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Inflationary Thursday – Prices Rising Most in 30 Years

6.2%.  

That was the jump in the Consumer Price Index, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, from last October.  Even worse, the Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was up 4.6% – miles over the Fed's 2% price target.  That's the fastest 12-month change since 1990 and our 5th consecutive month topping 5%.

On a monthly basis, the CPI increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in October from the prior month, a sharp acceleration from September’s 0.4% rise and the same as June’s 0.9% pace.  Price increases were broad-based, with higher costs for new and used autos, gasoline and other energy costs, furniture, rent and medical care while prices fell for airfare and alchohol – saving us from a total disaster – for now.

Consumer spending increased at an annual rate of 1.6% in the third quarter, a sharp slowdown from a 12% increase in the prior quarter. However, much of that deceleration was due to scarcity of new cars and other durable goods. Consumer spending on services last quarter climbed at the brisk annual rate of 7.9%.  Businesses are also passing on higher costs to consumers. 60% of small-business owners said they had raised prices in the previous 90 days.  80% of the companies surveyed reported higher labor costs, while 72% said vendors had increased prices and more than half experienced higher costs for raw materials and other inputs.

We still have labor shortages, shipping shortages, chip shortages, auto shortages… – this stuff is not going to go away but the Fed continues do downplay the situaion, which is a polite way of saying they are lying to us.  How can it be a good thing when the Fed is lying?  They are lying to give themselves and excuse to continue a policy (QE + ZIRP) that is at the root of this inflationary catastrophe.  

The dearth of workers needed to meet consumer demand is also putting upward pressure on wages, adding to companies’ motivations for raising prices to offset higher labor costs. Higher food and energy prices—driven up by pandemic-related production snags, weather and geopolitical factors—are also spurring inflation, said Richard F. Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp.

Inflation is starting to take a bite out of the bond market and THAT is the limitation on the Fed's power.  They can pretend anything they want internally but, when their policies are wrong – people outside the US and even large investors in the US, stop buying our bonds.  That causes rates to go higher whether the Fed intends it or not and, when things happen against the Fed's intentions, they begin to look weak and people begin to lose faith in the Fed's ability to control policy and things get very ugly from there because, like the Great and Powerful Oz – the Fed relies mainly on smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of control.  Look behind the curtain and the whole thing falls apart.

As U.S. inflation spirals, investors are ramping up bets on Fed hikes next year

What we're seeing in the above chart is a drastic change in investor sentiment, with expectations of the Fed hiking rates going from 0.1% to 0.45% next year over the last 90 days.  An acceleration of the timetable could show up at next month’s meeting of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee.  Last time the Fed released a so-called “dot-plot” in September, it showed an even split on whether rates will rise next year.

TumblrThe Biden administration is vowing to address rising inflation, aware that voters are becoming increasingly worried about how higher prices may eat into their paychecks. After the inflation report was released Wednesday, the White House issued a statement from Mr. Biden saying, “Inflation hurts Americans pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me.”

And Biden should be concerned because, as we discussed in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar, the living conditions for the average voter are getting worse and worse.   In a separate report Wednesday, the Labor Department said average hourly earnings after inflation FELL 0.5% in the month. Real wages are down 2.2% since January. American purchasing power has declined, and the average standard of living has fallen, despite unheard of levels of government spending.

The Fed can say any BS it wants and the Government can point to all their statistics but voters aren't idiots and they KNOW when they have less money left at the end of each month and the KNOW when $200 worth of groceries no longer fills a shopping cart.  People KNOW there is inflation – no matter how much the Government tries to deny it and they KNOW that their wages are not keeping up with it – no matter how many MSM stories there are about the "amazing" job market.

Wage Slave: lostgenerationWhy aren't workers jumping at these jobs?  Well, if you are making nothing or driving Uber for $1,000/month and someone offers you a job at $30/hr, which is $3,600/month but take-home is $2,800 and it's 30 miles away so 60 x 20 is 1,200 miles/30 miles/gallon is 40 gallons of gas x $3.50 = $140 and you need better clothes and they have to be cleaned and lunch is more expensive… It all adds up and maybe the net is you are being offered less money than if you just spent more time driving Uber – so the job isn't worth taking.  If your kids would need day care – it becomes impossible to accept the job.  

