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Record Covid Wave Spurs Fresh Interest in Delivery Stocks (DELHY, TWOH, UBER, GRUB, LYFT, DASH, AMZN)

The Omicron variant continues to drive the headlines for the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations related to Covid-19 are now both at all-time highs on a 7-day rolling average basis. In fact, according to the nation’s leading infectious disease expert,…

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The Omicron variant continues to drive the headlines for the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations related to Covid-19 are now both at all-time highs on a 7-day rolling average basis. In fact, according to the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, it’s going to get a whole lot more pervasive.

“Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Those who have been vaccinated … and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death.”

However, with only 63% of the US population vaccinated, and only a third of them boosted, commerce in the world’s biggest marketplace is likely to return to the pandemic lifestyle we saw in late 2020, at least for a period. That presents a number of key themes to investors.

One of the most potent such themes in 2022 could be the idea of delivery services returning to a central role in daily life. When people want to avoid risk of infection, they tend to order basic needs by delivery.

That points to a handful of key stocks that could stand to benefit as the Omicron wave reaches full intensity in the months ahead. With that in mind, we take a look below at a few stocks at the epicenter of this theme.

 

Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V. ADR (Nasdaq:GRUB) owns and manages food delivery websites. GRUB is one of the most recognizable names in the space for anyone who has ever ordered delivery from a local restaurant.

The company features more than 300,000 restaurant partners in over 4,000 U.S. cities, and has strong exposure in Europe and Israel.

Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V. ADR (Nasdaq:GRUB) recently announced that the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization affiliated with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), has partnered with the company to open applications for the USHCC & Grubhub Restaurant Small Business Grant Program. The program is supported by proceeds from Grubhub’s Donate the Change Program, and grants will range from $5,000 to $10,000.

“As our restaurant industries work to re-open their doors and look towards recovering, they’ll need access to the resources and tools offered by the USHCC national network, now more than ever before,” said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President & CEO, USHCC. “Many of the Hispanic-owned restaurants who managed to stay open and not completely shut down, are looking for guidance and support as we work to jumpstart the economy and get people back to work. We are excited to partner with Grubhub on this important initiative and applaud these efforts to support minority-owned restaurants who are struggling so much during the pandemic.”

It will be interesting to see if the stock can break out of its recent sideways action. Over the past week, the stock is net flat, and looking for something new to spark things.

Just Eat Takeaway.com N.V. ADR (Nasdaq:GRUB) managed to rope in revenues totaling $1.8B in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 885.7%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels exceeding current liabilities ($1.5B against $1.2B).

 

Two Hands Corp. (OTC US:TWOH) is an off-beat addition here because of its extremely low price per share. But don’t be fooled: the company’s market cap is nearly $5 million, and it has started to grow at a rapid pace with an interesting model for food delivery in the Canadian market. The biggest growth potential for investors often involves avoiding the eroding impact of the law of large numbers.

The company’s Gocart.city business bills itself as an online grocery delivery market that services the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. It curates and delivers the freshest produce and specialty foods in Southern Ontario, with plans on expanding to other major markets. It also recently put out a corporate update highlighting some stunning early-stage growth.

Two Hands Corp. (OTC US:TWOH) recently noted that it has grown its grocery category to over 2,700 items, its customer base to over 1,000, its delivery schedule to 6 days a week, its delivery area to a wider radius. The growth is yielding significant month over month results in orders, with October online orders exceeding all Q2 orders, and November orders up another 39% growth from October.

The company also noted that it is now able to service the growing student grocery programs for two major universities in the Toronto area – a unique program that will be expanded in 2022 and offered to more universities and colleges in Ontario with over 100,000 students.

The stock appears dirt cheap. But it could be a major bargain, especially given the macro argument coming together for food delivery players in 2022’s Omicron wave.

Two Hands Corp. (OTC US:TWOH) shares are also heavily shorted as bears pile into the downward trend that has persisted over the past 4-6 months. This could spark a squeeze on any upside action. According to OTCshortreport.com, TWOH has seen over 40% of all volume coming from shorts on more than half of its trading sessions over the past month. In other words, this could be a powder-keg of short covering waiting for the fuse to be lit.

