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9:28 a.m. Dec. 3, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck to supply Government of Canada with up to 1 million courses molnupiravir, its COVID-19 pillMerck & Co. Inc. said Friday that it has entered into an agreement to supply the Government of Canada with up to one million patient courses of its COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, which is being developed in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Earlier this week, an that the drug maker's oral antiviral treatment of COVID-19 be authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Under terms of the supply agreement, Merck will supply 500,000 patient courses of molnupiravir in 2022, and has granted options for up to 500,000 more courses, pending approval by Health Canada. Merck's stock fell 0.8% in afternoon trading. It has lost 5.1% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which Merck is a component, has slipped 2.7%.
9:10 a.m. Dec. 1, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
First U.S. case of omicron strain of coronavirus has been confirmed, Fauci saysThe U.S. has its first confirmed case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus causing COVID-19, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's top medical adviser, during a briefing on Wednesday for reporters. "The California and San Francisco departments of public health and the CDC have confirmed that a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the omicron variant," Fauci said. "The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29. The individual is self quarantining, and all close contacts have been contacted and all close contacts thus far have tested negative. The individual was fully vaccinated and experienced mild symptoms, which are improving at this point. So this is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant detected in the United States."
8:01 a.m. Nov. 30, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Apple stock sticks out as it jumps into record territory while the Dow and the rest of its components dropShares of Apple Inc. stuck out like a sore thumb Tuesday, as they rallied 2.0% toward a record close in afternoon trading, to be the only one of 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average components to be gaining ground. Meanwhile, the Dow tumbled 635 points, or 1.8%, and was now 5.3% below its Nov. 8 record close of 36,432.22. Apple's stock has run up 9.1% in November, the biggest monthly gain since it rallied 9.9% in June, and compared with the Dow's monthly decline of 3.7%. Apple's stock is the best Dow performer this month, and one of just five Dow stocks that have gained ground in November, with Home Depot Inc.'s stock second best with an 8.5% monthly gain. Meanwhile, Merck & Co. Inc.'s stock was the Dow's worst monthly performer with a 15.5% tumble.
1:40 a.m. Nov. 30, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck, AstraZeneca's sNDA for breast cancer treatment granted priority review by the FDAMerck & Co. Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC said Tuesday that their supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for its breast cancer treatment Lynparza has been accepted and granted priority review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Lynparza's sNDA is for the adjuvant treatment of patients with BRCA-mutated, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative high-risk early breast cancer who have already been treated with chemotherapy. The sNDA was based on results from a Phase 3 trial that showed Lynparza demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in invasive disease-free survival, reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer recurrence, second cancers or death by 42% versus placebo. Merck's stock slipped 0.2% in premarket trading, but outperformed the 1.2% drop in futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ahead of the open.
9:00 a.m. Nov. 26, 2021 - By Robert Schroeder
White House announces restrictions on travel from South Africa, 7 other countries The White House on Friday announced the U.S. will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other African nations starting Monday. Senior administration officials said the policy is being put in place "out of an abundance of caution in light of a new COVID-19 variant circulating in Southern Africa." The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 900 points on Friday on concerns over the new variant, which the World Health Organization . The seven other countries are Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Administration officials said the new policy doesn't apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. A White House official said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the new COVID variant.
3:03 a.m. Nov. 24, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine wins full approval in Canada in first major regulatory nodJohnson & Johnson said Wednesday its one-dose COVID-19 vaccine has been granted full approval by Health Canada, marking its first major regulatory approval. The vaccine has been granted an emergency use authorization in the U.S. So far, only the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech SE has gained full approval from the U.S. regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, in an August decision. A full approval allows the vaccine to be and experts were hopeful it would help persuade unvaccinated people that the vaccine is safe and effective. "As vaccination rates continue to climb, a vaccine that prevents severe disease and protects against COVID-related hospitalization and death will help ease the strain on healthcare systems and is an important option for people in Canada and around the world," said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., global head, Janssen Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson, in a statement. J&J shares were slightly lower premarket, but have gained 2% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 17% and the S&P 500 has gained 25%.
