a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

  • BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Tuesday stocks have more upside ahead and most investors should put more money to work in the market.
  • “I believe we still have more to go on the upside even in front of probably rising infection rates with COVID-19,” Fink said. 
  • With interest rates lower for longer and the likelihood of a second fiscal stimulus, Fink expects the market to move higher.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Tuesday that stocks have more upside ahead and investors should put more money to work in the market. 


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“We have a strong conviction that the average investor still is under-invested and they’re going to have to be putting more and more money to work over the coming months and maybe even years,” Fink said. “I believe we still have more to go on the upside even in front of probably rising infection rates with COVID-19.” 

The CEO of the world’s largest asset manager said that he’s not concerned about markets, citing the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates lower for longer, and saying he expects the US will see another fiscal stimulus “whether it occurs this month or in January.” He added that even as coronavirus infection rates rise, hospitalizations are falling. 

Read more: Good deals in pandemic-hit companies are proving hard to find. Here’s how big investors that raised billions to pounce on corporate distress are changing up their playbooks.

Another factor likely supporting the stock market’s climb upward is the record amount of retail participation, Fink said. He added that the coronavirus pandemic likely caused this surge in individual investing activity.

Fink told CNBC: “You report a lot about Robinhood and the day traders but across the board the average investor is putting more

CRISPR therapeutics inc, logo 2020

Graphic Source: CRISPR Therapeutics, Inc.

Introduction: What is CRISPR Therapeutics, Inc.?

CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) is a gene-editing company focused on the development and versatile application of CRISPR/Cas9 therapeutics, a special brand of therapeutics used for precision genome editing by applying a viral defense mechanism from bacteria to regulate, disrupt, or correct genes related to key diseases. CRSP is currently targeting disease areas, including hemoglobinopathies, oncology, and regenerative medicines.

Founded in 2013 in Switzerland, CRSP has since grown to over 304 employees producing relatively inconsistent revenues ranging from $3M in 2018 to $290M in 2019 with expectations for 2020 at $6.7M. Their lead candidate is CTX001, an investigational autologous gene-edited hematopoietic stem cell therapy developed in partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) for treating transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia (“TDT”) and severe sickle cell disease (“SCD”).

Products: CRSP’s pipeline consists of 9 therapeutics: 4 in the clinical phase and 5 in the research phase. Of the 4 clinical phase therapeutics, the first targets TDT and SCD (mentioned above: CTX001), while the 3 others fall into immuno-oncology covering: CD19+ malignancies (Product: CTX110), multiple myeloma (CTX120) and solid tumors and hematologic malignancies (CTX130). All immuno-oncology therapeutics are allogeneic CRISPR/Cas9 gene-edited CAR-T cell therapies wholly owned by CRISPR Therapeutics with data updates typically every 6 months.

Customers/market: For CRSP’s clinical phase pipeline, the total estimated 2022 global market potential is $220B with an average market size for each disease of $36.7B growing at an average 15.2% CAGR (median market: $13.3B | CAGR 10.9%). The largest market is Solid Tumors, at a 2022 estimated size of $145B (8.1% CAGR), and the highest CAGR market CAR T/CD19+ market at a 34.5% CAGR. For CTX001, the lead candidate, the target market can be broken down into the TDT market at very roughly $1.8B with a 10.8% CAGR and the SCD market

The CAD/JPY currency pair, which expresses the value of the Canadian dollar in terms of the Japanese yen, has been edging its way toward levels that were seen prior to the start of 2020. As stocks began to sour in February this year, the Canadian dollar also started to fall alongside other commodity currencies. Currencies such as the Japanese yen rallied, which was unsurprising to most traders given the reputation of the yen as a conventional safe haven.

From the start of the fourth quarter of 2019 into the first quarter of 2020, CAD was trading against JPY inside of the range of 80-85, with an approximate midpoint being at the 83 handle (as illustrated below). A stronger CAD is in most cases a constructive for risk assets such as equities, especially when set such strength is against JPY.

CAD/JPY Price Action in 2020

(Source: TradingView. The same applies to all subsequent price charts presented hereafter.)

From the level of 85 down to the lows in March this year at the 74 handle, the midpoint is around 80, which the current market price for CAD/JPY is perched just above. The question now becomes whether we will see further strength.

Certain commodity currencies such as the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar were able to retrace their steps back to their previous highs (after also crashing in February and March). These two currencies have already rallied against USD and JPY (both conventional safe havens in their own right). The Canadian dollar has struggled against the Japanese yen, although, interestingly, CAD is currently as strong against USD as it was prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic which shook financial markets (including FX) this year.

USD/CAD Price Action in 2020

(USD/CAD is now trading at similar levels to 2019; the Canadian dollar has effectively won back all its

The GBP/CAD currency pair, which expresses the value of the British pound sterling in terms of the Canadian dollar, has managed to continue to fend off long-term lows over the past few years. However, in spite of Brexit (the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union, which was announced on 23 June 2016), GBP/CAD has in fact managed to continue to trade above the lows of 2010 to 2013.

The long-term monthly candlestick chart below illustrates price action from as early as January 1975. Two levels are highlighted: 1.60 and 1.50. GBP has managed to safely avoid the 1.50 handle since the announcement of Brexit, although current prices above the 1.70 handle are still a far cry from the highs above 2.00 in the latter half of 2015 (and early part of 2016).

GBP/CAD Historical Price Action(Source: TradingView. The same applies to all subsequent candlestick charts presented hereafter.)

If we focus on more recent years, since 2000, we can see that GBP/CAD has fallen from highs above 2.50 down to levels under 1.50, and yet in spite of this the 10-year yield spread (the blue line, in the chart below) is currently back to where it used to be at its high. Yet clearly prices are still languishing far below the highs above 2.50 (found in 2002, 2003 and 2004).

GBP/CAD vs. 10-year Yield SpreadThe 10-year yield spread rose fairly consistently from the year 2000 into mid-2008, yet GBP/CAD continued to trade through this period. The 2008/09 Great Recession saw markets continuing to prefer CAD over GBP, all the way into the exchange rate’s long-term lows under 1.50 (in 2010). Currently, the 10-year yield spread is once again negative (albeit above more recent lows in 2018).

The bond market’s 10-year yield spread is negative 35 basis points (pictured above, on the far-right y-axis). This compares

Investment Thesis

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (CBSH) is a $30.5 billion asset holding company and parent to Commerce Bank. CBSH has a rich history of lending to the Midwest for more than 150 years. It currently operates a little over 160 branches with serving its local markets located in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

To me, CBSH is a bank that you would want to own in the beginning of a recession and but not necessarily today. Since the bank has a solid net interest margin and operating expense base it is typically more profitable than the average peer bank, and because of this has a that valuation is typically higher than peers. As one can see from the chart below, it currently trades at ~2.2x price to tangible book value per share.

While I do think that CBSH has a great mouse-trap, the current valuation is too today in order to have material upside tomorrow. I think credit could potentially more of an issue, but should not be a limiting factor today. In short, I think peer banks are likely to perform better.

ChartData by YCharts

Revenue Outlook

During the second quarter the spread revenue was $203 million. While most banks were dealing with margin compression and stagnate core loan growth, CBSH continued to grow net interest income by $2 million from the first quarter. While its net interest margin ((NIM)) did continue to fall in the second quarter, much like nearly every other bank, it was a little more muted than most Midwest based peers. In the second quarter the NIM fell by 37 basis points.

Throughout the second quarter, CBSH grew loans by a little more $1.3 billion. Given the diverse lending portfolio, there were some obvious puts and takes to