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Stock Futures Rise On First Trading Day Of 2022; EV Companies See Strong Consumer Demand Worldwide

Investors look past volatile ending to 2021 as stock futures gain going into 2022.
The post Stock Futures Rise On First Trading Day Of 2022; EV Companies See Strong Consumer Demand Worldwide appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financia

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Stock Market Futures Rise As First Trading Day Of The New Year Commences

Stock market futures are tilting higher in early morning trading as we kick off 2022. Even as investors consider the potential effects of resurging Covid cases, markets continue to press forward. More importantly, economic figures such as the December jobs report and minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s recent policy-setting meeting are on tap this week. Also, even with the current uptrend in markets this morning, the matter of inflation continues to hang over markets.

Commenting on the Fed’s hand in all this is Greg Swanson, a founding partner at investment banking firm Brigg Macadam. Swanson notes, “They are still, by most measures, quite dovish, even with the tapering of bond purchases and the market pricing in three hikes next year, you’ll still have dramatically negative real rates.” He adds, “I wouldn’t call that a hawkish Fed — maybe their tone has changed a little bit and they have definitely stopped using the word ‘transitory,’ they have all but admitted that they missed inflation and underestimated it.”

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of exciting stock market news for investors to digest today. As of 7:28 a.m. ET, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures are trading higher by 0.32%, 0.61%, and 0.03% respectively.

[Read More] Top Stocks To Buy For 2022? 4 Work-From-Home Stocks In Focus

Tesla Posts Record 2021 Delivery Figures

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon on the operational front. Over the weekend, the leading U.S. electric vehicle (EV) firm posted stellar figures in its latest delivery report. Namely, Tesla’s deliveries for the fourth quarter of 2021 add up to a whopping 308,600, a new quarterly record. To point out, this is well above Wall Street’s estimates of 267,000. Furthermore, this brings the company’s full-year deliveries to a massive 936,172 vehicles; well over projections of 897,000. Despite the recent volatility in TSLA stock from CEO Elon Musks’ selling spree, Tesla seems to be pressing forward.

Even after a record-setting quarter, Musk sees major growth ahead for the leading EV company. As it stands, Tesla is looking to grow its annual sales volume to 20 million vehicles through 2030. Notably, among the major steps, it plans to take this year is to begin production of the Tesla Model Y crossover at its Texas facility. In turn, the company is also looking to set up another factory in Brandenburg, Germany. For the most part, some would argue that Tesla is not willing to give up its lead in the EV space just yet. Given all of this, it would not surprise me to see investors eyeing TSLA stock in the stock market this week.

TSLA stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

Chinese EV Firms End 2021 With Strong December Sales

In other EV-related news, the latest delivery figures are also from the top players in the booming Chinese market. As most seasoned automotive investors would know, these are Nio (NYSE: NIO), Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI), and Xpeng (NYSE: XPEV). For starters, Nio’s December deliveries came in at a solid 10,489 vehicles, marking a 49.7% year-over-year increase. This adds up to a total of 91,429 EVs delivered in 2021, more than double year-over-year. Despite NIO stock facing turbulence in recent months, Nio continues to expand its portfolio internationally. With its recent interest in the U.S. market, some might see a buying opportunity here.

Secondly, Li Auto posted record figures in its December deliveries update. In detail, the company fulfilled orders for 14,087 vehicles. This translates to a phenomenal 130% surge from the same quarter last year. Because of this, the company’s quarterly delivery figures are 5,221, marking gains of over 143.5% year-over-year. In the larger scheme of things, Li Auto grew its annual delivery figures by 177% year-over-year as well. All in all, the company remains hard at work refining its offerings and consumers seem to appreciate it. Just last month, the company introduced a major update to its in-car software. This includes a full-stack, self-developed “Navigation on ADAS (NOA)”, providing drivers with safer driving experiences.

Following that, Xpeng is also ushering in the new year with solid delivery figures. In December, it delivered 16,000 units, a 181% year-over-year increase. Additionally, this brings its total delivery count for 2021 up to 98,155. To highlight, this would indicate a humongous 263% year-over-year jump. Given the overall positive momentum across EV companies today, investors could be watching closely.

[Read More] Best Lithium Battery Stocks To Buy Now? 4 To Know

Oil Prices Steady As New Year Begins; Possible Omicron Impacts Weighing In On Outlook

Oil prices appear to be on the rise on Monday this week, marking a positive start to 2022. Among the key reasons for this could be suppliers focusing on Tuesday’s OPEC+ meeting. For those uninitiated, the OPEC+ meeting is where the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies convene. However, looking ahead, analysts have lowered their outlooks for 2022 on fears of the Omicron coronavirus variant stifling recovering fuel demand. Not to mention there is also the possibility of an excess in supply as producers pump more oil, according to data from Reuters.