6:41 a.m. Nov. 18, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
Pelosi: House vote on Biden's social-spending bill could occur as soon as todayHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said her chamber was close to advancing Democrats' social-spending and climate bill, saying a vote "hopefully will take place later this afternoon." House Democrats have been on the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act that President Joe Biden has been promoting, while Republicans have continued to criticize the measure amid the highest inflation in three decades. A small group of moderate Democrats has demanded a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill before moving forward, and Pelosi said during a news conference that she expected "final CBO estimates later this afternoon, hopefully by five o'clock."
1:26 a.m. Nov. 18, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 255 million and AstraZeneca says antibody treatment reduces risk of symptomatic illnessThe global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 255 million on Thursday, while the death toll edged above 5.12 million, according to . The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 47.4 million cases and 767,435 deaths. The U.S. is still averaging more than 1,100 deaths a day, although cases and hospitalizations are declining. Michigan and Minnesota are leading the nation by new cases on a per capital basis with caseloads up more than 60% in the last two weeks. AstraZeneca Plc said that Phase 3 trials of its AZD7442 antibody combination confirmed that the treatment reduces risk of developing symptomatic COVID, The pharmaceutical company said the analysis of its continuing trial evaluating a median six months of participant follow-up revealed that one dose of AZD7442 showed 83% reduced symptomatic Covid-19 risk and no severe disease or deaths. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.5 million and has suffered 464,623 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 611,851 and 21.9 million cases. In Europe, Russia has the most fatalities at 255,448 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 143,801.
2:20 a.m. Nov. 16, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
UPDATE: Pfizer to allow generics companies to make its COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment, expand access to poorer countriesPfizer Inc. said Tuesday it has signed a voluntary license agreement with United Nations-backed public health organization the Medicines Patent Pool that will allow generics makers to manufacture its COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment. The move will help expand access to the drug to low and middle-income countries. Under the terms of the main license agreement, qualified generic medicine manufacturers worldwide that are granted sub-licenses "will be able to supply PF-07321332 in combination with ritonavir to 95 countries, covering up to approximately 53% of the world's population," the company said in a statement. "This includes all low- and lower-middle-income countries and some upper-middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as countries that have transitioned from lower-middle to upper-middle-income status in the past five years. " Pfizer will not receive royalties on sales in those countries and will also waive royalties on sales in all countries covered by the agreement as long as COVID remains classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. Pfizer said last week it would seek an emergency-use authorization for the treatment "as soon as possible." The company released data from a double-blind Phase 2/3 clinical trial in 1,219 unvaccinated adults with COVID-19 who were at high risk of severe disease and found it reduced the risk of dying or ending up in the hospital by 89%. Less than 1% of the patients who took the drug were hospitalized by the 28-day mark, compared with the 7% who received the placebo and were hospitalized or died. Participants took two pills a day for five days. Antivirals are expected to become a game changer in the pandemic, as they can be taken at home, while the current treatments are done by infusion in a clinical setting. Pfizer shares were down 0.7% premarket but have gained 35% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 18% and the S&P 500 has gained 25%.
1:32 a.m. Nov. 12, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
J&J plans to split into two public companies and separate consumer and drug businessesJohnson & Johnson shares jumped 3.6% in premarket trade Friday, after that the company plans to split into two companies, splitting off the consumer group from the prescription drugs and medical devices business. The company confirmed the story in a release early Friday. J&J will separate the consumer business in 18 to 24 months, he said, because its customers and markets have diverged so much from the rest of the business in recent years, including during the pandemic. "The best path forward to ensure sustainable growth over the long term and better meet patient and consumer demands is to have our consumer business operate as a separate healthcare company," Mr. Gorsky said in an interview. The company intends to conduct the separation on a tax-free basis, although details have yet to be worked out, said Gorsky. Pfizer Inc. and Merck have also decided to split their consumer and drug businesses, and earlier this week, General Electric Co. J&J shares have gained 3.6% in the year through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 17% and the S&P 500 has gained 24%.
