloomberg. The company, which has 7,000 employees, is making hiring adjustments to weather the economic uncertainty. “Clearly we’re going through a period of economic choppiness on a global level,” she said. “When you look at the supply chain, it certainly is driving inflation and impacting consumer confidence.”

– Spotify Technology, the audio service, is cutting employee growth by about 25% to adjust for macroeconomic factors, CEO Daniel Ek said in a note to staff in June. The company has more than 6,500 employees, according to its website.

– Stitch Fix, an online personalized styling service, said in June that it was pursuing a 15% reduction in salaried positions—about 4% of its workforce—with the majority coming from non-technology corporate jobs and styling leadership roles. It’s coping with higher expenses and weaker demand. According to its website, the company has 8,900 employees.

– Tesla Inc., the electric-vehicle maker, cut 200 autopilot workers as it closed a facility in San Mateo, California, in June. CEO Elon Musk said earlier that layoffs would be necessary in an increasingly shaky economic environment. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said that about 10% of salaried employees would lose their jobs over the next three months, though the overall headcount could be higher in a year. The company had 100,000 employees globally at the end of last year.

– Twitter Inc. initiated a hiring freeze and began rescinding job offers in May, amid uncertainty surrounding Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. The company had 7,500 employees in 2021.

– Unity Software Inc., which makes a video-game engine, surprised employees in June when it sent pink slips to 200 of its 5,900 workers, amounting to 4% of its workforce. Its CEO had assured staff there would be no layoffs, according to Kotaku.

– Wayfair Inc., the online furniture retailer, initiated a 90-day hiring freeze in May. The company had 18,000 employees as of March.

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Thu, 21 Jul 2022 07:50:00 -0500 Bloomberg News en-US text/html https://www.ibj.com/articles/microsoft-google-among-latest-tech-giants-to-hit-brakes-on-hiring
Killexams : Hybrid work reduced employee attrition rate by 35%, study shows

Hybrid work reduced attrition rates at a large technology firm by 35% and improved self-reported work satisfaction scores, with no negative impact on performance ratings or promotions, according to a new study co-authored by Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University.

After the explosion of remote work during the pandemic, many companies have now adopted hybrid work arrangements for their employees. This typically involves working two to three days each week at the office and the rest at home, allowing employees to split tasks best done in person and those best done individually.

With the unemployment rate near its lowest level in five decades, even some of the staunchest critics of work-from-home have changed their tune to attract and retain employees.

The randomized control trial of 1,612 engineers, marketing and finance employees took place in 2021 and 2022 at the global travel agent Trip.com. Those born on an odd-numbered dat—say June 3—had the option to work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays, while others had to work in the office full-time. Following the study, Trip.com rolled out hybrid work to the entire company. The paper was co-authored by Bloom, Ruobing Han of Stanford University and James Liang.

Besides the improvement in attrition, the paper circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research also highlighted how hybrid arrangements alter work schedules and habits. Employees worked fewer hours on remote days but increased the number of hours worked on other days, including on the weekend. In total, employees worked about 80 minutes less on home days but about 30 minutes more on other work days and the weekend.

Additionally, work-from-home employees increased individual messaging and group video call communication, even when in the office.

The study found no impact from work-from-home on performance reviews or promotions overall or any individual subgroup. However, those with the option to work from home reported slightly higher productivity. There was also an 8% increase in lines of code written by that group compared to in-office employees, a measure of productivity for IT engineers.

“Overall this highlights how hybrid-WFH is often beneficial for both employees and firms but is usually underappreciated in advance,” the authors wrote.

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Mon, 25 Jul 2022 04:45:00 -0500 Bloomberg News en-US text/html https://www.ibj.com/articles/hybrid-work-reduced-employee-attrition-rate-by-35-study-shows
Killexams : COVID-19 cases decline slightly in county

Jul. 24—Lawrence ranked third in Ohio for new cases

The number of new cases of COVID-19 have declined slightly in Lawrence County over the past two weeks, but the number has held mostly steady.

There were 159 new cases of the virus reported in the county from July 15-21, according to Debbie Fisher, public information specialist for the Lawrence County Health Department.

This marks a drop from July 8-14, when 164 new cases were reported, and the week prior to that, when 179 new cases were reported.

