• 05/28/2020: Gilead, Roche Pair Drugs; U.S. Jobless Rolls: Virus Update

    Gilead, Roche Pair Drugs; U.S. Jobless Rolls: Virus Update(Bloomberg) -- South Korea reported its biggest spike in new coronavirus cases in almost two months, raising concern about a second wave of infections. Small clusters also emerged in several locations in Japan in its first week since the emergency was lifted.U.S. states’ jobless rolls shrank for the first time during the pandemic in a sign people are starting to return to work. President Donald Trump issued a tweet acknowledging the “very sad milestone” after 100,000 Americans died of Covid-19, the most in the world.Cases continued to soar in Brazil, and the U.K.’s coronavirus tracing program was hit by technical problems on the day of its launch.Roche’s immune suppressor Actemra will be paired with Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir in a late-stage trial of a drug combination, while GlaxoSmithKline said it will produce 1 billion doses of a vaccine adjuvant -- a booster that can help any brand of shot -- to support immunization against the pandemic.Key Developments:Virus Tracker: Cases top 5.7 million; deaths over 356,000A radical plan and $2.6 trillion bring Europe back from abyssDisney’s Florida theme parks expected to reopen in JulyGreen shoots emerge in world economy as lockdowns easeYouTube misinformation fight trips on drug touted by TrumpWhy New York suffered when other cities were sparedHow can I get it? The evidence on transmission: QuickTakeSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.Trump Acknowledges ‘Very Sad Milestone’ (9:37 a.m. NY)President Donald Trump on Thursday publicly acknowledged the death toll of the U.S. outbreak had reached 100,000.Port Authority to Seek Fed Aid (9:35 a.m. NY)The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will seek a short-term loan from a Federal Reserve relief program aimed at buying bonds from local and state governments under stress from the pandemic. The agency faces a $3 billion loss over two years tied to a 97% drop in airport traffic, a 95% decline in PATH train ridership and a 40% cut in bridge and tunnel traffic, according to a statement issued after the board approved making the request.White House Scraps Eco Forecast (9:30 a.m. NY)The White House won’t issue a formal economic forecast that would show Covid-19’s impact, according to two people familiar with the matter. One said the administration lacks the data to meet the deadline for the forecast, and the other said the unprecedented nature of the pandemic makes a forecast impossible.The outlook is usually in the “mid-session review,” issued in July or August, as a follow up to the budget released in February.Poland Surprises With Third Rate Cut (9:07 a.m. NY)Poland unexpectedly lowered borrowing costs for the third time in three months to stem the economic damage from the pandemic. The National Bank of Poland reduced its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.1% from 0.5% on Thursday, following cuts of one percentage point in March and April. All 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted no change.Iceland’s Covid-19 Airport Testing Plan Hits Snag (9:03 a.m. NY)Iceland’s plans to test every passenger arriving at its international airport for Covid-19 has hit a snag, after it emerged that the island doesn’t have enough testing facilities. Opening up the country to foreign travelers is a crucial step to lift the economy, which is forecast to contract 9% this year.U.S. Jobless Rolls Shrink for First Time in Pandemic (9:01 a.m. NY)U.S. states’ jobless rolls shrank for the first time during the pandemic in a sign people are starting to return to work, even as millions more Americans filed for unemployment benefits.Continuing claims, which tally Americans’ ongoing benefits in state programs, fell to 21.1 million for the week ended May 16, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Initial jobless claims for regular state programs totaled 2.12 million in the week ended May 23, to bring the 2 1/2-month total above 40 million.Separate data showed that U.S. orders for durable goods sank sharply for a second month in April as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the manufacturing industry.Johnson to Set Out Results of U.K. Virus Response Review (8:51 a.m. NY)“The Prime Minister will be able to set out later what we have concluded as a result of that review and to talk in some more detail about the recovery plan and what the next steps are likely to be,” Boris Johnson’s official spokesman, James Slack, said on a call with reporters Thursday.Johnson will speak at a 5 p.m. press conference with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance. The prime minister’s office also dismissed a police finding that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s top aide, may have broken lockdown rules, insisting the matter is now closed.Separately, the U.K.’s coronavirus tracing program was hit by technical problems on the day of its launch, with some health-care workers unable to log on to the system. The so-called Test and Trace service is a key part of Johnson’s plan to help the British economy return to normality.AstraZeneca Joins With Oxford Biomedica to Produce Shot (8:33 a.m. NY)AstraZeneca Plc joined forces with Oxford Biomedica Plc to help produce one of the world’s fastest-moving potential vaccines against Covid-19. Oxford Biomedica will produce multiple batches of the vaccine this year and give AstraZeneca access to its Oxbox manufacturing center, according to a statement Thursday. AstraZeneca has been working with the University of Oxford on the inoculation.Third of Russians Believe Threat Is Overblown: Poll (8:26 a.m. NY)Nearly a third of Russians believe that the threat from the coronavirus crisis has been massively overblown, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday. The survey of 7,600 people from across Russia was conducted on May 21-26 by the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.Harrods Set to Reopen (7 a.m. NY)Luxury British retailer Harrods is set to reopen its flagship London store in June, with “significant” social distancing measures in place, and unveiled plans to open an outlet shop to sell stock left over from the season.The company plans to use footfall monitoring technology to limit capacity at its main Knightsbridge store and ensure social distancing can be maintained. Specific doors will be designated for entering and exiting the store, which was closed in March as the coronavirus outbreak started to spread in Britain.The new concept store, based in West London’s Westfield mall, has been designed to allow more space for customers, the company said. “In the new world in which we find ourselves, the economy needs businesses willing to look at its business model and current operations and think differently to enable growth, while protecting its customers and employees,” Managing Director Michael Ward said. “Harrods Outlet allows us to enable better social distancing across a larger footprint.”WHO Warns Against Austerity (6:37 a.m. NY)The World Health Organization warned against austerity in health spending as Europe’s economies reel from the effects of lockdowns to rein in the coronavirus. “We must learn from the mistakes of the past,” when public spending on health fell in the wake of the euro crisis, Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said in a briefing.Cuts in public spending on health shift costs to households who may already be facing financial insecurity, the WHO’s European office warned. Kluge called for solidarity among European governments. “If there’s something we have learned so far it’s that one country, even if it’s doing a great job, is not standing alone. We are safe only when everyone is safe.”‘Safer’ for BOE to Err With Too Much Easing (6:22 a.m. NY)It’s safer for the Bank of England to ease too much rather than too little as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic, according to policy maker Michael Saunders. The U.K. is at risk of a relatively slow recovery from the crisis, which could prove especially damaging, Saunders said on a webinar Thursday. Failing to add more stimulus now could see the economy slip into a “lowflation trap.”“The costs of policy error are, to an extent, asymmetric at present,” he said. “It is safer to err on the side of easing somewhat too much, and then if necessary tighten as capacity pressures eventually build, rather than ease too little and find the economy gets stuck in a low-inflation rut.” The pound slid after the comments and money markets moved to price in a 10 basis-point interest-rate cut for May 2021. That would take the key rate to zero.Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $70 Million (6 a.m. NY)Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. has raised $70 million in an effort to build out DNA-based Covid-19 testing on a massive scale. The firm is best known for its efforts to design, modify and manufacture organisms to make industrial processes cheaper and more efficient — for example, it’s working to help program bacteria for treatments as living medicines. Now, Gingko is looking to repurpose the DNA-sequencing and automation infrastructure it developed to read and modify living cells to help address the nation’s shortfall of diagnostic testing.The U.S. has vastly scaled up its testing and is now processing somewhere between 300,000 and 450,000 each day, according to The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer initiative to compile virus data. But those numbers still fall far short of the tens of millions that some experts have suggested are needed daily to reopen the economy safely and return to a new normal.DNA sequencing, Gingko is betting, might allow those efforts to scale up far more rapidly and cheaply to help achieve that end. The company is worth about $4.2 billion, based on a September effort that raised $290 million. The latest round includes investors such as DNA-sequencing giant Illumina Inc.Google Launches ‘Scam Spotter’ (6 a.m. NY)Alphabet Inc.’s Google has created “Scam Spotter” in partnership with Cybercrime Support Network, an organization that supports victims of online crimes. The website is intended to simplify and organize expert advice about coronavirus-related scams. Scammers have taken advantage of “fear and uncertainty,” around the virus, leading to approximately $40 million in fraud losses, Google said.Indonesia Death Toll Rises Amid Plans to Ease Curbs (5:45 p.m. HK)The death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Indonesia rose to 1,496, the highest in Southeast Asia, as officials weighed plans to relax social distancing measures and reopen the economy. Tests confirmed new infections in 687 patients in the past 24 hours, taking the total count to 24,538. East Java, home to the nation’s second-largest city and a major industrial hub, reported 171 new cases, the most among the nation’s 34 provinces.The government is working on a plan to allow tourists to return to Bali by July, National Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa said. Authorities are also drawing up plans for a gradual exit from strict social distancing measures, including in capital Jakarta, to pave the way for a V-shaped recovery in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.Meanwhile Malaysia reported the smallest increase in new cases since March 12 as the country expects to end its months-long lockdown in early June. And Philippines is planning to further ease restrictions in the capital region starting June 1, which would reopen most businesses and mass transport, even as reported daily infections rose to a record.Euro-Area Confidence Inches Up (5 p.m. HK)Economic sentiment in the euro area rose from a record low after companies started to reopen across the continent following the easing of restrictions. A small pickup in the European Commission gauge is consistent with similar reports in recent weeks that suggest the 19-nation region is slowly working its way out of the worst crisis in living memory. At the same time, the loss of jobs and business to weeks of lockdowns is likely to leave lasting damage on the fabric of the economy.Swiss Allow Sex Work But Not Judo in Reopening (4:41 p.m. HK)Swiss politicians have decided that sex workers can soon get back to business while sports and activities involving close physical contact such as judo, boxing, wrestling and dancing will remain prohibited.Prostitution is legal in Switzerland and can resume from June 6, along with cinemas, nightclubs and public pools, the government announced this week. Yet sports and activities that involve “close and constant” physical contact remain forbidden in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.Li Says China’s Economy Can Grow (4:40 p.m. HK)China’s economy can grow this year if the key tasks set out by the government, including ensuring employment and people’s livelihoods, are achieved, according to Premier Li Keqiang.It is “practical and realistic” to not set a numerical growth target this year as China is not immune from the economic shocks brought about by the pandemic, the premier said at a press conference as the annual parliament session closed on Thursday. Li said the government has the ability to take further action should the outlook deteriorate.Citigroup To Start Bringing London Traders Back (4:15 p.m. HK)Citigroup Inc. will gradually start bringing traders back to its London offices in the coming weeks as U.K. leaders continue to craft plans to ease social distancing restrictions.The firm will begin by restoring traders and other employees from its markets and securities services unit to its offices in London, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing private information. The firm has told employees in its investment bank to expect to continue working from home, according to the people.Roche Partners With Gilead (4:09 p.m. HK)Roche Holding AG and Gilead Sciences Inc. are initiating a late-stage trial of a two-drug combination in hopes of creating a new weapon in the battle against Covid-19. The study will pair Roche’s immune suppressor Actemra along with Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir, the only drug shown so far to fight the coronavirus, in treating patients with severe pneumonia. The results of the combination will be compared to those from patients who receive remdesivir and a placebo.The trial adds to the blizzard of research into existing medicines against Covid-19. While antivirals seek to stop viruses from replicating, drugs like Actemra -- often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis -- aim to counter harmful levels of inflammation, sometimes called a cytokine storm, that can be just as damaging as the infection itself.Russian Recoveries Exceed New Cases Again (3:53 p.m. HK)Confirmed cases rose by 8,371 over the past day to 379,051 while 8,785 people recovered, bringing the total to 150,993. This is the third straight day the daily number of recoveries has exceeded new cases as the outbreak shows signs of stabilizing in Russia.The data comes as Moscow prepares to ease a lockdown imposed since the end of March after President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia has passed the peak of the pandemic. City authorities managed “not only to stabilize the situation, but significantly improve it,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told Putin on Wednesday. “We can already talk about the next steps to get out of this crisis.”Travel Companies Urge U.K. to Drop Quarantine Plans (3:41 p.m. HK)More than 70 executives from travel firms have written to the U.K. government calling for the dropping of a controversial quarantine plan that will apply to passengers entering the U.K. from June 8. The signatories include The Ritz, Claridges, The Dorchester and Mandarin Oriental.“The very last thing the travel industry needs is a mandatory quarantine imposed on all arriving passengers which will deter foreign visitors from coming here, deter U.K. visitors from traveling abroad and, most likely, cause other countries to impose reciprocal quarantine requirements on British visitors, as France has already announced,” according to the letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel.EasyJet to Cut Jobs, SAS Seeks Funding (3:25 p.m. HK)EasyJet Plc will cut thousands of jobs representing as much as 30% of the workforce to cope with a long-term hit to demand from the coronavirus crisis. Europe’s second-biggest discount carrier will begin employee consultations on the cuts in coming days, it said. The Luton, England-based firm has about 15,000 employees, suggesting 4,500 posts are at risk.Earlier, SAS AB slumped 15% after Scandinavia’s main carrier warned shareholders it will need to generate more funding to see it through the crisis.Virus Clusters Surface in Korea, Japan (3:16 p.m. HK)South Korea will temporarily close museums, parks and galleries in Seoul and surrounding cities after reporting its biggest spike in new cases in nearly two months, raising fears of a second wave of infections. The country reported 79 new cases, about double the new infections reported a day earlier and marked the highest number of cases since April 5 when it registered 81. The total number of confirmed cases reached 11,344, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.The surge came as health authorities were investigating a new outbreak at a distribution center for Softbank-backed Coupang Corp., an e-commerce company known for its “rocket delivery” service, which has increased in popularity as more Koreans have turned to online shopping in the wake of pandemic. So far, 82 cases have been linked to the distribution center with the numbers likely to rise as health authorities complete testing of more than 4,000 known contacts.Small clusters have also emerged in several locations in Japan, including the capital, in its first week since a state of emergency was lifted nationwide. More than four people were found to be infected at a hospital in western Tokyo, Nippon Television reported. At least 18 others, mostly patients, are being tested after showing symptoms including fever. In the southwestern city of Kitakyushu, an uptick in new cases -- 22 infections in five days, after more than three weeks without a single case -- prompted the government to send its virus cluster response team to investigate.Glaxo Targets Vaccine Booster (2:45 p.m. HK)Glaxo says its adjuvant can reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, allowing more people to be immunized, and create longer-lasting immunity, according to a statement Thursday. The U.K. drugmaker is also working to develop a vaccine, but the two efforts are separate. “More than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic,” Roger Connor, president of Glaxo’s vaccines operation, said in the statement.Masks Work, Japan Panel Says (9 a.m. HK)Mask-wearing -- anathema to many in the U.S. -- is one reason why Japan has avoided the heavy coronavirus death tolls seen in many parts of the world, according to the government’s expert panel on the pandemic.While face-coverings have sparked angry confrontations in some parts of the world, and were initially dismissed as ineffective by the World Health Organization, they have long been part of everyday life in Japan. But they won’t be enough for the country to maintain its strong record on containing the virus.Disney Taking ‘Baby Steps’ to Reopen Parks (7:35 a.m. HK)Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek is planning to be more cautious than other theme-park operators in reopening attractions, saying he wants to take extra time to build trust with customers.The company aims to begin admitting guests back in its parks in Florida in mid-July. Meanwhile, rivals such as Comcast Corp.’s Universal Studios and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. plan to begin reopening their parks in the state early next month.Merchant Sailors Trapped at Sea (7:25 a.m. HK)Even as countries try returning to some semblance of pre-pandemic life, ongoing restrictions are wearing thin a crucial human link in the global supply chain.More than 200,000 seafarers stuck on merchant ships carrying everything from medical supplies to grain and oil are at increasing risk of mental and physical fatigue as port restrictions and canceled flights snarl the ability of vessels to change crews, according to the International Chamber of Shipping.U.S. Deaths Top 100,000 (6 a.m. HK)The U.S. surpassed 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The milestone comes 126 days since the first case and 87 days since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the country’s first fatality, on Feb. 29 in Washington state.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 05/28/2020: Visa (V) Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce Back

