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Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 15:30:57 -0400
Sorrento Takes Another Leap Forward with Recent FDA Clearance, Says Top Analyst

Sorrento Takes Another Leap Forward with Recent FDA Clearance, Says Top AnalystAnd the W’s just keep on coming for Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE). Reflecting a major step forward in the advancement of its candidate, STI-6129, a CD38-targeting antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), the company received the all-clear from the FDA to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application.Part of the excitement surrounding this announcement is related to the design of the asset itself. STI-6129 was created using SRNE’s unique technology that includes a CD38-specific antibody identified from its fully human G-MAB antibody library, its patented drug payload Duostatin 5 and its site-specific CLOCK conjugation technology.On top of this, the company wants to kick off a Phase 1 multi-center, open-label, dose-escalation clinical trial in patients with advanced relapsed and/or refractory systemic amyloid light chain (AL) amyloidosis, with the primary goal being the identification of a Phase 2 dose for STI-6129.Commenting on the development for H.C. Wainwright, five-star analyst Raghuram Selvaraju thinks the asset “could constitute a next-generation approach to treatment of AL amyloidosis.”“The prospects for a CD38-targeted approach in this indication appear buttressed by data from a prospective Phase 2 trial of daratumumab, a well-known fully human monoclonal anti-CD38 antibody agent that is already commercially available for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) under the trade name DARZALEX... Renal response occurred in 10 of 15 patients (67%) with renal involvement and cardiac response occurred in seven out of 14 patients (50%) with cardiac involvement. In our view, these data bode well for the deployment of an anti-CD38 agent in AL amyloidosis,” Selvaraju added.As approximately 20,000 people are affected by AL amyloidosis in the U.S. alone, the indication represents a niche opportunity for SRNE. With the clinical benefit produced using daratumumab to treat AL amyloidosis serving as a partial proof-of-concept for STI-6129, it’s no wonder the news is promising, in Selvaraju’s opinion.Even though Selvaraju tells clients that the candidate has not been built into his models, he believes the announcement demonstrates “the steadily growing depth and breadth of Sorrento's pipeline.”Based on all of the above, Selvaraju stayed with the bulls. Along with a Buy rating, he kept a $24 price target on the stock. This indicates upside potential of a whopping 369%. (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here)  What does the rest of the Street think about SRNE’s long-term growth prospects? It has been relatively quiet when it comes to analyst activity, with the stock receiving only one other Buy rating in the last three months. This makes the consensus rating a Moderate Buy. In addition, the $24 average price target matches Selvaraju’s. (See Sorrento stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 17:10:47 -0400
AstraZeneca Unveils Data Behind New Win For Blockbuster Drug

AstraZeneca Unveils Data Behind New Win For Blockbuster Drug(Bloomberg) -- AstraZeneca Plc’s blockbuster drug Tagrisso cut the risk of lung cancer death or relapse by four-fifths over three years, according to detailed results from a study that raises survival prospects for patients in the early stages of the deadly disease.Adding Tagrisso to the regimen of early-stage lung cancer patients who had undergone surgery reduced the risk of dying or disease recurrence by 79%, compared with a placebo, according to the research. Patients’ tumors also had a mutation in a cancer-linked gene, called EGFR. AstraZeneca will present the results at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference on Sunday, a month and a half after the trial was halted early because of its strong outcome.Tagrisso is Astra’s biggest product, with sales of $982 million in the first quarter of this year. Around 60,000 additional patients may be eligible for treatment if the drug is approved in early-stage, post-surgical lung cancer, according to Dave Fredrickson, vice president for global oncology. Patients would take the drug for two to three years.The most important implication of the trial is that it provides a “reason for more early screening to take place for lung cancer patients,” Fredrickson said in an interview. “The improved outcome that we’re seeking is cure.”AstraZeneca’s American depositary receipts jumped as much as 5.3% in extended trading in New York Thursday. London-based shares of the Cambridge, England-based company are up more than 40% in the past year.Early screening often doesn’t take place currently because there are few therapies available compared with those for late-stage lung cancer, he said.After two years of treatment, 89% of patients in the trial treated with Tagrisso remained alive and disease-free, compared with 53% on placebo, Astra said. The results were consistent, whether patients got chemotherapy along with surgery or not.The ASCO conference is a key event in the calendar of oncology researchers and physicians, with scientists showcasing their best work and unveiling results from high-profile trials. This year’s meeting will be online due to the pandemic, with access to all results from the gathering available starting on Friday.(Updates with share movement in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 17:26:39 -0400
New United Airlines CEO Says No To Bankruptcy and Mandating Blocked Middle Seats

New United Airlines CEO Says No To Bankruptcy and Mandating Blocked Middle SeatsAt two previous companies, new United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby developed a reputation for bluntness, often favoring honest answers over diplomatic ones. On Thursday, speaking at his first public forum since taking over last week from Oscar Munoz, Kirby showed he wouldn't drop the act just because he now leads a Fortune 100 company. In […]

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 14:00:00 -0400
Buffet, Bezos And Blackrock Are Betting Big On This $30 Trillion Mega-Trend

Buffet, Bezos And Blackrock Are Betting Big On This $30 Trillion Mega-TrendThere’s a brand-new $30 trillion investment trend that has investors across the globe giving on up old way of doing things, and focusing more on sustainable investments

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 16:58:24 -0400
MARKETS: Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq close lower after late-day selloff — YF Premium is bullish on Alibaba (BABA)

MARKETS: Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq close lower after late-day selloff — YF Premium is bullish on Alibaba (BABA)Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre joins Seana Smith to break down the day's price action in stocks as well as a long in Alibaba (BABA), a Yahoo Finance Premium Investment Idea.

Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 16:21:53 -0400
4 Stocks Poised To Breakout With The Return Of Live Sports

4 Stocks Poised To Breakout With The Return Of Live SportsAfter months without live sports, it looks as though America's favorite pastimes are on the cusp of returning. Reports indicate the MLB is on pace to return sooner rather than later, while the NHL and NBA have also submitted plans to resume their playoffs this summer.Financially, the resurgence of players in arenas may mean the resurgence of players in the stock market as well. Here are four stocks that may be poised for a breakout with the return of live sports.DraftKingsDraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG) is new to the market, debuting in early April at around $19. Since then, it's climbed over 70% to $33 a share.Much of the hype surrounding DraftKings has to do with continuous pro-gambling legislation being pushed throughout the country. Given the gambling industry's potentially massive contribution to the government, more and more states are entertaining the possibility of legalizing it.More good news for the online fantasy and gambling app is the new trend for people to gamble on non-sporting events, such as the outcome of TV shows like "The Bachelor."Chris Camillo said DraftKings' potential comes as a result of the exponential growth in legality and popularity of online sports gambling.> "I think you can make a case that most states are going to have legalized sports books in the next five, six, seven years. So this is a movement. This is a major, major movement."Prior to the absence of sports, people were betting on games more than ever. The hiatus likely created an immense desire to get back to the action.Penn National Gaming Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ: PENN) is one of the most interesting stocks in the gaming and entertainment industry.Penn operates both brick-and-mortar and online gambling to a plethora of users. It owns 41 facilities, which comprise 50,500 gaming machines, 1,300 table games and 8,800 hotel rooms. Perhaps the most exciting element of Penn National is its recently-inked partnership with Barstool Sports.Barstool Sports has been a leading sports and men's lifestyle blog and podcasting network over the past few years.The agreement between Penn and Barstool paves the way for Penn to be the operator of a Barstool Sports gambling app. Given Barstool's incredible reach and audience (three top 60 podcasts in the U.S.), the app will surely explode on the scene."Penn's got the bigger growth in the future (as compared to other gaming companies on the market)," Jordan Mclain said on the "Dumb Money LIVE" show. "I think they've got a brand they can capitalize on."See Also: Why Penn National And Boyd Could Outperform As US Casinos ReopenGanGan Ltd (NASDAQ: GAN) is an extremely under-the-radar stock that also operates in the sports gaming space. It IPO'd on May 5 at just over $10. The small-cap stock has since risen above the $15 handle, representing about 50% returns in its first month on the market.Gan's core business centers around a subscription revenue model. Its software allows it to take a piece of the action on every bet or gamble for the gaming companies that it works for. Its most notable client is likely FanDuel, an international competitor to DraftKings.One of the company's more notable elements is that it owns a patent on the ability for a casino that has an offline brick-and-mortar presence with an offline loyalty program to merge that with an online loyalty program.In fact, it won a 2018 court case in which it sued for the wrongful usage of this patent, which has further solidified its viability and credibility.According to Camillo, Gan has the potential to be in the right place at the right time with the return of sports."I see Gan as an asymmetric trade on the imminent growth of legalized app-based sports and casino wagering in the U.S.," Camillo said.> "While most investors in this space are focused on DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, and the soon to be Barstool Sportsbook by Penn National -- GAN's platform software and services solution along with their leadership experience in the sector position them to come out as the real winner in what is likely to grow into a fragmented market of state-licensed casino and sportsbook brands that are equally technology and process deficient "Gan will be able to leverage this patent to work with casinos in developing the aforementioned online loyalty programs, which could be a huge boost. Investors seem to be taking notice of this, along with the general rise of the gambling industry in general, as good signs for Gan.Walt Disney CoDisney (NYSE: DIS), like most of the market, suffered a significant drop in share valuation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The stock has dropped roughly 15% in price since the end of February, when it hovered just over the $140 handle.With the resurgence of sports back on the scene in the coming weeks and months, it's plausible to expect the viewership of ESPN to surge. The channel owns rights to multiple NBA and MLB games per week.ESPN's typical programming, which comprises mostly talk shows, will finally be able to recap highlights and statistics from the previous day once again after months of having to cover general topics and trends, such as the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement.Camillo mentioned on the "Dumb Money LIVE" show that Disney looks like a safe play with the return of sports."It's gonna be a net positive for Disney. It's kind of undebatable...I'm comfortable with my Disney position for the long term," he said.See more from Benzinga * These 10 Stocks Have Surged During The Coronavirus Pandemic(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 12:19:00 -0400
Mortgage rates nose-dive to new low and bring out the buyers

Mortgage rates nose-dive to new low and bring out the buyersRates have hit a new record low and are drawing out hunkered-down homebuyers.

Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 22:13:55 -0400
Billionaire Icahn exits Hertz with 'significant' loss after bankruptcy filing

Billionaire Icahn exits Hertz with 'significant' loss after bankruptcy filingAccording to a regulatory filing made on Wednesday, Icahn, who held a nearly 39% stake in Hertz and had three representatives on the board, sold 55.34 million shares on Tuesday at 72 cents per share. Hertz fell victim to coronavirus shutdowns that dramatically curtailed travel and created major financial hardships for the company, Icahn said in the filing, adding that he supported the board's decision to seek bankruptcy protection on Friday. At the end of 2019, his stake in Hertz was worth close to $700 million.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 02:04:49 -0400
Hertz Sinks 11% After-Hours As Carl Icahn Sells Stake At $1.8B Loss

Hertz Sinks 11% After-Hours As Carl Icahn Sells Stake At $1.8B LossShares in troubled car rental company Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ) sunk a further 11% to $1.16 in Wednesday’s after-hours trading on the news that Carl Icahn has sold his Hertz stake at an apparent loss of about $1.8 billion.Icahn divested 55.34M common shares for $39.8M, at a price of $0.72/ share on May 26, an SEC filing revealed. He previously owned a 39% stake in Hertz and had three representatives on the board.The 84-year old hedge fund manager stated “I have been an investor and supporter of Hertz since 2014.  Unfortunately because of Covid-19 which has caused an extremely rapid and substantial decrease in travel, Hertz has encountered major financial difficulties and I support the Board in their conclusion to file for bankruptcy protection.”“Yesterday I sold my equity position at a significant loss, but this does not mean that I don’t continue to have faith in the future of Hertz.  I believe that based on a plan of reorganization that includes new capital, Hertz will again become a great company.  I intend to closely follow the Company’s reorganization and I look forward to assessing different opportunities to support Hertz in the future.”Late on Friday Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection after the car rental firm failed to reach long-term agreements with creditors. The news sent shares down 36% to $1.82 in extended US trading.Hertz is embarking on the financial reorganization as it sees “a prolonged travel and overall global economic recovery”. During the reorganization process, the company will maintain ordinary operations, continue to pay vendors and suppliers, pay its employees, and continue with its customer loyalty programs.TipRanks data shows that three analysts in the past three months have cut Hertz stock to Sell from Hold, with a further analyst downgrading the stock to Hold. Overall, this gives Hertz a bearish Moderate Sell analyst consensus.With shares trading down 92% on a year-to-date basis, the $3.33 average analyst price target indicates 154% upside potential from the current share price. (See Hertz stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Beleaguered Hertz Sinks 36% In After-Market On Bankruptcy Protection Filing Carl Icahn Initiates Position in Delek US Holdings, Boosts Occidental Petroleum Uber In Partnership With MoneyGram For Driver Discount During Pandemic More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * AutoZone Surprises with Business as Usual Quarter * Logitech Shares Lifted In Pre-Market On Share Buyback Plan, 10% Dividend Boost * Billionaire Ackman Exits Berkshire Hathaway, Blackstone To Fund Opportunities * HBO Max Launches, But Not Yet Available on Amazon, Roku Platforms

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 13:04:39 -0400
5 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy in June

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 10:58:36 -0400
Here’s Why Expedia (EXPE) Stock is an Attractive Pick

Here’s Why Expedia (EXPE) Stock is an Attractive PickDistillate Capital recently released its Q1 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download below. The Distillate Capital’s U.S. Fundamental Stability & Value (U.S. FSV) strategy posted a return of -19.39% for the quarter (net of fees), outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index which returned -19.60% in the same quarter. You should […]

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 19:11:24 -0400
Novavax (NVAX) Stock Is a Winner, but How Much Higher Can It Go?

Novavax (NVAX) Stock Is a Winner, but How Much Higher Can It Go?Volatility is nothing new in the healthcare sector. Nonetheless, vaccine player Novavax’s (NVAX) recent spectacular moon bound rally is on another level.The stock surged by another 147% this month, cumulatively accruing 1025% of gains in 2020. Which begs the far-fetched question: Has Novavax provided the coveted vaccine? Not yet, but it is taking some big strides towards addressing the issue.The latest share appreciation came following news that the coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will commit up to $388 million to further the development of Novavax’ vaccine candidate against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), NVX-CoV2373. The investment is CEPI’s biggest to date and follows on from what now feels like a miniscule initial $4 million grant to Novavax.In tandem with setting the process of clinical trials in motion (with Phase 1/2 trial data expected by July), part of the funding will go towards ramping up production at various locations around the globe, with a target of matching the largest pharma vaccine developers’ production capacity.Based on Novavax’ vaccine track record, Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Michael Higgins is confident in the outcome, and predicts the Phase 1/2 results “will prove to be safe.” The results are key to his thesis of Novavax’ rNPV (risk-adjusted net present value) as the data will have an impact on the “scale up activities.”Higgins expounded, “While CEPI and Novavax are working collectively to generate the manufacturing capabilities to reach one billion doses in 2021, we are modeling the 100M doses are sold in 2021 at $10/dose, with 50% net margins. Mgt has not provided guidance on our assumptions; but given the low net manufacturing costs (especially on a large scale) we believe our assumptions are within reasonable expectations. We believe the low manufacturing margins contributed to CEPI’s decision, as it seeks to partner with innovators to treat as many global citizens as possible.”Overall, Novavax gets 100% support from the Street, as all 5 analysts tracked over the last 3 months rate the vaccine player a Buy. With an average price target of $49.20, the analyst fraternity projects upside of nearly 10%. (See Novavax stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 12:57:31 -0400
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Kernen Get Into Heated On-Air Argument Over Coronavirus, Trump

Andrew Ross Sorkin, Joe Kernen Get Into Heated On-Air Argument Over Coronavirus, TrumpThe coronavirus stress may have gotten to Andrew Ross Sorkin and Joe Kernen on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. In many ways, the argument between Sorkin and Kernen reflects nationwide polarization over just how aggressive the U.S. should have been in combating COVID-19.What HappenedThe argument broke out after Kernen suggested Sorkin has been overly pessimistic about COVID-19."You panicked about the market, panicked about COVID, panicked about the ventilators, panicked about the PPE, panicked about ever going out again, panicked if we'd ever get back to normal," Kernan said.Sorkin Fires BackSorkin responded by accusing Kernen of dismissing death tolls and risks associated with the coronavirus due to his allegiance to President Donald Trump."100,000 people died, Joe, and all you did was try to help your friend the president. That's what you did ... Every single morning on this show you have used and abused your position, Joe," Sorkin said.> "I'm begging you to do the news, Joseph!"> > -- Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) May 27, 2020Kernen previously worked for 10 years as a stockbroker before joining CNBC in 1995. Sorkin is a financial columnist for the New York Times, author of the book "Too Big To Fail" and co-creator of the Showtime series "Billions.""That's totally unfair," Kernen said in response to Sorkin's accusations. "I'm trying to help investors keep their cool, keep their heads. And as it turns out, that's what they should have done."Benzinga's TakeIt's possible that both Sorkin and Kernen's arguments were valid, but they were addressing two different matters.Kernen is correct in that investors who didn't panic have made huge profits given the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) is up 34.2% since March 23. However, the COVID-19 US death toll is over 100,000 at this point, so the virus was and is certainly worth taking seriously.Do you agree with this take? Email with your thoughts.Related Links:NYSE To Reopen Trading Floor On Limited Basis Why Stock Exchange Floor Closings Could Be Creating End-Of-Day VolatilitySee more from Benzinga * What The Yield Curve Is Saying About The Stock Market Rally * Fed Chair Powell To Congress: US Economic Downturn 'Without Modern Precedent' * 4 Reasons Investors Should Prepare For 'Liberal Landslide' In November(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 20:39:30 -0400
U.S. judge orders 15 banks to face big investors' currency rigging lawsuit

U.S. judge orders 15 banks to face big investors' currency rigging lawsuitA U.S. judge on Thursday said institutional investors, including BlackRock Inc and Allianz SE's Pacific Investment Management Co, can pursue much of their lawsuit accusing 15 major banks of rigging prices in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan said the nearly 1,300 plaintiffs, including many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, plausibly alleged that the banks conspired to rig currency benchmarks from 2003 to 2013 and profit at their expense. "This is an injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent," Schofield wrote in a 40-page decision.

Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 09:49:57 -0400
3 “Strong Buy” Biotech Stocks Under $5 With Explosive Upside Potential

3 “Strong Buy” Biotech Stocks Under $5 With Explosive Upside PotentialWhich stocks are leading the pack out on Wall Street? Biotechs. Understandably, investors have taken a more cautious approach when navigating the confused financial environment, but focus is locking in on the biotech sector as it has been able to withstand the COVID-19-induced pressure on the market. Proving to be relatively defensive, the biotech indexes, XBI and IBB, have outperformed the broader market year-to-date, with each gaining over 10% compared to the S&P 500’s 8% decline.The space’s resilience combined with a limited impact on Q1 fundamentals and the elimination of macro headwinds regarding drug legislation, has caused sentiment surrounding 2H20 performance to swing strongly positive.While there certainly are exciting opportunities at play, biotech stocks aren’t for the faint of heart. Seasoned market watchers know that they are notoriously volatile, prone to huge movements on account of a single update. This makes them riskier investments, but it also enables them to deliver massive returns. Taking all of this into consideration, we used TipRanks’ database to search the Street for compelling, yet affordable names housed in the biotech space. We found three stocks trading for less than $5 that are backed by enough Wall Street analysts to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. If that wasn’t enough, each boasts explosive upside potential.BioLineRx Ltd. (BLRX)Primarily focused on oncology, BioLineRX in-licenses cutting-edge compounds, develops them through clinical stages and then partners with pharmaceutical companies for further clinical development.Tuesday was a rough day for BioLineRx investors. Shares tumbled nearly 30% following the announcement of an equity offering. The company priced 5,142,859 shares at $1.75 apiece, which was well below the $2.39 per share where the stock had been trading. Yet, with significant potential catalysts slated for 2020 and a share price of $1.60, several members of the Street believe that now is the time to snap up shares.In spite of COVID-19, its upcoming data readouts remain on track for this calendar year, including top-line results from the Phase 3 GENESIS trial. The study is looking at its BL-8040 candidate as a stem cell mobilization agent for multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous transplant, with the trial specifically comparing motixafortide and G-CSF versus G-CSF alone.With the trial’s patient accrual progressing according to plan and no material protocol deviations witnessed to date, Oppenheimer’s Mark Breidenbach believes the data release, which is slated for 2H20, will be a “large-impact catalyst.”Expounding on this, the 5-star analyst stated, “Assuming positive data, management would likely engage with a partner to assist with the registrational filing and potential launch of motixafortide in stem cell mobilization... Based on prior data from a lead-in cohort, we remain confident that GENESIS can hit its primary endpoint, which could help attract a strategic collaboration to support commercialization.”On top of this, motixafortide is being evaluated across several indications, and PFS/OS data from the COMBAT/ KEYNOTE-202 trial in pancreatic cancer is scheduled for a mid-year release, with it aiming to publish interim results from the randomized Blast trial in AML in 2H20.Additionally, PFS/OS results from the COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 triplet regimen (motixafortide, pembro and chemo) could be presented at a medical conference early this summer. Breidenbach pointed out, “The triplet previously yielded a 32% ORR and 77% disease control rate as of December 19 data cutoff. If the triplet combination suggests a PFS/ OS benefit, we would expect BioLineRx to seek a strategic partner for continued development.”To this end, Breidenbach left an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating and $11 price target on the stock. Based on this target, shares could soar 567% in the next twelve months. (To watch Breidenbach’s track record, click here)Like Breidenbach, other analysts also take a bullish approach. BLRX’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells. Given the $11.33 average price target, a possible twelve-month gain in the shape of 587% could be on the horizon. (See BioLineRx stock analysis on TipRanks)Aldeyra Therapeutics (ALDX)Hoping to develop medicines capable of improving the lives of patients with immune-mediated diseases, Aldeyra’s pipeline focuses on inhibiting inflammatory cells linked to ocular and systemic conditions that aren’t sufficiently addressed by available treatments. Currently going for $4.11 apiece, several members of the Street recommend that investors pull the trigger.Recently, ALDX has found itself on investors’ radar as a result of its potential COVID-19 treatment, ADX-629. Writing for Laidlaw, analyst Yale Jen points out that the urgency of the pandemic and the likely MOA of TH1, TH2 and TH17-related cytokines reduction prompted the company to design three Phase 2 studies looking at ADX-629 in COVID-19 respiratory compromise (reducing impact from cytokine storm), autoimmune disease (associated with TH1 cytokines) and allergy (associated with TH2 cytokines). The first’s initiation is slated for Q3 2020, and the others should start in 2H20.“With this arrangement, ALDX could gain substantial insights into the anti-inflammatory effects ADX-629 might have in the clinic. We estimate the COVID-19 trial could be a placebo study for gaging the therapeutic impact of reducing or mitigating the disease worsening after the initial infection,” Jen commented. Additionally, the study could help the company design or adjust trial designs for the other two indications.Adding to the good news, ALDX is expected to have a meeting with the FDA to finalize the study design of part two of the RENEW trial, with it potentially kicking off the pivotal study in 2H20 after the COVID-19 situation improves.As for the Phase 3 ALLEVIATE trial data readout, it will most likely come in 1H21 due to the unexpected extended allergy season this year that increased the number of patients with red eye, which makes them ineligible for the study. Jen also acknowledges that COVID-19 has reduced the availability of doctors and patients able to participate in clinical studies. However, he argued, “Together, with ADX-629 taking the center stage, while other studies being slowing down, we do not view the fundamental of ALDX has been eroded in anyway... We think ALDX shares remain under-exposed and under-valued.”Based on all of the above, Jen stayed with the bulls. Along with a Buy rating, he kept a $30 price target on the stock. This implies upside potential of a massive 630%. (To watch Jen’s track record, click here) What does the rest of the Street think about ALDX? It turns out that other analysts also have high hopes. Only Buy ratings have been received in the last three months, 4 to be exact, so the consensus rating is a Strong Buy. In addition, the $26 average price target suggests 533% upside potential. (See Aldeyra stock analysis on TipRanks)Miragen Therapeutics Inc. (MGEN)Offering a compelling microRNA pipeline led by its cobomarsen asset, Miragen believes its therapies could potentially address the unmet needs in cancer and other diseases. At only $0.68 per share, the analyst community thinks that even though COVID-19 has presented headwinds, the share price reflects an attractive entry point.When it comes to MGEN’s SOLAR trial, it has come under pressure. While the trial is progressing with a modified design, the execution is facing challenges as patients have been missing doses and site visits due to COVID-19. Up to one month of medication can be missed per protocol and the implementation of home infusions has been lessening, but on-site evaluations are essential because they are required for mSWAT measurements and can’t be performed remotely. The implications? A data readout will most likely come later than previously expected.Representing Oppenheimer, 5-star analyst Leland Gershell remains unphased by the delay. “Following encouraging observations of prolonged disease stabilization with cobomarsen as seen in patients with residual disease post-chemo/other treatment, MGEN is exploring an expedited path to a label for this aggressive malignancy. It plans to soon request an FDA meeting to discuss, and while hopeful that this will occur in 3Q, cautioned on delay given agency prioritization of COVID-19-directed initiatives,” Gershell said.That said, there is a bright spot for MGEN, in Gershell’s opinion. According to the analyst, there’s a significant opportunity for its MRG-229 candidate in IPF because similar to remlarsen, “this candidate is an miR-29 mimic and hence may offer utility to address fibrotic conditions (in which miR-29 is profoundly deficient).”Gershell explained “MGEN's program has NIH/Yale grant support, and recent progress triggered additional funding. MRG-229 represents a differentiated approach to IPF, a progressive and fatal lung disease poorly met by current options.” He added, “With just a $12 million EV, we believe any pipeline progress could spark interest in MGEN.”All of this led Gershell to reiterate an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on MGEN along with a $5 price target, which suggest an explosive upside potential of 632%. (To watch Gershell’s track record, click here)      Looking at the consensus breakdown, other analysts are on the same page. With 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells, the word on the Street is that MGEN is a Strong Buy. At $5.33, the average price target puts the upside potential at 680%. (See MGEN stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for biotech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 20:59:11 -0400
Wall Street Has Billions to Lose in China From Rising Strain

Wall Street Has Billions to Lose in China From Rising Strain(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street giants such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have tens of billions of dollars at stake in China as political tension risks derailing the nation’s opening of its $45 trillion financial market.Five big U.S. banks had a combined $70.8 billion of exposure to China in 2019, with JPMorgan alone plowing $19.2 billion into lending, trading and investing. That’s a 10% increase from 2018.While their assets in the country are comparatively small, they have big expansion plans there that may come undone if financial services firms are dragged into the tit-for-tat between the two countries. Not only would that cloud their growth plans, it would also threaten the income they have generated over the years from advising Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Profits in China’s brokerage industry could hit $47 billion by 2026, Goldman estimates, with foreign firms gunning for a considerable chunk. There are $8 billion in estimated commercial banking profits as well as a projected $30 trillion in overall assets to go after, also being pursued by fund giants such as Blackrock Inc. and Vanguard Group Inc.“If you’re an American financial institution and you have an approved plan to expand into China, you’re going to continue that plan to the extent that the U.S. government allows you to because you see great future profits,” said James Stent, a former banker who’s spent more than a decade on the boards of two Chinese lenders. “A U.S.-China cold war is not good for your plans to build business in China.”After years of trade war turmoil, U.S. policy makers are now starting to take aim at the financial industry amid growing skepticism over American firms plowing money into a country perceived as a big geopolitical foe. Policy makers and lawmakers are looking at restricting U.S. pension fund investments in Chinese companies and limiting the ability of Chinese companies to raise capital in the U.S.A body advising the U.S. Congress this week questioned Wall Street’s push, saying lawmakers need to “evaluate the desirability of greater U.S. participation in a financial market that remains warped by the political priorities of a strategic competitor.” Add to that potential sanctions against China and even its banks over the crackdown on Hong Kong, and the situation could further escalate.President Donald Trump said he’s “not happy with China” after the country passed a new security law on Hong Kong and will announce new U.S. policies on Friday. His top economic adviser said Beijing would be held accountable by the U.S.Here’s a run down on the biggest U.S. banks’ presence in China right now and their plans.GoldmanGoldman, which has spent years lobbying for control of its onshore business, won approval this year. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon has pledged to infuse its mainland business with hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital as the bank plans to embark on a hiring spree to double its workforce to 600 and ramp up a wide variety of businesses.Goldman put its “cross-border outstandings” to China at $13.2 billion at the end of last year. But its two onshore operations had capital of just 1.8 billion yuan ($251 million), making a profit of almost 300 million yuan.A spokesman for Goldman declined to comment.Morgan StanleyHosting an annual summit in Beijing with 1,900 investors and 600 companies last year, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said in a Bloomberg Television interview that the bank is in China “for the long run.” He highlighted its presence there for 25 years and its handling of hundreds of billions of dollars in equity and merger deals for Chinese businesses.Morgan Stanley won a nod to take majority control of its securities venture this year, and last year had a net exposure of $4.1 billion to Chinese clients. Its local securities unit, however, has revenue of just 132 million yuan, posting a loss of 109 million yuan last year.The bank has been overhauling senior management of the venture, installing its staff in key roles. It plans to apply for additional licenses to broaden its products and invest in new businesses, build market-making capability and expand its asset management partnership and ultimately take control.“It’s a natural evolution to bring the global investment banks into this market,” Gorman said in May last year.A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment.JPMorganThe biggest U.S. bank has been doing business in China since 1921. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has said that his firm is committed to bringing its “full force” to the country. This year it applied for full control of an asset management firm as well as a securities venture, and is expanding its office space in China’s tallest skyscraper in downtown Shanghai.JPMorgan’s China total exposure in 2019 was $19.2 billion, including $11.3 billion in lending and deposits and $6.5 billion in trading and investing.JPMorgan China’s banking unit had 47 billion yuan in assets last year and made a profit of 276 million yuan, while its newly started securities firm had capital of 800 million yuan.A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.CitigroupCitigroup Inc., which has been doing business in China since 1902, had total exposure to the country of $18.7 billion at the end of last year. Its local banking arm had total assets of 178 billion yuan, making a profit of 2.1 billion yuan.Citigroup, which is setting up a new securities venture in China, is the only U.S. lender that has a consumer banking business in the country with footprint in 12 cities including Beijing, Changsha and Chengdu.New York-based Citigroup said last month that it has doubled its overall revenue from China to more than $1 billion over the past decade.China represents 1.1% of Citi’s total global exposure and includes local top tier corporate loans and loans to US and other global companies with operations in China, a bank spokesman said.Bank of AmericaBank of America Corp., the only major bank to decide against pursuing a securities joint venture, is continuing to expand into the world’s second-largest economy. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender is looking to provide a fuller range of fixed income services in the country.Its largest emerging market country exposure in 2019 was China, with net of $15.6 billion, concentrated in loans to large state-owned companies, subsidiaries of multinational corporations and commercial banks. It followed only the U.S., U.K., Germany, Canada and France in terms of exposure for the bank.A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment.(Adds Trump comments in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 18:28:21 -0400
Costco misses on Q3 earnings estimates as coronavirus-related costs increase

