Market Event, General

Week in Review: EU approves J&J vaccine, and suspends Oxford vaccine

Annie Charalambous, Friday, 12 March 2021

Dominating market news early on in the week was Tesla's almost-20% rise, helping the NSDQ100 climb 4%. As the week progressed, we got a glimpse into Bumble's first earnings report as a publicly-traded company; Disney+ reported user numbers that have taken its competitors years to achieve, and while one vaccine faces major setbacks, another breaks ground.

Let's take a deeper dive into the markets that moved, and the stories that stood out.

Disney+ surpasses 100 million subscribers

In only 16 months, Disney+ has broken through the 100 million subscriber mark – a number the company hadn't even expected to reach by 2024. They are now targeting a userbase of 300-350 million by 2024, with Chief Executive Bob Iger adding that their success has inspired them to aim higher and invest further in their own content.

By comparison, while Netflix has 200 million subscribers, it took the company 10 years to reach its first 100 million. Amazon isn't far behind, with Prime members sitting around 150 million, though that figure isn't necessarily reflective of Prime Video users.

Year-to-date, DIS shares are up almost 9%, with 12-month returns at +87% despite the pandemic's impact on its parks and retail arm.

AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine suspended

Five European countries (at time of writing) have suspended use of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine as blood clot concerns arise, prompting an investigation by the European Medicines Agency.

Denmark, Iceland, and Norway have halted use altogether, while Austria and Italy have stopped using a particular batch as a precaution – one million doses of which have been sent to 17 EU countries; AZN.L shares fell 2.5% Thursday.

As this story develops, Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine has been granted approval by the EU, making it the fourth to be signed off for the region, alongside those of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca/Oxford. The EU has purchased 200 million doses with the possibility of a further 200 million later, but currently has no clear timeline of when J&J expects to deliver the order.

The UK has also purchased 30 million doses from J&J, but not yet cleared the vaccine for use.

Movers & shakers

🔺 Bumble (BMBL) was up almost 11% Thursday after its first earnings release as a public company. Get the full story via CNBC

🔻 General Electric (GM) sank 12.7% Thursday after mixed Wall St ratings. Read more via The Motley Fool


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