 

Lyft Inc. (Nasdaq:LYFT) engages in the provision and management of online social rideshare community platform.

The company provides access to a network of shared bikes and scooters for shorter rides and first-mile and last-mile legs of multimodal trips, information about nearby public transit routes, and Lyft Rentals to offer riders a view of transportation options when planning any trip.

Lyft Inc. (Nasdaq:LYFT) recently announced a partnership with Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT), one of the largest transportation networks in North America, through Olo’s Dispatch solution to deliver digital orders for Olo’s network of restaurant brands.

“Direct digital orders continue to make gains in the restaurant industry as brands recognize the need to protect direct relationships with guests, and effective management of these orders is a critical component to success,” said Shalin Sheth, VP and GM of Dispatch for Olo. “With Dispatch, we help our customers enable delivery on their owned channels, using trusted partners like Lyft for local delivery. The addition of Lyft to the Dispatch network not only expands delivery coverage for our brands, but drives competitive pricing at the benefit of guests and brands alike.”

Even in light of this news, LYFT has had a rough past week of trading action, with shares sinking something like -3% in that time. That said, chart support is nearby, and we may be in the process of constructing a nice setup for some movement back the other way.

Lyft Inc. (Nasdaq:LYFT) chalked up sales of nearly $870M in its last quarter to drive top line growth of 73%, despite some balance sheet hurdles.

Other key players in the delivery space include Delivery Hero SE ADR (OTC US:DELHY), Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER), DoorDash Inc. (NYSE:DASH), and Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN).

Please make sure to read and completely understand our disclaimer at https://www.wallstreetpr.com/disclaimer. While reading this article one must assume that we may be compensated for posting this content on our website.

The post Record Covid Wave Spurs Fresh Interest in Delivery Stocks (DELHY, TWOH, UBER, GRUB, LYFT, DASH, AMZN) appeared first on Wall Street PR.

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Spread & Containment

A dog has caught monkeypox from one of its owners, highlighting risk of the virus infecting pets and wild animals

The monkeypox virus can easily spread between humans and animals. A veterinary virologist explains how the virus could go from people to wild animals in…

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A dog in Paris has become the first case of a pet contracting monkeypox from its owners. Cavan Images via Getty Images

A dog in Paris has caught monkeypox from one of its owners, both of whom were infected with the virus, according to a scientific paper published on Aug. 10, 2022. This is the first case of a dog contracting the monkeypox virus through direct contact with skin lesions on a human.

I am a veterinary pathologist and virologist who has been working with poxviruses for over 20 years. I study how these viruses evade the immune system and am working on modifying poxviruses to prevent infection as well as treat other diseases, including cancer.

With monkeypox spreading in humans throughout the world, my colleagues and I have begun to worry about the increased risk of monkeypox spreading from humans to animals. If monkeypox spreads to wildlife species in the U.S. and Europe, the virus could become endemic in these places – where it has historically been absent – resulting in more frequent outbreaks. The report of the infected dog shows that there is a decent chance these fears could become a reality.

A microscope image of a bunch blue circles in a brown-colored cell.
The monkeypox virus – the blue circles in this image of an infected cell – is a poxvirus similar to smallpox and cowpox and can easily infect many different species. NIAID/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

A species-jumping virus

Monkeypox is a poxvirus in the same family as variola – the virus that causes smallpox – and cowpox viruses and likely evolved in animals before jumping to humans. Monkeypox causes painful lesions in both humans and animals and, in rare cases, can be deadly. Researchers have found the monkeypox virus in several species of wild rodents, squirrels and primates in Africa, where the virus is endemic. Monkeypox does not need to mutate or evolve at all to be able to infect many different species. It can easily spread from animals to people and back again.

Though there is a fair bit of research on monkeypox, a lot more work has been done on cowpox, a similar zoonotic poxvirus that is endemic in Europe. Over the years, there have been several reports of cowpox infection spreading from animals to humans in Europe.