    Visa (V) Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce BackDistillate Capital recently released its Q1 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download below. The Distillate Capital’s U.S. Fundamental Stability & Value (U.S. FSV) strategy posted a return of -19.39% for the quarter (net of fees), outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index which returned -19.60% in the same quarter. You should […]

  • 05/28/2020: HP crushes earnings estimates on work-from-home PC demand

    HP crushes earnings estimates on work-from-home PC demandYahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Alexis Christoforous discuss HP’s latest earnings report.

  • 05/28/2020: Microsoft Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce Back

    Microsoft Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce BackDistillate Capital recently released its Q1 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download below. The Distillate Capital’s U.S. Fundamental Stability & Value (U.S. FSV) strategy posted a return of -19.39% for the quarter (net of fees), outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index which returned -19.60% in the same quarter. You should […]

  • 05/28/2020: U.S. Mortgage Rates Tumble to a Record 3.15% for 30-Year Loans
  • 05/28/2020: 3 “Strong Buy” Penny Stocks That Offer Massive Potential Gains

    3 “Strong Buy” Penny Stocks That Offer Massive Potential GainsThe stock market is heating up, and some Wall Street bulls are turning even more positive. Among those adapting an increasingly bullish approach is Stifel’s Head of Institutional Equity Strategy, Barry Bannister, who believes the worst is behind us, freeing up the S&P 500 to continue its ascent. Previously calling for an aggressive rebound right before the market’s March lows, he now projects that by the end of August, the S&P 500 will hit 3,250, reflecting an 8% rise from current levels.“We now raise our S&P 500 price target to 3,250 by Aug-30, 2020 (in 3 months), supported by economic survey data improving/bottoming (consumer, services, industrial) and our expectation that the S&P 500 price-to-earnings expands (at prevailing low real bond yields) to offset weak earnings per share, typical of late-stage recession periods,” Bannister wrote in a note to clients.Bearing this in mind, some investors are on the hunt, looking to snap up compelling names before shares re-embark on an upward trajectory. For the more risk-tolerant, focus has locked in on penny stocks, or tickers trading for less than $5 per share. The appeal is clear; the bargain price tag means you can get more bang for your buck and even what feels like inconsequential share price appreciation can result in huge percentage gains.What’s the flip side? Minor share price depreciation can fuel major percentage losses. By nature of these massive movements, penny stocks are notoriously volatile. With an understanding of the risk at play, we used TipRanks’ database to pinpoint three penny stocks in the healthcare sector supported by the Street’s analysts, with each receiving enough bullish calls to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. Not to mention each offers up massive upside potential.Vascular Biogenics (VBLT)Using its three platform technologies that enhance natural physiologic and genetic regulatory elements, Vascular Biogenics develops first-in-class treatments for cancer. With a key catalyst expected in the third quarter of this year, several analysts believe that at $1.15 apiece, now is the time to pull the trigger.The company has recently announced that data from the second interim assessment of efficacy for the Phase 3 OVAL study of its VB-111 candidate in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients will come in Q3, with the DSMC analysis set to evaluate 100 patients for survival after at least three months of follow-up.Writing for Oppenheimer, five-star analyst Kevin DeGeeter says that after having discussions with KOLs, he thinks the absolute mortality in both arms will be relatively high, landing within the range of 30-40% in the first three months of follow-up for advanced ovarian cancer patients.Expounding on the implications of the study, DeGeeter stated, “In terms of interim assessment for OVAL, we view the update as an incremental step in evaluating the efficacy of VBL-111 with likely broad statistical intervals for futility. As such, we view risk of stopping the study for futility as low.”On top of this, DeGeeter expects preclinical data from the MOSPD2 bi-specific antibody program to be presented at AACR on June 22-24. Abstracts for the meeting were released on May 15. This data release is especially significant as it’s an important step when it comes to expanding VBLT's pipeline, in the analyst’s opinion. He added, “We view acceptance of preclinical MOSPD2 data for a late-breaking abstract as an important validation of the novel scientific approach.”Looking more closely at MOSPD2, the protein, which is found on the surface of monocytes, neutrophils and lymphocytes, could stimulate myeloid cell migration. It should be noted that MOSPD2 is expressed on the surface of multiple tumor cell types and can promote tumor cell invasion. “Based on our review of the literature, VBLT appears to have one of the most advanced cancer programs against this novel target,” DeGeeter commented.To this end, DeGeeter reiterated his Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on VBLT along with a $2.50 price target. Should this target be met, a twelve-month gain of 117% could be in store. (To watch DeGeeter’s track record, click here) Like DeGeeter, other analysts also take a bullish approach. VBLT’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 5 Buys and no Holds or Sells. The $3.85 average price target is more aggressive than DeGeeter’s, with the upside potential coming in at 235%. (See VBLT stock analysis on TipRanks)Lineage Cell Therapeutics (LCTX)Focused on designing innovative cell therapies, Lineage Cell Therapeutics uses a cell-based therapy platform to develop differentiated cells to support or replace cells that are dysfunctional due to degenerative disease or traumatic injury. Currently going for $0.91 apiece, some members of the Street believe the share price reflects an attractive entry point.Weighing in for H.C. Wainwright, 5-star analyst Joseph Pantginis tells investors that he has high hopes following LCTX’s recent data release. Earlier this month, the company published updated results from its Phase 1/2a study of OpRegen as a treatment of dry-AMD. Representing an exciting development, the results reported are the first of improved visual function recorded in the first patient enrolled in cohort 4 and treated with the Orbit SDS with thaw-and-inject formulation (TAI), the trial’s exploratory goal.Expounding on this, Pantginis said, “Importantly, the results confirmed and expanded prior observations of safety and improved vision upon treatment with OpRegen. Specifically, the data show meaningful improvements in the progression of geographic atrophy (reduction), visual acuity, and reading speed. In addition, the results reinforce a growing body of evidence that OpRegen is well-tolerated and can provide sustained and clinically meaningful benefits with a single dose of RPE cells.”Taking a more in-depth look at the study, cohort 4 included five patients treated with one of two formulations of OpRegen. The first three were given a formulation of OpRegen that required plating and preparation of cells one day prior to use and retinotomy, while the others were treated with Orbit SDS TAI. According to Pantginis, the results not only produced a “significant and durable improvement in visual function”, but also underscored the differences between the formulations. Not to mention the OpRegen with TAI via Orbit SDS formulation was found to be safe.If that wasn’t enough, LCTX announced that it is applying for grant funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to support its development of a prophylactic vaccine against COVID-19. Even though IND enabling work including the creation of a specific expression construct and manufacturing process will be necessary, Pantginis argues that LCTX’s non-dilutive funding strategy and “solid scientific rationale at the basis of the technology” de-risk the strategy.Based on all of the above, Pantginis reiterates a Buy rating on LCTX along with a $4 price target. This suggests upside potential of a colossal 340%. (To watch Pantginis’ track record, click here) All in all, other analysts echo Pantginis’ sentiment. 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. Given the $3.67 average price target, the upside potential lands at 299%. (See LCTX stock analysis on TipRanks)Onconova Therapeutics (ONTX)Last but not least we have Onconova Therapeutics, which develops small molecule drug candidates to treat cancer. With a price tag of only $0.39 per share and a major potential catalyst coming up in the second half of the year, it’s no wonder this stock is on Wall Street’s radar.Part of the excitement surrounding ONTX is related to the data readout for the now fully enrolled pivotal Phase 3 INSPIRE study in high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients. The study is evaluating IV rigosertib (RAS-mimetic) in patients who are under the age of 82 with high-risk MDS that have failed HMA therapy within nine months or nine cycles. Speaking to the data readout’s significance, Maxim analyst Jason McCarthy stated, “The Phase 3 INSPIRE result in 2H20 is a binary event for ONTX shares, in our view. Given the removal of any financing overhang (with recent equity raises to strengthen the balance sheet), the data, if positive, will be transformative for the company, with strategic partners likely to take note as well as provide solid footing for the second intended Phase 3 study with rigosertib thereafter.”   Also important to consider, the company has two chances to receive approval. “Key to remember is that the trial was designed with two shots on goal: either to reach p-value in the intent-to-treat (ITT) patients or the very-high-risk (VHR) subset. Patients with VHR have a life expectancy of six months, and ~65% of the patients enrolled are VHR. Given what we saw in the ON-TIME subgroup, we believe the probability of success favors both scenarios,” the 5-star analyst commented. Additionally, McCarthy cites other possible catalysts slated for 2020 including the start of enrollment for the Phase 1/2a KRAS-mutated lung cancer study (IST) of rigo and nivolumab, ON 123300’s IND submission to the FDA and trial initiation as well as the initiation of the combination study for oral rigo and azacytidine in HMA-naïve higher-risk MDS patients.With everything ONTX has going for it, it should come as no surprise that McCarthy joined the bulls. In addition to upgrading his rating from Hold to Buy, he put a $1.25 price target on the stock. This target conveys his confidence in ONTX’s ability to skyrocket 221% in the next year. (To watch McCarthy’s track record, click here)Turning now to the rest of the Street, other analysts are on the same page. With 100% Street support, or 3 Buy ratings to be exact, the message is clear: ONTX is a Strong Buy. The $1.65 average price target brings the upside potential to 323%. (See ONTX stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for penny stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