And that's $30/hr – imagine trying to make that work for $15!  

As I mentioned on Monday, inflation can be good for the investing class as our market gains are able to keep up with inflation due to the illusion that is created of higher earnings (by that very same inflation).  Those inflationary gains are then multiplied 10, 20 or 30 times (p/e) for much higher valuations – even though the company is simply selling the same product at a higher price with the same percentage of profits.  Just don't be the last sucker buying into that kind of market….

For example, you can play miner Barrick Gold (GOLD) as an inflation hedge with the following options spread:  

  • Sell 10 GOLD 2024 $17 puts for $2.35 ($2,350) 
  • Buy 20 GOLD 2024 $15 calls for $6.60 ($13,200) 
  • Sell 20 GOLD 2024 $20 calls for $4.10 ($8,200) 

That's net $2,650 on the $10,000 spread that's 100% in the money to start so GOLD would have to drop below $17.65 before this trade was a loss.  That's your worst case, owning 1,000 shares of GOLD for net $17.65, 13.6% below yesterday's close.  The upside potential of the trade is $7,350 – a 277% gain and all GOLD has to do is not go lower.  

Of course, if you just want to hedge against inflation with a smaller bet, you can:

  • Sell 5 GOLD 2024 $20 puts at $4.25 ($2,125) 
  • Buy 15 GOLD 2024 $22 calls for $3.25 ($4,875) 
  • Sell 15 GOLD 2024 $27 calls for $2.10 ($3,150) 

In this case we have a higher target ($27) but the spread is a net $400 credit and our worst case would be owning 500 shares of GOLD at net $19.20 (5% below the current price) while our upside potential is $7,900 (1,975%) – that should keep you ahead of inflation.

 


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  1. Phil,

    Any thoughts on using TBT as an inflationary hedge (despite past experiences). Seems like interest rates would be a more direct hedge. At 17.12 now,  with support at 16.50 -17 with 2020 lows 14.50-15.

    Thanks




  2. UK economic recovery slows sharply as GDP grows by 1.3%


  3. The N.I.H. says it is not giving up in patent fight with Moderna.



  4. Saudi Arabia denies playing climate saboteur at Glasgow


  5. America’s COVID future has arrived


  6. Good Morning.



  7. Phil/Inflation – Just focusing on wage inflation, it seems people ignore the fact that the distribution needs to change. The assumption is made that any wage inflation needs to be passed through to prices while the bulk of company profits continue to be paid out to the c-suite. Interesting to see the Biden admin challenge the Simon & Schuster sale on the basis of the negative impact on labor markets. I'm not optimistic that income inequality will ever be fixed in this country.


  8. Good morning!

    TBT/8800 – I just don't like playing with Treasuries as the Fed can always step in and manipulate.  Not sure what will happen with QFS next year so I prefer gold and GOLD to hedge against inflation – along with blue chips that have pricing power, of course.  Here's a good one:

    PFGC -0.35%Nov. 11, 2021 10:23 AM ET

    • Wells Fargo stays positive on the upside potential for Performance Food Group (PFGC -1.4%) following the company's Q3 earnings topper.
    • The firm says the quarter was better than it looked with results bogged down by more than $50M of "mostly" temporary labor costs. WF also notes that more M&A could be on the way (although small).
    • Analyst Edward Kelly: "PFGC is capitalizing on the pandemic, results should continue to improve through FY'22, the setup into FY'23 looks very good given the cost unwind, and in our view the stock is cheap at 16x FY'23E."
    • Wells Fargo keeps an Overweight rating on PFGC and price target of $66 (38% upside) vs. the average Wall Street PT of $59.86.