From people to animals

Until recently, most monkeypox infections occurred in specific areas of Africa where some wildlife species act as reservoirs for the virus. These outbreaks are usually contained quickly through isolation of infected individuals and vaccinating people around the infected individual. The current situation is very different though.

With nearly 40,000 cases globally as of Aug. 17, 2022 – and more than 12,500 cases in the U.S. alone – monkeypox is now widespread within the human population. The risk of any one person transmitting the virus to an animal – particularly a wild one – is small, but the more people are infected, the greater the chances. It’s a numbers game.

There are a number of ways viruses can transfer from animals to people – called spillover – and from people back to animals – called spillback. Since monkeypox is most easily spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, it is a bit more difficult to transmit between species than COVID-19, but certainly possible.

The case of the dog in Paris provides a clear example of how cuddling or being close to a pet can spread the virus. Previous studies on poxviruses like monkeypox have shown that they can stay active in fecal matter. This means that there is a risk of wild animals, likely rodents, catching it from human waste.

A grey rat.
There are a number of species that host monkeypox in Africa – like this gambian rat. Monkeypox can spread from humans to many other animals, including dogs and likely cats and other species of rodents. Louisvarley/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

The monkeypox virus is also present in saliva. While more research needs to be done, it is potentially possible that an infected person could discard food that would then be eaten by a rodent.

The chances of any one of these events happening is extremely low. But I and other virologists worry that with more people becoming infected, there is a greater risk that rodents or other animals will come into contact with urine, feces or saliva that is contaminated with the virus.

Finally, there is the risk of people giving monkeypox to a pet, which then passes it on to other animals. One case study in Germany described an outbreak of cowpox that was caused when someone took an infected cat to a veterinary clinic and four other cats were subsequently infected. It is feasible that an infected household pet could spread the virus to wild animals somehow.

How to help

One of the key reasons that the World Health Organization was able to eradicate smallpox is that it only infects people, so there were no animal reservoirs that could re-introduce the virus to human populations.

Monkeypox is zoonotic and already has several animal reservoirs, though these are currently limited to Africa. But if monkeypox escapes into wild animal populations in the U.S., Europe or other locations, there will be always be potential for animals to spread it back to humans. With this in mind, there are a number of things people can do to reduce the risks with regard to animals.

As with any infectious disease, be informed about the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and how it is transmitted. If you suspect you have the virus, contact a doctor and isolate from other people.

As a veterinarian, I strongly encourage anyone with monkeypox to protect your pets. The case in Paris shows that dogs can get infected from contact with their owners, and it is likely that many other species, including cats, are susceptible, too. If you have monkeypox, try to have other people take care of your animals for as long as lesions are present. And if you think your pet has a monkeypox infection, be sure to contact a veterinarian so they can test the lesion and provide care when needed.

Even though monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency, it is unlikely to directly affect most people. Taking precautionary steps can protect you and your pets and will hopefully prevent monkeypox from getting into wildlife in the U.S., too.

Amy Macneill does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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International

A-levels: A grades are up compared to pre-pandemic results

The pandemic has has a serious impact on school pupils – but a record number have applied to university.

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Fewer students are getting their first choice of university than in 2021. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

The 2022 A-level results are in, and the number of students receiving A or A* grades has fallen – down by 8.4% on 2021.

For the first time since 2019, A-level results are being decided by formal exams. Students were warned that grades were likely to be lower than in 2020 and 2021, when cancelled exams and teacher assessments in A-levels led to record high results. Nevertheless, the proportion of students receiving A grades is up from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

A busy end to the admissions round is under way for universities and students, and the next steps for students still living with the impact of the pandemic are becoming clearer.

In 2021, some universities were over subscribed and had to offer significant incentives for students to defer their places. While the number of students in 2022 accepted on a UK university course – 425,830 – is higher than in 2019 and the second highest on record, it is 2% lower than in 2021. Just a few days before the results were out, thousands of students did not yet hold an offer of an university place.

Over the past two years, students studying qualifications, whether BTEC, T-level or A-level, have had to cope with the consequences of the pandemic for a significant proportion of their course. This has included school closures and remote lessons, social isolation, illness and increased levels of mental stress.

