U.S. stock futures were mixed in pre-market trading on Cyber Monday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 180 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures slumped 0.4% lower, while Nasdaq 100 futures traded in positive territory.
Italy’s antitrust authority has fined Apple €10 million ($12 million) for “deceptive” and “aggressive” trade practices related to its iPhones. The tech giant is being accused of two misleading commercial practices. The first has to do with the advertisement and promotion of iPhones as being water-resistant. It also deemed Apple’s commercial practice of refusing to assist customers who claimed their phones were damaged by water or other liquids as “aggressive.” Meanwhile, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives recently reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $150 price target, noting, “We estimate that Apple is on pace to sell over 90 million AirPods units in 2020 and is now on a trajectory to potentially reach 115 million units in 2021 with a new version slated to be unveiled in the April/May 2021 timeframe.”
Aegon NV has agreed to sell its Central and Eastern European business to Vienna Insurance Group AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe (VIG) for €830 million ($993 million). According to the insurer, it will divest its insurance, pension and asset management business in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey, as it seeks to raise capital to improve its cash position, with the sale proceeds set to increase its financial flexibility to execute on its strategic priorities.
General Motors will potentially apply for a banking charter to revive its lending facilities, in a move that would allow it to accept deposits and expand its auto-finance business, the Wall Street Journal reported. Per the plan, the vehicle maker’s finance arm, General Motors Financial Company Inc., has been talking to federal and state banking regulators for months about forming an industrial loan company and could file applications to do so as early as December. An industrial-loan charter allows non-banking bodies to own both commercial firms and banks, which is prohibited by a traditional banking license.
In healthcare news, Moderna shares gained 16% on November 27 after it revealed it has reached an agreement with the UK to supply another 2 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, in addition to the 5 million doses already secured earlier this month. As per the terms of the agreement, the additional 2 million doses of its vaccine candidate will be supplied in March 2021, assuming they are granted all regulatory approvals. Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel stated, “We appreciate the collaboration with the UK government as with many other governments and other key partners around the world… We are proud of the progress on mRNA-1273 we have made to date including the positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study.”
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that the European Commission has approved the label extension for Symkevi with Kalydeco to include the treatment of cystic fibrosis in children aged 6 to 11 years. According to management, the combination therapy of Symkevi (tezacaftor/ivacaftor) with Kalydeco (ivacaftor) was approved for patients aged 6 years and older who have “two copies of the F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene or one copy of the F508del mutation and one copy of one of 14 mutations in the CFTR gene that result in residual CFTR activity.” The treatment will be available immediately to additional eligible patients in Germany. It will also be available shortly after in countries that have long-term reimbursement agreements with Vertex, including the UK, Denmark and Ireland.
Meanwhile, Exelixis’ partner, Takeda Pharmaceutical, revealed it has been granted approval by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for Cabometyx (cabozantinib), its treatment for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (or HCC) that has progressed after prior systemic therapy. The approval is supported by the results of two clinical trials in patients with advanced HCC who had received prior systemic therapy. “The approval of CABOMETYX in Japan is an exciting next step toward bringing this treatment to liver cancer patients who otherwise have limited treatment options following prior systemic therapy. We’re proud to collaborate with Takeda as we work to bring this treatment to patients in Japan,” Exelixis’ CEO Michael Morrissey said.