Pfizer Bets on COVID-19 Vaccine Demand for Years, Sees Sales of $26 Billion in 2021

By Manas Mishra and Michael Erman

Revenue from the vaccine – developed with German partner BioNTech SE – is expected to account for more than one third of Pfizer’s full-year sales this year.

The forecast is based on already signed contracts for 1.6 billion vaccine doses to be delivered this year. The company said it expects to sign more deals for this year and is in supply talks with several countries for 2022 and beyond.

“Based on what we’ve seen, we believe that a durable demand for our COVID-19 vaccine – similar to that of the flu vaccines – is a likely outcome,” Chief Executive Albert Bourla said.

The two-shot vaccine was Pfizer’s top-selling product in the first quarter. Expenses and profit from the vaccine are split 50-50 between Pfizer and BioNTech.

Given persistent infections globally and ongoing discussions with governments, Mizuho analyst Vamil Divan said the 2021 forecast could increase further and also spill over to latter years.

Pfizer and BioNTech aim to produce up to 2.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses this year, 900 million of which are not yet included in the New York-based drugmaker’s sales forecast.

If Pfizer sells that number of doses at similar prices, the vaccine’s sales in 2021 could be more than 50% above the projected $26 billion.

Moderna In has forecast $18.4 billion in 2021 sales of its similar COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer has said it expects to profit from the vaccine, while some drugmakers including Johnson & Johnson have said their vaccine will be sold on a not-for-profit basis until the end of the pandemic.

Pfizer aims to manufacture at least 3 billion doses of the vaccine next year. It generated $3.5 billion in revenue in the first quarter, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $3.28 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue for the quarter of $14.6 billion, topped analyst forecasts of $13.5 billion.

Pfizer could use the vaccine profit to invest in research and development of other treatments and on deals to spur future growth, said Edward Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans.

The company already said it is boosting R&D spending to fuel drug discovery using the messenger RNA technology in the COVID-19 vaccine. The company is developing two flu vaccines that are expected to enter clinical trials in the third quarter.

Pfizer shares were about flat in early trading.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in Maplewood, N.J; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Bill Berkrot)

SP500 at Key Daily Support – Break It or Make It

Fundamental analysis

The U.S. is actually moving pretty close to having most Covid restrictions lifted across the country on businesses like restaurants, amusement parks, theaters, museums, music venues, etc.

There are social gathering capacity limits in some states and cities still, but those are mostly scheduled to phase out by this summer, assuming no major setbacks in getting and keeping the virus under control.

Data yesterday showed the ISM Manufacturing Index unexpectedly slid in April though the gauge remained in expansion territory for the 11th month in a row. The read of 60.7% is considered very healthy but the slowdown reveals underlying struggles to meet demand.

The supply-demand imbalance pushed the backlog of orders component to a record-high while customer inventories plunged to an all-time low. The Prices component jumped to its highest level since 2008 with all 18 industries reporting they paid higher prices for raw materials for the fourth straight month. This reflects two main competing narratives on Wall Street right now.

Bullish vs bearish expectations

Bulls believe pent-up consumer demand, underpinned by generous fiscal and monetary supports, will usher in an economic boom not experienced in a generation, which will pull corporate profits up along with it.

Bears, on the other hand, believe higher prices will continue building and eventually put a dent in the rosy expectations for growth. Federal Reserve officials continue to make the case that the current inflation trends are transitory and will ease as supply chain kinks get ironed out.

Many Wall street bears argue that higher prices will be more sticky than anticipated, particularly those that are already being passed on to consumers. Today brings both the Trade Balance Report and Factory Orders for March.

First quarter earnings also continue to flow with Pfizer among today’s highlights. Pfizer’s vaccine, developed with BioNTech, is one of the three authorized for use in the U.S. Along with Moderna,

Pfizer stands apart from rival vaccine makers Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca because they are selling their Covid-19 vaccines for profit. Pfizer reports before markets open. Today I am closely watching Zillow, Activision Blizzard, Corteva, CVS, Ferrari, Marathon, and Virgin Galactic.

Technical analysis

I have mentioned swing setup in my weekly outlook. So, today I want to focus on intraday levels. SP500 is approaching key Gann level at 4160. If price sustains below, expect to see a sell-off. On the other hand, 4225 is a bullish breakout level. It seems not easy to get there.

Neutral zone 4225 – 41160. Middle-strength level within this area – 4129.5, weak levels – 4209 and 4176.5. In case of bearish breakout, look for 4128, 4096 (middle-strength levels) and 4144, 4112, 4180 (weak levels).

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Pfizer Gains as FDA Set to Approve Vaccine for Early Teens

Shares in biopharma giant Pfizer Inc. (PFE) rallied 3% on Monday after a federal official said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to teenagers aged 12 to 15 by next week. Moreover, the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the agency is expected to approve the drug maker’s two-dose vaccine to even younger children later this year.

The announcement comes a month after a clinical trial conducted by the company showed 100% efficiency in around 2,000 early teens. Currently, the FDA has only approved Pfizer’s vaccine for emergency use in the United States for people aged over 16. The country has ordered 300 million vials of the drug maker’s shot by the end of July and administered 131 million doses so far.

As of May 4, 2021, Pfizer stock has a market value of $222.2 billion, issues an attractive 4.04% dividend yield, and trades around 6% higher over the past 12 months. Since the start of the year, the shares have added 8.2%, just shy of the S&P 500’s 11.62% gain over the same period. From a valuation standpoint, the stock trades at 12 times forward earnings, 7.7% below its five-year average multiple of 13 times.

Wall Street View

Last month, SVB Leerink analyst G. Porges lowered the investment firm’s price target on the stock to $39 from $40 but maintained his ‘Market Perform’ rating. Porges expects the pharmaceutical giant to post current quarter EPS of 80 cents, up a penny from his previous forecast.

Elsewhere, the stock receives 6 ‘Buy’ ratings and 15 ‘Hold’ ratings. Currently, no broker recommends selling the shares. Coverage has turned slightly more positive in recent months as blood clot concerns continue to plague rival COVID-19 vaccine makers. Twelve-month price targets range from a high of $53 to Street-low $36, with the median pegged at $39.

Technical Outlook and Trading Tactics

Pfizer shares staged an impressive breakout from a pennant pattern on above-average volume Monday, indicating further upside continuation in upcoming trading sessions. Furthermore, the 50-day simple moving average (SMA) crossed back above the 200-day SMA this week to form a bullish “golden cross” buy signal.

Active traders who take a long position here should target a move back up to the December 2020 high at $43.08 and manage risk by placing a stop-loss order somewhere beneath the pennant’s lower trendline.

For a look at today’s earnings schedule, check out our earnings calendar.

Will Earnings Season Bring Volatility To The Stock Market?

The Commerce Department last week reported that the U.S. economy grew at a +6.4% annual rate in the first quarter, slightly below estimates but still strong. If it would have come in real hot and much higher bears would have pointed to fanning the inflation flames even further.

This mindset of “bad-news-could-be-good-news” is helping to keep the stock market at or near all-time highs. If economic data somewhat disappoints it means the Fed stay dovish and accommodative for longer.

Fundamental analysis

That might be important to keep in mind as April data starting this week is expected to be extremely good. The April Employment Report is due next Friday and with upper-end of Wall Street estimates look for upwards of +1 million new jobs being added. Other key April data next week includes the ISM Manufacturing Index on Monday, and the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index on Wednesday.

employment

If the data comes in better than expected the bears will win the nearby battle and have the upper hand when talking higher inflation and the Fed perhaps tightening sooner than anticipated. So this week could be a bit tricky whereas “disappointing-data” could actually be digested as a win for the bulls and “strong data” a win for the bears.

The earnings calendar is packed again next week with big names including Activision Blizzard, Adidas, AllState, Cerner, Cigna, CVS, Dominion Energy, Enbridge, Etsy, Hilton Worldwide, Moderna, Monster Beverage, Nintendo, PayPal, Peloton, Pfizer, Rocket Companies, Square, TMobile, Wayfair, and Zoetis.

COVID-19

Checking in on U.S. progress against Covid-19, the number of adults that have received at least one dose is around 60%-65%, depending on the source. Global cases continue to rise led by India, where new infections have been hitting new record highs every day for weeks now. The country reported a staggering 380k new infections and 3,645 new deaths on Thursday while less than 10% of the population has been vaccinated.

Bottom line, the global restart will not be synchronized like many bulls had hoped would be the case and global growth may continue to struggle. At the moment the U.S. market doesn’t seem to care. It will be interesting to see if increasing inflation and continued global headwinds will eventually come home to roost.