1:14 a.m. Nov. 9, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck stock rallies after U.S. plans to buy 1.4 million more COVID-19 pill courses for $1 billion if authorizedShares of Merck & Co. Inc. rallied 1.9% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the drug maker and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said the U.S. government will exercise options to buy 1.4 million additional courses of the companies' for $1 billion if the COVID-19 treatment is either granted Emergency Use Authorization or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. That brings the total commitment from the U.S. government to 3.1 million course of molnupiravir for $2.2 billion, between authorization and early 2022. The U.S. government still has options to buy 2 million more courses. Merck's stock had lost 8.7% over the past two sessions, after closing at a record $90.54 on Nov. 4, after Pfizer Inc. released data on its that appeared to show greater efficacy than Merck's pill. Merck's stock has gained 6.0% year to date through Monday, while Pfizer shares have soared 31.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 19.0%.
6:58 a.m. Nov. 5, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck stock's biggest selloff in nearly 17 years is cutting close to 60 points off the Dow's priceShares of Merck & Co. tumbled 9.5% in midday trading Friday, putting them on track to suffer the biggest one-day drop since January 2005, after Pfizer Inc. released data on that showed greater efficacy than Merck's. The stock's price decline of $8.61 was shaving about 57 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average's price, while the Dow rallied 246 points, or 0.7%. The stock's big selloff, the stock has retraced about 56% of the gain, from the Sept. 29 close of $75.11 to the Thursday's record close of $90.54, that was triggered by that it developed an oral treatment for COVID-19 with partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
2:28 a.m. Nov. 5, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Merck shares slide premarket as Pfizer soars on data from trial of rival COVID-19 antiviral treatmentMerck & Co. Inc. shares slid 10% in premarket trading Friday after Pfizer Inc. said its oral antiviral treatment candidate for COVID-19 reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in non-hospitalized high-risk adults in a Phase 2/3 trial. Merck said last month that its experimental treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 50% in a late-stage trial. It has already submitted an application to U.S. regulators for authorization. Experts have said oral treatments for COVID-19 would be a game-changer as they would allow patients to be treated at home, while current treatments need to be conducted in a clinical setting using intravenous or subcutaneous infusion. Pfizer shares were last up about 10%. Among vaccine makers, Moderna Inc. shares were down 6% and Johnson & Johnson shares were down 0.4%.
2:00 a.m. Nov. 5, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Pfizer shares soar after data finds COVID antiviral reduced risk of death or hospitalization by 89% in high-risk adultsPfizer Inc. shares jumped 13% in premarket trade Friday, after the company said interim data from a Phase 2/3 trial of its oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID. The company said the interim data set came from 1,219 adults who were enrolled in the trial by Sept. 29. The trial stopped recruiting patients at about 70% of the 3,000 planned patients from trials across North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, with 45% of patients located in the United States. There were no deaths in patients who received Paxlovid, while 10 people on placebo died. The company is planning to submit the data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as part of a rolling submission for an emergency use authorization as soon as possible. "These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients' lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. Pfizer shares have gained 19% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 18% and the S&P 500 has gained 24.6%.
6:40 a.m. Nov. 3, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
House Democrats put paid leave back in social-spending bill, Manchin still opposesTop House Democrats and on Wednesday said they were putting a provision on paid family and medical leave back into the Build Back Better Act, their party's $1.75 trillion social-spending bill. Last week, from the sweeping measure, as Democratic lawmakers worked to come to an agreement. A key moderate Democratic senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, told reporters he still opposes including paid leave, when he was asked about the move by Pelosi and Neal.
