S Easter Monday

Passover is over but in various parts of the globe, Easter Monday markets are still closed, surprisingly in Hong Kong (a relic of British links China has not yet cut.) We have broken bread in this household and watched the Dow Jones climb 300 points this morning to an all-time record high after the non-farm payroll numbers released Friday, when US markets were closed, topped 916,000. Analysts had expected only 675,000 people to collect paychecks. The unemployment rate remains at 6% however.

Of course, with so many foreign markets closed, the boom was biggest for USA large caps. But there was enough fringe movement elsewhere as well.

The news was not always good. New US factory goods orders fell 0.8% in Feb. compared to the prior year, and those for manufactured durable goods by 1.2% which you will recall was before the covid-19 outbreak here. Services were better but supply chain disruptions explained part of this.

Among the open markets were Mexico where the latest projection is for growth of 4.8% this year. That boosted Mexican stocks despite inflation fears.

Brazil's central bank will allow payments between individuals on Facebook pay and what's app, which will use the CB's services, cutting out the banking oligopoly there which goes in for very high fees.

Today we begin with a sale at a loss sale, not only because a key insider sold nearly 60% of his positions, but also because we will need losses to offset the plans of the Biden Administration to tax capital gains more heavily. I just sold a huge chunk of GE because I need losses.

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Drug dealers

*Novocure of Israel and the Channel Islands is a sell because its chairman, William Doyle, sold well over half his shares. It will report on its first-quarter on April 29. I got less than he did, $130.9581/sh. NVCR.

*Abcellera Biologics rose because ABCL is part-owned by SoftBank, it was revealed today. Now that we know it fell from $31.78 at the opening ot $29.1 now. This stock is still well in the red so there is no need to cash out yet. I remain enchanted by its humanized Trianni Mouse which is being used to develop antibodies by Gilead, GILD.

*Grifols of Barcelona which specialized in extractions from donor blood rose 3.15% today despite GRFS revealing a failure of its covid-19 convalescent plasma therapy with immunoglobulin Friday when markets were closed.

*Its partner Takeda, the Japanese group, was downgraded to hold from buy by a Jefferies analyst. TAK.

*However Eisai, ESALY rose on hopes for cancer therapies.

*Compugen and Teva rose in Israel over the long weekend (Israel's Passover ends a day earlier than ours because there is certainty there over when the new moon was sighted) and they rose here as well, CGEN by 2.62% at the opening and TEVA by 1%.

*Astra Zeneca turns out to have been the one responsible for the failure to correctly process 15 mn doses of covid-19 jabs at the Emergent BioSolutions Baltimore factory it was running for Johnson & Johnson. AZN was removed from its role by the Administration and JnJ will run the plant solo. Barda supplied more money to EBS JnJ's needs. AZN wins the booby prize for vaccines again. JnJ stock gained 0.72% and AZN rose 0.4%. Later in the day, AZN fell 0.06%. Britain is closed for Easter Monday.

*Bristol Myers whose Irish deal to cut taxes by 41 bn was covered by the New York Times last week today gained 0.7% despite going ex-div. BMY is a US company.

Energy

*Algonquin Power rose over 5.5% at the opening today after S&P Global Ratings said it scored 79 on its Environmental, Sustainability, and Governance (ESG). The highest score possible is 100 but AQN got close. It runs power stations and other utilitities in the US, Canada, Chile, and Bermuda. This is not a credit rating. AQN.

*Azure Power of Mauritius, which sells solar rooftop products to Indian government sites (mostly railroad stations) sold its non-core rooftop holdings to Radiance Renewables Pvt. Ltd., which supplies renewable energy to the private sector (commercial, industrial, and residential customers) for the equivalent of $73.5 mn. This first every AZRE deal is binding but there may be price adjustments. The rooftop private sector business was marginal for AZRE, producing $4.5 mn in cash flow in 2020. Radiance is a sub of Green Growth Equity Fund, the leading Indian climate fund. AZRE cut its revenue guidance for the current FY to INR 17.2 to 18.2 bn ($236-249 mn) and also lowered its G&A by $20 mn. It will take a one-time charge of $40-60 mn subject to adjustments for this deal. Under the Green Bond rules, AZRE will retain 51.4% of the bonds after the divestiture until the bonds are refinanced. AZRE stock rose 5.6% on the news but is now up only 4.4%. It is majority-owned by the Quebec Pension Plan and the International Finance Corp of the World Bank.

*Canadian Solar, CSIQ, fell on fear China will boost its solar cell prices.

*Fanuc is up over 1% on news that its robots will be sold to German carmakers. FANUY.

*Brazilian Cosan rose a bit today on further loss of credibility by the Bolsonaro govt. CSAN is my 2020 pick.

*Canadian Cameco gained 4% today despite analysts dissing CCJ.

