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3 Infrastructure Stocks To Watch This Week

Could these infrastructure stocks make up a strong foundation in your portfolio?
The post 3 Infrastructure Stocks To Watch This Week appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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Are These The Best Infrastructure Stocks To Invest In Right Now?

As investors digest a wide spread of economic data alongside their Thanksgiving meals, infrastructure stocks continue to gain traction. For the most part, this area of the stock market today stands to benefit from several key tailwinds. To begin with, the industry is home to companies that play crucial roles in, well, infrastructure work. This ranges from the upkeep of roads and bridges to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations among others. All of which would come into focus as the economy continues to rebound from the pandemic.

Not to mention, there is also the recent trillion-dollar infrastructure bill to consider. Since mentions of it began to pop up this year, the bill has and continues to generate substantial lift for infrastructure stocks. Take companies like Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ: STLD) and United Rentals (NYSE: URI) for instance. Both STLD stock and URI stock are currently sitting on year-to-date gains of over 60%. In brief, Steel Dynamics is a leading steel producer while United Rentals is the largest equipment rental firm globally. Arguably, their momentum would be thanks to their prominent roles in the broader infrastructure construction industry.

Stock performances aside, these two companies are also gaining on the financial front. In their latest quarterly earnings calls, both firms posted solid figures. In particular, Steel Dynamics more than doubled its total revenue year-over-year. The company also posted massive gains of over 880% in both its net income and earnings per share over the same period. Meanwhile, United Rentals raised its full-year guidance for total revenue and adjusted EBITDA as its rental figures came in above expectations. All things considered, I could see investors watching the top infrastructure stocks in the stock market now.

Top Infrastructure Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Ahead Of December 2021

Nucor Corporation

Starting us off today is the Nucor Corporation. For some context, it is the largest producer of steel in the U.S. Additionally, it is also the biggest mini-mill steelmaker and recycler of scrap in North America. Nucor offers a wide array of steel-based offerings. This includes but is not limited to carbon and alloy steel construction components, steel racking, precision castings, metal building systems, and insulated metals panels. Moreover, the company also supplies ferrous and nonferrous metals via its David J. Joseph subsidiary.

Overall, demand for Nucor’s wares would be on the rise thanks to the current construction efforts nationwide. Likewise, investors appear to be giving similar attention to NUE stock now. Year-to-date, the company’s shares are currently holding on to gains of over 120%. Nucor also reported record figures in its latest fiscal quarter earnings call. In detail, the company posted an earnings per share of $7.28, smashing its previous record of $5.04. On top of that, Nucor also saw its total revenue double year-over-year.

If all that wasn’t enough, the company remains as busy as ever on the operational front as well. Just last week, it revealed plans to add a blast and prime line at its greenfield steel plate mill in Brandenburg, Kentucky. According to Nucor, this addition to its latest mill will provide its Nucor Plate Group with “even broader capabilities and offerings”. This would be in the form of thicker and wider plate products. Given all of this, will you be adding NUE stock to your portfolio?

NUE stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

[Read More] Best Lithium Battery Stocks To Buy Now? 4 To Know

Caterpillar Inc.

Another name to consider among infrastructure stocks now would be Caterpillar. As most would know, it is a titan in the global construction machinery and equipment market now. Through its portfolio, Caterpillar would develop and provide the necessary tools needed to carry out infrastructure-related work. As such, it would make sense that investors looking to bet on this industry tailwind would be eyeing CAT stock. This would especially be the case as global construction efforts rise from pandemic-era levels. Evidently, CAT stock is up by over 110% since then.

Despite all of this, Caterpillar does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. As of this week, the company is now working with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP). Through this alliance, the trio are looking to test the capabilities of hydrogen fuel cells. In essence, they will be working on a power system that incorporates large-format hydrogen cells. This system will then serve to produce reliable and sustainable backup power for Microsoft’s data centers, according to Caterpillar.

Amid all of this, Caterpillar is providing the overall system integration, power electronics, and controls that form the system’s core structure. Jason Kaiser, VP of Caterpillar’s Electric Power Division said, “This hydrogen fuel cell demonstration project enables us to collaborate with industry leaders to take a large step toward commercially viable power solutions that also support our customers in making their operations more sustainable.” With Caterpillar seemingly firing on all cylinders now, would CAT stock be a top buy in your book?

