Saturday, August 31, 2019

Barron's Weekend Summary

Barron's Weekend Summary: Cover story on biotechs researching mRNA; Features positive on MRNA, TBIO, AZN, MRK, TAK, GSK and TPRE, GLRE 
Cover story: In what could be the next frontier for treating disease, scientists are increasingly seeking to make drugs out of ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, the molecule that couriers blueprints from a cell’s DNA to its protein factories; Biotech companies, including TBIO and MRNA are leading the way, and big pharma companies such as MRK, SNY, AZN, and GSK are investing in the sector. 

Tech Trader: Positive on ATVI: Events over the past week have dramatically brightened the outlook for the videogame company, which just re-released the 15-year-old version of its popular World of Warcraft online role-playing game—under the new name World of Warcraft Classic—to overwhelmingly positive reviews from gamers. 

Trader: There’s a good reason that presidents usually don’t face recessions when running for re-election—they control many of the tools to prevent one, and the surest way for Donald Trump to do so now would be to end the trade war with China. 

Profile: Bryan Hinmon, manager of the MFAM Global Opportunities fund, says that investors who want to beat the market, and their competitors, must discover the unique qualitative advantages in companies that a quant screen or a factor-based fund can’t detect (top 10 holdings: AMZN, MA, MDT, TEAM, SBUX, SoftBank, PAYC, WSO, MELI, SBAC). 

Features: 1) + TPRE, GLRE: Daniel Loeb and David Einhorn, two prominent hedge fund investors who make a big bet on the reinsurance business are finding that their bets on Third Point Reinsurance and Greenlight Capital Re, are struggling -- shares trade below book value and their IPO prices; analysts see the stocks as low risk options with an "attractive turnaround potential"; 2) Any number of factors—trade tensions, confusing economic data, and uncertain monetary and fiscal policy—could push stocks in a bullish or bearish direction, and there’s no consensus among investment strategists Barron’s recently surveyed on the outlook for markets in the months ahead; 3) + MRNA, TBIO, AZN, MRK, TAK, GSK: For investors seeking to move into the mRNA sector, Moderna and Translate Bio are good plays, in part because they have received investment from major pharma companies, which offer a hedged way to bet on the sector; 4) The average American will change jobs a dozen times over the course of his or her career, raising the question of whether they should take their retirement money with them or leave it—and there are a host of common mistakes and pitfalls to be aware of. 

Follow-Up: +/- JNJ, AGN, ENDP: “The dominoes are starting to fall in the opioid litigation, and the latest developments shouldn’t make drugmakers feel good about their chances when the cases start going to trial.” 

European Trader: + Cineworld Group: UK-based movie theater operator “could offer blockbuster returns for investors as it looks to cash in on its monthly subscription service and a full slate of strong films.” 

Emerging Markets: Brazil’s economy, No. 8 in the world, refuses to rebound: Gross-domestic-product growth hasn’t hit even 2% since 2013—and fixing the problems will require major overhauls of the country’s complex tax system and regulatory apparatus. 

Commodities: “Commodities will end August with a second straight monthly loss, as uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China trade war feeds expectations of a global economic slowdown—and demand for raw materials.” 

Streetwise: Humpty-Dumpty deals—in which a company breaks itself apart, then after a number of years decides to put itself back together through a merger—are rare, but they have become common in this late-cycle market with low bond yields and high share prices.