Overall, survey data points towards Brent crude selling at an average of $73.57 a barrel in 2022. This would be about 2% below the consensus of $75.33 back in November last year. Furthermore, the outlook for U.S. crude is also on the decrease at $71.38 per barrel. In comparison, this is versus December’s consensus projections of $73.31.

[Read More] Best Stocks To Invest In 2022? 4 Tech Stocks For Your Watchlist

Resurgence In Covid Cases Causes More Than 4,000 Flight Cancellations  

Elsewhere, while the New Year rolls round, the coronavirus pandemic remains an issue. This is especially the case for the travel industry. In particular, airlines across the globe appear to be feeling the pressure now as over 4,000 flights were canceled globally over the weekend. According to data from flight-tracking website FlightAware.com, more than 2,400 of said flights were either entering, departing from, or within the U.S. Furthermore, SkyWest (NASDAQ: SKYW) and SouthWest (NYSE: LUV) saw the highest cancellations among their peers.

In essence, airlines, similar to most other travel industries, continue to feel the pressure from rising Covid cases. Accordingly, this comes as the average daily confirmed cases in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 258,312 just last week. With this blow to the travel industry at what is usually a peak time, airline operators continue to adapt. Take United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) for example. As of last Friday, the company is now offering pilots three-and-a-half times pay to commit towards picking up extra flights. All things considered, there could be plenty of attention on the top airline stocks in the stock market today.


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The post Stock Futures Rise On First Trading Day Of 2022; EV Companies See Strong Consumer Demand Worldwide appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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VIRI: Enrollment Complete in FORTRESS Trial; Results Expected in September 2022…

By David Bautz, PhD
NASDAQ:VIRI
READ THE FULL VIRI RESEARCH REPORT
Business Update
FORTRESS Trial Fully Enrolled; Topline Results in September 2022
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By David Bautz, PhD

NASDAQ:VIRI

READ THE FULL VIRI RESEARCH REPORT

Business Update

FORTRESS Trial Fully Enrolled; Topline Results in September 2022

On April 28, 2022, Virios Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIRI) announced that it has completed enrollment of 425 fibromyalgia patients into the Phase 2b FORTRESS (Fibromyalgia Outcome Research Trial Evaluating Synergistic Suppression of Herpes Simplex Virus-1) trial, a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study of IMC-1. The primary endpoint of the trial is reduction in pain and secondary endpoints include change in fatigue, sleep disturbance, global health status, and patient functionality (NCT04748705). An outline of the trial is shown below.

In parallel with the FORTRESS trial, Virios is continuing the chronic toxicology studies of IMC-1 in two animal species. The results of these studies are required by regulators before Virios will be allowed to dose patients for one year or more, which is the plan for the Phase 3 program. The results of the chronic toxicology studies should be known around the time of the completion of the FORTRESS trial, thus the company should be able to move into a final Phase 3 program following completion of the current study, pending positive results.

Testing Combination Antiviral Therapy for the Treatment of Long COVID

In February 2022, Virios announced a collaboration with the Bateman Horne Center (BHC) to test combination antiviral therapy for the treatment of Long COVID. Following an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, approximately 30% of patients will experience symptoms that last for weeks or months, which is referred to as Long COVID. The range of symptoms varies from patient to patient, however the most commonly reported (from a recent meta analysis) were fatigue (58%), headache (44%), attention disorder (27%), hair loss (25%), and dyspnea (24%) (Lopez-Leon et al., 2021).

The main theories for what might be causing ...

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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Type-I interferon stops immune system ‘going rogue’ during viral infections

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how…

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Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

Credit: Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University

Hamilton, ON (May 17, 2022) – McMaster University researchers have found not only how some viral infections cause severe tissue damage, but also how to reduce that damage.

 

They have discovered how Type I interferon (IFN) stops the immune system ‘going rogue’ and attacking the body’s own tissues when fighting viral infections, including COVID-19.

 

Their paper was published in the journal PLOS Pathogens today.

  

Senior author Ali Ashkar said IFN is a well-known anti-viral signalling molecule released by the body’s cells that can trigger a powerful immune response against harmful viruses.

 

“What we have found is that it is also critical to stop white blood cells from releasing protease enzymes, which can damage organ tissue. It has this unique dual function to kick start an immune response against a viral infection on the one hand, as well as restrain that same response to prevent significant bystander tissue damage on the other,” he said.

 

The research team investigated IFN’s ability to regulate a potentially dangerous immune response by testing it on both flu and the HSV-2 virus, a highly prevalent sexually transmitted pathogen, using mice. Data from COVID-19 patients in Germany, including post-mortem lung samples, was also used in the study.