SP500 technical analysis

SP500 earnings season

Earnings season can bring volatility to the stock market. At the beginning of May, cycles turn to the downside. Note, this is only a timing tool and it never shows the amplitude or strength of the move. When cycles are topping, it means we can expect a move down or choppy trading. This is it.

But relying on cycles only is not a good idea. Insider Accumulation Index shows bearish divergence on a daily chart. At the same time, Advanced Decline Line is still strong. The key resistance is around 4250 at the moment. I believe earning season can bring a profit booking to the stock market. If that happens, watch 4000 – 39500. It was a massive resistance and now it might turn into support. Intermarket Forecast is neutral. But if it turns to the downside, we will finally see a pullback in SP500.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

When the Black Swan Became White…

The rotation that had already started accelerated until the end of March: out of growth companies and into cyclicals. However, by the end of the month, investors’ appetite reverted into growth stocks and shares in the tech sector jumped again. This is the result of the recent optimism on the back of a quicker than expected economic recovery.

The fast reopening of the US economy is due to the vaccine rollout and the good news surrounding it. In addition to the available vaccines, Novavax vaccine may be approved next month by the FDA and Pfizer announced that tests showed its vaccine was safe for the 12-15 years old. President Biden’s target is now for 60% of Americans to be vaccinated by the end of the month and by that time all Americans should be eligible for vaccination. On the other side of the Atlantic, Europe is still struggling with more lockdowns and tighter restrictions, only 12-20% (depending on the country) having received the first dose.

Investors’ confidence, as well as the consumers’, was also boosted by the approval of the so expected $1.9 trillion stimulus in mid-March, and checks have already started to be received by eligible Americans.

Moreover, the last jobs report put numbers on this optimistic trend: jobs creation crushed analysts estimates, mainly coming from the leisure and hospitality sectors.

The VIX Index, which measures the market stress level, and which was itself volatile until recently, came back to pre-COVID levels, under 20, which represents a buying signal for traders.

Last month we also saw meetings of the ECB, the BoE, and the Federal Reserve who decided to leave rates unchanged and to maintain a dovish tone. The ECB and the Fed tried to reassure investors regarding inflation and rising yields. ECB chairwoman Lagarde said that the central bank will closely monitor the evolution of long-term yields, but she emphasized that it is not the ECB’s role to control the yield curve. However, after weekly bond purchases were relatively low during the first months of the year, the ECB has decided to increase them again.

On the currency side, while the yield differential is widening between the EUR and the USD, the USD strengthened last month and returned to November’s level which will help control inflation.

As for the markets movers of the first quarter, the best sector so far this year has been the Energy Sector, boosted by the performance of the oil price, +22% year-to-date. The price of oil should be sustained further, as during the last OPEC+ meeting, members agreed to maintain the same output for another month and starting from May, to gradually increase production.

On the other hand, the clean energy sector suffered outflows and a strong downside until Biden announced his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan, in which clean energy is the epicenter. The sector rebounded by 8% on the news, and if signed this summer, this plan should be incredibly supportive to all the ESG linked investments. However, as the financing should come from a corporate tax hike to 28%, a Senate majority will be hard to obtain.

Among the most negative movers so far this year, Asian, US and European investment grade bonds have all sold off since the beginning of the year. Concerning Asian bonds, the strong sell off in both local and hard currency, was especially due to an improving economy in the US but also because of a stronger USD.

Chinese equities also had a negative first quarter but presented a buying opportunity to build a long-term position, on what is still the fastest growing major world economy. Concerning US-China relations, although two major officials from both sides met in Alaska during the last month to reopen talks, two recent events may have increased tensions again. First, Biden said he will not reduce the tariffs for now and secondly China has signed a 25-year agreement with Iran on economic activity and political affairs.

Finally, at the end of the month, a financial scandal shook markets and especially the banking sector: Archegos Capital was forced to unwind some $20 billion leveraged positions, causing a $4.7 billion hit for Credit Suisse. Following this episode, the Swiss bank announced a profit warning for Q1, and some senior managers even stepped down from their roles. Other banks involved with Archegos better managed the risk of margin calls and did not miss the occasion to congratulate their risk management.

The equity markets rebound is a feat when we consider that we just “celebrated” the anniversary of the pandemic’ first wave. This is not just euphoric: the last round of companies’ earnings showed growth. In addition, as the global economy reopens, data and forecasts will also improve. Therefore, we maintain our high convictions, and lately we took advantage of the weaknesses to increase some of our niche investments.

As always, risk management combined with rigorous sector and geographical diversification will remain key factors for investment performance.

Sweetwood Capital provides asset management and investment advisory services to qualified high net-worth individuals. Our aim is to achieve consistent cash-flow generation for our clients through direct investments in transparent and liquid instruments. We offer a highly personalized service and construct investment portfolios that are calibrated to the risk vs. reward preferences of each client. Our clients do not take any counterparty risk through us as their assets are held in their own bank.

You are more than welcome to contact us to discuss our investment views or financial markets generally.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Why Pfizer Shares Keep Moving Higher?

Pfizer Video 16.04.21.

Pfizer Shares Gain Ground After CEO Says People May Need Booster COVID-19 Shots

Shares of Pfizer gained additional upside momentum after the company’s CEO Alfred Bourla stated that a third shot of the vaccine may be needed within 12 months. He also stated that annual vaccination against coronavirus may be required in the future.

If coronavirus vaccination becomes a source of recurring revenue for Pfizer and other vaccine producers, analysts will have to adjust their earnings estimates to the upside. At this point, it is not clear whether people will need regular vaccination after they receive two shots of COVID-19 vaccine, and analysts are rather conservative in their estimates.

In Pfizer’s case, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $3.32 per share in 2021 and $3.04 per share in 2022. If analysts come to the conclusion that the world will have to order more doses of the vaccine from Prizer in 2022 and beyond, earnings estimates may be changed materially.

What’s Next For Pfizer?

The recent trading sessions were very successful for producers of messenger RNA – based vaccines – Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. The recent news about potential blood clots linked to AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have provided material support to mRNA-based vaccine makers.

Today, Australia reported its first death from a blood clot which was likely linked to AstraZeneca vaccine. While researchers say that the risk of blood clots from COVID-19 is much higher than the risk of blood clots from vaccines, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines got a lot of bad press in recent days which will make it harder for governments to order them for the next year and beyond.

In this light, traders may continue to bet that producers of mRNA-based vaccines like Pfizer will gain market share which is bullish for their stocks.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Pfizer Trades Flat Amid Possible New COVID-19 Vaccine Deal with Israel

Shares in Pfizer Inc. (PFE) traded mostly unchanged Monday after the biopharmaceutical giant said it was in negotiations with Israel to supply additional COVID-19 vaccines. The discussions come five months after the drug manufacturer struck an initial deal to supply the Middle Eastern country with 8 million doses of its double-shot COVID-19 vaccine for a reported $785 million.

Israel, which currently leads the world in per-capita vaccinations, wants to secure an additional 36 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Officials say they hope to administer the extra vaccines to teenagers in the coming months and require further supplies to provide booster jabs.

“Pfizer has completed all deliveries to Israel under its initial agreement to provide its COVID-19 vaccine, signed in November 2020,” the company said in a statement cited by Barron’s. “The company is currently working with the Israeli government to update the agreement, to supply additional vaccines to the country.”

Through Monday’s close, Pfizer stock has a market value topping $200 billion and offers a healthy 4.3% dividend yield. Performance-wise, the shares trade slightly lower since the start of the year but have gained around 8% over the past year. From a valuation standpoint, the stock trades at 11.38 times projected earnings, just below its five-year average earnings multiple of 13 times.

Wall Street View

SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges lowered the investment firm’s price target on the stock to $39 from $40. However, he maintained his ‘Market Perform’ recommendation. Porges now sees full-year earnings coming in at $2.47 per share, a penny below his previous forecast of $2.46.

Most other analysts on Wall Street also have a “wait and see” approach to Pfizer. It currently receives 15 ‘Neutral’ ratings, 1 ‘Overweight’ rating, and 6 ‘Buy’ ratings. Monday’s $36.28 close represents a 7.5% premium to analysts’ 12-month median price target of $39.

Technical Outlook and Trading Tactics

Pfizer shares have remained in a steady uptrend since breaking above a multi-month trendline in early March. More recently, the price has consolidated within a pennant above the 200-day simple moving average (SMA). This indicates a continuation of the bullish momentum. Furthermore, the relative strength index (RSI) sits under the overbought threshold, giving price ample room to test higher prices.

Active traders who enter at these levels should look to book profits near the 2020 high at $43.08. Manage risk by placing a stop-loss order somewhere below the 200-day SMA.

