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A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today

On the rise

Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F-N) rose in early afternoon trading after it said on Thursday it has begun production of the new generation F-150 pickup truck at its Dearborn, Mich., facility, and expects the redesigned model to go on sale in November.

The F-150 is Ford’s top selling vehicle and, along with other large pickups and commercial vans, generates the bulk of the company’s global profit.

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Ford also confirmed plans to build an electric version of the F-150, which is expected to come to market by mid-2022.

Ford executives said the battery-electric version of the top selling truck will have a lifetime total cost of ownership that is roughly half that of the current gasoline-powered model. It also will include a large front trunk in place of an engine.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC-T) was up in the wake of announcing before the bell that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided its Central Plateau Cleanup Company LLC joint venture a notice to proceed on the contract for the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash.

The contract s expected to “achieve end state closure of facilities, waste burial sites, and groundwater remediation in the river corridor of the Hanford Reservation along the Columbia River.”

It is valued at US$10-billion over 10 years.

“This nuclear services contract is within SNCL Engineering Services, the cornerstone of our strategy moving forward to greater growth and support for our partner and customer,” the company said.

Vancouver-based Methanex Corp. (MX-T) was lower after announcing the launch of an offering of senior unsecured notes before the bell.

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Methanex intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repay or redeem existing 5.25-per-cent unsecured notes due on March 1, 2022, of which US$250-million in aggregate principal amount is outstanding, and for maintenance capital expenditures, working capital or other general corporate purposes.

Shares of big data firm Sumo Logic Inc. (SUMO-Q) jumped in their Nasdaq debut on Thursday, as investor optimism for new stocks remained unabated.

The stock opened at US$26.64 per share, giving the company a valuation of US$2.63-billion, compared with the IPO price of US$22 per share.

This comes a day after Warren Buffett-backed Snowflake Inc’s shares more than doubled on debut after the data warehouse company raised US$3.36-billion in the biggest U.S. listing of 2020.

Sumo Logic, which raised US$325.6-million in its upsized IPO, is the latest successful debut in a hot IPO market, where demand for new listings remains high after COVID-19 pandemic-induced market volatility forced many companies to halt their IPO plans earlier this year.

For the year ended Jan. 31, the company posted a wider loss of US$92.1-million from US$47.8-million a year earlier. Revenue for the same period jumped about 50 per cent.

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**

Frankfurt-based BioNTech (BNTX-Q) was up after revealing it is buying a production site for its coronavirus vaccine hopeful from Swiss drugs giant Novartis to boost output by several million doses next year and hopes to have the shot ready to file for approval in October.

Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said its experimental vaccine, which it is developing with Pfizer (PFE-N), could be reviewed by regulators in late October or early November, among the first in the western world.

“A good vaccine should have an immunisation effect of at least 70 per cent to 75 per cent and that is also the yardstick that we have set ourselves in order to have a vaccine that can stop the pandemic in a significant way,” Sahin said.

BioNTech and Pfizer have previously said this would be possible as early as late October.

Shares of Pfizer were narrowly lower.

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On the decline

A day after its shares more than doubled in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday, Snowflake Inc. (SNOW-N) suffered a steep decline

Snowflake’s spectacular market debut reflects the hearty appetite for new stocks, as low interest rates drive investors into equities.

The market overlooked Snowflake’s losses, focusing on the prospects of its software business of data sharing on cloud systems, which has seen rapid growth as offices around the world adapt to remote working.

Snowflake shares started trading at US245 apiece on Wednesday, more than double its US$120 IPO price, and closed up 111 per cent at US$253.93 to value it at over US$70-billion.

“This is just one day. Things will normalize and shake out and become more settled as time moves on,” Snowflake Chief Executive Frank Slootman said in an interview.

Among U.S.-listed companies with a market capitalization of at least US$10-billion, only three companies are now more expensive than Snowflake’s 2020 revenue multiple. It lags only Nikola Corp, Liberty Broadband and Immunomedics Inc, according to Refinitiv.

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Snowflake sold 28 million shares in its IPO to raise US$3.36-billion in the biggest software IPO of all time.