  • 05/28/2020: Novartis inks deal to make Mass General Brigham's COVID-19 vaccine candidate

    Novartis inks deal to make Mass General Brigham's COVID-19 vaccine candidateNovartis's gene therapy unit AveXis has signed a manufacturing deal to help produce a novel genetic COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by U.S. researchers in Massachusetts, a spokeswoman for the Swiss drugmaker confirmed on Thursday. Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear are developing a vaccine candidate that relies on adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector technology to produce immunity. AveXis, which makes Novartis's $2.1 million-per-patient gene therapy Zolgensma for the hereditary disease spinal muscular atrophy, is contributing technology, expertise and its manufacturing supply chain at no cost, it said.

  • 05/28/2020: AstraZeneca partners with Oxford Biomedica to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity

    AstraZeneca partners with Oxford Biomedica to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacityThe experimental shot is also being produced by the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, and AstraZeneca is in talks with several governments and global partners to increase production. Oxford Biomedica said on Thursday it signed a one-year clinical and commercial supply agreement with AstraZeneca to provide multiple batches of the vaccine, called AZD1222, and that the majority of the batches would be produced throughout 2020. Last month, Oxford Biomedica said it joined a consortium, including the Jenner Institute, that came together for possible large-scale manufacturing of AZD1222.

  • 05/28/2020: Trump expected to sign social media executive order as Twitter battle brews

    Trump expected to sign social media executive order as Twitter battle brewsPresident Trump is expected to sign an executive order, targeting Twitter and Facebook. Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous, Brian Sozzi, and Rick Newman break down the details.

  • 05/28/2020: Germany Duels With EU Over $9.9 Billion Bailout for Lufthansa

    Germany Duels With EU Over $9.9 Billion Bailout for Lufthansa(Bloomberg) -- The German government bristled at the European Commission’s antitrust demands on its 9 billion-euro ($9.9 billion) bailout of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, in a sign of rising tensions over the stalled aid package.The insistence by officials in Brussels that Lufthansa ditch some of its takeoff-and-landing slots in Frankfurt and Munich is unfair, German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer told Germany’s Bild newspaper late Wednesday.“The European Commission doesn’t do this with other airlines,” Scheuer said in comments to the newspaper, citing Italy’s plan to nationalize Alitalia SpA as an example.Concerns that European Union requirements would hit Lufthansa’s business led the airline’s supervisory board to unexpectedly hold off on accepting the German lifeline on Wednesday, throwing the rescue plan into turmoil after weeks of talks. The labor-heavy board sees a threat that jobs would be lost and the market would shift toward discount airlines that pay less.The stalemate has taken Lufthansa’s crisis to a new level of urgency, with Germany’s government trying to square clear-cut EU rules with governance dynamics at the airline. In the balance is the arrival of much-needed funds. Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr warned employees Wednesday that the airline would struggle to pay wages in June if it can’t get hold of the bailout cash, according to a person familiar with the matter.Aid TermsThe German aid package unveiled on Monday involves the state taking an initial 20% stake in Lufthansa that could rise to a blocking minority of 25% plus one share in the event of a hostile takeover. The support also includes a 5.7 billion-euro investment via a so-called silent participation, and a three-year loan of 3 billion euros.The prospect of Germany becoming Lufthansa’s biggest investor has raised concerns in Brussels that the airline, backed by such a powerful shareholder, would increase its dominance over the aviation market.The EU defended tougher conditions for the recapitalization than for a loan. The capital infusion “does not increase the debt exposure of the company and ensures that the company is supported by a strong shareholder,” the EU said on Wednesday.German government officials concede in private that Lufthansa will need to give up a sizable amount of capacity in Germany to secure the European Commission’s blessing. Lufthansa could also be asked to cut back 20 planes in Germany, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.Lufthansa, along with its subsidiaries, dominates slot allocation at the two Frankfurt and Munich hubs. Germany’s DLR aerospace center has estimated the group has a two-thirds share of the nation’s commercial aviation market.Shareholder VoteThe airline opted against immediately calling a shareholder vote and said the proposal will be reviewed, citing a need to analyze the economic hit, the repayment of the aid and possible alternative scenarios. Lufthansa’s employee representatives, holders of half the votes on the supervisory board, are also fiercely opposed to the European Union demands on slot disposals.“The 140,000 jobs at Lufthansa cannot be endangered through nonsensical and competition-distorting demands,” Markus Wahl, president of the VCI pilots’ union, said in an emailed statement.Read more on the airline crisis:EasyJet Shrinks After Virus Brings Abrupt End to Years of GrowthSAS Warns Shareholders It Needs More Money as 5,000 Jobs CutRyanair Maps Growth With 737 Max Jets While Rivals ShrinkStill, the bailout remains “as the only viable alternative for maintaining solvency,” according to the board. But the holdup underscores the political tensions underpinning the effort to stabilize Europe’s largest airline in the midst of a historic collapse in travel.The delay comes with Lufthansa severely weakened by the coronavirus crisis. The carrier has just weeks of liquidity remaining before it runs out of cash, according to people familiar with the matter. The proposed bailout requires shareholder and EU approval before the funds can be distributed, a process that could take several weeks even without the new delay.The supervisory board is expected to meet again to discuss the package once it has more information on the slots matter. The airline can call a meeting at short notice, meaning it could still approve the deal this week.‘Ungrateful Lufthansa’Germany is separately seeking EU assurances that any deal put to shareholders is compliant with state-aid rules, the people said. It wants a so-called comfort letter from regulators to offer legal clarity on financial aspects before the EU approves the deal, one person said. That would not cover the dispute over slots.Merkel said Wednesday that talks regarding Lufthansa are ongoing. Spokespeople at the airline and in Germany’s Economy Ministry declined to comment.Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, criticized Germany’s rescue effort as an “illegal state aid scheme, which the ungrateful Lufthansa has clearly rejected.”A decision by the German airline to hand over slots in Frankfurt and Munich would boost competition, Ryanair said in a statement.“If the German government is serious about restarting air travel to and from Germany, then this state aid should be replaced with a different scheme, which would reduce air travel taxes for all airlines operating in Germany for the next 24 months,” Dublin-based Ryanair said.(Adds chart to previous version)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 05/28/2020: Is Now The Time To Look At Buying Box, Inc. (NYSE:BOX)?

    Is Now The Time To Look At Buying Box, Inc. (NYSE:BOX)?Box, Inc. (NYSE:BOX), which is in the software business, and is based in United States, saw a significant share price...

  • 05/28/2020: Nasdaq 100 Futures Drop on Report of Trump Executive Order

    Nasdaq 100 Futures Drop on Report of Trump Executive Order(Bloomberg) -- Nasdaq 100 Index futures fell on a report Donald Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that could threaten to penalize Facebook Inc., Google and Twitter Inc. for the way they moderate content on their sites.Contracts for June delivery on the Nasdaq 100 fell as much as 0.8%, before paring losses to 0.4% as of 9:32 a.m. in London. Trump’s upcoming executive order aims for federal regulators to review a law that spares tech companies from liability for comments and content posted by users, the Washington Post reported. Investor sentiment was also damped by deteriorating U.S.-China ties.“U.S. tech stocks are dropping on profit taking and risk aversion, as they are at the forefront of the U.S.-China cold war,” said Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney. In addition, there is news that “Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that could threaten to penalize Facebook, Google and Twitter.”Trump is poised to take action Thursday that could bring a flurry of lawsuits down on Twitter, Facebook and other technology giants by having the government narrow liability protections that they enjoy for third parties’ posts, according to a draft of an executive order obtained by Bloomberg.While Nasdaq 100 futures declined, contracts on other indexes were mixed. Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed and those on Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4%. The underlying S&P 500 climbed to the highest since early March on Wednesday, holding above 3,000 level and its average price for the past 200 days.It’s possible that Nasdaq futures are falling on reports of an executive order, “but the U.S. First Amendment is pretty clear, and the White House has very little reach over corporate behavior,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty. “Most traders I speak to see this as a hollow threat.”(Updates prices starting in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 05/28/2020: Jamie Dimon Captures the Stock Market Moment

