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Coronavirus Update: Antimalarial-Drug Studies Retracted, Musk Slams Amazon
Two studies casting doubt on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine against Covid-19 were retracted; Elon Musk blasted Jeff Bezos and Amazon for rejecting a book; George Floyd’s autopsy says he was positive for Covid-19. WSJ’s Jason Bellini has the latest. Photo: George Frey/Reuters

Protests Continue for 10th Night Across U.S. Following George Floyd Memorial
Largely peaceful marches took place on the 10th night of protests following the killing of George Floyd, after a memorial in Minneapolis. In Buffalo, two police officers were suspended without pay after a video showed them knocking down an elderly man. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Why More Women Have Lost Jobs During the Pandemic
Unemployment in the pandemic has fallen disproportionately on Latina women, with many in the service industry. Here’s how gender, race, and occupation help determine who is most vulnerable in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Illustration: Crystal Tai

Businesses Struggle to Open After Being Hit a Third Time
Businesses were first hit by the coronavirus pandemic, then by the economic downturn, now some are reeling after being vandalized and looted. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

George Floyd Remembered at Memorial Service
Family members and friends of George Floyd memorialized him Thursday as thousands across the U.S. continued to protest against police brutality for the 10th day. Photo: Leah Millis/Reuters

Opinion: Rod Rosenstein Knew Nothing
Potomac Watch: The FBI withheld crucial information from the former Deputy Attorney General. Why didn’t he ask questions? Images: Zuma Press/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

George Floyd’s Death Will Not Have Been in Vain, Barr Says
Attorney General William Barr said authorities have made 51 arrests for federal crimes related to rioting and that all law-enforcement agencies have been deployed to quell violent activity. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

High-Tech vs. Tradition: The Battle Over Wagyu Beef
Japanese and Australian farmers are competing for the U.S. wagyu market that analysts forecast to be worth $1.1 billion by 2023. WSJ visits one rancher using traditional methods to produce $200 steaks, and another who has invested in new technology to slash prices. Photo: Mami Morisaki for The Wall Street Journal

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Analyst who predicted market's 40% rally says these stocks will lead to all-time highs

Analyst who predicted market's 40% rally says these stocks will lead to all-time highsAfter nailing the market's recovery, Fundstrat's Tom Lee is predicting hard hit stocks can carry the S&P 500 to new highs.



