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Futures Surge Propelled By Stellar Tech, Energy Earnings

Futures Surge Propelled By Stellar Tech, Energy Earnings

US and European stock were set for their best month since November 2020 following…

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Futures Surge Propelled By Stellar Tech, Energy Earnings

US and European stock were set for their best month since November 2020 following blowout earnings from the likes of Amazon and Apple last night, and record profits from energy giants Exxon and Chevron this morning, boosted by expectations of shallower Federal Reserve monetary tightening now that the US is technically in a recession. S&P futures rose 0.6% following yesterday's meltup while Nasdaq 100 futures rose more than 1% after US stocks hit a seven-week high Thursday, as record underinvested hedge funds are forced to chase the move higher now that most downside catalysts (peak inflation, hawkish Fed, earnings disappointment) have been eliminated. The dollar was flat, and 10Y yields rose slightly to 2.70% after plunging as low as 2.65% yesterday after the Q2 GDP print confirmed news of the unofficial US recession.

In premarket trading, Amazon soared as much as 13% in premarket trading on Friday, after the e-commerce giant reported better-than-expected 2Q results and gave an upbeat forecast. Apple rose 2.8% after the iPhone maker reported third-quarter revenue that was stronger than expected. US energy giants Exxon and Chevron both rose sharply higher in premarket trading after reporting record profits for Q2. here are some other notable premarket movers:

  • Roku (ROKU US) tumbles 26% after the video-streaming platform company issued a 3Q revenue forecast and reported 2Q results that were weaker than expected, citing a slowdown in TV advertising spending.
  • Intel (INTC US) slumps 9.4% after the chip manufacturer reported lower-than-expected 2Q earnings and cut its full-year forecasts
  • US-listed Chinese stocks fall in premarket trading, following Asian peers lower, amid a lack of new stimulus policies from China’s top leadership.
  • Avantor Inc. (AVTR US) analysts pointed to several factors weighing on the life sciences firm’s results, including its exposure to the European market, forex and Covid. Avantor’s shares slid 11% in US postmarket trading on Thursday.
  • Dexcom Inc. (DXCM US) shares slumped as much as 18% in premarket trading, with analysts pointing to disappointing US growth and a delay to the US launch of the medical device maker’s G7 glucose- monitoring system used by people with diabetes. Analysts said the reaction was overdone and a buying opportunity given the growth outlook.
  • Edwards Life (EW US) down after posting second- quarter results below analyst expectations, as hospital staff shortages and FX headwinds weigh on the medical technology company’s growth.

Global shares are set for a second weekly advance, paring this year’s rout. The risk is that the recent bout of optimism eventually gets a reality check if inflation stays stubbornly elevated, leaving interest rates higher than investors would like amid an economic downturn.

“At some point, the Fed will pivot policy and that should be better for risk markets, but in the meantime, they’re so bent on quelling inflation that we prefer not to buy the dip here,” Thomas Taw, head of APAC iShares Investment Strategy at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg Radio.

Elsewhere, a call between US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping underlined bilateral tension even as the leaders sought an in-person meeting.

European stocks also rallied into the month-end after positive earnings buoyed sentiment. The Euro Stoxx 600 rose 0.9%, with Italy's. FTSE MIB outperforms peers, adding 1.6%, FTSE 100 lags, adding 0.6%. Construction, retailers and consumer products are the strongest performing sectors. The banking sector outperformed after a slate of better-than-expected results from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Standard Chartered Plc and BNP Paribas SA. Hermes International rose about 6% after joining LVMH and Kering SA in posting strong results, showing the luxury consumer is resilient so far to high inflation and worries over a potential economic downturn. Here are some other notable European movers:

  • NatWest shares surge as much as 9.5% after the UK lender reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates, also announcing a special dividend with analysts seeing consensus upgrades ahead.
  • Allfunds jumps as much as 14%, most since May, after reporting adjusted Ebitda ahead of Morgan Stanley’s expectations and providing a “reassuring outlook.”
  • Zalando rises as much as 8.7% alongside other European ecommerce stocks following blowout results from US giant Amazon, which sent its shares surging in premarket trading.
  • Hermes climbs as much as 9.6% to an almost 6-month high after the maker of Kelly handbags reported what Bernstein called a “very strong” beat, with 2Q sales almost 9% ahead.
  • L’Oreal jumps as much as 5.2% after it reported 2Q like-for-like sales that beat estimates, with Jefferies calling the performance “another quarter of gravity- defying growth.”
  • Fluidra gains as much as 12%, the most intraday since October 2020, despite a guidance cut as analysts remain optimistic on longer-term prospects.
  • Kion rises as much as 9.6%, the most since March, bouncing after a post-results decline in the prior session. UBS said it’s positive on the forklift maker’s outlook.
  • Signify slumps as much as 11% after reporting 2Q Ebita below consensus and flagging margin headwinds, which Citi expects will lead to low-single-digit downgrades to full-year estimates.
  • AstraZeneca slides as much as 3.1% on its latest earnings, which exceeded estimates. Analysts say the beat, however, was fueled by one-time items.
  • EssilorLuxottica dips as much as 5.1% after the eyewear firm reported interim results. Jefferies noted the “understandably circumspect” tone of the company’s near-term outlook.
  • Fresenius Medical Care declines as much as 5.7%, extending Thursday’s 14% fall, as the market continued to digest the guidance downgrade. JPMorgan cut its price target by more than 50%.
  • AMS-Osram shares fall as much as 9.7% after its new guidance consensus estimates, with the chipmaker saying production volumes were hit by increasingly unfavorable end markets.

