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A research group proposes six guidelines for managing the impacts of invasive species

Researchers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and the UK are participating in the initiative; results are published in the journal BioScience Credit: Gabriella Damasceno  Invasive alien species, defined as animals and plants that breed and disperse in a landsc

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Researchers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and the UK are participating in the initiative; results are published in the journal BioScience

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Credit: Gabriella Damasceno

 Invasive alien species, defined as animals and plants that breed and disperse in a landscape beyond their native range, have negative environmental, social, and economic impacts. One example among many is the forage grass genus Brachiaria, originally African and introduced to Brazil to form cattle pasture. It has become a major threat to the survival of native species and biodiversity at several spatial scales. 

Complete eradication of invasive species is often impracticable. Attempts to do so have had undesirable consequences and even been damaging because merely withdrawing an invasive species does not restore the original environment, as in the areas of Cerrado (Brazilian savanna) invaded by pines. Instead of eradication, therefore, the goal should be continuous management, according to many experts. This is the line taken by researchers from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom, who have agreed on a strategic approach focusing on impact mitigation rather than elimination.

They call their project CONTAIN Latam. The name refers to the impossibility of eradicating invasive non-native species and the need for containment of their growth and impacts. 

The project resulted from a 2018 call for proposals issued under the aegis of a cooperation agreement involving FAPESP, the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Newton Fund, Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Chile’s National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT), and Peru’s National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC).

The initiative aims at developing management tools to optimize the control of invasive species in the medium to long term. The Brazilian members of the group are affiliated with São Paulo State University (UNESP) and coordinated by Alessandra Fidelis, a professor in UNESP’s Rio Claro Institute of Biosciences.

A study by the CONTAIN group is the subject of an article published recently in the journal BioScience. The study was supported by FAPESP via a research project for which Fidelis is principal investigator in Brazil.

“Our study set out not just to analyze invasive species but also to put forward guidelines for interaction with managers with the aim of containing proliferation of these species and mitigating their impacts,” Fidelis told Agência FAPESP.

The full definition stated early on in the article is that invasive species “successfully transition the three initial invasion stages (transport, introduction, and establishment) and subsequently establish multiple self-sustaining populations composed of individuals that breed, survive and disperse in a landscape beyond their native range”, and that a “subset” of invasive species produces an array of “negative environmental, social, and economic impacts at various spatial scales”. 

In this vast subset, the project focuses on the following: in Brazil, Brachiaria spp., Urochloa spp. and other grasses of African origin introduced as forage crops for cattle pasture, and pines (Pinus spp.) introduced from the northern hemisphere for reforestation and to produce pulp and resin; in Argentina, American mink (Neovison vison)  introduced for fur production, pines, and privet (Ligustrum spp.), of Asian origin and introduced here as a street tree, hedge or ornamental plant; in Chile, pines, mink, and the Yellowjacket or German wasp (Vespula germanica) whose origin is hitherto unknown.

“We propose six criteria for planning to mitigate their impacts. The first three comprise a detailed survey of the situation: mapping their presence and spatial distribution, finding out how long each invasive species has been present and compiling the available data on their impacts,” Fidelis said. “The next three relate to the recommended responses to the situation: the kinds of intervention that are technically, socially, and economically feasible, the potential negative consequences of these interventions, and a cost-benefit analysis of the interventions and their consequences.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on the risks of degrading the natural environment and the urgent need to implement science-based policies for controlling and mitigating these risks. “In the case of the species on which our study focused, there’s a very strong additional reason for implementing such policies, as mink have been found to be transmitters of the novel coronavirus,” Fidelis said.

All this will evidently be ineffectual unless the knowledge produced by universities and research institutions can cross over from academia to society in general, and especially to those responsible for managing public and private affairs.

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About São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public institution with the mission of supporting scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding scholarships, fellowships and grants to investigators linked with higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. FAPESP is aware that the very best research can only be done by working with the best researchers internationally. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, higher education, private companies, and research organizations in other countries known for the quality of their research and has been encouraging scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration. You can learn more about FAPESP at http://www.fapesp.br/en and visit FAPESP news agency at http://www.agencia.fapesp.br/en to keep updated with the latest scientific breakthroughs FAPESP helps achieve through its many programs, awards and research centers. You may also subscribe to FAPESP news agency at http://agencia.fapesp.br/subscribe.

