Two Curses Of The Current Year

A heavy news day about covid 19 and inflation, the two curses of the current year. First of all, it looks like the English rise in omicron cases has ended. Because of Christmas, data on illnesses was particularly high in 2022 to date, but the daily figures were unreliable. If this pans out it will match South African data with a population more like that of the USA in age. South Africans are younger. 

The good news on inflation after this week's shocker is that Dec. wholesale prices only rose 0.2% because the causes of price rises were unusual. 

Money, Burn, Dollar, Waste, Finance, Fire, Investments

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Drugs

*In the European trading the shares of some covid drug-makers fell in response to the English caseload data. Britain reports cases by region: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, so data is particularly hard to fathom. Novartis fell 2 cents today in Europe.

*Pfizer fell 1.32% in Europe today. PFE.

*Meanwhile the US is buying another 500 mn covid-19 tests, bringing the total purchases to 1 bn.

*Moreover the FDA let Glaxo Smith Kline and its partner Vir file for an intramuscular jab against covid-19, sotriramab. GSK is up 0.19%. 

*TEVA Pharmaceuticals of Israel is back in the plus column today in part because of its CEO presentation at the JP Morgan drug conference. He stressed that it will not raise funds with equity issues this year.

*Astra-Zeneca AZN will develop cancer antibody meds under a deal with Scorpion Therapeutics on which no financial details were revealed. They will work on a third dose of vaxeuria. It will also offer Tezpire for severe asthma attacks. Both were reported today. It is not a one-track pony.

*Spanish Grifols, GRFS, a blood plasma specialist, is up 1.1% today. No idea why. 

*Merck is up 0.1% at the opening. It presented at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference. MRK.

*BioNTech fell 3.4%. BNTX.

*Eli Lilly is down 1.1% because it has an injectable drug similar to the one the FDA stopped payments to yesterday for treating Alzheimer patients, except those in the trials. The reasons are both price and risks, but LLY is a more respectable name in the business than Biogen Idec. It rose hugely in 2021 and some of this is just profit-taking. 

*Biogen Idec was downgraded by Goldman Sachs to neutral from buy. Now they tell us. BIIB.

Energy

*Autoliv, sold, ALV, today had its eps forecast upped to 117, in Norwegian kroner.

*Vermilion Energy will resume paying dividends this year after halting them last year. VET.

*EON of Germany did a deal with Finnish Horisont Energi for green ammonia and EONGY gained 1.83% in European trading. 

*Dow Jones apologized today for publishing news about Coterra Energy earlier this week, calling the recently merged company Contura Energy.

*Qualcomm QCOM., a US stock I own a lot of, is the second-largest US electric vehicle battery maker, owning CATL with 32.5% of the market, and sells to Ford, Volkswagen, and Expeng, It may gain because Tesla today revealed that it will have to delay in electric truck batteries until 2023 because of problems.

*Schlumberger Ltd today hit a new high at $36.88 in European trading. It makes systems for analyzing oil and gas wells early in the drilling phase. SLB.

*NIO's target price loss was cut to C$1.196 from C$1.273, and it was upgraded to buy from hold. I reported on this Tuesday without realizing they were loonies.

Finance

*Banco Santander SAN is not only interested in Mexican retail banking acquisitions. it is also extending its offer to owners of its US consumer banking business until Jan. 20. The offer price remains $41.5 per share. 

*Bank of Nova Scotia is one of the highest-rated banks on earth, rated 10 out of 10. BNS.

*Fund manager Lazard gained 1.33% after it tallied its combined assets under management at the close of 2021 at $273.7 bn.

*American Express AXP rose 0.6% on the news from LAZ.

*Prosus, the Naspers UK financial entity, will be raising $5.25 bn in bonds there this year. This boosted parent NPSNY by an amazing 16% there.

Tech

*Taiwan Semiconductor reported sales last year of Taiwan $155.35 bn and eps of T$1.15, beating by 4 Tcents. It will spand T$ 44 bn to boost chip supplies this year and expects revenues to rise 32.46%. TSM.

*Microsoft was tipped by Bradley Guinchard. It was also put on the buy list of Wedbush Brokerage by Dan Ives. MSFT.

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