Euro-zone GDP rose by more than three times the amount economists expected, putting it on a firmer footing as surging inflation and a possible Russian energy cutoff threaten to tip it into a recession. On the other hand, inflation in the region soared to another all-time high, supporting calls for the European Central Bank to follow up its first interest-rate hike since 2011 with another big move.

The tone was more somber in Asia, hampered by a tumble in Chinese tech shares that dragged Hong Kong toward a correction of more than 10% from a June high. Asian stocks slumped as losses in Chinese equities offset gains in the rest of the region, after the nation’s Politburo refrained from announcing new stimulus. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index swung between small gains and losses on Friday. Alibaba and Tencent were among the biggest drags, countering gains in heavyweights including TSMC and Reliance Industries. The Hang Seng Index entered a technical correction, while a gauge of Hong Kong’s tech shares tumbled close to 5%. Sentiment was damped by Chinese leaders’ downbeat assessment of growth and the lack of new measures to boost the economy from a highly anticipated Politburo meeting. Shares of Alibaba tumbled after a report said that Jack Ma was planning to give up control of his fintech unit Ant Group, ahead of the tech giant’s earnings report next week.

“We were kind of looking for more policy” from the Chinese government before the National Party Congress later this year, Thomas Taw, head of APAC iShares Investment Strategy at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg Radio. “I think the offshore, foreign sentiment towards China is very, very bearish at the moment.” Investors are also monitoring the latest corporate results while keeping an eye on the property crisis and Covid situation in China. Major overseas earnings before the Asian open were a mixed bag, with strong reports from Apple and Amazon while Intel disappointed. The key Asian stock gauge is still on track for its biggest monthly gain so far in 2022. While stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China are set for a monthly loss, the region’s other markets such as India, Japan and South Korea are poised for their best months of the year.

Japanese stocks dipped in afternoon trading as the yen resumed strengthening against the dollar. The Topix fell 0.4% to close at 1,940.31, while the Nikkei was down 0.1% to 27,801.64. Still the Nikkei closed July with a 5.3% gain, its best month since November 2020. The yen rose 0.9% to around 133 per dollar, pushing its three-day advance to 2.8%. Yen Advances to Level That Threatens This Year’s Big FX Short Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix decline, decreasing 2.8% after it missed earnings expectations. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 601 rose and 1,469 fell, while 100 were unchanged.

In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index falls 0.3%. GBP and CAD are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, JPY continues to outperform, trading at 133.11/USD.  

In fixed income, Treasuries were cheaper across the curve with losses led by the long-end, where yields are higher by around 4bp. Wider losses seen across bunds and gilts, weighing on Treasuries as ECB rate-hike premium is added in after a mix of CPI and GDP data out of Eurozone. US 10-year yields around 2.70%, cheaper by 2bp on the day and outperforming bunds and gilts by 3.5bp and 4.5bp in the sector; long-end led losses steepens 2s10s, 5s30s spreads each by around 2bp on the day. IG issuance slate empty so far; four names priced $5.1b Thursday, paying 15bp in concessions on order books that were 3 times oversubscribed. 

WTI trades within Thursday’s range, adding 2.1% to trade around $98. Spot gold rises roughly $8 to trade close to $1,765/oz. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 3.9%, outperforming peers.

Looking to the day ahead, data includes the employment cost index, PCE, income, and spending data in the US, Tokyo CPI, consumer confidence, jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, and starts in Japan, CPI and GDP in France, GDP in Germany, and GDP in Canada. It’s another full slate of earnings which will include Sony, Exxon, Procter & Gamble, Chevron, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Colgate-Palmolive, BNP Paribas, Eni, Intesa Sanpaolo, LyondellBasell, Engie, BBVA, NatWest, and Citrix.

