Sunday, November 22, 2020

Chinese Flu: Things Are Moving At Warp Speed -- November 22, 2020

Yesterday, we got word that the FDA has approved Regeneron's two-multiclonal-antibody cocktail for treatment for those diagnosed (and symptomatic) with Covid-19.

Now, tonight, it is being reported that the first Covid-19 vaccine may be available for health workers as early as December 12, 2020.

Futures across the three major indices are up modestly. If all this news is "digested" tomorrow and all things being equal, it could be an interesting day on Wall Street. Good luck to all.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site.  Do not make any investment, financial, job, career, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here. 

By the way, with regard to the vaccine the conversation has changed. No longer are we talking about IF, and even the question of WHEN is starting to be "so yesterday." We are now seeing CEOs of the various vaccine companies telling us WHY their vaccine is better. Truly amazing how fast things seem to be moving.

Re-posting:

*******************************
Regeneron

Re-Gen-a-Ron -- accent on second syllable.

Re-Gen-i-Ron -- accent on second syllable.

I don't know if that's correct but that's how I remember it.

Chinese flu news: FDA authorized emergency use of antibody treatment given to President Trump. Timing was interesting. 

Approved after the election. The "deep state" is starting to change the narrative. Keep approving more treatment regimens; release the vaccines; and the new administration can "follow the science" and not mandate a return to more draconian measures. The new administration has to flatten the curve within three months, prevent a third wave, and declare an end to the pandemic within twelve months if they hope to make gains in the mid-term elections. Link here for the Regeneron story; the comments are most interesting, as  usual. 

The Regeneron solution is a "cocktail" of  two monoclonal antibodies, which, of course, to 99.99% of the lay public, means nothing...."monoclonal what ...":

  • REGN10933: casirivimab
  • REGN10987: imdevimab

Regeneron is traded on NASDAQ (REGN). 

Background for monoclonal antibodies:

The development of monoclonal antibodies by Georges Köhler and César Milstein, in their attempt to understand the mechanisms by which cells of the human immune system are capable of producing so diverse a repertoire of antibodies, was recognized in the award of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1984, shared with Niels Jerne. 
In the last two decades such antibodies have been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including malignancies and autoimmune disorders. 
New techniques for synthesizing monoclonal antibodies now make it possible to use transgenic mice to generate antibodies similar to human antibodies. 
A virus infection, due to Ebola virus, has been treated in successful experiments using either humanized antibodies generated from mice or antibodies obtained from convalescent human patients. 
This suggests the possibility of treating COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies directed against structural elements of the virus. Fusion of coronaviruses with human cells requires “docking” of specialized glycoproteins, “spikes”, which protrude from the viral surface and interact with specific molecules on the surface of host cells. 
The virus binds, through the spike protein’s receptor binding domain, to a membrane bound enzyme, ACE-2, and its entry into the cell is activated by a transmembrane serine protease, TMPRSS2. The spike protein, whose sequence differs greatly from one type of coronavirus to another, presents a target for therapy by antiviral antibodies.

That article goes on to explain the number of genomes identified and kept in the company's "library" of genomes and why the company decided to go with two antibodies in the cocktail. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. 

The FDA press release here, released yesterday, Saturday, November 21, 2020. 

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for casirivimab and imdevimab to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds]) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. 
This includes those who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions
In a clinical trial of patients with COVID-19, casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together, were shown to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment when compared to placebo. The safety and effectiveness of this investigational therapy for use in the treatment of COVID-19 continues to be evaluated. Casirivimab and imdevimab must be administered together by intravenous (IV) infusion.

There is more that could be written but time to move on. 

From my perspective: under an Obama administration, The New York Times Sunday edition headline: Cure For Covid-19 Approved. National Nightmare Is Over. Index case, 74-year-old male with significant co-morbidities, symptomatic for Covid-19; less than 72 hours in the hospital after being treated with this regimen.

We won't see that headline until January 21, 2020. 

By the way, if this works, one can expect mini-step-up Covid-19 units -- not ICUs -- in which once patients have been examined, tested, and given presumptive diagnosis of Covid-19, will immediately be given the intravenous cocktail, admitted to a 72-hour step-up unit and treated there. Most will be discharged after 72 hours; some will be released sooner and treated as outpatients; some will require transfer to ICU. Here in north Texas there are a lot of under-used stand-alone emergency rooms, perfect for 72-hour-step-up-treatment. But the Medicare and insurance reimbursement must be "substantial" for this to happen.