Costco misses on Q3 earnings estimates as coronavirus-related costs increaseOn Thursday, Costco reported third-quarter results that missed Wall Street expectations, although total comparable sales climbed 7.8%. Myles Udland breaks down the company's quarterly report on The Final Round.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 10:05:54 -0400
Microsoft Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce Back

Microsoft Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce BackDistillate Capital recently released its Q1 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download below. The Distillate Capital’s U.S. Fundamental Stability & Value (U.S. FSV) strategy posted a return of -19.39% for the quarter (net of fees), outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index which returned -19.60% in the same quarter. You should […]

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 02:46:49 -0400
Jamie Dimon Captures the Stock Market Moment

Jamie Dimon Captures the Stock Market Moment(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Don’t fight the U.S. Federal Reserve — repeat that mantra until it sticks.Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase & Co., put it well this week. “This wasn’t the bazooka,” he said, referring to Jay Powell’s response to the coronavirus crisis. “The Fed took out the whole military and applied it. Just announcing these programs reduced spreads (the difference between corporate bond yields and their benchmarks) in the market. It’s going to save a lot of small businesses.” In the past month, the equity market’s glass has gone from pretty much empty to at least half full and that’s down to the coordinated fiscal and monetary effort from authorities far and wide. You want some quantitative easing? Please, have some more and take some for the journey home. Even those foot draggers at the European Union are talking about radical fiscal action. We won’t really see a V-shaped economic recovery, but it seems like we’ve stopped the L.Nonetheless, this is a recovery based so far on asset-price inflation rather than any economic data. Central bank and government action may have restored financial valuations but real incomes will still suffer dramatically for a long while to come. Unemployment and diminished consumption cannot be magicked away.The stock market is looking even further into the distance than usual to justify its valuations, which is sometimes hard to square away against a constant stream of dire economic statistics and evaporating company earnings. Since QE came to life during the global financial crisis, it has paid for investors to cast aside their usual forward-earnings analysis and focus instead on the rising tide of money. The central banks have learned their post-2008 lessons and have barely put a foot wrong this time. This is having uneven effects, however. The bulk of the stimulus is coming into investment-grade assets because that’s where central banks feel more comfortable. Credit spreads have recovered most in BBB and A-rated bonds. High-yield yield assets improved sharply at first, but this has abated. The spread between the yields on investment-grade debt and those of junk bonds is still nearly double the levels seen in February. Similarly, new debt issuance is motoring again but only for the better-quality names. While U.S. banks such as Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. are returning for the fifth or sixth time this year to replenish capital, the junk sector has been restricted to one-off selective deals — often with eye-watering yields.The change in stock market sentiment isn’t just about QE. The oil price collapse has come and gone and fears of a devastating second wave of Covid-19 are easing. Short-selling bans have quietly been lifted in several European countries too, and some of the recent improvement may be explained by that. The sound of economies cranking back into life can just about be made out over the whirring of the monetary printing presses, allowing even bombed-out old economy stocks to recover, not just the new technology darlings.Notably, some of the recent action has been in high-dividend stocks, which had been forced to skip shareholder payouts at the height of the crisis. Investors had feared that the dividend bans might last several years; now they think it may be a quarter or two. Many investment funds work off a dividend-yield model.Investment managers may be doing the natural thing right now and chasing the rising stock market indexes, but that doesn’t mean they’re brimful of confidence. The Bank of America fund manager survey for May shows extreme bearishness pervades, with only 10% expecting a V-shaped recovery and 68% expecting stock prices to fall. Given the recent positive news on the virus and the gradual ending of lockdowns, the June survey might be different.The fiscal response will determine how the economy recovers over the long term but the monetary triage has worked better than anyone could have expected in those ugly days of March. For that we should be grateful, and for the stock market’s semi-rational exuberance.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Marcus Ashworth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European markets. He spent three decades in the banking industry, most recently as chief markets strategist at Haitong Securities in London.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 10:22:02 -0400
Visa (V) Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce Back

Visa (V) Stock is a ‘Sell’ as Markets Bounce BackDistillate Capital recently released its Q1 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download below. The Distillate Capital’s U.S. Fundamental Stability & Value (U.S. FSV) strategy posted a return of -19.39% for the quarter (net of fees), outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index which returned -19.60% in the same quarter. You should […]

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 03:44:12 -0400
What Hong Kong Losing Its ‘Special Status’ Would Mean

What Hong Kong Losing Its ‘Special Status’ Would Mean(Bloomberg) -- Under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, the U.S. treats Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous part of China, differently than the mainland in trade, commerce and other areas. Now U.S. President Donald Trump could rescind that “special status” to punish China for recent moves to tighten its grip on the city amid a resurgence of pro-democracy street protests. In its most extreme form, that would effectively mean treating the global financial hub no differently than any other Chinese city, a seismic shift that could harm both economies at an already difficult time. China has promised countermeasures against any foreign “interference.”1\. Is the special status in jeopardy?Possibly. The president has long had the power to suspend it with an executive order, yet hasn’t. Then came an added pressure: a U.S. law passed last year requires the secretary of state to certify -- as part of an annual report to Congress -- whether Hong Kong remains “sufficiently autonomous” from Beijing to justify its unique treatment. That includes assessing the degree to which Hong Kong’s autonomy had been eroded by the government of China. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a different legal and economic system, a holdover from its time as a British colony.) On May 27, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Congress that the Trump administration no longer regarded Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China.2\. So is that the end of the special status?It’s too soon to say. Pompeo’s decision opens the door for a range of options, from visa restrictions and asset freezes for top officials to possibly imposing tariffs on goods coming from Hong Kong. Other measures could target Chinese Communist Party officials. It’s up to Trump to decide how quickly he wants to move while he’s also threatening consequences for China over its handling of the coronavirus. Hurting China also carries additional risks for the U.S. economy, including the U.S.-China trade deal that Trump had considered one of his biggest achievements, which could affect Trump’s odds of winning re-election. U.S. officials have given mixed signals about what might happen next, and when.3\. What would losing it mean for Hong Kong and China?While Hong Kong remains a key gateway from China to the rest of the world, it matters far less to the country’s fortunes than it once did. In 2019, 12% of China’s exports went to or through Hong Kong, down from 45% in 1992. China is also far less reliant on inflows of foreign capital and expertise, and has made a much lower priority of making the yuan an international currency. Nonetheless, the city still matters. Hong Kong’s open capital account and adherence to international standards of governance are unmatched by any mainland Chinese city and make it an important base for international banks and trading firms. Revoking the special status would be “the nuclear option” and “the beginning of the death of Hong Kong as we know it,” said Steve Tsang, director of the University of London’s SOAS China Institute.4\. And their financial markets?One worst-case scenario: if the U.S. treats Hong Kong no differently than any other Chinese city, why wouldn’t ratings firms and investors do the same? It’s a question posed by Deutsche Bank, which noted that S&P Global Ratings has Hong Kong three notches above China while Moody’s and Fitch have Hong Kong one notch higher. The risk is that China’s own rating gets lowered in coming years and drags Hong Kong’s with it. At the same time, equity index providers may take a fresh look at Hong Kong, which is currently in the MSCI World Index with other developed markets. China is in the emerging market index, raising the question, should Hong Kong be treated the same as Shanghai and Shenzhen?5\. What about for the U.S.?It has its own reasons for not rocking the boat too much. Hong Kong, the only semi-democratic jurisdiction under Chinese rule, offers U.S. companies a relatively safe way to access the Chinese market and employs a U.S. dollar peg, linking it with the American financial system. According to the Congressional Research Service, the largest U.S. trade surplus in 2018 was with Hong Kong — $31.1 billion. Some 290 U.S. companies had regional headquarters in the city that year and another 434 had regional offices, it said. Hong Kong’s first justice minister after the handover to China in 1997, Elsie Leung, told the South China Morning Post in May that any damage would be mutual: “We are not just getting the benefits – it’s a free-trade arrangement which is good for both sides.”6\. And more broadly?Pompeo’s decision, let alone any sanctions or move to rescind the special status, will further strain the relationship between the U.S. and China, already under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, the Hong Kong protests, an ongoing trade war and other issues. In addition to the annual review of Hong Kong’s trading status, the new law requires the president to freeze U.S.-based assets of, and deny entry to the U.S. by, any individuals found responsible for abducting and torturing human rights activists in Hong Kong. Such sanctions could come sooner than a suspension of the trading status, and would obviously complicate things further.7\. How autonomous is Hong Kong?When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China, the Chinese government pledged that the city would have a “high degree of autonomy” in its legal and economic affairs for 50 years, under an arrangement known as “one country, two systems.” The 2019 U.S. report on conditions in Hong Kong said the city’s autonomy was “sufficient -- although diminished.” After the protests erupted in June 2019, the State Department said that “continued erosion” of Hong Kong’s autonomy put its “long-established status in international affairs” at risk.8\. How has China responded?A day after Pompeo declared Hong Kong no longer autonomous, Chinese lawmakers approved the draft national security legislation for Hong Kong anyway. “Hong Kong is purely China’s internal affair,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in Beijing earlier, promising to take “necessary countermeasures” against any “interference” by “external forces.” China said last year it would sanction some U.S.-based activist groups including the National Endowment for Democracy, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House, and suspend port visits by U.S. Navy ships to Hong Kong. “China urges the U.S. side to correct its mistakes and stop any words and deeds that interfere in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal politics,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said then. The official Xinhua News Agency has dismissed as “groundless” accusations about the loss of freedom or human rights issues in Hong Kong. It also noted that the 2018 Human Freedom Index compiled by the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based think tank, ranked Hong Kong at No. 3, well ahead of the U.S. at No. 17.9\. And Hong Kong?The city’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, has defended the national security law (as has Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest tycoon). Lam also has said it would be “totally unacceptable” for foreign legislatures to interfere in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, and that sanctions would only complicate the problems in the city. (Lam was selected in 2017 by a committee of 1,200 political insiders overwhelmingly loyal to the Chinese government.) She has sought to reassure investors that the city still adheres to the rule of law and has an independent judiciary. She also has defended police actions.10\. Is this what the protesters have been seeking?As a largely leaderless movement, the Hong Kong protests have made no official request for international assistance. But some prominent activists including Jimmy Lai and Joshua Wong called on Trump to hit China hard with sanctions, even to the point of revoking the city’s special trading status. Wong had testified last year in Washington in favor of the bill, seeking to put pressure on China. On the streets of Hong Kong, some protesters have made clear their interest in U.S. support by waving American flags, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and calling on Trump to “liberate” Hong Kong.(An earlier version corrected the spelling of Pompeo in question 5)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 15:00:40 -0400
Cisco Nears $1 Billion Takeover of Software Maker ThousandEyes

