Glow in the Dark

Hey Influence Traders:

After my last post, I got a few emails asking where one can get an International Driving Permit.

There are only two entities authorized by the Department of State to issue them and they are here and here.

Don’t get caught without one.

Some other time I’ll tell you about when I was detained by the Swiss Border Patrol for a previously unpaid speeding ticket … that was fun!

Highlights

Opioid Fallout

Because of its role in the opioid crisis, Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma entered into a $10 billion bankruptcy plan. The Sackler family will relinquish ownership and contribute $4.5 billion to the plan but will be shielded from future lawsuits. 

It was only 25 years ago that Big Pharma pushed opioids as the next great cure, the FDA signed off on them as a miracle drug and the medical profession got behind the push to bring them to market. Wait, are we still talking about opioids!?

Covid

Merck’s (Ticker: MRK) Ivermectin is not getting much love as a COVID treatment, so I wonder what people will think of a new study from Brazil. Despite a study from Japan showing that Ivermectin is effective at preventing COVID viral replication when patients are treated early in the disease, but the FDA is not a fan. 

I wonder how they are going to feel about a report from Brazil that scientists have discovered that venom from the Brazilian Jararacussu Pit Viper can inhibit the virus’s ability to multiply by 75%. At over 6’ in length, it is Brazil’s largest viper, so harvesting that should be fun. 

The Big Get Bigger

Employment is down and many businesses are having trouble finding workers, but two of the biggest employers are hiring. Both Amazon (Ticker: AMZN) and Walmart (Ticker: WMT) announced plans to hire tens of thousands of new workers. 

Amazon said it will hire roughly 50,000 in corporate and technology roles. It also plans to open several large physical retail locations in the U.S. that will operate like department stores.

Walmart is hiring 20,000 workers, primarily in its fulfillment centers, and advertising wages that top $20 per hour. 

Hurricane Ida Impact

Oil: Gas prices are rising after Ida shut down critical US oil operations, including more than 90% of production in the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana’s 17 oil refineries account for 20% of US capacity. This will lead to a bump in prices and profits for Exxon (Ticker: XOM) and others.

Damage: Insurance claims are expected to be between $15-20 billion, compared to $65 billion for Katrina. In addition, it’s estimated that more than 1 million homes suffered damages totaling $220 billion in reconstruction costs. This should cause high demand at Lowes (Ticker: LOW), Home Depot (Ticker: HD) and other lumber yards.

Supply Chains

The past year has seen a plethora of supply chain problems. The pandemic, coupled with a lack of workers, is exacerbating food supply chain issues. That is going to push food prices higher, which are already suffering from overheated commodities and freight costs. 

That caused our recent Capitol Gains Kroger (Ticker: KR) trades to see a bounce and for Andrew Giovinazzi to make some #PowerMoves. 

K Street

K Street insiders all agree that we have a wild three weeks coming on Capitol Hill. An unprecedented budget and spending battle royal is on the horizon.

House leadership wants to pass two major pieces of legislation in September – a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion boondoggle Democrat spending package.

A deadline of Sept. 27 has been set to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. But the progressive wing has threatened to block the bill if it is voted on prior to the boondoggle bill.

Senate support is also spiraling, with Sen. Joe Manchin urging fellow Democrats to hit “pause” on the Boondoggle spending bill.

The intraparty squabbling is causing Dem leadership as many headaches as their fights with Republicans.

Congress also needs to pass government funding legislation to avoid a shutdown. Neither house of Congress has passed the annual appropriations bills necessary to fund the government starting Oct. 1st, when the new fiscal year begins.

The most likely remedy will be Congress passing a continuing resolution to keep current spending levels constant while they negotiate longer-term spending.

Uranium

One thing that moderate Dems, progressive and Republicans are starting to agree on is that nuclear energy needs to take a more prominent role in U.S. energy policy.

Progressives, in particular, are beginning to realize that their Green New Deal, carbon-free aspirations can’t be realized through wind and solar power alone. 

That is why I’m putting Denison Mines Corp. (Ticker: DNN) into the Capitol Gains starting line-up.

DNN is a Canadian uranium exploration, development and production company. In addition to uranium mining, DNN is diversified into coal, potash and other projects.

Questions about DNN or anything else in today’s letter? Email me!

Cutting through the noise for you,

Frank


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