All things being equal, the market should do very, very well. In some regards, a proven treatment regimen is better than a rushed vaccine.

The letter in PDF format can be found at this link. This is a screen shot of the first page of many pages:

"Focus On Fracking" -- Posted -- November 22, 2020

Link here

I find this simply amazing. Much of this natural gas is a by-product of oil wells in the "oily" shale plays: the Bakken, the Eagle Ford, and the Permian. Drilling has practically come to a standstill (hyperbole but not by much) and yet natural gas production increases and fill rate is apparently the highest in almost two decades. Earlier stories suggest that it was a very, very mild November that allowed for such an increase in natural gas injection. Truly amazing. Who would have ever thought?

Later:

The writer noted:

Largest mid-November natural gas injection in 19 years; DUCs fall on subdued drilling; completions still down 69% YoY

two weeks ago:

There's nothing fundamental about natural gas in either story; it's all about the weather and heating demand, unusually cold in October, unusually warm in November.

Comment: another reader has recently written me the same thing -- when it comes to natural gas, it's all about the weather. 

I still think the biggest natural gas story this month has been the export license that SRE received from the Mexican government for an LNG export terminal on the west coast of Baja California. 

**************************************
Wow, Talk About A Boring Night

Time for a bit of YouTube.





Spoon Lady is still active. She has a YouTube channel and posted most recently yesterday or the day before, or thereabouts. 

For those who are not familiar with the Spoon Lady, two videos:


I have only subscribed to two YouTube channels in my entire life. Spoon Lady is one of the two.

Quick: How Many Transistors On The New Apple M1 Chip In The New Laptops Apple Is Now Shipping? Where Does Apple Go Next? Does Apple Have A New Revenue Stream? Think Tesla, But Not That Thought. Another Thought -- November 22, 2020

I may quit following the Bakken and move on to Apple. 

Just joking, but I am re-posting this. 

I completely missed this. 

Which suggests Tim Cook did a lousy job of explaining this to people like me when he announced the new Apple chips.

We'll start here.

Quick, pop quiz: how many transistors are on a single Apple M1 chip:

  • 10?
  • 20?
  • 50? or,
  • 100?

Wired: clearing off my desktop. I don't recall if I've posted the link to the Wired review. Here it is, possibly again. 

***************************************
Apple

Apple: the reviews with regard to the new Apple M1 chip and the new entry-level laptop computers have me salivating. Best deals this next Black Friday: link here. The revolution explained:

  • first things first: the computers do not look any different. They remain identical on the outside. To know if you have the "old" computer or the "new" computer, you need to look at the specs.
  • second, the "old" Apple computers used INTEL chips; the "new" Apple computers use their own new chips, referred to as M1 chips (I assume meaning the "first iteration of Mac" or "first iteration of Apple chips)

How are Intel chips different than Apple chips? One word: smaller. The Apple chips use transistors that are smaller. How much smaller? Get this: half the size. From this link:

Unlike Intel’s chips, the M1 is built using a 5-nanometer process, meaning its transistors measure just 5 nanometers in size. Intel, meanwhile, is stuck on a 10-nanometer process, and recently announced its 7-nm chips would be delayed. AMD (AMD), for its part, is working with 7-nm chips, meaning that Apple is already ahead of the curve.
In case you don't like reading paragraphs but prefer data points:
  • Intel: 10-nanometer transistors; their announced move to 7-nanometers has been delayed; ouch;
  • AMD: is working with 7-nanometer transistors
  • Apple's Silicon Valley / M1 transistors: 5 nanometers

In addition, the entire computer is designed to work as one unit:

  • CPU
  • GPU
  • hardware
  • software

For example, from the linked review, the M1 chip in the MacBook Pro means that Apple uses its own image signal processor for its FaceTime camera, which dramatically improves the image quality of your video chats. 

I was never really bothered by fans but apparently a lot of folks were. The new Apple laptops using the M1 don't have fans. Huge.

And then, finally this:

As for battery life, Apple promises the Pro will get a whopping 20 hours of power out of a single charge while playing back video, compared to 10 hours for the Intel version of the machine. .... the battery in [the linked] review unit seemed like it just wouldn’t quit. Even after a full day of use, [it] still had plenty of juice to keep using the Pro well into the night.
By the way, the reviewer had only one complaint. And then speaks volumes about the reviewer and his understanding of the word "mobile." 

What’s not so fantastic is that the M1-powered Pro includes just two Thunderbolt/ USB C ports, while the Intel version gets 4. If you’re the type of person who needs as many ports as possible, that’s a big bummer.