    Jamie Dimon Captures the Stock Market Moment(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Don’t fight the U.S. Federal Reserve — repeat that mantra until it sticks.Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase & Co., put it well this week. “This wasn’t the bazooka,” he said, referring to Jay Powell’s response to the coronavirus crisis. “The Fed took out the whole military and applied it. Just announcing these programs reduced spreads (the difference between corporate bond yields and their benchmarks) in the market. It’s going to save a lot of small businesses.” In the past month, the equity market’s glass has gone from pretty much empty to at least half full and that’s down to the coordinated fiscal and monetary effort from authorities far and wide. You want some quantitative easing? Please, have some more and take some for the journey home. Even those foot draggers at the European Union are talking about radical fiscal action. We won’t really see a V-shaped economic recovery, but it seems like we’ve stopped the L.Nonetheless, this is a recovery based so far on asset-price inflation rather than any economic data. Central bank and government action may have restored financial valuations but real incomes will still suffer dramatically for a long while to come. Unemployment and diminished consumption cannot be magicked away.The stock market is looking even further into the distance than usual to justify its valuations, which is sometimes hard to square away against a constant stream of dire economic statistics and evaporating company earnings. Since QE came to life during the global financial crisis, it has paid for investors to cast aside their usual forward-earnings analysis and focus instead on the rising tide of money. The central banks have learned their post-2008 lessons and have barely put a foot wrong this time. This is having uneven effects, however. The bulk of the stimulus is coming into investment-grade assets because that’s where central banks feel more comfortable. Credit spreads have recovered most in BBB and A-rated bonds. High-yield yield assets improved sharply at first, but this has abated. The spread between the yields on investment-grade debt and those of junk bonds is still nearly double the levels seen in February. Similarly, new debt issuance is motoring again but only for the better-quality names. While U.S. banks such as Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. are returning for the fifth or sixth time this year to replenish capital, the junk sector has been restricted to one-off selective deals — often with eye-watering yields.The change in stock market sentiment isn’t just about QE. The oil price collapse has come and gone and fears of a devastating second wave of Covid-19 are easing. Short-selling bans have quietly been lifted in several European countries too, and some of the recent improvement may be explained by that. The sound of economies cranking back into life can just about be made out over the whirring of the monetary printing presses, allowing even bombed-out old economy stocks to recover, not just the new technology darlings.Notably, some of the recent action has been in high-dividend stocks, which had been forced to skip shareholder payouts at the height of the crisis. Investors had feared that the dividend bans might last several years; now they think it may be a quarter or two. Many investment funds work off a dividend-yield model.Investment managers may be doing the natural thing right now and chasing the rising stock market indexes, but that doesn’t mean they’re brimful of confidence. The Bank of America fund manager survey for May shows extreme bearishness pervades, with only 10% expecting a V-shaped recovery and 68% expecting stock prices to fall. Given the recent positive news on the virus and the gradual ending of lockdowns, the June survey might be different.The fiscal response will determine how the economy recovers over the long term but the monetary triage has worked better than anyone could have expected in those ugly days of March. For that we should be grateful, and for the stock market’s semi-rational exuberance.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Marcus Ashworth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European markets. He spent three decades in the banking industry, most recently as chief markets strategist at Haitong Securities in London.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 05/28/2020: Moderna extends lipids deal to boost COVID-19 vaccine candidate output

    Moderna extends lipids deal to boost COVID-19 vaccine candidate outputThe company on Thursday signed an agreement with Swiss firm CordenPharma for the supply of large-scale volumes of lipid excipients used to produce its vaccine candidate. Moderna said last week that its vaccine candidate, the first to be tested in the United States, produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers, offering a glimmer of hope for a vaccine among the most advanced in development. "This expansion will increase supply of lipid excipients used to manufacture our mRNA products," Moderna's chief technical operations and quality officer, Juan Andres, said.

  • 05/28/2020: Novavax Seeks To Make 1 Billion Covid-19 Vaccine Doses; Top Analyst Ramps Up PT To $61

    Novavax Seeks To Make 1 Billion Covid-19 Vaccine Doses; Top Analyst Ramps Up PT To $61Novavax (NVAX) on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Praha Vaccines to help the late-stage biotech company produce over 1 billion doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine candidate starting in 2021.The U.S. company will buy the manufacturing plant for about $167 million in an all cash transaction. Starting in 2021, the plant is expected to provide an annual capacity of over 1 billion doses of antigen for the company’s vaccine candidate, also known as NVX‑CoV2373. As part of the transaction, about 150 employees with experience in vaccine manufacturing and support will join Novavax.“Manufacturing capacity is a critical component of our strategy to deliver a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stanley C. Erck, President and CEO of Novavax. “This acquisition provides the vital assets required to produce more than 1 billion doses per year. We will continue efforts to expand antigen capacity in the U.S. and Asia, and increase production of Matrix-M to match antigen capacity at multiple sites globally.”NVX‑CoV2373 consists of a stable, prefusion protein antigen made using Novavax’s proprietary nanoparticle technology and includes its proprietary Matrix‑M adjuvant. On Tuesday, Novavax announced that it is starting human testing in its Phase 1/2 clinical trial of the vaccine candidate and is expecting results in July.The Praha Vaccines acquisition is supported by a funding arrangement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which will help the company to expand its manufacturing capacity.As part of the deal, the biotech company will work in collaboration with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to boost production levels at the Bohumil facility by the end of 2020.Novavax’s stock has jumped 10 times in value since the start of the year and was down 5.6% trading at $45.47 as of Wednesday’s close.Following the announcement, five-star analyst Mayank Mamtani at B. Riley FBR raised the stock’s price target to $61 from $53, reflecting another 34% upside potential in the shares over the coming year.Mamtani said that he now expects earlier global market entry of the 2373 vaccine candidate as well as “model additional non-dilutive funding to further accelerate development and commercialization activities.” The analyst maintained a Buy rating on the stock.“We view this as another encouraging development providing validation to the de-risked nature of NVAX's vaccine candidate, on the basis of the most extensive/differentiated preclinical data  generated to date, and now reviewed closely by global scientific community residing with CEPI, WHO, and SII as well as U.S. agencies such as CDC, NIH-NIAID, and BARDA,” Mamtani wrote in a note to investors.The rest of Wall Street analysts covering the stock in the past three months join Mamtani in their recommendation to Buy the shares. The Strong Buy consensus is backed up by 5 unanimous Buy ratings. In view of the stock’s fast rally this year, the $49.20 average price target indicates a modest 8% upside potential in the coming 12 months. (See Novavax stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Novavax Begins Human Testing For Covid-19 Vaccine, Expects Results In July Novavax Spikes 31% on $384 Million Cash Injection for Vaccine Production Novavax Seeks To Raise $250 Million From Share Sale; Top Analyst Bumps Up PT More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * 3 "Strong Buy" Penny Stocks That Offer Massive Potential Gains * Logitech Shares Lifted In Pre-Market On Share Buyback Plan, 10% Dividend Boost * Billionaire Ackman Exits Berkshire Hathaway, Blackstone To Fund Opportunities * HBO Max Launches, But Not Yet Available on Amazon, Roku Platforms

  • 05/28/2020: Hertz Sinks 11% After-Hours As Carl Icahn Sells Stake At $1.8B Loss

    Hertz Sinks 11% After-Hours As Carl Icahn Sells Stake At $1.8B LossShares in troubled car rental company Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ) sunk a further 11% to $1.16 in Wednesday’s after-hours trading on the news that Carl Icahn has sold his Hertz stake at an apparent loss of about $1.8 billion.Icahn divested 55.34M common shares for $39.8M, at a price of $0.72/ share on May 26, an SEC filing revealed. He previously owned a 39% stake in Hertz and had three representatives on the board.The 84-year old hedge fund manager stated “I have been an investor and supporter of Hertz since 2014.  Unfortunately because of Covid-19 which has caused an extremely rapid and substantial decrease in travel, Hertz has encountered major financial difficulties and I support the Board in their conclusion to file for bankruptcy protection.”“Yesterday I sold my equity position at a significant loss, but this does not mean that I don’t continue to have faith in the future of Hertz.  I believe that based on a plan of reorganization that includes new capital, Hertz will again become a great company.  I intend to closely follow the Company’s reorganization and I look forward to assessing different opportunities to support Hertz in the future.”Late on Friday Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection after the car rental firm failed to reach long-term agreements with creditors. The news sent shares down 36% to $1.82 in extended US trading.Hertz is embarking on the financial reorganization as it sees “a prolonged travel and overall global economic recovery”. During the reorganization process, the company will maintain ordinary operations, continue to pay vendors and suppliers, pay its employees, and continue with its customer loyalty programs.TipRanks data shows that three analysts in the past three months have cut Hertz stock to Sell from Hold, with a further analyst downgrading the stock to Hold. Overall, this gives Hertz a bearish Moderate Sell analyst consensus.With shares trading down 92% on a year-to-date basis, the $3.33 average analyst price target indicates 154% upside potential from the current share price. (See Hertz stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Beleaguered Hertz Sinks 36% In After-Market On Bankruptcy Protection Filing Carl Icahn Initiates Position in Delek US Holdings, Boosts Occidental Petroleum Uber In Partnership With MoneyGram For Driver Discount During Pandemic More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Logitech Shares Lifted In Pre-Market On Share Buyback Plan, 10% Dividend Boost * Billionaire Ackman Exits Berkshire Hathaway, Blackstone To Fund Opportunities * HBO Max Launches, But Not Yet Available on Amazon, Roku Platforms * Apple Snaps Up AI Startup Inductiv, As Analysts Boost PTs On Store Reopenings

  • 05/28/2020: PhaseBio Explodes 82% After-Hours On FDA Nod For Covid-19 Clinical Trial

    PhaseBio Explodes 82% After-Hours On FDA Nod For Covid-19 Clinical TrialShares in PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals (PHAS) surged 82% in after-hours trading on Wednesday, after the company announced clearance of its investigational new drug (IND) application by the FDA under its Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP).PhaseBio’s “VANGARD” trial will assess the efficacy and safety of its PB1046 in hospitalized COVID-19 patients at high risk for rapid clinical deterioration and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Approximately 210 patients will be targeted to be enrolled at approximately 20 sites across the US. The primary endpoint will measure days alive and free of respiratory failure.The patients will be treated with PB1046, a novel, once-weekly, subcutaneously-injected vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) receptor agonist that targets VPAC receptors in the cardiovascular, pulmonary and immune systems. VIP is a neurohormone known to have anti-inflammatory effects, and importantly, has also been observed to have potent bronchodilatory and immunomodulatory effects in the respiratory system.PhaseBio now expects to begin dosing patients by the end of June and is targeting to report trial results late in the fourth quarter of 2020. Based on feedback from the FDA, PhaseBio believes that positive, clearly interpretable and clinically meaningful results from this trial may enable PhaseBio to submit a Biologics License Application.“Physicians are in desperate need of new options to treat COVID-19 patients facing rapid deterioration of lung function and before progressing to a ventilator,” said John Lee, CMO at PhaseBio. “Early mitigation by PB1046 of the effects of inflammatory cytokines that can cause acute lung injury, is a promising strategy that could prevent patients from declining to the point where they require mechanical ventilation and help alleviate the strain on critical care infrastructure that we’re witnessing.”Indeed, analysts have a firmly bullish outlook on PHAS with 4 recent buy ratings, no holds and no sells, giving it a Strong Buy consensus. The average analyst price target stands at $12.75 (188% upside potential). (See PhaseBio stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Novavax Begins Human Testing For Covid-19 Vaccine, Expects Results In July Merck CEO Casts Doubt On ‘Very Aggressive’ Covid-19 Vaccine Timeline Regeneron Announces Secondary Offering Pricing At $515/Share More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * 3 "Strong Buy" Penny Stocks That Offer Massive Potential Gains * Logitech Shares Lifted In Pre-Market On Share Buyback Plan, 10% Dividend Boost * Billionaire Ackman Exits Berkshire Hathaway, Blackstone To Fund Opportunities * HBO Max Launches, But Not Yet Available on Amazon, Roku Platforms

  • 05/28/2020: Venezuela's Maduro vows to raise gasoline price as Iranian tanker nears

    Venezuela's Maduro vows to raise gasoline price as Iranian tanker nearsVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday pledged to begin charging citizens for gasoline, as the fourth cargo of a five-tanker flotilla bringing fuel from Iran approached the South American nation's exclusive economic zone. Iran is providing the country with up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components to help it ease an acute scarcity that has forced Venezuelans to wait in hours-long lines at service stations or pay steep prices on the black market. With the arrival of the gasoline, Maduro said he would end the policy of providing fuel effectively for free after more than two decades of frozen pump prices.

