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06/12/21 Briefing

The stock market is looking to rebound from Friday's slide with futures on the S&P 500 trading 13 points above fair value. Nasdaq futures, however, are currently 49 points below fair value after last week's underperformance.


The S&P 500 lost 1.2% last week as uncertainty related to the Fed's tapering plans and the new coronavirus variant contributed to added volatility. Today, the narrative is focusing on the upside stemming from a lack of reports of serious cases of the Omicron variant.


Markets in Asia faced some more selling today while European equities are rebounding alongside U.S. futures. Crude oil is also on the rise, climbing $2.21, or 3.4%, to $68.47/bbl.


The market will not receive any economic data today. Treasuries are on course for a lower start with the 10-yr yield rising five basis points to 1.39%.


In U.S. corporate news:


Amgen (AMGN 204.70, +2.26): +1.1% after Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating and a $258 target.

GCP Applied Technologies (GCP 30.60, +3.58): +13.3% after agreeing to be acquired by Saint-Gobain (CODYY 13.11) for $32.00/share.

Lucid Group (LCID 40.38, -6.89): -15.6% after receiving a subpoena from the SEC.

ReneSola (SOL 5.53, +0.30): +5.7% after authorizing the repurchase of up to $50 mln of its shares.

Buckle (BKE 50.45, +3.57): +7.6% after announcing a special dividend of $5.65 and increasing its quarterly dividend by 6.1% to $0.35.

Kohl's (KSS 50.20, +1.75): +3.6% after an investor sent a letter to the company, urging changes to create value.

Reviewing overnight developments:


Asian markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei -0.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.8%, and China's Shanghai Composite -0.5%

In economic data:

Australia's M1 Inflation Gauge +0.3% m/m (last +0.2%)

In news:

The People's Bank of China cut the reserve requirement ratio by 50 bps to 11.5%

Chinese property developer Sunshine 100 defaulted on $179 mln of bond payments and Kaisa is reportedly finding it difficult to reach a deal with offshore bondholders to extend a deadline for repaying $400 mln due next week

Major European indices trade higher. Germany's DAX +0.5%, France's CAC +0.8%, and the U.K.'s FTSE +0.9%

In economic data:

Eurozone's December Sentix Investor Confidence 13.5 (Expected 15.9; last 18.3)

Germany's October Factory Orders -6.9% m/m (expected -0.5%; last +1.8%); November IHS Markit Construction PMI 47.9 (last 47.7)

Italy's October Retail Sales +0.1% m/m (last +1.0%) and +3.7% yr/yr (last +5.4%)

UK's November Construction PMI 55.5 (expected 52.0; last 54.6)

In news:

FT reports that economists and traders now think the Bank of England will forego a rate hike this month to give it more time to assess the impact of the Omicron variant

Fitch raised its sovereign rating for Italy to BBB from BBB-


U.S. equity futures:


S&P 500 Futures: +13 @ 4,551

DJIA Futures: +210 @ 34,790

Nasdaq 100 Futures: -54 @ 15,658

Overseas:


Europe: DAX +0.5%, FTSE +1.0%, CAC +0.9%

Asia: Nikkei -0.4%, Hang Seng -1.8%, Shanghai Composite -0.5%


Commodities:


Crude Oil +1.95 @ 68.21

Nat Gas -0.356 @ 3.776

Gold -3.45 @ 1780.45

Silver -0.109 @ 22.372

Copper +0.0335 @ 4.3005

U.S. Summary:


Earnings/Guidance (Full Earnings Calendar):

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) aims to deliver organic EBITDA growth of 4-8% over the medium-term

Byrna Technologies (BYRN) sees Q4 revs above consensus; sees Q1 and FY22 revs in line

Murphy Oil (MUR) in slide presentation reaffirms Q4 2021 production of 145.5-153.5 mln MBOEPD; sees Q4 exploration expenses of $32 mln; sees FY21 CapEx of $675-685 mln

Ranger Oil (ROCC) increases oil sales guidance for fourth quarter 2021

Science Applications (SAIC) beats by $0.39, reports revs in-line; raises FY22 guidance