Highest number of applications

Nevertheless, 2022 has seen the highest ever numbers of applications to higher education, with 44% of 18 year olds applying. This number includes record numbers of students from areas of the country with historically low participation in higher education. It demonstrates that many young people believe higher education can make a difference to their future opportunities.

For the lucky ones who get the grades to gain a place at their first choice of university, planning for their degree course starts right away. A record number of Scottish students have already been accepted to their first choice of university.

The best advice for those students who don’t receive confirmation that they have been accepted by their first choice university is to ring the university, who will have staff on hand to explore their options.

For students who haven’t got a university place, it is still possible to explore options though clearing – which allows students without offers to find places on university courses that haven’t been fully subscribed. Students in this position should try to keep calm, write down their options and avoid quick decisions.

For those young people who do go to university, there will be challenges. With the cost of living for all rising rapidly, people on a lower income – as many students are – will feel the pinch of higher bills for food or rent.

Support from universities

The pandemic saw a serious and concerning rise in mental health issues affecting young people. Universities need to be ready to give holistic support to students as they transition into university and settle into undergraduate life. This means support for academic transition needs to be delivered in the context of good available support for mental health and wellbeing.

However, Universities UK, an advocacy groups for universities, has recently pointed out the wide range of benefits for those who study for a degree, including the £9,500 more per year on average graduates in England earn compared with non-graduates. It also draws attention to the value of degrees to improve the life chances of young people, to build skills and to contribute to society.

For many young people, getting a degree gives them access to a vocation such as teaching or working as a health professional. For others it is a path to travel and adventure. For many, the university journey is a place where young people find their tribe and begin to understand their identity.

For the class of 22, making it to university might mean life-changing opportunities. Given the challenges and restrictions of the last few years, this has never been more important.

Helena Gillespie receives funding from the European Union.

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Government

Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) To Acquire Global Blood Therapeutics For $5 Billion

According to sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) was in advanced discussions to acquire pharmaceutical…

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According to sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) was in advanced discussions to acquire pharmaceutical company Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GBT) for $5 billion.

Pfizer, too, acquired Global Blood Therapeutics 

Pfizer wants to close a deal soon, but there are still other interested parties, according to the article.

Global Blood Therapeutics, which manufactures Oxbryta, the blood disorder medication, saw its shares jump 44%  on Friday afternoon to a two-year high. As of Thursday’s closing, the company’s market cap was $3.12 billion.

A spokesman for Global Blood stated the company does not “comment on market rumors or speculation,” while Pfizer declined to respond on the matter.

With plenty of cash left over after selling its COVID-19 vaccine, New York-based Pfizer is searching for deals that may generate billions of dollars annual sales by 2030.

Its $11.6 billion acquisition of migraine medication manufacturer Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding (NASDAQ: BHVN) in May was the most recent in a series of purchases that also included Trillium Therapeutics and Arena Pharmaceuticals in recent years.

Oxbryta received approval last year for sickle cell disease management 

In 2019, the US government approved Global Blood’s Oxbryta to manage sickle cell disease in individuals aged 12 and over. The oral medication was approved in December 2021 to treat the illness in younger children. The drug’s sales increased by almost 50% to $194.7 million in 2021.

After a gloomy start to the calendar year, when a lack of significant purchases and clinical-stage treatment failures lowered investor morale and restricted funding, the biotech dealmaking pace has recently picked up again.

Also, Amgen Inc (NASDAQ: AMGN) also decided to purchase ChemoCentryx Inc on Thursday for $3.7 billion to obtain access to a possible breakthrough medication for inflammatory illnesses. AstraZeneca’s $39 billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2020 has put the realm of immune diseases in the limelight. The deal, which was announced before trading opened, will also give the corporation control of at least two investigational immune disorders medicines.

Please make sure to read and completely understand our disclaimer at https://www.wallstreetpr.com/disclaimer. While reading this article one must assume that we may be compensated for posting this content on our website.

The post Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) To Acquire Global Blood Therapeutics For $5 Billion appeared first on Wall Street PR.

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