Delta Defeats Bulls

After Britain walked back its declaration of "Freedom Day" because of the risks from the Delta version of covid-19, the US market took a beating as well. It seems that the Chinese jab doesn't work as well against delta compared to western inoculations. The DJIA this afternoon was down 900 points.

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Stocks tended to crash without rhyme or reason. A lot of uncertainty about China also hit the market, but there were a few winning sectors as well. More follows:


*Today Israel small caps took on a new lease of life after last week's gains for larger pharma firms. Among our modest winners in a day without very many winners, we saw rises by BiolineRX (BLRX); Cerus (CERS); Enlivex (ENLV),--all Israeli, although the last is formally HQ, 'd in the Channel Islands. A share that did not rise is the one I bought, Compugen, because it began a 2nd phase I-II trial of COM701 plus Bristol-Myers' Opdivo and 986207, an antibody to TIGIT. This is the second trial start in the past week. the stock fell all the same but I bravely bought more at $6.6899. The needle will not rise as fast for BMY as for CGEN.  

*Japanese Eisai, ESALY, also gained after it was oversold over the Biogen Aduhelm scandal. 

*Zymeworks of Canada, picked by Martin Ferrera also gained 1.92% on no news except the idea that it may be taken over. ZYME.

*Illumina gained 0.86% on no news except that it is being blocked from re-acquiring its own former sub by the EU Competition Watchdogs. ILMN.

*Drug majors including TEVA, which was upgraded last week by Value Line did not rise. Teva fell 2.6%. Nor did Eli Lilly despite an upgrade by Guggenheim.

*My largest US holding, Thermo Electron, has been fluctuating from positive to negative all day around zero moves. TMO.

*Cyrokinetics which is developing a treatment against hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is up 40%.

*Dr. Reddy's gained early in the day but now is down fractionally. It makes meds in India. RDY.

Tech & Tel

*Ericsson ERIC fell 2.07% today on the revelation late last week that it was being cut off from delivering cellphone equipment to China because of fear of leaks. Formerly neutral Sweden is observing western worries about hacking and infuriating Beijing. For whatever it is worth Nokia, which was always against China risks fell even more, by 2.2%. Apple, which uses Taiwan Semi to get its phones to work is being penalized even more by Beijing and its stock is down over 3%. Qualcomm, which never came close to buying chips from the PRC, is only down 1.15% because there is no need to set things right.

*Vodafone which is having problems with its Vodafone-IDEC JV in India--which is essentially bankrupt-- is down 4%. VOD.

*Israeli-American Tower Semiconductor is a rare tech winner today on no news. TSEM.


*State Street Corp, a US firm I own that specializes in back-office work for ADRs and funds, for a while was my worst performer today, down over 5%. STT.

*TIPX, SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-10 yr TIPS ETF, is up a fraction. Our other hedge ETF, SPIPSPDR Portfolio TIPS, is down with interest rates in the USA.

*SPDR Gold (GLD) is down 0.13%, not a lot but still negative. 

*Miner Kirkland Lake which mines gold cheaply, KL, is down 2.6%. It will do well even if the yellow metal loses.


*Now Schlumberger ltd has replaced it in the bear pen, down 5.29%. SLB.

*Plug Power is up helped by distribution of its 10-K form to get its board re-elected. PLUG is a green hydrogen producer which has deals with carmakers Renault and SK for replacing fossil fuels. Its CEO Andrew Marsh says it will achieve $750 mn (US) in gross billings next year. It reissued its financial statements for 2018, 2019, and 2020 because of SEC violations flagged in March most seriously overstating profits by omitting R&D and failing to count payments to convert its E convertible prefs to Common stock in 2019. CEO Marsh is a hydrogen fuel and energy specialist but he does have an MBA from SMU and should have spotted the errors but now there is a separate Chairman of the Board to improve compliance. I am also pleased that they took on a bunch of Audit specialists led by Ms. Kimberly Harrison as senior in-house auditor along with Maureen Helmer, another female independent director. The bad news is that they are paying a lot more for auditing, nearly $4mn in 2020 vs $1 mn in 2019. The new audits will not be as expensive. 

*Tesla gained 1% today and NIO, in our portfolio, rose 1.92%

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