Market Snapshot

S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,103.00

Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,763.27

U.S. Dollar Index down 0.36% to 105.97

 

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Euro-zone inflation climbed to another all-time high, supporting calls for the European Central Bank to follow up its first interest-rate hike since 2011 with another big move
  • The euro-zone economy expanded by more than three times the amount economists expected, putting it on a firmer footing as surging inflation and a possible Russian energy cutoff threaten to tip it into a recession
  • Stocks in Europe and the US are set for their biggest monthly advance since November 2020 on positive earnings and expectations of shallower Federal Reserve monetary tightening
  • China’s top leadership is committing to ample liquidity as the nation contends with a slowdown. So far, a lot of that cash is sitting in the financial system instead of being transmitted to the real economy
  • Biden, Xi Plan In-Person Meet as Taiwan Tensions Intensify
  • Amazon, Apple Poised to Add $230 Billion After Resilient Results
  • Citigroup Drops Some Clients to Boost Trading Returns
  • Credit Suisse Woes Spread to Singapore With $800 Million Trial
  • Bitcoin and Ether Are on Track for Their Best Month Since 2021
  • Russia Is Wiring Dollars to Turkey for $20 Billion Nuclear Plant
  • Alibaba Slumps as Traders Assess Earnings Risk, Ant Report
  • BofA Says Too Soon for Bull Rally as Investors Pile Into Stocks
  • Singapore, New York Tie for Highest First Half Rental Growth
  • Morgan Stanley Hires Shen as Head of China Onshore Equities
  • Alito Mocks Foreign Leaders Who Attacked His Abortion Opinion

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

APAC stocks traded mixed despite the positive lead from Wall Street, with Chinese markets lagging. ASX 200 was lifted by gold names amid the recent rise in the precious metal. Nikkei 225 saw mild gains throughout the session but eventually fell into the red amid notable JPY strength, whilst Nissan shares fell over 4% at one point after earnings. KOSPI was propelled by its Telecom sector, with Financials and Industrials also aiding. Hang Seng slipped over 2% with Alibaba shedding 6% after WSJ reported that Jack Ma intends to relinquish control of Ant Group. Headlines pointed out the Hang Seng index has fallen 10% from its June peak. Shanghai Comp held a negative bias as traders reacted to the Biden-Xi call, which included no rollback of Trump-era tariffs. Selling thereafter resumed following downbeat commentary from China's MOFCOM, suggesting the outlook for H2 trade growth is not optimistic.

Top Asian News

  • China's Commerce Ministry said China's foreign trade faces higher risks; the outlook for China's H2 trade growth is not optimistic, via Bloomberg. MOFCOM said they will study targeted measures for foreign trade, and will step up support for export credit insurance in H2 and expand imports actively and ensure domestic commodity supply, via Reuters.
  • China's Commerce Ministry official said foundation for consumption recovery is not solid yet, more efforts needed to boost consumption, via Reuters.
  • Japanese government decided to tap JPY 257bln in budget reserves to help with rising oil and broader inflation, according to the MoF.
  • PBoC injected CNY 2bln via 7-day reverse repos with the maintained rate of 2.10% for a net drain of CNY 1bln and for a weekly drain of CNY 12bln
  • PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.7437 vs exp. 6.7414 (prev. 6.7411)
  • Japan's Finance Minister Suzuki provides no comment on day-to-day FX moves, closely watching moves with a sense of urgency while working with the BoJ; Japan's MOF said it did not intervene in FX in the June 29th to July 27th period.

European bourses are firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%, and are set to post their best monthly performance since Nov'20. Stateside, the NQ continues to outperform, +1.2%, amid after-market earnings from AMZN and AAPL; US PCE Price Index ahead.

Top European News

  • Germany Stagnates as Rest of Europe Beats Estimates: GDP Update
  • UK June Mortgage Approvals Fall to 24-Month Low of 63.7k
  • Ukraine Latest: Lavrov in No Rush to Respond to Blinken Request
  • Amundi Defies Gloom Among Managers With $1.8-Billion Inflows
  • Biden, Xi Plan In-Person Meet as Taiwan Tensions Intensify

FX

  • Yen recovery momentum gathers pace and extends beyond Dollar pairing to JPY crosses, USD/JPY slides over 2 big figures to test 132.50, EUR/JPY down to 137.56 from 137.32.
  • DXY loses grip of 106.000 post-negative US GDP print and looking for support from PCE, ECI and/or Chicago PMI.
  • Euro fades again irrespective of some encouraging Eurozone data and option expiry interest may be capping, EUR/USD tops out just over 1.0250 yet again and circa 3bln rolling off between 1.2045-50.
  • Rand underpinned by Gold gains and Lira holds above 18.0000 as Turkish trade deficit narrows and Russia transfers funds for a nuclear facility.
  • Sterling fades amidst mixed BoE consumer credit and housing metrics, Cable sub-1.2150 vs 1.2245 at best and EUR/GBP probing 0.8400 vs low around 0.8346 yesterday.