Teck Resources (TECK) provides update on severe weather impacts in British Columbia; co now estimates its fourth quarter steelmaking coal sales at 5.2 - 5.7 million tonnes

United Micro (UMC) reports November revenues +33.5% yr/yr to NT 19.661 bln

General News:

A new non-peer reviewed study shows Omicron shares mutations with common cold which means it's more transmissible, but has less virulence, according to the Washington Post

Fauci says while it's too early to make definitive statements, it "does not look like there's a great degree of severity" to the Omicron variant, but it does have a "transmission advantage." South Africa's president said Omicron hospitalizations are not increasing at an alarming rate, according to CNN

Congress will focus this week on passing national defense authorization act. Democrats want to attach debt ceiling increase to this bill, but will need Republican support ahead of December 15 deadline, according to the Wall Street Journal

More than 40,000 people protested in Vienna due to coronavirus restrictions and vaccination mandates, according to Reuters

Cryptocurrencies fall as central banks reduce liquidity to fight inflation, according to Bloomberg

President Biden will soon announce diplomatic boycott of 2022 Olympics in China, according to CNN

China denies potential ban on one method of overseas listings, according to Bloomberg

AbCellera Biologics (ABCL) highlights FDA's expansion of EUA for AbCellera-discovered bamlanivimab

AbbVie (ABBV) provides update on RINVOQ for treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis; U.S. label to include additional information about risks of malignancy and thrombosis, and the addition of mortality and MACE risk

ACI Worldwide (ACIW) announces $250 million share repurchase authorization

Adagene (ADAG) presents clinical data demonstrating strong safety and early signals of efficacy in treatment-resistant tumors for Anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody, ADG116, at ESMO-IO 2021

Adicet Bio (ACET) announces positive interim clinical data from first-ever allogeneic, off-the-shelf, gamma delta CAR T Investigational Cell Therapy

Aeglea BioTherapeutics (AGLE) announces achievement of primary endpoint in phase 3 study of Pegzilarginase in patients with arginase 1 deficiency

Alibaba (BABA) announces that Toby Xu, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, will succeed Maggie Wu as the Company's Chief Financial Officer, effective April 1, 2022

Amazon (AMZN) has begun to charter private cargo ships, according to CNBC

Amgen (AMGN) increases quarterly dividend to $1.94 from $1.76/share

Becton Dickinson (BDX) announced that "embecta" will be the name of the independent, publicly-traded company that will hold BD's Diabetes Care business upon the completion of the previously announced spinoff, which is expected to close in Q2 2022

Bellicum Pharma (BLCM) announces Positive Interim Data from Phase 1/2 GoCAR-T Studies and enters an agreement for a $35 million private placement of equity securities with two biotechnology specialist investment funds

Biohaven Pharmaceutical (BHVN) names CEO Vlad Coric, MD, Chairman, and Matthew Buten Chief Financial Officer

Bolt Biotherapeutics (BOLT) reports interim BDC-1001 phase 1/2 data demonstrating a safe and well-tolerated profile and emerging clinical activity at the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress 2021

BrightView (BV) authorizes share repurchase program totaling $250 mln

Buckle (BKE) announces a $5.65/share special cash dividend and a 6.1% increase in its quarterly dividend

Cboe Global Markets (CBOE) reports November trading volume statistics

Cronos Group (CRON) provides bi-weekly update for MCTO status

Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) & Trump Media & Technology Group announce $1 billion 'pipe' investment in committed capital to fund business

Fulcrum Therapeutics (FULC) announced "positive results" from the 20mg and 30mg dose cohorts in healthy adult volunteers in its Phase 1 clinical trial of FTX-6058

GH Research PLC (GHRS) reports the outcome of the Phase 2 part of a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of GH001, an inhalable 5-MeO-DMT product candidate, in patients with treatment-resistant depression

Gritstone bio (GRTS) and CEPI announce the expansion of their agreement in order to support the development of a self-amplifying mRNA vaccine designed to tackle the Omicron COVID-19 variant

Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (PAC) reports Nov metrics; total number of terminal passengers at GAP's 12 Mexican airports increased by 3.7% over 2019 levels

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) COVID-19 Booster, administered six months after two-dose regimen of BNT162b2, shows substantial increase in antibody and t-cell responses