  • 05/28/2020: Billionaire Icahn exits Hertz with 'significant' loss after bankruptcy filing

    Billionaire Icahn exits Hertz with 'significant' loss after bankruptcy filingAccording to a regulatory filing made on Wednesday, Icahn, who held a nearly 39% stake in Hertz and had three representatives on the board, sold 55.34 million shares on Tuesday at 72 cents per share. Hertz fell victim to coronavirus shutdowns that dramatically curtailed travel and created major financial hardships for the company, Icahn said in the filing, adding that he supported the board's decision to seek bankruptcy protection on Friday. At the end of 2019, his stake in Hertz was worth close to $700 million.

  • 05/28/2020: Data Center Set to Send Nvidia Stock Soaring Even Higher

    Data Center Set to Send Nvidia Stock Soaring Even HigherIs anything about to derail Nvidia’s (NVDA) growth momentum? The GPU leader is enjoying an extended moment in the sun, when just about everything is going its way. An excellent F1Q21 report, the latest highlight, resulted in additional brawn to its ever-bulging share price – by now up 45% since the turn of the year.There’s more to come, argues Needham’s Rajvindra Gill, who calls Nvidia “the only perpetual growth story in semis.” The 5-star analyst has a Buy rating on Nvidia shares, accompanied by a $400 piece target. Expect additional upside of 17%, should the target be met over the next 12 months. (To watch Gill’s track record, click here)COVID-19’s devastating impact has not impeded Nvidia’s forward charge. In fact, as evidenced by the earnings results, it has boosted the narrative for Nvidia’s two main segments – Gaming and Data Center.The stay-at-home economy resulted in a 50% uptick for gaming hours on its GeForce platform. Overall, in the quarter, Gaming revenue (making up 43% of F1Q21 sales) increased year-over-year by 27% to $1.34 billion, beating the Street’s call for $1.31 billion.But the really impressive numbers are reserved for Nvidia’s Data Center. Making up 37% of overall sales, the segment still trails Gaming as Nvidia’s top earner, yet throughout F20 the division had been closing the gap and the most recent showing continued the trend.Data Center revenue came in at $1.14 billion, above the $1.08 billion estimate, exhibiting 80% year-over-year growth and up by 18% from the prior quarter’s results.With the additional purchase of data specialist Mellanox completed, Gill expects “data center strength to continue throughout FY21.”The 5-star analyst commented, “We believe data center, the end-market that we view as NVDA’s biggest growth engine, is experiencing a recovery as hyperscaler sales have ramped the past few quarters and visibility has improved. We expect the competitive dynamics in the data center market will exert pressure on its long-term positioning in this market; however, we believe several industries will transition to AI-based systems faster than before.”The rest of the Street has no bones to pick with the Needham analyst’s assessment. A Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 1 Sell, 3 Holds and a towering 27 Buys. With an average price target of $381 and a change, investors stand to take home about 12% gain, should the target be met over the next 12 months. (See Nvidia stock analysis on TipRanks)Read more: * Micron Is a Strong 5G Play, Says 5-Star Analyst * 3 “Perfect 10” Dividend Stocks That Tick all the Boxes * 3 “Strong Buy” Penny Stocks That Could See Outsized Gains More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * 3 "Strong Buy" Penny Stocks That Offer Massive Potential Gains * Logitech Shares Lifted In Pre-Market On Share Buyback Plan, 10% Dividend Boost * Apple Snaps Up AI Startup Inductiv, As Analysts Boost PTs On Store Reopenings * Microsoft Seeks $2B Stake In India’s Jio Platforms- Report

  • 05/27/2020: Micron Is a Strong 5G Play, Says 5-Star Analyst

    Micron Is a Strong 5G Play, Says 5-Star AnalystWhat would you tell someone if they were to ask you, “Should I buy Micron (MU) right now?” For Rosenblatt's Hans Mosesmann the answer is quite clear — the 5-star analyst sees this stock as a flower that keeps blossoming. In fact, Mosesmann goes as far as to consider Micron “one of our top 3 picks for 2020.” Following a chat with Micron's MBU (mobile business unit) manager, Mosesmann cites some key takeaways which have only added to his bullish sentiment: * As 5G networks become more prevalent around the world, 5G phones will bring significant advances in performance (20x faster downloads), latency (10x lower), and density (10x more devices per kilometer), all driven by Micron tech. * With the 5G cycle taking its first steps, Micron projects sales of 5G phone units for 2021 to hit roughly 450 million and expand over the next few years. Accordingly, the company expects 5G 2020 bit growth for DRAM (memory) to hit 15% and NAND (storage) to increase by 30%. * Because of 5G backups from 4G phones, new game apps, and their ability to process hi-resolution content DRAM and NAND requirements will increase between 33% and 100% in 5G when compared to 4G.All of which leads Mosesmann to argue Micron is “leading the industry in key categories, and the MBU business is now cross-cycle profitable.” In summary, the analyst noted, “At a high level, Micron is making the case that even in one of the worst market segments to get hit by COVID-19 dynamics, 5G phone memory/storage content will grow meaningfully in 2020 and drive bit demand.”To this end, Mosesmann reiterates a Buy rating on Micron shares, with a $100 price target target in mind. Investors can expect upside of a massive 102%, should the analyst’s thesis play out over the coming months. (To watch Mosesmann’s track record, click here)As for the rest of the Street, the bulls have it. Micron's Moderate Buy consensus rating breaks down into 19 Buy ratings, 5 Holds and single Sell received in the last three months. The $62.66 average price target suggests shares could surge ~27% in the next year. (See Micron stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

  • 05/27/2020: Three Warren Buffett Tech Stocks to Buy

    Three Warren Buffett Tech Stocks to BuyBerkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) owner Warren Buffett is the most popular investor who built his $89.9 billion net worth by investing in value companies. He was among the few who profited from the 2008 crisis. In the current Covid-19 crisis, he is holding a lot of cash as most companies are not prepared for […]

  • 05/27/2020: Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Pareteum Corporation (TEUM)

    Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Pareteum Corporation (TEUM)In this article you are going to find out whether hedge funds think Pareteum Corporation (NASDAQ:TEUM) is a good investment right now. We like to check what the smart money thinks first before doing extensive research on a given stock. Although there have been several high profile failed hedge fund picks, the consensus picks among […]

  • 05/27/2020: Is Canaan Inc. (CAN) A Good Stock To Buy Now?

    Is Canaan Inc. (CAN) A Good Stock To Buy Now?In this article we will check out the progression of hedge fund sentiment towards Canaan Inc. (NASDAQ:CAN) and determine whether it is a good investment right now. We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before spending days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 […]

  • 05/27/2020: E-commerce Drives Multi-Pronged Expansion At UPS Airlines

    E-commerce Drives Multi-Pronged Expansion At UPS AirlinesUPS Airlines is expanding in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic that is forcing passenger airlines to shrink fleets and permanently downsize in line with expectations for weak travel demand in the coming years.The United Parcel Service, Inc (NYSE: UPS) fleet has been busy flying charter flights for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other customers ordering desperately needed medical supplies for the COVID-19 response in the U.S. and other countries. But the real driver of extra business and aircraft investment is e-commerce and customers seeking express shipping – factors that were rising in importance well before the pandemic.In the first quarter, Next Day Air shipments in the U.S. grew by 20.5%, the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, the company said in its earnings report. In 2019, Next Day Air grew more than 22%.The popularity of online shopping continues to grow and consumers don't want to wait for their orders. Two-day shipping is now standard for many merchants. It remains an open question whether coronavirus stock-outs will force a rethink among companies trying to implement one-day or same-day deliveries. Global e-commerce sales are projected to more than double to $6.5 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. The Boston Consulting Group estimates U.S. e-commerce sales will double too, to $1 trillion, growing at six times the rate of all retail transactions. More than half of that growth is through giant marketplaces such as Rakuten, JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and Amazon that enable merchants to reach much larger audiences than they could on their own.Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), is UPS' largest customer, accounting for 11.6% of UPS' $74 billion in revenue last. UPS is picking up more business as rival FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) dissolved its U.S. air and ground delivery partnerships with Amazon.And e-commerce continued to boom as the coronavirus pandemic forced large numbers of people to quarantine at home and avoid brick-and-mortar stores.On May 12, UPS Airlines took delivery of a new 767 freighter from Boeing Co (NYSE: BA), one of 22 new, converted or leased 767s the company is adding over five years ending in 2022. Seven days later the all-cargo plane took its first revenue flight, UPS spokesman Jim Mayer said in an email. Boeing's website shows seven unfilled UPS orders for production of 767 freighters.Overall, UPS is expanding its in-house airline by 55 aircraft over that period, equivalent to more than 12 million pounds of payload capacity, including 28 Boeing 747-8 production freighters. Thirteen of the 747-8s are still on back order. The fourth-largest airline in the world currently operates 261 aircraft of its own and utilizes about 200 more through short-term leases and charters, according to a company fact sheet. UPS said in a tweet several days ago that it is adding five MD-11 aircraft — two this year and three in 2021. Mayer confirmed that the planes are used passenger aircraft that are being converted and resold by Boeing.Although the triple-engine planes are less fuel-efficient than many others in service today, they have large cargo payloads and are inexpensive, Mayer explained to The Points Guy blog.E-commerce also propelled Louisville International Airport in Kentucky to fourth place in preliminary rankings of the world's busiest cargo airports, released this month by Airports Council International. UPS's Worldport global package hub is located at the airport, which also serves as home base to UPS Airlines.Airports Council International 2019 ranking of top global cargo airports.The Louisville airport moved up three spots as freight and mail volume increased 6.4% to a record 6.2 billion pounds (2.8 million metric tons). It also moved up to second place, from third, among the largest cargo airports in the U.S. Louisville was one of the few airports to gain cargo business during a year when overall cargo demand fell 3.9%. And cargo volume grew 2.2% in the first quarter, despite economic slowdowns around the world due to the coronavirus.Hong Kong remained the top global airport for cargo, despite a 6.1% decline in volume attributed to trade tensions between the U.S. and China and pro-democracy protests that dampened air travel and flights to the city. Memphis, Tennessee, home to FedEx Express, continued to hold the second spot for cargo, followed by Shanghai.New Chicagoland AirportOnline deliveries are also behind the recent decision to expand the UPS express air network to Gary/Chicago International Airport in Indiana. UPS said it will begin operating there Nov. 2, in time for the peak holiday shipping season, with an Airbus A300 cargo plane that can carry more than 14,000 packages.Each weeknight the aircraft will depart Gary for the UPS Worldport in Louisville and return in the morning with packages sorted from around the world for the northern Indiana and Chicago area.UPS said it expects to employ about 60 people at the airport, including ground handlers, administrative personnel, aircraft maintenance technicians and managers. UPS signed a lease on May 13 for 14,000 square feet of office space in the airport's passenger terminal and a 150,000-square-foot ramp area with enough space to park two A300s.UPS will install a mobile distribution center on the ramp, Mayer tells FreightWaves. The MDC is a poured foundation and a modular metal building with truck doors and a conveyor belt inside for directing packages to the correct vehicle. Mayer said the MDCs give UPS a quick way to add sort capacity and are sometimes used at existing warehouses to expand operating space during the peak holiday season. See more from Benzinga * Beef And chicken inventories Surge In April * Weekly Fuel Report: May 25, 2020 * Amazon Is Serious About Self-Driving Technology, Eyeing Multi-Billion Dollar Acquisition(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • 05/27/2020: Lithium Americas Corp. (LAC): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

