September Ends

Our congress managed to pass a bipartisan short-term spending bill avoiding a crisis over the debt ceiling on Oct. 18. It's a game the politicians play. The new jobless numbers for last week are concerning, as 362,000 people filed for benefits, well over the 330,000 estimate and the prior week level of 351,000, in part blamed on the Delta variant of Covid-19, about which more below. 

Photo by GraceHues Photography on Unsplash

Canada's Investment Reporter tipped BCE and The Bank of Nova Scotia BNS, both of which we own, for income, BCE at 5.4% and BNS at 4.7%. The payouts are safely covered and tend to rise for BCE, but for us there is a risk: they pay in loonies, not US bucks. 

Our top performer today is Energy Fuels, UUUU, up 6% because it will gain from the Chinese energy slowdown, as a maker of competing for rare earths. Azure Power, AZRE, gained 5.47%. Plug Power (PLUG) gained 0.8% after it was tipped by PiperABB (ASEA Brown Boveri) launched the fastest charging electric vehicle system which takes 15 minutes to run.

Another winner is Albermarle, ALB, up 3.2%. ALB is buying Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials for $200 mn. Mitsubishi, MSBHF, rose 5.21% but Sumitomo SMFG which published a very big plan in English for 2023 failed to move the market.

Both Ericsson and Nokia rose, ERIC by 2.15% on no news and NOK by less because it got its ISO 900 patents confirmed by the USA as had been expected.

But as has been the trend for Sept., the big news was from the pharma sector. Here are the headlines, in alphabetical order. ABBVie ABBV reported two new drugs for psoriatic arthritis and severe atopic dermatitis, both safe and effective. It will apply for licenses next.

Astra-Zeneca AZN provend (AZD 7442) which has not been approved for the US, developed with BioNTech, is 74% effective as a booster against covid-19. Its stock gained 1.1%.

Eli Lilly LLY said its Tirzepatide diabetes drug is more protective than Danish Novo Nordisk's NVO Deglutec but of course this is not certain.

Merck MRK paid $180/sh or about $11.5 bn for Acceleron and also did a deal for cytokine derivatives with Sutro worth as much as $10 mn. Merck was up 1.61% at the opening but fell back later to 1.4%.

Swiss Roche and Regeneron are working on the latter's anti-viral load med which helps non-hospitalized covid-19 patients stay at home and avoid death, or need for oxygen. RHHBY rose 0.86%.

Japanese Takeda licensed its Huntington's treatment JR-141 for users outside the US. Its US license is pending based on phase III results. TAK.

Israeli TEVA, which gained on news that it had settled its opioid mis-selling with Louisiana today fell back after briefly hitting $10. It is offering meds to help addicts to offset its gains.

Vir, the partner to Glaxo Smith Kline GSK, said it sold 420,000 doses of its sotrovirmab and also built a reserve of 220,000 doses. There also was an insider buying and the VIR share rose7.74%. It is a San Francisco-based small cap.

While neither gold nor silver hit a new high in the last quarter, both are ahead about 2% today as doubts rise about China and US solvency.

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