2:00 a.m. Nov. 2, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Pfizer shares jump 2.5% premarket as earnings beat, company raises guidance Pfizer Inc. shares jumped 2.5% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company beat earnings estimates for the third quarter and raised guidance, boosted by strong sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty. The company posted net income of $8.146 billion, or $1.42 a share, for the quarter, up from $1.469 billion, or 26 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.34, well ahead of the $1.08 FactSet consensus. Revenue more than doubled to $24.094 billion from $10.277 billion, also comfortably ahead of the $22.576 billion FactSet consensus. Vaccine revenue rose to $14.6 billion from $1.717 billion. "More than 75% of the revenues we have recorded up through third-quarter 2021 for Comirnaty have come from supplying countries outside the U.S., and we remain on track to achieve our goal of delivering at least two billion doses to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2022 -- at least one billion to be delivered this year and one billion next year, with the possibility to increase those deliveries if more orders are placed by these countries for 2022," CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. The company is expecting full-year COVID vaccine sales of about $36 billion, reflecting the 2.3 billion doses expected to be delivered in the year. It raised its overall full-year guidance and now expects adjusted EPS to range from $4.13 to $4.18, up from prior guidance of $3.95 to $4.05. It expects revenue to range from $81.0 to $82.0 billion, up from prior guidance of $78.0 billion to $80.0 billion. Shares have gained 18.6% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 17% and the S&P 500 has gained 22.8%.
1:43 a.m. Oct. 28, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck stock gains after profit and revenue rise above expectations, and upbeat full-year outlookShares of Merck & Co. Inc. rose 1.0% in premarket trading Thursday, after the drug maker and animal health company reported third-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations and provided and upbeat full-year outlook. Net income rose to $4.57 billion, or $1.80 a share, from $2.94 billion, or $1.16 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.75 from $1.37, and beat the FactSet consensus of $1.55. Sales grew 20.4% to $13.15 billion, well above the FactSet consensus of $12.32 billion, as pharmaceutical sales increased 18.3% to $11.50 billion, with Keytruda sales rising 22.0%, and animal health sales rose 16.1% to $1.42 billion. For 2021, the company expects adjusted EPS of $5.65 to $5.70, above the FactSet consensus of $5.63, and revenue of $47.4 billion to $47.9 billion, surrounding expectations of $47.60 billion. The stock has gained 4.1% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 1.6%.
1:15 a.m. Oct. 25, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announce start of rolling review of COVID antiviral in EuropeMerck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said Monday the European Medicines Agency has started a rolling review of molnupiravir, its oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 in adults. "Merck plans to work with the EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) to complete the rolling review process to facilitate initiating the formal review of the Marketing Authorization Application," the company said in a statement. The partner have already submitted an application for emergency use authorization for the treatment with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has said it would seek the same from other regulatory agencies around the world. If molnupiravir is granted marketing authorization in the EU, it would become the first oral medicine for the coronavirus-borne illness in the trading bloc. Merck and Ridgeback already that showed it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death in adults at risk from severe COVID-19 by 50%. While several effective vaccines have been developed against the illness, far fewer treatments have emerged, and those that have require infusions and must be administered in a clinical setting. Molnupiravir is a pill administered orally in capsule form every 12 hours for five days, according to clinicaltrials.gov. Through Day 29 in the Phase 3 trial, no patients given molnupiravir died, compared with the eight patients who died on the placebo. Merck expects to produce 10 million courses of the treatment by the end of the year. Merck shares were slightly higher premarket and have gained 4% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 17%.
1:08 a.m. Oct. 14, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
UnitedHealth shares up premarket after earnings beat estimates, raises guidanceUnitedHealth Group Inc. shares jumped 1.7% in premarket trade Thursday, after the health benefits company beat earnings estimates for the third quarter and raised its guidance. The company posted net income of $4.086 billion, or $4.28 a share, up from $3.172 billion, or $3.30 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $4.52, ahead of the $4.41 FactSet consensus. Revenue rose to $72.337 billion from $65.115 billion, also ahead of the $71.347 billion FactSet consensus. The company raised its full-year guidance and now expects EPS to range from $17.70 to $17.95, and for adjusted EPS to range from $18.65 to $18.90. The FactSet consensus is for full-year EPS of $18.75. Shares have gained 15% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average [s :djia] has gained 12%.