3 Big Dividend Stocks Yielding Over 7%; Wells Fargo Says ‘Buy’

3 Big Dividend Stocks Yielding Over 7%; Wells Fargo Says ‘Buy’We’re in perplexing times. At this writing, the S&P 500 index stands at 3,201, just 5.5% below its all-time high. That high, reached back in February, came the day before the bottom fell out of the stock market, as the coronavirus crisis triggered the steepest, deepest – and fastest – stock market drop on record. And now we are in the midst of a prolonged bull-rally, as the markets have been trending upwards since bottoming out on March 23.What’s an investor to do? The natural inclination during a bear market is to defend the portfolio and make conservative plays toward defensive dividend stocks, while the inclination during a rally is to go with the winners and stake positions in the stocks that are climbing most rapidly. The two strategies don’t often overlap, and the future remains clouded even though sentiment is high for now.At Wells Fargo, strategist Christopher Harvey believes that defensive moves are obsolete for now, and that investors should “start adding risk.”“We’re starting to price in a less bad scenario. Things are getting slightly better at the margin… A few weeks ago, for the first time in a long time, we went overweight on value. Now, what we are telling [investors] is we want them to start putting risk into the portfolio,” Harvey said.The strategist is advising investors to look for stocks that are positioned for a strong comeback. These are note necessarily the stocks that have been doing best in the current rally; rather, they are stocks that will benefit most as the economy reopens. That reopening is happening now, in fits and starts, as some states continue their lockdown policies and others try to get back to business. With this in mind, we’ve opened the TipRanks database and pulled up three relevant stock calls from three of Wells Fargo's top analysts. These are stocks with at least 7% dividend yield, and in the eyes of the Wells Fargo analysts, at least 10% upside potential. Let's take a closer look. EQT Midstream Partners (EQM)We’ll start in the energy industry, with a $4.8 billion mid-cap player in the important midstream segment. EQM provides natural gas pipeline and storage services for the Pennsylvania/West Virginia/Ohio sections of the Appalachian basin. This region, in the rugged, low mountains of the East, is one of North America’s richest natural gas production areas, and a center of the fracking industry. EQM is also involved in that latter, providing water supply and waste-water disposal services for gas fracking companies.EQM holds a sound position in an essential industry, and has been able to maintain revenues and earnings despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Q1 earnings numbers beat the forecast by a wide margin. The $1.08 EPS was well ahead of the 95-cent estimate, while revenues grew 16.25% year-over-year to reach $453 million, 14% ahead of expectations.In addition, for income-minded investors, the company has made moves to maintain the dividend even in difficult times. Management lowered the payment – never a good look, really – but the new payout of 38.75 cents per share quarterly gives a yield of 7.43% and an annualized payment of $1.55 per share. These are solid numbers that significantly outperform the services industry average yield of 1.4%.Much of EQM’s potential is tied up in the Mountain Valley Pipeline. This project, in which the company is heavily invested, is delayed by regulatory and permitting hurdles, but is widely expected to come online in 2021.Covering this stock for Wells Fargo is analyst Michael Blum. Noting the pipeline delays, he writes at the bottom line, “EQM is well positioned to benefit from improving natural gas fundamentals heading into 2021 due to the expected decline in associated gas production. We see … the pending completion of MVP as positive…”Blum sets a $27 price target here, in support of his Buy rating. His target implies a healthy upside potential of 17%. (To watch Blum’s track record, click here)Overall, EQT Midstream gets a Moderate Buy from the analyst consensus, based on 3 Buy and 2 Hold ratings set in