    Lithium Americas Corp. (LAC): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds' and successful investors' positions as of the end of the first quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund's trades on numerous financial […]

  • 05/27/2020: HP Inc. misses on Q2 revenue estimates despite work-from-home demand

    HP Inc. misses on Q2 revenue estimates despite work-from-home demandOn Wednesday, computing giant HP reported mixed second-quarter results. Total revenue came in at $12.5 billion, compared to $12.86 billion expected, and earnings per share topped estimates ($0.51 vs. $045 expected). Meanwhile, sales at HP’s personal systems and and printing segments dropped 7% and 19%, respectively, from the prior year. Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland breaks down the company’s report.

  • 05/27/2020: Workday tops Q1 expectations, lowers subscription revenue guidance

    Workday tops Q1 expectations, lowers subscription revenue guidanceOn Wednesday, Workday reported first-quarter results that topped estimates amid lowered expectations from the coronavirus lockdown. Total revenues came in at $1.02 billion, an increase of 23.4% from the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland breaks down the company’s earnings report.

  • 05/27/2020: 4 Stocks Poised To Breakout With The Return Of Live Sports

    4 Stocks Poised To Breakout With The Return Of Live SportsAfter months without live sports, it looks as though America's favorite pastimes are on the cusp of returning. Reports indicate the MLB is on pace to return sooner rather than later, while the NHL and NBA have also submitted plans to resume their playoffs this summer.Financially, the resurgence of players in arenas may mean the resurgence of players in the stock market as well. Here are four stocks that may be poised for a breakout with the return of live sports.DraftKingsDraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG) is new to the market, debuting in early April at around $19. Since then, it's climbed over 70% to $33 a share.Much of the hype surrounding DraftKings has to do with continuous pro-gambling legislation being pushed throughout the country. Given the gambling industry's potentially massive contribution to the government, more and more states are entertaining the possibility of legalizing it.More good news for the online fantasy and gambling app is the new trend for people to gamble on non-sporting events, such as the outcome of TV shows like "The Bachelor."Chris Camillo said DraftKings' potential comes as a result of the exponential growth in legality and popularity of online sports gambling.> "I think you can make a case that most states are going to have legalized sports books in the next five, six, seven years. So this is a movement. This is a major, major movement."Prior to the absence of sports, people were betting on games more than ever. The hiatus likely created an immense desire to get back to the action.Penn National Gaming Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ: PENN) is one of the most interesting stocks in the gaming and entertainment industry.Penn operates both brick-and-mortar and online gambling to a plethora of users. It owns 41 facilities, which comprise 50,500 gaming machines, 1,300 table games and 8,800 hotel rooms. Perhaps the most exciting element of Penn National is its recently-inked partnership with Barstool Sports.Barstool Sports has been a leading sports and men's lifestyle blog and podcasting network over the past few years.The agreement between Penn and Barstool paves the way for Penn to be the operator of a Barstool Sports gambling app. Given Barstool's incredible reach and audience (three top 60 podcasts in the U.S.), the app will surely explode on the scene."Penn's got the bigger growth in the future (as compared to other gaming companies on the market)," Jordan Mclain said on the "Dumb Money LIVE" show. "I think they've got a brand they can capitalize on."See Also: Why Penn National And Boyd Could Outperform As US Casinos ReopenGanGan Ltd (NASDAQ: GAN) is an extremely under-the-radar stock that also operates in the sports gaming space. It IPO'd on May 5 at just over $10. The small-cap stock has since risen above the $15 handle, representing about 50% returns in its first month on the market.Gan's core business centers around a subscription revenue model. Its software allows it to take a piece of the action on every bet or gamble for the gaming companies that it works for. Its most notable client is likely FanDuel, an international competitor to DraftKings.One of the company's more notable elements is that it owns a patent on the ability for a casino that has an offline brick-and-mortar presence with an offline loyalty program to merge that with an online loyalty program.In fact, it won a 2018 court case in which it sued for the wrongful usage of this patent, which has further solidified its viability and credibility.According to Camillo, Gan has the potential to be in the right place at the right time with the return of sports."I see Gan as an asymmetric trade on the imminent growth of legalized app-based sports and casino wagering in the U.S.," Camillo said.> "While most investors in this space are focused on DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, and the soon to be Barstool Sportsbook by Penn National -- GAN's platform software and services solution along with their leadership experience in the sector position them to come out as the real winner in what is likely to grow into a fragmented market of state-licensed casino and sportsbook brands that are equally technology and process deficient "Gan will be able to leverage this patent to work with casinos in developing the aforementioned online loyalty programs, which could be a huge boost. Investors seem to be taking notice of this, along with the general rise of the gambling industry in general, as good signs for Gan.Walt Disney CoDisney (NYSE: DIS), like most of the market, suffered a significant drop in share valuation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The stock has dropped roughly 15% in price since the end of February, when it hovered just over the $140 handle.With the resurgence of sports back on the scene in the coming weeks and months, it's plausible to expect the viewership of ESPN to surge. The channel owns rights to multiple NBA and MLB games per week.ESPN's typical programming, which comprises mostly talk shows, will finally be able to recap highlights and statistics from the previous day once again after months of having to cover general topics and trends, such as the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement.Camillo mentioned on the "Dumb Money LIVE" show that Disney looks like a safe play with the return of sports."It's gonna be a net positive for Disney. It's kind of undebatable...I'm comfortable with my Disney position for the long term," he said.See more from Benzinga * These 10 Stocks Have Surged During The Coronavirus Pandemic(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • 05/27/2020: Homebuying surges as mortgage rates and home prices plummet

    Homebuying surges as mortgage rates and home prices plummetMortgage applications from homebuyers spike, thanks to cheaper homes and mortgage rates.

  • 05/27/2020: Do Hedge Funds Love Ideanomics, Inc. (IDEX)?

    Do Hedge Funds Love Ideanomics, Inc. (IDEX)?At the end of February we announced the arrival of the first US recession since 2009 and we predicted that the market will decline by at least 20% in (Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW). In these volatile markets we scrutinize hedge fund filings to get a reading on which direction each […]

  • 05/27/2020: Boeing laying off 6,700 U.S. workers; thousands more planned

    Boeing laying off 6,700 U.S. workers; thousands more plannedBoeing is laying off over 6,700 of its U.S. workers, with "several thousand” more layoffs planned. Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick and Akiko Fujita discuss.

  • 05/27/2020: Sorrento Takes Another Leap Forward with Recent FDA Clearance, Says Top Analyst

    Sorrento Takes Another Leap Forward with Recent FDA Clearance, Says Top AnalystAnd the W’s just keep on coming for Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE). Reflecting a major step forward in the advancement of its candidate, STI-6129, a CD38-targeting antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), the company received the all-clear from the FDA to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application.Part of the excitement surrounding this announcement is related to the design of the asset itself. STI-6129 was created using SRNE’s unique technology that includes a CD38-specific antibody identified from its fully human G-MAB antibody library, its patented drug payload Duostatin 5 and its site-specific CLOCK conjugation technology.On top of this, the company wants to kick off a Phase 1 multi-center, open-label, dose-escalation clinical trial in patients with advanced relapsed and/or refractory systemic amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis, with the primary goal being the identification of a Phase 2 dose for STI-6129.Commenting on the development for H.C. Wainwright, five-star analyst Raghuram Selvaraju thinks the asset “could constitute a next-generation approach to treatment of AL amyloidosis.”“The prospects for a CD38-targeted approach in this indication appear buttressed by data from a prospective Phase 2 trial of daratumumab, a well-known fully human monoclonal anti-CD38 antibody agent that is already commercially available for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) under the trade name DARZALEX... Renal response occurred in 10 of 15 patients (67%) with renal involvement and cardiac response occurred in seven out of 14 patients (50%) with cardiac involvement. In our view, these data bode well for the deployment of an anti-CD38 agent in AL amyloidosis,” Selvaraju added.As approximately 20,000 people are affected by AL amyloidosis in the U.S. alone, the indication represents a niche opportunity for SRNE. With the clinical benefit produced using daratumumab to treat AL amyloidosis serving as a partial proof-of-concept for STI-6129, it’s no wonder the news is promising, in Selvaraju’s opinion.Even though Selvaraju tells clients that the candidate has not been built into his models, he believes the announcement demonstrates “the steadily growing depth and breadth of Sorrento's pipeline.”Based on all of the above, Selvaraju stayed with the bulls. Along with a Buy rating, he kept a $24 price target on the stock. This indicates upside potential of a whopping 369%. (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here)  What does the rest of the Street think about SRNE’s long-term growth prospects? It has been relatively quiet when it comes to analyst activity, with the stock receiving only one other Buy rating in the last three months. This makes the consensus rating a Moderate Buy. In addition, the $24 average price target matches Selvaraju’s. (See Sorrento stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

  • 05/27/2020: Hedge Funds Cashed Out Of Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (AKTS)

    Hedge Funds Cashed Out Of Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (AKTS)We at Insider Monkey have gone over 821 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st, near the height of the coronavirus market crash. In this article, we look at what those funds think […]

  • 05/27/2020: Hedge Funds Started Cashing Out Of ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC)

    Hedge Funds Started Cashing Out Of ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC)The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F […]

  • 05/27/2020: Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE)

    Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE)The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. Insider Monkey finished processing 821 13F filings submitted by hedge funds and prominent investors. These filings show these funds' portfolio positions as of March 31st, 2020. […]

  • 05/27/2020: 9 Best Dividend ETFs to Buy Now
  • 05/27/2020: Small business owners can now apply for PPP loan forgiveness: Everything to know
  • 05/27/2020: Is Village Farms International, Inc. (VFF) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

    Is Village Farms International, Inc. (VFF) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?Before we spend countless hours researching a company, we like to analyze what insiders, hedge funds and billionaire investors think of the stock first. This is a necessary first step in our investment process because our research has shown that the elite investors' consensus returns have been exceptional. In the following paragraphs, we find out […]

  • 05/27/2020: NantKwest Vaccine Now Part Of 'Operation Warp Speed,' Lays Out Plan For COVID-19 Candidates