See also: Snowflake more than doubles in debut as Wall Street embraces tech IPOs

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT-Q) lost ground after rival Sony Corp said late Wednesday the next-generation PlayStation 5 console would launch in November priced at US$499.99 and US$399.99 for a version without a disk drive, as it squares off against its Xbox console.

The pricing announcement sets the stage for a year-end showdown between Xbox and PlayStation, as consumers continue to flock to gaming optimized consoles offering exclusive titles.

Microsoft said last week Xbox Series X would go on sale on Nov. 10 priced at US$499.99 with the less powerful Xbox Series S priced at US$299.99, as Xbox bets that offering consumers choice will outweigh the risks run by launching two distinct devices at once.

The PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X have the same price, but the US$399.99 PlayStation 5 Digital Edition “offers a substantial discount at no cost in terms of performance or hardware, besides the disc reader,” said Guilherme Fernandes, analyst at gaming analysis firm Newzoo.

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Hardware pricing decisions have won and lost generational console battles as makers look to build the critical mass of consumers that will attract games developers to their platform.

U.S. defence contractor Raytheon Technologies Corp. (RTX-N) slipped after Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes said Wednesday it plans to eliminate more than 15,000 jobs this year at its corporate offices, jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney and aviation and military equipment manufacturer Collins Aerospace amid the downturn in the airline industry, .

The job cuts at the Waltham, Mass-based company are nearly double the total it initially announced in July.

Mr. Hayes, speaking during a Morgan Stanley analysts conference via webcast, said the cuts amount to administrative cost reductions of about 20 per cet at Pratt & Whitney, based in East Hartford, Conn., and about 12 per centat Collins Aerospace, based in Charlotte, N.C.

Pratt & Whitney has seen shop visits decline 60 per cent since the second quarter, and Collins Aerospace saw a 65-per-cent drop in commercial spare parts orders, Hayes said, noting global commercial air traffic is down about 45 per cent amid the coronavirus pandemic, down from an 80-per-cent drop in March.

Raytheon is seeking US$2-billion in cost reductions and US$4-billion in cash conservation this year, he said.

The company’s defence-related business, however, remains strong, Mr. Hayes said.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL-N) dipped after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was not ready to sign off on a proposed deal involving ByteDance’s TikTok and that he would receive a report on it on Thursday.

Mr. Trump, at a news conference, said he was told there was no legal path to ensure money from the TikTok deal goes to the U.S. government. Under ByteDance’s proposal, the Beijing-based company would keep a majority stake in TikTok’s global business and create headquarters for TikTok in the United States.

“No, I’m not prepared to sign off on anything,” Mr. Trump said. "They going to be reporting to me tomorrow morning and I’ll let you know.

On Thursday, ByteDance said China will need to approve the deal, indicating how its bid to stave off a ban in the United States could be further complicated.

An outright sale of TikTok’s operations or technologies was not included in ByteDance’s proposal to the United States, Chinese state media reported on Thursday citing a separate statement from the company.

ByteDance declined to comment when asked about this by Reuters.

When asked about ByteDance’s comments regarding the need for China’s approval, the foreign ministry on Thursday urged the United States to respect the principles of the market economy and fair competition, and to stop politicising normal economic and trade cooperation.

Delta Air Lines (DAL-N) slid after saying on Thursday it is raising US$9-billion, US$2.5-billion more than its previous estimates, through new bonds and loans backed by its SkyMiles loyalty program, as it attempts to strengthen its coronavirus-roiled finances.

U.S. airlines have cut costs and raised debt to survive what they call an unprecedented industry crisis and the situation is not expected to improve anytime soon.

The Atlanta-based company said on Thursday the total proceeds is being raised at a blended average annual rate of 4.75 per cent.

Delta said on Monday that it is pledging its loyalty program to raise US$6.5-billion comprising of US$4-billion bonds and US$2.5-billion loan, as it burns through US$27-million a day.

Earlier this month, the carrier said it would not chase a US$4.6-billion federal loan available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, although it continues to lobby for a second round of federal payroll grants.

Carnival Corp. (CCL-N) dropped after its British cruiseline P&O Cruises extended a cancellation in sailings until early 2021.

Other cruise operators such as Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL-N) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH-N) also fell back.

With files from staff and wires

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