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Omicron: More Transmissible, Less Severe Due To ‘Common Cold’ Mutation?

Omicron: More Transmissible, Less Severe Due To ‘Common Cold’ Mutation?

As the Omicron Covid strain gains a foothold – and policymakers begin…

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This article was originally published by Zero Hedge

Omicron: More Transmissible, Less Severe Due To ‘Common Cold’ Mutation?

As the Omicron Covid strain gains a foothold – and policymakers begin their Pavlovian knee-jerk to more economy-killing lockdowns, it’s become abundantly clear that this version of the virus is far more infectious than prior strains, yet may also be far less deadlyIn fact, it may unseat Delta as the dominant strain – which could be great news if its effects are as mild as initial reports suggest.

And while the jury’s still out as far as iron-clad peer-reviewed data, early indications suggest that the ‘hyper-mutated’ Omicron has resulted in shorter hospitalizations, along with asymptomatic infections in many. Last week, South African Medical Association chairwoman Angelique Coetezee saidthe new Omicron variant of the Coronavirus results in mild disease, without prominent symptoms.”

Here’s a snippet of a recent report from hospitals in Tshwane, South Africa, which has been hit the hardest by Omicron:

A significant early finding in this analysis is the much shorter average length of stay of 2.8 days for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients admitted to the COVID wards over the last two weeks compared to an average length of stay of 8.5 days for the past 18 months.  The NICD reports a similar shorter length of stay for all hospitals in Tshwane in its weekly report. It is also less than the Gauteng or National average length of stay reported by the NICD in previous waves.

In summary, the first impression on examination of the 166 patients admitted since the Omicron variant made an appearance, together with the snapshot of the clinical profile of 42 patients currently in the COVID wards at the SBAH/TDH complex, is that the majority of hospital admissions are for diagnoses unrelated to COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 positivity is an incidental finding in these patients and is largely driven by hospital policy requiring testing of all patients requiring admission to the hospital.

So most patients didn’t even know they had it, and it was discovered ‘incidentally’ while they were there for other issues. Let’s assume for the sake of this report that the testing is accurate.

But of course, given that it also appears to be hyper-virulent, simple math suggests that the overall number of hospitalizations should rise, even if a lower percentage of those infected need hospitalization.

Goldman has slammed the ‘lockdown-happy’ reaction to Omicron, saying that the mutation was “unlikely to be more malicious and that the existing vaccines will most likely continue to be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths,” adding that “COVID waves are becoming a regular thing — seasonal like the flu the perhaps.”

Meanwhile, the Financial Times on Saturday published a stellar write-up on Omicron – what we know, what we don’t know, and where things may be headed.

One of the journalists on the FT byline, John Burn-Murdoch, dropped a great Twitter thread summing up the data, while noting relevant caveats. He considers the Tshwane report ‘essential reading, along with this thread breaking it down and adding much-needed context.

We recommend clicking into the thread above and reading the rest for yourself. 

That said, research from South Africa cited by the FT report shows that people are more likely to be reinfected with Omicron vs. other strains – a sign of immune invasion.

Common cold mutations?

Reuters (via SCMP) is out with an interesting report on Omicron after researchers found ‘a snippet of genetic material from another virus’ in the new strain, ‘possibly one that causes the common cold.’

The Omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 likely acquired at least one of its mutations by picking up a snippet of genetic material from another virus – possibly one that causes the common cold – present in the same infected cells, according to researchers.

This genetic sequence does not appear in any earlier versions of the coronavirus, called Sars-CoV-2, but is ubiquitous in many other viruses including those that cause the common cold, and also in the human genome, researchers said.

By inserting this particular snippet into itself, Omicron might be making itself look “more human,” which would help it evade attack by the human immune system, said Venky Soundararajan of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based data analytics firm nference, who led the study posted on Thursday on the website OSF Preprints.

And the punchline: “This could mean the virus transmits more easily, while only causing mild or asymptomatic disease.

Stay tuned…

Tyler Durden
Sun, 12/05/2021 – 15:00

Author: Tyler Durden

Base Metals

L.B. Foster (NASDAQ:FSTR) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of L.B. Foster (NASDAQ:FSTR) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday…

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of L.B. Foster (NASDAQ:FSTR) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “L. B. Foster Company is engaged in the manufacture, fabrication and distribution of rail and trackwork, piling, highway products and tubular products. For rail markets, Foster provides a full line of new and used rail, trackwork and accessories to railroads, mines and industry. Foster also sells and rents steel sheet piling and H-bearing pile for foundation and earth retention requirements for the construction industry. For tubular markets, foster supplies pipe and pipe coatings for pipelines and produces pipe-related products for special markets. “

Shares of L.B. Foster stock opened at $14.01 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $151.78 million, a P/E ratio of 24.58 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a current ratio of 1.99. The company has a fifty day moving average of $14.75 and a 200 day moving average of $16.05. L.B. Foster has a fifty-two week low of $12.62 and a fifty-two week high of $19.47.

L.B. Foster (NASDAQ:FSTR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 2nd. The basic materials company reported $0.22 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.24 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $130.05 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $129.42 million. L.B. Foster had a net margin of 1.17% and a return on equity of 2.44%. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.09 EPS. Analysts forecast that L.B. Foster will post 0.33 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its stake in L.B. Foster by 619.2% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 54,212 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,008,000 after acquiring an additional 46,674 shares in the last quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP boosted its stake in L.B. Foster by 493.9% in the second quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 33,008 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $615,000 after acquiring an additional 27,450 shares in the last quarter. Castleview Partners LLC acquired a new stake in L.B. Foster in the second quarter valued at approximately $460,000. Finally, Tibra Equities Europe Ltd acquired a new stake in L.B. Foster in the second quarter valued at approximately $350,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.03% of the company’s stock.

