Moodys Downgrades China

The downgrade reflects Moody’s expectation that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years

The strengths of its credit profile will allow the sovereign to remain resilient to negative shocks, with GDP growth likely to stay strong

#Moody’s Investors Service has #downgraded China’s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative.

Moody’s says, “The downgrade reflects Moody’s expectation that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows. While ongoing progress on reforms is likely to transform the economy and financial system over time, it is not likely to prevent a further material rise in economy-wide debt, and the consequent increase in contingent liabilities for the government.

The stable outlook reflects our assessment that, at the A1 rating level, risks are balanced. The erosion in China’s credit profile will be gradual and, we expect, eventually contained as reforms deepen.

The strengths of its credit profile will allow the sovereign to remain resilient to negative shocks, with GDP growth likely to stay strong compared to other sovereigns, still considerable scope for policy to adapt to support the economy, and a largely closed capital account.”

China’s local currency and foreign currency senior unsecured debt ratings are downgraded to A1 from Aa3.

HIV Vaccine Proves 100% Effective

Overall, 27 of 27 vaccinated participants showed a positive response

The study evaluated a four-dose regimen of PENNVAX-GP DNA

ino#Inovio Pharmaceuticals $INO announced that its #HIV vaccine, #PENNVAX-GP, produced amongst the highest overall levels of immune response rates ever demonstrated in a human study by an HIV vaccine.

The vaccine candidate, PENNVAX-GP, consists of a combination of four HIV antigens designed to cover multiple global HIV strains and generate both an antibody immune response as well as a T cell immune response to both potentially prevent and treat HIV.

These preliminary results are from a study supported by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, or HVTN, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, in collaboration with Inovio.

The study evaluated a four-dose regimen of PENNVAX-GP DNA vaccine administered by intradermal, or ID, or intramuscular, or IM, administration in combination with a DNA encoded immune activator, IL-12, or INO-9012.

Overall, 71 of 76 evaluable vaccinated participants showed a CD4+ or CD8+ cellular immune response to at least one of the vaccine antigens. Similarly, 62 of 66 evaluated participants demonstrated an env specific antibody response. None of the placebo recipients demonstrated either a cellular or an antibody response in the study.

Notably, amongst the participants receiving PENNVAX-GP vaccine and IL-12 with intradermal immunization, 27 of 28 participants demonstrated a cellular response and 27 of 28 demonstrated an HIV env specific antibody response.

Amongst the evaluated participants receiving PENNVAX-GP and IL-12 via IM vaccination, 27 of 27 demonstrated a cellular response and 19 of 21 demonstrated an env specific antibody response. Similar immune responses and response rates were achieved via both ID and IM administration of the vaccine although participants vaccinated via intradermal vaccine administration received 1/5th the dose of vaccine compared to those vaccinated via intramuscular administration.

INO closed at $7.13, last traded at $9.90 in pre-market.

Other shares to watch: $AMGN $BIIB $ABBV $MRK $PFE

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Crude Oil Higher on API Data, OPEC Cuts

oil-rigsGasoline inventories fell by 3.15 million barrels, according to the report;

Kuwait’s Oil Minister said on Tuesday #OPEC is committed to restore the balance of the oil market

 

The American Petroleum Institute #API reported a draw of 1.5 million barrels in crude oil inventories for last week, compared to analyst expectations of  a draw of 2.3 million barrels for the week ending May 19. This week’s crude oil inventory draw was accompanied by across the board draws for gasoline, distillates, and oil at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility as well.

Gasoline inventories fell by 3.15 million barrels, according to the report.

For the Week, distillate inventories fell by 1.85 million barrels—offsetting the 1.8 million barrel build last week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration report on oil inventories is due Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

WTI prices have risen this week, from $48.76 last week to $51.41 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent was trading at $54.11, compared to $51.78 last week.

#WTI = West Texas Intermediate

Prices are supported by production cuts from OPEC but prices have been kept in check by domestic productions.

Kuwait Calls for Deeper Cuts

Kuwait’s Oil Minister said on Tuesday #OPEC is committed to restore the balance of the oil market and is not ruling out any option for discussion at the upcoming meeting on Thursday, including considering deeper cuts.

“All options are on the table and could be discussed. However, any agreement should be satisfactory for all parties. And if necessity arises, we could increase the output cut. But it is premature to talk about that now,” the minister said.