recent weeks. Shares are selling for $23.18, and the $23.20 average price target is less bullish than Blum’s. (See EQM stock analysis at TipRanks)BP PLC (BP)Next up, we move from mid-cap to industry-leading giant. BP, with a market cap of $93 billion, is one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, and reported $278 billion in revenue for 2019. While that was down from the year before, the $10 billion in net profits beat the expected $9.7 billion.And then came Q1 2020. We all know the story. Back in April, oil prices dropped dramatically, as demand was quenched by the ongoing economic shutdowns. Oil producers don’t have the luxury of simply shutting off the pumps when demand falls; the equipment must be maintained, and it is not easy to restart a well that has been capped. The bounce back in prices since the April low has been helpful, but only partially. Even so, BP saw net profit fall 67% yoy in Q1, from Q1 2019’s $2.4 billion to the current figure of $800 million. Even though Q1 earnings dropped so drastically they remained positive, but looking ahead Q2 is expected to show a loss of 37 cents per share.Through everything, however, BP has kept up its dividend payment. The company remains committed to the payments, and has even increased its debt load to do so. The current dividend is 63 cents per share quarterly, annualized to $2.52, gives a yield of 9.65%. Compared to the 3% yield among utility peer companies, the attraction is clear.Roger Read, another of Wells Fargo’s analysts, is cautious here but also sees a path forward for BP. He writes, “…BP's expected free cashflow generation through 2022 should support reductions in leverage and capacity to raise its dividend in 2020 and beyond.”Read gives the stock a Buy rating, and backs it with a $31 price target implying room for 15% upside growth in the next 12 months. (To watch Read’s track record, click here)The Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating on BP is derived from 7 reviews, including 4 Buys and 3 Holds. The average price target of $32.20 suggests a 16% premium from the $27.81 current trading price. (See BP stock analysis on TipRanks)CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL)The last stock on our list here is a communications services firm, in the cloud-based tech niche. CenturyLink’s products offer customers solutions for networking and online security, a vital industry in today’s connected work environment – and even more vital during the current corona crisis, with so many office workers moving to telecommuting. The urgency of online security is clearer now than ever.That clear from CTL’s Q1 earnings, which not only grew 12% sequentially, but also beat the forecast by a penny. The 37 cents reported was even 8% higher than the year-ago quarter.CTL’s steady earnings underlie the company’s dividend. The payment has been stable for 5 quarters – and management recently announced that the next payout, set for June 12, will remain at 25 cents per share, or $1 annually. At this level, the dividend yields 9.43%, a solid return by any standard.Wells Fargo’s Jennifer Fritzsche, rated 5-stars in the TipRanks database, acknowledges that leading-edge tech company inhabit a capricious landscape, but is optimistic about CTL’s prospects. She writes, “In our view – the co. made its difficult capital allocations decisions last year and we see that dividend as secure near term. If one lesson will be (crystal) clear coming out of this crisis, it is that fiber is critical and necessary ‘railroad tracks’ (to quote WSJ) in our new normal. CTL has more of that asset than any public co.”Supporting her Buy rating on the stock, Fritzsche gives CTL a $12 price target, indicating room for 10% upside growth. (To watch Fritzsche’s track record, click here)While Fritzsche is optimistic here, her Wall Street peers remain cautious. CTL shares have a Hold from the analyst consensus, based on 2 Buys, 4 Holds, and 4 Sells. Shares are selling for $10.24, but the average price target is $9.91. Time will tell if Fritzsche’s bullish stance is the correct course for CTL. (See CenturyLink stock analysis at TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.