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hreinert@fapesp.br

Original Source

https://agencia.fapesp.br/35298/

Related Journal Article

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biaa139

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Conspiracies As Realities, Realities As Conspiracies

Conspiracies As Realities, Realities As Conspiracies

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com,

American politics over the last half decade has become immersed in a series of conspiracy charges leveled by Democrats against their…

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Conspiracies As Realities, Realities As Conspiracies

Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via AmGreatness.com,

American politics over the last half decade has become immersed in a series of conspiracy charges leveled by Democrats against their opponents that, in fact, are happening because of them and through them.

The consequences of these conspiracies becoming reality and reality revealing itself as conspiracy have been costly to American prestige, honor, and security. As we move away from denouncing realists as conspiracists, and self-pronounced “realists” are revealed as the true conspirators, let’s review a few of the more damaging of these events. 

Russians on the Brain 

Consider that the Trump election of 2016, the transition, and the first two years of the Trump presidency were undermined by a media-progressive generated hoax of “Russian collusion.”

The “bombshell” and “walls are closing in” mythologies dominated the network news and cable outlets. It took five years to expose them as rank agit-prop. 

Robert Mueller and his “dream team” consumed $40 million of Americans’ money and 22 months of our time—to find the nothingburger that most of the country already knew was nothing. Yet the subtext of the 2018 Democratic takeover of the House was the media narrative that Trump, as Hillary Clinton put it, was an “illegitimate” president, due to Russian collusion. 

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed on national television that Trump was a “Russian asset.” Former CIA head John Brennan assured the nation that the president was “treasonous,” due to his supposed “lies to the American people.”  

All sorts of politicians, retired military, and news anchors echoed the charges. The lies and myths of has-been British spy Christopher Steele made him a leftist hero. They were repeated ad nauseam as truth.  

FBI grandees like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith, and others destroyed their careers in their obsessions over Trump. In the process of destroying themselves, they also nearly wrecked the reputation of the FBI. The Pentagon has the lowest popular support in modern memory. The CIA is more feared by millions of Americans than by our enemies. 

Steele could not produce any evidence to back up his scurrilous charges. The inspector general of the Department of Justice found little evidence to substantiate any of the charges. James Comey and Robert Mueller under oath both pleaded either memory problems or denied any knowledge about the FBI’s use of Steele and the role his fake dossier played.  

Most of the televised accusers, when under oath before Congress, admitted they had no evidence for their flamboyant charges. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who claimed the dossier was authentic and that Trump was compromised, has repeatedly been revealed as a liar. In various televised House hearings, he kept getting caught either fabricating, misrepresenting, or warping evidence before his own committee. 

No matter. Hillary Clinton and the Left kept pounding “collusion.” The more it was proven false, the more they shouted the lie.  

Finally, special counsel John Durham’s investigations, some authentic media investigative reporting, and the preponderance of evidence showed not only that Trump did not collude with the Russians, but that the entire charge was a sick sort of projection on the part of Hillary Clinton and her vassals.  

Steele concocted the election-cycle fantasy using a former Clintonite totem in Moscow. Another source was the now indicted Igor Danchenko ( a “primary sub-source”), who was working at the leftist Brookings Institution while feeding Steele.  

A cynic might look at this sad chapter and conclude that Hillary Clinton sought to destroy her opponent by paying Christopher Steele to manufacture fantasies fabricated from left-wing and former Clinton associates. Then she used the media, the FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department to seed the farce while hiding her own role behind three firewalls including the DNC, the Perkins Coie law firm, and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS.  

The ultimate irony?  

Hillary Clinton did collude with those claiming to have Russian connections to warp an election, and she projected her likely illegal activity onto the target of her attacks. No conspiracist could trump such reality. Will Merrick Garland look at her role in this episode as he conducts his insurrectionist investigations concerning efforts to undermine an election? 

What was the post facto cost when such former “conspiracies” became realities, and former realities became the true conspiracies? The damage done was considerable. 

