Jan.28 -- StockTwits co-founder Howard Lindzon says he's told his friends to not get involved in the "silly" parts of the market. He speaks with Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal, Romaine Bostick and Caroline Hyde on "Bloomberg Markets: What'd You Miss?"
Jan.28 -- StockTwits co-founder Howard Lindzon says he's told his friends to not get involved in the "silly" parts of the market. He speaks with Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal, Romaine Bostick and Caroline Hyde on "Bloomberg Markets: What'd You Miss?"
(Bloomberg) -- The prospect of rising inflation and U.S. Treasury yields may damp emerging-market sentiment, even as encouraging Chinese trade data points to a speedier global recovery from last year’s lockdown.Exports from the world’s second-biggest economy soared in the first two months of the year, data showed Sunday, reflecting a recovery in external demand and providing a much-needed boost for risk assets after a turbulent start to March. Meantime, the U.S. Senate passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package Saturday that may offer an additional spur to countries such as Mexico whose economies are most sensitive to U.S. growth.Though equities may get a lift, anxiety remains high in the bond market after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s dovish message last week stopped short of trying to rein in the surging yields. An index of dollar-denominated debt in the developing world dropped for a fourth week in its longest losing streak since 2018. Local-currency notes also slid amid selloffs from Poland to Hungary and Mexico.“All fixed-income assets face a challenging market as rates and inflation become more of a threat,” said Abdul Kadir Hussain, the Dubai-based head of fixed-income asset management at Arqaam Capital. “Emerging markets are no different. We have already seen outflows from emerging-market fixed-income funds, and I suspect that will continue in the near term.”Inflation data this week will offer evidence of whether that caution is merited. Economists expect consumer prices to have picked up in nations including Taiwan, India and Brazil. Elsewhere, Peruvian policy makers will probably keep the nation’s key interest rate at a record low of 0.25%.Inflation WatchTaiwan’s consumer prices probably rose last month after declining in January, according to a Bloomberg survey before the report on Tuesday. Export figures the same day may reveal growth slowed in February after the island exported a record the previous monthThe improving global trade outlook and backdrop for exports will probably buoy the Taiwan dollar, according to Gao Qi, a currency strategist at Scotiabank in SingaporeIndia’s consumer-price inflation probably accelerated further above the central bank’s 4% target, a Bloomberg survey showed. That could limit its capacity to keep monetary conditions accommodativeThose figures may put further upward pressure on Indian bond yields, which are already at a 10-month highA reading of Brazil’s February consumer-price inflation on Thursday will be the last before the central bank meets later this month to decide on the key policy rateEconomists expect that inflation climbed last monthMexico’s February inflation probably increased amid higher non-core prices, data on Tuesday may showArgentina is likely to report another month of high inflation when it releases February figures on ThursdayInvestors will also monitor Chile’s February inflation data on Monday, which will probably be slightly above the midpoint of the 3.0% +/- 1 percentage point target, according to Bloomberg EconomicsKey DataChinese data due this week will provide another update on the nation’s economy after authorities announced a conservative growth target for this year at the National People’s Congress on FridayAfter containing the pandemic and becoming the only major economy to expand in 2020, officials now want to address imbalances such as a dependence on investment in property and infrastructure funded by corporate debtAggregate financing numbers for February due between March 9 and 15 may show a slowdown due to seasonal factors. Inflation figures on Wednesday are expected to show consumer prices dropped for a second month in February, further enhancing the allure of Chinese bondsBrazil’s January economic activity and retail sales figures will also be released next week, offering clues on the pace of a rebound in Latin America’s largest economyIn politics, traders will watch for progress on an emergency spending bill as it moves through the lower house. Jitters over fiscal spending have contributed to the real becoming the worst-performing currency in emerging markets this yearTurkey’s January current-account deficit due Thursday may narrowThe lira has posted losses for two straight weeksREAD: Economist Who Called 2018 Turkey Crash Sees New Boom, BustSouth Africa will report its fourth-quarter current-account surplus on Thursday, which is forecast to have narrowedThe country is also expected to report manufacturing production data on the same dayOn Friday, Mexico will post January industrial production figures, which will give investors a better look at how activity is recoveringPeruvian policy makers will probably keep a dovish