Tuesday blog

The markets today were reacting to multiple bits of bad news and Santander fell over 2.5%.The estimate for Astra-Zeneca was chopped by one analyst and fell a 4th time. Gold-miner Kirkland Lake failed to show that it is being bid for and KL lost 8.25% up north, much more than the drop in the gold price. Quebec Province pension plan is selling all its oil stocks. China's newest jet, the C919, failed its certification test. Norwegian Hoegh LNG supplier HMLP is said to be close to bankruptcy. Iron ore is in glut because of Chinese factory shutdowns. UK dollar investment fund AY lost 0.63%.

Here in the US Case-Shiller home prices rose 20% in the last 12 months. Republican debt ceiling brinkmanship boosted yields way over what stocks can pay, with info-tech the big loser. Microsoft is down 2.53% at the opening. Google fell 3.3%. Alphabet 3.25%.

Mercado Libre, MELI, lost another 4.6%, our worst performer. The Fed has not ruled out a taper policy, for all the talk. My former Senate staff colleague Steve Bryen writes in Asia Times that unless we buy Israeli Iron Dome or Arrow III missile defense systems we are vulnerable to attack from North Korea, China, Russia, or Iran. Gold is down and gold mines like Kirkland Lake, KL, are down more, off 8.25%.

Today I am playing Pollyanna to tell you all about the good news buried in the gloom.

Starting with Japan, Eisai and its US partner Biogen Idec are using a rolling submission for their new Alzheimer's disease drug to avoid accusations of favoritism. ESALY.

A protein which protects viruses from immune system was targeted by an amyloid beta blocker of protofibril, remdesivir which doesn't only work against covid-19. It can become a preventive med against many viruses. Mitsubishi UFG and Sumitomo Mitsui UFG both gained overnight.

UK small caps Virgin Money and Greencore gained 58% and 24% resp. We still own GNCGY but have trouble tracking it.

Separately French Sanofi and Translate Bio said their MRNA platform also can lead to vaccines for other viruses than Covid-19.

Merck, named stock of the day by Trefis, bought Accelen, XLRN. British Columbia based Zymeworks gained 1.52% despite New Concepts issuing a sell advisory on ZYME.

It's not just drugs. Schlumberger Ltd, the Dutch Antillean energy search tech company, was named by Investor's Business Daily, no longer a newspaper, as one of its '5 for less' picks with a large potential gain. SLB rose 4.14%. Ecopetrol of Colombia gained 2.5% while BP gained 1.4%. Royal Dutch Shell B gained also.

A small cap winner was nuclear fuels firm Cameco, CCJ, after a bull call by TD Securities. Another surprising winner is merger partner Cabot Oil & Gas.

Once again BAE Systems won a big US defense contract, this time from the Army for $872 mn. BAESY. Guangzhen Railway rose 3.58% to well over $9. 

Ferrari maker Exor and Apple designer Sir Jony Ive of Britain will jointly develop an electric vehicle, according to today's Financial Times. Fiat's John Elkann is on the FT board so they get scoops from Italy.

The best news in my view came from Aberdeen in the NY Times. As offshore oil and gas drilling falls because of lower finds and the need for alternative fuels, the Scottish city now is a center for offshore wind turbines, green energy and jobs.