For a look at today’s earnings schedule, check out our earnings calendar.

EU Says Pfizer to Deliver Over 200 Million Vaccine Doses in Second Quarter

The EU aims to vaccinate at least 255 million people, or 70% of its adult population, by the end of the summer.

It has faced criticism of a slow rollout amid supply delays from some drugmakers, hiccups in vaccination plans and the suspension of inoculations using the AstraZeneca vaccine due to potential health issues.

The new expected deliveries from Pfizer include 10 million doses originally expected in the third and fourth quarters, the Commission said.

“These accelerated 10 million doses will bring the total doses of BioNTech-Pfizer in quarter two up to over 200 million,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, revealing for the first time the volume of doses expected from Pfizer in the April-June quarter.

Pfizer on Tuesday confirmed the EU statement regarding second-quarter supply.

“This is very good news. It gives member states room to manoeuvre and possibly fill gaps in deliveries,” von der Leyen said.

The additional doses would be moved forward from an option of 100 million doses in a second contract the EU signed in January with Pfizer and BioNTech, the EU statement said.

In total the EU has booked 600 million doses from the two companies in two separate contracts.

It is unclear whether this announcement could lead to changes in the EU’s overall delivery forecasts. The Commission said last week it expected 300 million doses in the second quarter from all the vaccine makers it had contracts with.

The bloc in the second quarter expects 55 million doses from Johnson & Johnson and 35 million from Moderna, according to a delivery schedule published by the Italian government and an internal document on supply forecasts from Germany’s health ministry.

AstraZeneca last week announced it aimed to deliver to the 27-nation bloc 70 million doses in the second quarter from its original contractual obligation of 180 million.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold amd Francesco Guarascio; editing by Marine Strauss and Jason Neely)

Kremlin Says Pressure on Countries to Reject Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine is Unprecedented

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the remarks when asked to comment on a U.S. government report which appeared to show that the United States had tried to dissuade Brazil from buying Sputnik V.

The report, published on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), detailed the work of the U.S. Office of Global Affairs (OGA) in “combating malign influences in the Americas”.

The report outlined the agency’s diplomatic efforts to counter what it described as attempts by countries, including Russia, to increase their influence in the region, to the detriment of U.S. safety and security.

“Examples include using OGA’s Health Attache office to persuade Brazil to reject the Russian COVID-19 vaccine,” the government report said.

Kremlin spokesman Peskov declined to comment specifically on the report but said Russia was against politicizing the situation around vaccines.

“In many countries the scale of pressure is quite unprecedented … such selfish attempts to force countries to abandon any vaccines have no prospects,” he said.

“We believe that there should be as many doses of vaccines as possible so that all countries, including the poorest, have the opportunity to stop the pandemic,” Peskov said.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow referred a request for comment to the U.S. Department of State. The department did not immediately respond.

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; writing by Alexander Marrow and Polina Ivanova; editing by Andrew Osborn and Philippa Fletcher)

EU’s Breton says Pfizer can Help Offset AstraZeneca Vaccine Delays

AstraZeneca said on Friday it would try to deliver 30 million doses to the EU by the end of March, down from a contractual obligation of 90 million and a previous pledge made last month to deliver 40 million doses.

Breton told France’s Europe 1 radio that the delay was unacceptable, but that for now there were no plans to sue the company.

“The good news is that even though there are delays with AstraZeneca we won’t be late with our vaccination programme in the first quarter,” Breton said.

“Pfizer is producing more, much more than planned and is going to deliver more to us,” he added.

EU leaders have come under criticism for a slower rollout of vaccinations than in other countries such as Britain or the United States due to a longer approval and purchasing process and repeated delivery delays.

AstraZeneca’s new lower supply target hinges on the bloc’s drug regulator approving supplies from a factory in the Netherlands, an internal document showed, Reuters reported on Saturday.

Breton said that AstraZeneca had issues with testing, which were a sign of logistics problems, and urged its board of directors to take action.

He also criticized its French-born chief executive Pascal Soriot for remaining in Australia despite the problems, which he said meant he was able to visit the companies’ plants when Soriot could not.

“I won’t say that I know their factories better than them, but I’m on site,” Breton said.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, editing by Louise Heavens)

Italy’s Health Minister Expects COVID Cases to Start Falling in Late Spring

Italy, the first Western country hit hard by the pandemic, saw infections rise by 10% last week compared with the week earlier, and officials have warned that the situation is deteriorating as highly contagious variants gain ground.

“The application of more rigorous measures and the progressive rise in the number of vaccinated people make us think that already in the second half of spring (contagion) numbers will be improving,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told daily la Repubblica in an interview.

He added that the coming weeks “would not be at all easy”.

The UK variant represented 54% of cases in the latest study by Italy’s Superior Health Institute, ISS, but the percentage was expected to be higher now, the minister added.

On Friday the government imposed a nationwide lockdown over the Easter holidays and placed curbs on business and movement on most of Italy.

Speranza said vaccines in Italy and Europe were “effective and safe”, with all checks being carried out, answering a question on Italy’s ban of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Italy’s medicine authority Aifa on Thursday banned the use of one batch of the vaccine. Sources told Reuters the decision had been taken after the deaths of two men in Sicily. Aifa said earlier that the ban was a “precautionary” measure, adding that no link had been established between the vaccine and subsequent “serious adverse events.”

Italy on Saturday released its national vaccination plan, aiming to vaccinate at least 80% of its population by the end of September and administer 500,000 doses a day at full capacity.

Speranza said that Italy is expecting the delivery of 52 million doses in the second quarter of the year and that the vaccination campaign would be accelerated even with further supply delays.

So far, 6.6 million Italians have received at least one vaccine dose, with just under 2 million of them having received the required 2 doses, health ministry data shows.

(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Gold Futures Lag Far Behind the Other Three Precious Metals in Trading Today

However, at the same time, the three other precious metals that trade on the futures exchange gained value. Silver futures gained $0.19 (+0.70%) in trading today and are currently fixed at $26.625. Platinum futures gained $6.20 (+0.52%) and are currently fixed at $1191.50. Lastly, palladium futures gained $33 (+1.43%) and remained the most expensive of the precious metals complex at $2346.50.

gld 31

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The most reasonable explanation for why gold continues to underperform when valued against the other three precious metals that are traded on the futures complex is that gold has the least industrial usage when compared to platinum, palladium, and silver. That fact, coupled with the strong rally in U.S. equities markets today, is at the root of why three precious white metals have been consistently outperforming gold recently. It was another strong showing in all three major indexes, with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining 603 points (+1.95%), the Standard & Poor’s gained 90.67 points (+2.38%), and the NASDAQ composite gaining 398 points (+3.010%).

While it has been recent gains in Treasury yields that led to the strong selling pressure witnessed in gold last week, the primary factor moving equities higher and gold pricing lower is data that suggests that the economy in the United States is gaining momentum that is resulting in a rally in stocks on the first trading day of March.

As reported in MarketWatch, Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, said, “Increasingly, it appears that the economy sidestepped a feared hard-landing despite a period of soft consumer spending that contributed to negative conditions for parts of the service sector and a surge in layoffs. If anything, it appears that manufacturers may have benefited from consumer spending habits that favored goods over services in recent months.”

One recent development has been the emergency use approval by the CDC of the Johnson & Johnson one shot coronavirus vaccine, which was greenlighted by the FDA last week. In fact, J&J began shipping their vaccine today, beginning with four 4 million doses. While not as effective as the other two primary vaccines granted emergency use (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), the J&J vaccine is stable when stored in a refrigerator for three months and requires only one shot. Many medical professionals believe that this potentially could be key to the rural areas of the United States, which makes it difficult to ship and store the other vaccines at subzero temperatures.

These developments, when coupled with the passage in the Congress last week of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid package, have has shifted market sentiment towards the risk-on asset class rather than the safe-haven assets.

For more information on our service, simply use this link.

Wishing you, as always, good trading and good health,

Gary S. Wagner

 

Stocks Move Higher At The Start Of The Month

The Market Is Set To Rebound After Sell-Off

S&P 500 futures are up by about 1% in premarket trading as traders look ready to buy stocks after the recent sell-off.

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package which will now go to the U.S. Senate. The package includes $1,400 stimulus checks which are expected to boost consumer spending and push prices higher.

The yields of U.S. government bonds began to move higher after the recent pullback as traders remained focused on the threat of higher inflation. That said, inflation expectations have failed to put any material pressure on the stock market today. Tech stocks like Tesla or Amazon look ready to rebound after the recent weakness, and the market’s mood is clearly bullish at the start of this month.

