Stocks were higher at the open on Monday with the Dow trading just above the flatline. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.25%.
Bitcoin has rebounded back above $53,000—and $1 trillion market cap—this morning as the broader cryptocurrency market attempts to recover from last week’s sell-off. The move comes as JPMorgan reportedly prepares to introduce an actively managed bitcoin fund to some clients as soon as this summer, and on the heels of billionaire Elon Musk tweeting “What does the future hodl?” over the weekend, using a term that generally means “hold on for dear life” that crypto supporters use to refer to buying and holding their digital assets. “There is always a sharp movement when Tesla’s CEO talks about bitcoin on Twitter ahead of quarterly earnings,” said Laurent Kssis, global head of exchange-traded products at crypto firm 21Shares AG. “As the U.S. wakes up, we could see further appreciation leading to $54,000 – $54,500.”
The EU is taking legal action against AstraZeneca for its shortfalls in deliveries of its coronavirus vaccine to the bloc. “Our priority is to ensure COVID-19 vaccine deliveries take place to protect the health of European Union,” the EU’s commissioner for health, Stella Kyriakides, said via Twitter. “This is why the European Commission has decided jointly with all Member States to bring legal proceedings against AstraZeneca. Every vaccine dose counts. Every vaccine dose saves lives.” European Commission spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker said that the company failed to come up with a “reliable strategy” to ensure timely delivery of vaccine doses. “We want to make sure that there’s a speedy delivery of a sufficient number of doses the European citizens are entitled to and which have been promised on the basis of this contract,” Keersmaecker added.
In other COVID vaccine news, Sanofi has agreed to help make 200 million doses of Moderna’s shot. The French pharmaceutical will perform “fill-and-finish” work for the Moderna vaccine in its New Jersey facility beginning in September, including putting prepared vaccine solution into vials and packaging it. “We have been mobilizing on multiple fronts and we showed solidarity across the industry,” said CEO Paul Hudson, who credited President Joe Biden’s administration for helping to forge the deal. The deal marks Sanofi’s third such agreement this year, with the company announcing in January that it would help supply 125 million doses of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine, and in February, that it would fill and finish vials of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at a rate of around 12 million doses per month.
Apple announced that it is increasing its U.S. investments by 20% over the next five years, including $430 billion allocated to develop next-generation silicon and spur 5G innovation across nine U.S. states. “At this moment of recovery and rebuilding, Apple is doubling down on our commitment to U.S. innovation and manufacturing with a generational investment reaching communities across all 50 states,” CEO Tim Cook said in a press release announcing the investment. “We’re creating jobs in cutting-edge fields—from 5G to silicon engineering to artificial intelligence—investing in the next generation of innovative new businesses, and in all our work, building toward a greener and more equitable future.”
And Netflix won big at the Oscars last night, nearly doubling its all-time Oscars tally with 7 awards. The streaming giant had 36 Oscar nominations across 17 films—the most of any distributor in this year’s slate—heading into last night’s ceremony, winning two statues for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and two for “Mank” among its wins. Disney took home the second most Oscars, earning five awards. Disney’s “Nomadland” took home the top prize of the evening, winning for best picture. The film also won the Academy Awards for best director for Chloe Zhao, and best leading actress for Francis McDormand.
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Camping World Holdings (NYSE: CWH): Camping World shares are up more than 5% this morning after the company announced that it will begin accepting cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ethereum, as payment for RV purchases through a new partnership with BitPay. “As the industry leader, we have a responsibility to adapt to new preferences and elevate the customer experience, whether through the products and services we offer, or in the ways we interact and transact with the customer,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World. “Accepting cryptocurrency is simply another part of our vision to make RVing easy in an increasingly digital world.”