Dec 14, 2020 (IAM Newswire via COMTEX) -- Although previous week was light in terms of earnings, it was everything but light in other areas. Namely, Airbnb /zigman2/quotes/222990650/composite ABNB -2.87% and DoorDash /zigman2/quotes/222973991/composite DASH -1.58% had their long-awaited public debuts and literally crushed it. The UK started rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +0.26% and BioNTech SE /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX +4.48% , giving the world hope that the pandemic-related nightmare will be over soon. But there's more, both news and days shaped by COVID-19.
On Thursday, the FDA approved Pfizer's vaccine that continues to be rolled out in the UK. Some members expressed concern that there was not enough data from adolescents to know whether the vaccine would help them, but the committee decided the benefits for that group outweighed the risks as this vaccine was needed 'yesterday'.Speaking of that matter, Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -3.17% revealed during the week it began studying its vaccine candidate on adolescents.
Back to Pfizer, its officials stated there were no cases of serious allergic reactions in its trial that involved 44,000 participants. But it is important to note that people with a history of allergic reactions to vaccines were excluded from the study. The FDA. has struggled, internally and externally, to move fast in order to curb the deadly virus's spread, but not so fast as to undermine public confidence. It was a thin line to walk, and not helped by accusations of Mr. Trump that they were moving too slowly.
At the same time, regulators were evaluating an equally complex emergency authorization for Moderna's vaccine whose application will be examined publicly during this week's FDA meeting. On Thursday, Pfizer also revealed it will apply for full approval in April next year, after having collected six months of safety data, so it could sell its vaccine directly.
According to PitchBook, a financial software and data service, there have been 129 initial public offerings this year, already more than 110 in 2019, for an estimated total of $252 billion. Airbnb and DoorDash Inc pulled off two of the largest initial public offerings of the year, signaling a return of dot-com-era euphoria and greed. DoorDash closed 86% higher in its Wednesday debut after raising $3.2 billion. On Thursday, Airbnb jilted 115% on its first day of trading, raising $3.5 billion and expanding its market cap above $100 billion.
On Wednesday, Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +0.14% was attacked on two fronts. The twin lawsuits brought by the FTC and by a coalition of 46 states, led by New York, could be its biggest existential threat yet. America's competition regulator filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook alleging that it bought WhatsApp and Instagram, two social-media rivals, to crush and overwhelm its rivals. Facebook argues that the legal actions are an attempt to revise history, as the takeovers were scrutinised at the time, before being approved by regulators. Even if Facebook tries to settle, or agrees to more oversight in order to avoid selling parts of its business, this is big.
US officials have increasingly probed the entire tech sector for potential anticompetitive behavior, focusing particularly on Big Tech that have now integrated into every corner of our lives. The scrutiny has ranged from Apple’s /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -0.38% control over the iOS app ecosystem to Amazon’s /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -1.11% treatment of independent sellers on its e-commerce platform.
The biggest antitrust case to date has been compared to the years-long lawsuit against Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT -0.19% in 1998. As Microsoft's case showed, antitrust lawsuits can take years to play out but they ultimately have an enormous impact. Experts find that this particular one is bigger than the new Google /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -0.38% case as well as the antitrust cases against Microsoft and AT&T /zigman2/quotes/203165245/composite T -0.33% back in the late 80s and 90s, saying it is the most significant antitrust suit since the original trust cases 100 years ago. Microsoft suit was eventually settled, but it paved the way for Google’s rise. Similarly, a court ruling that breaks up Facebook or imposes certain limitations could have wide-ranging effects on what products will be offered to consumers, as well as who is providing them.
As far as earnings are concerned, Adobe /zigman2/quotes/200389143/composite ADBE -0.38% and Stitch Fix /zigman2/quotes/208173073/composite SFIX -5.60% were the highlights of the week as they topped both top and bottom-line estimates, while providing a positive outlook. Adobe is firing on all cylinders with its shares up 45% this year. Its last reported earnings are merely a testament to its excellence, showing it is perfectly equipped to capture the massive market opportunity beyond this unprecedented year. As for Stitch Fix, it has managed to rebound from the disruption the pandemic caused and has showed that with the right helping hand, provided by its stylists and sophisticated data, consumers still have the desire to shop for clothes.
Along with Walt Disney Company /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -2.48% that revealed Disney + gathers 86.8 million subscribers along with its ambitious plans to win streaming wars as it expects to capture the hearts of 230 million and 260 million subscribers by 2024, last week ended up being everything but boring.
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