Regeneron’s Covid-19 Drug Is Authorized for Injection
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U.S. health regulators have authorized newer, more convenient forms of a Covid-19 antibody drug made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. that could make it easier for patients to get the treatment, the company said. Doctors and nurses now can administer one of the new forms by a simple injection, rather than intravenous infusion. Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody drug, called REGEN-COV, has been available to treat recently diagnosed Covid-19 since last November under an emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In clinical trials, the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in people with mild to moderate symptoms. In addition, the FDA allowed for the drug to be combined in a single vial, which could reduce the time it takes for nurses to prepare the treatment. The FDA also cleared a lower dose of the drug that is about half the strength of the originally authorized dose, which will increase the total number of doses available for patients under Regeneron’s contract with the U.S. government.
The Swiss stock market climbed to a new all-time high on Friday. Eagerly awaited U.S. labor market data had turned out quite to the taste of investors. They did not turn out so well that they would have aroused zing fears, but not so weak as to cause concerns about the economy. Further progress in the anti-Corona campaign also supported the market, as the number of newly infected people continued to fall sharply in Switzerland and many other countries as vaccination rates rose. The SMI gained 0.5 percent to 11,571 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were twelve price gainers and eight losers. 26.81 (previously: 27.86) million shares were traded. Pharmaceutical stocks were trump among the individual stocks. Participants read in it a defensive orientation of investors. Thus, Novartis rose by 0.5 percent, Roche by 1.3 percent, Alcon by 1.2 percent. In contrast, cyclicals and financials were spurned. Holcim fell 0.9 percent. Credit Suisse 0.4 percent and UBS 1.1 percent - the latter burdened by lower market interest rates. Swatch subsidiary Nivarox had a Competition Commission investigation on its hands. Allegedly, Nivarox abused its leading market position as a component supplier for mechanical watch movements. Swatch fell 1.1 percent. In contrast, Richemont (+0.2%) extended somewhat the rally that the stock had started since late May. AMS sold its Digital Systems division in North America to Acuity Brands. A purchase price was not disclosed. AMS advanced 4.4 percent.
European stocks traded mostly flat on Friday, as investors took to the sidelines ahead of an important update on U.S. jobs. The Stoxx Europe 600 index inched up 0.1% with the German DAX also up 0.1% and the French CAC 40 and the FTSE 100 index down 0.1%. Banks were leading the declines in Europe, with shares of HSBC, Banco Santander, and UBS all down 1%. Airline and travel stocks were again under pressure after the U.K. government's decision to remove Portugal from its quarantine-free travel list, citing concerns about coronavirus variants. Speculation that the decision was coming hit travel-related shares on Thursday, and those stocks continue to slide on Friday. Shares of easyJet and International Consolidated Airlines fell around 1.5%, Ryanair fell nearly 1.3%, Wizz Air was 2.7% lower and and Carnival dropped 1.6%. Shares of French media conglomerate Vivendi were modestly lower. Hedge-fund billionaire William Ackman's SPAC is poised for a deal for a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi, that would value the music business giant at around $40 billion.
U.S. stocks rose Friday, posting modest weekly gains, after the monthly employment report showed the labor market continued its slow recovery in May. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 179.35 points, or 0.5%, to 34756.39, finishing just below its all-time closing high hit last month. The S&P 500 added 37.04 points, or 0.9%, to 4229.89, also just missing a record, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 199.98 points, or 1.5%, to 13814.49. For the week, the Dow advanced 0.7%, the S&P 500 climbed 0.6% and the Nasdaq gained 0.5%. Volatile trading in meme stocks that have captured the attention of individual investors persisted Friday. Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings slipped $3.43, or 6.7%, to $47.91 after waffling between gains and losses. The shares finished Thursday’s wild trading session down 18% after the movie-theater operator said it plans to sell more stock—while simultaneously cautioning potential buyers of its shares that they might lose all their money. Shares of Pershing Square Tontine Holdings fell $2.99, or 12%, to $22.06 after the blank-check company led by hedge-fund billionaire William Ackman confirmed that it is in talks to acquire a stake in Universal Music Group.
Within narrow limits, the East Asian stock markets are inconsistent at the beginning of the new week. Seoul and Tokyo are just in the plus, the Nikkei index is 0.3 percent ahead to 29,035 points. Just in the minus is the Shanghai Composite. The most happening in Hong Kong, the HSI is 0.8 percent in the minus. While casino stocks such as Sands China (-2.6 percent), Galaxy Entertainment (-2.0 percent) and SJM Holdings (-2.6 percent) are on the losing side in Hong Kong, WH Group is up 7.7 percent. The meat producer has announced a share buyback program.
U.S. government-bond yields fell Friday after a tepid jobs report signaled the labor-market recovery may take longer than expected. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note finished Friday’s session at 1.559%, down from 1.624% at Thursday’s close. That marked the third straight week of declines.
Berenberg lowers target Remy Cointreau to EUR 139.60 (147.20) - Hold
Deutsche Bank raises target Dt. Post to EUR 73 (62) - Buy
Jefferies increases target Credit Agricole to EUR 14.50 (13.90) - Buy
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