Kazia Therapeutics (KZIA) announces positive final data from phase ii clinical study of Paxalisib In Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Kforce (KFRC) announces that Joseph J. Liberatore, the Firm's current President and a more than 30-year veteran of the Company will succeed David L. Dunkel as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2022

Laureate Education (LAUR) announces special cash distribution equal to $0.58/share

LGI Homes (LGIH) reports November 2021 home closings data

Li-Cycle (LICY) announces the appointment of Debbie Simpson to the role of Chief Financial Officer, effective February 1, 2022

Lucid Motors USA (LCID) discloses it received a subpoena from the SEC requesting the production of certain documents related to an investigation by the SEC

Merck (MRK): FDA approves Merck's KEYTRUDA as adjuvant treatment for adult and pediatric (=12 years of age) patients with stage IIB or IIC melanoma following complete resection

Merus (MRUS) released clinical data on MCLA-145 from the phase 1 trial in patients with solid tumors

Mesoblast (MESO): Rexlemestrocel-L shows greatest treatment benefit on major adverse cardiovascular events in high-risk heart failure patients with diabetes and/or myocardial ischemia

Moderna (MRNA) CEO President Stephen Hoge believes there is a risk that vaccine will be less effective against Omicron, but he doesn't know how substantial it will be, according to Bloomberg

Molecular Partners AG (MOLN) presents results from a phase 2a trial of Ensovibep in 12 COVID-19 patients at ESWI 2021

Noodles (NDLS) is debating price increases, according to the Wall Street Journal

Ocular Therapeutix (OCUL) announces "positive" topline results from its Phase 2 clinical trial of OTX-DED for the short-term treatment of dry eye disease

PotlatchDeltic (PCH) announces special dividend of $4/share, increases quarterly dividend to $0.44 from $0.41/share

Rayonier Adv. Materials (RYAM) announces that its Board of Directors elected Vito Consiglio to succeed Paul Boynton as President and Chief Executive Officer and Board member effective January 1, 2022

RedHill Biopharma (RDHL) announced that opaganib is expected to be unaffected by mutations associated with Omicron and other known variants of concern

ReneSola (SOL) authorized the repurchase of up to $50 million of the company's outstanding American Depositary Shares

Scynexis (SCYX) Announces agreement with FDA on innovative strategy for approval of oral ibrexafungerp for treatment of invasive candidiasis

Semtech (SMTC) and Spark Connected announce resolution of litigation

Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) announces publication of a series of novel SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors for potential treatment of COVID-19 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including omicron

Spectrum Pharma (SPPI) submitted its New Drug Application (NDA) for poziotinib to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Sunrun (RUN) discloses planned departure of COO Christopher Dawson, effective December 31

Thryv (THRY) announces that CEO and President Joe Walsh has been appointed Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors, effective immediately

Tradeweb Markets (TW) reported trading volume for November 2021 was $24.2 trillion, and average daily volume for the month was $1.18 trillion, an increase of 22.6% yr/yr

WeWork (WE) provides November business update and announces agreement to extend secured credit commitments; WeWork's global real estate portfolio included 756 locations across 38 countries, supporting approximately 913,000 workstations and 577,000 physical memberships

Yandex N.V. (YNDX) announces that its founder, CEO and principal shareholder, Arkady Volozh, has agreed to a further lock-up of his Class B shares

Zeta Global Holdings' (ZETA) Disqus and Akismet sign a multi-year partnership to fight spam on the web

M&A:

CI Financial Corp (CIXX) and RegentAtlantic Capital announce an agreement under which CI will acquire RegentAtlantic, a registered investment advisor with $6.0 bln in assets under management

Del Taco (TACO) to be acquired by Jack in the Box (JACK) for $12.51/share in cash

dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (DMYQ) stockholders approve proposed business combination with Planet

Equinor (EQNR) signed an agreement with Noriker Power Limited; the agreement includes the acquisition of a 45% stake in Noriker, with an option to acquire the full company at a later stage

GCP Applied Tech (GCP) signs a definitive agreement to be acquired by Saint-Gobain (CODYY) for $32.00 per share in cash in a transaction valued at ~$2.3 bln

GigCapital4 (GIG) receives shareholder approval for combination with BigBear.ai; closing of combination expected on December 7

Hoegh LNG Partners (HMLP) receives buyout offer from Hegh LNG Holdings Ltd.

