Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Lower; Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Receives FDA Panel's Nod

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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded down 0.14% to 29,957.95 while the NASDAQ fell 0.22% to 12,378.96. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.29% to 3,657.63.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 15,617,920 cases with around 292,190 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 9,796,760 confirmed cases and 142,180 deaths, while Brazil reported over 6,781,790 COVID-19 cases with 179,760 deaths. In total, there were at least 69,704,170 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 1,584,540 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Communication services shares rose 0.6% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), up 10%, and ORBCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ: ORBC), up 6%.

In trading on Friday, energy shares slipped 1.7%.

Top Headline

Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) have got the green light on their COVID-19 vaccine from an external panel of experts that advise the United States Food and Drug Administration.

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted by a large majority of 17 to 4 in favor of giving emergency use authorization (EUA) to the companies' coronavirus vaccine. There was one absentation.

Equities Trading UP

TPG Pace Beneficial Finance Corp. (NYSE: TPGY) shares shot up 119% to $24.32 on a merger deal with EV charging company EVBox Group.

Shares of vTv Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTVT) got a boost, shooting 97% to $4.32 following news Ron Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes purchased 625,000 shares of company stock.

Sonoma Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNOA) shares were also up, gaining 74% to $10.81 as the company announced an agreement with Crown Laboratories, a skin care company, for the exclusive rights to sell and market Sonoma's products for the over-the-counter dermatological market in the U.S.

Equities Trading DOWN

SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLS) shares tumbled 39% to $10.66 after the company reported follow-up data from a randomized Phase 2 VADIS trial of Nelipepimut-S in woman with ductal carcinoma in-situ of the breast. The company’s stocks jumped 176% on Thursday.

Shares of Immutep Limited (NASDAQ: IMMP) were down 31% to $3.9363. Immutep shares climbed 165% on Thursday after the company said its Chinese partner, EOC Pharma will commence a new Phase 2 clinical trial of Immutep's eftilagimod alpha in up to 152 metastatic breast cancer patients in China.

Nabriva Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: NBRV) was down, falling 27% to $2.47 after the company reported pricing of $15 million public offering.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.5% to $46.54, while gold traded down 0.2% to $1,834.50.

Silver traded down 0.9% Friday to $23.88 while copper fell 1.3% to $3.5295.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.3%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 2.2%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 1.3%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 declined 1.9%, French CAC 40 fell 1.3% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 1.1%.

Spain's consumer prices fell 0.8% year-over-year in November, while consumer prices in Germany declined 0.3% year-on-year. The European Central Bank kept the interest rates unchanged at 0%.

Economics

The Producer Price Index rose 0.1% for November following a 0.3% increase in the prior month.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 81.4 in December versus 76.9 in November.

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Randal Quarles is set to speak at 12:40 p.m. ET.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

 

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