    NantKwest Vaccine Now Part Of 'Operation Warp Speed,' Lays Out Plan For COVID-19 CandidatesNantkwest Inc (NASDAQ: NK) shares spiked after the company announced progress on the COVID-19 vaccine program and therapeutics options.Vaccine Program Part Of 'Operation Warp Speed'El Segundo, California-based NantKwest said its affiliate ImmunityBio has been selected to participate in Operation Warp Speed, a national program aimed at providing substantial quantities of safe, effective vaccine for Americans by January 2021.NanKwest said it will focus on developing, testing and largescale manufacturing of ImmunityBio's COVID-19 human adenovirus vaccine candidate, codenamed hAd5. The company said it's the first vaccine designed to deliver both Spike and Nucleocapsid DNA, offering scope for long-lasting immunity."ImmunityBio is honored to have been selected as one of the 14 companies for Operation Warp Speed and is committed to moving our vaccine candidate through the process to prevent people from contracting this deadly virus," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, CEO of ImmunityBio and NantKwest.Benzinga is covering every angle of how the coronavirus affects the financial world. For daily updates, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.COVID Therapeutics NantKwest will evaluate ImmunityBio's N-803, an interleukin 15 as well its own haNK, off-the-shelf natural killer cells, to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms. Phase 1 trials for N-803 is set to begin in Los Angeles in June."Based on initial data, we believe our IL-15 superagonist N-803 could prevent patients from reaching the most advanced stages of disease, including pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome," Soon-Shiong said.Meanwhile, the company has filed a pre-IND application to the FDA for haNK.For severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients on ventilator support, NantKwest's bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells are being evaluated. The company initiated a Phase 1b study on May 18 to evaluate the safety and efficacy of BM-Allo.MSC versus current supporting care.The companies also said the FDA has authorized the use of ImmunityBio's IL-15 to treat patients prior to the onset of severe disease by potentially activating natural killer cells to mitigate viral replication.Alliance Firmed Up NantKwest and ImmunityBio have agreed to jointly develop haNK, mesenchymal stem cells, adenovirus constructs, and N-803 for the prevention and treatment of SAR-CoV-2 viral infections and associated conditions, including COVID-19.The agreement calls for both parties sharing equally in all costs relating to developing, manufacturing and marketing of the product candidates globally, with net profits from the collaboration products to be shared 60%/40% in favor of the party contributing the product.At last check, NantKwest shares were surging by 20% to $6.53.See more from Benzinga * The Daily Biotech Pulse: Co-Diagnostics Earnings, NantKwest Plans Pancreatic Cancer Study, ADC Therapeutics IPO * NantKwest In 'Active Discussions' With FDA On COVID-19 Vaccine, Therapeutic Development(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • 05/27/2020: Hedge Funds Started Cashing Out Of DuPont de Nemours Inc (DD)

    Hedge Funds Started Cashing Out Of DuPont de Nemours Inc (DD)Before we spend countless hours researching a company, we like to analyze what insiders, hedge funds and billionaire investors think of the stock first. This is a necessary first step in our investment process because our research has shown that the elite investors' consensus returns have been exceptional. In the following paragraphs, we find out […]

  • 05/27/2020: Should You Buy AT&T Inc. (T)?

    Should You Buy AT&T Inc. (T)?In this article we will take a look at whether hedge funds think AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a good investment right now. We check hedge fund and billionaire investor sentiment before delving into hours of research. Hedge funds spend millions of dollars on Ivy League graduates, unconventional data sources, expert networks, and get tips from […]

  • 05/27/2020: Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On The Sherwin-Williams (SHW)

    Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On The Sherwin-Williams (SHW)Before we spend countless hours researching a company, we like to analyze what insiders, hedge funds and billionaire investors think of the stock first. This is a necessary first step in our investment process because our research has shown that the elite investors' consensus returns have been exceptional. In the following paragraphs, we find out […]

  • 05/27/2020: Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Kernen Get Into Heated On-Air Argument Over Coronavirus, Trump

    Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Kernen Get Into Heated On-Air Argument Over Coronavirus, TrumpThe coronavirus stress may have gotten to Andrew Ross Sorkin and Joe Kernen on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. In many ways, the argument between Sorkin and Kernen reflects nationwide polarization over just how aggressive the U.S. should have been in combating COVID-19.What HappenedThe argument broke out after Kernen suggested Sorkin has been overly pessimistic about COVID-19."You panicked about the market, panicked about COVID, panicked about the ventilators, panicked about the PPE, panicked about ever going out again, panicked if we'd ever get back to normal," Kernan said.Sorkin Fires BackSorkin responded by accusing Kernen of dismissing death tolls and risks associated with the coronavirus due to his allegiance to President Donald Trump."100,000 people died, Joe, and all you did was try to help your friend the president. That's what you did ... Every single morning on this show you have used and abused your position, Joe," Sorkin said.> "I'm begging you to do the news, Joseph!" pic.twitter.com/DwVO5Ox5FJ> > -- Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) May 27, 2020Kernen previously worked for 10 years as a stockbroker before joining CNBC in 1995. Sorkin is a financial columnist for the New York Times, author of the book "Too Big To Fail" and co-creator of the Showtime series "Billions.""That's totally unfair," Kernen said in response to Sorkin's accusations. "I'm trying to help investors keep their cool, keep their heads. And as it turns out, that's what they should have done."Benzinga's TakeIt's possible that both Sorkin and Kernen's arguments were valid, but they were addressing two different matters.Kernen is correct in that investors who didn't panic have made huge profits given the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) is up 34.2% since March 23. However, the COVID-19 US death toll is over 100,000 at this point, so the virus was and is certainly worth taking seriously.Do you agree with this take? Email [email protected] with your thoughts.Related Links:NYSE To Reopen Trading Floor On Limited Basis Why Stock Exchange Floor Closings Could Be Creating End-Of-Day VolatilitySee more from Benzinga * What The Yield Curve Is Saying About The Stock Market Rally * Fed Chair Powell To Congress: US Economic Downturn 'Without Modern Precedent' * 4 Reasons Investors Should Prepare For 'Liberal Landslide' In November(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • 05/27/2020: Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX)

    Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Becton, Dickinson and Company (BDX)At the end of February we announced the arrival of the first US recession since 2009 and we predicted that the market will decline by at least 20% in (Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW). In these volatile markets we scrutinize hedge fund filings to get a reading on which direction each […]

  • 05/27/2020: Hedge Funds Dumped Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) During The Crash

    Hedge Funds Dumped Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) During The CrashWe at Insider Monkey have gone over 821 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st, near the height of the coronavirus market crash. In this article, we look at what those funds think […]

  • 05/27/2020: Exclusive: Chevron to cut up to 15% of staff amid restructuring

    Exclusive: Chevron to cut up to 15% of staff amid restructuringThe oil producer previously disclosed a 30% reduction in its 2020 spending and some voluntary job cuts amid this year's sharp drop in oil prices and lower demand for oil and gas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chevron has been widely seen as the standard bearer of financial discipline in the oil industry and was among the first to make significant budget cuts as oil demand plummeted. Last year, it abandoned a takeover bid for Anadarko Petroleum Corp rather than get into a bidding war with Occidental Petroleum Corp .

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  • 05/27/2020: 3 “Strong Buy” Biotech Stocks Under $5 With Explosive Upside Potential

    3 “Strong Buy” Biotech Stocks Under $5 With Explosive Upside PotentialWhich stocks are leading the pack out on Wall Street? Biotechs. Understandably, investors have taken a more cautious approach when navigating the confused financial environment, but focus is locking in on the biotech sector as it has been able to withstand the COVID-19-induced pressure on the market. Proving to be relatively defensive, the biotech indexes, XBI and IBB, have outperformed the broader market year-to-date, with each gaining over 10% compared to the S&P 500’s 8% decline.The space’s resilience combined with a limited impact on Q1 fundamentals and the elimination of macro headwinds regarding drug legislation, has caused sentiment surrounding 2H20 performance to swing strongly positive.While there certainly are exciting opportunities at play, biotech stocks aren’t for the faint of heart. Seasoned market watchers know that they are notoriously volatile, prone to huge movements on account of a single update. This makes them riskier investments, but it also enables them to deliver massive returns. Taking all of this into consideration, we used TipRanks’ database to search the Street for compelling, yet affordable names housed in the biotech space. We found three stocks trading for less than $5 that are backed by enough Wall Street analysts to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. If that wasn’t enough, each boasts explosive upside potential.BioLineRx Ltd. (BLRX)Primarily focused on oncology, BioLineRX in-licenses cutting-edge compounds, develops them through clinical stages and then partners with pharmaceutical companies for further clinical development.Tuesday was a rough day for BioLineRx investors. Shares tumbled nearly 30% following the announcement of an equity offering. The company priced 5,142,859 shares at $1.75 apiece, which was well below the $2.39 per share where the stock had been trading. Yet, with significant potential catalysts slated for 2020 and a share price of $1.60, several members of the Street believe that now is the time to snap up shares.In spite of COVID-19, its upcoming data readouts remain on track for this calendar year, including top-line results from the Phase 3 GENESIS trial. The study is looking at its BL-8040 candidate as a stem cell mobilization agent for multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous transplant, with the trial specifically comparing motixafortide and G-CSF versus G-CSF alone.With the trial’s patient accrual progressing according to plan and no material protocol deviations witnessed to date, Oppenheimer’s Mark Breidenbach believes the data release, which is slated for 2H20, will be a “large-impact catalyst.”Expounding on this, the 5-star analyst stated, “Assuming positive data, management would likely engage with a partner to assist with the registrational filing and potential launch of motixafortide in stem cell mobilization... Based on prior data from a lead-in cohort, we remain confident that GENESIS can hit its primary endpoint, which could help attract a strategic collaboration to support commercialization.”On top of this, motixafortide is being evaluated across several indications, and PFS/OS data from the COMBAT/ KEYNOTE-202 trial in pancreatic cancer is scheduled for a mid-year release, with it aiming to publish interim results from the randomized Blast trial in AML in 2H20.Additionally, PFS/OS results from the COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 triplet regimen (motixafortide, pembro and chemo) could be presented at a medical conference early this summer. Breidenbach pointed out, “The triplet previously yielded a 32% ORR and 77% disease control rate as of December 19 data cutoff. If the triplet combination suggests a PFS/ OS benefit, we would expect BioLineRx to seek a strategic partner for continued development.”To this end, Breidenbach left an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating and $11 price target on the stock. Based on this target, shares could soar 567% in the next twelve months. (To watch Breidenbach’s track record, click here)Like Breidenbach, other analysts also take a bullish approach. BLRX’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells. Given the $11.33 average price target, a possible twelve-month gain in the shape of 587% could be on the horizon. (See BioLineRx stock analysis on TipRanks)Aldeyra Therapeutics (ALDX)Hoping to develop medicines capable of improving the lives of patients with immune-mediated diseases, Aldeyra’s pipeline focuses on inhibiting inflammatory cells linked to ocular and systemic conditions that aren’t sufficiently addressed by available treatments. Currently going for $4.11 apiece, several members of the Street recommend that investors pull the trigger.Recently, ALDX has found itself on investors’ radar as a result of its potential COVID-19 treatment, ADX-629. Writing for Laidlaw, analyst Yale Jen points out that the urgency of the pandemic and the likely MOA of TH1, TH2 and TH17-related cytokines reduction prompted the company to design three Phase 2 studies looking at ADX-629 in COVID-19 respiratory compromise (reducing impact from cytokine storm), autoimmune disease (associated with TH1 cytokines) and allergy (associated with TH2 cytokines). The first’s initiation is slated for Q3 2020, and the others should start in 2H20.“With this arrangement, ALDX could gain substantial insights into the anti-inflammatory effects ADX-629 might have in the clinic. We estimate the COVID-19 trial could be a placebo study for gaging the therapeutic impact of reducing or mitigating the disease worsening after the initial infection,” Jen commented. Additionally, the study could help the company design or adjust trial designs for the other two indications.Adding to the good news, ALDX is expected to have a meeting with the FDA to finalize the study design of part two of the RENEW trial, with it potentially kicking off the pivotal study in 2H20 after the COVID-19 situation improves.As for the Phase 3 ALLEVIATE trial data readout, it will most likely come in 1H21 due to the unexpected extended allergy season this year that increased the number of patients with red eye, which makes them ineligible for the study. Jen also acknowledges that COVID-19 has reduced the availability of doctors and patients able to participate in clinical studies. However, he argued, “Together, with ADX-629 taking the center stage, while other studies being slowing down, we do not view the fundamental of ALDX has been eroded in anyway... We think ALDX shares remain under-exposed and under-valued.”Based on all of the above, Jen stayed with the bulls. Along with a Buy rating, he kept a $30 price target on the stock. This implies upside potential of a massive 630%. (To watch Jen’s track record, click here) What does the rest of the Street think about ALDX? It turns out that other analysts also have high hopes. Only Buy ratings have been received in the last three months, 4 to be exact, so the consensus rating is a Strong Buy. In addition, the $26 average price target suggests 533% upside potential. (See Aldeyra stock analysis on TipRanks)Miragen Therapeutics Inc. (MGEN)Offering a compelling microRNA pipeline led by its cobomarsen asset, Miragen believes its therapies could potentially address the unmet needs in cancer and other diseases. At only $0.68 per share, the analyst community thinks that even though COVID-19 has presented headwinds, the share price reflects an attractive entry point.When it comes to MGEN’s SOLAR trial, it has come under pressure. While the trial is progressing with a modified design, the execution is facing challenges as patients have been missing doses and site visits due to COVID-19. Up to one month of medication can be missed per protocol and the implementation of home infusions has been lessening, but on-site evaluations are essential because they are required for mSWAT measurements and can’t be performed remotely. The implications? A data readout will most likely come later than previously expected.Representing Oppenheimer, 5-star analyst Leland Gershell remains unphased by the delay. “Following encouraging observations of prolonged disease stabilization with cobomarsen as seen in patients with residual disease post-chemo/other treatment, MGEN is exploring an expedited path to a label for this aggressive malignancy. It plans to soon request an FDA meeting to discuss, and while hopeful that this will occur in 3Q, cautioned on delay given agency prioritization of COVID-19-directed initiatives,” Gershell said.That said, there is a bright spot for MGEN, in Gershell’s opinion. According to the analyst, there’s a significant opportunity for its MRG-229 candidate in IPF because similar to remlarsen, “this candidate is an miR-29 mimic and hence may offer utility to address fibrotic conditions (in which miR-29 is profoundly deficient).”Gershell explained “MGEN's program has NIH/Yale grant support, and recent progress triggered additional funding. MRG-229 represents a differentiated approach to IPF, a progressive and fatal lung disease poorly met by current options.” He added, “With just a $12 million EV, we believe any pipeline progress could spark interest in MGEN.”All of this led Gershell to reiterate an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on MGEN along with a $5 price target, which suggest an explosive upside potential of 632%. (To watch Gershell’s track record, click here)      Looking at the consensus breakdown, other analysts are on the same page. With 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells, the word on the Street is that MGEN is a Strong Buy. At $5.33, the average price target puts the upside potential at 680%. (See MGEN stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for biotech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

