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Alaska’s Department of Revenue materially increased investments in Gilead Sciences and Eli Lilly stock in the third quarter.


David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Alaska’s Department of Revenue made big changes in some of its biggest holdings in U.S.-traded equities.

The state agency, which is charged with collecting and investing funds for public purposes, materially increased investments in

Gilead Sciences

(ticker: GILD) and

Eli Lilly

(LLY), two companies working on treatments for Covid-19, in the third quarter. The Department of Revenue also bought more

Wells Fargo

(WFC) stock and cut holdings in

Bank of America

(BAC). The Alaskan agency disclosed the trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Alaska’s Department of Revenue, which managed $8.1 billion in U.S.-traded equities as of Sept. 30, didn’t respond to a request for comment on its stock transactions.

The agency bought 253,419 more Gilead shares in the third quarter, raising its investment to 749,107 shares of the biotech.

Gilead stock slid about 18% in the third quarter, and the shares are now down about 2% for the year to date through Friday’s close. By comparison, the

S&P 500 index,

a broad measure of the market, is up 7.6% this year.

Gilead announced in September that it had agreed to acquire

Immunomedics

(IMMU), which has a promising new treatment for cancer, Trodelvy. Gilead’s earlier deals for companies developing cancer treatments haven’t paid off yet. Gilead has come into focus in recent days as President Donald Trump was treated with its antiviral drug remdesivir, to help speed his recovery from the coronavirus.

The department of revenue bought 130,879 additional Lilly shares, raising its investment in the drug giant to 326,523 shares as of the end of September.

Lilly stock slid about 10% in the third quarter, but remains up about

In their quest for the Senate majority, Democrats are pushing the battleground map as far north as it will go.



Dan Sullivan wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Dan Sullivan’s campaign has not yet released his third-quarter fundraising totals but has said they expect to be outraised and outspent by a staggering, five-to-one margin.


© Al Drago/Pool via AP
Sen. Dan Sullivan’s campaign has not yet released his third-quarter fundraising totals but has said they expect to be outraised and outspent by a staggering, five-to-one margin.

New money from outside groups and small dollar donors are flooding into Alaska, where independent Al Gross, who is backed by state and national Democrats, is aiming to unseat first-term GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan. The race has been on the edges of the Senate map for months, potentially competitive but receiving far less attention than some more expensive and geographically closer contests.

But now a new influx of outside spending and grassroots dollars into Gross’ campaign have given Democrats a major financial edge in the state in the final four weeks. A new super PAC formed Monday is dropping $4 million into the race, the largest outside investment so far and a signal of optimism among party leaders. And Gross announced that his campaign raised $9 million over the past three months, a staggering sum that would have been enough to fund an entire campaign.

“It’s a money bomb,” said Jim Lottsfeldt, a veteran operative in the state.

Alaska offers Democrats another path to cobbling together the three seats they need to flip control of the Senate if Joe Biden wins the presidential race. And along with races in Kansas, Montana and South Carolina, the Alaska foray represents a major offensive into traditionally red states that are more competitive because of President Donald Trump’s sinking poll numbers.

The new super PAC, North Star, formed earlier this week, according to its Federal Election Commission filing, and went up on air Thursday with its first ad, which hits Sullivan

“It’s a money bomb,” said Jim Lottsfeldt, a veteran operative in the state.

Alaska offers Democrats another path to cobbling together the three seats they need to flip control of the Senate if Joe Biden wins the presidential race. And along with races in Kansas, Montana and South Carolina, the Alaska foray represents a major offensive into traditionally red states that are more competitive because of President Donald Trump’s sinking poll numbers.

The new super PAC, North Star, formed earlier this week, according to its Federal Election Commission filing, and went up on air Thursday with its first ad, which hits Sullivan on health care. The amount made it the largest spender on television in the race, though other outside groups have been there earlier.

