E An Eventful Week

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ViiV Healthcare, the specialist HIV company majority owned by GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), presented on Saturday some positive long-term data from its global phase IIIb ATLAS-2M study of the first complete, long-acting regimen of cabotegravir and rilpivirine for treating HIV.

Week 96 findings reinforce the primary and secondary endpoints: that a majority of the participants have anti-HIV plasma at weeks 48 and 96 when given a monthly dose or one every two months. These data were presented at the virtual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. The two-month dosing regimen of cabotegravir and rilpivirine is under investigation and has not yet been approved by any country.

Morgan Stanley (MS) recommended BCE, the Canada telco which we recently bought more of, as a yield play. It is listed on the Big Board and pays its 6.1% dividend to US shareholders in our dollars. It is one of my picks for 2021. Its Canadian shareholders get a tax reduction not offered here. BCE is rated neutral by analysts.

CBOE Global Markets (CBOE), the Chicago Board Options Exchange, is becoming an exchange for institutional and retail investors who aim to go international with options and futures. This coming week it will launch an exchange traded fund for bitcoin (BITCOMP), a first. The result was that this company's stock rose 6.54% Friday. I don't trade options myself as they don't pay off for my investing style.

The exchange reported mixed results for February 2021, with options boosting daily contract volumes from February 2020. However, future contract levels and Global Forex fell from the prior year. Overall, total contracts were up 17.4% year-over-year last month at 254.4 million, and up 19% to 249.3 million in options (which accounted for almost all of the growth). 

Zacks, the Chicago analysis shop, rates CBOE as a hold, but hinted that the stock may become a takeover target as it trades at the lowest p/e ratio for any exchange covering the US. CBOE stock gained 6.54% to $106.04 on Friday on BATS Global Markets, which it owns. It was the second best performer in the US Friday according to the Saturday edition of the Financial Times. 

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