Oil Gains Ground On Vaccine Optimism

WTI oil is currently trying to settle back above the $62 level as traders bet that Johnson & Johnson vaccine will provide additional support to recovery in the longer-term.

FDA has recently approved the company’s coronavirus vaccine which is the first one that requires just one shot. This is the third vaccine which has been approved in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are distributed in two doses.

At this point, the supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccine is limited, but it will significantly increase in the upcoming months which is bullish for oil.

Manufacturing PMI Reports Show That The  Manufacturing Segment Continues To Recover

Today, traders will have a chance to take a look at the final reading of U.S. Manufacturing PMI report. Analysts expect that Manufacturing PMI declined from 59.2 in January to 58.5 in February.

Other countries have already published their PMI reports which indicated that the recovery in the manufacturing segment was stronger than expected. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI grew from 54.8 to 57.9 compared to analyst consensus of 57.7. In the UK, Manufacturing PMI increased from 54.1 to 55.1 compared to analyst consensus of 54.9.

If U.S. Manufacturing PMI exceeds analyst expectations, the market may get additional support.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Why Pfizer Shares Are Trading At Yearly Lows?

Pfizer Video 26.02.21.

Pfizer Shares Continue To Move Lower

Shares of Pfizer are currently trying to settle below yearly lows at $33.54 as the stock continues its downside trend which was established at the beginning of the year.

Pfizer stock gained additional downside momentum after the company released its fourth-quarter earnings report in early February. Pfizer’s revenue of $11.7 billion beat analyst estimates, but GAAP earnings of $0.10 per share were below analyst expectations.

Pfizer and BioNTech have recently announced that they would study a booster to their vaccine as the companies want to evaluate the effectiveness of a third dose against evolving variants of the virus. Pfizer’s CEO has also stated that people may have to take COVID-19 vaccines every year, like flu vaccines, which greatly increases the long-term valuation of the coronavirus vaccine market.

What’s Next For Pfizer?

It looks like the market is not ready to buy into the vaccine story despite the continued problems on the coronavirus front and the potential for recurring revenue in case of annual vaccinations.

The company is currently valued at about 11 forward P/E and is yielding more than 4.5% which may attract value seekers and income-oriented investors. At the same time, the recent increase in U.S. Treasury yields may have put additional pressure on stocks like Pfizer which are often used as a substitute to bonds as such stocks offer low volatily and stable dividends.

While vaccine optimism helped to push Pfizer shares to highs at the $43 level at the beginning of December, this optimism evaporated as competition increased while Pfizer’s vaccine requires ultra-cold temperatures for storage. FDA has recently stated that frozen vials of the vaccine can be stored at typical pharmaceutical freezers for up to two weeks, but this news had no positive impact on the stock.

At this point, it looks like Pfizer shares will need additional positive catalysts to get out of the current downside trend. The company’s disappointing fourth-quarter report and rising Treasury yields have put the shares under significant pressure so traders will need significant reasons to change their mind on Pfizer.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

US Stock Market: Boosted by Optimism Over Earnings, Stimulus Talks, Progress in Vaccine Rollouts

The major U.S. stock indexes finished higher on Friday, boosted by optimism over earnings, stimulus talks and progress in vaccine rollouts. Wall Street wrapped up a strong week as investors hoped a disappointing January jobs report would increase the likelihood of further stimulus.

The S&P 500 Index closed higher for a fifth straight session, its longest winning streak since August. Additionally, the benchmark index and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite posted record closing highs for a second day.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Friday, the S&P 500 Index settled at 3886.83, up 15.09 or +0.40%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 31148.24, up 92.38 or +0.31% and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 13856.30, up 78.56 or +0.59%.

Payrolls Disappoints, Unemployment Rate Improves

A smaller-than-expected rebound in the labor market last month highlighted the need for more government aid to shore up the economy. The Labor Department’s data showed job losses in manufacturing and construction, the two sectors that have been propping up the economy. Job losses in December were also deeper than initially thought.

The Labor Department said the U.S. added 49,000 jobs in January, slightly below the 50,000 payrolls expected by economists. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, better than projections of 6.7%. December’s numbers were revised much lower, with the month posting a loss of 227,000 from the initial reading of 140,000 jobs lost.

Solid Earnings Season So Far

Wall Street was also in the middle of a solid earnings season. Of the 184 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported to date, 84.2% topped analyst expectations, according to Refinitiv.

So far, stronger-than-expected corporate results in the fourth quarter have driven up analysts’ expectations, and S&P 500 companies are on track to post earnings growth for the period instead of a decline as initially expected.

Democrats Move Biden’s Stimulus Package Forward

The Senate passed a budget resolution early Friday, as Democrats move forward with the process to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill without Republican votes. The package includes $1,400 stimulus checks, a supplemental jobless benefit and COVID-19 vaccine and testing funds.

President Joe Biden on Friday warned that Republican efforts to pass a smaller bill would only prolong the economy’s path to recovery.

Volatility Eases

The CBOE Volatility Index, known as the VIX, has fallen more than 12 points this week to around 21 Friday with a speculative trading frenzy dissipating. Some on Wall Street believe if the fear gauge breaks below 20, it could send a big “risk on” signal as the level would trigger buying from algorithmic traders and other big players.

Shares of GameStop Corp, caught in the recent social media-hyped trading frenzy, was higher on Friday, after online broker Robinhood lifted all the buying curbs imposed at the height of the battle between amateur investors and Wall Street hedge funds.

Vaccination News

The Biden administration is exploring every option for increasing manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is under regulatory review, and said on Friday that currently expected levels of early doses were less than hoped.

J&J applied on Thursday for U.S. emergency use authorization. It expects to have some vaccine ready for distribution as soon as authorized but has not said how much.

The White House has invoked the Defense Production Act to help Pfizer Inc ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production and that “every option” was on the table to produce more Johnson & Johnson vaccine should it be authorized.

Officials have said that one J&J’s vaccine is authorized, it would mean that millions more doses would be available to states. The vaccine is one-shot, as opposed to Pfizer’s and Moderna Inc’s two-dose vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Earnings to Watch Next Week: Pfizer, Alibaba, Amazon, Alphabet and Qualcomm in Focus

Earnings Calendar For The Week Of February 1

Monday (February 1)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, NXP SEMICONDUCTORS, ON SEMICONDUCTOR

VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS: The biopharmaceutical company is expected to report a profit of $2.55 in the fourth quarter, which represents year-over-year growth of 50% from the same quarter a year ago when the company reported $1.70 cents per share.

However, Wall Street forecasts the company’s revenue to grow about 12% to $1.58 billion.

“Q4 estimates for Vertex‘s CF franchise appear achievable based on recent trends. With industry-leading growth and its fundamentals largely intact despite COVID-19, we expect the current dislocation between Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ (VRTX) trading price and the value of its CF franchise to be only temporary. We would use the recent stock weakness to build a position,” said equity analysts at Cowen and Company, who also gave a price target of $300.

NXP SEMICONDUCTORS: Eindhoven, Netherlands-based semiconductor manufacturer will post earnings of $2.11 per share in the December quarter on revenue of $2.46 billion, up from $1.98 per share on revenue of $2.30 billion same quarter last year. For the December quarter, the forecasts revenue in the range of $2.375-$2.525 billion which, at the midpoint, represents growth of 8% sequentially and 6% year-over-year.

“Management remains upbeat about near-term demand, including 2021, especially regarding its mobile chip business as the firm’s ultra-wideband connectivity solutions are rapidly gaining adoption within newer smartphones. We raise our fair value estimate to $150 from $130, and with shares trading around $134, we view shares as slightly undervalued,” said equity analysts at Cowen and Company.

ON SEMICONDUCTOR: Phoenix, Arizona-based semiconductors supplier company will post earnings of $0.28 per share for last quarter of 2020. The revenue is expected to slump 3.0% on a year-over-year basis.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE FEBRUARY 1

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
TMO Thermo Fisher Scientific $6.52
OTIS Otis Worldwide Corp $0.59
RYAAY Ryanair -$1.11
ON ON Semiconductor $0.28
AEIS Advanced Energy Industries $1.34
ITUB Itau Unibanco $0.10
CACC Credit Acceptance $7.22
WWD Woodward $0.68
NXPI NXP Semiconductors $2.11
RMBS Rambus $0.25
ARE Alexandria Real Estate Equities $0.48
KRC Kilroy Realty $0.36
CRUS Cirrus Logic $1.86
OMCL Omnicell $0.80
KMPR Kemper $1.55
PCH Potlatch $1.37
KMT Kennametal $0.09
FN Fabrinet $1.04
IBTX Independent Bank $1.33
CBT Cabot $0.87
VRTX Vertex Pharmaceuticals $2.55
BKRKY Bank Rakyat $0.17
BECN Beacon Roofing Supply $0.63
LBRDK Liberty Broadband Lbrdk $1.06
IX Orix $1.95
RBC Regal Beloit Corporation $1.57
MFG Mizuho Financial $0.08

 

Tuesday (February 2)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: PFIZER, ALIBABA, AMAZON, ALPHABET

PFIZER: The world’s largest pharmaceutical giant is expected to report a profit of $0.52 in the fourth quarter, which represents a year-over-year decline of about 5.4% from the same quarter last year when the company reported $0.55 per share.

