Shares of Moderna (mRNA) and Pfizer (PFE) shares fell Friday — returning some of their late Thursday gains after a rebound related to their updated Covid shots.
Late Thursday, both companies said their latest Covid booster shots showed promise in lab tests against the leading variant, dubbed “eris,” or EG.5. Moderna also said its booster generated antibodies capable of taking on the “fornax” variant, or FL 1.5.1.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Eris was responsible for more than 17% of sequenced Covid cases in the US between July 23 and August 5. Fornax was responsible for just under 9% of cases. But it’s on the rise in some parts of the country, says Moderna.
“Our updated Covid-19 vaccine generates a robust immune response against the rapidly spreading EG.5 and FL 1.5.1 strains and reflects our updated vaccine’s ability to address emerging Covid-19 threats,” said Moderna president Stephen Hoge in a written statement.
But during today’s morning stock market trades, Moderna shares fell 1.3% to nearly 104.90. Shares of Pfizer stock lost 0.3% and traded near 36.40. On Thursday, they gained 7.4% and 2.9% respectively.
Shares of BioNTech (BNTX), Pfizer’s partner, turned 2.5% lower and was trading around 110.30, after rising 4.9% on Thursday. Novavax (NVAX) soared 3.4% on Thursday, but fell 0.7% Friday morning.
Pfizer Stock: Rising Covid Hospitalizations
The companies all plan to launch vaccines in September that block the XBB.1.5 subvariant of omicron. That was the dominant variety in the US Today at the time, accounting for just over 10% of Covid cases, according to the CDC.
The launch could come amid rising hospitalization rates. In the US, hospitalizations related to Covid are up more than 40% from recent lows in June, according to Reuters. Yet hospital admissions are more than 90% below peak levels during the Omicron outbreak in January 2022.
But the question remains crucial. Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna reported declining sales in the second quarter. Novavax reported triple-digit percentage gains, though its full-year outlook was still cut by $100 million. According to the latest data available in May, only 17% of the total US population had received an updated booster shot.
And the shares of all Covid vaccine makers have fallen from their 2021 peaks.
Currently, Pfizer stock is stuck below its 50-day moving average with an IBD Digital Relative Strength Rating of 23. This puts the stock in the bottom quarter of all stocks when it comes to 12-month performance. Moderna stock has a lower RS Rating of 12.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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