Catch up on the weekend’s top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly:
1. Moderna (MRNA) Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said he suspects the new omicron coronavirus variant may elude current vaccines, and if so, a reformulated shot could be available early in the new year, Bloomberg’s Joe Easton reported. “We should know about the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection in the next couple of weeks,” Burton said Sunday on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show.” “If we have to make a brand new vaccine, I think that’s going to be early 2022 before that’s really going to be available in large quantities,” he said. “The remarkable thing about the mRNA vaccines, the Moderna platform, is that we can move very fast,” he added. Meanwhile, a senior Amazon.com (AMZN) executive said it remains too early to predict how the Omicron coronavirus variant will impact consumer spending during the holiday season but suggested that shoppers will press ahead for now, Reuters’ Mike Spector reports. Clark said he was “incredibly optimistic” about the ability of scientists and pharmaceutical companies that have developed effective vaccines to respond to the new variant while shoppers take stock of developments.
2. Activist investor Ancora Holdings is pushing Berry Global (BERY) to explore a sale, The Wall Street Journal’s Cara Lombardo reported. Ancora, which owns about 1% of Berry Global, is urging it to explore strategic alternatives including a possible sale and make other changes, according to a copy of a letter the activist sent to the company’s board Sunday that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
3. Buying growth stocks when profits are just a rumor can feel like tempting fate. But some companies reward investors’ faith, Al Root wrote in this week’s edition of Barron’s. That looks to be the case with a trio of electric-vehicle makers, namely China’s NIO (NIO), XPeng (XPEV), and Li Auto (LI), the author contended. The Chinese EV players will grow sales, on a combined basis, roughly 160% in 2021, leaving them trading at some 6.5 times next year’s estimated sales, the publication added.
4. Disney’s (DIS) original musical adventure “Encanto” won the Thanksgiving weekend domestic box office, with a Wednesday-Sunday opening of $40.3M. This was the best start of the pandemic era for an animated title, and that includes the $27M for the three-day weekend. Overseas, the movie earned $29.3M for a global total of $69.6M.
5. IBM (IBM) and Gentherm (THRM) saw positive mentions in this week’s edition of Barron’s.