Fixed Income

  • Marked debt retracement following run of even more pronounced recovery gains.
  • Bunds fade just shy of 158.00 again and retreat to 156.21, Gilts reverse around 100 ticks from 118.36 and T-note to 120-21+ from 121-08 at best.
  • Stronger than expected Eurozone data also in the mix along with buoyant risk sentiment and firm oil.
  • Bonds braced for busy pm agenda comprising US PCE, ECI and Chicago PMI.

Commodities

  • WTI Sep’22 and Brent Oct’22 are posting gains in excess of 2.0% on the session but remain capped by USD 100/bbl and 105/bbl respectively.
  • Dutch TTF Sep’22 has pulled back to modestly below the EUR 200/mWh mark, but remains bid after several sessions of pronounced price action.
  • Spot gold is relatively contained and resides just above the unchanged mark but continues to be dictated by the USD with the JPY-induced pressure lifting the yellow metal briefly overnight.
  • Saudi Energy Minister and Russian Deputy PM Novak met in Riyadh and discussion cooperation between the two nations, according to Twitter, via Reuters.

Biden-Xi Call

  • Senior US admin official said US President Biden and China's President Xi discussed face-to-face meeting and directed teams to follow up; did not discuss any potential lifting of US tariffs on Chinese products.
  • White House said presidents Biden and Xi discussed a range of issues important to bilateral relationship and other regional/global issues.
  • Senior US admin official said Biden and Xi had a 'direct and honest' discussion on Taiwan. They discussed areas of cooperation including climate change, health security and counter-narcotics. Biden brought up the long-standing concerns on human rights. Macroeconomic coordination between China and US is of great importance. Biden explained to Xi his core concerns about China's economic practices.
  • China President Xi told US President Biden that the US should abide by the One China principle, and act in line with its words, according to State Media. On the Taiwan issue, Xi told Biden that 'those who play with fire will get burned'. Xi told Biden that China fiercely opposes Taiwan independence and the interference of external forces
  • US President Biden told China President Xi that the US stance on One China policy remains unchanged, according to China's Global Times.

Central Banks

  • BoJ Summary of Opinions (Jul meeting): achieving the price stability target in a stable manner is difficult given developments in the output gap and inflation expectations. The recent resurgence of COVID-19 is extremely rapid, and it is necessary to examine how this will affect financial positions, mainly of small and medium-sized firms. The Bank needs to closely monitor the impact that the recent increase in its Japanese government bond (JGB) purchases to contain upward pressure on interest rates has on the functioning of the JGB market.
  • ECB's de Guindos says EUR depreciation has been one of the factors behind high inflation, main factor that guides decisions is the evolution of inflation.
  • HKMA buys around HKD 9.656bln from the market to defend the peg.

 

US Event Calendar

  • 08:30: 2Q Employment Cost Index, est. 1.2%, prior 1.4%
  • 08:30: June Personal Income, est. 0.5%, prior 0.5%
    • June Personal Spending, est. 0.9%, prior 0.2%
    • June Real Personal Spending, est. 0%, prior -0.4%
    • June PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.9%, prior 0.6%; PCE Deflator YoY, est. 6.8%, prior 6.3%
    • June PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.3%; Core Deflator YoY, est. 4.7%, prior 4.7%
  • 09:45: July MNI Chicago PMI, est. 55.0, prior 56.0
  • 10:00: July U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 51.1, prior 51.1;
    • Expectations, est. 47.5, prior 47.3
    • Current Conditions, est. 57.1, prior 57.1
    • 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.2%, prior 5.2%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, est. 2.8%, prior 2.8%

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Morning from sunny Frankfurt. Today we wave goodbye to July which after the worst first half returns since 1788 in treasuries and 1962 for the S&P 500, is set to launch us into a very strong start to H2. A reminder that in a chart of the day I did back in June, it showed that the worst 5 H1s for equities all saw a big H2 rebound. However there are five long months to go before we can relax.

The key questions from the last 24 hours were 1) Did the Fed pivot on Wednesday? And 2) Is the US in a recession? Treasury markets continued to think the answer to both was yes, which boosted risk sentiment by further capping how far the market thinks the Fed can go. Meanwhile, Presidents Biden and Xi held a phone call, the markets continued to digest the Inflation Reduction Act, the US did see it's second successive quarter of negative growth, German CPI beat expectations and Amazon and Apple impressed the market with earnings after the bell.