About L.B. Foster

L.B. Foster Co engages in providing products and services for the rail industry and solutions to support infrastructure projects. It operates through the following segments: Rail Technologies & Services and Infrastructure Solutions. The Rail Technologies & Services segment consists of manufacturing and distribution businesses that provide products and services for freight and passenger railroads and industrial companies.

Further Reading: Benefits of owning preferred stock

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on L.B. Foster (FSTR)

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The post L.B. Foster (NASDAQ:FSTR) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research appeared first on ETF Daily News.

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FY2022 Earnings Estimate for BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) Issued By Jefferies Financial Group

BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) – Stock analysts at Jefferies Financial Group decreased their FY2022 earnings estimates for shares of BHP Group in a research report…

BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) – Stock analysts at Jefferies Financial Group decreased their FY2022 earnings estimates for shares of BHP Group in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, January 18th. Jefferies Financial Group analyst C. Lafemina now anticipates that the mining company will earn $5.30 per share for the year, down from their previous estimate of $5.32. Jefferies Financial Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $71.00 price target on the stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Royal Bank of Canada cut their price target on BHP Group from GBX 2,400 ($32.75) to GBX 2,300 ($31.38) in a report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BHP Group from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $72.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $620.50.

Shares of NYSE:BHP opened at $68.03 on Thursday. BHP Group has a 12-month low of $51.88 and a 12-month high of $82.07. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $59.11 and its 200-day simple moving average is $62.40. The company has a current ratio of 1.63, a quick ratio of 1.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC boosted its position in shares of BHP Group by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC now owns 4,729 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $344,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of BHP Group by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. now owns 5,585 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $407,000 after purchasing an additional 160 shares in the last quarter. Spire Wealth Management boosted its position in shares of BHP Group by 3.5% in the 4th quarter. Spire Wealth Management now owns 4,919 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $297,000 after purchasing an additional 167 shares in the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. boosted its position in shares of BHP Group by 7.8% in the 3rd quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 2,753 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $147,000 after purchasing an additional 199 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prio Wealth Limited Partnership boosted its position in shares of BHP Group by 5.1% in the 3rd quarter. Prio Wealth Limited Partnership now owns 4,150 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $222,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. 6.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

BHP Group Company Profile

BHP Group Ltd. engages in the exploration, development, production and processing of iron ore, metallurgical coal and copper. It operates through the following segments: Petroleum, Copper, Iron Ore and Coal. The Petroleum segment explores, develops and produces oil and gas. The Copper segment refers to the mining of copper, silver, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium and gold.

See Also: Bar Chart

Earnings History and Estimates for BHP Group (NYSE:BHP)

The post FY2022 Earnings Estimate for BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) Issued By Jefferies Financial Group appeared first on ETF Daily News.

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Energy & Critical Metals

Global Nuclear Grade Zirconium Market Accurate estimation on Shares, Size and Growth Forecast 2021-2027

Understand the influence of COVID-19 on the Nuclear Grade Zirconium Market with our analysts monitoring the situation across the globe. Report Description:…


Understand the influence of COVID-19 on the Nuclear Grade Zirconium Market with our analysts monitoring the situation across the globe.

Report Description:

Market Strides published report titled Nuclear Grade Zirconium Market By Type, By Application, Regional Analysis, Growth Opportunity and Industry Forecast 2021-2027. The Nuclear Grade Zirconium Market Report provides a comprehensive overview including Current scenario and the future growth prospects. The Nuclear Grade Zirconium market report analyzes the various factors and trends in forthcoming years and key factors behind the growth and demand of this market is analyzed detailed in this report.

Some of the prominent players in the global Nuclear Grade Zirconium market are Orano, Westinghouse, ATI, Chepetsky Mechanical Plant, Nuclear Fuel Complex, SNWZH, CNNC Jinghuan, Guangdong Orient Zirconic, Aohan China Titanium Industry, Baoti Huashen …

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Market Segmentation

The Nuclear Grade Zirconium market is segmented on the basis of type, application, end-use industry, and region & country.

Global Nuclear Grade Zirconium Market by Type


Hafnium-free Zirconium
Commercial-grade Zirconium

Nuclear Grade Zirconium market’s sub-segment is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period. The growing concern about the market and industry is expected to boost the Nuclear Grade Zirconium market.

Global Nuclear Grade Zirconium Market by Application


Nuclear Industry

Nuclear Grade Zirconium application valves are one of the most basic and indispensable components of today’s modern technological society. Market segment is expected to hold the largest market share in the global Nuclear Grade Zirconium market.

By Region: 

 North America (U.S., Canada)
 Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy)
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The main content of the report:

  • Detailed analysis of the parent market.
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  • Evaluation of niche markets.
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  • The main suggestion is to increase the company’s influence in the market.

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Market Strides is a Global aggregator and publisher of Market intelligence research reports, equity reports, database directories, and economic reports. Our repository is diverse, spanning virtually every industrial sector and even more every category and sub-category within the industry.

Our pre-onboarding strategy for publishers is perhaps, what makes us stand out in the market space. Publishers & their market research reports are meticulously validated by our in-house panel of consultants, prior to a feature on our website. These in-house panel of consultants are also in charge of ensuring that our website features the most updated reports only.

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