S Chopped Stocks

Today the good news is that Scotland is lifting its covid-19 measures because the number of cases has fallen. The bad news is that the price of oil has risen and chopped stocks. The day's theme is sell tech and buy banks. The new German coalition government is split on how to handle Russian gas pipelines.

Business newspaper article

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Tech

*Microsoft is making its biggest-ever acquisition of video games maker Activision Blizzard ATVI for $68.7 bn. The existing management is being retained, the usual thing at MSFT, but rather shocking since its management has been accused of sexual harassment, why it is on the block.

*IBM was given a higher eps forecast of $3.14, up 2 cents, but chopped to hold from buy by the consensus.

*Alibaba's cloud is under a regulatory cloud which took down BABA stock by 4%. 

*Canada's Brookfield Renewable (BEP) was upgraded to buy from equal weight by the National Bank of Canada but the rating change was reversed by the reporter, creating a buy opportunity. 

*Reacting to its new self-driving tractor, at last, Deere rose 0.8%. DE.

Drugs

*Pfizer's Paxlovid appears to cut omicron virus in lab tests. This may mean it works in real life.  PFE.

*Swiss Roche (RHHBY) fell on news that it will finance a phase II trial of Ionis's Huntington's chorea disease. Ionis stock rose.

*GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotech will sell Uncle Sam 600,000 doses of sotrovimab to treat early covid by the end of this quarter. Uncle also has an option to buy more. The duo have binding agreements for 1.7 mn doses worldwide after getting emergency authorization from our FDA. GSK is up 2.44% in London and Vir is up 3% here.

*Israeli Compugen got US patents for COM201 anti-PDI antibodies and the stock fell 1.67%.

*TEVA fell 2.5% on the announcement that it will hold a conference on Feb. 9 in 2021 and Q4. This may reflect skepticism on its green bond initiative or sympathy with CGEN.  

*BioNTech fell 9% on the revelation that its 4th covid jab aiming at the Omicron variant is less effective than earlier vaccinations. BNTX.

*Eli Lilly (LLY) recovered about half its fall from Friday. 

*Astra Zeneca gained 1%. AZN.

*Bioline RX gained 2%. It is having a meeting with our FDA on its multiple myeloma drug. BLRX.

*Novartis rose although its Q4 estimate was cut 1 cent to $1.422 today. NVS.

*JP Morgan's target price for CureVac CVAC is $52. The stock is a lot higher still.

Energy

*Canadian Tourmaline (TRMLF) upped its divviie11% to C$1.25 and will add a one-off payout of C$1.25 as well. 

*Indian Azure Power AZRE offers its US shareholders the right to subscribe new shares till Jan. 24 at $15.51, of which $15.9 goes to the company. The rest goes to HSBC which lent it the money make the offering.

Materials

*Rio Tinto RIO is yielding to Serbian pressure and ending its lithium production there. This should boost alternative sites like Chile and stocks like Antofagasta and SoQuiMich.

*Ecopetrol rose 6.5% today. EC.

*Unilever UL will have to decide how badly it wants to buy GSK consumer products which the drug firm aims to divest either with an ipo or a sale.

Finance

*Goldman Sachs disappointed shareholders by reporting its profits fell 13% to boost payments to its staffers by a third. GS.

*Synchrony Finance was tipped on Seeking Alpha. I own it already. SYF.

*UK telco Liberty which acquired our Virgin Media is now aiming to buy Sunrise for a 44% premium to its prior price, which we did not get. LBTYA.

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