He added that Kuwait fully supports the extension of the deal for nine months, as well as all efforts aimed at rebalancing the global oil market. He added that four other non-OPEC countries—Egypt, Norway, Turkmenistan, and Indonesia—could join the output cuts.

Although signs from OPEC producers point to support for a rollover of the cuts, not all members have voiced support for a nine-month extension. $USO closed at $10.64

#OPEC = Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Take-Two Higher Despite Red Dead Redemption 2 delay

Stockwinners.com blogShares of #Take-Two $TTWO rose in Tuesday trading, rebounding from Monday’s after-hours dip following the delay of the video game maker’s highly-anticipated #RedDeadRedemption 2 to Spring of next year.

In addition, the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and provided guidance for the first quarter and fiscal 2018.

RED DEAD DELAY: In a blog post Monday afternoon, Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games said that Red Dead Redemption 2 is now set to launch in Spring 2018 on #Sony’s #SNE #PlayStation 4 and #Microsoft’s $MSFT #Xbox One.

The company originally said the game, which is a sequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, would be available in Fall of 2017. Commenting on the matter, Rockstar said it is “very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes,” yet noted that they would rather deliver a game “only when it is ready.”

Following the news, shares of Take-Two fell as much as 10% in after-hours trading.  Later on, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick noted in the company’s quarterly earnings release that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be the first game from Rockstar to be “created from the ground up” for the latest generation of consoles, and some additional time is necessary to “ensure that they deliver the best experience possible.”

EARNINGS/GUIDANCE: Take-Two Interactive TTWO reported fourth quarter GAAP earnings per share of 89c on net revenue of $571.6M. Analysts were expecting the company to report EPS of 57c on revenue of $355.37M.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects Q1 EPS in the range of 65c-75c on revenue of $390M-$440M. Take-Two also said it sees Q1 net sales of $240M-$290M, compared to analysts’ estimates for $254.5M.

In addition, the video game maker said it sees FY18 EPS of $4.35-$4.65 on revenue of $1.95B-$2.05B and net sales of $1.42B-$1.52B. Analysts expect the company to report FY18 revenue of $2.24B.

Analyst Comments: Prior to Take-Two’s earnings report, #Jefferies analyst Timothy O’Shea said that the selloff related to the Red Dead Redemption 2 delay should be viewed as a buying opportunity. #O’Shea attributed the roughly 10% slip in shares post-market to Rockstar’s “infamous perfectionism” and doesn’t believe that it changes the overall unit sales potential for the title.

The analyst also noted that Take-Two’s shares traded down 6% when Rockstar announced in January 2013 that the release Grand Theft Auto V would be moved by six months, adding that GTA V has sold over 75M units and the stock has “more than quintupled” since that time. O’Shea maintained a Buy Rating on Take-Two with a $65 price target.

Meanwhile, #Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson kept an Overweight rating and $77 price target on the stock, saying that he doesn’t expect the RDR2 release change to affect overall sales of the game or average multi-year Take-Two EPS. While Olson noted that some may suggest the delay comes with two potential risks, namely a worse launch window as well as real issues with the game, he said that a spring release should not “significantly” impact overall sales of the game and that he believes Rockstar would have left the timing open-ended if in fact there were major development issues. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, Take-Two (TTWO) advanced about 5% to $72.48.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Shares of the game maker’s competitors were also higher, with Activision Blizzard $ATVI up 1% and Electronic Arts $EA up 0.5% in the afternoon.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Global Sources Sold for $18 per share

stockwinners com#GlobalSources $GSOL  has entered into an Agreement and Plan of Amalgamation with Expo Holdings and Expo Holdings II, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Parent.

Subject to the terms and conditions set forth each shareholder to receive an amount equal to $18.00 in cash, without interest. The Amalgamation Consideration represents a premium of 50.0% over the company’s closing price of $12.00 per Share on May 22, 2017, the last trading day prior to the date that the Company entered into the Amalgamation Agreement, and a premium of 72.65% to the volume-weighted average closing prices of the Shares during the 30 trading days prior to May 22, 2017.

The Company expects to hold a special meeting of its shareholders to consider and act upon the Amalgamation Agreement and the transactions contemplated by the Amalgamation Agreement as promptly as practicable. Details regarding the record date for, and the date, time and place of, the special meeting will be included in a press release when finalized.

