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The peril of biotech specs. Jeff Bezos moves up. Great earnings from the tech companies.

It works. It doesn’t work.  It’s totally unpredictable. Two days ago I thought was a genius with a company called Vaxart (VXRT) which was developing an oral vaccine for Covid-19. That would be a huge breakthrough. The current batch — Moderna and Pfizer — need cold storage and needles. Vaxart’s oral vaccine could be stored at room temperature and swallowed.

Sadly, it didn’t work. It didn’t produce anti-bodies, which (Moderna and Pfizer produce). And VXRT fell to earth:

Where’s it going now? I have no idea. I sold half my holdings (at a profit) and kept some for a bounce — maybe tomorrow.

They have other trials for other oral vaccines but they’re way way off. Maybe I’ll hang onto what little I have left as a long-term spec. I really don’t have enough of my portfolio — as a designated “speculation.”

For now, Moderna (MRNA) seems to be moving up. Maybe the stock is getting strong vibes from their vaccine floating around my body? 

Amazon fell 2% today because Jeff was moving up

The best part of Amazon is not the online sell-you-anything business. The best part is AWS – Amazon Web Services. Jeff came up with the idea. And Andy Jassy piloted it into the ionosphere. Hence it’s appropriate for him to become CEO, while Jeff moves up to become chief Amazon idea man, also called executive chair of the Amazon board.

AWS is still the biggest cloud, despite attempts by Microsoft, Google, IBM and others to dethrone it. I’ve listened to Jassy present. He’s very impressive. He’s no Steve Ballmer.

Amazon fell 2% today. Amazon remains my second largest holding after Apple. Fall some more, I’ll buy more.

PayPal. Qualcomm and Google (and others) reported better earnings. Qualcomm said “we delivered an exceptional quarter.” I like those words. It’s a bullish world.

Hoisted on their own pricey petards

They spent a fortune to buy pricey apartments in what was — until recently — one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. This is 432 Park Avenue in New York City, seen obscured by clouds (so much for the view).

The New York Times had a wonderful piece today:

The Downside to Life in a Supertall Tower: Leaks, Creaks, Breaks
432 Park, one of the wealthiest addresses in the world, faces some significant design problems, and other luxury high-rises may share its fate.

It began

The nearly 1,400-foot tower at 432 Park Avenue, briefly the tallest residential building in the world, was the pinnacle of New York’s luxury condo boom half a decade ago, fueled largely by foreign buyers seeking discretion and big returns.

Six years later, residents of the exclusive tower are now at odds with the developers, and each other, making clear that even multimillion-dollar price tags do not guarantee problem-free living. The claims include millions of dollars of water damage from plumbing and mechanical issues; frequent elevator malfunctions; and walls that creak like the galley of a ship — all of which may be connected to the building’s main selling point: its immense height, according to homeowners, engineers and documents obtained by The New York Times.

You can read the full funny article here. And be thankful you don’t own an apartment there.

Want to live to 100+?

Ensure that your diet is 90% to 100% plant-based: Here 9 food rules from the world’s longest-living people

That’s the headline on a piece from CNBC today. Here are the 9 food rules:

1. Ensure that your diet is 90% to 100% plant-based.

2. Retreat from meat.

3. Go easy on fish.

4. Eat a daily dose of beans.

5. Slash sugar.

6. Snack on nuts.

7. Sour on bread.

8. Drink mostly water.

9. Go whole. These are foods made from single ingredient — raw, cooked, ground or fermented — and are not highly processed. They eat raw fruits and vegetables; they grind whole grains themselves and then cook them slowly.

The article is here.  It’s worth reading.

On the way to tennis early this morning

And there, in the woods, are my friends… How do they find food in below freezing temperature and with a couple of feet of snow on the ground?

Nice to photograph the new snow. I love the cameras on my iPhone 12 Pro Max. I especially love the 2.5x telephoto camera.

See you tomorrow. — Harry Newton