    $7.5Bn at $47.82 is 19x earnings of $400M but this is a nicely-growing company where labor costs are ahead of price increases for the moment, so they are trading as if they have long-term issues.  

    AAP +1.25%Nov. 11, 2021 9:35 AM ET4 Comments

    • An "earnings toolkit" for the third quarter in retail broadlines and hardlines from Evercore ISI points to a number of positives indicating retailers are successfully navigating several crosswinds, with one caveat coming as the firm gives a close watch to margins.
    • Sales have taken off, thanks in large part to a strong balance sheet for consumers, with a healthy year-over-year expansion in household cash.
    • "In the trenches, retailers are balancing rising costs, strong demand, and product supply shortages," Greg Melich and team write. "Unit demand is there, and with higher CPI, mix, AUR nominal sales look set to grow 6% in Q4."
    • Evercore estimates are above street estimates for nearly all of next week's reporting companies – Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP), Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), Petco Health and Wellness (NASDAQ:WOOF), Target (NYSE:TGT), Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT).
    • Positive trends have already been reflected by the season's earlier reporters: Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)O'Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY)Floor & Decor Holdings (NYSE:FND)Carvana (NYSE:CVNA), and Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW).
    • In working to "parse out expectations vs. reality," the firm notes key swing inputs for retailers are hourly labor (about 8% of sales) and freight cost (about 4%). With product costs also up, most retailers are trying to pass through the costs to protect gross margin rates or at least absolute gross margin dollars.
    • While sales should come out higher in the near term, Evercore thinks margins will compress more (or expand less) than expected: "The market discounts real-time sales through various data sources (credit card, Web traffic, CB, Oscars surveys, etc.) when stocks run up into the print, and then the margin 'news' hits."
    • It notes Q4 guidance will still be a key factor, with Evercore figuring sales expectations need to increase while margins disappoint. For example, Target (TGT) should see worse margin pressures (year-over-year) than Walmart, "but consensus knows it" and Target might have a better day. Risk-reward for home improvement – Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) – appears "more to the downside" after double-digit stock gains for both in the past month.
    • It's above Advance Auto Parts for Q3 and Q4, but having seen O'Reilly drop on a "clean beat-and-raise" a few weeks back, "have little conviction on the print."
    • Its favorite stocks in the space? It's still favoring Sherwin-Williams (SHW), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Amazon.com (AMZN), O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) and Petco (WOOF), working with an "emphasis on discretionary" in the reopening trade.

    Another underrated gold company:

    HMY +10.24%Nov. 11, 2021 8:57 AM ET2 Comments

    • Harmony Gold (NYSE:HMY) +8.3% pre-market after reporting Q1 gold production rose 32% Y/Y and 7% Q/Q and a 23% Y/Y reduction in net debt.
    • Net debt fell to 454M South African rand ($1.04B) in the period from $1.1B at the end of the June quarter, with the rand-gold price up 4% Q/Q due to a weaker local currency.
    • Harmony says it produced 606K oz. of gold in the quarter, compared with 563K oz. in the June quarter, but revenues ticked lower to $1.77B from $1.82B in the prior quarter; all-in sustaining costs were $1,263/oz.
    • For the full year, Harmony expects to produce 2.3M-2.35M gold equiv. oz. at AISC of $1,020-$1.060/oz.
    • Harmony says its "re-engineered portfolio has shown a 27% increase in underground tonnes milled for the September 2021 quarter when compared to the September 2020 quarter and a 26% increase in gold production from our underground mines."
    • Harmony shares gained more than 3% in U.S. trading yesterday as gold futures rose to their highest since June.

    DIDI -0.28%Nov. 11, 2021 7:45 AM ET1 Comment

    • DiDi Global (NYSE:DIDI) gained 4% in premarket trading on a report that it's preparing to restart its ride-sharing and other apps in China as it expects regulators will conclude their probe by then.
    • The Chinese regulators are expected to finalize any penalties on DIDI in December, according to the Reuters report. DIDI set aside 10B yuan ($1.6B) for a possible fine.
    • DIDI told Reuters that its report on a possible relaunch was "pure hearsay with no grounds in fact" and that the company was cooperating actively with the cybersecurity review.
    • DIDI, which is known as the “Uber of China," saw its stock plunge after Beijing began cracking down on DIDI and other Chinese tech firms that had listed in New York. Shares fell to as low as $7.16 intraday in July and have yet to return to anywhere near their $14 IPO price.
    • Yesterday, DiDi stock popped 10% on heavy volume.