Billionaire Jim Simons Snaps Up These 3 Penny Stocks

Billionaire Jim Simons Snaps Up These 3 Penny StocksWhen billionaire financier Jim Simons makes a move, Wall Street pays attention. Simons is best known as the inventor of quantitative trading, using data crunching algorithms to make market predictions. He put his theories to work in the 1980s, when he founded the Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, and since then has established the best record on Wall Street, averaging a 66% annual return for over 30 years.Ask how he did it, and Simons will likely tell you that he took the emotional factor out of trading. Humans are fickle beasts, but data never lies. Take out the human factor, focus solely on the numbers and their patterns, and you can’t lose. Following this insight, Simons’ fund has brought in $100 billion in profits since 1988, and his personal fortune totals over $20 billion.It’s clear that a smart trader can build an investment strategy just by following Simons’ lead. And right now, the 13F filings show that Simons is buying, among others, penny stocks. These equities, priced below $5 per share, typically offer high upside potentials. Even a small gain in share price – just a few cents – quickly translates into a high yield return. Yes, there is risk involved, but that’s where Simons’ quantitative algorithms come in, to pick the winners.Looking into Renaissance's basket of stocks, we’ve chosen three penny stocks that TipRanks database reveals as a “Buy” and offer solid upside potential. Let’s take a closer look and see what Wall Street analysts have to say.Orbcomm, Inc. (ORBC)We’ll start with a small-cap communications company. Orbcomm controls both ground-based wireless messaging infrastructure and a network of 31 satellites, giving it global coverage. Orbcomm’s network provides machine-to-machine communications, and is heavily involved with Internet of Things. The company boasts 2 million billable subscribers in 130 countries.During the first quarter, Jim Simons' Renaissance upped the ante by 464%, adding 1,150,018 shares of the company to the fund. The fund had first bought into the stock in Q4 2019, with a purchase of 248,000 shares. Its latest buy brought its total holding to over 1.39 million shares, worth $4.8 million.Currently going for $3.43 apiece, some members of the Street believe the share price reflects an attractive entry point.Canaccord's 5-star analyst Michael Walkley sees a bright future for Orbcomm, despite the coronavirus pandemic. He writes of the company, “With a portion of ORBCOMM’s business dedicated to helping its customers transport food and medicine during these uncertain times, a strong piece of the firm’s recurring revenues remains protected… we view the risk-reward as very positive…” The analyst added, "ORBCOMM should be well positioned with its 2.2M subscriber base to drive consistent adjusted EBITDA through its high-margin recurring revenue solutions. Further, its improving cost structure and consolidated platforms should lead to longer-term margin expansion."To this end, Walkley rates ORBC a Buy along with an $8 price target. His target implies a wildly robust upside potential of 133% for the coming year. (To watch Walkley’s track record, click here)Overall, Orbcomm has 4 recent analyst reviews, and all are Buys, making the analyst consensus rating a Strong Buy. The average price target stands tall at $6.88, which suggests the stock has room to double in the next 12 months. (See Orbcomm stock analysis on TipRanks)Arcos Dorados Holdings (ARCO)Next up is Arcos, the master franchise holder for McDonalds in the Latin America & Caribbean region. The company is one of the world’s largest McDonalds franchisees, and lists some 20 countries in its franchise territory. Arcos is the largest fast-food chain in Latin America.Pulling the trigger on ARCO in the first quarter, Renaissance purchased over 563,000 shares. This is a 221% boost to the fund's holding, and brings its stake in the company to nearly $2.6 million.As you can easily imagine, the sudden halt in economic activity imposed to stop the coronavirus spread hit Arcos hard, as restaurants were among the businesses most harshly affected. Arcos saw Q1 earnings turn sharply downward, from a 16-cent Q4 profit that was nearly double the forecast to a 26-cent net loss. The Q1 loss was more than 6x worse than analysts had anticipated. Looking forward, Q2 losses are estimated to reach 70 cents per share.Yet, JPMorgan analyst Ian Luketic believes ARCO's long-term growth narrative remains strong and that its $4.59 share price reflects the ideal entry point. Luketic lays out the clear case for Arcos’ return to profitability in the wake of corona: “As stores are reopened and the company is able to adjust its cost structure, we expect to have more visibility on what to expect from margins going forward. Although margins were at a miss, we don´t expect a major negative reaction as the market is already pricing-in weak margins for 2020 and focus should be on results ahead and potential indicators of consumption pick-up.”Luketic maintains a Buy rating on this stock, and his $5.50 price target implies a 19% upside potential. His is the only recent analyst review on record for ARCO. (To watch Luketic’s track record, click here)Some stocks fly under the radar, and CATS is one of those. Luketic is the only recent analyst review of this company, and it is decidedly positive.Adecoagra SA (AGRO)Last on the list, we have an agricultural holding company. Adecoagra’s subsidiaries operate in crop farming and dairy, along with sugar, ethanol, and even energy production. The company’s field of operations is in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The company was hit on two fronts – food production and distribution were impacted by the shutdowns, while forced social lockdown policies put a heavy damper on the fuel market’s demand for ethanol. Yet, AGRO’s niche is essential, and the company is expected to benefit quickly as economies reopen. Demand is already beginning to resume for ethanol, as consumers are starting to purchase more automotive fuel. Simons’ algorithms are forward-looking, so maybe it’s no surprise that he bought into this company, picking up 415,131 shares in Q1. This holding is worth $1.9 million. Lucas Ferreira, covering this stock for JPMorgan, noted, “COVID-19 and the oil price decline drove sugar and ethanol prices down by 18%-25% year-to-date and compressed sector valuations and near-term free cash flow generation prospects.” He goes on to add that “the worst seems behind us with domestic ethanol demand surprising to the upside and the gradual reopening to give a further booster to volumes.”Ferreira’s Buy rating comes with a $6 price target that indicates a solid 31% upside potential from the current share price of $4.57. (To watch Ferreira’s track record, click here)To find good ideas for penny stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.