outlook on Thursday by holding borrowing costs at 0.25%, the lowest among major Latin American economies, according to a forecast by Bloomberg EconomicsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. head Adam Aron saw his compensation more than double to $20.9 million in 2020, even as Covid-19 decimated the movie-theater business.His pay mostly took the form of almost $15 million in stock awards, along with $5 million from two separate bonus payments and $1.11 million in base salary, the company said in a filing Friday. Aron received a total of $9.67 million for 2019.The company made the compensation decisions to “recognize the extraordinary actions taken by the management team during the Covid-19 pandemic to secure the company’s survival.” AMC, the largest theater chain, warned several times throughout 2020 it was near the brink of insolvency, eventually securing a rescue package at the start of 2021 to help stave off bankruptcy for most of the year.The Leawood, Kansas-based company also furloughed thousands of staff members, including its entire senior leadership team. The shares sank 71% in 2020.AMC’s outlook has improved in 2021, with sliding coronavirus case numbers allowing New York City to reopen its movies theaters this weekend. Shares in the company also surged after Reddit-using traders targeted the company. The stock is up 280% so far this year, closing at $8.05 on Friday in New York.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Brent crude now trades above fiscal breakeven prices for the four biggest oil producers in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia convinced fellow OPEC+ members to keep output largely unchanged.The shock move by OPEC+ triggered a rally in Brent prices, which rose to almost $70 a barrel. That’s higher than annual average levels needed for the cartel’s largest producers, including Saudi Arabia, to balance their budgets this year.If oil prices stay at current levels, “we would see fiscal surpluses for the larger Gulf Cooperation Council economies,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. “This provides more fiscal space to support economic activity and recovery.”Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price forecasts for Brent after the OPEC decision, while Citigroup Inc. said crude could top $70 before the end of this month.Budget deficits in the Arab Gulf, where economies are reliant on oil, widened after prices crashed in 2020. OPEC+ agreed last year to take about 10% of global supply off the market to stem the plunge and while the group has slowly rolled back some of those cuts, it is curtailing more than 7 million barrels of daily production.Still, Brent prices have averaged just over $59 so far this year -- below the breakeven level for most gulf countries. Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy and OPEC’s biggest producer, has posted successive budget shortfalls in the past seven years, a trend expected to continue into 2024, according to projections from the International Monetary Fund.Despite higher oil prices, “key non-oil sectors will continue to be impacted by the pandemic,” Malik said. “It will also be a balancing act for oil producers to manage the tightening in the oil market, whilst not halting the global recovery outlook.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Personal finance guru Suze Orman said the receipt of a tax refund indicates "something's radically wrong," since the money returned to filers could otherwise have accrued value over the period it stood in the government's possession.
(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk set records last year for one of the fastest streaks of wealth accumulation in history. The reversal is underway, and it’s steep.The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer lost $27 billion since Monday as shares of the automaker tumbled in the selloff of tech stocks. His $156.9 billion net worth still places him No. 2 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but he’s now almost $20 billion behind Jeff Bezos, who he topped just last week as world’s richest person.Musk’s tumble only underscores the hard-to-fathom velocity of his ascent. Tesla shares soared 743% in 2020, boosting the value of his stake and unlocking billions of dollars in options through his historic “moonshot” compensation package.His gains accelerated into the new year. In January, he unseated Bezos as the world’s richest person. Musk’s fortune peaked later that month at $210 billion, according to the index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.Consistent quarterly profits, the election of President Joe Biden with his embrace of clean technologies and enthusiasm from retail investors fueled the company’s rise, but for some, its swelling valuation was emblematic of an unsustainable frothiness in tech. The Nasdaq 100 Index fell for the third straight week on Friday, its longest streak of declines since September.Bitcoin InvestmentMusk’s fortune hasn’t been solely subject to the forces buffeting the tech industry. His net worth has risen and slumped recently in tandem with the price of Bitcoin. Tesla disclosed last month it had added $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency to its balance