    DIDI/John – They got nailed by Chinese regulators 

    DiDi falls on report of potential 'unprecedented' penalty in China

     

    • Chinese regulators are considering some serious penalties for the ride-sharing firm after its IPO, according to a Bloomberg report. Regulators are considering a fine, possible suspension of certain operations and/or a forced delisting or withdrawal of DiDi's U.S. shares.
    • China's Cyberspace Administration earlier this month ordered DiDi's app removed from app storesnoting serious issues with DiDi's usage of customers' personal information.
    • Last week, Beijing announced that seven of the Asian nation’s regulatory agencies had “stationed” personnel at the DiDi's offices to conduct “cybersecurity reviews.”
    • DIDI, which is known as the “Uber of China,” last month staged what had seemed like a successful U.S. IPO.

    We thought they were done going down on July 29th and we took a poke at $8.87 and it's down $1 since as China is keeping them in limbo.  It was for the Future is Now Portfolio, not the LTP:

    While it's very dangerous to take China at it's word, I'm liking DIDI, who have fallen below their IPO price of $14 to $8.87, which is a $10.5Bn market cap for a company with $30Bn in quickly growing sales (no profits so far but manageable losses).  They are likely to be up 20% at the open, though.  Amazon owns a piece of them and I think they are worth a toss down here so let's add them to our Future Is Now Portfolio as such (I'm estimating the opening prices):

    • Sell 20 DIDI Feb $10 puts for $2.50 ($5,000) 
    • Buy 50 DIDI Feb $10 calls for $3 ($15,000)
    • Sell 50 DIDI Feb $15 calls for $2 ($10,000)

    That's a net $0 cost on the $25,000 spread and our only obligation is owning 2,000 shares of DIDI for $10 so, as long as we REALLY want to invest in DIDI over the long-haul, the risk of assignment should not bother us.  The upside potential is a clean $25,000 if they get back to $15 and, of course, we intend to roll the Feb $10 calls out to longer strikes when they are published.  

    The $2.50 puts are now $3.70 but we can only get assigned $2,000 shares at $10 for $20,000.

    The rest of the spread is net $0 and the $10 calls are $1.40 and the $15 calls are 0.65 so net 0.75 is $3,750 so, if we shut it down here, there would be a $3,750 credit and our net cost of 2,000 shares would be $8.125 and it's now $7.68, so no reason to panic yet.  If the stock goes to $4 and we get out – we'll be down around $8,000 but if the stock goes to $2 and we spend $8,000 for 4,000 shares – our average cost would be $4.04 and we'd be down $12,000 on 6,000 shares (not including more put and call selling).  AMZN owns part of DIDI and they don't only operate in China 

    Didi is chasing Uber around the world - Vox

    So it's possible this goes bust and hurts us but it's also possible China and Didi come to some sort of agreement.

    China's cybersecurity watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), hadn't played a prominent role in the spring crackdown. But in the weeks before the IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, officials from the CAC raised questions about the security of Didi’s network, expressed concern about the sensitivity of information displayed on its mapping function, and cautioned the company to delay its listing until it could conduct a thorough internal security review.

    Didi says it never received an explicit warning from the agency—and that it didn't divulge customer data to U.S. officials. And in any case, the CAC had never derailed the overseas listing of a Chinese company, and technically didn't have the power to do so. China adopted a new cybersecurity law in June, but the measure was vaguely worded, and it remained unclear how it would be implemented.

    And so Didi officials pressed ahead with plans to go public in New York, eventually settling on Wednesday, June 30—three days before U.S. investors were to decamp for the long July 4 weekend and one day before China would celebrate the 100th anniversary of the nation's communist party.