The county is now ranked third among the state's 88 counties for new cases of the virus. It was ranked second from July 15-21 and first the week prior to that.

From July 15-21, there were four hospitalizations reported, down from July 8-14, which saw 11 hospitalizations.

There has been one death reported for July, during the week of July 8-14.

To date, there have been 699 new cases of the virus reported, 21 hospitalization and one death in July.

This surpasses the total for the month of June, when 541 new cases were reported.

The county health department continues to offer COVID-19 vaccination clinics, providing initial doses and booster shots. Vaccines are also available at most pharmacies. For more information, call 740-532-3962.

Fisher said the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends a second booster for those age 50 and up, or those under with underlying conditions. First boosters are recommended for all.

Fisher was also asked about cases of monkeypox, which have been the subject of an outbreak in the U.S.

She said that there have been no reported cases in Lawrence County and, so far, only two cases in Ohio and about 200 nationally.

Fisher pointed out that the disease is spread through direct or close contact and is not as contagious as COVID-19.

"It also comes from face-to-face or intimate contact," she said.

Vaccine clinics scheduled for week

The Lawrence County Health Department has announced COVID-19 vaccine clinics for next week.

The following vaccines will be offered.

* Pediatric Pfizer for 6 months-4 years of age

* Pediatric Pfizer for 5-11-year-olds

* Pfizer for 12 years of age and older

* Moderna for 12 years of age and older

* Johnson & Johnson for 18 years of age and older

Booster doses are available to anyone 5 years of age and older who are eligible. Second booster doses are available to those who are eligible (50 years of age and up and some people 12 years of age and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised).

Times and locations are as follows:


3-6 p.m., Lawrence County Health Department

2122 So. 8th St., Ironton


1-4 p.m., South Point Board of Education

302 High St., South Point


9 a.m.-12 noon, Lawrence County Health Department

2122 So. 8th St., Ironton

Those coming for a second dose or a booster dose, are asked to bring a vaccine card to the clinic with them, as well as a copy of their insurance card for the administration fee. No one will be charged out-of-pocket, and no one will be denied a vaccine if uninsured.

Sun, 24 Jul 2022 14:05:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/covid-19-cases-decline-slightly-222400753.html
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Killexams : Beyond Meat sales under threat as plant-based boom withers

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Killexams : ClearBridge Large Cap Growth ESG Strategy Portfolio Manager Commentary Q2 2022
ESG icon concept in the hand for environmental, social, and governance in sustainable and ethical business on the Network connection on a green background.

Khanchit Khirisutchalual

Climate Insights Provide Pathway to Future Growth

Market Overview

Worsening inflation and aggressive actions from the Federal Reserve to contain it sent equity markets spiraling in the second quarter. Investor optimism retreated in the face of persistent price pressures, global supply chain disruptions and rising recession risks, pushing the S&P 500 Index down 16.10% for the quarter, capping its worst start to the year (-19.96%) since 1970. Rising interest rates continued to weigh most heavily on growth stocks with the benchmark Russell 1000 Growth Index falling 20.92% for the quarter, underperforming the Russell 1000 Value Index by 871 basis points. Growth trails value by over 1,500 bps year-to-date.

Exhibit 1: Growth/Value Gap Continues to Widen

Exhibit 1: Growth/Value Gap Continues to Widen

As of June 30, 2022. Source: FactSet.

Disruptions in global supply chains stemming from COVID-19 lockdowns in China, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and commodity shortages continued to propel inflation higher. A worse than expected 8.6% Consumer Price Index reading for May caused the Fed to raise rates 75 bps in June, the most aggressive hike since 1994, and project ambitious tightening through the rest of 2022. The 10-year Treasury yield climbed 67 bps to finish the quarter at 3.01%, near its highest level in four years.

The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter and the outlook for GDP growth has tempered as more liquidity leaves the financial system. While consumer demand has mostly held up, a shift in spending patterns from goods to services led to big first-quarter earnings misses and lowered outlooks for several retailers and social media platforms that are leading digital advertisers. We are, no doubt, in the type of low-growth environment where the ClearBridge Large Cap Growth ESG Strategy should thrive. We manage the Strategy in a diversified, valuation-sensitive manner to participate in up markets but also provide a degree of protection during volatile periods.