Cisco Nears $1 Billion Takeover of Software Maker ThousandEyes(Bloomberg) -- Cisco Systems Inc. is in advanced talks to buy software company ThousandEyes Inc. for nearly $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.Cisco could announce a deal for the San Francisco-based company as soon as Thursday, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. No final decision has been made and talks could fall through, the people said.A representative for Cisco declined to comment. A representative for ThousandEyes didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Under Chief Executive Officer Charles Robbins, Cisco has made acquisitions to boost its software and services capabilities. He’s trying to lessen its dependence on one-time sales of expensive hardware and shift toward the recurring revenue and higher profitability of long-term contracts.ThousandEyes could complement the business it’s developed around AppDynamics, which Cisco acquired in 2017. The company regularly touts the successful integration and growth of that former startup, which provides monitoring and analysis of software applications’ performance.ThousandEyes provides so-called digital experience monitoring software, which helps companies optimize the performance of their connected devices, according to its website. The company is backed by several venture capital firms, including Sequoia Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Salesforce Ventures.It has raised $110 million in financing to date and its last known valuation was $670 million last year, according to PitchBook.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 16:16:02 -0400
Nordstrom sales plunge nearly 40% on pandemic-led store closures

Nordstrom sales plunge nearly 40% on pandemic-led store closuresMeasures to contain the coronavirus outbreak have weighed heavily on retailers, with J.C. Penney , J.Crew, Neiman Marcus and Stage Stores all having recently filed for bankruptcy. Seattle-based Nordstrom said online sales rose 5% to $1.1 billion in its first quarter ended May 2. "We successfully strengthened our financial flexibility by increasing liquidity, lowering inventory by more than 25 percent from last year and significantly reducing our cash burn by more than 40 percent from March into April," Chief Executive Erik Nordstrom said in a statement.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 12:52:59 -0400
Deutsche Bank Joins With BOE to Ask Who Owns Venezuelan Gold

Deutsche Bank Joins With BOE to Ask Who Owns Venezuelan Gold(Bloomberg) -- The lawsuits over the ownership of Venezuelan gold are starting to stack up.Deutsche Bank AG wants a judge to decide whether about 100 million pounds ($123 million) held by receivers following a terminated gold deal should be delivered to President Nicolas Maduro’s administration or one run by opposition leader Juan Guaido.The lawsuit, which had been secret, was revealed Thursday at a London hearing involving the Bank of England, which is asking a similar question. While the suits are separate, both are tied to questions surrounding the legitimacy of the Venezuelan central bank.The Bank of England, which holds gold on behalf of Venezuela, has complained that it’s “caught in the middle” of rival claims. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank wants the court to rule on the future of funds set aside after it terminated a gold swap agreement with the Venezuelan lender valued at $750 million last year.A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment.While nations including the U.S. dismissed his 2018 re-election as rigged, Maduro still controls Venezuela’s ministries, courts and armed forces. Guaido, the opposition leader, has been backed by Washington and more than 50 other countries as the nation’s legitimate interim president for the past 16 months.The Maduro-appointed Venezuelan central bank demanded that the BOE liquidate $1 billion in gold and send the funds to the United Nations Development Program, which is working with the country to prepare for an increase in Covid-19 cases. The government has stepped up its criticism of the BOE as the economic crisis deepens, saying it “pretends to rule” the country.Both suits want the court to decide whether the U.K. has formally recognized Guaido as president of Venezuela, according to a legal filing by the Guaido administration. Judge Nigel Teare said the court would decide the issue as soon as late June.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 18:00:57 -0400
President Trump signs social media executive order

President Trump signs social media executive orderPresident Donald Trump signed an executive order targeting social media companies. Yahoo Finance's Alexis Keenan breaks down the details of the executive order on The Final Round.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 17:02:24 -0400
Will Courts Reverse Earlier Ruling on Amarin Patents? Analyst Weights In

Will Courts Reverse Earlier Ruling on Amarin Patents? Analyst Weights InIt has been a rough couple of months for pharma company Amarin Corporation (AMRN). At the end of 2019, the cardiovascular health-focused name was flying high after the FDA expanded the labeling for its fish-oil derivative designed to treat high triglycerides, Vascepa. However, seasoned market watchers know that in the world of healthcare investing, all it takes is a single piece of bad news to knock a company off its pedestal.For Amarin, this blow came in the form of an unfavorable verdict on its intellectual property. In March, a district court hit the company with a judgement ruling that invalidated six key patents shielding Vascepa from generic competition on the basis of obviousness.Representing Northland Capital, analyst Carl Byrnes disagrees with the ruling, pointing to several procedural errors as well as a factual error that emerged during the litigation. According to the analyst, the procedural errors included the District Court's conclusion of obviousness before considering objective indicia and incorrectly shifting the burden of proof onto Amarin as a result of the former.Citing Graham vs. John Deere, which has been used as a standard for obviousness during the last five decades, Byrnes believes that when the U.S. Court of Appeal Federal Circuit (CAFC) hears the case for reversal, factors such as the scope and context of prior art, differences between primary art and patent claims, the level of ordinary skill in the art and commercial success will need to be reevaluated.Speaking to the factual error, Byrnes commented, “The factual error focuses on the state of the prior art relating to pure EPA which had NOT been studied in subjects with severe hypertriglyceridemia (≥500mg/dL) hence the effect of pure EPA on this population could not have been obvious. The latter is further supported, in our view, by prior arts that included several FDA-approved triglyceride-lowering therapies that dramatically raised LDLC levels in subjects with severe hypertriglyceridemia but not in subjects with less elevated triglyceride levels, with the former recognized by artisans and experts at the time to be attributable to the mechanism of triglyceride clearance in this specific population.”Even though some investors have expressed concern regarding the recent FDA approval of Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ ANDA for generic icosapent ethyl capsules, Byrnes argues that the company wouldn’t launch the product while patent litigation is still taking place, with the CAFC ruling slated for late-2020 or early-2021. It should also be noted that the FDA review of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories’ ANDA for icosapent ethyl is ongoing.As the approved and pending ANDA for generic icosapent ethyl doesn’t support the inclusion of cardiovascular risk reduction in its label, which could limit its commercial strength, the deal is sealed for Byrnes. To this end, Byrnes left an Outperform rating and $15 price target on the stock. Based on this target, shares could soar 114% in the next twelve months. (To watch Byrnes’ track record, click here)Turning now to the rest of the Street, AMRN’s Moderate Buy consensus rating breaks down into 7 Buys and 5 Holds. However, the $16.29 average price target brings the upside potential to 132%. (See Amarin stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 22:51:36 -0400
Venezuela's Maduro vows to raise gasoline price as Iranian tanker nears

Venezuela's Maduro vows to raise gasoline price as Iranian tanker nearsVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday pledged to begin charging citizens for gasoline, as the fourth cargo of a five-tanker flotilla bringing fuel from Iran approached the South American nation's exclusive economic zone. Iran is providing the country with up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components to help it ease an acute scarcity that has forced Venezuelans to wait in hours-long lines at service stations or pay steep prices on the black market. With the arrival of the gasoline, Maduro said he would end the policy of providing fuel effectively for free after more than two decades of frozen pump prices.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 17:42:07 -0400
Salesforce Q1 revenue up 30% YoY

Salesforce Q1 revenue up 30% YoYSalesforce reported a mixed bag of earnings with results of $4.87B in revenue, which is up 30% year-over-year, while guidance for the coming quarter is lighter than anticipated. The Final Round breaks down the numbers.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 13:20:06 -0400
How Novavax is pulling out all the stops to produce a coronavirus vaccine by next year

How Novavax is pulling out all the stops to produce a coronavirus vaccine by next yearIf all goes according to plan, Novavax anticipates being able to produce 100 million doses in 2020, mostly for frontline workers, and 1 billion doses by 2021.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 18:56:09 -0400
PG&E Wins California Approval of Bankruptcy Plan

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 20:00:00 -0400
Risk-on backdrop continues to drive broader AUD upturn

Risk-on backdrop continues to drive broader AUD upturnPosted by OFX AUD - Australian Dollar The Australian dollar crept higher through trade on Thursday, buoyed by a sustained risk-on backdrop and broad US dollar weakness. The rally across equity markets continued as the global economy continues to respond positively to increased activity and mobility as lockdown measures ease. The AUD … Continue reading "Risk-on backdrop continues to drive broader AUD upturn"The post Risk-on backdrop continues to drive broader AUD upturn appeared first on .