sheet. Musk’s fortune took a $15 billion hit two weeks later after he mused on twitter that the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies “do seem high.”Extreme volatility has roiled many of the world’s biggest fortunes this year. Asia’s once-richest person, Chinese bottled-water tycoon Zhong Shanshan, relinquished the title to Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani last month after losing more than $22 billion in a matter of days.Read more: Ambani Again Richest Asian as China’s Zhong Down $22 BillionQuicken Loans Inc. Chairman Dan Gilbert’s net worth surged by $25 billion on Monday after his mortgage lender Rocket Cos. was said to be the next target of Reddit day traders. His fortune has since fallen by almost $24 billion. Alphabet Inc. co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are among the biggest gainers on the index this year. They’ve each added more than $13 billion to their fortunes since Jan. 1.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- It’s not just in meme stocks that the fate of short sellers is a key theme. Short bets are increasingly in vogue in the $21 trillion Treasuries market, with crucial implications across asset classes.The benchmark 10-year yield reached 1.62% Friday -- the highest since February 2020 -- before dip buying from foreign investors emerged. Stronger-than-expected job creation and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s seeming lack of concern, for now, with leaping long-term borrowing costs have emboldened traders. In one telltale sign of which way they’re leaning, demand to borrow 10-year notes in the repurchase-agreement market is so great that rates have gone negative, likely part of a move to short the maturity.The trifecta of more fiscal stimulus ahead, ultra-easy monetary policy and an accelerating vaccination campaign is helping bring a post-pandemic reality into view. There are of course risks to the bearish bond scenario. Most prominently, yields could rise to the point that they spook stocks, and tighten financial conditions generally -- a key metric the Fed is focused on for guiding policy. Even so, Wall Street analysts can’t seem to lift year-end yield forecasts fast enough.“There’s a lot of tinder being put now on this fire for higher yields,” said Margaret Kerins, global head of fixed-income strategy at BMO Capital Markets. “The question is what is the point that higher yields are too high and really put pressure on risk assets and push Powell into action” to try and tamp them down.Share prices have already shown signs of vulnerability to increasing yields, especially tech-heavy stocks. Another area at risk is the housing market -- a bright spot for the economy -- with mortgage rates jumping.The surge in yields and growing confidence in the economic recovery prompted a slew of analysts to recalibrate expectations for 10-year rates this past week. For example, TD Securities and Societe Generale lifted their year-end forecasts to 2% from 1.45% and 1.50%, respectively.Asset managers, for their part, flipped to most net short on 10-year notes since 2016, the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.Auction PressureIn the days ahead, however, BMO is eyeing 1.75% as the next key mark, a level last seen in January 2020, weeks before the pandemic sent markets into a chaotic frenzy.A fresh dose of long-end supply next week may make short positions even more attractive, especially after record-low demand for last month’s 7-year auction served as a trigger to push 10-year yields above 1.6%. The Treasury will sell a total of $62 billion in 10- and 30-year debt.With expectations for inflation and growth taking flight, traders are signaling that they anticipate the Fed may have to respond more quickly than it’s indicated. Eurodollar futures now reflect a quarter-point hike in the first quarter of 2023, but they’re starting to suggest that it could come in late 2022. Fed officials have projected they’d keep rates near zero until at least the end of 2023.So while the market is leaning toward loftier yields, the interplay between bonds and stocks is bound to be a huge focus going forward.“There’s definitely that momentum, but the question is how well risky assets adjust to the new paradigm,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale. “We’ll be watching next week, when the dust settles after the payrolls data, how Treasuries react and how risky assets react to the rise in yields.”What to WatchThe economic calendarMarch 8: Wholesale trade sales/inventoriesMarch 9: NFIB small business optimismMarch 10: MBA mortgage applications; CPI; average weekly earnings; monthly budget statementMarch 11: Jobless claims; Langer consumer comfort; JOLTS job openings: household change in net worthMarch 12: PPI; University of Michigan sentimentThe Fed calendar is empty before the March 17 policy decisionThe auction calendar:March 8: 13-, 26-week billsMarch 9: 42-day cash-management bills; 3-year notesMarch 10: 10-year notesMarch 11: 4-, 8-week bills; 30-year bondsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Class-action suits contend that insurers have been unfairly profiting from emptier roads.
The legislation is advancing quickly. Here's how much you're likely to get, and when.