In the second quarter, however, the uncertainties unique to COVID-19 and the subsequent peak everything environment acted as headwinds to performance. The Strategy underperformed the benchmark, with weakness centered among several key COVID-19 beneficiaries that are seeing tough comparisons, rising input costs or both. The pandemic added a layer of complexity to managing businesses with companies challenged in discerning real trends in their operations from one-time COVID benefits.

Amazon.com (AMZN) was a primary detractor due to a disappointing outlook for profitability in its retail business. Following a surge of e-commerce demand in 2020 and 2021, the company has now overbuilt fulfillment infrastructure as e-commerce demand has moderated. While we believe current profitability levels are suboptimal, Amazon.com is working rapidly to rectify overcapacity issues and we believe the retail business has a robust long-term profitability outlook. We also believe Amazon is well-positioned to emerge stronger from this difficult operating environment of higher costs. There is a visible path to margin expansion driven by a positive mix shift as the more profitable businesses of third-party sellers, cloud, and advertising become the largest contributors.

Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) has also been pressured by multiple compression of higher growth companies and weakness in its gaming business. While Nvidia has grown into a top 10 position with its strong performance through late 2021, we have been consistently trimming the position to derisk against short-term volatility in its gaming business. The company is clearly exposed to the semiconductor cycle but also participates in the secular growth of cloud and AI adoption through its data center business. With these secular drivers intact and new products ramping up in the second half of the year, we are maintaining an overweight to the company.

Multiple compression has also hurt higher growth health care companies like DexCom (DXCM), despite its strong fundamentals. We continue to build out the position as we gain greater visibility on the catalysts of accelerating uptake in Type 2 diabetes patients and the launch of its G7 continuous glucose monitor in the U.S. and Europe. DexCom was hurt in the quarter by market speculation that it would acquire a diabetes pump provider, which would be outside of its core competency.

Portfolio Positioning

After seeding the portfolio with select growth companies in the second half of 2020 and 2021, we have redirected our focus over the last several quarters to risk management. Moves during the second quarter in pursuit of greater stability included reducing consumer discretionary exposure with the sale of omnichannel cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty (ULTA).

We exited Ulta as our thesis has largely played out in terms of a post-COVID 19 earnings recovery. Ulta has steadily gained share over the last several years and its partnership with Target (TGT) represents a new avenue to gain customer loyalty. That being said, we are wary about the resilience of the consumer and the impact of labor cost inflation, which could crimp Ulta’s margin expansion in coming quarters. As with accurate activity, the sale further reduces our consumer discretionary exposure and helps manage portfolio risk through an ongoing period of volatility.

"Digital transformation enabled by software companies is clearly secular but we could see a short-term softening as cyclical factors are considered."

Within information technology (IT), where we maintain an underweight compared to the benchmark, we took profits in NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), a part of the pro-cyclical reflation basket built up in 2020. Despite strong current fundamentals, there is an ongoing risk of major supply increases in the semiconductor industry as capacity announcements are near records.

Rounding out our risk-focused stance, we believe the addition of Sherwin-Williams (SHW), a manufacturer of paints and coatings for professional, industrial and retail customers, adds further resilience in the current inflationary environment. Paint is a relatively small part of total project input costs which can be passed through with price during inflation, and the company has a track record of successfully managing through periods of increased commodity costs. We are attracted to the company’s durability of growth by operating a strong franchise with both organic growth and consolidation amassing a strong portfolio of brands. We like Sherwin-Williams over competitors in the paint industry due to higher volumes, a domestically focused revenue base and strong relationships with the home builder and pro community. We believe the company will be able to keep pricing and expand margins as commodity pressures ease.


The aggregate result of these transactions is a more concentrated portfolio with higher active share that best represents our highest conviction names. We constantly analyze our positions to determine which to hold and which to add to on weakness. Most of our accurate additions have been in areas where we see the greatest earnings visibility and valuation support, while we have been staying put or cutting back on holdings in the most expensive areas of technology and the Internet. That said, we maintain a watch list of companies and some dry powder to respond to dynamic market conditions. Further clarity on the extent of Fed tightening and the slope of the yield curve will give us greater confidence to be buyers of select growth companies.

