E Market Briefing For Tuesday, Dec. 29

Anxiety relief suffices to describe the market's response to the President's shift late Sunday, by signing the 'relief' bill, while lobbying for the $2000 check to each qualified (?) individual anyway. That was doable by reverting to a law from the 1970's that actually allowed the President to 'red-line' any item in the bill that he didn't like, or wanted reviewed. I presume someone familiar with all these rarely-used provisions called that to his attention, and swayed him.

Or it was just Trump's realization that he'd risk closing the Country or tanking stocks just to appear more interested in providing more funds to Americans as they try to continue bridging the gap to greater comfort in mingling (I'm not at this point saying 'herd immunity', because it doesn't seem that's probably for at least a year, or until better vaccines are available, that don't trigger a fairly high percentage of people, especially in some communities, boycotting what's out there now and soon available to more people).

The pace of vaccination is such that it would take 5 years to inoculate every citizen (and non-citizen), and we're not organized (but could be) to propose a solution such as Israel has, which is to vaccinate 1% of the population daily, a pace that would have the Country entirely covered in 3 months 'if' they don't encounter opposition. Then there is Europe, where a typically more provincial population in Eastern Europe (the Balkans and Poland in-particular) distrusts their governments typically, so as they are pressed to 'take' it, they rebel.

It's the same in Spain, where Madrid wants to create a list of everyone who's refusing to take the shot, in-order to deny them the right to travel or attend all sporting events, the 'metro' or so on. Now that's called pressure. I hesitate to even reflect on China, where they just sentenced a woman journalist to 'jail', for 4 years. What did she do? She told the truth of how bad 'WuFlu' really was in Shanghai and reported on the numbers of 'actual' evacuees from Wuhan as well as the level of illness showing up at hospitals. Instead of a medal, jail.

Sorrento (SRNE) and Inovio (INO) . . are both defensive in the wake of passage of the 'bill', which aside relief does fund lots of testing and vaccines of course. However it is the lack of recognition that the existing tests (most are problematic) as well as the vaccines (also more problematic even if advisable for most people) are not likely to be the dominant vaccines a year hence, that suppresses basically the whole sector. That presents a better entry opportunity for those wanting to 'bet' on either of these speculative stocks gaining credibility in 2021.

For Sorrento you know the story: lots of pending Trials and even an EUA for a potentially big-demand 'test', but the proof will be in the pudding, so even as it is not the absence of pudding, but the skepticism about proof, that remains. If it is forthcoming (a test EUA could come at any time), it will at least bounce. If there were news on the STI-2020 front (the antibody therapeutic, that would be another story. Perhaps both of these companies (aside year-end tax loss selling that typically would have occurred before now), are perceived as not in the running due to cynicism suggesting only big-pharma are hooked-up to the FDA, and that's a controversial topic we'd rather not opine on, although there definitely is a history of skepticism about regulators and pharmaceuticals.

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