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End of Day Briefing - Recap of Thursday Jan. 14, 2021

Stocks slide ahead of Biden's stimulus plan unveiling

The major averages were seeking a third day of advance but failed to reach that goal as the market awaits President-elect Joe Biden's upcoming announcement of his economic stimulus package. Meanwhile, J&J announced earlier stage clinical testing data that gives the market hope that a third COVID-19 vaccine alternative, and first to require only one shot, may soon be coming in the U.S.

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims surged 181,000 to 965,000 in the week ended January 9. Import prices rose 0.9% and export prices climbed 1.1% in December.

In stimulus news, Reuters reported that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a COVID-19 relief package proposal on Thursday with an economic lifeline that could surpass $1.5T and assist minority communities. The package includes a commitment for $1,400 stimulus checks, and the president-elect is expected to commit to partner with private companies to boost the number of Americans receiving vaccines, according to Reuters.

TOP NEWS: Shares of Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) rose 1.7% after interim Phase 1/2a data were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on J&J's single-dose investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate, JNJ-78436735, or Ad26. In announcing the publication of the data, J&J noted that the vaccine candidate "provided an immune response that lasted for at least 71 days," currently the latest timepoint available in this ongoing study, and "was generally well-tolerated across all study participants."

In other COVID-19 news, CNBC reported that Moderna ($MRNA) is looking to test a booster shot for its COVID-19 vaccine "a year after the initial two-dose immunization as the duration of protection from the brand new vaccines is still unclear." Moderna shares closed 4.6% higher.

Shares of Intel ($INTC) moved higher for a second straight session as Wall Street continues to react positively to its naming yesterday of industry and company veteran Pat Gelsinger to take the reins as CEO. Meanwhile, AMD ($AMD) shares slid 1% after BMO Capital analyst Ambrish Srivastava downgraded the rival chipmaking company to Underperform, arguing that part of its valuation has been attributable to Intel missteps that should end with Gelsinger in charge.

In M&A news, Cisco ($CSCO) and Acacia Communications ($ACIA) announced an amendment to the definitive merger agreement under which Cisco previously agreed to acquire Acacia. Under the terms of the new agreement, Cisco will acquire Acacia for $115 per share in cash, or about$4.5B on a fully diluted basis, net of cash and marketable securities.

In IPO news, Poshmark ($POSH) opened for trading at $97.50 after pricing its initial public offering of 6M shares of its Class A common stock at $42 per share.

In earnings news, Delta ($DAL) shares advanced 2.6% despite the airline having reported worse than expected losses for its just completed quarter.

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Lexicon ($LXRX), which rose over 105% after it received U.S. FDA regulatory feedback that the results of its SOLOIST and SCORED Phase 3 clinical studies can support a new drug application submission. Also higher was Organogenesis ($ORGO), which gained 29% after announcing it enrolled its first patient in Phase 3 trial of ReNu.

Among the notable losers was CleanSpark ($CLSK), which declined 9.2% after Culper Research issued a short report on the stock. Also lower was FuelCell ($FCEL), which fell 8% after JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster downgraded the stock to Underweight from Neutral.

Economic data released today was limited to jobless claims and import/export prices:

  • For the week ending January 9, initial claims spiked by 181,000 to 965,000 ( consensus 780,000). That's the highest claims number since August. Continuing claims for the week ending January 2 increased by 199,000 to 5.271 million.
    • The key takeaway from the report for the market is that it simply paints the need for additional stimulus; hence, this bad news gets interpreted as good news.
  • Import prices rose 0.9% in December while the November increase was revised up to 0.2% from 0.1%. Excluding oil, import prices rose 0.4% after decreasing a revised 0.2% (from -0.3%) in November. Export prices rose 1.1% in December while the November increase was revised up to 0.7% from 0.6%. Excluding agriculture, export prices rose 1.3% after increasing 0.3% in November.

  • Russell 2000 +9.1% YTD
  • Nasdaq Composite +1.7% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.3% YTD
  • S&P 500 +1.1% YTD

Market Snapshot
SP 5003795.54-14.30(-0.38%)
10-yr Note -7/321.129
NYSEAdv 2182 Dec 958 Vol 1.04 bln
NasdaqAdv 2687 Dec 1073 Vol 6.60 bln

Industry Watch
Strong: Energy, Industrials, Financials, Real Estate
Weak: Utilities, Consumer Staples, Technology, Consumer Discretionary, Communication Services

Moving the Market

Biden administration will reportedly seek $2 trln in fiscal spending

Initial claims reach highest level since late August

Disclosure: I may trade in the ticker symbols mentioned, both long or short. My articles represent my personal opinion and analysis and should not be taken as investment advice. Readers should do their own research before making decisions to buy or sell securities. Trading and investing include risks, including loss of principal.

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