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Pfizer says early studies of potential coronavirus treatment show promise

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Thursday that early data has helped it identify a drug candidate with the potential to help treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus. It also said it plans to support studies to determine whether existing Pfizer medicines, including its rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz, may provide benefits for those struggling with the COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. More than a dozen large drugmakers, including Pfizer, have announced plans in recent months to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus, although few if any are likely to reach patients in time …read more […]

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Gold Market Isn’t Going Back to Normal as Spreads Stay Wide

(Bloomberg) — The gold market is showing no signs of going back to normal.Spreads between New York and London have stayed around $40, a sign that traders are hesitant and liquidity is thin. It’s still difficult to ship gold around the world and traders have speculated that some dealers are pulling back given the logistical risks.“The market itself is not broken,” said Rhona O’Connell, head of market analysis for EMEA and Asia at INTL FCStone. But it’s “thin and dislocated.”To be sure, there’s plenty of gold available in New York, according to Comex. Total stockpiles tracked by the exchange almost …read more […]

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Saudi Arabia buys stakes in four big European oil firms - source

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has accumulated stakes in four major European oil companies, a source familiar with the transaction said. The four are Royal Dutch Shell , France’s Total , Norway’s Equinor and Italy’s Eni , the source said, confirming a Wall Street Journal report. The source did not confirm the combined value of the stakes, which the WSJ reported were worth $1 billion. …read more […]

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Stocks Pare Gains With U.S. Futures Before Holiday: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — European stocks pared their gains alongside U.S. equity futures on Thursday as investors mulled estimates of how soon economies can reboot when the coronavirus outbreak eases. Oil rose after Russia signaled it’s ready to make production cuts.Declines in telecoms and media shares helped trim an earlier advance by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. American index contracts fluctuated a day after the S&P 500 closed over 3% higher into bull-market territory. Most Asian stocks saw a modest rise, though Japanese shares retreated. For many markets it is the last trading day of the week before the Easter break.Treasuries rose. …read more […]

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Some of America’s Oil Refineries May Be on the Brink of Shutting

(Bloomberg) — The next step for some U.S. refineries that have already cut way back may be a full stop.Marathon Petroleum Corp. plans to idle its Gallup, New Mexico, refinery next week, according to a person familiar with the matter. It’s the first U.S. facility to shut as the coronavirus pandemic empties skies of passenger planes and the roads of cars.It’s not likely to be the last. Major U.S. refiners, including Marathon, Valero Energy Corp. and Phillips 66, have lowered rates at their facilities to be at or near minimum levels as storage tanks fill up with fuel they can’t …read more […]

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Six Flags Boosts Liquidity Outlook, Suspends Dividend Payouts

The world’s largest regional theme park company, Six Flags Entertainment (SIX), has announced preliminary 1Q20 revenues along with significant steps taken to both reduce expenses and boost the overall liquidity outlook.Management expects 1Q20 revenues to be $25-30M lower than the year-ago period, or roughly $98-103M, but added that a sizable portion of the decline was offset by operating expense cuts when the parks closed. SIX also agreed with lenders to suspend the regular dividend until the end of 2021 or the termination of its additional $131 million credit facility.With the timeline for park reopenings remaining unknown, management is reducing expenses …read more […]

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Oil prices rise on optimism OPEC+ meeting will result in supply cut

Oil prices rose on Thursday on expectations the world’s largest oil producers would agree to cut production at a meeting later in the day as the industry grapples with a coronavirus-driven collapse in global oil demand. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 5%, or $1.27 cents, at $26.36 a barrel, after earlier climbing by as much as 6.1%. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia – a group known as OPEC+ – are set to convene a video conference meeting on Thursday. …read more […]

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Starbucks Feels The Pain; Expects 46% Fall In Earnings, Pulls Full Year Guidance

Starbucks (SBUX) is expecting FQ2 adjusted earnings of $0.32 per share, almost half the $0.60 reported in the same period last year, due to the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Starbucks also revealed that business disruption related to COVID-19 in China had an adverse impact to GAAP EPS for Q2 of $0.15 to $0.18.However, the coffee chain warned that worse is still to come. “Based on the late-quarter onset of COVID-19 impacts to our business results in the U.S. and other markets globally—and as the flow-through impact of lost sales in the U.S. is materially greater than the flow-through …read more […]

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A $645 Billion Manager Says Calling the Market Bottom Is ‘A Mug’s Game’

(Bloomberg) — The coronavirus market sell-off is probably past its worst, strategists at Morgan Stanley have said. Jeffrey Gundlach sees bigger losses ahead, while Howard Marks went from bearish to more optimistic in a week.For another veteran investor, calls on whether equities have reached a bottom are nothing short of futile.“I think it’s a mug’s game,” said Hugh Young, head of Asia Pacific at the $644.5 billion manager Aberdeen Standard Investments. “Nobody has the answer.”Shares across the world have recovered some of their losses from the rout spurred by the virus. An index of global equities has risen more than …read more […]

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Global Oil Cuts Seen Falling Short and Crashing Prices, ING Says

(Bloomberg) — Oil is set to tumble back toward $20 a barrel as global producers will likely fall short of targeted cuts this week, leaving a supply overhang that will threaten to overwhelm global storage, according to ING Groep NV.Oil giants including Saudi Arabia and Russia are likely only going to be able to cobble together a global agreement to curb 6 million to 7 million barrels a day of supplies, said Warren Patterson, ING’s head of commodities strategy. That’s more than triple what OPEC+ was cutting at the start of this year but is short of the 10 million …read more […]

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Rich Asians Face Billions in Losses on Structured Notes

(Bloomberg) — A popular investment among Asia’s wealthy in the years of rock-bottom interest rates has been upended in the recent market rout, leaving investors facing losses estimated to be in the billions of dollars.Structured products called fixed coupon notes attracted scores of private banking clients in Hong Kong and Singapore in recent years, according to half a dozen bankers and advisers Bloomberg spoke with. Promised regular coupons even in turbulent times, some put 20% or more of their portfolios into the instruments, they said. One catch: the principal was tied to swings in assets like stocks, and losses could …read more […]

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Exxon used economic uncertainty to push for Paulsboro, N.J., contract: sources

Exxon Mobil Corp used economic uncertainty tied to the coronavirus pandemic to urge workers at its lubricants and packaging plant in Paulsboro, New Jersey, to vote for a proposed contract, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Workers at the plant on Wednesday rejected the contract in a 62-11 vote, however, said the two sources. The workers are represented by the Independent Oil Workers union (IOW) in Paulsboro. …read more […]