Kohl's (KSS): Engine Capital wants Kohl's to consider sale, according to the Wall Street Journal

Pathfinder Acquisition Corp. (PFDR) and Service Max mutually agree to terminate business combination agreement due to market conditions

SL Green Realty (SLG) announces sale of 25% interest in One Madison Avenue

Syndicate:

Bellicum Pharma (BLCM) announces Positive Interim Data from Phase 1/2 GoCAR-T Studies and enters an agreement for a $35 million private placement of equity securities with two biotechnology specialist investment funds

IPOs:

Expected to Price:

Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance (Nasdaq: REFI): The commercial real estate finance company dedicated to making loans to operators and property owners in cannabis industry is expected to price its 6.3 M share IPO between $16-$18.

HashiCorp (Nasdaq: HCP): The cloud computing company providing a standardized approach to automating the critical processes involved in delivering applications in the cloud is expected to price its 15.3 M between $68-$72.

Nu Holdings (NYSE: NU): The digital banking platform is expected to price its 289.2 M share IPO between $8-$9.

Gapping Up/Down


Gapping up:

GCP +13%, DWAC +6.9%, SOL +6.9%, MESO +5.4%, HMLP +4.3%, EQNR +3.3%, KSS +2.8%, LAUR +2.8%, BKE +2.7%, PCH +2.7%, SRNE +2.1%, CPG +1.9%, AMGN +1.1%

Gapping down:

LCID -12.2%, AGLE -3.7%, YNDX -2.9%,


Analyst Research (see Upgrades/Downgrades calendar for full list):


Upgrades

American Airlines (AAL) upgraded to In-line from Underperform at Evercore ISI

Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN) upgraded to Outperform from Mkt Perform at Raymond James; tgt $62

Boston Properties (BXP) upgraded to Outperform from In-line at Evercore ISI

Edwards Lifesciences (EW) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Wells Fargo; tgt $126

Electronic Arts (EA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup; tgt lowered to $150

GMS (GMS) upgraded to Outperform from Mkt Perform at Raymond James; tgt $72

Goldman Sachs (GS) upgraded to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley; tgt $479

Hibbett (HIBB) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird; tgt $100

Home Depot (HD) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer; tgt $470

Meta Platforms (FB) upgraded to Hold from Reduce at HSBC Securities; tgt $300

Downgrades:

Accel Entertainment (ACEL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman; tgt lowered to $14.50

BNY Mellon (BK) downgraded to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley; tgt $59

Chewy (CHWY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush; tgt $70

Citigroup (C) downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley; tgt $82

DocuSign (DOCU) downgraded to Peer Perform from Outperform at Wolfe Research

Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) downgraded to In-line from Outperform at Evercore ISI

Gates Industrial (GTES) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays; tgt lowered to $18

Others:

Amgen (AMGN) initiated with a Buy at Goldman; tgt $258

Apple (AAPL) initiated with an Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets; tgt $191

Backblaze (BLZE) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer

Backblaze (BLZE) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James; tgt $26

Backblaze (BLZE) initiated with a Mkt Outperform at JMP Securities; tgt $30

Backblaze (BLZE) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley Securities; tgt $29

Biogen (BIIB) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman; tgt $271

CI&T Inc (CINT) initiated with a Buy at BofA Securities; tgt $15

CI&T Inc (CINT) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley; tgt $17

CI&T Inc (CINT) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup; tgt $17

CI&T Inc (CINT) initiated with an Overweight at JP Morgan; tgt $17

CI&T Inc (CINT) initiated with an Outperform at Bradesco; tgt $16

Expensify (EXFY) initiated with a Neutral at BofA Securities; tgt $45

Expensify (EXFY) initiated with a Mkt Outperform at JMP Securities; tgt $27

Expensify (EXFY) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup; tgt $50

Expensify (EXFY) initiated with a Buy at Loop Capital; tgt $45

Expensify (EXFY) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Sandler; tgt $45

Expensify (EXFY) initiated with an Overweight at JP Morgan; tgt $57

Gilead Sciences (GILD) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman; tgt $80

Upcoming Events:


Econ Data:

No economic data of note.

