The S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq ended in red on Wednesday despite strong data from final analysis of the effectiveness of Pfizer (PFE – Free report) /BioNTechof (BNTX – Free Report) Phase III study evaluating their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2. Markets declined as the rise in coronavirus infections in the United States, closures in some major cities and stalled negotiations on stimulus legislation overshadowed investor enthusiasm for pushing vaccine data.
We note that Pfizer and BioNTech have announced the data from the final efficacy analysis of their ongoing Phase III study with BNT162b2. The data showed that the candidate met all of the study’s primary efficacy criteria with a vaccine efficacy rate of 95%. Furthermore, BNT162b2 did not raise any serious safety concerns and also passed the FDA safety milestone required for Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”). Pfizer and BioNtech plan to file an EUA application “within days”. According to a Reuters report, BioNTech is awaiting approval / approval of the candidate in Europe around mid-December.
Infections and restrictions
Although shares of Pfizer and BioNtech rose 0.8% and 4% respectively on Wednesday due to encouraging final analysis data on their coronavirus vaccine candidate, this has not helped the markets continue their ascent. . While the Dow Jones and S&P 500 fell almost 1.2%, the Nasdaq was down 0.8% on November 18. According to a Reuters report, New York City has restricted in-person learning in schools from November 19 following a surge in new coronavirus infections. The city had been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States earlier this year during the “first wave” of infection.
The same Reuters article indicates that among 50 U.S. states, 41 states have reported an increase in daily infections so far in November. Outside of New York City, major cities like Boston, Detroit, Las Vegas and Philadelphia have recently canceled in-person learning due to the rise in infections. Investors are wary of these growing infections or the so-called “second wave” despite encouraging developments on the vaccine front. The growing number of cases can lead to further restrictions and, in the worst case scenario, another foreclosure, hampering businesses and overall economic development.
On November 13, the United States recorded its highest daily infection cases of 181,571 people. Total infections reached 11.6 million, resulting in more than 250,000 deaths.
Stimulus Package and FDA Clearance
Negotiations for a new fiscal stimulus package have been stalled due to the US election and a brawl between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, according to a Yahoo report. Although President-elect Joe Biden is in favor of a trillion-dollar stimulus package, the parties must converge on a deal to pass it in Congress.
We note that FDA clearance for any vaccine against the coronavirus can prove beneficial to people and the economy. However, the unavailability of long-term safety data and citizens’ skepticism about vaccines can hamper proper distribution. Besides Pfizer and Moderna, AstraZeneca (AZN – Free report) and NOT A WORD (JNJ – Free Report) are also developing their vaccine candidates against the coronavirus in advanced development phase and several others in early stages. We could see billions of doses of these potential candidate vaccines be made available to the public in 2021. Successful vaccine distribution, citizen inoculation, and proper maintenance of social distancing rules will likely contribute to a faster recovery of the vaccine. the US economy.
Pfizer, AstraZeneca, J&J, Moderna and BioNTech all have Zacks # 3 (Hold) rank. You can see The full list of current Zacks # 1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
These stocks are ready to fly after the pandemic
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