Wall Street’s main stock indexes fluctuated between gains and losses as investors assessed the prospect of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus fiscal package to help kickstart an economic recovery.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%. The S&P 500 Index was almost flat.
Shares of Palantir Technologies plunged almost 9% after the technology company posted a surprise fourth-quarter loss per share of $0.08, while analysts had expected earnings of $0.02 per share. Meanwhile, Q4 revenue jumped 40% year-on-year to $322 million, beating the Street consensus of $300.7 million. In the first quarter of FY21, Palantir expects year-on-year revenue growth of 45% and an adjusted operating margin of 23%. For FY21, the company anticipates sales to grow more than 30% year-on-year.
Rexnord popped 8.2% after the water management solutions provider announced that it will spin off its its process and motion control (PMC) business and combine it with peer Regal Beloit Corp in a transaction that values the unit at about $3.69 billion. Concurrently the company reported better-than-estimated quarterly results. Rexnord recorded adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.39 during the third quarter, which came in ahead of the $0.38 expected by analysts. Revenue decreased 0.4% year-on-year to $490 million, but topped analysts’ estimates of $449 million.
Meanwhile, shares of CVS Health fell more than 4% even as the drugstore operator reported better-than-expected 4Q results driven by growth in prescription volume and medical membership in the healthcare company’s government products. Adjusted earnings dropped 24.9% to $1.30 per share on a year-over-year basis but beat Street estimates of $1.24 per share. Revenues increased 4% to $69.6 billion and surpassed the consensus mark of $68.73 billion. The company’s prescriptions filled came in at $376.3 million, up 2% year-over-year.
In other healthcare related news, shares of Cellectis gained 4.2% after the clinical stage cell therapy company inked a $760 million collaboration deal with Cytovia Therapeutics to develop natural killer cells. The research and development partnership includes development, regulatory and sales milestone payments which will be paid by Cytovia to Cellectis for the first 5 products. Cellectis is also entitled to royalty payments in single digits on net sales of all partnered products which Cytovia will commercialize.
In corona updates, Kroger Co.’s healthcare division has partnered with Gauss to provide a smartphone-enabled, at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit to patients. The antigen test is currently awaiting emergency use authorization (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Following the FDA approval, Kroger will make the at-home COVID-19 test kit available for purchase on the retail company’s website and at its 2,200 pharmacies across the US.
Novavax and SK Group’s vaccine subsidiary extended their collaboration and license agreement for the manufacturing of another 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for South Korea. The deal is in addition to the existing manufacturing deal between the two companies. The moves comes after SK Bioscience won an order for the supply of 40 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 to the Korean government, which is scheduled to be handed over beginning of 2021. Terms of the deal include technology transfer related to the production of Novavax’s protein antigen and the supply of Matrix M adjuvant. Shares dropped almost 9% in what appeared to be some profit-taking after the stock surged 138% this year.