In today’s recap, Marcello talks about the Indian government imposing a lockdown due to air pollution; is there a new Smallpox pandemic coming? Vials with the virus have been found; scientists discovered a new planet.
The Austrian government on Friday announced that it will extend a lockdown of unvaccinated people to the entire nation starting Monday in a battle to get rising COVID-19 cases under control. It will run for 10 days & a maximum of 20 days. Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg also said it would now become a requirement to get vaccinated starting Feb. 1. Many European countries are dealing with surging cases, but Austria’s own vaccine rate remains among the lowest, at just 65%.
Euro-zone inflation came in at +4.1% year-on-year in October, more than double the European Central Bank’s target. In its biannual stability report, the ECB warned of stretched valuations in property & financial markets, as the region continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, along with ultra-low interest rates, monetization of debt & massive fiscal stimulus measures.
Belarus is now threatening to cut off its transit of gas supply to Europe which is already in an energy crisis, if the European Union imposes new sanctions over a migrant crisis at its western border. The bloc is accusing Russian-backed President Lukashenko of weaponizing the 1000’s of people currently gathered in camps at the border with Poland, to undermine EU security & distract from domestic political pressures.
Dollar Tree, a U.S. based multi-price-point chain of discount variety stores shares were up +14.28% to $129.23 on Monday to a record high, after it was revealed that activist investor Mantle Ridge had acquired a $1.8B position in the stock, with the intention of making the firm finally take action to boost its stock price. Dollar Tree shares have only gained about +45% during the past 5 years, while the S&P 500 has risen about +116%. The stock is up +19.61% in 2021 & +35.16% y/y, with a market cap of $25.43B.
Biden signed an over $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill into law; U.S. coal prices reach highest level in more than 12 years; Texas leads lawsuit against Google for violating antitrust laws; Japan’s exports grow at slowest pace in eight months;