We once realistically used the Russians to balance the Chinese. But the Left, which appeased Vladimir Putin with “reset,” now flipped to create a climate of hate indiscriminately against all Russians. 

In this tortuous process from reset to collusion, we have empowered Putin among Russians as the heroic American resistor. We lost leverage against the Chinese. We ended up in a situation today where we are talking tough but are, in fact, sinking in a quagmire of fake collusion, the Afghanistan debacle, the Biden train wreck of 2021, and the woke hysteria. All that is making the calculating Putin wonder whether U.S. deterrence is now a phantom. In other words, we look ridiculous. 

The Lab We Dare Not Speak 

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the level-4 security Wuhan Institute of Virology lab has been central to all narratives about the origins, nature, and spread of the pandemic.  

There have been four cycles of these fantasies and realities.

First came the frantic denials of a connection by the Chinese government, most of the Americana media, a consortium of scientists mostly dependent on Drs. Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci for generous support, corporate grandees with lucrative concessions in China, and the federal health apparat itself.  

Second, the iron-clad denial of a human-engineered virus waned by the weight of its own contradictions. Evidence, at first circumstantial, later nearly overwhelming, seeped through the Wuhan denial wall of social media, traditional media, the Chinese government, and the U.S. establishment. Those interests all shared a common purpose of seeing Trump, the supposed Sinophobe,  gone and the bat/pangolin fiction conspiracy apparently seemed yet one more way to achieve this goal. 

A third phase then emerged, as the true role of Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance was revealed, as the pathetic international and Chinese-fed “investigations” collapsed in conflicts of interests, as interagency emails emerged from the CDC, NIH, and NIAID, and as a hothead Dr. Fauci protested too much in his paranoid denials before the Senate of his own role in any subsidized gain-of-function research. The American people and some media began to resist the intimidation and look at the evidence. 

Now we are at the fourth and final stage of the catastrophe. A once esteemed Fauci has been reduced to a cranky apparatchik. At best he will soon retire with some disgrace, and at worst he will be subject to years of investigation and litigation once his left-wing defenders in Congress, who once found him so useful, lose their majority. 

Most others who fiercely denied the human genesis of the supposed “bat” virus have either retired or resigned from their posts at the CDC and NIH. Democratic politicos have stopped slandering those who argued there was no natural origin to the pandemic.  

Indeed, they are now parroting the once reviled advice of Dr. Scott Atlas. Stanford immunologists and epidemiologists are no longer smeared but quoted with approval. The Left now seeks to ease the lockdowns, to admit that thousands died “with” rather than “because” of the virus, and to concede that natural immunity is valuable. It agrees that there are therapies and carefully targeted quarantines other than just serial booster vaccinations and mass lockdowns to lower the death toll of the COVID strains and the never-ending mass quarantines. That Biden, not Trump, is suffering from the lockdowns offers added incentive to its revisionism. 

As the authority, power, and reputation of Fauci, Inc. waned, several scientists and government investigators are now liberated. They are demonstrating why the engineered virus is wholly different from its natural cousins, and why its manufactured nature is so infectious to humankind. We are getting close to learning, despite vestigial Chinese and U.S. government pushback, how SARS-CoV-2 was birthed, why it spread so quickly, and why so many denied its origins and nature. 

Pause for a minute and consider: The origins of the greatest pandemic since the 1918-19 flu—one that has killed millions, occurring at the zenith of global scientific progress, world cooperation, and technological achievement—were simply hidden from the global public.  

Worse, anyone with legitimate questions about the official Chinese and Fauci narratives of a naturally occurring bat or pangolin virus that leaped over to humankind, one with no relationship to the nearby Wuhan lab and without prior animal infections, was targeted for character assassination.  

Again, we are left with the real conspiracy that blamed the realists as conspiracists. The Chinese and Anthony Fauci played the role of Hillary Clinton, in accusing others of anti-scientific conspiracies as they wove scenarios that were dubious but aimed at aligning powerful figures in a conspiracy of sorts to smother the emerging and astounding truth of their own culpability.  

The January 6 “Coup” 

Finally, we come to the third case of projection, yet another conspiracy to create conspiracists.  