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 14:12:57 -0400
3 Compelling Gold Stocks With Strong Momentum

3 Compelling Gold Stocks With Strong MomentumGold has shown high volatility this year as traders try to react to the coronavirus crisis. The metal started the year sedately, but began to rise in February as the crisis spread out of China. As central banks inject money into the global economy via an unprecedented qualitative easing, and cut interest rates in an effort to restart economic activity, the mid- to long-term result will likely be steady increases inflation -- a favorable environment for gold. As Stifel analyst Tyron Breytenbach notes in his recent report on precious metals, “Gold has traditionally outperformed during periods of high inflation as a store of value and those producing it are likely to see the positive effect on their business.”The analyst goes on to point out that demand for physical metal is also increasing, more even than traders’ demand for the ‘spot’ price. This demand for physical gold is a natural hedge against recessionary pressures, as customers with the means to do so are seeking a solid, and reliable, way to hold their money in negotiable form. Demand is also up for physical silver, which Breytenbach points out as a difference between central bank and retail interest in precious metals.It’s clear that the stars are lining up for precious metals, and investors seeking to cash in have two routes available: they can buy physical metal, or they take a longer-term view, they can buy stock in metal producers.With this in mind, we’ve used the TipRanks database to pick out three gold mining stocks that have shown a combination of strong attractions: recent outperformance of the broader markets, high upside potential, and strong overall gains in 2020.SSR Mining, Inc. (SSRM)Vancouver based SSR Mining focuses on precious metal mining, exploration, and development throughout the Americas. The company produces gold, silver, and other minerals, and markets them for industrial, pharmaceutical, minting, dentistry, and other commercial uses. Unlike most companies, which have seen heavy losses in Q1 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, SSR Mining has seen sequential earnings gains in every quarter since Q4 2018.In the company’s most recent report, for Q1 2020, EPS rose 3% to 31 cents per share – and more importantly, beat out the 27-cent estimate by 14%. Net earnings were just one measure of success in the quarter. The company also reported reduced debt levels, and a healthy cash-on-hand balance of $398.4 million. Positive results were supported by metal production, which reached 87,969 ounces of gold and 1.8 million ounces of silver for the quarter.Also this month, SSR announced that it will enter a merger-of-equals agreement with competitor Alacer Gold. The agreement will allow the join entity to streamline operations and more efficiently allocate capital.SSR Mining has seen a dramatic spike in share value since announcing the merger and reporting Q1 earnings, rising over 50% in the past two months. B Riley FBR analyst Adam Graf notes that SSR Mining has seen headwinds recently – “As with other mines in Latin American and Canada, SSRM experienced government mandated temporary suspensions at Seabee and Puna operations.” – but that the company has the resources needed to master them. His bottom line on the stock: “We believe shares are well positioned to benefit from a rising gold price and increased investor interest as SSRM gains market cap and liquidity post the Alacer merger.”Graf backs his Buy rating with a $44 price target, implying an eye-opening 132% upside potential to the stock. (To watch Graf’s track record, click here)Not surprising, considering the high prospects here, SSRM shares have a unanimous Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on 5 recent bullish reviews. The stock is selling for $18.87, and the $25.34 one-year price target suggests room for 34% upside growth. (See SSR Mining stock analysis on TipRanks)Pretium Resources (PVG)The next stock on our list is Pretium Resources, another player in the Canadian gold mining scene. Specifically, the company owns the Brucejack mine in northern British Columbia, an asset which has produced 965,788 ounces of gold since 2017. Of that total, 82,888 ounces were produced in Q1 2020. PVG managed to continue operations in the quarter without disruption form the COVID-19 pandemic – social distancing restrictions put in place at the mine have allowed the company to report that, so far, they have no positive cases.Corporate earnings have also been health. While Q1 saw a sequential decline (in part due to high expenses incurred against the pandemic), the 14 cents reported were 16% higher than expected. This steady performance – consistent production, an effective health response, and an earnings beat – have combined to push PVG shares up 20% from their February levels. Pretium has beaten the S&P’s bear market performance by a wide margin, and the stock continues to trend upwards.Adam Graf, quoted above, also reviewed PVG. Noting the above points, he sums up this stock’s potential: “Going forward, we expect operational results to trend higher, driven by higher gold prices and rising ore grades, as well as benefit from a weakening C$ FX rate. Management maintains full year production and cost guidance… we expect the market to look at PVG with fresh eyes - awarding an improved valuation vs. the peer group.”Graf’s $27 price target back up his Buy rating, and suggests that PVG has a stellar upside potential in the coming year of 212%. Not many companies, of any sort, can match that sort of return potential.The analyst consensus on PVG is somewhat more cautious than Graf’s. The stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating, based on 4 Buys and 4 Holds. Shares are selling for $8.68, and the $11.47 average price target implies a 32.5% upside potential. (See Pretium stock analysis on TipRanks)Seabridge Gold (SA)Last on our list is Seabridge Gold, part of Canada’s huge mining industry. The company’s projects are in western and northern Canada. During Q1, Seabridge announced a revised production outlook at its KSM project, in northern British Columbia. The new outlook includes a 44-year plan to recover up to 19.6 million ounces of gold and 5.4 billion pounds of copper.SA shares saw shares climb 50% higher over the past 3 months, and one analyst is betting that this run can continue.Covering Seabridge and its gold mine potential for Roth Capital, analyst Joe Reagor writes, “We believe the PEA clearly demonstrated the impact Iron Cap has on the project economics. We also believe Seabridge will need to complete significant additional drilling to incorporate Iron Cap in a future PFS.”In line with his optimistic outlook, the analyst has raised his price target by 23%, to $21, suggesting an upside potential of 42% for the coming year. (To watch Reagor’s track record, click here)With 3 recent Buy reviews, the analyst consensus on Seabridge is another unanimous Strong Buy. Shares are currently trading at $14.75, while the average price target, of $28.43, incorporates the potential of the company’s gold reserves – and predicts a stellar 93% upside in the next 12 months. (See Seabridge stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for gold stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 02:05:54 -0400
China's rich skirting Hong Kong to seek asset safety elsewhere

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 11:34:44 -0400
ER doctor: 12-18 month coronavirus vaccine timeline 'is extremely optimistic'

ER doctor: 12-18 month coronavirus vaccine timeline 'is extremely optimistic'As the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, the search for a vaccine is not slowing down.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 12:05:58 -0400
How to possibly make easy money from Trump's battle with Twitter and Facebook

How to possibly make easy money from Trump's battle with Twitter and FacebookTry this trade on for size amidst the brewing battle between President Trump and social media companies.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 15:24:07 -0400
How Hedge Funds Traded WidePoint Corporation (WYY) During The Crash

How Hedge Funds Traded WidePoint Corporation (WYY) During The CrashThe latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F […]

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 16:58:05 -0400
These airlines are cutting workforce despite $25 billion bailout promise

These airlines are cutting workforce despite $25 billion bailout promiseMajor U.S. airlines are cutting worker hours and encouraging employees to take voluntary leave or early retirement. 

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 15:27:49 -0400
Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for May 29

Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 12:56:45 -0400
Hedge Funds Dumped Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) During The Crash

Hedge Funds Dumped Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) During The CrashWe at Insider Monkey have gone over 821 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st, near the height of the coronavirus market crash. In this article, we look at what those funds think […]

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 10:06:57 -0400
HP crushes earnings estimates on work-from-home PC demand

HP crushes earnings estimates on work-from-home PC demandYahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Alexis Christoforous discuss HP’s latest earnings report.