The pharmaceutical company, which ranked 64th on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue, will report revenue of $12.85 billion, up 1.3% from the year-ago quarter. According to chief executive officer Albert Bourla, Pfizer is likely to post this year’s earnings in the range of $3 to $3.10 per share.

“We lowered our 4Qe revenue by 5% from $11.6B to $11.0B and EPS by 6% from $0.40 to $0.38 to reflect lower doses delivered in 4Q. We lowered our 4Q COVID vaccine revenues from $683M to $150M (assuming $19.50/dose). Our prior model assumed 35M doses, which we lowered to 7.7M doses based upon CDC distribution allocations,” said David Risinger, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Our 4Q projections are well below consensus, but we do not see 4Q results as a stock driver given all of the confounding factors. We are instead focused on management’s 2021 targets.”

ALIBABA: The largest online and mobile e-commerce company in the world is expected to earn $2.65 per share for the third quarter, according to equities analysts at Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer also set EPS estimates for FY2021 at $7.48 and FY2022 at $9.33.

The Chinese multinational technology company has surpassed consensus estimates with an average of about 25% in all four previous quarters.

“We expect healthy GMV growth of 16% to drive core of core revenue growth of 18% on better monetization, but slower adjusted EBITA growth of 11% due to continued investment in new initiatives. Stay Overweight on F2022e non-GAAP P/E of 19x; lower price target to $320,” said Gary Yu, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We forecast total revenue of Rmb216bn (+33.8% YoY, +39.3% QoQ), non-GAAP EBITA of Rmb61.5bn (+21.4% YoY, +49.2% QoQ) with margin at 28.5% and non-GAAP net profit of Rmb57.2bn (+17.7% YoY, +16.1% QoQ) with margin at 26.5%.”

AMAZON: The eCommerce leader for physical and digital merchandise is expected to report a profit of $7.16 in the fourth quarter, which represents a year-over-year decline of over 10% from the same quarter last year when the company reported $6.47 per share.

The Seattle, Washington-based multinational technology giant will report revenue of $120.4 billion, up over 37% from the year-ago quarter. The company expects net sales between $112- $121 billion during the quarter.

Amazon‘s high-margin businesses continue to allow Amazon to drive greater profitability while still continuing to invest (last-mile delivery, fulfilment, Prime Now, Fresh, Prime digital content, Alexa/Echo, India, AWS, etc),” noted Brian Nowak, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Amazon Prime membership growth drives recurring revenue and a positive mix shift. Cloud adoption hitting an inflection point. Advertising serves as a key area for both further growth potential and profitability flow-through.”

ALPHABET: The parent of Google and the world’s largest search engine, which dominates Internet search activity globally will post earnings of $15.68 per share for last quarter of 2020. The consensus mark for revenues is pegged at $44.09 billion, implying growth of 17.3% from the year-ago reported figure, according to ZACKS Research.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE FEBRUARY 2

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
HOG Harley Davidson $0.21
WAT Waters $2.87
ST Sensata Technologies $0.78
HUBB Hubbell $1.76
LITE Lumentum Holdings Inc $1.89
AMG Affiliated Managers $3.68
HAE Haemonetics $0.65
MAN ManpowerGroup $1.14
GPK Graphic Packaging $0.27
ABG Asbury Automotive $4.11
ATHM Autohome $9.54
MDC MDC $1.73
PFE Pfizer $0.52
XOM Exxon Mobil $0.01
UPS United Parcel Service $2.14
BP BP $0.08
HCA HCA $3.57
RACE Ferrari $1.24
EMR Emerson Electric $0.68
ETN Eaton $1.21
COP ConocoPhillips -$0.25
IDXX Idexx Laboratories $1.39
SYY Sysco $0.34
MCK McKesson $4.14
MPC Marathon Petroleum -$1.27
SIRI Sirius XM $0.06
MPLX MPLX $0.63
CTLT Catalent $0.55
BR Broadridge Financial Solutions $0.71
ENTG Entegris $0.66
TECH Bio Techne $1.37
BEN Franklin Resources $0.72
LII Lennox International $2.65
MMP Magellan Midstream Partners $0.85
BABA Alibaba $20.59
SANM Sanmina $0.81
MTCH Match Group $0.50
DOX Amdocs $1.14
MANH Manhattan Associates $0.32
POWI Power Integrations $0.44
MKL Markel $9.04
TENB Tenable Holdings Inc $0.05
FEYE FireEye $0.10
EPAY Bottomline Technologies $0.28
ATGE Adtalem Global Education Inc $0.67
MRCY Mercury Systems $0.51
BRKS Brooks Automation USA $0.42
GL Globe Life Inc $1.72
APAM Artisan Partners Asset Management $1.02
AMGN Amgen $3.39
CB Chubb $2.82
EA Electronic Arts EA $2.94
CMG Chipotle Mexican Grill $3.73
PKI PerkinElmer $2.95
STE Steris $1.52
AMCR Amcor PLC $0.17
FBHS Fortune Brands Home Security $1.16
ATO Atmos Energy $1.57
BCH Banco De Chile $0.31
AMZN Amazon $7.16
GOOG Alphabet $15.70
GOOGL Alphabet $15.68
SMFG Sumitomo Mitsui Financial $0.19
ASEKY Aisin Seiki Co $1.19
SNE Sony $0.80
RCL Royal Caribbean Cruises -$5.04
TDG TransDigm $2.09
IT Gartner $0.82
QGEN Qiagen $0.66
NPSKY NSK ADR $0.19
JKHY Jack Henry Associates $0.88
IPHI Inphi $0.88
SWI Solarwinds $0.25
BDC Belden $0.75
ILMN Illumina $1.10
BP BP £0.01

 

Wednesday (February 3)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: QUALCOMM

QUALCOMM: San Diego, California-based multinational corporation that creates an intellectual property, semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology is expected to report a profit of $2.10 in the fiscal first quarter, which represents year-over-year growth of over 110% from the same quarter last year when the company reported $0.99 per share.

The semiconductor company will report revenue of $80.3 billion, up over 60% from the year-ago quarter.

“We see an improvement in smartphone demand in 2021 after declining 5% in 2020 due to COVID-19. We also see 5G adding greater dollar content and supporting industry-wide handset volume growth. Qualcomm’s (QCOM) leadership in cellular technologies (3G/4G/5G) puts the company in a favourable position to maintain leading market share,” wrote Joseph Moore, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“The potential elimination of a major competitor in the Chinese market, HiSilicon, should benefit QCOM as Huawei currently does not pay royalties. To the extent competitors that do pay royalties are able to pick up market share, that would be beneficial for QCOM.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE FEBRUARY 3