The January 6 riot was disgraceful. But it was a one-day spontaneous, chaotic, illegal entrance in and desecration of the Capitol by assorted buffoons.  

We now know that even according to the FBI investigation—that was and is eager to prove a coup—January 6 was not a carefully planned putsch as Joe Biden so blatantly lied recently.  

New insurrectionist indictments—by Attorney General Merrick Garland in response to left-wing pressures—targeted a disorganized and psychodramatic group of self-important Oath Keepers wannabes and poseurs. In contrast, serious insurrectionists do not leave their guns behind in order to abide by strict D.C. firearms laws. They do not ride to their rendezvous at the Capitol in golf carts. And they do not stage an insurrection by being unarmed as they scatter about, yell, confront police, raise hell, and meander through the Capitol.  

If these had been serious insurrectionists, they would have followed the Antifa model: arriving stealthily in the many hundreds if not thousands, melting through crowds to assigned locations, in black with padded body armor, helmets, various clubs, and carefully coordinating their weeks-long and sustained violence on approved social media.  

Or if they were serious about using extra-legal means, they would (to take some non-random examples) encourage retired officers to pen a letter calling on the military to use force to remove a president and advocate in national journals that the military plan for a coup against the elected president, or write op-eds suggesting the president leave “the sooner the better,” or brag about a “conspiracy” and a “coup” of CEOs, who coordinate with the rich, with street activists, and with leftists to “stem the flow of information,” to modulate violence in the street, to flood voting precincts with subsidized ballot workers, and to warp the allotment of resources—and post facto brag in TIME magazine about the successful effort. Or finally perhaps they would just do as Hillary Clinton did: advise their preferred candidate (as she did Joe Biden) never to accept a ballot count that goes other than his preferred way. 

Then there is the work of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who created a January 6 investigation committee. In an unprecedented move, she vetoed the House minority leader’s nominations to the committee. She instead picked her own. 

Only two Republicans were willing to serve. They apparently had to fulfill her three criteria of voting for the Trump impeachment, of being so unpopular with Republican voters that their congressional futures will end in 2021 and being on record as praising Nancy Pelosi. 

The committee has one left-wing agenda: ferreting out any statement by an elected Republican official deemed too ambiguous about the riot being an insurrection. It seeks to cast them as Jefferson Davis-style Confederates, deserving of removal from Congress for plotting “insurrection,” along the Civil War standards of the 1868 14th Amendment.  

The committee members are not interested in reopening the investigation of the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, a man who may not have ever been sufficiently interrogated by investigators.  

They seem indifferent to the likely presence and use of FBI informants.  

They care not a whit about the treatment of some uncharged suspects in solitary confinement or detained in primitive jail conditions. 

Nor are they concerned about the asymmetrical and weaponized federal reaction to January 6 when compared to general government indifference about the summer 2020 planned riots.  

As far as entering federal property to do damage to sacred sites, in May 2020 hundreds sought to break into the White House grounds, injured dozens of secret service agents, and posed such a threat that President Trump was removed to a bunker. All that is now forgotten. 

Nor is the committee concerned about the role of prominent Americans in encouraging that summer’s violence, looting, arson, and rioting. 

Current Vice President Kamala Harris boasted during the summer 2020 riots that such organized violence would go on and on, and would and should not cease: 

They’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. This is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day and they’re not going to stop after Election Day. And everyone should take note of that. They’re not gonna let up and they should not.

Had Trump voiced Harris’ encouragement of street violence, he would now be indicted.

In investigating a supposed conspiracy, why does the committee conspire to ensure that thousands of hours of videos are not released that might give a more accurate picture of the culpable who prompted the Capitol riot, who participated, and the reaction of the Capitol police?  

Why conspire not to force the attorney general and FBI director in closed session to list all FBI informants involved in the riot, or any intergovernmental law enforcement communications about their use?  

Why not simply have a comprehensive investigation about 2020-21 domestic violence of all sorts, and begin with summer 2020 and continue to January 6?  

Why not allow the nominated Republicans skeptical of the official January 6 narrative to vie on the committee in the pursuit of truth with their opponents? Instead of equating the riot with the Civil War, Pearl Harbor, or 9/11, why not issue a report about the long history of violence in the Capitol to adjudicate comparisons with the January 6 riot? 

