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Pfizer is working on a Covid generic drug

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Last Week’s Highlights

Pfizer to secure a generic Covid drug

China has been negotiating since late December with Pfizer for a license to allow certain companies in the nation to manufacture and distribute a generic version of Paxlovid, the U.S. company’s Covid-19 antiviral. According to several sources, Beijing aims to close the deal before January 22, the start of the Lunar New Year. Last month, infections increased in large numbers as the Chinese government abandoned its “zero infection” policy. Hospitals have been overwhelmed and pharmacies have been emptied. However, Paxlovid was in high demand because it reduced hospitalizations of high-risk patients by about 90% and because it is one of the few foreign products to be approved in the Asian country.

Costco showed strong sales growth

Costco shares rose last Friday as the company released its results for December. The report reassured investors that the slowdown in November was temporary and showed that the company had solid results for the holiday season. The warehouse retailer’s shares rose 7.3% and seemed to chase away fears that it was facing a possible global economic recession. Costco’s December revenue rose 7% to $22.24 billion, making it the top U.S. retailer after the giants, Walmart and Amazon. In the event of a recession, Costco would be in a good position because most of its profit is from its members’ revenues. Also, its bargain prices on bulk products appeal to consumers in times of uncertainty.

Coming Up This Week

BBBY could be filing for bankruptcy

Over the next few weeks, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is expected to file for bankruptcy protection due to low sales and the inability to compete with large retailers. According to sources, the company is considering avoiding its outstanding payments, which are about $1.5 billion in bonds due on February 1st. This strategy is typical among companies that are in distress and in danger of bankruptcy to conserve cash. Last Thursday, the U.S. retailer’s shares fell 30% to $1.69 as the company said there would be a significant loss in the third quarter and that there were serious doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern. Although Bed Bath & Beyond has not yet made any final decisions on the way forward, it is expected to report its full third-quarter results on Tuesday.

WWE stock soars at the boss’ return

Months earlier, Vince McMahon had resigned as CEO of WWE after an investigation found that he had paid nearly $15 million to four women over 16 years to silence allegations of sexual misconduct. Last Friday, the sports entertainment company confirmed the return of the major shareholder to the board of World Wrestling Entertainment. This news sent the company’s stock soaring 20%. McMahon had announced on Thursday his intention to rejoin as executive chairman and make an effort to sell the company because the world’s largest wrestling company has been seen as a takeover target by certain financial groups. With his return confirmed, McMahon will take control in negotiations over media rights and strategic future initiatives.

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Market News

Major US indices closed Friday’s session higher as employment and services data tempered rate hike fears. Among the top leading stocks were tech giants such as Apple and Meta, which each rose nearly 2%.

The Dow Jones index rose 601.66 points, or 1.83%, to 33,531.74, the S&P 500 increased 69.18 points, or 1.82%, to 3,877.28, and the Nasdaq rose 187.11 points, or 1.82%, to 10,492.35.

Wild Card

US services industry activity contracted for the first time in more than 2-1/2 years.

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