    The day was a triumph. Executives kept low profiles, declining to ring the opening bell or even celebrate the event on Didi's Weibo social media channel. Didi Global, the name under which the stock is listed, raised $4.4 billion and debuted at $16 a share, making it one of the year's biggest public offerings and the largest overseas listing of a Chinese company since Alibaba Group's $25 billion debut in 2014.

    Two days later, China's cyber watchdog bared its fangs.

    On Friday, before trading opened in New York, the CAC announced it had launched an investigation into Didi on suspicion the company had violated data privacy and national security laws. It ordered the company to stop registering new users. On Sunday, the CAC instructed all Chinese app stores to remove Didi's app. On Monday, the agency said it had broadened its investigation to include two more U.S.-listed Chinese companies.

    Didi's shares dropped 5% on Friday, then a further 25% when trading reopened on Tuesday.

    Didi vice president Li Min said in a Weibo post that “Didi stores all domestic user data at servers in China. It is absolutely not possible to pass data to the United States.” But by Tuesday, it was clear the agency's regulatory blitz was part of a larger government effort to revamp procedures governing all Chinese companies seeking to raise capital on foreign exchanges.

    The State Council, China's top executive body, issued a brief but sweeping statement vowing new rules for overseas listings and stricter supervision of cross-border data transfers. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the China Securities Regulatory Commission plans to let regulators block Chinese companies from listing overseas even if they sell shares through an offshore affiliate. Since 2000, hundreds of Chinese companies have used that strategy—the so-called variable interest entity model—to raise capital on foreign bourses even if they operate businesses in sensitive sectors, such as the Internet, in which Beijing forbids foreign ownership.

    Details of those changes remain forthcoming. But the prospect of China creating a new layer of regulatory review for foreign IPOs and Beijing's willingness to torpedo the value of Didi, one of its brightest homegrown tech stars, has cast a cloud of uncertainty over companies seeking to sell shares on U.S. exchanges as well as those already listed. Beijing’s crackdown on Didi, and Wall Street’s swift recoil from Chinese stocks in response to it, raises the question of whether the world's two largest economies will remain financially integrated or 'decouple' in this realm too.

    "The Didi experience definitely signifies that the Chinese government is starting to look closely at the various possible implications of Chinese companies listed in the U.S. market," says Clement Chan, a managing director at professional services firm BDO. "In my view, they are preparing for further deterioration in the relationship with the U.S.”

    I know, Fundamental analysis is sooooooooooooooooooooo boring!  

    Inflation/Seer – Good point and no, income inequality is not the point of Capitalism.  The funny thing about Capitalism is that everyone imagines themselves the Capitalist and no one thinks they are the worker.  It's like George Carlin's comment on the American Dream – "Because you have to be asleep to believe it."  What Marx did, 100 years ago, was simply point out that WE (the common people) were the workers, not the Capitalists and, from that point of view, Capitalism is just thinly-veiled slavery for the working man.  

    People seem to forget that, just 100 years ago, people worked 80 hours a week and had no vacations or sick days, etc.  I remember when I was a kid there was a campaign for the 5 Monday holidays we have now – and Republicans said THAT was going to destroy democracy as we knew it.  Democracy and Capitalism are NOT The same thing.  

    Working Hours - Our World in Data

    What we have been enjoying in our lifetimes is not the norm for human history but automation and gains in productivity may make it the new normal but, if so, then our system of valuing and rewarding labor needs to change because what do we do with all these unwanted/unneeded workers we're displacing?   Not only did our great-grandparents work twice as much as we did but the 80 year-olds worked and the 10 year-olds worked – now one man's 2,000 hours supports a whole rest of the family that doesn't work at all.  In another 100 years, half as many people will work half as many hours – but what about the rest?  We are a couple of revolutions away from addressing this very pressing issue.  