Yahoo! - Wed, 27 May 2020 08:23:48 -0400
3 “Perfect 10” Dividend Stocks That Tick all the Boxes

3 “Perfect 10” Dividend Stocks That Tick all the BoxesThe S&P 500 has spent the month of May bouncing in the range between 2,800 and 3,000. While the index remains 11% below its all-time high, there is a cautious sense of optimism, that the worst of the bear market is behind us.Investors may be feeling upbeat, and anticipating a recovery in 2H20, but times are still volatile. To make sense of them, TipRanks offers the Smart Score, a comprehensive tool which analyzes every stock in the TipRanks database according to 8 interrelated factors. The data is measured and collated by sophisticated AI algorithms, and used to generate a single score for each stock. Shown on a 1 to 10 scale, the Smart Score is based on analyst, blogger, and investor sentiment, and collective indicators such as hedge activity and insider trading. Today, we’ll look at three high-yield dividend stocks that have earned a ‘perfect 10’ from the Smart Score. For investors seeking a clear forward path, the data shows that these are the picks most likely to bring solid returns. Each of these stocks combines its perfect Smart Score with a reliable dividend history, giving investors a secure income stream. Let’s dive in.Bunge, Ltd. (BG)First up is Bunge, an important company in the world’s food and agriculture food chain. Chances are, the food you eat depends on Bunge. The company specializes in oils and milled grains used by commercial brands and restaurants around the world. Bunge also deals in storage, transport, and processing of raw materials for end products in high-protein livestock feed. Other operations include corn, sugarcane, and wheat growing and processing.Since we all need to eat, Bunge benefits from occupying an essential niche. Even so, the coronavirus pandemic found ways to hit the company. The various lockdown and shutdown policies enacted globally in Q1 slowed restaurant and commercial food businesses almost to a halt. BG saw reported income swing from a $1.27 per share profit in Q4 to a $1.34 per share net loss in Q1. BG shares have underperformed in recent months, and are still down 31% from February levels.Despite the earnings slide, Bunge’s management has chosen to maintain the company’s dividend – a dividend that has been paid out regularly since 2001. At 50 cents quarterly, the current payment annualizes to $2.00, and gives an impressive yield of 5.65%. This is almost triple the 2% average yield found among peer companies in the industrial good sector.The Smart Score on BG shares gets its boost from the ‘sentiment’ factors. As may be expected in a difficult market environment, the technical and fundamental analysis factors are negative – but insiders have purchased $9.9 million worth of BG shares in recent months, and hedge fund activity has also increased. The professional stock watchers, both analysts and bloggers, are also strongly positive on this stock. These upbeat indicators outweigh the negatives in this case.Covering BG shares for BMO Capital, 5-star analyst Kenneth Zaslow writes, “BG remains our "Top Pick" for 2020, as BG's underlying business fundamentals relative to its value appear to be largely misunderstood… BG’s internal operational improvements, nimble risk management framework, and underlying fundamentals enable BG to maintain its Agribusiness outlook… Despite BG's stock reaction, BG's economic earnings reduction represents less than 5% on EBITDA (i.e., majority is non-cash) and likely is temporary.”In line with his position that this stock has a fundamentally sound foundation, Zaslow gives it a Buy rating. His $72 price target indicates his confidence, suggesting a 91% upside in the coming year. (To watch Zaslow’s track record, click here)Wall Street is in general agreement that Bunge represents a buying opportunity. The Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is based on 4 reviews, including 3 Buys and a single Hold. Shares are priced at $35.53, while the average price target of $57.50 implies a health upside of 61%. (See Bunge stock analysis at TipRanks)Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP)Next up, Hudson Pacific, is a real estate investment trust, a type of company well-known for offering high-yield dividends. REITs operate by buying, managing, and leasing a range of residential and commercial properties, or by offering and investing in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. HPP focuses on office space, in the lucrative Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver markets. The company’s assets include 15 million square feet of leasable office space, located in prime high-tech development areas. Among Hudson’s clients are Alphabet and Netflix.Q1 has been difficult for the REIT sector. With economic activity mainly shut down, business income streams have slowed to a trickle – which trickles down, as no income makes expenses, like rent, hard to meet. HPP reported EPS of 54 cents in Q1, down 2% from Q4, and Q2 is forecast at 50 cents. The company has maintained its dividend during the downturn – but this is no surprise, as the payout ratio is only 46% and REITs are required by tax code to return a high proportion of profits directly to shareholders. The 25-cent quarterly dividend represents a yield of 4.7%, more than double that found among peer companies.Hudson shares many of the same Smart Score advantages as Bunge, above. Analyst and blogger sentiment are both positive, and hedge and insider purchases are both increasing. While most of the technical and fundamentals are in the red, one of them – asset growth – is highly positive. Asset growth is up 6.39% over the past 12 months. All of this adds up to a perfect 10 on the Smart Score.Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Goldfarb is deeply impressed by HPP’s potential looking forward. He sees the company as uniquely well-positioned to benefit as the economy reopens: “We are even more bulled up by the prospects of increased demand for HPP's studio and media-oriented assets coupled with its ability to re-imagine space for the gaming and entertainment industries. HPP stands alone in its material exposure to these industries (17% ABR to media and entertainment), which have a pressing need to return to production for new content in the wake of the binge consumption occurring during COVID... With talent hesitant to travel, car-loving LA makes HPP well positioned to not only re-open soon but also with the office product in high demand.”Goldfarb puts a Buy rating on HPP, and his $28 price target implies a healthy upside potential of 21% for the coming 12 months. (To watch Goldfarb’s track record, click here)The Street’s consensus on HPP is a Strong Buy, based on 5 Buy ratings and 1 Hold set in recent weeks. Hudson’s shares are selling for $23.14, and the average price target is slightly more bullish than Goldfarb’s; at $28.20, it indicates a 22% upside potential. (See Hudson Pacific stock analysis on TipRanks)CVS Health Corporation (CVS)Last on our list is a company you’re likely familiar with. CVS is well-known for its pharmacy chain, an asset that has proven especially valuable in the current climate. Unlike most companies – and the overall market – which saw declines in Q1 2020, CVS actually reported a quarterly earnings sequential gain. While the company had been expected to show a decline to $1.62 per share, EPS was reported at $1.91. This was up 10% from Q4, and an even stronger 19% year-over-year. The demand for pharmacy goods and service should be obvious to all.Solid earnings support a solid dividend. CVS is paying out 50 cents quarterly, or $2 per year, on each share. The company has kept its dividend payments reliable for the last 15 years, in good times or bad, adding to the dividend’s allure. The current yield is 3.2%, which beats the 2.5% average yield found among peers in the consumer goods sector.The Smart Score for CVS includes favorable views from analysts and bloggers, and heavy purchase activity from insiders and hedges. A good example of the positive analyst sentiment comes from Credit Suisse analyst A.J. Rice. Rice has upgraded his stance on this stock, raising his view from Neutral to Buy. His $75 price target suggests room for a solid 17% upside this year. (To watch Rice’s track record, click here)Backing his view on CVS, Rice writes, “CVS’ Pharmacy Services Segment is Outperforming Expectations, as PBM Selling Season Shaping up Nicely. CVS is seeing an easing of rebate guarantee pressures which it saw peak in 2019, become less of a headwind in 2020, and are expected to be de minimis in 2021… CVS has remained on track-to-ahead of its synergies, modernization, and transformation initiatives, which could provide future upside.”CVS shares have 13 recent reviews, breaking down to 10 Buys and 3 Holds and making the analyst consensus rating a Strong Buy. Shares are trading for $64.64, and the average price target of $79.50 implies a strong 23% upside potential for the stock over the next one year. (See CVS stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 17:23:05 -0400
Salesforce Cuts Revenue, Profit Forecasts; Shares Decline

Salesforce Cuts Revenue, Profit Forecasts; Shares Decline(Bloomberg) -- Inc. trimmed its annual revenue and profit forecasts, indicating that the coronavirus-induced recession has weakened demand for the software maker’s cloud applications. Shares declined 4% in extended trading on the news.Sales in fiscal 2021 will be about $20 billion, down from an earlier projection of as much as $21.1 billion, the San Francisco-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts, on average, estimated $20.7 billion.The company expects profit, excluding some items, of $2.93 to $2.95 a share, compared with analysts’ projection of $3.14.Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff, now heading the company solo after co-CEO Keith Block stepped down from his post in February, pledged in March that Salesforce wouldn’t conduct major job cuts for 90 days, and encouraged other CEOs to make the same promise. Earlier this month, the company unveiled software to help businesses safely reopen their offices with systems that manage employees’ shifts and facility cleaning schedules.“The guidance is a bit disappointing when everyone is watching to see how Salesforce does because it’s going to be a bellwether for a lot of other folks,” Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst at Valoir Inc., said in an interview. “It reflects the difficult times right now.”Shares fell to a low of $172.72 in extended trading after closing at $181.10 in New York. The stock has climbed 11% this year.In the fiscal first quarter, sales increased 30% to $4.87 billion from a year earlier. Adjusted profit was 70 cents a share.“Our results, amidst this global crisis, demonstrated our ability to execute at speed, innovate at scale and the strength of our business model,” Benioff said in the statement.Revenue from Sales Cloud, the flagship product, increased 16% to $1.25 billion. The company leads the market for sales-tracking software, but growth rates have slowed over time.Service Cloud sales increased about 23% to $1.25 billion in the period ended April 30, narrowly surpassing Sales Cloud. The software maker offers this tool so companies can communicate with field employees and customers, an area where it faces competition from ServiceNow Inc., Zendesk Inc. and others.(Updates with comments from analyst in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 19:36:35 -0400
Dell Reports Steady Sales, Profit on Corporate PC Demand

Dell Reports Steady Sales, Profit on Corporate PC Demand(Bloomberg) -- Dell Technologies Inc. reported quarterly revenue and profit that were better than projected on greater sales of personal computers to businesses with employees working from home, even while server demand waned. Shares jumped 7% in extended trading.Revenue was $21.9 billion in the period that ended May 1, little-changed from a year earlier, the Round Rock, Texas-based company said Thursday in a statement. On average, analysts estimated $20.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dell generated profit, excluding some items, of $1.34 per share, easily beating analysts’ projection of 95 cents.Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell has been the architect of a strategy to offer diversified information technology. The company makes PCs, data-center hardware, cybersecurity products and other software. The resulting empire was saddled with debt, which the company has prioritized paying down to have an investment-grade credit rating. Dell reported it repaid $5.4 billion in debt during the fiscal first quarter, leaving it with $48.4 billion in long-term debt.To save costs during the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Dell has frozen hiring, raises, promotions and contributions to its employees’ 401(k) retirement plans, Bloomberg News reported this month. During Donald Trump’s tenure as president, Dell has shifted its supply chain away from China where possible to avoid the worst effects of the trade war with the U.S. That decision looks to have paid off, with Dell’s PC business holding up better than that of rival HP Inc., which on Wednesday reported declining PC sales partly due to supply disruptions.In a conference call after the results, Sweet said revenue in the current period would be “seasonally lower” than in prior years. Usually, sales in the three months ending in July are higher than in the fiscal first quarter, but that may not happen this year. Dell withdrew its forecasts in March and Sweet didn’t offer any further guidance on Thursday.“We’re all navigating through a difficult time right now, but our focus has been on let’s get through this, let’s do the right thing and then let’s position the company properly to take advantage of the opportunities post-crisis,” Chief Financial Officer Tom Sweet said in an interview. Among those opportunites, he said, are demand from the explosion of data, new fifth-generation wireless networks and edge computing, in which servers are located closer to customers rather than at far-way centers.Dell also said it would suspend a share-repurchase plan announced in February that was valued at $1 billion over two years.Shares reached a high of $49.74 in extended trading after closing at $45.58 in New York. The stock has dropped 11% this year.Fiscal first-quarter revenue in Dell’s personal computer division, called the Client Solutions Group, climbed 2% to $11.1 billion from a year earlier. Dell said there was “double-digit unit and revenue growth” in laptops sold to businesses in the quarter as well as “high-single-digit revenue growth” in mobile workstation computers. Overall, the commercial PC business gained 4% to $8.63 billion. Consumer PC sales declined 5% to $2.47 billion.Sales in Dell’s data-center hardware unit, called the Infrastructure Solutions Group, dropped 8% to $7.57 billion. Servers and networking gear sales fell 10% while storage hardware dipped 5%. The company attributed the drop to customers spending more on “remote work and business continuity solutions” rather than server farms.VMware Inc., the publicly traded software maker that Dell owns more than 80% of, saw revenue advance 12% in the first quarter, to $2.8 billion.(Updates with comments from CFO in the sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 12:26:14 -0400
U.S. major airlines roll out more options to avoid staff layoffs