Earnings:

Monday (Dec 6)

Morning: SAIC

Afternoon: COUP HQY MDB SUMO

Tuesday (Dec 7)

Morning: AZO CONN DBI

Afternoon: AVAV CASY CHPT BASE PLAY PD S SFIX TOL

Wednesday (Dec 8)

Morning: BF.B CPB KFY LOVE PLAB THO UNFI VRA

Afternoon: GME GEF OXM PHR RH SPWH CURV PATH

Thursday (Dec 9)

Morning: CIEN HRL

Afternoon: AOUT AVGO CHWY COST LESL LULU MESA ORCL MTN

Friday (Dec 10)

Morning: ASO

Asia & Europe detail:


Asia: Nikkei -0.4%, Hang Seng -1.8%, Shanghai Composite -0.5%


Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower to begin the week with the weakness seen in tech stocks and growth stocks in the U.S. on Friday weighing on sentiment. Hong Kong's Hang Seng bore the brunt of the selling pressure along with India's Sensex Index. Notably, the PBOC cut the bank reserve ratio requirement by 50 bps to 11.5% to provide more support for small businesses. Property developer Evergrande remained a headline driver with its admission in a filing that it might not have sufficient funds to cover its financial obligations. That acknowledgment came as smaller property developer Sunshine 100 defaulted on $179 mln of bond payments and Kaisa is reportedly finding it difficult to reach a deal with offshore bondholders to extend a deadline for repaying $400 mln due next week. The Omicron variant continues to get plenty of attention. Japan's PM Kishida intends to maintain a cautious stance with the country's coronavirus policy. Separately, there are press reports this morning discussing the possibility of the U.S. announcing a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on account of human rights abuses.


In economic data:

Australia's M1 Inflation Gauge +0.3% m/m (last +0.2%)

---Equity Markets---


Japan's Nikkei: -0.4%

Hong Kong's Hang Seng: -1.8%

China's Shanghai Composite: -0.5%

India's Sensex: -1.7%

South Korea's Kospi: +0.2%

Australia's ASX All Ordinaries: -0.2%

---FX---


USD/JPY: +0.4% to 113.19

USD/CNH: +0.1% to 6.3775

USD/INR: +0.3% to 75.421


Europe: DAX +0.5%, FTSE +1.0%, CAC +0.9%


Major European indices are all trading comfortably higher ahead of the U.S. open. The recognition that investor confidence in the eurozone dropped sharply in December, that German factory orders in October were much weaker than expected, and that the Confederation of British Industry cut its 2021 and 2022 growth forecasts for the UK has presumably added to expectations that interest rates will remain lower for longer. On a related note, the FT reports that economists and traders now think the Bank of England will forego a rate hike this month to give it more time to assess the impact of the Omicron variant. Fitch raised its sovereign rating for Italy to BBB from BBB-. Separately, tension is rising over the idea that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine in early 2022. President Biden and President Putin will have a video summit this Tuesday to discuss this potential threat and other matters. EUR/USD -0.1% to 1.1295.


In economic data:

Eurozone's December Sentix Investor Confidence 13.5 (Expected 15.9; last 18.3)

Germany's October Factory Orders -6.9% m/m (expected -0.5%; last +1.8%); November IHS Markit Construction PMI 47.9 (last 47.7)

Italy's October Retail Sales +0.1% m/m (last +1.0%) and +3.7% yr/yr (last +5.4%)

UK's November Construction PMI 55.5 (expected 52.0; last 54.6)

---Equity Markets---


STOXX Europe 600: +0.7%

Germany's DAX: +0.5%

U.K.'s FTSE 100: +1.0%

France's CAC 40: +0.9%

Italy's FTSE MIB: +1.0%

Spain's IBEX 35: +1.2%

---FX---


EUR/USD: -0.1% to 1.1295

GBP/USD: +0.4% to 1.3276

USD/CHF: +0.5% to 0.9219



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