(Bloomberg) -- The rout in Tesla Inc. shares has far exceeded the broader market’s decline and wiped out over $230 billion from the electric-vehicle maker’s valuation in the past four weeks.Tesla’s shares dropped as much as 13% on Friday before closing down 3.8% at $597.95, the lowest since Dec. 3. The stock lost 11% of its value just this week, extending its losing streak to four weeks, the longest since May 2019.The surge that helped propel the Elon Musk-led company into the ranks of the S&P 500 in 2020 has turned into a steep decline this year amid a greater push from legacy automakers into electric vehicles. Traditional industry bigwigs including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG have all in recent months announced their EV lineups and the intent to aggressively expand into the nascent market.Tesla’s lofty valuation also took a hit from a broader selloff in high-multiple technology stocks this week. Investors ditched the group amid a rise in Treasury yields, leading to concerns that companies trading at high valuations may not perform up to expectations if borrowing costs surge.The EV industry leader was among the top decliners in both the Nasdaq 100 Stock Index, as well as the S&P 500 Index on Friday. Tesla’s current market capitalization stands at around $574 billion, a far cry from the high of $837 billion it reached in late January.Smaller EV startups also followed Tesla’s lead on Friday. Major decliners in the group included Lordstown Motors Corp., Nio Inc., Workhorse Group Inc., XPeng Inc., as well as some of the blank-check companies awaiting mergers with electric carmakers, such as Churchill Capital Corp. IV and Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp.(Updates stock moves in second paragraph, market cap in fifth.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
We could see a counter-trend rally by the Aussie and Kiwi over the near-term ahead of the Fed’s March 17 monetary policy announcements.
(Bloomberg) -- Concern is mounting in corporate credit markets globally as longer-term Treasury yields continue to rise, leading borrowers from New York to Tokyo to delay bond sales and strategists to warn of trouble ahead.Gauges of credit fear jumped in Europe for investment-grade and high yield debt on Friday. Two borrowers that had expected to sell bonds in the U.S. opted to push their offerings into next week, after a stronger-than-expected jobs report brought fresh inflation concerns and lifted the 10 year Treasury rate briefly above 1.6%. The extra yield that investors demanded to own U.S. corporate bonds increased 4 basis points on Friday to 96 basis points, the biggest jump since Nov. 12, Bloomberg Barclays index data show.In the U.S. junk market, Ronald Perelman’s Vericast Corp. withdrew a $1.775 billion bond offering after failing to reach an agreement with investors on terms. And in Asia, two state-owned firms in India withdrew planned rupee note sales on Thursday and at least three Japanese companies have put off yen debt offerings in recent days.Still, there are signs that the party isn’t over just yet for corporate bonds. In the U.S. credit derivatives market, the Markit CDX North American Investment Grade Index, which investors use to hedge against defaults on company notes, fell from a four-month high, signaling that firms trading that instrument are a bit less concerned about credit risk. Dealers expect as much as $50 billion of bond sales next week, after more than $65 billion of sales this week.But market sentiment may be shifting. On Thursday, companies selling bonds in the U.S. got orders for just 1.8 times the amount of debt for sale, far below the average of 3.2 times for this year or four times for all of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Strategists are starting to sound alarms. Bank of America Corp. cut U.S. investment-grade credit to underweight in a note dated Thursday, citing its expectations that yields will continue to rise, which will likely push credit spreads wider. The underweight is a temporary trade, strategists led by Hans Mikkelsen wrote.Citigroup Inc. warned high-grade investors to “brace for fund outflows” in a Thursday note. Spread tightening is no longer offsetting rising Treasury yields, strategists led by Daniel Sorid wrote, adding that a flight-toward shorter duration strategies may be coming.The speed at which rates have risen is a concern for Barclays Plc, which is watching for a “shift in sentiment” on credit, according to a Friday note. Spreads have been resilient so far, “but there is some risk for spreads in the near term from a more disorderly move higher in rates,” strategists Bradley Rogoff and Shobhit Gupta wrote.Sentiment soured Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told a Wall Street Journal webinar that the recent run-up in yields was notable, but declined to be drawn on what tools might be used if disorderly conditions or any persistent tightening in financial conditions threatened the Fed’s goals. With energy prices rising and Covid-19 vaccines fueling bets that an economic rebound will spur inflation, financing costs have started to bounce back from recent lows.In Europe, issuance remains robust for now, and notwithstanding recent bouts of turmoil, selling bonds remains cheaper than it was at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.Companies and governments have sold over 407 billion euros ($487 billion) of bonds so far this year, the region’s fastest pace of issuance ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Issuers want to take advantage of this supportive environment provided by the central banks, before the market starts to anticipate tapering,” said