1:12 a.m. Oct. 11, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck, Ridgeback submit EUA application for their pill to treat COVID-19 Merck & Co. Inc. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said Monday that Merck has submitted an application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the Food and Drug Administration for molnupiravir, their oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults. The companies said the application followed positive results from a Phase 3 trial which showed that with adults at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 50%. The companies said 7.3% (28 of 385) of those who received molnupiravir were hospitalized and there were not deaths after 29 days, while 14.1% of patients treated with a placebo (53 of 377) were hospitalized and there were eight deaths. "The extraordinary impact of this pandemic demands that we move with unprecedented urgency, and that is what our teams have done by submitting this application for molnupiravir to the FDA within 10 days of receiving the data," said Merck Chief Executive Robert Davis. Merck's stock, which fell 1.2% in premarket trading, has gained 3.4% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 13.5%.
6:02 a.m. Oct. 7, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
There's only 1 Dow stock that's fallingThe Dow Jones Industrial Average is shooting up 537 points, or 1.6%, with 29 of its 30 components gaining ground, signs that the government's debt ceiling deadline will be extended. The only stock losing ground was International Business Machine Corp.'s , which slipped 0.1%, putting it on track for a third straight loss. Meanwhile, as the best performing shares, Dow Inc. rallied 3.6%, Nike Inc. hiked up 2.7% and UnitedHealth Group Inc. advanced 2.6%. IBM's stock was also on of the two of the 75 equity components of the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF that was losing ground, the other was Citrix Systems Inc.'s , which slipped 0.4%.
1:42 a.m. Oct. 5, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
J&J amends FDA EUA submission for COVID-19 booster with data showing 94% protection against moderate to severe illnessJohnson & Johnson said Tuesday it has submitted an amendment to the emergency use authorization it's seeking from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine with additional data showing it increased protection to 94% against moderate to severe or critical COVID-19 in the U.S. The submission includes recent data from a Phase 3 trial that found the booster given 56 days after primary dose provided 94% protection against symptomatic illness in moderate to severe/critical COVID-19 and 100% protection against severe/critical COVID-19, at least 14 days post-booster vaccination. The submission further includes Phase 1/2 data that shows a booster given six months after the single shot vaccine increases antibody levels nine-fold a week after the booster that climbs to 12-fold higher four weeks after the booster. J&J is planning to submit the data to other regulators, to the World Health Organization and National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups. Shares were up 0.5% premarket and have gained 1.2% in the year through Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11%.
1:19 a.m. Oct. 5, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 235 million and AstraZeneca seeks FDA EUA for antibodyThe global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 235.4 million on Tuesday, while the death toll rose above 4.8 million, according to . The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 43.8 million cases and 703,285 deaths, after passing 700,000 late Friday. The U.S. is now averaging almost 2,000 deaths a day, , a slight improvement over recent trends and new cases and hospitalizations are declining. AstraZeneca has requested an Emergency Use Authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its Covid-19 prophylaxis AZD7442, If granted, AZD7442 would be the first long-acting antibody to receive an EUA for Covid-19 prevention. Data from a Phase 3 trial showed a 77% reduction in the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 with long-acting antibody combination, the drug company said. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 33.8 million and has suffered 449,260 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 598,152 and 21.5 million cases. In Europe, Russia has most fatalities at 207,932, followed by the U.K. at 137,378.
8:25 a.m. Sept. 27, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
Biden says 'boosters are important' as he receives his 3rd COVID vaccine shotPresident Joe Biden on Monday d a booster shot for the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, with the jab coming after top U.S. health officials for people over age 65 and certain other groups. "Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated," Biden said just before getting the shot.
1:53 a.m. Sept. 27, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Pfizer starts Phase 2/3 study of COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate for adults exposed to virus Pfizer Inc. said Monday it is starting a Phase 2/3 trial of its investigational novel oral antiviral candidate to treat adults living in a household with someone who has tested positive for and has symptoms of the coronavirus-borne illness COVID-19. The candidate is called PF007321332 and is co-administered with a low dose of ritonavir to prevent infection. "If successful, we believe this therapy could help stop the virus early -- before it has had a chance to replicate extensively -- potentially preventing symptomatic disease in those who have been exposed and inhibiting the onset of infection in others," said Mikael Dolsten, MD, PhD., chief scientific officer and president, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical of Pfizer. The study will enroll up to 2,660 healthy adults aged 18 and older. Pfizer shares were slightly higher premarket and have gained 19% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 13.7%.
