Market Morning: CBD Warning, Chemocentryx Win, Huge Tory Majority, Amazon Injuries

FDA Says CBD Can Hurt Your Liver

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Potentially speaking. Potentially, anything can hurt your liver, but that isn’t stopping the Food and Drug Administration from singling out cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid generally recognized as safe by most people, but not officially so by the FDA. The compound is now sold in pharmacies including CVS (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens (NYSE:WBA) even in states where medical marijuana is technically illegal, though authorities aren’t stopping its sale. The FDA is fretting over CBD even though the agency already approved pure CBD oil as a safe treatment for certain types of epilepsy in GW Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:GWPH) Epidiolex. “CBD has the potential to harm you,” says the agency, “and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.” However, it came short of saying that it will definitely harm you because there is a lack of scientific information available. The scariest part is that, according to the FDA, when combined with alcohol or other depressants, it can increase the risk of drowsiness. (The news has severely upset the United Union Against Being Drowsy.)

SEE: Khiron Becomes First Colombian Firm to Commercialize Cannabis

ChemoCentryx Quadruples On Vasculitis Data

ChmoCentryx (NASDAQ:CCXI) was up over 300% after hours Monday after positive results were reported from the Phase III ADVOCATE trial of avacopan for the treatment of vasculitis. The endpoint of disease remission after 26 was reached and sustained at 52 weeks. 72.3% of patients on avacopan achieved remission after 26 weeks and 65.7% had sustained remission by 52 weeks. The drug achieved statistical noninferiority and superiority versus standard of care glucocordicoid treatment.  Secondary endpoints were also met, including kidney function in patients with renal disease, an improvement in kidney function, and improvement in quality of life metrics. There were also fewer serious adverse events reported in the avacopan group than in the control.

Boris Johnson Projected to Win 80-Seat Majority According to Poll of Polls

The latest polls out of the United Kingdom show the Conservative Tories under Boris Johnson winning a landslide 80-seat majority in the House of Commons come December 12. Reportedly, 20% of Labour Leave votors are considering abandoning the party over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s noncommittal Brexit stance. Johnson has ridiculed Corbyn’s spending plans as fleecing the country with added borrowing and heavy taxes in the most left-wing manifesto since the party crashed in 1983. The manifesto includes free housing and free internet, and outlawing private education among other centralized plans that will be paid for by higher taxes. Corbyn is also under attack for condoning anti Semitism, with the UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accusing the Labour party of systemic anti Semitism and saying that Jews in the country have reason to worry about a Corbyn administration. In any case, with an 80-seat majority, Johnson should be able to easily get his Brexit deal passed, he says by Christmas.

Ouch, Amazon Injuries Triple the Industry Average

The Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) fulfillment center in Staten Island apparently is not the safest place to work these days. Gizmodo has published leaked company documents that show injury rates at warehouse JFK8 over three times the industry average. It is not known whether this one center is an anomaly or if the entire company has similarly high injury rates at its other fulfillment centers as well. “They have higher rates of injuries, and the injuries themselves are incredibly severe, compared to the national average, compared to the national warehouse average, and compared to industries that are known for being very dangerous like solid waste collection, policing. […] Amazon knows it has an injury crisis going on at the JFK8 facility,” said Frank Kearly, a nonprofit lawyer who saw the documents. The score for JFK8 was 15.19 in 2018, compared to a score of 6.1 for sawmills and 10.2 for steel foundries. Any current or former Amazon employee can submit a request for the rest of the company’s injury logs by law, which will probably happen now that the cat has its paw out of the bag.

Bitcoin Beatdown On China Reversal

Remember when Xi Jinping started talking positively about Bitcoin (BTC-USD)? Well, he wasn’t really. He was actually just talking about blockchain technology, which makes more sense in the context of China’s plans to introduce a digitally-backed Yuan. On that note, China has accelerated its crackdown on cryptocurrency-related businesses, pushing down the price of Bitcoin to below $7,000 briefly before a bounce took it back above that level. “This was one of the worst weeks in the history of digital assets. The market is clearly in contraction, with no new money coming in to soak up the supply,” says Jeff Dorman, CIO of Arca to CNBC. Bitcoin dominance as a percentage of total cryptocurrency trading has settled at around 66%, and total trading volume remains about $100 billion worth daily.

A Word from China on Trade Deal

China has released a statement on progress for a Phase One trade deal with the United States, possibly in response to President Trump’s threat to veto the Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act, even though congress would almost certainly pass the bill over any veto. Top Chinese negotiator Liu Hu spoke with US Trade Representative and tariff hawk Robert Lighthizer this morning according to China’s Ministry of Commerce. Specifically, “Both sides discussed resolving core issues of common concern, reached consensus on how to resolve related problems (and) agreed to stay in contact over remaining issues for a phase one agreement,” said a statement translated from Chinese.


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