The downdraft this year in technology has been predominantly driven by multiple contraction, rather than earnings. We are hearing from our software companies about deal push outs and negative FX impacts but have yet to see downward revisions. Such data points are concerning because it means these companies now have less cushion to cover any negative surprises. We will be parsing second quarter results closely to help determine if demand destruction is starting to occur and if our estimates of earnings growth are still valid. The decade-long trend of digital transformation enabled by software and related technology companies is clearly secular but we could see a short-term softening as cyclical factors are considered.

The Strategy has historically generated solid relative results during market corrections and, despite accurate performance struggles, we are committed to the formula that has compounded growth for our investors: a focus on stock selection for the long term. We remain dedicated to conducting robust fundamental analysis that leads us to attractive growth opportunities and managing a portfolio with a diversified set of drivers over a 3-to-5-year time horizon. We believe that a duration of growth mindset is a key differentiator that should play out as normalization of the market and economy continue.

Portfolio Highlights

The ClearBridge Large Cap Growth ESG Strategy underperformed its benchmark during the second quarter. On an absolute basis, the Strategy posted losses across eight of the nine sectors in which it was invested (out of 11 sectors total). The lone contributor was the consumer staples sector while the primary detractors from performance were in the IT, consumer discretionary and communication services sectors.

Relative to the benchmark, overall stock selection detracted from performance but was partially offset by positive sector allocation effects. In particular, stock selection in the IT, communication services and health care sectors and an underweight to consumer staples hurt results. On the positive side, an overweight to health care as well as stock selection in the consumer staples sector contributed to performance.

On an individual stock basis, the leading absolute contributors were positions in Monster Beverage (MNST) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH). The primary detractors were Amazon.com, Nvidia, Meta Platforms (META), Microsoft (MSFT) and Netflix (NFLX).

ESG Highlights

Analyst-Led Engagements Uncover Value

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has made much progress over the last two decades. Investors in public equities and corporations have taken more ownership of the impact they can have mitigating climate change and making progress on social goals such as diversity, equity and inclusion; ESG data and investment products have proliferated; and ESG assets under management have continued to grow, with most continuing to be actively managed.

Amid such growth has come scrutiny over potential differences between the claims and realities of ESG investing. This has come on the part of regulators, asset owners and increasingly in the public eye, among business and government leaders.

In this environment we think it worthwhile to highlight the value added by ClearBridge engagements and their role in our investment process and stewardship activities. We have made steady improvements and progress in our process, marked by several milestone years, from 2005, when we established a central research platform that began integrating ESG factors by sectors, to 2012, when we explicitly incorporated ESG analysis in analyst compensation and performance reviews, to 2014 when we formally introduced proprietary ESG ratings, which capture company-specific drivers of risk and return related to sustainability. Currently, 100% of our actively owned companies have an ESG rating assigned.

A key through-line in our history of ESG integration, and a key point of differentiation, is that it is carried out by our analysts: we think there is immense value in having the same person responsible for covering a company’s fundamentals and its ESG characteristics. Company engagements, therefore, are likewise led by ClearBridge sector and portfolio analysts, an approach that we believe gives them insights that might not be top of mind for other investors and a fundamental edge, gained through long-term discussions with CEOs and CFOs of portfolio holdings.

Transforming Climate Risks to Opportunities

In many cases, ClearBridge engagements have specific objectives, such as encouraging the retirement of fossil fuels and increasing use of renewables. Such has been the case with electric power company AES (AES), with whose executives and board members we have been engaging for several years on the company’s path to reduce its carbon footprint. We believe our voice, as a top shareholder, has been a valuable addition to AES’s decision making along this path, and our engagements have helped us identify where climate-related risks in a company’s operations could be climate-related opportunities.

Several years ago, we began discussing with AES the lack of terminal value from coal (Exhibit 2), and we expressed how coal-related ESG concerns were weighing on AES’s valuation multiple, as the ESG risk premium was rising. We helped convince AES to stop investing in coal plants and start shutting down existing coal capacity. The next step was to add renewable energy exposure in the form of wind, solar and industrial scale battery storage (Exhibit 3), in line with U.N. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: Affordable and Clean Energy (we discuss how an investment framework may further the SDGs in our 2022 Stewardship Report). We shared our belief that any lost near-term operating earnings would be made up with a higher valuation multiple.