5:32 a.m. Sept. 24, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
Biden condemns some border agents' actions toward Haitians: 'Those people will pay'President Joe Biden on Friday condemned earlier this week against Haitian migrants, as he said he takes responsibility and promised consequences following an investigation. "It's outrageous. I promise you: Those people will pay," Biden told reporters. "It's beyond an embarrassment. It's dangerous. It's wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It's simply not who we are."
1:42 a.m. Sept. 21, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Johnson & Johnson says Phase 3 trial data confirms 'strong and long-lasting' protection from COVID-19 vaccine Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday data from a Phase 3 trial and real-world evidence confirm that its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine offers strong and long-lasting protection against hospitalization and death. The company said further data shows that a booster shot offers increased protection. Data shows 94% protection in the U.S. with a booster given at two months, a four-fold increase in antibodies when given at two months and a 12-fold increase when given at six months. "The safety profile of the vaccine remained consistent and was generally well-tolerated when administered as a booster," the company said in a statement. The company has submitted data from the trial to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulators, the World Health Organization and National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) worldwide. The Phase 3 trial included 390,000 people who got the J&J one-shot vaccine versus about 1.52 million unvaccinated people matched on age, sex, time, three-digit zip code and comorbidities and predictors for COVID-19 infection severity. The trial was conducted from March to late July 2021. Shares rose 1.1% premarket and have gained 4% in the year through Monday's close, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11% and the S&P 500 has gained 16%.
7:24 a.m. Sept. 17, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Walgreens to pay a $200 incentive to fully vaccinated employeesWalgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said Friday that it will provide a $200 incentive to any employee who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 30. The drugstore chain said the payment will be in the form of myWalgreens cash. "Throughout the pandemic, we have followed the science, which shows that vaccinations are the best way to protect against the spread of COVID-19," said Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Kevin Ban. "This new incentive is one more way we are building on our progress to ensure team members are vaccinated, and complying fully with ." Separately, the company said it will pay a one-time bonus of $1,250 to full-time pharmacists this month, and a $1,000 bonus to part-time pharmacists. And pharmacy technicians who are are certified to administer flu and COVID-19 vaccines will receive a $1,000 reward. The stock, which fell 0.5% in midday trading, has declined 5.9% over the past three months, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has gained 2.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 2.3%.
7:54 a.m. Sept. 16, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Bristol Myers stock falls toward 6-month low, set to suffer longest losing streak in 3 1/2 yearsShares of Bristol Myers Squibb Co. slumped 1.7% in midday trading Thursday toward a six-month low, putting them on track to suffer the longest losing streak in 3 1/2 years. The stock is headed for a ninth-straight loss, and has declined 7.8% during that stretch. The last time it suffered a losing streak that long was the nine-day stretch ended April 23, 2018, when the stock fell 8.8%, according to data compiled by Dow Jones Market Data. The selloff comes as Congress is working on the infrastructure bill, with Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal saying the bill will "very likely" include drug-cost provisions. Gal expects the three main provisions to be the benchmarking of drug prices in Medicare or drug-price negotiation, caps on price increases to inflation and restructuring of Medicare Part D to eliminate the coverage gap and catastrophic patient participation. Meanwhile, Gal said large-capitalization biopharma stock should move higher on legislation along Senate Finance Committee lines, as they can partially offset the 5%-15% downside on higher volumes, lower costs and higher drug prices at introduction. The SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF is down 1.1% toward a 10-month low, and has shed 3.5% during its current six-day losing streak. In comparison, the S&P 500 is down 0.4% on Thursday, and has lost ground in seven of that past nine sessions.