U.S. major airlines roll out more options to avoid staff layoffsAround 100,000 employees of American Airlines Group Inc , Delta Air Lines Inc and United Airlines Holdings Inc have already accepted offers for temporary or permanent leaves, the companies have said. If airlines furlough too many workers, "the bounce-back is almost impossible," United Chief Executive Scott Kirby said at a conference on Thursday. United is in talks with its labor unions on voluntary options that Kirby said are focused more on the bounce-back than on "survivability."

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 18:16:17 -0400
Stock market news live updates: Stock futures open slightly lower as U.S.-China tensions simmer

Stock market news live updates: Stock futures open slightly lower as U.S.-China tensions simmerStock futures opened slightly lower Thursday evening, extending losses from the regular session as investors eyed renewed tensions between the U.S. and China.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 19:00:00 -0400
U.S. Shale Is Living Beyond Its Means

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 12:06:09 -0400
Bills You Don't Have to Pay During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 22:05:10 -0400
Personal income and spending data: What to know in markets Friday

Personal income and spending data: What to know in markets FridayThe spotlight Friday will be on the U.S. economy when the Bureau of Economic Analysis released April personal income and spending data.

Yahoo! - Thu, 28 May 2020 19:07:10 -0400
Twitter Has Little to Fear From Trump

Twitter Has Little to Fear From Trump(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Donald Trump was at the steering wheel as we drove through the rain together on a New Jersey highway in 2005. He had recently considered taking the stage to play a politician in the Broadway comedy “La Cage aux Folles,” but he had other things on his mind as he glanced over at me.“I have one asset that I think nobody else has. And that’s that if somebody writes about me badly, I sort of own my own newspaper in a way. Like I went after you on the ‘Today’ show,” he told me. “I do have the ability to fight back in the media. I can say that, ‘You, Tim, is not smart. Is a terrible guy.’”“A total whack job,” I suggested, since he’d used that one before.“I can say that. Nobody else can,” Trump continued. “In other words, I’m the only guy who can fight back on an almost even plane. I mean, I’m not saying it’s an even plane because you may have an advantage. But I have an advantage, too. Because I’m on television every day.”He finished off his primer with a flourish: “People don’t want to read about a negative Trump. I really believe that.” Remember, this was 15 years ago and Twitter hadn’t yet been invented. Neither had Instagram or Snapchat. Facebook was still a baby. But Trump already instinctively understood one of his advantages as a ubiquitous and media-soaked mogul: He had direct access to readers and viewers and could circumvent traditional news sources to get his message out or to go into battle.Trump’s gut sensibility about how to play the media had been honed through decades of courting and jousting that, even after a series of failures, had left him as an object of interest. That led to his public rebirth on “The Apprentice” and made him ready to rock and roll once social media blossomed. Every social platform offered him the opportunity to run his own printing press and speak directly to fans and critics, but Twitter, a venue of choice for newsies, always held a special allure. And Trump, who adores basking in media attention while also being so singularly insecure that any form of criticism unspools him, has a love-hate relationship with Twitter.So it came to pass that Twitter, which has long tolerated Trump’s retweeting of racists and anti-Semites while painting his targets as everything from “skanks” to murderers, decided on Tuesday to slap fact-checking notices on a pair of bogus Trump tweets claiming that mail-in ballots lead to voting fraud. Trump, who has the November election front of mind and is reeling from an onslaught of criticism for repeatedly bungling his response to the coronavirus pandemic, would have none of that. He claimed that revenge via a federal crackdown on Twitter and other social media companies was coming.Early Thursday evening, Trump issued an executive order that seeks to strip Twitter and other social media platforms of liability protections they enjoy from lawsuits involving the content users post on their sites — including false or defamatory content. In other words, the kind of stuff Trump posts a lot on Twitter. While such a move might be self-defeating, it’s also not clear how serious Trump is about it. The order is littered with personal jibes at Trump’s enemies and the White House said it might still be revised.Trump is also reportedly planning to ask the Federal Communications Commission to make it easier for social media users to sue platforms for removing posts and other content. He also reportedly plans to ask Attorney General William Barr to convene state attorneys general to investigate social media companies for deceptive practices.“There’s nothing I’d rather do than get rid of my whole Twitter account,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday. “But I’m able to get to, I guess, 186 million people when you add up all the different accounts…. That’s more than the media companies have, frankly, by a lot.”Trump actually has about 130 million followers on his primary personal social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram) and he certainly doesn’t have more followers than all of the media companies combined, but you get the point.We’ll have to wait and see if this turns out to be Trump rattling his saber. He has a long history of threatening to sue critics and competitors and then not following through. (I was an exception.) If he decides to try to enforce the executive order, he, the FCC and his White House lawyers will face daunting legal hurdles. Trump can’t force the FCC to change existing regulations that give social media companies latitude to restrict objectionable content. And even if the FCC acts as he wishes, it may not complete its work prior to the November election, because the social media companies will unleash their own attorneys to challenge any change.The First Amendment’s broad protection for editorial discretion from government dictates applies to social media platforms. In a 2017 federal appeals court fight over net neutrality rules, none other than future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh argued that the government cannot tell companies such as Twitter and Facebook what content to post or favor.The mere whiff of a federal crackdown could have a chilling effect on the social platforms, it’s true, but that will happen only if the companies allow it. Some internecine squabbles have already popped up, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg telling Fox News that Twitter made a mistake, because no social media platform should be the “arbiter of truth.” It’s quite possible that Zuckerberg is more worried about Facebook being regulated as a news provider rather than as a technology company, or about the added hard work that would come with adequately policing his own website. But that’s a discussion for another day.None of this is really about free speech or proper regulation of social media, however. It’s about the president’s abuse of his power and his fixation on the politics informing the coming election. Also, his feelings are hurt. He’s acting out. Twitter is one of Trump’s favorite toys, and although he’s momentarily bashing it in frustration, he probably won’t go so far as to break it.Trump won’t undermine Twitter because he’s addicted to it. He revels in mainlining his thoughts into the American conversation and absorbing all the responses back into his own bloodstream. Twitter is Trump’s drug of choice, and addicts don’t break their habits so easily.(This column was updated to include new details from the White House's executive order.)This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O'Brien is a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Yahoo! - Fri, 29 May 2020 00:08:53 -0400
U.S.-China Anxiety Has Oil Trimming Biggest Monthly Gain Ever

U.S.-China Anxiety Has Oil Trimming Biggest Monthly Gain Ever(Bloomberg) -- Oil trimmed its biggest monthly advance on record as crude was swept up in the broader negative sentiment around deteriorating U.S.-China relations, even as historic supply cuts tighten the market.While futures in New York edged lower to trade near $33 a barrel, crude is still set for the biggest monthly gain in data going back almost four decades. U.S. President Donald Trump said he’ll announce new policies on China on Friday after Beijing escalated its crackdown on Hong Kong. The oil market has started to recover from a virus-led demand crash after OPEC+ began reducing output, but investors will be watching for any change when the coalition meets in early June after Russia signaled it would scale back curbs in line with the deal.“There’s volatility in the market with the escalating conflict between the U.S. and China,” said Kwangrae Kim, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. “There are also questions about whether OPEC+ producers will continue to slash their output at the current pace in coming months with prices rising and demand coming back.”A return of oil consumption to pre-virus levels -- if at all -- is likely to be long and uncertain, but refiners in China, India and South Korea are buying more crude cargoes, and demand for gasoline is climbing as people return to work. Citigroup Inc. has even predicted that a record surplus in the second quarter would flip to a record deficit over the three months from July.See also: Investors Piling Into Oil Are Ignoring Warnings on U.S. DemandThere are still concerns a second wave of infections in regions across the world could derail the fragile recovery, or that higher prices may encourage producers to pump more. In the U.S., stockpiles posted a surprise increase last week, while the four-week average of gasoline supplied to the market continued to climb as parts of the country emerged from lockdowns.Trump said he’ll hold a news conference to discuss China on Friday, but didn’t specify a time. Any measures from the U.S. would follow a move by Beijing to approve legislation that Hong Kong democracy advocates say will curtail freedom of speech and undermines the city’s independent judiciary.U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 7.93 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, compared with a Bloomberg survey forecast for a 1.91-million barrel drop. Inventories at the key storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, fell for a third week to the lowest since early April.While Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. told buyers it would reduce output in line with the OPEC+ deal, the producer group is set to meet June 9-10 to discuss if they should extend their record production cuts, or start tapering them. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman this week reiterated their cooperation.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.