Stocks were mixed at the open on Monday with the Dow trading just above the flatline. The S&P 500 was flat, while the Nasdaq dropped less than 0.1%.
The FDA approved Biogen’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab, making it the first drug approved to slow cognitive decline in people living with the disease and the first new medicine for Alzheimers approved in nearly two decades. Aducanumab targets a “sticky” compound in the brain known as beta-amyloid, which is thought to play a role in the devastating disease, and Biogen has said that around 1.5 million people in the U.S. with early Alzheimer’s could be candidates for the drug. While the drug has been hailed by patient advocates and some neurologists, other doctors have said clinical trail results were inconsistent and more proof was needed.
The surge in retail traders’ new favorite meme stock has stretched into a second week. AMC shares jumped as much as 25% this morning after having more than doubled in the first two days of trading last week, bringing the stock’s total gain for June to 128%. “In addition to our continued expectation that AMC could improve its balance sheet and future cash flows through debt repurchases/pay-downs, we could now see either acquisitions of smaller exhibitor chains or the takeover of leases from troubled chains,” B Riley analyst Eric Wold said in a note.
G-7 countries have agreed to support a new global tax rate of at least 15% on multinational companies and to allocate taxes from large, profitable global firms to the regions where they operate. The 15% global minimum corporate rate would be a “very significant step forward” that leaves countries enough margin to compete, said Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary General Mathias Cormann. “It’s important that we strike the right balance,” Cormann added. “If we were able to achieve a circumstance where all multinational companies operating globally are required to pay at least 15% on their profits, I think that is a very significant step forward.”
Tesla shares are down 2.5% this morning after CEO Elon Musk said on Sunday that the carmaker has canceled the most expensive variant of its flagship sedan, the Model S Plaid Plus. The tri-motor Plaid Plus would have given Model S drivers 1,100 horsepower, 520 miles of range on a fully charged battery, and acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in less than two seconds. “Plaid+ is canceled,” Musk said via Twitter. “No need, as Plaid is just so good. 0 to 60mph in under 2 secs. Quickest production car ever made of any kind. Has to be felt to be believed.” The first Model S Plaid is due to be delivered this week.
And Google has agreed to pay 220 million euros ($268 million) after France’s competition watchdog charged the company with abusing its market power in the online advertising industry. Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority, said in a statement the decision is the first in the world “to look at the complex algorithmic auction processes by which online advertising ‘display’ operates.” De Silva added that the investigation revealed process by which Google favored itself over its competitors on advertising servers and supply-side platforms. “These very serious practices have penalized competition in the emerging online advertising market, and have enabled Google not only to preserve but also to increase its dominant position,” de Silva said. “This sanction and these commitments will make it possible to re-establish a level playing field for all actors, and the ability of publishers to make the most of their advertising spaces.”
Stocks We’re Watching
Chimerix Inc (NASDAQ: CMRX): Chimerix shares gained as much as 10.6% on Friday after the company’s TEMBEXA (brincidofovir) had been approved by the FDA for the treatment of smallpox. “We are delighted to report our first FDA approved products for the treatment of smallpox, particularly as the importance of pandemic preparedness has been put into focus over the last year,” Mike Sherman, CEO of Chimerix, said in a press release. “With this approval in hand, we now look forward to advancing our discussions with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) toward a procurement contract to support national preparedness.”