The laptop is designed for "those on the go." How many ports do you need? And if you need more ports, external ports are a dime a dozen (a bit of hyperbole, but not much):

Quick, pop quiz: how many transistors are on a single Apple M1 chip:

  • 10?
  • 20?
  • 50? or,
  • 100?

Link here for answer.  Or here to get to the source article.

Or at wiki. At the wiki link, go to the table/spreadsheet, and scroll to the bottom. Note where Apple stands. 

This is a big deal. Even I didn't realize what a big deal this was -- and the price for these new computers. They have not increased in price. 

The end of Moore's Law? Link here to a 2018 article. Apparently Apple didn't get the memo:

Moore’s Law was an observation about process technology and economics. For half a century it drove the aspirations of the semiconductor industry. But the other limitation to packing more transistors onto to a chip is a physical limitation called Dennard scaling – as transistors get smaller, their power density stays constant, so that the power use stays in proportion with area. This basic law of physics has created a “Power Wall” — a barrier to clock speed — that has limited microprocessor frequency to around 4 GHz since 2005. It’s why clock speeds on your microprocessor stopped increasing with leaps and bounds 13 years ago. And why memory density is not going to increase at the rate we saw a decade ago.

This problem of continuing to shrink transistors is so hard that even Intel, the leader in microprocessors and for decades the gold standard in leading fab technology, has had problems. Industry observers have suggested that Intel has hit several speed bumps on the way to their next generation push to 10- and 7-nanometer designs and now is trailing TSMC and Samsung.

This combination of spiraling fab cost, technology barriers, power density limits and diminishing returns is the reason that Global Foundriest threw in the towel on further shrinking line widths . It also means the future direction of innovation on silicon is no longer predictable.

Now, having read this (and more will be posted, I'm sure), two questions, related:

  • where does Apple go next? and,
  • does Apple have a new revenue stream?

Mark Perry's Monday Evening Links Edition -- All Charts Edition -- November 22, 2020

Re-posting:

***************************************
Apple

Apple: the reviews with regard to the new Apple M1 chip and the new entry-level laptop computers have me salivating. Best deals this next Black Friday: link here. The revolution explained:

  • first things first: the computers do not look any different. They remain identical on the outside. To know if you have the "old" computer or the "new" computer, you need to look at the specs.
  • second, the "old" Apple computers used INTEL chips; the "new" Apple computers use their own new chips, referred to as M1 chips (I assume meaning the "first iteration of Mac" or "first iteration of Apple chips)

How are Intel chips different than Apple chips? One word: smaller. The Apple chips use transistors that are smaller. How much smaller? Get this: half the size. From this link:

Unlike Intel’s chips, the M1 is built using a 5-nanometer process, meaning its transistors measure just 5 nanometers in size. Intel, meanwhile, is stuck on a 10-nanometer process, and recently announced its 7-nm chips would be delayed. AMD (AMD), for its part, is working with 7-nm chips, meaning that Apple is already ahead of the curve.
In case you don't like reading paragraphs but prefer data points:

  • Intel: 10-nanometer transistors; their announced move to 7-nanometers has been delayed; ouch;
  • AMD: is working with 7-nanometer transistors
  • Apple's Silicon Valley / M1 transistors: 5 nanometers

In addition, the entire computer is designed to work as one unit:

  • CPU
  • GPU
  • hardware
  • software

For example, from the linked review, the M1 chip in the MacBook Pro means that Apple uses its own image signal processor for its FaceTime camera, which dramatically improves the image quality of your video chats. 

I was never really bothered by fans but apparently a lot of folks were. The new Apple laptops using the M1 don't have fans. Huge.

And then, finally this:

As for battery life, Apple promises the Pro will get a whopping 20 hours of power out of a single charge while playing back video, compared to 10 hours for the Intel version of the machine. .... the battery in [the linked] review unit seemed like it just wouldn’t quit. Even after a full day of use, [it] still had plenty of juice to keep using the Pro well into the night.

By the way, the reviewer had only one complaint. And then speaks volumes about the reviewer and his understanding of the word "mobile." 

What’s not so fantastic is that the M1-powered Pro includes just two Thunderbolt/ USB C ports, while the Intel version gets 4. If you’re the type of person who needs as many ports as possible, that’s a big bummer.

The laptop is designed for "those on the go." How many ports do you need? And if you need more ports, external ports are a dime a dozen.