CAT stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

[Read More] 5 Metaverse Stocks To Watch In November 2021

Deere & Company

Following that, we will be taking a look at Deere & Company, also known as John Deere. By and large, it is a manufacturing company. Notably, the company is in the business of making agricultural machinery, heavy equipment, forestry machinery, diesel engines, and drivetrains to name a few. The viability of John Deere’s services continues to propel DE stock in the stock market now. Since its Covid-era low, the company’s shares have skyrocketed by over 220%. This would be after gaining by 5% during intraday trading on Wednesday.

All in all, the recent movement in DE stock could be thanks to the company’s latest quarterly earnings figures. In short, John Deere posted solid figures across the board. Namely, the company raked in a total revenue of $11.33 billion for the quarter, marking a sizable 16% year-over-year increase. Adding to that, John Deere also posted a net income of $1.28 billion for the quarter. This would indicate a year-over-year surge of about 70%.

According to CEO John May, the company’s great performance throughout the quarter is thanks to two key factors. He said,” Our results reflect strong end-market demand and our ability to continue serving customers while managing supply-chain issues and conducting contract negotiations with our largest union.” Having read all of this, some would argue that DE stock could have more room to grow. Would you agree?

DE stock
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

The post 3 Infrastructure Stocks To Watch This Week appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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Government

Weekly investment update – The soft underbelly of hard inflation data

Warnings by the US and Chinese authorities have underscored the dilemma of conflicting inflation and growth data, with energy and tight labour markets…

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Warnings by the US and Chinese authorities have underscored the dilemma of conflicting inflation and growth data, with energy and tight labour markets pushing up producer and consumer prices amid creeping signs of softening growth. This has put global monetary policy, and markets in risky assets, in a bind.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the seventh consecutive week last week, while the benchmark US Treasury 10-year yield hovered around 3.0% (almost double the 1.6% of a year ago). Commodity prices came under selling pressure as risk aversion among investors mounted. Safe-haven flows pushed up the US dollar, driving its trade-weighted index to near two-decade highs (see Exhibit 1).

Policy warnings…

China fanned market worries early last week, with Premier Li Keqiang warning that the domestic jobs situation was getting ‘complicated and grave’. The country’s zero-Covid policy is taking a heavy toll on the local economy with negative spillover effects globally. While Shanghai’s lockdown may be wound down soon, other major cities (including Beijing) are facing renewed restrictions.

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell issued a warning mid-week: The Fed could not guarantee a ‘soft landing’ as it looked to get runaway inflation back to its 2% target amid a tight US labour market. The US Senate nonetheless overwhelmingly confirmed Powell for a second term, signalling monetary policy continuity.

Earlier in the week, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke warned about the risk of stagflation in an interview with The New York Times.

Aggravated by hard inflation data…

US consumer price inflation was 8.3% YoY in April, down slightly from 8.5% in March. However, core inflation (which excludes food and energy prices), rose on the month from 0.3% to 0.6%, a level still too high for the Fed’s comfort.

Services inflation was particularly strong, rising by 0.7% MoM in April, marking the biggest monthly gain since August 1990. Underscoring continued robust consumer demand, retail sales rose by 0.9% vs the prior month, though this marks the third month in a row that the growth rate has decelerated. 

The prospects for inflation to fall back to the Fed’s 2% target anytime soon may not be good: High wage growth – hourly earnings rose at around 5% YoY – could continue to fuel inflation in the near term. We note that services inflation tends to be much stickier than other index components.

From the Fed’s perspective, these price pressures could in turn drive inflation expectations higher.

The market perceives the latest inflation report as sealing a 50bp rate rise at the June and July meetings of Fed policymakers. It also boosts the chances of the Fed persisting in its aggressive tightening stance at later meetings. A key question is the extent to which – and when – higher interest rates will hit real incomes and crimp demand growth, slowing the economy overall. 

