Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Europe's Regulator Backs Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids Aged 5-11 Years

Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded down 2.57% to 34,885.52 while the NASDAQ fell 1.55% to 15,599.06 after a new COVID-19 variant was detected in South Africa. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.95% to 4,609.88.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 48,999,730 cases with around 798,550 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 34,555,430 cases and 467,460 deaths, while Brazil reported over 22,055,600 COVID-19 cases with 613,690 deaths. In total, there were at least 260,465,210 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 5,202,500 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares gained by 0.2% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Adagio Therapeutics, Inc. ADGI, up 41% and Moderna, Inc. MRNA up 21%.

In trading on Friday, energy shares fell 6.2%.

Top Headline

The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) human medicines committee (CHMP) recommended using Pfizer Inc PFE - BioNTech SE's BNTX's COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, for children between 5 to 11.

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine will be given in two 10-microgram doses three weeks apart as an injection in the upper arm, per the EMA recommendation.


Equities Trading UP

Allied Healthcare Products, Inc. AHPI shares shot up 70% to $9.13. Shares of mask and protective apparel companies, including Allied Healthcare Products, traded higher amid concerns of a new COVID variant discovered in South Africa.

Shares of iSpecimen Inc. ISPC got a boost, shooting 65% to $16.80. The company recently announced it has been contracted to support new advanced research on COVID-19 seeking insights on its transmissibility, variants, outcomes, and testing validity among multiple population segments.

Biofrontera Inc. BFRI shares were also up, gaining 50% to $7.82. Biofrontera shares climbed over 98% on Wednesday after Roth Capital initiated coverage on the stock with a Buy rating and a $20 price target.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Laredo Petroleum, Inc. LPI shares tumbled 17% to $56.46 amid a dip in oil prices as concerns of a new COVID variant discovered in South Africa weigh on oil demand outlook.

Shares of Pinduoduo Inc. PDD were down 17% to $67.25 after the company reported third-quarter FY21 revenue growth of 51% year-on-year to $3.3 billion, missing the consensus of $4.2 billion.

Centennial Resource Development, Inc. CDEV was down, falling 16% to $6.06 amid a dip in oil prices as concerns of a new COVID variant discovered in South Africa weigh on oil demand outlook.


In commodity news, oil traded down 6.5% to $73.31, while gold traded up 1.6% to $1,812.50.

Silver traded up 0.6% Friday to $23.46 while copper fell 3.3% to $4.3135.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 2.4%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 3.6% and the German DAX 30 dropped 2.6%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 fell 2.6%, French CAC 40 dipped 3.3% and Italy’s FTSE MIB dropped 3%.

Car production in the UK dropped 41.4% year-over-year to 64729 in October, while consumer confidence in Italy fell to 117.5 in November from 118.4 in the prior month. Loans to households in the Eurozone increased 4.1% year-over-year in October.


The Fed's balance sheet report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

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