    On the bright side – we may not survive long enough to worry about it…


  9. /ng just crossed 5.00


  10. Beem and Blnk have heavy short interest and are the EV charging stations which are expanding. Any other ones there that are worth a poke?


  11. Phil / DIS – I'm looking at the '24 $150 putter for about 18.5 – what do you think….


  12. Phil / DIS  CORRECTION  – I'm looking at the '24 $130 putter for about 12 – what do you think….


  13. /NG/Tommy – That's why we look for those crosses:

    Best risk/reward you can have in day-trading.

    BEEM/Pirate – It's essentially a penny stock ($300M) so not something I'd touch.  Blink is way up at 1.4Bn but also makes no money but I sure wouldn't short them as they are both speculative growth stocks in a hot space.  I also wouldn't go long as Blink has $16M in revenues so, even if they were 100% profits, it's still trading at 100x.  Do you have an investing premise for them?  Why are we looking at them?  Hopefully not just because people are shorting!

    DIS/Batman – I was talking about them in yesterday's webinar.  Earnings were disappointing and they have been too aggressive with their price hikes at the parks, which are 25% of their business.  Disney+ isn't growing fast enough and maybe that's because – even if you subscribe and pay them $13.99/month ($168/yr) they still charge you $30 to see a feature film when it's released.  I can see how people get the impression they are being ripped off though they do have some great shows.

    $163 is $317Bn for DIS and they are making $4.5Bn this year and back to $9Bn next year, which is still a lot when you can buy VIAC for 6x earnings.  CMCSA has Universal and  $54/share there is $247Bn but CMCSA made $10.5Bn last year and $15Bn this year and $17Bn next year so why would I even be looking at DIS?  

    We have DIS in the Butterfly Portfolio because it's a good money-maker selling puts and calls to suckers who THINK they know which way it will go.  

    DIS Long Call 2023 20-JAN 170.00 CALL [DIS @ $163.60 $-10.85] 75 1/14/2021 (435) $262,500 $35.00 $-17.60 $26.42     $17.40 $-7.35 $-132,000 -50.3% $130,500
    DIS Short Call 2023 20-JAN 200.00 CALL [DIS @ $163.60 $-10.85] -75 1/14/2021 (435) $-180,000 $24.00 $-15.48     $8.53 $-4.31 $116,063 64.5% $-63,938
    DIS Short Put 2022 21-JAN 165.00 PUT [DIS @ $163.60 $-10.85] -20 4/19/2021 (71) $-17,500 $8.75 $-1.00     $7.75 $3.35 $2,000 11.4% $-15,500
    DIS Short Call 2022 21-JAN 175.00 CALL [DIS @ $163.60 $-10.85] -25 8/20/2021 (71) $-27,500 $11.00 $-7.80     $3.20 $-5.30 $19,500 70.9% $-8,000

  14. As we discussed in the webinar, 16,400 to 16,000 (the extra 100 was an overshoot) was a 2.5% drop but the whole move to 16,400 was an overshoot in the bigger picture.  Still we can measure the bounce of 80 (weak) and 160 (strong) to see if we're recovering or failing for a move lower:

    That is failing for a move lower.  Also, 16,400 to 15,900 is 500 points and then you have 100-point bounces to 16,000 and 16,100 (strong) so failing 16,100 is bad no matter how you measure it!  


  15. Phil / DIS – thanks….. I already have a almost a full position on VIAC and agree it's undervalued…..    haven't looked at CMCSA – will take a look


  16. RWLK earnings were interesting. I wonder if German approval will be enough to start the uptrend.


  17. RWLK/Pman – Revenues moving up, profits will come.  23% upside surprise on revs.  Loss was a penny over at 0.07/share.  

    ReWalk, which belongs to the Zacks Medical – Instruments industry, posted revenues of $1.97 million for the quarter ended September 2021, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 23.25%. This compares to year-ago revenues of $0.75 million. The company has topped consensus revenue estimates two times over the last four quarters.