Shares of Global Sources last traded at $17.88.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Buy Clovis Ahead of ASCO Meeting

American Society of Oncology Meets June 2-6, 2017 in Chicago

Clovis to Present about its Ovarian Cancer Drug

Clovis to Submit NDA for Ovarian Cancer#Clovis Oncology $CLVS announced that abstracts highlighting progress in the rucaparib clinical development program, its treatment for ovarian cancer, will be presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting taking place June 2 to June 6 in Chicago. #ASCO

Four abstracts highlighting ongoing #rucaparib clinical trials will showcase some of the multiple #cancer types in which the compound is being studied, including germline and somatic BRCA-mutated, relapsed, high-grade ovarian cancer; metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer associated with homologous recombination deficiency; and HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer.

Rucaparib is Clovis Oncology’s oral, potent, small-molecule inhibitor of #PARP1, #PARP2 and #PARP3.

In December 2016, the #FDA approved rucaparib tablets as monotherapy for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies and whose tumors have a deleterious BRCA mutation as identified by an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test.

The #ARIEL3 pivotal study of rucaparib is a randomized, double-blind study comparing the effects of rucaparib against placebo to evaluate whether rucaparib given as a maintenance treatment to platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients can extend the period of time for which the disease is controlled after a response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Top-line results from ARIEL3 are anticipated by the end of June, and the Company plans to provide a more comprehensive presentation of the ARIEL3 results in a scientific session at a medical meeting later this year.

Pending positive data, the Company intends to submit a supplemental New Drug Application for a second line or later maintenance treatment indication within approximately four months of the database lock.

Other stocks to watch in the group: $INCY, $TSRO, $PBYI, $AMGN

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

GE Receives $15 Billion Contract from Saudi Arabia

Building on its more than 80 years of partnership and experience in the Kingdom, #GE said it has taken significant steps in supporting the delivery of Saudi Vision 2030, announcing this weekend in partnership with the Kingdom a range of Memorandums of Understanding and projects valued at $15B – of which almost $7B are GE technology and solutions – across multiple sectors and partners aimed at creating a truly diverse and sustainable economic platform.

The initiatives touch upon the key pillars within #SaudiVision 2030, focusing on transforming the nation into a global investment leader and geographic hub and the upscaling of industrial skills and capabilities.

Among the projects, GE will help make Saudi power generation more efficient and provide digital technology to the operations of oil firm Saudi Aramco, aiming to create $4 billion of annual productivity improvements at Aramco. It will cooperate in medical research and training.

The agreements also place significant emphasis on human capital development and the digital transformation across multiple sectors, with the expanded application of GE’s Predix platform, which utilizes cloud-based data analytics to better ensure and enhance manufacturing efficiency.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

FDA Approves Puma’s Breast Cancer Drug, Shares Jump

The #FDA said in briefing documents ahead of Wednesday’s advisory panel on #Puma Biotechnology’s breast cancer drug, “In conclusion, the totality of evidence demonstrating the magnitude of activity of neratinib to treat HER2 positive breast cancer across multiple clinical settings, plus the strong neoadjuvant data, provides robust scientific and clinical rationale for proceeding into the adjuvant setting with neratinib.

An unmet medical need exists during the ‘extended adjuvant period’ or the time after standard of care adjuvant therapy with other anti-HER2 therapy has been completed. Patients who have completed their 1 year of trastuzumab adjuvant therapy have no options for further anti-HER2 treatment and enter into a “watch and wait” period. In the interest of being able to turn this time into a period of active anti-HER2 therapy with the intent to provide further improvement in iDFS, neratinib was studied as extended adjuvant therapy in a multicenter randomized, double blind placebo controlled Phase 3 Study 3004 (N=2840) which demonstrated clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement in iDFS with a manageable safety profile consistent with other approved agents within the class of TKIs targeting EGFR and HER2.

The sponsor believes the totality of the data support approval of #neratinib 240 mg po qd for 1 year in the extended adjuvant setting in order to provide physicians and patients with a new strategic therapeutic option to reduce the rate of recurrence of HER2 positive breast cancer.”

See our earlier blog regarding this stock.