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
ABBV AbbVie $2.85
LAD Lithia Motors $5.23
APTV Aptiv PLC $1.01
HUM Humana -$2.37
BIP Brookfield Infrastructure $0.10
HWM Howmet Aerospace Inc $0.17
GWW Grainger $3.84
SC Santander Consumer USA $1.10
BIIB Biogen $4.75
CHKP Check Point Software Technologies $2.11
LFUS Littelfuse $1.58
BSX Boston Scientific $0.31
DT Dynatrace Holdings $0.13
SPOT Spotify -$0.53
APO Apollo Global Management $0.50
INGR Ingredion $1.46
SMG Scotts Miracle-Gro -$0.77
CPRI Capri Holdings Ltd $0.97
MSGS Madison Square Garden Sports -$1.67
EVR Evercore Partners $1.93
EPD Enterprise Products Partners $0.50
SLAB Silicon Laboratories $0.74
ASH Ashland $0.69
MUSA Murphy USA $2.14
ALGT Allegiant Travel -$2.27
BSMX Santander Mexico Fincl Gp Sab Decv $0.14
CENTA Central Garden Pet -$0.01
RGLD Royal Gold Usa) $0.86
ALGN Align Technology $2.14
AXTA Axalta Coating Systems $0.43
THG Hanover $2.34
AFL Aflac $1.05
KLAC KLA-Tencor $3.18
MAA Mid-America Apartment Communities $0.59
GRUB GrubHub $0.07
AVB AvalonBay Communities $0.85
CTSH Cognizant Technology Solutions $0.90
VVV Valvoline Inc $0.37
RYN Rayonier $0.05
QCOM Qualcomm $2.10
LNC Lincoln National $1.92
MET MetLife $1.52
CTVA Corteva Inc -$0.05
UHAL Amerco $0.12
QRVO Qorvo $2.66
MXL MaxLinear $0.36
ANGI Angie’s List -$0.02
HI Hillenbrand $0.73
CCMP Cabot Microelectronics $1.73
UGI UGI $1.13
KLIC Kulicke And Soffa Industries $0.71
AFG American Financial $2.13
IEX IDEX $1.31
FORM FormFactor $0.39
EBAY eBay $0.83
MITSY Mitsui & Company $7.96
LGND Ligand Pharmaceuticals $0.99
RAMP Liveramp Holdings Inc $0.06
NVO Novo Nordisk A Fs $0.60
TMHC Taylor Morrison Home $0.82
AVY Avery Dennison $2.08
SAVE Spirit Airlines -$1.40
GSK Glaxosmithkline $0.62
IRBT Irobot $0.21
COTY Coty $0.09
PAG Penske Automotive $2.11
COHR Coherent $0.78
DTE DTE Energy $1.33
ENSG Ensign $0.79
FLO Flowers Foods $0.24
SKM Sk Telecom $0.22
IBA Industrias Bachoco Sab De Cv $0.63
NEU NewMarket $5.60
BBD Banco Bradesco $0.11
PYPL PayPal $1.00
NMR Nomura $0.18
BSBR Banco Santander Brasil $0.17
SAN Banco Santander $0.06

 

Thursday (February 4)

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
GPI Group 1 Automotive $5.94
ALXN Alexion Pharmaceuticals $2.58
NYT New York Times $0.34
BCE BCE (USA) $0.59
BMY Bristol-Myers Squibb $1.41
NJR New Jersey Resources $0.46
PM Philip Morris International $1.21
CMI Cummins $2.80
TPR Tapestry Inc $0.99
ARW Arrow Electronics $2.67
CMS CMS Energy Corporation $0.55
BAX Baxter International $0.75
YUM Yum Brands $1.01
CG Carlyle $0.44
CLX Clorox $1.77
AGCO AGCO $1.12
MPW Medical Properties $0.27
ABB ABB $0.18
JHG Janus Henderson Group PLC $0.73
CI Cigna $3.66
MMS Maximus $0.91
MRK Merck & Co $1.38
WEC Wisconsin Energy $0.73
XYL Xylem $0.68
TW Towers Watson $0.33
PENN Penn National Gaming $0.26
HSY Hershey $1.43
PH Parker-Hannifin $2.60
ICE Intercontinental Exchange $1.08
BSAC Banco Santander Chile $0.34
RL Ralph Lauren $1.64
SNA Snap-On $2.94
DGX Quest Diagnostics $3.98
ODFL Old Dominion Freight Line $1.57
COR CoreSite Realty $0.45
WD Walker & Dunlop $1.47
TKR Timken $0.92
IP International Paper $0.81
AME Ametek $1.03
BLL Ball $0.78
PBH Prestige Brands $0.77
ABC AmerisourceBergen $1.94
APD Air Products & Chemicals $2.18
LEA Lear $3.43
LANC Lancaster Colony $1.48
PTON Peloton Interactive, Inc. $0.08
SU Suncor Energy USA -$0.17
SKX Skechers USA $0.32
MTD Mettler Toledo International $8.72
PCTY Paylocity $0.25
ARWR Arrowhead Research -$0.22
SNAP Snap -$0.07
FTV Fortive Corp $0.62
NWSA News Corp $0.09
DECK Deckers Outdoor $7.06
EXPO Exponent $0.28
FTNT Fortinet $0.97
ALL Allstate $3.83
MDU MDU Resources $0.54
SYNA Synaptics $2.13
TDC Teradata $0.25
FLT Fleetcor Technologies $2.82
NBIX Neurocrine Biosciences $0.59
POST Post $0.71
CSL Carlisle Companies $1.16
NOV National Oilwell Varco -$0.14
GILD Gilead Sciences $2.01
WERN Werner $0.78
ESS Essex Property $1.02
CPT Camden Property $0.35
MPWR Monolithic Power Systems $1.24
WWE World Wrestling Entertainment $0.29
LPLA LPL Financial $1.33
OFC Orate Office Properties $0.38
ZEN Zendesk $0.15
MTX Minerals Technologies $0.91
PFPT Proofpoint $0.42
MSI Motorola Solutions Msi $2.74
COLM Columbia Sportswear $1.24
ATVI Activision Blizzard $1.17
F Ford Motor -$0.08
UNM Unum $1.19
HIG Hartford Financial Services $1.33
PRU Prudential Financial $2.57
DXC DXC Technology Co $0.54
KB Kb Financial $1.50
CHT Chunghwa Telecom $0.36
MCHP Microchip Technology $1.58
NWS News $0.09
AIV Apartment $0.67
SSUMY Sumitomo ADR $0.26
DB Deutsche Bank -$0.03
OHI Omega Healthcare Investors $0.41
KWHIY Kawasaki Heavy Industries ADR -$0.18
PFSI Pennymac Financial Services $5.90
TRNO Terreno Realty $0.37
BCO Brinks $1.04
VSAT Viasat $0.02
YAMCY Yamaha DRC $0.47
RDSA Royal Dutch Shell £0.17
NRZ New Residential Investment $0.33
RICOY Ricoh Company -$0.06
WYNN Wynn Resorts -$2.29
ITOCY Itochu ADR $1.87
TOT Total $0.46
MYGN Myriad Genetics -$0.12
BDX Becton, Dickinson and Co. $3.07
ARNC Arconic Inc $0.32
TM Toyota Motor $3.65
RHHBY Roche Holding ADR $1.28
CDW CDW $1.53
ARRY Array Biopharma $0.05
HL Hecla Mining $0.02
TWOU 2U -$0.10
ALNY Alnylam Pharmaceuticals -$1.88
DD DuPont $0.85
CARR Carrier Global Corp $0.37
OMVJF OMV $0.74
TPL Texas Pacific Land $4.54
AUOTY AU Optronics $0.27

 

Friday (February 5)

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
HRC Hill-Rom $1.05
ADNT Adient PLC $0.87
TT Trane Technologies PLC $0.92
LAZ Lazard $0.97
SNY Sanofi $0.69
EL Estée Lauder $1.68
LIN Linde PLC $2.16
AON AON $2.46
ZBH ZIMMER BIOMET HDG. $2.07
ITW Illinois Tool Works $1.79
REGN Regeneron Pharmaceuticals $8.23
CAH Cardinal Health $1.44
SPB Spectrum Brands $0.75
BERY Berry Plastics $0.94
HMC Honda Motor $0.75
NFG National Fuel Gas $0.99
CHBAY Chiba Bank ADR $0.77
SOMLY Secom ADR $0.26
ASX Advanced Semiconductor Engineering $0.12
BNPQY BNP Paribas ADR $0.55
FE FirstEnergy $0.50

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Update – New Strains and Supply Issues Remain a Concern

Vaccine News

Over the weekend, the news wires reported that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could receive approval in just 2-weeks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s comments came amidst announcements of supply issues.

With just 2 vaccines currently approved for emergency use in the U.S, an approval of a 3rd vaccine would ease the strain.

Things may not improve near-term for the likes of the EU, however, which is likely to continue to face supply constraints.

In other parts of the world the AstraZeneca vaccine has already received approval for emergency use. This is not the case in the EU and the U.S, however.

While the EMA is scheduled to review AstraZeneca vaccine later this week, the U.S timeline is far lengthier.

The U.S FDA is currently due to review the AstraZeneca vaccine in April.

It goes without saying, however, that the U.S is not alone in needing access to multiple vaccines.

A Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca approval in the U.S and the EU will be key, though supply will remain a concern.

We have heard plenty of bullish production numbers floated by the leading three in the race to end the pandemic.

It remains to be seen, however, if the three can play catch up and meet their 1st quarter targets.

If the most recent updates are anything to go by, the need for a single dose vaccine has become all the more urgent.

Vaccinations Rates

According to the Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker, the U.S has administered 22,396,673 doses as at 24th January.

U.S states have only administered 54% of shots delivered, however, leaving the vaccination rate at just 6.8 doses per 100.

Transportation and storage requirements of both Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.’s vaccines have contributed to the low vaccination rate.