     

    • ReWalk Robotics shares rise (RWLK +5.4%) after the company posted third-quarter revenue that beat Wall Street estimates.
    • Quarterly revenue increased 162% to $1.97M, beating analysts' average estimate by $0.37M.
    • The increase is mainly due to the higher number of ReWalk Personal 6.0 units sold in Germany as well as a multiple unit order to a U.S physical therapy university.
    • Gross margin was 58% during the third quarter of 2021, compared to 52% in the third quarter of 2020.
    • Net loss was $2.7 million for the third quarter of 2021, compared to a net loss of $3.3 million in the third quarter of the prior year.
    • As of September 30, 2021, ReWalk had $91.2 million in cash on its balance sheet.

    That's the key with small companies – they burned $2.7M but they have $91.2M left and they are in production so pretty good shape to keep going.

    THIS is a penny stock I do like.


  18. This is a thrill ride:

    MRNA -0.96%Nov. 11, 2021 1:32 PM ET10 Comments

    • Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) says that only its scientists can take ownership as inventors to a core patent related to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the company in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
    • Responding to claims made by NIAID citing a group of its scientists as co-inventors to the mRNA (modified nucleotide) sequence of the vaccine, the biotech said that it disagreed with the federal agency.
    • The NIAID scientists “were not even aware of the mRNA sequence until after the patent application had already been filed,” Moderna (MRNA) said.
    • “Just because someone is an inventor on one patent application relating to our COVID-19 vaccine does not mean they are an inventor on every patent application relating to the vaccine,” it added.
    • On Wednesday, the Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) suggested that the dispute on IP rights for the vaccine will be resolved through legal means.

    MRNA -0.96%Nov. 11, 2021 12:33 PM ET15 Comments

    • Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has agreed to sell its COVID-19 vaccine at $7 a shot to the African Union, Reuters reported, citing the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control, John Nkengasong.
    • "I am happy to say that a dose of the Moderna vaccine will be $7. That is what is being offered to us," Nkengasong said on Thursday at a weekly media briefing. The price offered to the regional bloc is half the level paid by the U.S. for the vaccine early this year.
    • A few months ago, Moderna (MRNA) renegotiated with the EU its supply deals for the COVID-19 vaccine, raising the price per dose by over 10% to $25.50.
    • For 2021, the company lowered its outlook for product revenue to $15B – $18B from $20B, assuming the delivery of 700M – 800M vaccine doses, down from 800M – 1B doses estimated three months ago.

    BABA +2.43%Nov. 11, 2021 12:09 PM ET17 Comments

    • It's after midnight in China, marking the end of the Singles Day shopping event, and Alibaba (BABA +2.7%) says it generated a record 540.3 billion yuan (about $84.5 billion) in sales.
    • That surpasses last year, during which Alibaba nearly doubled its previous record from the year before.
    • Rival JD.com (JD +7.4%) also hit a record and says its final total was 349.1 billion yuan in gross merchandise volume, about $54.6 billion worth.
    • The shopping holiday benefited from another expansion this year, with Singles "Day" now going to 11 days from an original 24-hour period – echoing the expansion of Black Friday sales in America. And JD offered presales from Oct. 20-Oct 31 this year.

    EGRNY +17.08%Nov. 11, 2021 12:06 PM ET1 Comment

    • China Evergrande (OTCPK:EGRNF +6.0%) (OTCPK:EGRNY +19.0%) U.S.-listed shares jump after the debt-laden property developer again averted default by making a round of last-minute bond  payments, the Wall Street Journal reports.
    • At the same time, Chinese regulators are considering loosening restrictions on leverage to help developers sell off assets to repay debt, the newspaper said.
    • Other U.S.-listed Chinese real estate companies also gain in Thursday trading — KE Holdings (BEKE +4.0%), Nam Tai Property (NTP +4.4%), Xinyuan Real Estate (XIN +0.9%).
    • Evergrande had made last-minute bond payments twice before in the past few weeks, and has been selling off assets to raise cash for the payments.
    • Late yesterday, there were reports that Evergrande (OTCPK:EGRNF) hadn't paid a $148M coupon by the end of the grace period.