The answers are obvious. A midterm election looms in fewer than 10 months. Given Biden’s current historic unpopularity, given the failure of his policies, given generic anger at the Democratic Party, the campaign talking points are not going to be the border, Afghanistan, inflation, energy, race relations, or the build back better multitrillion dollar fiasco.  

Instead, it will be Trump! “Democracy dies in 2022!!” and “January 6!!!” 

Ponder the costs of this January 6 exaggerated narrative. The U.S. Army is now running war games designed to defeat fantasy right-wing domestic terrorists. The FBI is monitoring PTAs and schoolchildren’s parents. 

As it searches for “white supremacists” and uses indoctrination educational methods to ensure the end of “white privilege” and “white rage,” the military polls record lows in public support. More than half the country distrusts it. Efforts at recruitment are stalling, despite generous bonuses.  

Vaccination mandates apply even to those with acquired immunity from past infection and are also winnowing the ranks. The military failure in Afghanistan and its diversity, equity and inclusion cannibalism have stirred China and Russia to recognize an opportunity. In tandem both now increasingly salivate over Taiwan and Ukraine. 

January 6 has been used to slander anyone supporting voter IDs, which are common in Europe and most of the states.  

Joe Biden—who in his earlier career wished it known that officials like segregationist George Wallace, Fritz Hollings, and James Eastland were friendly to him—has a long history of racist “gaffes.” He knows he will either not be reelected, or will not run again, or he will be removed from office, or resign. For a failing Biden and a soon to be thrown out narrow congressional Democratic majority, it is now or never. 

The Costs 

The collusion, COVID-19, and January 6 narratives have been terribly costly to the nation.  

Conspiracy projection has split apart the country. The Left has fought efforts to learn the full truth, as they project conspiracies to disguise conspirators. 

They have grievously weakened the reputation and authority of the U.S. government here and abroad.  

We are lectured that “democracy dies” if the Democrats lose elections and “voter suppression” requires drastic counteraction—even as the Left goes after the Electoral College, the nine-justice Supreme Court, the filibuster, the 50-state union, and the constitutional primacy of states to set voting laws. 

All this is as pathetic as it is fatal to the survival of the American project.

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/18/2022 - 23:50

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Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production Growth

Top 4 oil stocks to buy for profiting from exploration and production growth offer a potential gusher of opportunity. The top 4 oil stocks to buy for profiting from exploration and production (E&P) growth should be fueled by a 22% rise in global drill

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Top 4 oil stocks to buy for profiting from exploration and production growth offer a potential gusher of opportunity.

The top 4 oil stocks to buy for profiting from exploration and production (E&P) growth should be fueled by a 22% rise in global drilling & completion (D&C) spending in 2022 to mark the strongest annual jump since 2006, according to BofA Global Research. After a couple of tough years for the oilfield services (OFS) industry, BofA is predicting that this year could be one of robust D&C spending growth.

Unlike the prior cycle that was dominated by U.S. D&C spending growth, international spending is expected to be strong in 2022. As a result, BofA is projecting a broadened D&C spending recovery in 2022, including U.S. and international growth of 37% and 15%, respectively.

Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production Spending

E&P companies in the oil and gas industry are engaged in the early stage of energy production known as the upstream segment of the business. E&P involves searching for and extracting oil and gas from the ground. 

Typically, E&P companies do not refine or produce energy but instead focus on finding and extracting raw materials. Midstream activities follow with companies that specialize in storing, processing and transporting the crude oil and raw natural gas products. The function of midstream companies is to operate tanker ships, pipelines and storage facilities to help move those raw materials and prepare them for the downstream process that refines the resources into fuels and finished products for marketing, distribution and sale.

Energy is one of the limited number of industries that are benefitting from the current rising yield environment. Increased prices have helped oil stocks and are producing buying opportunities for investors, according to the Jan. 18 issue of the Fast Money Alert trading service led by Mark Skousen, PhD, and Jim Woods. 

Mark Skousen, a descendent of Benjamin Franklin, meets with Paul Dykewicz.

Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration, Production and Inflation

Crude oil prices are surging on a combination of rising inflation, steady demand and a constricted supply, Skousen and Woods opined.

“Those rising prices have created a bullish setup in several oil stocks,” wrote Skousen and Woods. Skousen, named one of the world’s Top 20 living economists by www.superscholar.org, is the leader of the Forecasts & Strategies investment newsletter, as well as the Five Star Trader, TNT Trader and Home Run Trader advisory services. Woods writes the Successful Investing and Intelligence Report investment newsletters, as well as heads the Bullseye Stock Trader and High Velocity Options advisory services.

Jim Woods and Paul Dykewicz discuss stocks to buy now.

BofA reports it has been watching the private U.S. exploration and production companies closely, forecasting their rig activity is now above pre-COVID levels. However, the public U.S. E&Ps are still 45% below pre-COVID levels.

While public E&Ps will take their activity levels modestly above maintenance, likely producing 20%-plus year over year (y/y) growth in the group’s capital expenditures (capex), private E&Ps should provide the biggest increases in 2022. For example, BofA expects private E&P capex to surge by roughly 55% in 2022. Overall, U.S. E&P capex is projected by BofA to rise 37% this year, including 10% due to inflation.

Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production

Energy stocks had a strong finish to 2021 and most of the reasons for it continue in 2022, said Bob Carlson, who heads the Retirement Watch investing newsletter. Inflation is likely to remain high for much of 2022 and perhaps longer, helping to power energy stocks that traditionally serve as a good inflation hedge for such conditions.

“In addition, capital investments in the energy sector lagged the last few years, continued Carlson, who also serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Virginia’s Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System with more than $4 billion in assets. “Capital investments aren’t going to surge enough to increase supply anytime soon. In fact, some governments are discouraging or prohibiting additional investments in traditional energy sources, and many banks and other capital sources reduced their exposure to the sector as part of their environmental policies.”

The result is demand likely will surpass supply for a while, absent a recession, Carlson counseled. Many energy companies, especially the shale oil producers, have made clear that they will be more friendly to shareholders going forward. Instead of investing heavily to maximize production, they will focus more on profitability and ensuring shareholders have cash distributions and stock price appreciation, he added.

Pension fund and Retirement Watch chief Bob Carlson answers questions from columnist Paul Dykewicz.

BofA’s Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production

With BofA preferring oil stocks that have more exposure to the United States E&P market, it recommended Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), with dual headquarters in Houston and Fort Worth, Texasa. BoA rated HAL as a buy and the “best-in-class” North American, large-cap E&P stock.

The investment firm released a research report recently that described Halliburton as its favorite offshore large-cap investment in the sector. One reason is that U.S. E&P capital discipline has reduced the sensitivity of domestic activity to oil prices, it noted.

But with oil now at $80, U.S. onshore activity may have underappreciated upside that will help to drive further gains for HAL’s consensus estimates, BofA continued. Amid that positive outlook, BofA reiterated its buy rating and raised its 2022 / 2023 earnings per share (EPS) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) estimates to $1.85 / $2.66 and $3,659 million / $4,770 million, respectively.

For those who like value-added charts, Stock Rover has provided such visual demonstrations of the recent track record of HAL and BofA’s other three recommended oil stocks of BofA. 

The Williams indicators in the illustrative Stock Rover charts show momentum, with 0 to -20 (shaded in red) considered overbought and -80 to -100 regarded as oversold. The accompanying Stock Rover charts also are overlaid with a volume indicator.

Chart generated using Stock Rover. Activate your 2-week free trial now.

In addition, charts that feature Keltner Channels are a more informative variation on moving average lines.

Chart generated using Stock Rover.

NEX Joins Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production

Among the smallest 2,500 stocks within the broad S&P benchmark, three of those small- and mid-cap oil companies focusing on D&C received buy recommendations from BofA. One of them is Houston-based NexTier (NYSE: NEX), a land oilfield service company that has a diverse set of well completion and production services.

NexTier gained a buy recommendation from BofA partly as the “best way” to invest in tightening pumping fundamentals. Specifically, BofA is positive on U.S. hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. pressure pumping) fundamentals. Basically, attrition is tightening the fracturing market much more quickly than investors might expect even though the crew count is still well below 2019 levels. 