The main macro driver continued to be the interpretation of the July FOMC. Specifically, that the Chair said at some point in the future it may be appropriate to slow the pace of tightening and that he and the Committee paid heed to slowing activity data (more below). The current interpretation being that factors other than inflation were seeping into the Fed’s reaction function. Global yields rallied hard yesterday. 2yr yields were -13.6bps lower at 2.86% while 10yr Treasuries were -10.9bps lower at 2.68%, their lowest since early April. Notably, real yields drove the decline, falling -13.1bps (-26.2bps lower over the last two days, their largest two-day decline since the invasion in early March), suggesting easier expected policy without an impact on inflation, with breakevens up a modest +2.1bps. This is a market believing the Fed will be forced into a pivot, and that slowing activity figures will soon translate into lower inflation. This morning in Asia, yields on 10yr USTs (-1.80 bps) are extending their decline, trading at 2.66% as I type.

Europe outpaced the US with 2yr bunds -18.7bps lower at 0.22%, their lowest since mid-May. 10yr bunds were -11.8bps lower and OATs fell -13.4bps. 10yr BTPs outperformed on the perceived shift in policy tone, down -14.9bps.

Regular readers will know we are skeptical things will work out as the market is increasingly pricing in. Real policy rates remain deeply in negative territory despite the Fed believing they are at neutral. Furthermore, policy works on long and variable lags, not only is 5 months (the amount of time until the market is pricing cuts) a very short amount of time for today’s tightening to bring inflation back from 9%, but the very reaction we’re witnessing in markets means financial conditions have actually eased since the June FOMC meeting. So the Fed has instituted back-to-back 75bp hikes and financial conditions haven’t gotten any tighter. DB research has been putting out a number of pieces addressing this of late. Matt Luzzetti and Peter Hooper put out a piece yesterday showing that the Fed is historically more cautious about cutting rates when core PCE is above 4% (see here), while Tim Wessel on my team showed that markets overestimate how large those cuts will be ahead of time when inflation is that high (see here). However, one needs to be wary of summer seasonals, where August is usually the strongest month of the year, when deciding whether to fight the move now or wait until September.

Adding to the yield rally justification, advanced US GDP came in at -0.9% in 2Q, that is in negative territory for a second straight quarter. This has driven much hand-wringing about whether or not the US is currently in a recession. We won’t know for a while if the NBER officially calls this a recession, as the growth data will undergo plenty of revisions before we have a final number. Further, the NBER actually doesn’t use GDP as one of their indicators for defining recessions, funnily enough, instead amalgamating personal income, payrolls, real PCE, retail sales, household survey employment, and industrial production (which eventually wind up looking a whole lot like GDP). Some of those underlying figures still look quite strong even if the headline GDP figure is not. In the end, whether or not the NBER decides in the future that we are in recession today is almost beside the point: markets will continue to trade based on their perception of the Fed’s responsiveness to slowing activity weighed against runaway inflation.

On that note, the overwhelming perception over the last two days is that slowing activity, will become increasingly more important for policy going forward. This drove risk assets higher for a second straight day across the Atlantic. The S&P 500 increased +1.21% with all but one sector higher, while the NASDAQ was up +1.08%, bringing them +11.06% and +14.24% higher since terminal rates first fell from above 4% in mid-June. In Europe, the STOXX 600 climbed +1.09%, while the DAX and CAC increased +0.88% and +1.30%, respectively.

On the earnings front, Mastercard said that card spending and use of its payments infrastructure have picked up in a big way amidst runaway inflation, pushing the company’s revenue forecast for the year higher. Hard to see how inflation slows if consumers are spending like that.

After the close Apple and Amazon reported earnings on the stronger side of what we’ve seen for mega-caps so far, with both releases containing optimism around supply chains and consumer spending. Apple’s revenues and earnings figures beat street estimates, despite supply chain disruptions from China covid lockdowns, on the back of stronger-than-expected iPhone and iPad sales, with shares rising around +3% after hours. Amazon shares rose more than +12% in after hours trading after beating revenue estimates and revising forecasts higher. While hiring appears to be slowing, Amazon also looks to be unwinding storage capacity, again another sign that supply chain pressures may be easing, while cutting costs.

We got more international data on the great slower activity versus high inflation dichotomy, with German CPI increasing +0.9% MoM versus expectations of +0.6%, bringing YoY to +7.5% versus +7.4% expectations. The EU harmonised measures also beat expectations, climbing +0.8% MoM versus +0.4% expectations while YoY ticked up to +8.5% versus +8.1% expectations.

Asian equity markets are mixed this morning with the Hang Seng (-2.19%) sharply lower and with the Shanghai Composite (-0.71%) and CSI (-1.02%) also slipping on rising expectations of China's economic growth outlook remaining subdued in H2 after yesterday’s high-level Communist Party meeting omitted its full-year GDP growth target and will instead strive to achieve the best results for the economy this year. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.46%) and the Kospi (+0.43%) are trading in positive territory and more matching western markets.

Talking of which, stock futures in the US are pointing to a strong start with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.57%) and NASDAQ 100 (+1.21%) both higher on the positive earnings from Amazon and Apple.