    MT +5.65%Nov. 11, 2021 11:58 AM ET

    • ArcelorMittal (MT +5.1%) rallies after reporting Q3 EBITDA surged 6x from the year-ago quarter and 20% Q/Q to $6.06B, but the result was slightly short of the $6.15B analyst consensus estimate.
    • Q3 revenues rose to $20.2B; net debt dropped to $3.9B from $5B at the end of Q2.
    • ArcelorMittal also raised its stock buyback program by another $1B, bringing capital returns announced since September 2020 to $6B.
    • The strong results came even as total steel shipments fell 9% Q/Q to 14.6M metric tons due to weaker demand from automotive customers, production constraints and order shipment delays, but the company expects the problems will improve in Q4.
    • The company also said it expects global steel demand to grow by 12%-13% excluding China, where it now expects a slight decline in steel demand because of the country's weakening real estate sector.
    • High steel prices, though off the peak, are expected to feed into supply contracts for next year, many of which are due to be renegotiated in the coming weeks, which Jefferies analysts say will be a "massive tailwind for producers."
    • The U.S. and the European Union recently agreed to ease U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

    MYSZ +1.44%Nov. 11, 2021 9:52 AM ET

    Here's the pitch on these guys:

    The number one reason for merchandise returns is that the size is wrong. Return Magic recently completed a survey of 1,000 business and compiled data from 800,000 customers of the online retail platform Shopify. The study found 30% of customers returning merchandise thought the product they got was too small and 22% found the product too large. My Size management cites data suggesting that size is the culprit in as much as 80% of returns of merchandise bought on-line.

    One solution to reduce returns and improve customer experience may be to replicate the accuracy of the brick-and-mortar fitting room.

    My Size Solution

    My Size has developed a mobile application called MySizeID that turns the smart phone into a measurement tool using sensors already built into the device. The user’s home or office can be transformed into a private fitting room. Users are provided a tutorial video that shows exactly how and where to place the smartphone so measurements are accurate.

     

    MySize Mobile App Screen ImageThe app records personal measurements that are saved on a secure and encrypted server for future reference when the user shops for garments from a participating on-line retailer. While shopping online the user clicks a MySizeID widget or icon on the retailer’s site to receive an immediate size recommendation based on a comparison of their particular data and the retailer’s size charts.

    Retailers can license the MySizeID app directly or display their own branding on a white label version. MySizeID is the only sizing solution that allows its Standard Development Kit or SDK to be integrated with the retailer’s app so customers do not have to switch back and forth between apps. There are both Apple iOS and Google Android versions of MySizeID, exposing the app to the vast majority of smartphone users.

    The MySizeID has already been adopted by top on-line shopping platforms, Shopify and Lightspeed. Shopify offers the MySizeID to all its retailing partners at a flat monthly fee, explaining the app as a means to "help shoppers pick the right size, every time." Lightspeed tells its retail partners to "forget about return shipment hassles or costs" with MySizeID. The most recent convert to MySizeID is Penti, a Turkey-based retailer backed by the Carlyle Group. Penti has set a goal of cutting return rates in half.

    These guys are at $25M at $1.05 and they lost $6M last year and will lose more like $10M this year and they only have $5M in the bank so they'll need to dilute but worth keeping an eye on.  They do have competition but it's a B/B/C solution that works for all so I think we'll be seeing these catch on down the road. 

     


  19. LQDA on the move.. thanks Pharm!!  Think you had a target $7-10?


  20. Phil-would definately NOt short Beem or Blnk. Learned my lesson with PLUG and Fcel. I would certainly take a small position and let it blast off though. Not making profits is nothing new for the traders now. BUT with those short positions I would say it is prime for takeoff. I thought of LQDA today too. Someone knows something.


  21. Pirate / LQDA – Combination of insider buying + Liquidia Corporation (NASDAQ:LQDA) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted tentative approval for YUTREPIA™ (treprostinil) inhalation powder, previously referred to as LIQ861.