U.S. equity markets traded higher Monday, following Friday’s debacle. Worries over the economic impact of the new Omicron coronavirus variant abated somewhat during the day. Then, early Tuesday morning, the CEO of one of the leading vaccine makers said that existing vaccines are likely to be much less effective against the new COVID-19 strain. All three indexes traded lower in Tuesday’s premarket, crude oil dropped more than 3% to below $68 a barrel, and yields on 10-year Treasury notes dropped by nearly six basis points to 1.44%.
In an interview Tuesday morning with the Financial Times, Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) CEO Stéphane Bancel said he believes there will be a “material drop” in the effectiveness of the existing vaccines compared with their effectiveness against the Delta variant:
I just don’t know how much [of a drop] because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to . . . are like, “This is not going to be good.”
Bancel also said that it would take several months to develop and produce a vaccine to combat the Omicron variant. He did say that it would be possible to get a billion doses of a new vaccine out by summer, but that’s still seven months away. Markets in Europe and Asia dropped on the report, and U.S. premarket trading followed suit. Moderna stock added about 6.8% to its share price Monday and traded down about 1.5% Tuesday morning.
Monday’s top performer among meme stocks was Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN), which traded up about 6.8% on no specific news. Rival electric vehicle maker Li Auto reported solid beats on revenue and profit estimates and that may have helped boost Rivian and Lucid, which traded up by about 6.5% on Monday. Tesla posted a 5% gain on Monday as well. All three traded 1% or 2% lower in Tuesday’s premarket.
Monday’s big loser was Progenity Inc. (NASDAQ: PROG), which closed down by more than 14%. The stock traded down another 2.5% in Tuesday’s premarket session. Since last week’s announcement of an at-the-market share offering to raise $90 million, Progenity stock has dropped by about 38%.
Camber Energy Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN: CEI) filed a proxy statement Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announcing a special shareholders’ meeting for December 30. The meeting will be held by a live audio webcast and has just one item on the agenda.
The company is seeking approval to increase the number of authorized shares from the current level of 250 million to 1 billion. A second, related proposal would authorize the company’s board of directors to adjourn the meeting in the event not enough affirmative votes are available to pass the share count increase.
According to the filing, Camber effected a number of reverse stock splits that reduced its share count to approximately 1.5 million shares as of October 2019. That number was raised to 25 million shares in April 2020 and to 250 million in February 2021.
The stock dropped 7.3% on Monday and traded down another 4% at $1.22 in Tuesday’s premarket.