Plus, ADP said private payrolls grew by 2.369 million in June, United Airlines said it is adding 25,000 flights next month, and Beyond Meat is rising after news its meatless burger patties will soon be available in grocery stores in China.
Stocks were slightly higher to start Wednesday with the Dow adding 72 points, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, while the Nasdaq was flat.
If you're a stock investor who wants to retire early, check out this free training and learn how! Click Here
Pfizer shares are up 4.5% this morning and BioNTech is up nearly 6% after Pfizer released positive results from its early-stage human trial of the pair’s coronavirus vaccine. The trial showed that one of the vaccine candidates produced neutralizing antibodies for the deadly virus, and after 28 days, all participants in two of the dose groups had significant levels of binding antibodies. “We are encouraged by the clinical data of BNT162b1, one of four mRNA constructs we are evaluating clinically, and for which we have positive, preliminary, topline findings,” said Kathrin Jansen, head of Pfizer’s vaccine research and development. “We are dedicated to develop potentially groundbreaking vaccines and medicines, and in the face of this global health crisis, we approach this goal with the utmost urgency.” In other coronavirus news, Texas reported a record in new cases yesterday, while California reported its second-biggest daily jump. And more than 40% of the U.S. has halted or reversed economic reopening measures as cases surge higher.
ADP said private payrolls grew by 2.369 million in June, a bit lower than economists’ expectations for 2.5 million. The figure represents a decline from an upwardly revised May, which saw 3.065 million. “Small business hiring picked up in the month of June,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “As the economy slowly continues to recover, we are seeing a significant rebound in industries that once experienced the greatest job losses.” The Labor Department will release its official nonfarm payrolls number for June tomorrow, and economists estimate a gain of 2.9 million.
United Airlines was up nearly 6% this morning after the carrier said it’s planning to add around 25,000 flights in August amid an uptick in air travel. “While travel demand remains a fraction of what it was at the end of 2019, customers are slowly returning to flying, with a preference for leisure destinations, trips to reunite with friends and family, and getaways to places that encourage social distancing,” United said in a press release. Even with the increased number of flights, United will still be roughly half of its domestic capacity from August 2019, and a quarter of the international service.
In earnings news, FedEx shares are up more than 14% today after the shipper reported better-than-expected earnings after the bell yesterday. FedEx saw a 20% surge in revenue in its Ground unit and margins that held up better than expected with the company delivering adjusted profit of $2.53 per share, compared to analysts’ expected profit of $1.52. “Ground margin performance was much better than feared,” said Credit Suisse analyst Allison Landry. “This relative stabilization will go a long way toward restoring investor confidence that FDX has a handle on reining in what the market had deemed to be out-of-control cost inflation.” Macy’s said this morning that it swung to a first quarter loss inline with previous estimates as the coronavirus pandemic cut sales roughly in half in its fiscal first quarter ended May 2. The department store warned that while it expects to see a “gradual sales recovery,” it’s already seeing sales fall in states where coronavirus cases are rising.
And Beyond Meat shares are up around 8% this morning following the alternative meat producer’s announcement that it will start selling its meatless burger patties in supermarkets in mainland China as part of an agreement with Alibaba. Starting this weekend, Beyond Burgers will be available at 50 of Alibaba’s Freshippo grocery store locations in Shanghai, and the patties will be available at an additional 48 locations in Beijing and Hangzhou by September. “We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China,” said CEO Ethan Brown in a statement, “and we’re pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry.”
Stocks We’re Watching
Alterity Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ATHE): Alterity shares are up nearly 54% as of this writing following yesterday’s announcement that it has received guidance from the FDA on the development pathway for ATH434, the company’s lead compound for the treatment of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a Parkinsonian disorder. “The FDA clearly recognizes the seriousness of MSA and the need for new treatments to address this devastating Orphan disease,” said Alterity Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Stamler. “Our pre-IND meeting was very collegial, and I look forward to again collaborating with the Division of Neurology to determine the best development path for ATH434 in the US. With the information obtained from this meeting, we have a clear path forward for conducting our Phase 2 study in MSA.”
By the way, if you liked this article, you'll LOVE this Meaty free training I just published on the top 3 questions and challenges every investor faces AND how to overcome them. It's titled "10k into $2.4 Million in 18 months" and you can grab it for free here