Early morning data showed that Japan’s industrial output jumped +8.9% m/m in June (v/s +4.2% expected) posting the biggest one-month gain in nine years as disruptions due to China's COVID-19 curbs eased. It followed a -7.5% drop last month. But retail sales (-1.4% m/m) unexpectedly contracted in June (v/s +0.2% expected) after an upwardly revised +0.7% increase in May. Separately, July Tokyo CPI advanced to +2.5% y/y in July (v/s +2.4% expected, +2.3% in June) on the back of a hike in utility prices. Meanwhile, labour market conditions in the nation remained relatively healthy as the jobless rate stayed at 2.6% in June (v/s 2.5% market consensus) albeit the job-to-applicants ratio improved to 1.27 in June (v/s 1.25 expected) from 1.24 in May.

Elsewhere, Presidents Biden and Xi had a two-hour phone call. The call covered foreign policy issues surrounding Taiwan and Ukraine. The two leaders reportedly covered areas of mutual cooperation, as well, including using their economic might to prevent a global recession and tasking aides to follow up on climate and healthy security issues. Aides have been tasked with setting up a face to face meeting which seems an impressive development even with the tensions there obviously are between the two sides.

To the day ahead, data includes the employment cost index, PCE, income, and spending data in the US, Tokyo CPI, consumer confidence, jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, and starts in Japan, CPI and GDP in France, GDP in Germany, and GDP in Canada. It’s another full slate of earnings which will include Sony, Exxon, Procter & Gamble, Chevron, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Colgate-Palmolive, BNP Paribas, Eni, Intesa Sanpaolo, LyondellBasell, Engie, BBVA, NatWest, and Citrix.

Tyler Durden Fri, 07/29/2022 - 08:16

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‘The Scandal Would Be Enormous’: Pfizer Director Worried About Vax-Induced Menstrual Irregularities

‘The Scandal Would Be Enormous’: Pfizer Director Worried About Vax-Induced Menstrual Irregularities

Project Veritas on Thursday released a…

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'The Scandal Would Be Enormous': Pfizer Director Worried About Vax-Induced Menstrual Irregularities

Project Veritas on Thursday released a new segment of undercover footage of Pfizer director Jordon Walker in which the Director of R&D within the company's mRNA operation expressed concern over how the COVID-19 vaccine may be affecting women's reproductive health.

"There is something irregular about the menstrual cycles. So, people will have to investigate that down the line," Walker told an undercover journalist he thought he was on a date with.

"The [COVID] vaccine shouldn’t be interfering with that [menstrual cycles]. So, we don’t really know," he added.

Walker also hopes we don't discover that "somehow this mRNA lingers in the body and like -- because it has to be affecting something hormonal to impact menstrual cycles," adding "I hope we don’t discover something really bad down the line…If something were to happen downstream and it was, like, really bad? I mean, the scale of that scandal would be enormous."

Watch:

 

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/02/2023 - 19:30

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Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A…

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Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence.

I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter.

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen in a file photograph. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice.

Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available.

“I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said.

Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position.

She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad.

“Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now.

Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.”

I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to updated boosters, or bivalent shots, from Pfizer and Moderna in August 2022 despite there being no human data.

Observational data suggests the boosters provide little protection against infection and solid shielding against severe illness, at least initially.

Five months after the authorization was granted, no clinical trial data has been made available for the bivalents, which target the Wuhan strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron. Moderna presented efficacy estimates for a different bivalent, which has never been used in the United States, during a recent meeting. The company estimated the booster increased protection against infection by just 10 percent.

The FDA is preparing to order all Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines be replaced with the bivalents. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issues recommendations on vaccines, continues advising virtually all Americans to get a primary series and multiple boosters.

Professor Calls for Halt to Messenger RNA Vaccines

A professor, meanwhile, became the latest to call for a halt to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are both based on messenger RNA technology.

At this point in time, all COVID mRNA vaccination program[s] should stop immediately,” Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a video statement. “They should stop because they completely failed to fulfill any of their advertised promise[s] regarding efficacy. And more importantly, they should stop because of the mounting and indisputable evidence that they cause unprecedented level of harm, including the death of young people and children.”

Levi was referring to post-vaccination heart inflammation, or myocarditis. The condition is one of the few that authorities have acknowledged is caused by the messenger RNA vaccines.

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Tyler Durden Thu, 02/02/2023 - 19:10

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Inside The Secret Government Meeting On COVID-19 Natural Immunity

Inside The Secret Government Meeting On COVID-19 Natural Immunity

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Four of…

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Inside The Secret Government Meeting On COVID-19 Natural Immunity

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Four of the highest ranking U.S. health officials—including Dr. Anthony Fauci—met in secret to discuss whether or not naturally immune people should be exempt from getting COVID-19 vaccines, The Epoch Times can reveal.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing in Washington on May 17, 2022. (Shawn Thew/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The officials brought in four outside experts to discuss whether the protection gained after recovering from COVID-19—known as natural immunity—should count as one or more vaccine doses.