To learn more, please visit Stockwinners Market Radar.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Blackstone to Launch $40 Billion Investment Fund with Saudi Arabia

#Blackstone $BX to launch $40B infrastructure vehicle, new infrastructure business – Blackstone and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia announced the execution of a memorandum of understanding in relation to the launch of a new investment vehicle dedicated to infrastructure with an anchor $20B contribution by PIF. Blackstone anticipates that the program will have $40B in total equity commitments in a permanent capital vehicle, including $20B to be raised from other investors.

“The MOU is non-binding and the parties will continue their negotiation to agree definitive documentation… This collaboration between PIF and Blackstone is the culmination of a year’s discussions between the two institutions, which began in May 2016…

Blackstone’s new program will help the United States address its significant need for infrastructure improvement,” Blackstone noted. Overall, through the equity in this vehicle and additional debt financing, Blackstone expects to invest in more than $100B of infrastructure projects, principally in the United States, the company said.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Nutraceutical Sold for $41.80 per share

NUTR sold for $446M#Nutraceutical $NUTR and HGGC, a leading middle-market private equity firm, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Nutraceutical will be acquired by an affiliate of HGGC in a transaction valued at approximately $446M, including debt to be refinanced.
Under the terms of the agreement, Nutraceutical stockholders will receive $41.80 in cash (without interest) for each outstanding share of Nutraceutical common stock they own, which represents a 49% premium to the company’s closing stock price on May 19, the last full trading day before today’s announcement, and a 15.6% premium to the company’s all-time high closing stock price.
The agreement has been unanimously approved by Nutraceutical’s board of directors, acting on the recommendation of a special committee of independent and disinterested directors. The special committee negotiated the terms of the agreement with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors.
The Company will undertake a 60-day “go-shop” period, commencing immediately, during which the special committee, with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, will actively solicit, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with parties who offer alternative proposals.
 The transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of 2017, is subject to customary closing conditions, including Company stockholder approval and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.
There are no financing conditions associated with the transaction. Bill Gay and Jeff Hinrichs, COO and Executive Vice President of the company, who own approximately 7.9% and 2.5% of the company’s outstanding common stock, respectively, have entered into customary voting agreements pursuant to which they have agreed to vote all of their shares in favor of the transaction.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Russell 2000 Maybe the Canary in the Mine

 

Russell 2000 Technical on Stockwinners.com

The Russell 2000 Index is a small-cap stock market index of the bottom 2,000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index. The index is maintained by FTSE Russell, a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group.

The Russell 2000 is by far the most common benchmark for mutual funds that identify themselves as “small-cap”, while the S&P 500 index is used primarily for large capitalization stocks. It is the most widely quoted measure of the overall performance of the small-cap to mid-cap company shares.

The #Russell2000 $RUT has been in a distinct downtrend since hitting a peak of price on April 26. It is in a technically more fragile state on a short time frame than the large-cap indexes.

Pulling back to a 1-year view shows a different perspective, notably on a closing price basis chart. In that case the index has been trapped in a range since late November/early December 2016.

Resistance is easy enough to spot at 1400, a level that has only been briefly breached before selling resumes.

For support on the 1-month time frame it is the 1380 area that is key. A breakdown below 1380 that does not produce a bounce would be a distinct negative technically on a multi-month basis, but not a yearly basis. Next significant support would be at the 1360 area.

If there was a breakdown below 1360, the 1340 area would be the next level of importance. While the index is in a more bearish state on a relatively short time frame, only a break below 1340 that persists below 1340 would break the longer-term uptrend. And even then, a break below 1300 would be needed to snap the multi-year uptrend.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Coherus wins ruling against AbbVie patent

COHERUS BIOSCIENCES LOGO

#Coherus BioSciences $CHRS announced that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled in favor of the company’s petitions for inter partes review of AbbVie’s $ABBV ‘135 patent.

“The #PTAB’s decision invalidates all claims of the patent that were directed to a method for treating rheumatoid arthritis by administering 40mg of #HUMIRA subcutaneously every 13 to 15 days,” the company noted.

“We believe this successful outcome validates Coherus’ leadership in biosimilar intellectual property and the effectiveness of our platform.

We will continue to aggressively press forward with the development and commercialization of our CHS-1420 adalimumab biosimilar consistent with our corporate strategy,” said CEO Denny Lanfear.