5:41 a.m. Sept. 8, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
Schumer rejects Manchin's call for 'pause' on $3.5 trillion spending packageSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday pushed back on a fellow Democratic senator's recent call for a " " on their party's effort to . "We're moving full speed ahead," Schumer told reporters, when asked about the suggestion last week from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
11:38 a.m. Sept. 2, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
Manchin tells fellow Democrats to 'hit a strategic pause' on $3.5 trillion packageDemocratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Thursday again voiced opposition to his party's efforts to pass a $3.5 trillion spending package, saying in a that Congress "should hit a strategic pause" on legislation related to it. "I, for one, won't support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs," Manchin wrote. "This is even more important now as the that these life-saving programs will be insolvent and benefits could start to be reduced as soon as 2026 for Medicare and 2033, a year earlier than previously projected, for Social Security." The moderate Democrat, whose vote is key given the Senate's 50-50 split, made similar points three weeks ago, as he warned of " " if Democrats pass the $3.5 trillion package.
1:58 a.m. Sept. 1, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck, Ridgeback start Phase 3 trial of oral drug to prevent COVID-19Shares of Merck & Co. Inc. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said Wednesday that they have started a Phase 3 trial of molnupiravir, and oral antiviral therapeutics for the prevention of COVID-19 infection. Merck's stock gained 0.4% in premarket trading. The drug makers said the study is enrolling people at least 18 years old who live in the same house as someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and had symptoms. Primary endpoints include percentage of participants with COVID-19 through day 14, the percentage of those with an adverse event and the percentage of those who had to discontinue to the study because of an adverse event. ""As the pandemic continues to evolve and surges are being reported in many places around the world, it is important that we investigate new ways to protect individuals exposed to the virus from becoming infected with symptomatic disease," said Dr. Nick Kartsonis, senior vice president, vaccines and infectious diseases, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories. "If successful, molnupiravir could provide an important additional option towards reducing the burden of COVID-19 on our communities." Merck's stock has slipped 2.2% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has rallied 19.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 15.5%.
9:36 a.m. Aug. 17, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
White House: Biden to make remarks on booster shotsThe Biden administration's health experts will host a briefing on Wednesday to "discuss next steps as it relates to boosters," and people "can expect to hear from the president on this topic as well," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday during a briefing. President Joe Biden's administration is reportedly for everyone who qualifies.
10:25 a.m. Aug. 12, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
Biden says he stands with doctors, local leaders who want masks in schoolsPresident Joe Biden on Thursday expressed support for medical professionals and local leaders who advocate for children wearing masks in schools in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as he noted that he'd seen video that has gone viral of at a Tennessee school board meeting. "To the mayors, school superintendents, educators, local leaders who are standing up to the governors politicizing mass protection for our kids: Thank you," Biden said before giving . "Thank God that we have heroes like you, and I stand with you all, and America should as well."
4:10 a.m. Aug. 9, 2021 - By Victor Reklaitis
Senate Democrats release budget resolution for their $3.5 trillion packageSenate Democrats on Monday that would allow them to pass their $3.5 trillion package focused on "human infrastructure," climate change and other Democratic priorities. The Democratic-run Senate is aiming to take a to big spending, with the $3.5 trillion package advancing by a simple majority vote through a process known as budget reconciliation after the chamber passes a $1 trillion .
1:49 a.m. July 29, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Merck stock slips after adjusted profit matches expectations, while revenue beatsShares of Merck & Co. Inc. fell 0.9% in premarket trading Thursday, after the drug maker reported second-quarter adjusted profit that matched expectations, while sales rose above forecasts even as Keytruda sales came up short. Net income fell to $1.55 billion, or 61 cents a share, from $3.00 billion, or $1.18 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, such as a $1.7 billion charge for the acquisition of Pandion Therapeutics, adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.31 from $1.02 to match the FactSet consensus of $1.31. Sales grew 19% to $11.40 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $11.08 billion. Pharmaceutical sales rose 22% to $9.98 billion, while sales of its key cancer treatment Keytruda increased 23% to $4.18 billion but missed expectations of $4.35 billion. For 2021, the company expects adjusted EPS of $5.47 to $5.57, surrounding the FactSet consensus of $5.52, and expects revenue of $46.4 billion to $47.4 billion, above expectations of $46.2 billion. Merck's stock has edged up 0.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 14.1%.