“There was interest in several people in the administration in hearing basically the opinions of four immunologists in terms of what we thought about … natural infection as contributing to protection against moderate to severe disease, and to what extent that should influence dosing,” Dr. Paul Offit, one of the experts, told The Epoch Times.

Offit and another expert took the position that the naturally immune need fewer doses. The other two experts argued natural immunity shouldn’t count as anything.

The discussion did not lead to a change in U.S. vaccination policy, which has never acknowledged post-infection protection. Fauci and the other U.S. officials who heard from the experts have repeatedly downplayed that protection, claiming that it is inferior to vaccine-bestowed immunity. Most studies on the subject indicate the opposite.

The meeting, held in October 2021, was briefly discussed before on a podcast. The Epoch Times has independently confirmed the meeting took place, identified all of the participants, and uncovered other key details.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who did not participate in the meeting, criticized how such a consequential discussion took place behind closed doors with only a few people present.

“It was a really impactful decision that they made in private with a very small number of people involved. And they reached the wrong decision,” Bhattacharya told The Epoch Times.

An email obtained by The Epoch Times shows Dr. Vivek Murthy contacting colleagues to arrange the meeting. (The Epoch Times)

The Participants

From the government:

  • Fauci, the head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden until the end of 2022
  • Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general
  • Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Dr. Francis Collins, head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which includes the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, until December 2021
  • Dr. Bechara Choucair, the White House vaccine coordinator until November 2021

From outside the government:

  • Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an adviser to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on vaccines
  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a former member of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board
  • Akiko Iwasaki, professor of immunobiology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University
  • Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and dean of the Baylor College of Medicine’s School of Tropical Medicine

Fauci and Murthy decided to hold the meeting, according to emails The Epoch Times obtained.

“Would you be available tonight from 9-9:30 for a call with a few other scientific colleagues on infection-induced immunity? Tony and I just discussed and were hoping to do this sooner rather than later if possible,” Murthy wrote in one missive to Fauci, Walensky, and Collins.

All three quickly said they could make it.

Walensky asked who would be there.

Murthy listed the participants. “I think you know all of them right?” he said.

Walensky said she knew all but one person. “Sounds like a good crew,” she added.

From top left, clockwise: Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky. (Getty Images)

‘Clear Benefit’

During the meeting, Offit put forth his position—that natural immunity should count as two doses.

At the time, the CDC recommended three shots—a two-dose primary series and a booster—for many Americans 18 and older, soon expanding that advice to all adults, even though trials of the boosters only analyzed immunogenicity and efficacy among those without evidence of prior infection.

Research indicated that natural immunity was long-lasting and superior to vaccination. On the other hand, the CDC published a paper in its quasi-journal that concluded vaccination was better.

Osterholm sided with Offit, but thought that having recovered from COVID-19 should only count as a single dose.

“I added my voice at the meeting to count an infection as equivalent to a dose of vaccine! I’ve always believed hybrid immunity likely provides the most protection,” Osterholm told The Epoch Times via email.

Hybrid immunity refers to getting a vaccine after recovering from COVID-19.

Some papers have found vaccination after recovery boosts antibodies, which are believed to be a correlate of protection. Other research has shown that the naturally immune have a higher risk of side effects than those who haven’t recovered from infection. Some experts believe the risk is worth the benefit but others do not.

Hotez and Iwasaki, meanwhile, made the case that natural immunity should not count as any dose—as has been the case in virtually the entire United States since the COVID-19 vaccines were first rolled out.

Iwasaki referred to a British preprint study, soon after published in Nature, that concluded, based on survey data, that the protection from the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines was heightened among people with evidence of prior infection. She also noted a study she worked on that found the naturally immune had higher antibody titers than the vaccinated, but that the vaccinated “reached comparable levels of neutralization responses to the ancestral strain after the second vaccine dose.” The researchers also discovered T cells—thought to protect against severe illness—were boosted by vaccination.

There’s a “clear benefit” to boosting regardless of prior infection, Iwasaki, who has since received more than $2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), told participants after the meeting in an email obtained by The Epoch Times. Hotez received $789,000 in grants from the NIH in fiscal year 2020, and has received other grants totaling millions in previous years. Offit, who co-invented the rotavirus vaccine, received $3.5 million in NIH grants from 1985 through 2004.

Hotez declined interview requests through a spokesperson. Iwasaki did not respond to requests for comment.

No participants represented experts like Bhattacharya who say that the naturally immune generally don’t need any doses at all.

