Post-Jobs Report Friday

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Today, the US figure came in at 199,000 new jobs, a fraction of the estimates which were for around 400,000 to 422,000 hires. This followed last month's drop, which was also lower than forecast. Meanwhile, the number of US people collecting unemployment insurance topped 207 million, which is another surprise. To quote the Investor's Chronicle, a British weekly, "the crystal ball remains broken." 

The low employment data means the Fed may not move as quickly as expected with the interest rate hikes announced earlier this week. This took down US stock indexes, but of course our global portfolio is mostly invested outside the USA.

Rare Earths, Uranium, and Irony

Today we got confirmation that Cameco (CCJ) will resume production at its mothballed North American facilities because of the problems in Kazakhstan, where at least 26 protesters calling for a cut in fuel prices have been killed by Russian troops called in to restore order there.

Reuters wrote that the price of uranium rose 20% yesterday because of these events and that CCJ can produce up to 24 million pounds of uranium per year. There was no estimate on the rare earths potential.

The price of iron is lower because of the lower outlook for Chinese real estate after a second developer there seems to face bankruptcy. This boosted the Weyerhaeuser (WY) stock price as the Canadian firm's profits can rise if materials cost less. Its TP was raised to 0.445 from 0.439 and the rating was raised to buy from hold.

Atlantica's (AY) dividend was raised to just under 5%. It builds homes and facilities in North America. Albemarle (ALB) rose as well. So did Antofagasta (ANFGF).

Tech

There was heavy selling of tech earlier this week because of the fear of more costly money, which hurts the sector. Today, the reversal helped the stocks to rise. Among them was Tencent (TCEHY), which we sold, and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), which was given a buy rating by Investor's Intelligence, a UK letter. But Taiwan Semi fell 3.09%.

Additionally, Tower Semi (TSEM) of Israel fell 3.51%. Mercado Libre (MELI) of Brazil fell 6.4%. Nio (NIO) stock rose nearly 0.5% today. It makes autos in China and it opened up nearly 2% earlier. 

Energy

Volatile Plug Power (PLUG) gained 2.42% today. Coterra (CTRA) gained 3.88%, a new high since the merger. Exelixis (EXEL), a Canadian uranium miner, rose 3.33%.

Azure Power (AZRE) of India fell 2.07%. However, Albemarle jumped 2% to $238.06. Earthstone Energy (ESTE) plummeted 3.33% from profit taking at the open today. Now it is only down 2.8%.

Communication

The big loser was Brazilian Mercado Libre, which fell 6.63%. Nio gained nearly 2% today, and it is looking better than some other China plays.

Nokia (NOK) hit a new high up 2.5% in Asia trading but then fell in other markets. Qualcomm (QCOM), which I donated to Harvard without a receipt for my taxes so far, revenged itself on the university by falling 3% at the opening. It is now down only 2.08%.

Lumbering On

Weyerhaeuser of Canada gained a bit to reach around $40.51 because more construction is expected this year in North America. Cemex (CX) of Mexico fell 1.81%. It makes cement mostly in the Americas and Spain, not in China. BAE (BAESY) reported another delay with the US military today regarding a digital USAF vehicle. Yet, the stock rose.

Drugs

Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) was once again given a new higher target price, as it was raised to $5.1 from 5.01 earlier this week. For the fifth day in a row, Teva (TEVA) was up again today, hitting $8.74 in European trading but up only 1.94% in other markets.

Grifols (GIFLF), which has been a laggard, rose 1.81%. It is a Spanish plasma specialist. Merck's (MRK) target price was upped by $1.57 and its rating was changed to buy from hold. It rose 1.79%.

Swiss Roche gained 2.02%. Glaxo (GSK) rose in sympathy, up 1.2%. Novo Nordisk (NVO) of Denmark fell again on shortages of vials for its insulin. This is becoming too worrying. Time for reversal. It was upgraded to buy from hold, but the stock price remained low.

Novacure fell 3.11% after rising earlier this week. Organon (OGN), a spun-off drug company for women's nostrums, rose 2.1%. Theravance (THRX) rose 1.56%. Zymeworks (ZYME) rose 1.28%.

Precious Metals

The price of gold rose modestly. The price of Kirkland Lakes Gold (KL) rose more convincingly.

Energy

Shell (RDS-A) gained 1.05%. Canadian Solar, CSIQ, rose 2.22%. Energy Fuels (UUUU) rose 4.2% to reach the top of the list. Plug Power rose 2.42%.

Finance

Danske Bank (DNKEY) was upgraded to buy. Lazard (LAZ) upped its divvie today and the stock rose to $46.09 from $45.74. The CBOE share was upgraded to buy from hold and the price rise raised to $1.47 from $1.45. 

Defense

For a fifth day in a row, British BAE Systems won a mega-buck US contract, this time from the USAF. The stock is up a lot.

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