 

“For many viral infections, it is not actually the virus that causes most of the tissue damage, it is our heightened immune activation towards the virus,” said Ashkar, a professor of medicine at McMaster.

  

First co-author of the study and PhD student Emily Feng said: “Our body’s immune response is trying to fight off the virus infection, but there’s a risk of damaging innocent healthy tissue in the process. IFNs regulates the immune response to only target tissues that are infected.

 

“By discovering the mechanisms the immune system uses that can inadvertently cause tissue damage, we can intervene during infection to prevent this damage and not necessarily have to wait until vaccines are developed to develop life-saving treatments,” she added.

 

“This applies not just to COVID-19, but also other highly infectious viruses such as flu and Ebola, which can cause tremendous and often life-threatening damage to the body’s organs,” said first study co-author Amanda Lee, a family medicine resident. 

 

Ashkar said the release of harmful proteases is the result of a ‘cytokine storm’, which is life-threatening inflammation sometimes triggered by viral infections. It has been a common cause of death in patients with COVID-19, but treatment has been developed to prevent and suppress the cytokine storm.

 

Ashkar said that steroids like dexamethasone are already used to rein in an extreme immune response to viral infections. The authors used doxycycline in their study, an antibiotic used for bacterial infections and as an anti-inflammatory agent, inhibits the function of proteases causing the bystander tissue damage.

 

Lee added: “This has the potential in the future to be used to alleviate virus-induced life-threatening inflammation and warrants further research.” 

 

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

 

-30-

 

Editors:

Pictures of Ali Ashkar and Emily Feng may be found at https://bit.ly/3wmSw0D

  

 

 


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mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna fare better against COVID-19 variants of concern

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World…

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A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

Credit: Carlos Reusser Monsalvez, Flickr (CC0, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)

A comparison of four COVID-19 vaccinations shows that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — perform better against the World Health Organization’s variants of concern (VOCs) than viral vector vaccines — AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen. Although they all effectively prevent severe disease by VOCs, the research, publishing May 17th in the open access journal PLOS Medicine, suggests that people receiving a viral vector vaccine are more vulnerable to infection by new variants.

By March 2022, COVID-19 had caused over 450 million confirmed infections and six million reported deaths. The first vaccines approved in the US and Europe that protect against serious infection are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which deliver genetic code, known as mRNA, to the bodies’ cells, whereas Oxford/AstraZeneca and J&J/Janssen are viral vector vaccines that use a modified version of a different virus — a vector — to deliver instructions to our cells. Three vaccines are delivered as two separate injections a few weeks apart, and J&J/Janssen as a single dose.

Marit J. van Gils at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues, took blood samples from 165 healthcare workers, three and four weeks after first and second vaccination respectively, and for J&J/Janssen at four to five and eight weeks after vaccination. Samples were collected before, and four weeks after a Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Four weeks after the initial two doses, antibody responses to the original SARS-CoV-2 viral strain were highest in recipients of Moderna, followed closely by Pfizer-BioNTech, and were substantially lower in those who received viral vector vaccines. Tested against the VOCs – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron – neutralizing antibodies were higher in the mRNA vaccine recipients compared to those who had viral vector vaccines. The ability to neutralize VOCs was reduced in all vaccine groups, with the greatest reduction against Omicron. The Pfizer-BioNTech booster increased antibody responses in all groups with substantial improvement against VOCs, including Omicron.

The researchers caution that their AstraZeneca group was significantly older, because of safety concerns for the vaccine in younger age groups. As immune responses tend to weaken with age, this could affect the results. This group was also smaller because the Dutch government halted use for a period.

van Gils concludes, “Four COVID-19 vaccines induce substantially different antibody responses.”

#####

In your coverage, please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper in PLOS Medicine:

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

Citation: van Gils MJ, Lavell A, van der Straten K, Appelman B, Bontjer I, Poniman M, et al. (2022) Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants induced by four different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in health care workers in the Netherlands: A prospective cohort study. PLoS Med 19(5): e1003991. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003991

 

Author Countries: The Netherlands, United States

 

Funding: This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) ZonMw (Vici grant no. 91818627 to R.W.S., S3 study, grant agreement no. 10430022010023 to M.K.B.; RECoVERED, grant agreement no. 10150062010002 to M.D.d.J.), by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant no. INV002022 and INV008818 to R.W.S. and INV-024617 to M.J.v.G.), by Amsterdam UMC through the AMC Fellowship (to M.J.v.G.) and the Corona Research Fund (to M.K.B.), and by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (RECoVER, grant no. 101003589 to M.D.d.J). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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