The Party Is Over for Moderna Stock Holders

The Party Is Over for Moderna Stock Holders[Editor's Note: "Sell Moderna (MRNA) Stock as Covid-19 Catalyst Inflates Valuation" was originally published April 2, 2020. It is regularly updated to include the most relevant information.]Source: Shutterstock Is the party over for Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)? MRNA stock soared in May as the company's novel coronavirus prospects looked bright. But now, with investors selling off vaccine plays, the days of this being a "hot stock" may be coming to an end.Granted, this doesn't mean "game over" for their prospective mRNA-1273 vaccine. Already entering phase 2 clinical trials, they could have a vaccine available for use by the end of the year.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsPerceived "first mover advantage" is one thing Moderna has going for it. Another is social proof, courtesy of the U.S. government. With a former exec leading the White House's vaccine efforts, it seems Moderna has yet another edge.Yet, as investors have either cashed out, or lost love, for Moderna, shares have taken a hit. Just a few weeks ago, the stock was parabolic, hitting prices as high as $87 per share. * 10 M&A Deals I'd Love to See Happen in the Second Half of 2020 Now? Things aren't so hot anymore. Shares now trade around $60 per share. But, could today's pullback be a buying opportunity?Not so fast! Moderna shares still trade at a rich valuation. Investors continue to price in much of the potential gains from not one, but two vaccines (more below). In short, shares could tumble further if both efforts wind up being fruitless. I know, it's fun to speculate on biotech stocks. Especially when it ties into a newsworthy event. But, as Moderna stock trends lower, it may be too late to ride the coronavirus vaccine wave. Coronavirus Vaccine and MRNA StockWhat a difference a few weeks makes. On May 18, news of positive preliminary findings put Moderna shares into hyper-drive. But, vaccine experts went through the details. According to them, the recent news revealed little about the vaccine candidate's effectiveness.It all went downhill from there. As the company raised equity, insiders sold shares, and other concerns mounted, Moderna's stock price fell back to earth.But, don't take this pullback as being an invitation to buy. Considering so much has been priced into shares, investors still face big potential losses if things don't pan out.So, with this catalyst a bit of a gamble, are there other factors at play with Moderna's stock? Yes. As InvestorPlace's Luke Lango discussed March 5, there's huge potential for the company's prospective vaccine for CMV, or congenital cytomegalovirus.Creating a vaccine for this major cause of birth defects may be an even greater catalyst for Moderna. Based on Lango's analysis, if all goes right, the company could generate billions in pre-tax profits if it receives Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.But this catalyst was already reflected in the stock price of MRNA. Before coronavirus sent shares higher. The company's market capitalization now stands at around $23.3 billion. In short, the company needs its prospective CMV vaccine to go without a hitch. Any bump in the road could send shares cratering.So would dashed hopes of mRNA-1273 becoming the first Covid-19 vaccine. Considering investors have priced in both catalysts, it's tough to justify a buy. Other Vaccine Stocks Could Offer Better ValueThe recent run-up in Moderna stock means shares trade at a rich valuation. The company's enterprise value/sales (EV/Sales) ratio currently stands at 422.7. That's a lot more reasonable than another coronavirus vaccine play, Inovio (NASDAQ:INO). That company's shares trade at a EV/Sales ratio of 688.8.But, if you're looking for a pure coronavirus vaccine play, there are other opportunities selling at lower (yet still frothy) valuations. Take, for example, iBio (NYSEMKT:IBIO), which currently trades at a EV/Sales ratio of 158.5. Granted, this name may be more of a gamble. But, a binary play like iBio may be a better than a more diversified one like Moderna.Moderna shares would bounce back if their vaccine shows success. But the potential rise in its stock price, percentage-wise, likely isn't as great as you'd see with an iBio or an Inovio.You could take that as a positive. A less binary play, downside for Moderna could be lower given their other catalysts. But that's hardly a great reason to buy, as the share price remains inflated due to past coronavirus speculation. Sell Moderna Stock as Shares Go ParabolicDon't buy Moderna because you think it'll strike gold with a coronavirus vaccine. Other vaccine contenders could offer a more promising risk/return proposition.Moderna stock does bring a lot more to the table. Their CMV vaccine catalyst could really move the needle if it pays off. But, this doesn't make shares a low-risk opportunity. If that vaccine fails to deliver, much of the stock's rich valuation would evaporate overnight.Whether you bought stock in MRNA for the CMV or the coronavirus catalyst, it's clearly time to sell. With shares treading water around $60 per share, cashing out today could be the best call.Thomas Niel, contributor to InvestorPlace, has been writing single-stock analysis since 2016. As of this writing, Thomas Niel did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 25 Stocks You Should Sell Immediately * 1 Under-the-Radar 5G Stock to Buy Now * This Stock Picker's Latest Video Just Went Viral * The 1 Stock All Retirees Must Own The post The Party Is Over for Moderna Stock Holders appeared first on InvestorPlace.



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