5:07 a.m. July 26, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
AMC stock bounces, on early track to snap loss streak on an upbeat day for meme stocksShares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. bounced 6.4% in morning trading Monday, putting them on an early track to snap a three-day losing streak, amid an upbeat day for other meme stocks. AMC shares had dropped 14.2% over the past three days, but since that decline followed a 24.5% surge last Tuesday, the movie theater operator's stock rose 5.8% last week. That weekly gain snapped in the shares tumbled 41.0%. Meanwhile, shares of GameStop Corp. rose 2.6%. Elsewhere, shares of BlackBerry Ltd. tacked on 0.6%, Clover Health Investments Corp. rose 3.4% and Nokia Corp. advanced 1.5%. The upbeat start to the week for the group comes as Robinhood Markets Inc. , that is a favorite of the meme crowd, is set to go public later this week. The gains also come on a mixed day for the broader stock market, as the Russell 2000 rallied 0.8% but the S&P 500 was virtually flat and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 54 points, or 0.2%.
1:45 a.m. July 21, 2021 - By Ciara Linnane
Johnson & Johnson beats earnings estimates for Q2 and raises full-year guidanceJohnson & Johnson shares rose 1.1% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the consumer and health company beat earnings estimates for the second quarter and raised its full-year guidance. The company said it had net income of $6.278 billion, or $2.35 a share, up from $3.626 billion, or $1.36 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.48, ahead of the $2.29 FactSet consensus. Sales rose 27.1% to $23.312 billion from $18.336 billion, also ahead of the $22.490 billion FactSet consensus. Chief Executive Alex Gorksy said sales were strong across the company's medical device, consumer health and pharma businesses. Consumer health sales rose 13.5 to $3.735 billion, pharma sales rose 17.2% to $12.599 billion and medical device sales rose 62.7% to $$6.978 billion. The company raised its full-year guidance and now expects adjusted EPS to range from $9.50 to $9.60, up from prior guidance of $9.30 to $9.45. It expects sales of $92.5 billion to $93.3 billion including its COVID-19 vaccine, versus prior guidance of $89.3 billion to $90.3 billion. Shares have gained 7% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 12.8%.
4:32 a.m. July 20, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
Peloton's stock jumps on UnitedHealth's plan to provide fitness classes to members for freeShares of Peloton Interactive Inc. shot up 4.6% in morning trading Tuesday, after the at-home-fitness company said it will work with UnitedHealth Group Inc. to provide UnitedHealthcare members with access to Peloton classes, at not additional cost. UnitedHealth shares tacked on 0.5%. Starting Sept. 1, as part of UnitedHealthcare's plan benefits, members can enroll with Peloton for access to Peloton's fitness classes. New and existing Peloton Members are eligible to enroll. "Many Americans may be turning to on-demand exercise options to help improve their fitness and bolster their overall well-being, and this first-of-its-kind relationship with Peloton will provide millions of our members with an important resource to help them along their paths toward a healthier lifestyle," said Philip Kaufman, chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. Peloton shares have tumbled 18.3% year to date, while UnitedHealth's stock has climbed 17.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 11.1%.
1:09 a.m. July 15, 2021 - By Tomi Kilgore
UnitedHealth stock rises after profit and revenue beats, raised outlookShares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. rose 1.3% in premarket trading Thursday, after the health care provider reported second-quarter profit and revenue that were well above expectations and raised its full-year outlook, even as the company continued to expect COVID-19 to take a bite out of results. Net income fell to $4.27 billion, or $4.46 a share, from $6.64 billion, or $6.91 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share declined to $4.70 from $7.12, but beat the FactSet consensus of $4.43. Total revenue grew 14.8% to $71.32 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $69.51 billion, as premiums revenue increased 13.8% to $56.23 billion to top expectations of $55.07 billion. Optum revenue rose 17.1% to $38.3 billion. The company raised its 2021 adjusted EPS guidance range to $18.30 to $18.80 from $18.10 to $18.60, with that outlook still including about $1.80 per share in estimated negative COVID-19 effects, which include testing and treatment costs. The stock has rallied 18.3% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has gained 13.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 14.1%.
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