*Energy Fuels, UUUU gained 10% at the opening today and now is up 15.27%. It plans to extract rare earths from uranium sands to undercut the Chinese monopoly for these vital inputs. Its presentation at the Global Metals & Mining conference last month were published for virtual viewing today.

*Schlumberger Ltd SLB was cited as a likely beneficiary from pent up demand by Jack Hough in Barrons, helping it avoid the price drops over OPEC suffered by BP and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-B) despite both having been tipped in today's Barron's as potential offshore wind plays by Ed Yardeni.

*Irish CRH gained 2% today on cleaner cement plans. Mexican Cemex CX gained 5.2%. CX is greener and Mexico is now a growth sector.

*Johnson Matthey, JMPLY, soared 5% today when London was closed. It extracts and sells platinum group metals among other lines.

*Germany's EON SE (EONGY) rose 1% after its complex deal to sell green power to RWE was mentioned in Barron's today while two analysts predicted an average 20% gain in the next 12 mos.

*ABB divested to Japanese Hitachi another chunk of its power grid holdings Friday, GlobalLogic Worldwide. GlobalLogic is 45% owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment and Swiss Partner's Group.

Tech & Tel

*Qualcomm got funding for a fingerprint recognition system from Hitachi's GlobalLogic. QCOM is my largest holding and rose a bit today.

*Prosus and Naspers which own chunks of Tencent were discussed in a NY Times interview today. CEO Bob Van Dyck who runs both said “our impression is that China is still very supportive of its tech giants”. His saying that is a reflection of the fact that the value of its stake in Tencent rose 30% in 2020.

*Coupang of South Korea today was rateable by the underwriters for its ipo. Target price ratings were $46 by Deutsche Bank; $50 by Mizuho of Japan; and $62 by Goldman Sachs. It was ranked neutral by the German and Japanese underwritings and buy by Goldman. CPNG rose 5.4% to $21.47 today in Korea but its 1:2 ADRs fell 3.57% to $45.62 after opening at $48.09. We bought near the current price after insiders bought in after the ipo. It is a rare Korean ADR and operates an internet site for buying and financing goods in Korea.

*Mercado Libre today lost 1.06% despite being rated outperform with a $1800 target price list week by Wolfe Research. MELI is our model for CPNG, an Amazon clone for non-standard markets. It is 81% owned by institutions, whereas Coupang is still mostly retail.

*Ericsson ERIC gained 2.37%. Vodafone VOD gained 1.1%. Nokia gained 1% on their role in US wireless infrastructure plans, according to Eric Savitz in Barron's today. NOK has its annual general meeting Thursday.

*Tower Semiconductor of Israel rose ~4% today on shortages of chips, the product it makes. TSEM.

*A vintage 1986 Nintendo Super Mario Bros game sold today at auction for $660,000 without even having to be used to battery up a bitcoin account. NTDOY.

Chow

*Grupo Bimbo stands to gain from food subsidies in Los Estados Unidos and the share price gained 5.25% today. GRBMF.

*Alimentation Couche-Tard, ANCUF, rose 0.21% today. The Canada group is selling 49 US sites to Casey's.

*Nutrien of Canada gained 1.45%. It sells seeds and fertilizer to US farmers who will feed the hungry. NTR.

*Tomra Systems of Norway fell 1.1% to $43.91 as TMRAF but rose 6.5% as TMRAY to $45.24. It makes recycling systems for empty bottles and sorting systems for potatoes and drugs. It suffers from extreme tracking error.

Funds

*New Ireland Fund today announced a plan to buy back for cash up to 25% of the fund's shares starting April 20. This results from a standstill deal of the Fund and Philip Goldstein's Bulldog Investors. IRL shares rose 10.42% on a day when Ireland was closed. The fund is managed by Kleinwort Benson which is now owned by Amundi Assets Management, the largest fund manager by assets in Europe. It is covered mostly by US robots, not people, who missed this coming. It closed last week at a whopping 21.8% discount from net asset value, the third-highest in the World Equities category for closed-end funds in Barron's.

*Fund of funds manager Lazard is up 1.23% today. LAZ. Its closed-end fund, Lazards Global Investment, LGI, is up 0.44%.

*Mexican REIT Fibra Uno gained 11.72% today with bid $1.01 and ask $1.25. FBASF trades by appointment. It yields 5.57% and has a p/e ratio of 2.13% according to Schwab.

*Standard Life Aberdeen, a fund manager out of Scotland, fell 3.31% today. SLFPY should not be traded on UK holidays.

*Sampo Oyj rose 2.02%. SAXPY is a Finnish fund proxy. Investor of Sweden, IVSBF, gained 1.31%.

Finance

*Banco Santander rose 1.43% today. SAN.

*Sumitomo Mitsui Finance, SMFG, rose 2.5%. Mitsubishi Finance, MSBHF, rose 1.43%. They did not fund Archegos despite rumors that they had.

*Gold and gold miners are down.

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