James Cunniffe, director for corporate syndicate at HSBC Holdings Plc. “As we enter the second quarter, we expect to see a more normalized level of supply reverting back to previous years’ volumes.”U.S.Mobile gaming company Playtika Holding Corp. sold its debut junk bond Friday.A group of unsecured lenders to Hertz Global Holdings Inc. are proposing an alternative reorganization of the rental car company that would take it public, a move that counters a plan to sell the company to two investment funds for as much as $4.2 billion.For deal updates, click here for the New Issue MonitorFor more, click here for the Credit Daybook AmericasEuropeBooming ethical debt sales have increased the market share of green, social and sustainability debt to 17% of this year’s syndicated debt volumes, from around 7% a year earlier.The much maligned London interbank offered rate is finally within sight of retirement after the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that the final readings for most rates will take place on Dec. 31The Republic of Italy’s debut green bond was the most-subscribed deal in Europe’s primary market this week, according to data analyzed by BloombergAsiaChina’s Ji’an Chengtou Holding Group was the sole borrower selling a dollar bond on Friday.“Inflation is likely to rise sharply in developed and emerging markets in the coming months on unfavorable base effects and higher commodity prices,” said Michael Biggs, macro strategist and investment manager at GAM in London. “We do not think the rise in inflation will be sustained, but it could scare the market”Combined with relatively lower liquidity versus investment grade and potential outflows, Asia high yield is ripe for a correction, according to Ek Pon Tay, a senior portfolio manager for emerging market debt at BNP Paribas Asset ManagementIn mainland China, a recent jump in defaults has led investors to favor safer assets, which is being reflected in smaller risk premiums for local-currency top-rated corporate bonds(Updates figures throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
As U.S. technology shares stumble, investors are debating whether the decline is an opportunity to scoop up bargains or a sign of more pain to come for stocks that have led markets higher for years. The Nasdaq Composite, an index heavily populated by tech and growth names, has slumped 8.3% since its Feb 12 closing record, over three times the decline for the S&P 500. Drops in popular growth stocks have been even steeper, with Tesla shares off 27% and Peloton down 32%.
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It’s time to check in with the macro picture, to get an idea of just where markets are headed in the coming months. That’s what a JPMorgan global research team, headed up by Joyce Chang, has been doing. The JPM team starts by noting the sell-off in US Treasury bonds last week, pushing up yields as investors acted in response to inflationary fears. However, the rise in bond yields steadied on Friday, and Chang’s team does not believe that inflation is the great bugaboo it’s made out to be; her team sees a combination of economic growth and fiscal stimulus creating a virtuous circle of consumer spending fueling more growth. They write, “Our global economics team is now forecasting US nominal GDP to average roughly 7% growth over this year and next as targeted measures have been successful in addressing COVID-19 and economic activity is not being jeopardized. Global growth will exceed 5%...” What this means, in JPM’s view, is that the coming year should be good for stocks. Interest rates are likely to remain low, in the firm’s estimation, while inflation should moderate as the economy returns to normal. JPM’s stock analysts have been following the strategy team, and seeking out the stocks they see as winners over the next 12 months. Three of their recent picks make for an interesting lot, with Strong Buy ratings from the analyst community and over 50% upside potential. We’ve used the TipRanks database to pull the details on them. Let’s take a look. On24 (ONTF) The first JPM pick were looking at here is On24, the online streaming service that offers third parties access for scaled and personalized networked events. In other words, On24 makes its streaming service available for other companies to use in setting up interactive features, including webinars, virtual events, and multi-media experiences. The San Francisco-based company boasts a base of more than 1900 corporate users. On24’s customers engage online with more than 4 million professionals every month, for more than 42 million hours every year. As can be imagined, On24 saw a surge of customer interest and business in the past year, as virtual offices and telecommuting situations expanded – and the company has now used that as a base for going public. On24 held its IPO last month, and entered the NYSE on February 3. The opening was a success; 8.56 million shares were put on the market at $77 each, well above the $50 initial pricing. However, shares have taken a beating since, and have dropped by 36%. Nevertheless, JPM’s Sterling Auty thinks the company is well-placed to capitalize on current trends. “The COVID-19 pandemic, we believe, has changed the face of B2B marketing and sales forever. It has forced companies to move most of their sales lead generation into the digital world where On24 is typically viewed as the best webinar/webcast provider.” the 5-star analyst wrote. “Even post-pandemic we expect the marketing motion to be hybrid with digital and in-person being equally important. That should drive further adoption of On24-like solutions, and we expect On24 to capture a material