By contrast, the UK has seen its vaccination rate jump to 10.21 doses per 100 people. The UK’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine enabled the sharp rise in the vaccination rate.

As at 24th January, Israel continued to have the highest vaccination rate at 39.94.

The UAE ranked 2nd, with a vaccination rate of 23.14, with the Seychelles coming in ahead of the UK, with a rate of 19.12.

In terms of actual doses administered, however, the U.S and China were well ahead of other nations.

As at 20th January, China had administered 15 million doses of the vaccine, sitting behind 22.4 million in the U.S.

In spite of supply issues, the EU ranked 3rd, administering 8.6 million doses.

The UK ranked 4th, with 6.8m doses, followed by Israel (3.6m) and the U.A.E (2.5m)

Looking across the EU, the Netherlands had amongst the lowest vaccination rates. As at 22nd January, the vaccination rate stood at just 0.78 doses per 100 people.

For France, one of the worst affected EU member states, the vaccination rate stood at 1.58. While this was up from 1.49 doses per 100 as at 22nd January, the rise was a marginal one at best.

Germany also trailed the EU front runners, with a rate of 1.96 doses per 100 people as at 23rd January.

Spain and Italy had performed somewhat better, with vaccination rates of 2.51 (22nd January) and 2.28 (24th January) respectively.

For a full breakdown of vaccination rates by country, please visit Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker page here.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 99,774,351 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,139,03` related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 25,702,125 cases and 429,490 COVID-19 related deaths.

India reporting 10,668,674 cases, with Brazil reporting 8,844,600 cases.

Sitting behind Russia (3,719,400) remained the UK (3,647,463).

France (3,053,617), Italy (2,466,813), Spain (2,603,472), and Germany (2,147,740) reported a combined 10,271,642 cases.

Looking Ahead

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine approval by the FDA and AstraZeneca approval by the EMA remain key near-term.

Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca, in particular, will also need to address supply issues, however, to support a marked increase in vaccination rates.

Over the weekend, news hit the wires of further lockdown measures to hit France next month.

Of greater concern, however, was reports that vaccinated people can still spread the coronavirus.

For countries with low vaccination rates, this would mean that containment measures may remain in place for longer.

Coupled with the rising number of new and reportedly more virulent strains, border controls could also be seen across a wider number of countries.

For countries with higher vaccination rates, governments will also need to maintain momentum to deliver the 2nd doses.

This will also mean that countries would need to avoid supply constrains to meet the vaccination timelines.

The UK’s British Medical Association Board chair stated last week that there was increased concern that the vaccine would become less effective with doses 12-weeks apart.

It will therefore be all the more important to complete the vaccine dose regimens within optimal timelines.

When considering the supply shortage that the EU currently faces, a quick resolution is going to be needed to avoid making the 8.57 million administered doses redundant.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update – The EU’s Vaccine Woes Worsen and Is Unlikely to Improve Anytime Soon

EU Vaccine News

As the EMA readies to review the AstraZeneca vaccine on 29th January, there was some bad news for EU member states.

AstraZeneca has issued a warning to EU member states to expect limited supply of the vaccine near-term.

The EU has ordered up to 400 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with up to 100 million due within the 1st quarter.

Last week, the FT reported that AstraZeneca may only deliver less than half of the 100 million doses. That means that less than 25 million would receive full protection by the early part of the 2nd quarter.

It was also reported that there was deep satisfaction within the EU Commission even though the vaccine had yet to be approved.

With the EU having made significantly smaller Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. vaccine orders, the shortfall will raise further concerns over the Eurozone economy and its recovery.

Less than 50 million doses would barely make a dent in inoculating the more than 440 million population.

The bad news followed Pfizer Inc’s cut back in supply to the EU earlier in the month.

Vaccination rates across the EU remain woefully short. The latest news will continue to leave vaccination rates on the lower side that will add further pressure on governments to contain the virus by other means.

Vaccinations Rates

According to the Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker, the EU’s vaccination rate stood at 1.79 doses per 100 people as at 22nd January.

This continued to fall well short of the UK, the U.S and leading nations in the Middle East.

As at 22nd January, Israel had the highest vaccination rate of 37.14 doses per 100 people.

The U.A.E came in a distant second, with a vaccination rate of 21.76 doses per 100.

Bahrain ranked 3rd, with a rate of 9.71 (19th January), with the UK coming in 4th with a rate of 8.76 doses per 100.

With Joe Biden’s drive to vaccinate 100 million in 100 days, the U.S vaccination rate climbed to 6.04 as at 22nd January.

Looking across the EU, France was amongst the worst performers, with a vaccination rate of just 1.49.

Germany also trailed the front runners in the EU, with a rate of 1.81 doses per 100 people.

Spain and Italy had performed somewhat better, with rates of 2.51 and 2.17 respectively.

When considering the fact that these 4 member states are the worst affected, the numbers should have been better.

A lack of supply and currently low rates are a bad combination for the EU. This raises the prospects of even more restrictions to hurt the region’s economy.

For a full breakdown of vaccination rates by country, please visit Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker page here.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 98,750,103 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,116,438 related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 25,390,042 cases and 424,177 COVID-19 related deaths.

India reported 10,640,544 cases, with Brazil reporting 8,755,133 cases.

Sitting behind Russia (3,677,3520) remained the UK (3,583,907).

France (3,011,257), Italy (2,411,854), Spain (2,603,472), and Germany (2,125,261) reported a combined 10,151,844 cases.

Looking Ahead

The reported AstraZeneca supply constraints make Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine availability all the more important.

A single dose vaccine would certainly ease the strain on the EU that will now have to maintain containment measures for longer.

The EU will be able to order up to 400 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This would cover close to the entire EU population should a single dose vaccine receive approval.

For the EU, however, a lack of supply by AstraZeneca and Sanofi troubles mean that the entire population would not receive a vaccine for some time.

The EU had preordered 300 million doses from Sanofi, which won’t be ready until later this year at the earliest.

As the markets respond to supply issues, we can expect focus on vaccination rates, infection rates, supply to become greater near-term.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine News

News hit the wires this week that late clinical trial results will be available within the coming weeks.

With the U.S FDA ready to review the vaccine, single dose vaccines could be available within the U.S this quarter.

The easier to transport vaccine means that governments would be able to ramp up vaccination rates. For governments lagging behind, the biggest advantage will be the fact that it is a single dose vaccine.

Approvals would need to be given, however, for distribution of the vaccine. A slow moving EMA could see the EU fall further behind its peers.

It’s worth noting that the EU had secured enough vaccine doses to cover 183.5% of the population.

While Johnson & Johnson may be able to ease the pain, it will be some time before vaccination rates hit appropriate levels.

An Economic Recovery in the Waiting. COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Suggest a Longer Wait for Some

Economic Recovery

Following the 2nd quarter economic meltdown of 2020, major economies rebounded in the 3rd quarter.

A reopening of borders and businesses spurred the recovery. Many hoped that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic had passed.

Going through the 4th quarter, however, conditions deteriorated rapidly once more.

The number of COVID-19 cases soared across the U.S, Europe, and beyond.

Amidst the doom and gloom, the Chinese economy provided a glimmer of hope.

Last week, 4th quarter GDP numbers impressed. While a spike in new COVID-19 cases in China muted the impact of the stats on riskier assets but the recovery was plane to see.

Other economies, have been less fortunate.

Those most at risk of an extended period of contraction are economies most dependent upon consumption and tourism.

For now, the global financial markets appear to be signaling a more uniform global economic recovery through 2021.

The latest COVID-19 numbers, vaccination rates, and containment measures paint a different picture, however.

The Economic Calendar

Next week, 4th quarter GDP figures are due out of the U.S, Germany, and France to name but a few.

Looking at the forecasts, the U.S economy is projected to grow by 4.4% in the 4th quarter.

It’s a different story for France and Germany, however.

Extended lockdown periods through late 2020 will likely lead to another sizeable quarterly contraction.

Economists have forecasted the French economy to contract by 3.2% and Germany’s by 4.6%.

Relative to the 2nd quarter of 2020, the contractions are relatively mild. By historical standards, however, these are quite dire forecasts.

Vaccinations Rates

According to the Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker, the U.S vaccination rate was 5.23 doses per 100 people as at 20th January.

With President Biden’s aim of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, this is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks. The numbers have already picked up from quite dire levels just last week. As at 10th January, the U.S had had a vaccination rate of just 2.44 doses per 100 people.

While other countries face supply issues, this has not been the case for the U.S. To put it into perspective, 48% of shots distributed to states in the U.S have been administered. In numeric terms, 17.18 million doses have been administered.

Much will now depend on whether the U.S President meets his 100 million target or needs to reintroduce lockdown measures.