Exhibit 2: Planned U.S. Utility-Scale Electric Generating Capacity Retirements 2022 (14.9 GW Total)

Exhibit 2: Planned U.S. Utility-Scale Electric Generating Capacity Retirements 2022 (14.9 GW Total)

As of Jan. 11, 2022. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Exhibit 3: Planned U.S. Utility-Scale Electric Generating Capacity Additions 2022 (46.1 GW Total)

Exhibit 3: Planned U.S. Utility-Scale Electric Generating Capacity Additions 2022 (46.1 GW Total)

As of Jan. 11, 2022. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

As our discussions have progressed, AES has been increasingly aggressive in reducing its carbon intensity by lowering coal capacity and investing in renewable energy, as evidenced by its declining GHG emissions. As we had anticipated, AES’s valuation multiple recovered as its product mix shifted from coal to renewables.

ClearBridge encourages companies to align their net-zero goals with the Science Based Targets Initiative’s (SBTi) standards, which clearly define pathways for companies to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals. In April 2022 we met with AES Investor Relations and its General Counsel to discuss setting science-based targets as the latest step in this path, and in line with SDG 13: Climate Action. At the meeting, AES confirmed it is exiting coal in 2025. The company continues to develop as a leader in renewable energy, in June 2022 announcing the formation with other leading U.S. solar companies of the U.S. Solar Buyer Consortium, which will invest more than $6 billion in solar panels to scale up domestic solar manufacturing.

Grasping Realities Behind Net-Zero Targets

Environmental impact is a major issue for the transportation industry, including logistics and freight companies such as portfolio holding United Parcel Service (UPS). accurate engagements with the company have given us a better understanding of the challenges in lowering emissions in transport as well as where innovations may be coming from in the years ahead. In ESG-focused engagements in March and May 2022, we discussed UPS’s path to net-zero using science-based targets.

Though it has a 2050 net-zero goal in line with SBTi, UPS has issues complying with SBTi standards because aviation constitutes 60% of UPS’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions. This is an area over which UPS has little control, however, and the maximum exclusion for a source of emissions for SBTi approval is 5%. UPS has committed to a 2050 carbon neutral goal, which is the same as the SBTi’s goal, although UPS takes a different view of the first 15 years of the path, finding existing technology unable to warrant as aggressive a path as SBTi’s.

Over the course of our engagements, we discussed the technical challenges facing the logistics and freight industry and the state of several key technological developments that will be crucial to helping the industry continue to lower emissions. For example, UPS is looking to sustainable aviation fuels, which are biofuels used to power aircraft with a smaller carbon footprint than jet fuel; however, planting to create the enormous amount of feedstock required to replace crude oil is not sustainable. Electric aircrafts are another potential solution, and UPS will have the first of 10 electric aircraft by Beta Technologies delivered by 2024, with an option for 1,400 more. While these planes help time-sensitive health care deliveries and benefit small and medium-size businesses, they have a range limited to 250 nautical miles. A more sustainable path, particularly for long-range transportation, could be the use of hydrogen, but the technology and infrastructure is in nascent stages of development and largely out of UPS’s control. We have encouraged the company, however, to increase pressure on its suppliers to accelerate the development of these technologies. ClearBridge also has ongoing active discussions with aerospace manufacturers on these issues.

Connecting Governance and Long-term Shareholder Value

In addition to finding value in engaging on climate risks, net-zero targets and new technologies, we also add value to our investment process with engagements on a variety of governance topics. For example, we have long supported toy and game maker Hasbro’s (HAS) management and board on strategic, operational and ESG-related topics; the company ranks highly on almost all areas of ESG evaluation, including diversity at board and all-employee levels. We maintain long-term relationships with Hasbro management, and in April 2022, after an activist shareholder started pushing for strategic change at the company, we stepped up our dialogue with senior management and the board.

While we appreciate some of the concerns raised by the activist, we were against most of its suggestions, which we believed would be destructive to long-term shareholder value. We did not believe it was in our best interest to replace three board members with activist-nominated board members — the existing board is replete with talent from the media, technology, content, gaming, entertainment and social media industries.

Over multiple meetings with Hasbro’s CEO and CFO and as many as three board members, our strong relationships helped us better understand what changes would be made where appropriate, and what strategies would remain intact. We had frequent opportunity to share our thoughts on board composition, long-term strategic priorities, compensation, capital allocation and disclosures. All of these became import syllabus for review during this time. In June 2022 the activist’s proposals were rejected by shareholders. We remain in support of management as it continues on its path of brand-building and growing digital content for its customers.

