Weekly Stock Market Update: COVID-19 Vaccine News Sends Stocks Soaring, Markets May Be More Vulnerable to Bad News

Last Week’s Top Five Market Winners

Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ)

The Nasdaq Stock Market saw some positive movement by PDC Energy Inc. (PDCE), Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG), Signature Bank (SBNY), Intercept Pharma (ICPT) and Regency Centers Corp. (REG).

  • PDC Energy Inc. (PDCE) stocks jumped +36.45% last week off the back of news of positive outcomes of COVID-19 vaccine testing. The distribution of a successful vaccine may signal an increase in demand for oil and other energy products.
  • Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG) also saw strong results following the news of the COVID-19 vaccine testing, with stock value boosted +35.81%.
  • Strong earning estimates by analysts resulted in a strong week for Signature Bank (SBNY), with stock value increasing by +35.05.
  • Intercept Pharma (ICPT) stocks grew +34.53% following news of strong third quarter results.
  • Regency Centers Corp. (REG) also benefitted from the positive news surrounding COVID-19 vaccine testing, enjoying a +34.40% growth in stock value.
PDC Energy Inc. (PDCE) 4.09 (+36.45%) $15.30 USD Consumer Goods
Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG) 8.86 (+35.81%) $33.61 USD Basic Materials
Signature Bank (SBNY) 26.64 (+35.05%) $102.73 USD Financial
Intercept Pharma (ICPT) 9.72 (+34.53%) $37.95 USD Healthcare
Regency Centers Corp. (REG) 11.68 (+34.40%) $45.70 USD Financial


New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

The last seven days have proved positive for Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK), Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. (SPR), Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (PEB), Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) and Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) over on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK) experienced a +51.39% growth over the week, with the cinema operator’s stocks boosted by news of positive outcomes of COVID-19 vaccine testing.
  • News of positive developments in the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine also saw the value of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. (SPR) stocks grow by +39.43% over the last week. A successful vaccine will likely see an increase in air travel, increasing demand for the manufacturer’s products.
  • Over the past week, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (PEB) stocks grew by +37.94%, fuelled by news of promising COVID-19 vaccine trials.
  • The value of Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) stocks increased by +34.81% over the past week, although the reason for this positive movement is currently unclear.
  • Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) stocks benefitted from news of positive developments in the race to create a COVID-19 vaccine, with stocks jumping +33.40% in the last seven days. The distribution of a successful vaccine may signal an increase in demand for oil and other energy products.
Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK) 4.63 (+51.39%) $13.66 USD Consumer Goods
Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. (SPR) 8.56 (+39.43%) $30.31 USD Industrial Goods
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (PEB) 4.72 (+37.94%) $17.20 USD Financial
Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) 4.47 (+34.81%) $17.38 USD Services
Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) 12.75 (+33.40%) $50.99 USD Utilities

Last Week’s Top Five Market Losers

Nasdaq Stock Market (NASDAQ)

Biogen Inc. (BIIB), Tilray Inc. (TLRY), Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND), Peloton Interactive (PTON) and Video Communications Inc. (ZM) all experienced stock value losses on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

  • News of a negative advisory committee vote on the company’s experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug saw Biogen Inc. (BIIB) stocks take a tumble, falling by -24.42%.
  • Tilray Inc. (TLRY) stocks were downgraded last week, leading to a -20.56% fall in stock value.
  • Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND) stocks fell -20.48% after the company’s third quarter results failed to impress investors.
  • Peloton Interactive (PTON) stocks plunged following Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine announcement, with potential for the company’s performance to be impacted by a return to pre-COVID life.
  • Positive news surrounding current COVID-19 vaccine trials led to a -19.30% drop in the value of Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) stocks. News of the positive results began to cast doubts over how much longer the video conferencing software would be in widespread use.
Biogen Inc. (BIIB) -80.31 (-24.42%) $18.19 USD Healthcare
Tilray Inc. (TLRY) -1.98 (-20.56%) $45.96 USD Healthcare
Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND) -32.12 (-20.48%) $64.38 USD Services
Peloton Interactive (PTON) -24.67 (-19.66%) $3.1729 USD Services
Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) -96.53 (-19.30%) $293.75 USD Technology


New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

Strong losses were felt on the New York Stock Exchange by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB), Jumia Technologies AG (JMIA), American Well Corp. (AMWL), Wayfair Inc. (W) and Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH).

  • Following a strong performance over the previous week, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) stocks took a tumble (-27.16%) after it was announced that the company saw less than stellar year-on-year sales and a $81 million net loss. The company also announced plans to sell 20 million new shares.
  • Disappointing third quarter results saw Jumia Technologies AG (JMIA) stocks fall -22.48%.
  • The release of the company’s third quarter results also saw the value of American Well Corp. (AMWL) stocks plummet by -21.74%.
  • Wayfair Inc. (W) stocks were also impacted by news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, falling by -21.68%. 2020 saw a strong increase in purchases of home office furniture, with a successful vaccine potentially signalling a future fall in sales.
  • The value of Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH) stocks fell by -14.32%, although the cause of this is not currently clear.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) -2.6377 (-27.16%) $7.0964 USD Healthcare
Jumia Technologies AG (JMIA) -4.26 (-22.48%) $14.73 USD Services
American Well Corp. (AMWL) -6.61 (-21.74%) $23.70 USD Services
Wayfair Inc. (W) -65.2900 (-21.68%) $236.8229 USD Services
Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH) -1.37 (-14.32%) $8.23 USD Healthcare

Highlights and Lowlights

COVID-19 Vaccine News Sends Stocks Soaring

 News of Pfizer’s successful COVID-19 vaccine trials, the latter, offering up to 90% efficacy, set stock markets soaring last week. The pharmaceutical company’s vaccine trial had entered its third phase, with human trials providing promising results. Off the back of this news, stocks in some of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic, including airlines, hotels, energy providers and more, saw a sharp increase in value, with speculation gathering around how soon people could start travelling, returning to their offices and enjoying a variety of out-of-home leisure activities.

While many companies benefitted from the announcement, some that had seen business boom following lockdown and a widespread switch to working from home, such as Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM), Wayfair Inc. (W) and Peloton Interactive (PTON), saw their stock value tumble.

Markets May Be More Vulnerable to Bad News

Given the current global climate, positive news, such as Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine announcement, have seen markets rally to highs that have not been reached for many months. However, this confidence, or bullishness, that accompanies these positive developments may actually leave the markets more vulnerable to negative news.

While a recent survey by the American Association of Individual Investors saw more respondents classifying themselves as bullish than since early 2018, there are plenty of long-term uncertainties that may see stocks fall in coming weeks. Rising COVID-19 cases in the United States and Europe, and continued uncertainty around the transition of the US presidency are just some of the factors that may leave stocks vulnerable.

What’s in Store for the Week?  

Although the news of successful COVID-19 vaccine trials saw some optimistic movement across the world’s major stock markets, the reality of the logistics involved in creating, transporting and administering the drug is starting to set in. Yet to be fully approved, the vaccine, if successful, is also not likely to be administered to the wider public for several months. The industries hardest hit by the virus, such as travel and leisure, unfortunately will not enjoy a sense of normalcy until this time. 

While the markets have been seen to stall already, it is unclear whether stocks will continue to falter or if the optimism stemming from the news will be enough to maintain momentum. It will be interesting to see how the markets respond, whether positively or negatively, over the coming weeks.