At the time of writing, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S sits at 24,998,975, with the total number of deaths hitting 415,894.

Any acceleration in new cases and the U.S government may have little choice but to contain the spread. With labor market conditions still in dire straits, this would have painful consequences for the U.S economy.

The only goods news is that the Democrats now control both houses. Delivering fiscal support should be easier. Bringing unemployment back to pre-pandemic levels, however, is likely to be a far more difficult task.

Elsewhere, a number of governments have made strong progress in driving vaccinations. This bodes well for more rapid economic recoveries. These nations are few and far between, however.

Israel continues to lead the charge, with a vaccination rate of 32.56 doses per 100 as at 20th January. The U.A.E remains ranked 2 in terms of vaccination rates. (20.11 doses per 100 as at 19th Jan).

As at the 20th January, the UK is also at the top end of the table, with a vaccination rate of 7.59 doses per 100.

The EU

For the EU, however, the slow authorization of COVID-19 vaccines and apparent bad planning has been reflected in the figures.

EU wide, the vaccination rate stood at just 1.51 doses per 100 people as at 20th January. When considering the fact that the total number of COVID-19 cases is more than 10 million, this remains a concern.

Not only are we likely to see economic divergence globally but also within the EU.

Germany’s vaccination rate stood at 1.56 doses per 100 as at 20th January. By contrast, France’s vaccination rate was just 1.07.

Italy and Spain were amongst leading EU member states with rates of 2.07 and 2.21 doses per 100. These rates are also on the lower end for developed nations, however.

For a full breakdown of vaccination rates by country, please visit Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker page here.

Supply and Demand

Since the approval of vaccines in the U.S, Europe, and beyond, supply has become a focal point.

Back in December, we had highlighted supply as a key consideration as governments procure vaccines.

Some governments have been able to secure enough vaccines to inoculate 100% of their populations.

Others will barely touch the surface and will have to wait.

When considering the vaccination rates today and the need for 2 doses, it could be a long wait.

Some governments will undoubtedly be wanting to avoid going into another winter once this winter season passes.

Until there are more vaccine options and greater supply, however, this remains a credible risk for some.

As things stand, therefore, we continue to see Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca as two key players in the fight against the global pandemic.

Johnson & Johnson is key due to its goal to deliver a single dose vaccine. AstraZeneca remains key due to is affordable and easy to transport vaccine, not to mention manufacturing capabilities.

Government agencies including the EMA will need to authorize the use of these vaccines more hastily to support a speedier economic recovery.

The markets can then begin to look to developing economies that have continued to struggle since the beginning of the pandemic. Failure of the likes of Europe to catch up with the U.S and even the UK, could lead to an economic decoupling.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 97,384,877 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,085,507 related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 24,998,975 cases and 415,894 COVID-19 related deaths.

India reporting 10,611,719 cases, with Brazil reporting 8,639,868 cases.

Sitting behind Russia (3,655,839) remained the UK (3,505,754).

France (2,965,117), Italy (2,414,166), Spain (2,412,318), and Germany (2,090,161) reported a combined 9,881,762 cases.

Looking Ahead

Existing vaccine providers are going to need to materially increase supply in order to support the bullish outlook towards the economic recovery.

Market sensitivity to reports of any supply constraints will likely build in the current quarter. Failure to ramp up vaccination rates coupled with supply constraints would have an even more material impact on risk sentiment. All of this is before considering a continued rise in new cases and further extensions to lockdown measures.

For now, the pressure will be on the likes of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson to deliver.

A marked increase in supply from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. would also be welcome.

At some point, however, the focus may well shift to how well or how badly governments have performed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update – Some EU Member States Break Ranks

EU Vaccine News

Following the EMA’s decision to bring forward the review of the AstraZeneca vaccine, EU member states are looking to get ahead in placing orders.

Over the weekend, news hit the wires that the Irish government was in talks to secure delivery of the yet to be authorized vaccine.

Pfizer Inc. supply issues experienced across member states has resulted in bid to secure supply from elsewhere.

Ireland expects to receive more than 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. By receiving the vaccine ahead of the EMA recommendation and EU Commission authorization, it would mean that the vaccine could be administered immediately upon authorization.

Last week, the EMA had indicated that upon recommendation, the vaccine would be widely available by mid-February.

Ireland would therefore be around 2-weeks ahead of other EU member states. More importantly, Ireland may also avoid jostling with other EU member states for supply.

Having seen Britain go it alone on the vaccine front and approve the AstraZeneca vaccine late last year, Britain’s vaccination rates are well ahead of any of those seen across the EU.

Vaccinations

According to the Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker, Ireland’s vaccination rate stood at 1.90 doses per 100 people as at 13th January.

While well short of the likes of the Israel, the U.A.E and even the UK and the U.S, its well ahead of many other EU member states.

To put it into perspective, the EU has a vaccination rat of 1.41 doses per 100 people as at 19th January.

Italy and Spain had rates of 2.01 and 2.08 doses per 100 as at 19th January.

By contrast, however, France had a vaccination rate of just 0.90 doses per 100. The numbers from the Netherlands were even more alarming. As at 19th January, the Netherlands had a vaccination rate of just 0.45 doses per 100 people.

With the broad spread of rates, it is not wholly surprising that some EU member states are looking to jump the gun in securing vaccine supply.

Ireland is certainly not amongst the worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of writing, Ireland had a total of 176,839 total COVID-19 cases and 2,708 related deaths.

While well below the numbers reported from the likes of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, there is some urgency globally to secure more vaccines.

New strains of the coronavirus have proved significantly more virulent and as a result could have a significant impact on economic conditions.

Germany has already announced an extension to its lockdown. Merkel also talked of a possible need to shut down borders in order to protect the country from new strains.

Without an adequate vaccine supply and vaccination drive, the impact of the new strains could be devastating.

COVID-19 numbers from the UK had certainly sent a warning to neighboring countries over the holidays.

Global Numbers

Leading the charge geographically, by vaccination rate, continues to be Israel.

As at 19th January, Israel had a reported vaccination rate of 29.78 doses per 100, up from 25.91 as at 17th January.

The U.A.E continued to trail Israel in 2nd place, with a rate of 19.21 doses per 100.

Sitting behind Bahrain in 3rd was the UK, with a vaccination rate of 7.07 doses per 100. This was up from 6.45 doses per 100 as at 17th January.

Looking at the numbers, A marked increase in vaccination rates is going to be needed to support a speedier economic recovery.

Further extensions to existing lockdown periods could begin to hit the prospects of a 2nd quarter recovery.

While we see economic divergence globally, stemming from marked differences in vaccination rates, the same is likely within the EU.

For the Eurozone economic outlook, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands will need to materially ramp up vaccinations.

It will be interesting to see whether the issue is raised during the ECB press conference tomorrow. How does the ECB see growth when considering the divergence in vaccination rates across member states?

For a full breakdown of vaccination rates by country, please visit Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker page here.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 96,625,755 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,065,698 related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 24,806,964 cases and 411,486 COVID-19 related deaths.

India reporting 10,596,442 cases, with Brazil reporting 8,575,742 cases.

Sitting behind Russia (3,612,800) remained the UK (3,466,849).

France (2,938,333), Italy (2,400,598), Spain (2,370,742), and Germany (2,071,473) reported a combined 9,781,146 cases.

Looking Ahead

The AstraZeneca vaccine remains the key to bringing the pandemic under control near-term. This is largely due to an expected abundance of supply.

When considering the current vaccination rates, however, there is one other factor to consider.

Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., and AstraZeneca’s vaccines are 2-dose vaccines. This means that another round of vaccines is going to be needed for effective protection against the virus.

When considering current vaccination rates, some of the more adversely affected nations may not be anywhere 50% vaccinated before the 2nd quarter.

This is yet another factor for the markets to consider in terms of any economic recovery.

The availability of a single dose vaccine may not be far off, with Johnson & Johnson set to release data imminently. In all reality, however, supply constraints could limit the availability of a single dose vaccine beyond U.S borders.

Johnson & Johnson Numbers

Johnson & Johnson had previously projected to deliver 12 million doses by the end of February and 100 million doses by the end of June.

According to recent reports, however, Johnson & Johnson may a number of months behind.

That suggests that 1 billion doses by the end of 2021 may also be an ambitious target.

Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, and China’s two vaccines will be key near-term. Ultimately, however, it will likely be a single dose vaccine that brings an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Availability across the globe is going to be needed, however, for the pandemic to truly come to an end.

As we have seen in the early days of the COVID-19 vaccines, richer nations have cornered much of the vaccine supply.

This will also need to change for the number of new cases across the globe to begin falling.