In an email obtained by The Epoch Times, Akiko Iwasaki wrote to other meeting participants shortly after the meeting ended. (The Epoch Times)

Public Statements

In public, Hotez repeatedly portrayed natural immunity as worse than vaccination, including citing the widely criticized CDC paper, which drew from just two months of testing in a single state.

In one post on Twitter on Oct. 29, 2021, he referred to another CDC study, which concluded that the naturally immune were five times as likely to test positive compared to vaccinated people with no prior infection, and stated: “Still more evidence, this time from @CDCMMWR showing that vaccine-induced immunity is way better than infection and recovery, what some call weirdly ‘natural immunity’. The antivaccine and far right groups go ballistic, but it’s the reality.”

That same day, the CDC issued a “science brief” that detailed the agency’s position on natural immunity versus the protection from vaccines. The brief, which has never been updated, says that available evidence shows both the vaccinated and naturally immune “have a low risk of subsequent infection for at least 6 months” but that “the body of evidence for infection-induced immunity is more limited than that for vaccine-induced immunity.”

Evidence shows that vaccination after infection, or hybrid immunity, “significantly enhances protection and further reduces risk of reinfection” and is the foundation of the CDC’s recommendations, the agency said.

Several months later, the CDC acknowledged that natural immunity was superior to vaccination against the Delta variant, which was displaced in late 2021 by Omicron. The CDC, which has made misleading representations before on the evidence supporting vaccination of the naturally immune, did not respond to a request for comment regarding whether the agency will ever update the brief.

Iwasaki had initially been open to curbing the number of doses for the naturally immune—”I think this supports the idea of just giving one dose to people who had covid19,” she said in response to one Twitter post in early 2021, which is restricted from view—but later came to argue that each person who is infected has a different immune response, and that the natural immunity, even if strong initially, wanes over time.

Osterholm has knocked people who claim natural immunity is weak or non-existent, but has also claimed that vaccine-bestowed immunity is better. Osterholm also changed the stance he took in the meeting just several months later, saying in February 2022 that “we’ve got to make three doses the actual standard” while also “trying to understand what kind of immunity we get from a previous infection.”

Offit has been the leading critic on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which advises U.S. regulators on vaccines, over their authorizations of COVID-19 boosters. Offit has said boosters are unnecessary for the young and healthy because they don’t add much to the primary series. He also criticized regulators for authorizing updated shots without consulting the committee and absent clinical data. Two of the top U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials resigned over the booster push. No FDA officials were listed on invitations to the secret meeting on natural immunity.

Fauci and Walensky Downplay Natural Immunity

Fauci and Walensky, two of the most visible U.S. health officials during the pandemic, have repeatedly downplayed natural immunity.

Fauci, who said in an email in March 2020 that he assumed there would be “substantial immunity post infection,” would say later that natural immunity was real but that the durability was uncertain. He noted the studies finding higher antibody levels from hybrid immunity.

In September 2021, months after claiming that vaccinated people “can feel safe that they are not going to get infected,” Fauci said that he did not have “a really firm answer” on whether the naturally immune should get vaccinated.

“It is conceivable that you got infected, you’re protected—but you may not be protected for an indefinite period of time,” Fauci said on CNN when pressed on the issue. “So I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously.”

After the meeting, Fauci would say that natural immunity and vaccine-bestowed immunity both wane, and that people should get vaccinated regardless of prior infection to boost their protection.

Walensky, before she became CDC director, signed a document called the John Snow Memorandum in response to the Great Barrington Declaration, which Bhattacharya coauthored. The declaration called for focused protection of the elderly and otherwise infirm, stating, “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

The memorandum, in contrast, said there was “no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection” and supported the harsh lockdown measures that had been imposed in the United States and elsewhere.

In March 2021, after becoming director, Walensky released recommendations that the naturally immune get vaccinated, noting that there was “substantial durability” of protection six months after infection but that “rare cases of reinfection” had been reported.

Walensky hyped the CDC study on natural immunity in August 2021, and the second study in October 2021. But when the third paper came out concluding natural immunity was superior, she did not issue a statement. Walensky later told a blog that the study found natural immunity provided strong protection, “perhaps even more so than those who had been vaccinated and not yet boosted.”

But, because it came before Omicron, she said, “it’s not entirely clear how that protection works in the context of Omicron and boosting.”

Walensky, Murthy, and Collins did not respond to requests for interviews. Fauci, who stepped down from his positions in late 2022, could not be reached.

Murthy and Collins also portrayed natural immunity as inferior. “From the studies about natural immunity, we are seeing more and more data that tells us that while you get some protection from natural infection, it’s not nearly as strong as what you get from the vaccine,” Murthy said on CNN about two months before the meeting. Collins, in a series of blog posts, highlighted the studies showing higher antibody levels after vaccination and urged people to get vaccinated. He also voiced support for vaccine mandates.

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Tyler Durden Thu, 02/02/2023 - 21:10

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