  • 05/27/2020: 3 “Perfect 10” Dividend Stocks That Tick all the Boxes

    3 “Perfect 10” Dividend Stocks That Tick all the BoxesThe S&P 500 has spent the month of May bouncing in the range between 2,800 and 3,000. While the index remains 11% below its all-time high, there is a cautious sense of optimism, that the worst of the bear market is behind us.Investors may be feeling upbeat, and anticipating a recovery in 2H20, but times are still volatile. To make sense of them, TipRanks offers the Smart Score, a comprehensive tool which analyzes every stock in the TipRanks database according to 8 interrelated factors. The data is measured and collated by sophisticated AI algorithms, and used to generate a single score for each stock. Shown on a 1 to 10 scale, the Smart Score is based on analyst, blogger, and investor sentiment, and collective indicators such as hedge activity and insider trading. Today, we’ll look at three high-yield dividend stocks that have earned a ‘perfect 10’ from the Smart Score. For investors seeking a clear forward path, the data shows that these are the picks most likely to bring solid returns. Each of these stocks combines its perfect Smart Score with a reliable dividend history, giving investors a secure income stream. Let’s dive in.Bunge, Ltd. (BG)First up is Bunge, an important company in the world’s food and agriculture food chain. Chances are, the food you eat depends on Bunge. The company specializes in oils and milled grains used by commercial brands and restaurants around the world. Bunge also deals in storage, transport, and processing of raw materials for end products in high-protein livestock feed. Other operations include corn, sugarcane, and wheat growing and processing.Since we all need to eat, Bunge benefits from occupying an essential niche. Even so, the coronavirus pandemic found ways to hit the company. The various lockdown and shutdown policies enacted globally in Q1 slowed restaurant and commercial food businesses almost to a halt. BG saw reported income swing from a $1.27 per share profit in Q4 to a $1.34 per share net loss in Q1. BG shares have underperformed in recent months, and are still down 31% from February levels.Despite the earnings slide, Bunge’s management has chosen to maintain the company’s dividend – a dividend that has been paid out regularly since 2001. At 50 cents quarterly, the current payment annualizes to $2.00, and gives an impressive yield of 5.65%. This is almost triple the 2% average yield found among peer companies in the industrial good sector.The Smart Score on BG shares gets its boost from the ‘sentiment’ factors. As may be expected in a difficult market environment, the technical and fundamental analysis factors are negative – but insiders have purchased $9.9 million worth of BG shares in recent months, and hedge fund activity has also increased. The professional stock watchers, both analysts and bloggers, are also strongly positive on this stock. These upbeat indicators outweigh the negatives in this case.Covering BG shares for BMO Capital, 5-star analyst Kenneth Zaslow writes, “BG remains our "Top Pick" for 2020, as BG's underlying business fundamentals relative to its value appear to be largely misunderstood… BG’s internal operational improvements, nimble risk management framework, and underlying fundamentals enable BG to maintain its Agribusiness outlook… Despite BG's stock reaction, BG's economic earnings reduction represents less than 5% on EBITDA (i.e., majority is non-cash) and likely is temporary.”In line with his position that this stock has a fundamentally sound foundation, Zaslow gives it a Buy rating. His $72 price target indicates his confidence, suggesting a 91% upside in the coming year. (To watch Zaslow’s track record, click here)Wall Street is in general agreement that Bunge represents a buying opportunity. The Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is based on 4 reviews, including 3 Buys and a single Hold. Shares are priced at $35.53, while the average price target of $57.50 implies a health upside of 61%. (See Bunge stock analysis at TipRanks)Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP)Next up, Hudson Pacific, is a real estate investment trust, a type of company well-known for offering high-yield dividends. REITs operate by buying, managing, and leasing a range of residential and commercial properties, or by offering and investing in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. HPP focuses on office space, in the lucrative Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver markets. The company’s assets include 15 million square feet of leasable office space, located in prime high-tech development areas. Among Hudson’s clients are Alphabet and Netflix.Q1 has been difficult for the REIT sector. With economic activity mainly shut down, business income streams have slowed to a trickle – which trickles down, as no income makes expenses, like rent, hard to meet. HPP reported EPS of 54 cents in Q1, down 2% from Q4, and Q2 is forecast at 50 cents. The company has maintained its dividend during the downturn – but this is no surprise, as the payout ratio is only 46% and REITs are required by tax code to return a high proportion of profits directly to shareholders. The 25-cent quarterly dividend represents a yield of 4.7%, more than double that found among peer companies.Hudson shares many of the same Smart Score advantages as Bunge, above. Analyst and blogger sentiment are both positive, and hedge and insider purchases are both increasing. While most of the technical and fundamentals are in the red, one of them – asset growth – is highly positive. Asset growth is up 6.39% over the past 12 months. All of this adds up to a perfect 10 on the Smart Score.Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Goldfarb is deeply impressed by HPP’s potential looking forward. He sees the company as uniquely well-positioned to benefit as the economy reopens: “We are even more bulled up by the prospects of increased demand for HPP's studio and media-oriented assets coupled with its ability to re-imagine space for the gaming and entertainment industries. HPP stands alone in its material exposure to these industries (17% ABR to media and entertainment), which have a pressing need to return to production for new content in the wake of the binge consumption occurring during COVID... With talent hesitant to travel, car-loving LA makes HPP well positioned to not only re-open soon but also with the office product in high demand.”Goldfarb puts a Buy rating on HPP, and his $28 price target implies a healthy upside potential of 21% for the coming 12 months. (To watch Goldfarb’s track record, click here)The Street’s consensus on HPP is a Strong Buy, based on 5 Buy ratings and 1 Hold set in recent weeks. Hudson’s shares are selling for $23.14, and the average price target is slightly more bullish than Goldfarb’s; at $28.20, it indicates a 22% upside potential. (See Hudson Pacific stock analysis on TipRanks)CVS Health Corporation (CVS)Last on our list is a company you’re likely familiar with. CVS is well-known for its pharmacy chain, an asset that has proven especially valuable in the current climate. Unlike most companies – and the overall market – which saw declines in Q1 2020, CVS actually reported a quarterly earnings sequential gain. While the company had been expected to show a decline to $1.62 per share, EPS was reported at $1.91. This was up 10% from Q4, and an even stronger 19% year-over-year. The demand for pharmacy goods and service should be obvious to all.Solid earnings support a solid dividend. CVS is paying out 50 cents quarterly, or $2 per year, on each share. The company has kept its dividend payments reliable for the last 15 years, in good times or bad, adding to the dividend’s allure. The current yield is 3.2%, which beats the 2.5% average yield found among peers in the consumer goods sector.The Smart Score for CVS includes favorable views from analysts and bloggers, and heavy purchase activity from insiders and hedges. A good example of the positive analyst sentiment comes from Credit Suisse analyst A.J. Rice. Rice has upgraded his stance on this stock, raising his view from Neutral to Buy. His $75 price target suggests room for a solid 17% upside this year. (To watch Rice’s track record, click here)Backing his view on CVS, Rice writes, “CVS’ Pharmacy Services Segment is Outperforming Expectations, as PBM Selling Season Shaping up Nicely. CVS is seeing an easing of rebate guarantee pressures which it saw peak in 2019, become less of a headwind in 2020, and are expected to be de minimis in 2021… CVS has remained on track-to-ahead of its synergies, modernization, and transformation initiatives, which could provide future upside.”CVS shares have 13 recent reviews, breaking down to 10 Buys and 3 Holds and making the analyst consensus rating a Strong Buy. Shares are trading for $64.64, and the average price target of $79.50 implies a strong 23% upside potential for the stock over the next one year. (See CVS stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.