“I think people were initially skeptical. It’s why we were kind of alone out there in investing in Alaska early on,” said Shaughnessy Naughton, president of 314 Action, a Democratic group that backs candidates with science backgrounds and has spent $2 million to boost Gross, an orthopedic surgeon. “But I think people are seeing it as a real race, and that’s why we are seeing other groups start to come in.”

North Star has apparent ties to national Democrats. Its media buyer, Waterfront Strategies, is used by a handful of major Democratic groups, including Senate Majority PAC, which is run by allies of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The super PAC maintains its account with Amalgamated Bank, according to its FEC filing, which is a Washington-based bank used by a wide range of Democratic organizations.

A spokesperson for Senate Majority PAC declined to comment on the group. Emails sent to a Gmail address listed on North Star’s FEC filing did not receive a response. The filing also lists a website that has no contact

SEATTLE/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Boeing Co BA.N is in discussions to sell 737 MAX jets to Alaska Airlines once the plane returns to service following a lengthy grounding, three people familiar with the matter said.

The talks are part of a series of negotiations between Boeing and several airlines over jet orders or compensation after the 737 MAX was banned worldwide following two fatal crashes.

Boeing and Alaska Airlines, which is part of Alaska Air Group Inc ALK.N, declined to comment.

Any deal would be subject to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval of proposed 737 MAX safety upgrades.

Boeing shares were up 1.6% at $167.22 on Thursday afternoon, while Alaska Air stock was up 4.1% at $38.54.

Alaska Airlines already had ordered 37 of the jets before the grounding. If confirmed, a new order from such a major carrier would give Boeing’s 737 MAX a sorely needed commercial boost as the U.S. planemaker tries to move beyond a crisis that has hammered its finances.

It would also mark a post-crisis test of the balance of power between Boeing and Airbus AIR.PA. The European planemaker is battling to keep a foothold in Alaska Airlines, which had operated an all-Boeing fleet until it acquired Virgin America in 2016.

However, any new deal between Alaska Airlines and Boeing is expected to include significant discounts given the MAX’s woes and plunging demand for airplanes during the coronavirus crisis, industry sources said.

It was not immediately clear how many jets it may buy.

The talks are among several discussions Boeing is having with airlines, hoping to stimulate demand for the jet when it returns to the air. Analysts caution cutting prices too far could rattle some existing customers.

After months of delays, and pending approval of design and

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A private-sector proposal endorsed by U.S. President Donald Trump to build a railway from Canada’s oil sands to ports in Alaska would free landlocked crude but faces numerous steep challenges.

Trump wrote on Twitter over the weekend that he would issue a permit for the Alaska-Alberta Railway Development Corporation (A2A Rail) project to move Alberta crude 1,600 miles (2,570 km) to the Alaskan coast, as well as freight in the other direction.

“I will be issuing a Presidential Permit for the A2A Cross-Border rail,” Trump said. He said his decision was based on the recommendation of fellow Republicans Dan Sullivan, a U.S. senator, and Don Young, a U.S. representative. Projects that cross the U.S. border require presidential permits.

The $17 billion project, which backers hope will be in service by the end of the decade, was first proposed in 2015 by Canadian infrastructure financier Sean McCoshen.

It could carry up to 2 million barrels of oil per day, along with potash, sulphur and grain that often back up at Canada’s Vancouver port, said Mead Treadwell, A2A’s vice-chair, Alaska.

“The diversity of commodities helps reduce the risk,” he said.

The case for A2A has involved often-congested pipelines that move Alberta crude to U.S refineries. However, new pipelines are now under construction.

Options to move crude from Canada, the world’s fourth-largest producer, are useful, but A2A is “a very challenged project,” said Dennis McConaghy, a former pipeline executive at TransCanada Corp, now known as TC Energy Corp TRP.TO.

Transportation costs to reach Asian or U.S. Gulf Coast refiners would be substantially higher than those involving pipelines, he added.

“This project makes sense if it’s absolutely the last resort,” McConaghy said.

A2A would require numerous regulatory clearances in the United States and Canada