Quick, pop quiz: how many transistors are on a single Apple M1 chip:

  • 10?
  • 20?
  • 50? or,
  • 100?

Link here for answer.  Or here to get to the source article.

Or at wiki. At the wiki link, go to the table/spreadsheet, and scroll to the bottom. Note where Apple stands. 

This is a big deal. Even I didn't realize what a big deal this was -- and the price for these new computers. They have not increased in price. 

The end of Moore's Law? Link here to a 2018 article.

**********************************
Investing

The Big Short: read this story and then watch The Big Short. Or watch The Big Short and then read that article. Struggling retailers owe $52 billion in overdue rents.

The situation is different this time. With regard to the housing bubble back in 2007 or thereabouts there was outright fraud, and everyone knew that mortgage rates were going to re-set (significantly higher in 2007). At the time, 2007, or thereabouts, no one knew how that would play out.

In the current case, there is not a "bubble" per se -- at least as "bubbles" are usually defined. Brick-and-mortar retailers have been struggling for years (decades?) and what should have been a slow meltdown, occurring over another ten years, from 2020 - 2030, was telescoped from 2020 to 2022 due to, for the most part, the Chinese flu pandemic, which will last about the same number of years as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 - 1920. 

And unlike the housing bubble which faced a reset of the mortgage rates there is no suggestion that an increase in mortgage rates will be a factor this time. In fact, another round of stimulus money is more likely and continued Fed relief. And the Fed will return to emergency fund lending. 

By the way, how much is $52 billion? Not much in the big scheme of things, particularly when it is spread out across the country, and among thousands of retailers. And this headline to put the $52 billion in perspective: Mnuchin asked the Fed to return $455 billion in unspent Covid-19 emergency funds.

But there are going to be a lot of huge empty buildings by the end of next year: movie theaters; gyms; anchor stores in big indoor malls.

*******************************
Regeneron

Re-Gen-a-Ron -- accent on second syllable.

Re-Gen-i-Ron -- accent on second syllable.

I don't know if that's correct but that's how I remember it.

Chinese flu news: FDA authorized emergency use of antibody treatment given to President Trump. Timing was interesting. 

Approved after the election. The "deep state" is starting to change the narrative. Keep approving more treatment regimens; release the vaccines; and the new administration can "follow the science" and not mandate a return to more draconian measures. The new administration has to flatten the curve within three months, prevent a third wave, and declare an end to the pandemic within twelve months if they hope to make gains in the mid-term elections. Link here for the Regeneron story; the comments are most interesting, as  usual. 

The Regeneron solution is a "cocktail" of  two monoclonal antibodies, which, of course, to 99.99% of the lay public, means nothing...."monoclonal what ...":

  • REGN10933: casirivimab
  • REGN10987: imdevimab

Regeneron is traded on NASDAQ (REGN). 

Background for monoclonal antibodies:

The development of monoclonal antibodies by Georges Köhler and César Milstein, in their attempt to understand the mechanisms by which cells of the human immune system are capable of producing so diverse a repertoire of antibodies, was recognized in the award of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1984, shared with Niels Jerne. 
In the last two decades such antibodies have been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including malignancies and autoimmune disorders. 
New techniques for synthesizing monoclonal antibodies now make it possible to use transgenic mice to generate antibodies similar to human antibodies. 
A virus infection, due to Ebola virus, has been treated in successful experiments using either humanized antibodies generated from mice or antibodies obtained from convalescent human patients. 
This suggests the possibility of treating COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies directed against structural elements of the virus. Fusion of coronaviruses with human cells requires “docking” of specialized glycoproteins, “spikes”, which protrude from the viral surface and interact with specific molecules on the surface of host cells. 
The virus binds, through the spike protein’s receptor binding domain, to a membrane bound enzyme, ACE-2, and its entry into the cell is activated by a transmembrane serine protease, TMPRSS2. The spike protein, whose sequence differs greatly from one type of coronavirus to another, presents a target for therapy by antiviral antibodies.

That article goes on to explain the number of genomes identified and kept in the company's "library" of genomes and why the company decided to go with two antibodies in the cocktail. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. 

The FDA press release here, released yesterday, Saturday, November 21, 2020. 

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for casirivimab and imdevimab to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds]) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. 
This includes those who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions
In a clinical trial of patients with COVID-19, casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together, were shown to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment when compared to placebo. The safety and effectiveness of this investigational therapy for use in the treatment of COVID-19 continues to be evaluated. Casirivimab and imdevimab must be administered together by intravenous (IV) infusion.

