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Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Falters; DoorDash Jumps On Earnings Beat

Markets dip as NATO accuses Russia of adding forces at the Ukraine border.
The post Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Falters; DoorDash Jumps…



Stock Market Today Mid-Morning Updates

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower by 150 points. This comes after the U.S. and NATO have said that Russia continues to build up troops near Ukraine. This is despite Moscow’s insistence that it was pulling back. Furthermore, this would cast doubt on President Vladimir Putin’s desire to negotiate a solution to the crisis. Also, the Ukrainian government today accused pro-Russian separatists of opening fire on civilian territory after reports of shelling near the border.

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported its earnings after the market closed yesterday, beating estimates by 3 cents at an adjusted earnings per share of $0.84. The company also reported better than expected revenue and issued an upbeat full-year forecast. This is because the software maker sees continued strong demand from cloud computing companies in 2022. Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR) reported earnings today, although it fell short of estimates. For instance, it posted an adjusted profit of 2 cents per share, half of what analysts predicted. Revenues, however, exceeded forecasts. PLTR is down by over 13% today so far.

Among the Dow Jones leaders, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are down 0.77% today while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also down by 1.62%. 3M (NYSE: MMM) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) are trading lower on Thursday. Among the Dow financial leaders, Visa (NYSE: V) is down by 0.92% while JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) also opened lower at 1.79%.

Shares of EV leader Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are down by 1.54% on Thursday. Rival EV companies like Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) and Lucid Group (NASDAQ: LCID) are up by 5.13% and1.45% respectively today. Chinese EV leaders like Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV) ticked higher at 1.13% and 2.89% respectively. 

Dow Jones Today: 10-Year Treasury Yields Drops Below 2% and Fed’s Minutes

Following the stock market opening on Thursday, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq are trading lower by 1.24%, 1.21%, and 1.25% respectively. Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) are both trading lower by 1.32% and 1.30% as well.

Today, the U.S. 10-year Treasury ticked below 25.  However, It is still at pandemic-era highs. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday also outlined plans for interest rate hikes and a reduction in the asset holdings on their balance sheet. The minutes indicate that the Fed is concerned about inflation and financial stability. Accordingly, members urged a measured approach to tightening monetary policy. 

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) also notes that inflation was beginning to spread beyond pandemic-affected industries and into the broader economy. It also decided after the two-day session that it would not raise interest rates yet but strongly suggests that a hike is on its way as early as March.

Jobless Claims Rises Unexpectedly Last Week

The Labor Department released its latest jobless claims report today at 8:30 a.m. ET. Diving in, initial jobless claims for the week that ended on February 12 were 248,000 against the 218,000 expected. With the rise of filings last week, jobless claims still continue to hover near pre-pandemic levels. For reference, in February last year, jobless claims were at 800,000 on average as virus-related pressures weighed in on the labor market.

[Read More] Top Stock Market News For Today February 17, 2022

DoorDash Surges Following Sizable Revenue Beat On Robust Demand For Delivery Services

DoorDash (NYSE: DASH) is seeing a surge of interest in its shares in the stock market now. Evidently, DASH stock is gaining by over 21% as of today’s opening bell. For the most part, this is thanks to DoorDash posting better-than-expected figures in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The company posted a total revenue of $1.3 billion for the quarter. This would be above estimates of $1.28 billion. More importantly, investors are likely reading into the company’s core operational metrics now.

In detail, DoorDash notes that a record number of consumers placed orders on its platform throughout the quarter. To highlight, it completed 369 million orders, marking a year-over-year increase of 35%. On top of that, DoorDash customers are also spending more on their respective orders as well. Namely, DoorDash reported a gross order volume of $11.2 billion, handily topping Wall Street’s projections of $10.6 billion. If all that wasn’t enough, the company’s monthly active user count is also breaching record levels now, totaling 25 million.

Safe to say, even as pandemic restrictions loosen, consumers are still using DoorDash. Naturally, as restaurants began reopening their doors to dine-in customers, there were growing concerns regarding DoorDash. However, with DoorDash’s latest performance, investors appear to be keen on DASH stock yet again. Weighing in on its outlook for 2022, DoorDash notes, “In 2022, we intend to build on areas of strength in order to drive more sales for merchants, create more earning opportunities for Dashers, delight consumers in new ways, and increase the long-term profit potential of our business.” As a result of all this, investors could be watching DASH stock closely now.

DASH stock
Source: TradingView

[Read More] Best Artificial Intelligence Stocks To Buy Now? 4 To Check Out

Walmart Gains On Quarterly Earnings Beat Reaffirmation Of Long-Term Guidance

Also in the news today is mega-retailer Walmart (NYSE: WMT). Similar to DoorDash, Walmart is also in the green today following its latest quarterly financial update. Diving in, the company is looking at an earnings of $1.53 per share on revenue of $152.87 billion. To put things into perspective, this is versus consensus analyst forecasts of $1.50 and $151.53 billion respectively. Moreover, Walmart is also looking at respectable gains across its key measures as well.

To begin with, the company’s U.S. same-store sales are up by 5.6% year-over-year. On this front, its Sam’s Club membership-only brand gained by 10.4%. Secondly, Walmart is also seeing a steady rise in its e-commerce sales as well. This is especially apparent as e-commerce revenue is up by 70% compared to the same quarter in 2020. For the current fiscal year, Walmart is guiding for total sales to rise by about 4%. Furthermore, the company is raising its quarterly dividend payout to $0.56 per share. Adding to this, Walmart plans to repurchase $10 billion of its common stock throughout fiscal 2023. 

Overall, the company appears to be holding steady despite concerns over inflation impacting sales. These figures alongside yesterday’s January retail sales readings could suggest that consumer balance sheets remain strong now. Accordingly, Walmart and its retail industry peers would, in theory, still have room to grow moving forward. With Walmart seemingly firing on all cylinders now, I can understand if investors are keen on WMT stock.

WMT stock
Source: TradingView

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…



To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….



Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 


About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. 

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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.



Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 


This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

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With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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