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Moderna falls on mixed results from its flu vaccine

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Last Week’s Highlights

Mixed results on Moderna’s flu vaccine

Moderna Inc presented an experimental influenza vaccine based on messenger RNA. After thorough analysis, the vaccine generated a solid immune response against influenza A strains but failed to prove as effective as an approved influenza B vaccine. This information hit investors because they had hoped that Moderna could remedy the decline of its Covid franchise; however, after proving the poor effectiveness of its flu vaccine, the company’s shares fell by more than 6%. A Cowen specialist said Moderna shareholders were counting on the company to swap its Covid revenues with revenues from RSV and flu vaccines, but “the efficacy results may be different when they are published, but there is no doubt that the latest vaccine data are mixed,” he said.

Deere beats analysts’ estimates

After beating Wall Street estimates last quarter, Deere & Co raised its annual profit forecast. Rising revenues from its heavy-duty tractors and growth in spending by construction customers were the key factors driving the US farm equipment company’s shares up 6.1%. Despite uncertainty in the economy due to recession fears, Deere has maintained solid profit margins because it has been able to raise prices in all of its machinery divisions to offset rising transportation costs and snags with supply chains. The company benefited because higher commodity prices last year helped producers buy new equipment or upgrade their fleets.

Coming Up This Week

Roku shares rose on optimistic forecasts

Shares of streaming device maker Roku Inc rose as the company promises profits in 2024. The company is focused on cutting costs sharply to overcome the weak advertising market. They expect their operating expense pace to slow to 40% in the first quarter, down from 70% in the previous three months. As it works on its cost structure, it is also developing the platform’s monetization and engagement tools and partnerships. Roku shares were up 12% in premarket trading at Thursday’s close. Because of this, analysts are optimistic about cost-cutting targets and are forecasting a good future for the U.S. based company.

Social Media faces new European rules

Tech giants are facing stricter rules on online content imposed by the European Union due to a large number of users. Companies such as Apple, Alphabet, Meta, Twitter, and TikTok have to abide by the new regulation, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), which classifies companies with more than 45 million users as very large online platforms (VLOPs) and requires them to conduct risk management and an independent, external audit. In addition, companies must share data with authorities and investigators and adopt a code of conduct. The European Commission gave online platforms until February 17 to publish their monthly active users. Companies labeled as VLOPs have up to four months to comply with the regulation or risk being fined.

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Market News

Major US indexes fell on Friday as investors fear that inflation, the strength of the U.S. economy, and difficulties in the labor market will determine whether the Federal Reserve opts for further interest rate hikes. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are forecasting three more rate hikes this year and of a quarter percentage point each, compared to their previous estimate of two hikes.

At the end of Friday’s session, the Dow Jones index was up 0.39%, to 33,826.69, the S&P 500 fell 0.28%, to 4,079.09, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.58%, to 11,787.27. For the week, the Dow lost 0.1%, the S&P 500 fell 0.3%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.6%.

Wild Card

Cathie Wood snaps up more of Shopify and sells Nvidia.

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