Advancing a Smart Farm Future

In our engagements with farm equipment maker Deere (DE), we have followed new technology as it has developed from early promise of environmental and social benefits to market reality. In March 2022, Deere’s Chairman & CEO and CFO met with ClearBridge’s investment team in our New York offices. While prior to the pandemic we had regularly hosted the company, this meeting was among the most interesting as the relatively new CEO outlined a bold plan that placed improved environmental stewardship squarely at the center of the company’s future.

Industrial farming, at its core, is not an especially environmentally friendly enterprise. Agronomic practices have improved over time, but fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide applications and water usage remain problematic. Deere believes its precision farming technology can drive down chemical and fertilizer volumes materially —possibly by as much as 70% — as sensors and cameras attached to tractors, sprayers and combines help determine the exact level of chemicals that might be required.

This more precise methodology is expected to:

  1. improve crop yields;
  2. reduce farmer input costs; and
  3. improve overall land management capabilities.

Farmers will make more money and grow more food to support global populations while at the same time better caring for the soil. There are also substantial environmentally positive knock-on effects because fertilizers largely are either carbon-based or mined.

There are also social benefits to Deere’s precision farming, such as increasing access to cost savings for smaller, non-commercial or family farms, and the contribution of improved crop yields toward SDG 2: Zero Hunger. This is in addition to its benefits for SDG 15: Life on Land through promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. Deere’s technological strength also includes bringing connectivity to farmers in emerging markets, for example improving Wi-Fi access for farmers in Brazil.

New equipment pricing has moved much higher recently as Deere upgrades its offerings to support this effort. That said, the company has introduced substantial aftermarket packages so farmers using older equipment, who may not be able to afford completely new items, benefit from this technology.

Lastly, we discussed a timeline for transitioning large farm equipment away from diesel to an alternative fuel. At present, however, there is no viable alternative that has the power requirements necessary to drive a tractor for an hour, much less a full day, making any such transition a more distant opportunity.

Overall, we had been waiting to have this discussion for several years, and we were pleased the company’s technologies finally appear to have caught up to precision farming’s initial promise.

Original Post

Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 09:39:00 -0500 en text/html https://seekingalpha.com/article/4523700-clearbridge-large-cap-growth-esg-strategy-portfolio-manager-commentary-q2-2022
Killexams : Urban Health Summer Institute

Instructor: Alex Quistberg, PhD, MPH, Assistant Research Professor, Urban Health Collaborative, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

Times: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Format:Participants may register to attend either online or in-person at Drexel University’s campus in Philadelphia. Live, online and in-person instruction and lab activities will occur simultaneously.

The course is an introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This course contains lectures and exercises in ArcGIS. The lectures introduce the basic concepts of GIS, data models, coordinate system and map projections, data management and processing, spatial analysis, spatial estimation, and GIS data visualization. Students will also learn how to use the fundamental knowledge and techniques of GIS to solve real-world problems. Through the exercises, students will get familiar with the interfaces and analysis tools in the Esri software package ArcGIS. Students will also practice applying GIS as a tool and a methodological approach to spatially analyze environment and public health data. This course is targeted towards anyone interested in gaining working knowledge of ArcGIS and GIS.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand basic concepts and terms of GIS and know how to spatially analyze data using ArcGIS.
  • Acquire spatial data that is relevant to urban health, e.g., census data, land use data, greenspace, road networks, satellite images, etc.
  • Build knowledge of data structure, data management, and coordination and projection systems.
  • Practice featuring symbols and making elegant maps in ArcGIS.
  • Apply the knowledge of GIS to solve research questions in urban health research.

Prerequisite knowledge: No prerequisite knowledge or skills are required for this course.

Technical requirements: A temporary license for Esri's ArcGIS Pro will be provided for participants to install on their computers. Students planning on using a Mac computer with Intel processors will need Boot Camp with Microsoft Windows installed in the partition or a virtual environment (e.g., VMWare or Parallels 15 or greater). Students with a MacBook with the new Apple Silicon (i.e., M1 processors), can complete the course assignments with an alternative software to ArcGIS, such as QGIS.

