J&J, Morgan Stanley, Coinbase: Stocks That Defined the Week
By Francesca Fontana
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson's rollout of its Covid-19 vaccine has hit
another snag. U.S. health authorities Tuesday recommended a pause
in the use of J&J's shot after finding that six women who got
the vaccine had developed blood clots and one died. The development
comes after a quality lapse at a manufacturer recently affected
about 15 million doses of the vaccine's main ingredient. J&J
shares added 0.3% Wednesday.
Microsoft is extending its run of big acquisitions. The tech
giant has agreed to buy artificial-intelligence company Nuance
Communications Inc. The $16 billion all-cash deal is Microsoft's
second-largest acquisition under Chief Executive Satya Nadella,
after the company in 2016 spent about $26 billion for professional
network LinkedIn. The pursuit of Nuance comes as rivals Facebook
Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google might be
distracted by antitrust probes that could potentially hobble their
abilities to strike deals. The acquisition is also the latest sign
that the next battleground for Big Tech will be in healthcare, an
industry whose need to embrace data and software was underscored by
the pandemic. Microsoft shares rose 1% Tuesday.
Coinbase Global Inc.
Coinbase made a splash in its market debut Wednesday. The
cryptocurrency exchange fetched an $85 billion valuation, a
watershed moment for an industry that began a decade ago as an
experiment in digital money. Shares of Coinbase, the first major
bitcoin-focused company to test the U.S. public market, opened at
$381 on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. The exchange had set a
reference price of $250 on Tuesday, but no trades were executed at
that price. Coinbase went public through a direct listing under the
ticker symbol COIN. Founded in 2012, the company has seen its
profitability explode amid a rally in the price of bitcoin and
other cryptocurrencies. Coinbase shares ended at $328.28 on
Wednesday, up 31% from its reference price.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is setting up for soaring
chip demand. The world's largest contract semiconductor maker said
Thursday that it would increase its investment budget and raise its
revenue-growth forecast for 2021, a sign of confidence that strong
global chip demand will continue. The company's heftier investment
budget comes as its global competitors also move to beef up
production capacity during a widespread chip shortage that TSMC
expects to extend into 2022. Intel Corp. recently announced a $20
billion investment to build two new chip factories in the U.S.
starting in 2024, while Samsung Electronics Co. said it plans to
invest about $116 billion by 2030 to diversify its semiconductor
production capabilities. American depositary shares of TSMC fell
2.1% on Thursday.
Delta Air Lines Inc.
Delta Air Lines sees clearer skies ahead. The airline on
Thursday signaled the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is likely
behind it, expecting travel demand to keep gaining steam in the
coming months. Delta reported a net loss of $1.2 billion for the
first quarter, but said its operation began generating cash again
last month for the first time in a year. As more people have
received Covid-19 vaccinations, interest in travel has returned.
Delta said that its net sales -- the difference between new ticket
sales and refunds -- doubled from January to March. With domestic
leisure bookings at 85% of pre-pandemic levels, Delta believes it
is on track to potentially turn a profit this summer. Delta shares
lost 2.8% Thursday.
Simon & Schuster won't distribute a book written by a
Louisville, Ky., police officer involved in the Breonna Taylor
shooting. The publisher, a unit of ViacomCBS, said Thursday that it
wouldn't distribute the book acquired by its client Post Hill Press
LLC, an independent, conservative publisher that prints its books
and usually uses Simon & Schuster as its outside distributor to
get them into the hands of retailers and wholesalers. This is the
second time this year Simon & Schuster, which ViacomCBS is
selling to German media giant Bertelsmann SE, has made such a
decision. In early January, the publisher said it wouldn't publish
a coming book by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley. ViacomCBS shares rose
Morgan Stanley lost $911 million when Archegos Capital
Management imploded last month, tarnishing its record-setting
quarter. The euphoric market conditions of early 2021 helped push
the bank and its Wall Street rivals to big earnings in the recent
quarter, and the bank on Friday reported a quarterly profit of $4.1
billion. But the record performance across many of Morgan Stanley's
businesses was offset by credit and trading losses it booked
following a fire sale of more than $30 billion of stocks tied to
Archegos, the family office run by former Tiger Asia manager Bill
Hwang. Morgan Stanley shares fell 2.8% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 16, 2021 19:06 ET (23:06 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.