Despite NEX’s recent rise, the stock still appears undervalued, BofA added. Continued execution and market tailwinds should help this “exceptionally cheap” stock re-rate as consensus estimates move higher this year, the investment firm added.

Chart generated using Stock Rover. Activate your 2-week free trial now.

As such, BofA affirmed its buy rating on NEX and raised its 2022 / 2023 EBITDA estimates to $329.9 million / $426.1 million.

Chart generated using Stock Rover.

Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production: PTEN

Patterson UTI (NASDAQ: PTEN), a Houston-based provider of oilfield services and products to oil and natural gas E&P companies in the United States and other select countries, offers contract drilling, pressure pumping and directional drilling services. BofA wrote that rig count upside exists to drive day-rate momentum for PTEN.

The company is rated as BofA’s favorite land driller. Key reasons are (1) higher leverage to U.S. private E&Ps, (2) lower capex requirements, especially when compared to competitors, and (3) cheaper valuation than its closest peer, BofA opined.

“Furthermore, we think U.S. horizontal rig activity could end the year around 650 rigs, which implies more than 100 rigs added between now and the end of the year,” BofA wrote in a recent note. “And if activity plays out like we think this year, we expect day rates to climb into the mid-$20,000 range as total Super Spec rig utilization eclipses 90%.”

Chart generated using Stock Rover.

Upon taking all these factors into account, BofA reiterated its buy rating, while raising its 2022 / 2023 EBITDA estimates on the stock to $426.7 million / $594.3 million.

Chart generated using Stock Rover.

Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production: WHD

Cactus Wellhead (NYSE: WHD), of Houston, designs, manufactures, sells and rents a range of highly engineered wellhead and pressure control equipment. Its products are sold and rented principally for onshore unconventional oil and gas wells and are used during the drilling, completion and production phases of its customers’ wells.

In addition, Cactus Wellhead provides field services for all its products and rental items to assist with the installation, maintenance and handling of the wellhead and pressure control equipment. BofA forecasts U.S. drilling upside that could give WHD’s margins tailwinds.

WHD, with a 40%-plus share of the U.S. wellhead market, is set to benefit from continued momentum in U.S. drilling activity, BofA predicted. Plus, the investment firm forecast that the company’s product segment could be helped if its input costs, such as steel, come down even as Cactus Wellhead has had success boosting prices to offset inflationary pressures, BofA added.

“Keep in mind, though, that typically WHD does not have to concede some of the price gains captured previously as input costs come down, which is a possible added catalyst for margins in 2022,” BofA wrote. “Therefore, we reiterate our buy rating.”

Chart generated using Stock Rover.

BofA raised its 2022 / 2023 EBITDA estimates to $193.4 million / $272.5 million.

Chart generated using Stock Rover. Activate your 2-week free trial now.

Underappreciated Free Cash Flow Growth for the Oilfield Service Sector

With the oil and gas industry entering its “twilight years” amid a global push toward clean energy sources, investors have begun to focus more on free cash flow and less on growth, BofA wrote. With activity on the rebound and oilfield service pricing set to climb this year, the oilfield services sector is positioned to generate significant growth in free cash flow.

At this point in the cycle, cash flow growth really doesn’t require much, if any, growth capex, BofA added. Plus, use of the U.S. dollar to price oil favors such stocks, so any decline in the greenback compared to other currencies should increase the prices of oil and other forms of energy.

There are 21 stocks in the energy sector of the S&P 500. At the end of 2021, those stocks had a combined market value of about $1 trillion. That’s about a third of Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) $3 trillion market value and a little more than the 2021 increase in the technology company’s market capitalization, Carlson commented.

 Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Dominates U.S. Cases

The economy is affected by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 causing 99.5% of new coronavirus cases in the United States last week to show a slight increase from the previous week, according to Jan. 18 estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Delta variant accounts for the remaining 0.5%.

An average of 750,000-plus new COVID-19 infections were reported every day over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 156,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 16, based on the most recent data available at press time.