The high services inflation data also suggests labour market tightness would have to ease significantly to bring wage growth back to levels that are acceptable to the Fed. We believe something will have to give. If not, the Fed may have to tap harder on the brakes down the line.

The ECB continues to move closer towards a hawkish policy, with the market now expecting its asset purchasing programme (APP) to end in July, to be followed by a 25bp rate rise soon after. Underpinning the ECB’s policy tightening stance is strong inflation, which rose by 7.4% YoY in April (same as in March), and falling unemployment (the jobless rate hit a record low of 6.8% in March).

The war in Ukraine has added to the upside risks to inflation via food and energy price increases and supply bottlenecks. In addition to higher inflation, the ECB also appears to be concerned about the spillover effects from wage increases. An increasing number of policymakers has spoken out recently in favour of an initial rate rise as soon as July.

And creeping signs of slower growth

Indications of weakening growth momentum have appeared, most noticeably in the UK where GDP growth contracted unexpectedly by 0.1% MoM in March.

In the eurozone, industrial production shrank by 1.8% MoM in March and manufacturing output was down by 1.6%. The main culprit was disruption caused by the war in Ukraine. The weakness was concentrated in Germany, whose supply chains are more integrated with eastern Europe. Its car sector is missing components produced in Ukraine.

Even in the US, recent data showed signs of slowing growth. Jobless claims filings showed an increase in initial claims; the May Senior Loan Officer Opinion survey recorded a drop in demand for mortgages; the University of Michigan consumer sentiment May index hit its lowest level since the start of the pandemic; and the May Empire State Manufacturing survey plunged.

China also released weak data, with industrial output, fixed-asset investment and retail sales all showing year-on-year declines. The property market’s woes deepened, with new home sales and starts falling precipitously.

Investment implications

Mr. Bernanke’s warning of stagflation underscores the dilemma facing policymakers and financial markets: Inflation and growth data are sending conflicting signals. Parts of the US yield curve are inverted, pointing to some risk of an economic recession.

The slowdown concerns are linked to inflation forcing the Fed to tighten policy into restrictive territory and turning weaker growth into a contraction.

The situation is similar in the eurozone: inflation is at its highest ever and could lead the ECB to take stronger measures, exacerbating headwinds from weak Chinese activity and a Russia-induced energy supply shock.

Against the backdrop of the continuing Ukrainian conflict and prolonged supply-chain disruptions, we do not favour sovereign bonds and European equities at this point. We prefer commodities, Japanese and emerging market equities, including Chinese stocks.


Disclaimer

Please note that articles may contain technical language. For this reason, they may not be suitable for readers without professional investment experience.

Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. The views expressed in this podcast do not in any way constitute investment advice.

The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns.

Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions). Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.

Writen by Chi Lo. The post Weekly investment update – The soft underbelly of hard inflation data appeared first on Investors' Corner - The official blog of BNP Paribas Asset Management, the sustainable investor for a changing world.

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Moderna’s HIV vaccine prepped for trials in Africa

Moderna has joined forces with non-profit organisation IAVI on a third phase 1 trial of its candidate HIV
The post Moderna’s HIV vaccine prepped for…

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Moderna has joined forces with non-profit organisation IAVI on a third phase 1 trial of its candidate HIV vaccine in Africa, where the burden of the virus is still being keenly felt.

IAVI (the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) has started screening subjects to be included in the study, called IAVI G003, at centres in Rwanda and South Africa, said the biotech.

Moderna’s vaccines deliver HIV-specific antigens discovered by researchers at IAVI and Scripps Research that have already been tested in a proof-of-concept study carried out last year using an adjuvant protein vaccine approach.

There are hopes that its mRNA approach, which proved so effective against COVID-19, could succeed where traditional vaccine technologies have failed in HIV.

One candidate – mRNA-1644 – has already shown its potential in an earlier phase 1 trial (IAVI G001) run in the US. It codes for an antigen called eOD-GT8 60mer and, in the study, stimulated a targeted B-cell immune response in 97% of vaccine recipients.

Moderna says that B-cell activation should lead to the induction of broadly neutralising antibodies (bnAbs), widely considered to be a goal of an efficacious HIV vaccine, but that immunising with eOD-GT8 60mer alone will almost certainly not be sufficient.