share of that opportunity.” In line with these upbeat comments, Auty initiated coverage of the stock with an Overweight (i.e., Buy) rating, and his $85 price target suggests it has room for 73% upside over the next 12 months. (To watch Auty’s track record, click here.) Sometimes, a company is just so solid and successful that Wall Street’s analysts line up right behind it – and that is the case here. The Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is unanimous, based on 8 Buy-side reviews published since the stock went public just over a month ago. The shares are currently trading for $49.25 and their $74 average price target implies an upside of 50% from that level. (See On24’s stock analysis at TipRanks.) Plug Power, Inc. (PLUG) And moving over to the reusable energy sector, we’ll take a look at a JPM ‘green power’ pick. Plug Power designs and manufactures hydrogen power cells, a technology with a great deal of potential as a possible replacement for traditional batteries. Hydrogen power cells have potential applications in the automotive sector, as power packs for alt-fuel cars, but also in just about any application that involves the storage of energy – home heating, portable electronics, and backup power systems, to name just a few. Over the past year, PLUG shares have seen a tremendous surge, rising over 800%. The stock got an additional boost after Joe Biden’s presidential election win – and his platform promises to encourage ‘Green Energy.” But the stock has pulled back sharply recently, as many over-extended growth names have. Poor 4Q20 results also help explain the recent selloff. Plug reported a deep loss of $1.12 per share, far worse than the 8-cent loss expected, or the 7-cent loss reported in the year-ago quarter. In fact, PLUG has never actually reported positive earnings. This company is supported by the quality of its technology and that tech’s potential for adoption as industry moves toward renewable energy sources – but we aren’t there yet, despite strides in that direction. The share price retreat makes PLUG an attractive proposition, according to JPM analyst Paul Coster. “In the context of the firm's many long-term growth opportunities, we believe the stock is attractively priced at present, ahead of potential positive catalysts, which include additional ‘pedestal’ customer wins, partnerships and JVs that enable the company to enter new geographies and end-market applications quickly and with modest capital commitment,” the analyst said. “At present, PLUG is a story stock, appealing to thematic investors as well as generalists seeking exposure to Renewable Energy growth, and Hydrogen in particular.” Coster’s optimistic comments come with an upgrade to PLUG’s rating - from a Neutral (i.e., Hold) to Overweight (Buy) - and a $65 price target that indicates a possible 55% upside. (To watch Coster’s track record, click here.) Plug Power has plenty of support amongst Coster’s colleagues, too. 13 recent analyst reviews break down to 11 Buys and 1 Hold and Sell, each, all aggregating to a Strong Buy consensus rating. PLUG shares sell for $39.3 and have an average price target of $62.85, which suggests a 60% one-year upside potential. (See Plug’s stock analysis at TipRanks.) Orchard Therapeutics, PLC (ORTX) The last JPM stock pick we’ll look at is Orchard Therapeutics, a biopharma research company focused on the development of gene therapies for the treatment of rare diseases. The company’s goal is to create curative treatments from the genetic modification of blood stem cells – treatments which can reverse the causative factors of the target disease with a single dosing. The company’s pipeline features two drug candidates that have received approval in the EU. The first, OTL-200, is a treatment for Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), a serious metabolic disease leading to losses of sensory, motor, and cognitive functioning. Strimvelis, the second approved drug, is a gammaretroviral vector-based gene therapy, and the first such ex vivo autologous gene therapy to receive approve by the European Medicines Agency. It is a treatment for adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID), when the patient has no available related stem cell donor. In addition to these two EU-approved drugs, Orchard has ten other drug candidates in various stages of the pipeline process, from pre-clinical research to early-phase trials. Anupam Rama, another of JPM’s 5-star analysts, took a deep dive into Orchard and was impressed with what he saw. In his coverage of the stock, he notes several key points: “Maturing data across various indications in rare genetic diseases continues to de-risk the broader ex vivo autologous gene therapy platform from both an efficacy / safety perspective… Key opportunities in MLD (including OTL-200 and other drug candidates) have sales potential each in the ~$200-400M range… Importantly, the overall benefit/risk profile of Orchard’s approach is viewed favorably in the eyes of physicians. At current levels, we believe ORTX shares under-reflect the risk-adjusted potential of the pipeline...” The high sales potential here leads Rama to rate the stock as Outperform (Buy) and to set a $15 price target, implying a robust 122% upside potential in the next 12 months. (To watch Rama’s track record, click here.) Wall Street generally is in clear agreement with JPM on this one, too. ORTX shares have 6 Buy reviews, for a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, and the $15.17 average price target suggests a 124% upside from the current $6.76 trading price. (See Orchard’s stock analysis at TipRanks.) Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.