Continuing Education Credits*: 1.5 CEU or 15 CPH

Thu, 30 Jun 2022 11:59:00 -0500 en text/html https://drexel.edu/uhc/events-workshops/summer-institute/?mc_cid=3f6c40648f&mc_eid=%5bUNIQID%5d
Killexams : Apple Joins Fellow Tech Giants in Putting a Lid on Hiring

(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is the latest major technology company to rein in hiring and spending plans, adding to the evidence that even Silicon Valley stalwarts are worried about a recession in the coming months.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The iPhone maker is looking to limit expenditures and job growth at some of its divisions, Bloomberg reported Monday, though Apple hasn’t adopted a companywide policy. The more cautious stance mimics the approach of its tech peers, including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp., which have all taken steps to decelerate spending.

The news sent stocks sliding and increased trepidation surrounding tech earnings season, which goes into full swing this week. It may be difficult for companies to reassure jittery investors. International Business Machines Corp. posted better-than-expected sales growth Monday, only to see its shares slip in late trading.

For now, most of the biggest tech companies aren’t talking about eliminating jobs, just reducing the rate of hiring. And overall US job growth hasn’t stalled. Payrolls increased 372,000 in June, beating the 265,000 estimate, with manufacturing jobs helping bolster the numbers.

The US added 25,000 information jobs in June, putting that category 105,000 higher than just before the pandemic.

But some tech companies are going as far as cutting jobs. That includes Microsoft, which said last week that it was eliminating some positions as part of a reorganization.

The reduction affects less than 1% of its 180,000-person workforce, and Microsoft still expects to end the year with increased headcount. But it follows a move in May to slow hiring at the Windows, Office and Teams divisions “as Microsoft gets ready for the new fiscal year.”

Last month, Tesla Inc. laid off hundreds of workers and shuttered a California facility devoted to its Autopilot self-driving technology, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said earlier that layoffs would be necessary in an increasingly shaky economic environment. He clarified in a subsequent interview with Bloomberg that about 10% of salaried employees would lose their jobs over the next three months, though the overall headcount could be higher in a year.

Former pandemic highfliers like Netflix Inc. and Peloton Interactive Inc. also have been laying off workers in accurate months. Netflix trimmed a few hundred jobs in June, and Peloton just announced plans to shutter its in-house manufacturing.

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. has cut spending and slowed hiring for some senior-level positions. In April, the company announced plans to slash expenses by $3 billion this year. The idea is to refocus Meta’s product teams on core priorities, like the metaverse and its TikTok clone, Reels.

Meta also halted development on one of its early smartwatch prototypes and repositioned its in-home video device, Portal, to focus more on business customers instead of regular consumers.

Last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told staff that the company planned to slow hiring for the remainder of 2022 -- a rare move for the internet giant, which typically adds tens of thousands of employees every year. Google will be focusing its hiring on technical and “other critical roles” through this year and the next.

“We need to be more entrepreneurial, working with greater urgency, sharper focus and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days,” he said.

Other companies are looking to wind down ambitious growth plans without the need for major layoffs.

Amazon staffed up during the pandemic so it could handle a surge in e-commerce spending. That’s now left it overstaffed in its warehouses, but the company has said it’s working through that problem with attrition.

In some cases, Amazon is subleasing warehouse space and has paused development of facilities meant for office workers, saying it needs more time to determine how much space employees will require for hybrid work.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company made the decision early in the pandemic to err on the side of having too many workers and too much warehouse space -- rather than too little.

“We knew it might mean that we might have more capacity for some short period of time,” he said.

A key question during the latest earnings season is whether demand from consumers has softened. Apple warned in April that the latest quarter would be bumpy, but mostly because of supply-chain challenges.

Those problems are expected to erase as much as $8 billion from Apple’s sales in the quarter. Investors should get a clearer picture of the damage -- and Apple’s outlook for the coming months -- when it reports results on July 28.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Mon, 18 Jul 2022 11:39:00 -0500 en-CA text/html https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/apple-joins-fellow-tech-giants-224622345.html
Killexams : DocSend Mid-Year Pitch Deck Interest Data Shows VC Engagement Stabilizes Following Record Year of Funding Startups

 VCs slow down pace of investing activity while early-stage founders still busy seeking funding

SAN FRANCISCO, July 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- DocSend, a secure document sharing platform and Dropbox (NASDAQ: DBX) company, today released new data based on its Pitch Deck Interest metrics showing Q2 founder and investor activity declined 6% and 12%, respectively, in comparison to Q1. However, the year-over-year (YoY) comparison for Q2 reveals a divergence between a slower pace of VC engagement and higher rate of founder pitch activity.

