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Fed’s Cook: Economy’s Risks Two-Sided, Caution on Rate Cuts

U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook addressed on Thursday the evolving economic landscape, highlighting that as inflation shows signs of easing and the labor market adjusts, the risks facing the economy have become “two-sided.” However, she emphasized that it’s premature to consider reducing interest rates.

While there’s a reasonable expectation for inflation to eventually reach the Fed’s 2% target, Cook cautioned that the journey might be unpredictable, noting recent higher-than-expected consumer price inflation figures.

Moreover, she noted a shift in the economy’s risk profile. Supply chains and labor supply have rebounded, and consumer spending remains robust. Yet, she acknowledged a potential slowdown in consumer spending due to decelerating wage growth.

Looking ahead, Cook highlighted various uncertainties, including the possibility of supply disruptions from conflicts like those in the Red Sea and longer-term challenges such as climate change, productivity trends, and deglobalization.

Regarding monetary policy, Cook stressed the delicate balance between acting too soon and risking persistently high inflation or acting too late and causing undue harm to the economy. She emphasized the need for data to provide more certainty before considering rate cuts, indicating that the Fed will eventually adjust policy once confident in sustained disinflation.

Market Movers

Carvana (CVNA) soared by 23% following its announcement of expecting adjusted EBITDA significantly exceeding $100 million in the first quarter.

Block (SQ), a payment firm, saw an 11% increase after surpassing revenue estimates and raising its full-year operating profit outlook.

On the other hand, Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ:AAOI) dropped by 19% after issuing first-quarter revenue guidance below estimates.

Nu Holdings (NU) experienced a 5.5% decline post reporting net income below consensus.

Despite beating fourth-quarter estimates, Insulet (NASDAQ:PODD) faced a 7.7% decline, projecting revenue growth in the 12% to 17% range for the year.

Evolent Health (NYSE:EVH) climbed 7.5% after surpassing both top and bottom line estimates.

Penumbra, Inc. (NYSE:PEN) witnessed a 9% decline as its revenue guidance fell short of estimates.

In after-hours trading, shares of Carvana (CVNA) and Block (SQ) surged.

Elevation Oncology Initiates Phase 1 Trial Expansion for Promising Cancer Therapy EO-3021 in Japan

Elevation Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ELEV) has unveiled the extension of its Phase 1 clinical trial for EO-3021, a promising cancer therapy, marking the dosing of the inaugural patient in Japan. This expansion represents a strategic move in the company’s mission to pioneer treatments for solid tumors grappling with considerable unmet medical needs.

EO-3021 stands as a beacon of hope in the realm of cancer treatment, being a clinical-stage antibody drug conjugate (ADC) meticulously designed to target Claudin 18.2, a protein prevalent in gastric, gastroesophageal junction, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers. The primary objective of the trial remains centered on evaluating the therapy’s safety, tolerability, and preliminary anti-tumor efficacy.

Dr. Valerie Malyvanh Jansen, the esteemed Chief Medical Officer at Elevation Oncology, exudes confidence in the venture’s expansion into Japan, recognizing the country’s high incidence of gastric cancer cases. Dr. Kohei Shitara, serving as the trial’s principal investigator, echoes this sentiment, envisioning EO-3021 as a potential game-changer in enhancing patient outcomes, despite recent strides in gastric cancer treatment modalities.

Dubbed as an open-label, multi-center endeavor (NCT05980416), the trial encompasses both dose escalation and expansion phases conducted across various sites spanning the United States and Japan. Additionally, the trial aims to elucidate the correlation between Claudin 18.2 expression levels and patients’ objective response rates.

Anticipated updates from the ongoing trial are slated for mid-2024, with a comprehensive dataset expected to emerge in the first half of 2025. Elevation Oncology retains exclusive rights for the development and commercialization of EO-3021 outside the purview of Greater China, further underlining its commitment to pioneering transformative cancer therapies.

Investing on a Friday is like buying a ticket to the weekend party of the stock market. You’re ready to join the bull and bear dance, hoping your investments will be the life of the party rather than the wallflowers. But remember, just like choosing the right outfit for a Friday night out, do your research, pick wisely, and maybe add a splash of diversification to your portfolio cocktail. After all, nobody wants to wake up on Monday morning with a financial hangover!