See our earlier blog about this company.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Talk of Google PhotoBook sends shares of ShutterFly lower

sflyShares of #Shutterfly $SFLY fell Tuesday following a report that #Alphabet $GOOG plans to launch an AI-powered photo book service, potentially stepping into competition with the image publishing company.

GOOGLE COMPETITION: Bloomberg reported early Tuesday that, at its developer conference this week, Google plans to announce an AI-powered upgrade for its Photos app, allowing users to design and order physical coffee table photo books. The company plans to offer the photo books in several types of materials, including an option costing $10 per book, a source told #Bloomberg.

WHAT’S NOTABLE: Today’s report follows the introduction of #Amazon’s $AMZN photo printing service in September 2016, an event which saw Shutterfly stock fall over 12% in a day. At the time, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian reassured investors that Shutterfly’s strong brand loyalty “provides some competitive insulation” and that the quick selloff in Shutterfly was an “overreaction.” RBC Capital and Cantor echoed that sentiment in the following days, recommending investors buy that dip in Shutterfly.

PRICE ACTION: Shares of Shutterfly are down 4.2% to $49.66 in late Tuesday trading.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Facebook Sanctioned by France

facebookFrance’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty #CNIL says in a statement, “Following FACEBOOK statement regarding the amendment of its privacy policy in 2015, the CNIL performed on site and online inspections, as well as a documentary audit, in order to verify that #FACEBOOK $FB was acting in compliance with the French Data Protection Act.

These actions are part of a European approach which involves five data protection authorities having also decided to carry out investigations — France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Hamburg — on FACEBOOK.

The investigations conducted by the CNIL have revealed several failures. In particular it has been observed that FACEBOOK proceeded to a massive compilation of personal data of Internet users in order to display targeted advertising. It has also been noticed that FACEBOOK collected data on browsing activity of internet users on third-party websites, via the “datr” cookie, without their knowledge…

As a result the Restricted Committee has decided to pronounce a public sanction of 150,000 euros against FACEBOOK INC and FACEBOOK IRELAND. Considering the significant number of users in France, the seriousness and the numbers of infringements, the publicity and amount and of this sanction are justified. The decision of the Restricted Committee follows the work carried out with the data protection authorities of Belgium, Hamburg, Spain and the Netherlands in a collaborative manner.”

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Yahoo to buyback $3 billion of its own shares

yahoo #Yahoo! $YHOO announced the commencement of a modified “Dutch auction” self-tender offer to purchase for cash up to $3B of shares of its common stock at prices equal to the A) “Alibaba #VWAP”, multiplied by (B) multiples specified by tendering stockholders not greater than 0.420 nor less than 0.370, provided that in no event will the purchase price be less than $37.00 per share, less applicable withholding taxes and without interest.

The terms and conditions of the tender offer are set forth in an Offer to Purchase, Letter of Transmittal and related documentation that are being distributed to holders of the company’s shares and are being filed with the U.S. SEC. The tender offer will expire on June 13, 2017 at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, unless the tender offer is extended or withdrawn by the company.

Tenders of shares must be made prior to the expiration of the tender offer and may be withdrawn at any time prior to the expiration of the tender offer, in each case in accordance with the procedures described in the tender offer materials that are being distributed to stockholders.

The “Alibaba VWAP” means the daily volume-weighted average price for an American Depositary Share of #Alibaba Group $BABA on the New York Stock Exchange, on the second trading day prior to the expiration date; provided, that in no event shall the Alibaba VWAP be less than $100.00 for the purpose of computing the purchase price.

The purpose of the tender offer is to provide liquidity to a potentially significant number of stockholders that will be forced to sell their shares at or prior to the closing of the pending sale of Yahoo’s operating business to #Verizon $VZ as a result of the fact that, upon completion of the Sale Transaction, the company will be required to register as a closed-end investment company under the Investment Company of 1940 and its shares are expected to be removed from the Standard and Poor’s 500 Composite Index and other indices.

The tender offer also enables the company to potentially return a significant amount of cash to its stockholders by repurchasing shares. The company believes that the tender offer provides a mechanism for completing a sizable repurchase of its shares more rapidly than would be possible through open market purchases.

Visit Stockwinners to read more.

The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.