The biotech is looking at a combination regimen of vaccines targeting different HIV immunogens such as Core-g28v2 60mer to try to boost the immune response further against HIV and improve the protective efficacy.

Earlier this year, the first healthy volunteers were dosed with mRNA-1644 in a second phase 1 trial (IAVI G002), which is being funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is being carried out in US populations.

IAVI G003 will enrol 18 healthy HIV-negative adult volunteers who will receive two doses of the eOD-GT8 60mer mRNA shot. They will be followed for six months to gauge the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine.

Moderna said the trial is a “first-in-Africa” study, evaluating an mRNA-delivered HIV immunogen in Africa with African researchers leading the project.

Despite more than 30 years of research, the tendency of the virus to mutate means that classical approaches to vaccine design have been ineffective, and at least four prior vaccine candidates have failed in clinical trials.

In February, one of the front-runner candidates in the decades-long quest to find an HIV vaccine – Johnson & Johnson – reported that its candidate failed a phase 2b trial.

The Ad26.Mos4.HIV vaccine – which uses the same adenoviral technology as J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine and targets four HIV antigens – showed that the shot was safe but unable to meet its target of reducing transmission of HIV by 50%.

And last year, the HVTN 702 study of two co-administered HIV candidate vaccines from Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline, combined with GSK’s adjuvant MF59, was also discontinued due to a lack of efficacy.

The post Moderna’s HIV vaccine prepped for trials in Africa appeared first on .

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Government

Missouri Bill Prevents Doctors Being Disciplined If They Prescribe Ivermectin Or Hydroxychloroquine

Missouri Bill Prevents Doctors Being Disciplined If They Prescribe Ivermectin Or Hydroxychloroquine

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The…

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Missouri Bill Prevents Doctors Being Disciplined If They Prescribe Ivermectin Or Hydroxychloroquine

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Missouri lawmakers passed legislation that prevents state licensing boards from disciplining doctors who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs a bill in Jefferson City, Mo., on May 24, 2019. (Summer Balentine/AP Photo)

Sponsored by Rep. Brenda Kay Shields (R-Mo.), HB 2149 also bars pharmacists from questioning doctors or disputing patients regarding the usage of such drugs and their efficacy.

With a convincing 130–4 vote in the House, HB 2149 passed both chambers on May 12 and currently heads to the office of Gov. Mike Parson to be potentially signed into law.

The board shall not deny, revoke, or suspend, or otherwise take any disciplinary action against, a certificate of registration or authority, permit, or license required by this chapter for any person due to the lawful dispensing, distributing, or selling of ivermectin tablets or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets for human use in accordance with prescriber directions,” reads the draft of the bill (pdf).

It adds, “A pharmacist shall not contact the prescribing physician or the patient to dispute the efficacy of ivermectin tablets or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets for human use unless the physician or patient inquires of the pharmacist about the efficacy of ivermectin tablets or hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets.”

Critics of the bill have noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given approval for usage of the drugs. Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine have been divisive drugs and politically polarized throughout the pandemic.

“But, nevertheless, the Missouri legislature has chosen to ‘own the libs’ by issuing a gag order against every pharmacist in this state from offering their medical opinion on taking either one of those medications—even if it could kill their patient,” wrote former Democratic nominee Lindsey Simmons in a May 12 Twitter post.

Although 22 countries across the world have approved the use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19, the FDA maintains that the current data show the drug to be ineffective. Large doses can be dangerous, it says.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases analyzed a national federated database of adults that compared ivermectin with the FDA-approved COVID-19 medication, remdesivir.

After using propensity score matching and adjusting for potential confounders, ivermectin was associated with reduced mortality vs remdesivir,” researchers wrote. “To our knowledge, this is the largest association study of patients with COVID-19, mortality, and ivermectin.”

According to The Associated Press, Missouri state Rep. Patty Lewis, a Democrat, agreed to the bill to satisfy a group of conservatives in the Senate. She added that the bill will not change anything significantly as medical boards do not engage in punishing doctors who prescribe drugs legally.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/18/2022 - 23:25

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