Reports indicate that the recent surge in COVID cases is causing some hospitals to run out of space to treat other patients in intensive care units. A squeeze also is occurring in the travel industry due to canceled flights from rising COVID cases, as workers at airlines, airports and related retailers call in sick.

COVID-19 Concerns Continue as Cases and Deaths Keep Climbing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the variants still are spurring people to obtain COVID-19 boosters. But more than 60 million people in the United States remain eligible to be vaccinated but have not done so, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief White House medical adviser on COVID-19.

As of Jan 18, 249,393,487 people, or 75.1% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC reported. Those who are fully vaccinated total 209,312,770, or 63% of the U.S. population, according to the CDC.

COVID-19 deaths worldwide, as of Jan. 18, topped the 5.5 million mark to hit 5,554,152, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide COVID-19 cases have zoomed past 333 million, reaching 333,705,640 on that date.

U.S. COVID-19 cases, as of Jan. 18, soared beyond 67.5 million, totaling 67,581,992 and causing 853,951 deaths. America has the dreaded distinction as the country with the most COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The four stocks to buy for profiting from oil exploration and production growth give investors a chance to buy shares in stocks that are in an industry that until recently had lost favor due to its use of fossil fuels in an era of climate consciousness. Open-minded investors willing to invest in those stocks while they are on the rise and many other sectors are struggling could outperform the market this year.

The post Top 4 Oil Stocks to Buy for Profiting from Exploration and Production Growth appeared first on Stock Investor.

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Machine learning model uses blood tests to predict COVID-19 survival

A single blood sample from a critically ill COVID-19 patient can be analyzed by a machine learning model which uses blood plasma proteins to predict survival, weeks before the outcome, according to a new study published this week in the open-access journa

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A single blood sample from a critically ill COVID-19 patient can be analyzed by a machine learning model which uses blood plasma proteins to predict survival, weeks before the outcome, according to a new study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS Digital Health by Florian Kurth and Markus Ralser of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, and colleagues.

Credit: Johannes Hartl, Charité

A single blood sample from a critically ill COVID-19 patient can be analyzed by a machine learning model which uses blood plasma proteins to predict survival, weeks before the outcome, according to a new study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS Digital Health by Florian Kurth and Markus Ralser of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, and colleagues.

Healthcare systems around the world are struggling to accommodate high numbers of severely ill COVID-19 patients who need special medical attention, especially if they are identified as being at high risk. Clinically established risk assessments in intensive care medicine, such as the SOFA or APACHE II, show only limited reliability in predicting future disease outcomes for COVID-19.

In the new study, researchers studied the levels of 321 proteins in blood samples taken at 349 timepoints from 50 critically ill COVID-19 patients being treated in two independent health care centers in Germany and Austria. A machine learning approach was used to find associations between the measured proteins and patient survival.

15 of the patients in the cohort died; the average time from admission to death was 28 days. For patients who survived, the median time of hospitalization was 63 days. The researchers pinpointed 14 proteins which, over time, changed in opposite directions for patients who survive compared to patients who do not survive on intensive care. The team then developed a machine learning model to predict survival based on a single time-point measurement of relevant proteins and tested the model on an independent validation cohort of 24 critically ill COVID-10 patients. The model demonstrated high predictive power on this cohort, correctly predicting the outcome for 18 of 19 patients who survived and 5 out of 5 patients who died (AUROC = 1.0, P = 0.000047).

The researchers conclude that blood protein tests, if validated in larger cohorts, may be useful in both identifying patients with the highest mortality risk, as well as for testing whether a given treatment changes the projected trajectory of an individual patient.

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In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Digital Health: https://journals.plos.org/digitalhealth/article?id=10.1371/journal.pdig.0000007

Citation: Demichev V, Tober-Lau P, Nazarenko T, Lemke O, Kaur Aulakh S, Whitwell H, et al. (2022) A proteomic survival predictor for COVID-19 patients in intensive care. PLOS Digit Health 1(1): e0000007. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pdig.0000007

Author Countries: Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, Austria, Sweden

Funding: For full statement, see press-only preview (above). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing interests. Author John F. Timms was unable to confirm their authorship contributions. On their behalf, the corresponding author has reported their contributions to the best of their knowledge.


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