DocSend, a leading secure document sharing platform, today released second-quarter 2022 data based on its Pitch Deck Interest metrics.

After a record year of fundraising in 2021, investor activity has cooled. Startups are still actively pitching for more funding, though: the supply of founder pitch decks being sent to VCs is up nearly 11% compared to the same time last year. Founders are now facing a more temperate audience as VC interaction with pitch decks, a proxy for demand, is down 7% YoY. This equates to a gap between supply and demand of approximately 16%.

While the new Q2 data paints a somewhat sobering picture, the mid-year analysis of the same data shows a healthy, if not more balanced, fundraising marketplace. In the first six months of 2022, VC engagement with startup pitch decks increased 3% YoY. During the same time, founders increased the average number of pitch decks sent to investors by almost 14%.

As more founders clamor for the increasingly discerning attention of VCs, investors continue to become more efficient in their evaluation of pitch decks – shaving off 10 seconds (2:46 - 2:36) on average in Q2 of this year compared to last. This speaks to an overall trend of efficiency in the marketplace, characterized by the need to manage high-volume deal making in a remote environment.

DocSend's Pitch Deck Interest data primarily reflects early-stage fundraising activity – from pre-seed to Series A. Additional market data on funding outcomes indicates that many investors are wary of betting big money on late-stage startups following declining valuations in the public and private markets. Instead, they have shifted their focus to smaller, early-stage bets. For example, seed-stage deal count is estimated to be over 1,300 deals closed in Q2 – surpassing the highest mark set during all of last year's frenzied VC activity, according to Pitchbook data.

"Early-stage investing is operating like business as usual, and that's a trend I anticipate will continue in the second half of the year," said Russ Heddleston, DocSend co-founder and head of commercial, DocSend at Dropbox. "A number of funds were raised over the past couple of years and investors are still sitting on a lot of dry powder. The wise VC is looking at opportunities in pre-seed and seed stage startups with strong fundamentals. As the marketplace settles, investors are looking to get in early on a larger number of small bets, and that's keeping this section of the landscape healthy."

Key Leading Indicators of VC Fundraising Activity

There are three core metrics unique to DocSend for tracking investors' hunger for deals and founders' quest for capital.

  • Founder links created - the average number of pitch deck links each founder is creating via DocSend. This serves as a proxy for supply of startups seeking funding. A "link" refers to the unique URL a founder creates using DocSend to share their pitch deck with investors. When the average number of links increases, it means that founders are sending their decks out to more investors.
  • Investor deck interactions - the average number of investor interactions for each pitch deck link. This serves as a proxy for demand for investments. The higher the interaction metric, the more often decks are viewed, shared and revisited by potential investors.
  • Investor time spent - the average time spent per pitch deck by potential investors. This metric offers a look at how long VCs are spending reviewing deals. More time spent per deck could mean investors are more closely scrutinizing deals.

DocSend releases quarterly analyses via the Pitch Deck Interest metrics to track and predict the investment landscape and better inform founders about the volatility or stability of the venture capital environment.

Follow Russ Heddleston on Twitter for a synopsis of each week's fundraising data.

About DocSend

DocSend enables companies to share business-critical documents with ease and get real-time actionable feedback. With DocSend's security and control, startup founders, investors, executives, and business development professionals can build business partnerships that have a lasting impact. Over 30,000 customers of all sizes use DocSend today. Learn more at docsend.com.

About Dropbox

Dropbox is the one place to keep life organized and keep work moving. With more than 700 million registered users across 180 countries, we're on a mission to design a more enlightened way of working. Dropbox is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and has offices around the world. For more information on our mission and products, visit https://dropbox.com.

Media Contact:
Carol Boyko
104 West for DocSend

DocSend (PRNewsfoto/DocSend)

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Wed, 13 Jul 2022 00:18:00 -0500 en text/html https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/docsend-mid-year-pitch-deck-interest-data-shows-vc-engagement-stabilizes-following-record-year-of-funding-startups-1031584275
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