Wall Street’s main stock indexes pushed higher reaching new record levels as President Donald Trump caved in and signed a long-awaited $2.3 trillion Covid-19 relief bill to catalyze a recovery in the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, while the S&P 500 Index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index both gained 0.9%.
Shares of IMV Inc. jumped more than 14% after the clinical-stage biopharma company said that early studies showed that its vaccine candidate, DPX-COVID-19, has the potential to improve the span of protection against coronavirus infection. IMV concluded that preclinical safety as well as immunogenicity and challenge studies demonstrated a favorable safety profile and the potential for the long duration of antibody titers and protection against SARS-CoV-2. Additional supporting evidence favoring DPX-COVID-19 includes T cell response and “natural” immunity, the company said. Furthermore, the vaccine candidate was shown to be stable at 2°C to 8°C and room temperature for at least three months.
Clariant climbed almost 6% as its biggest shareholder, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), submitted its agenda for the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to take place on April 7, 2021. SABIC, which owns around 32% of Clariant, submitted two items on the agenda that it would like the Clariant Board of Directors to address. SABIC would like the Clariant Board to approve a special dividend of CHF 2 per share, or the maximum amount that can lawfully be distributed, dependent on the company’s financials as of December 31, 2020. The special dividend would amount to approximately $753 million, which according to Reuters, could drain the company’s reserves that could otherwise be used for acquisitions.
In cannabis news, Sundial Growers Inc. has entered into a license agreement with Simply Solventless Concentrates Ltd. (SSC) to produce its solventless cannabis concentrates products. The agreement will allow Sundial to utilize its Rocky View facility, while using SSC’s intellectual property to produce premium inhalable products and to expand its product pipeline. Furthermore, the parties are negotiating the possible sale of Sundial’s Rocky View facility for $5 million, pending the completion of due diligence and licensing approvals. Shares rose 1.5%.
Shares of Village Farms International pulled back after spiking more than 22% in one week. The stock dropped 7.2% after the company came out with a statement regarding the recent rally in the company’s stock price and increased trading volumes. On the request of IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada), Village Farms commented that, “it is not aware of any material, undisclosed information related to the Company that would account for the recent increase in the market price and level of trading volume of its common shares.” IIROC, which is Canada’s self-regulatory organization, had to temporarily suspend trading activity of Village Farms on Dec. 24.
In M&A updates, Delivery Hero surged almost 9% amid a Reuters report that the company has been told by South Korea’s antitrust regulator that approval for its $4 billion takeover of Woowa Brothers will only be given if it sells its Yogiyo subsidiary within six months. Delivery Hero agreed to buy Woowa, Korea’s top food delivery app, last year as it expands into Asia. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said that if the unit was not sold, the combined market share resulting from the takeover would be 97% of food delivery transactions, giving it a near monopoly in the food delivery market.
In earnings news, Weibo plunged 13% as the social media company’s 3Q non-GAAP EPS declined 14% to $0.66 but exceeded analysts’ estimates by $0.06. Advertising and marketing revenues rose by 1% to $416.7 million. Meanwhile, value-added service sales declined by 11% to $49.1 million. Total net revenues in the quarter ended September 30 declined 4% year-on-year to $465.7 million on a constant currency basis, beating Street estimates by $14.81 million.
GameStop shares added another 2.7% after RC Ventures, led by activist investor Ryan Cohen, increased its stake in the video game retailer to 12.9%. According to an SEC filing, RC Ventures now owns 9 million GameStop shares. RC Ventures intends to “continue to engage, in discussions with the Issuer’s Board of Directors regarding means to drive stockholder value, including through changes to the composition of the Board and other corporate governance enhancements,” the company stated in the SEC filing.