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Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images

The combination of increased appetite for passive investment and financial regulations, particularly Europe's Mifid II, is underpinning a "profound reshaping" of what Wall Street research analysts do, according to the Financial Times. It's a move into deep data and away from opinion-driven analysis.

What's happening: Because Mifid II mandates that asset managers and institutions pay for research directly rather than simply paying banks or researchers for their services broadly, there's a great "unbundling" happening throughout asset management.

  • “Not only has unbundling impacted US money managers, it is in the process of changing the whole nature of investment research,” Tabb Group, a markets consultancy, said in a recent report.

The intrigue: "Nowadays, analysts sift through non-traditional information such as satellite imagery and credit card data, or use artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning and natural language processing to glean fresh insights from traditional sources such as economic data and earnings-call transcripts," per FT.

  • "Almost every bank is now exploring how newer technology can enhance their analysis, or even become a separate business line."

The bottom line: "For now, verbose reports remain the bread and butter of an investment bank analyst. But the form of the content is evolving," Wigglesworth writes.

  • "These days reports are often shorter and punchier, and research can come in the form of videos, 'charticles', live events and even podcasts, and are also distributed through social media and even messaging apps."

Go deeper: Macquarie strategists project stock market will double in value by 2030

Go deeper

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.

FDA approves AstraZeneca COVID drug for people with immune problems

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for an AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug for people with compromised immune systems.

Why it matters: The drug, Evusheld, is the first antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. to prevent coronavirus symptoms before virus exposure.

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