Financial Advisors Find Silver Lining in Gilead Sciences, Moderna as Markets Plunge on Coronavirus Worries

Last week, US stocks dropped firmly as news of the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc among investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 9.13% between February 23 and February 28, recording the biggest two-day point decline in history on Tuesday and Wednesday. The S&P 500 lost 8.24% and the NASDAQ Composite declined by 7.09%. All three indexes lost all the gains from the beginning of the year and are now in the red year-to-date.

The main reason for the decline is uncertainty over the long-term impact of the coronavirus, that had not been priced into the markets. The growth in cases outside China is on the rise and the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning that Americans should brace themselves for disruptions related to the virus outbreak. Amid uncertainty and warnings from companies and analysts that revenue and profits will be impacted by consumer spending and supply chain issues, investors decided to rush to the exits.


In the meantime, Financial Advisors continued to keep a close eye on giants like Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), which ranked among the most searched tickers according to data presented by TrackStar, InvestingChannel’s official newsletter capturing and analyzing the trends of Financial Advisors, has compiled a list of most searched tickers among Financial Advisors last week.. Apple ranked on the first spot amid ongoing concerns regarding the disruptions to the supply chain and weaker demand, particularly in China. However, on Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Fox Business that the impact of the coronavirus on the supply chain is temporary.


Tesla was the third most-searched ticker among Financial Advisors last week as the stock slid by nearly 20% amid the broader market decline and reports of a 46% monthly drop in car registrations of new Tesla cars in China in January.


On the second spot in TrackStar’s list was utilities company Eversource Energy (NYSE: ES). The previous week, Eversource ranked on the 12th spot. The jump in interest comes on the back of the company agreeing to acquire $1.1 billion in natural gas assets of Columbia Gas from NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI).


Additionally, it seems like Financial Advisors were looking for some silver lining and a number of new stocks made the list of most searched tickers last week. Among these, it’s worth to mention Gilead Sciences, inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), and Co-Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: CODX).


All three of these stocks captured the attention of Financial Advisors due to their involvement in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Co-Diagnostics on February 24 obtained regulatory clearance for its Logix SmartCoronavirus COVID-19 test to be sold as an in-vitro test for the diagnosis of coronavirus in markets that accept CE marking as valid regulatory approval. In this way, Co-Diagnostics can export and sell the test in the European Union. The company plans to increase production to meet the demand.


Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) was in the spotlight on the back of two developments. On February 24, the company said that the first batch of its vaccine against the COVID-19 was shipped to US government researchers for a phase 1 study. The trial is expected to start in April, around three months from the vaccine design. Two days later, Moderna posted its fourth-quarter results, which showed a 60.2% annual drop in revenues to $14.1 million and a net loss of $124.2 million (up by 13.8% on the year). Nevertheless, the stock spiked on the back of the financial report, as investors were excited to learn about the company’s progress in Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and coronavirus vaccines.


Then there is Gilead Sciences, which is also making progress in fighting the novel coronavirus. The company has been conducting trials in China for its experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir. On February 25, the National Institutes of Health announced that a clinical trial of Remdesivir had also commenced in the US. The stock was also fueled by comments from World Health Organization Officials, who said that Remdesivir may be the best chance to treat the new coronavirus. The results from the trials should be available within weeks.

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