There is more that could be written but time to move on. 

From my perspective: under an Obama administration, The New York Times Sunday edition headline: Cure For Covid-19 Approved. National Nightmare Is Over. Index case, 74-year-old male with significant co-morbidities, symptomatic for Covid-19; less than 72 hours in the hospital after being treated with this regimen.

We won't see that headline until January 21, 2020. 

By the way, if this works, one can expect mini-step-up Covid-19 units -- not ICUs -- in which once patients have been examined, tested, and given presumptive diagnosis of Covid-19, will immediately be given the intravenous cocktail, admitted to a 72-hour step-up unit and treated there. Most will be discharged after 72 hours; some will be released sooner and treated as outpatients; some will require transfer to ICU. Here in north Texas there are a lot of under-used stand-alone emergency rooms, perfect for 72-hour-step-up-treatment. But the Medicare and insurance reimbursement must be "substantial" for this to happen.

All things being equal, the market should do very, very well. In some regards, a proven treatment regimen is better than a rushed vaccine.

The letter in PDF format can be found at this link. This is a screen shot of the first page of many pages:


Mark Perry -- Carpe Diem -- Back At The Top Of The Sidebar At The Right -- November 22, 2020

Mark Perry links overnight:

Other stories from overnight:

Initial Production Data For Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- November 22, 2020

The wells:

  • 36970, conf, Hess, TI-Nelson-157-94-3031H-2, Tioga,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
9-20201422617923
8-20201712013577
7-20201718116094
6-20202484626756
5-202034803218
  • 36596, conf, Hess, TI-Beauty Valley-158-95-1423H-4, Tioga,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
9-20201971022310
8-20201940018256
7-20201904211211
6-20202891626854
5-202071535570
  • 37355, conf, XTO, Satter 24X-35FXG-N, Siverston, no production data,
  • 37354, conf, XTO, Satter 24X-35FXG-S, Siverston, no production data,
  • 37507, conf, CLR, Kennedy 13-31H, Dimmick Lake, no production data,
  • 36535, conf, Hess, EN-Sorenson B-155-94-1526H-9, Alkali Creek,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
9-202097749326
8-202042694194
7-2020860
6-20201445517293
5-2020971714115
  • 32426, conf, BR, Cleetwood 21-27MBH-A, Elidah, no production data,
  • 37211, conf, Hess, TI-Nelson-157-94-3031H-1, Tioga,
DateOil RunsMCF Sold
9-20201489419554
8-20201334812288
7-20202039020727
6-20202741936751
5-2020965312674
  • 36460, drl/A, Hess, EN-Ruland-156-94-3328H-2, Manitou, t--; cum 66K 9/20;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare
BAKKEN9-202013473447955760585958590
BAKKEN8-20202911867118891742414375143750
BAKKEN7-20203015992160141998116697166970
BAKKEN6-20203021788217125102525468254680
BAKKEN5-202010116101153420063912091200

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List This Next Week -- November 22, 2020

Monday, November 30: 32 for the month; 56 for the quarter, 721 for the year
None.

Sunday, November 29: 32 for the month; 56 for the quarter, 721 for the year
36970, conf, Hess, TI-Nelson-157-94-3031H-2,

Saturday, November 28: 31 for the month; 55 for the quarter, 720 for the year
None.

Friday, November 27: 31 for the month; 55 for the quarter, 720 for the year
36596, conf, Hess, TI-Beauty Valley-158-95-1423H-4,

Thursday, November 26: 30 for the month; 54 for the quarter, 719 for the year
37355, conf, XTO, Satter 24X-35FXG-N,
37354, conf, XTO, Satter 24X-35FXG-S,
37507, conf, CLR, Kennedy 13-31H,

Wednesday, November 25: 27 for the month; 51 for the quarter, 716 for the year
36535, conf, Hess, EN-Sorenson B-155-94-1526H-9,

Tuesday, November 24: 26 for the month; 50 for the quarter, 715 for the year
32426, conf, BR, Cleetwood 21-27MBH-A,

Monday, November 23, 2020: 25 for the month; 49 for the quarter, 714 for the year
37211, conf, Hess, TI-Nelson-157-94-3031H-1,

Sunday, November 22, 2020: 24 for the month; 48 for the quarter, 713 for the year
36460, conf, Hess, EN-Ruland-156-94-3328H-2,

Saturday, November 21, 2020: 23 for the month; 47 for the quarter, 712 for the year
None.