Moderna Keeps Surging, MGM Stumbles

The stock market was treading water on Friday, with all three major U.S. indices either advancing or declining by less than 0.3%.

That’s not to say certain individual stocks didn’t make big moves on the day, however, with two of the day’s most notable names being biotech Moderna (ticker: MRNA) and MGM Resorts ( MGM) — although they finished the week trending in very different directions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 62 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 26,671.

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Continued euphoria on vaccine hopes. Moderna, which reported impressive developments in the first human trials of a vaccine earlier this week, continued to see its stock rally into the close of trading Friday, as shares picked up another 15.9% on the day.

The company definitely has a rare potential catalyst that shareholders of many rival biotechs would kill for: The fact that Moderna’s nascent treatment produced antibodies in all 45 human participants in initial trials makes it a potential gold mine for investors if MRNA ends up developing the first approved vaccine.

That said, shares hit new 52-week highs on Friday, and the stock is already up more than 700% from 52-week lows.

MGM stumbles. Gambling and resorts giant MGM saw its stock finish as one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 on Friday, as shares fell 4.5%. Obviously, 2020 has been a tough year on Wall Street for companies involved in the virus-sensitive industries of travel, live entertainment and lodging.

The newfound spike in U.S. cases, which logged new all-time highs in new daily cases this week, is bad news for companies like MGM, which depend heavily on tourism and live gambling.

What? Tesla is a risky stock? One of the mainstream analysts covering electric vehicle giant Tesla ( TSLA) is taking the rare step of acknowledging the risk inherent in shares at current levels. CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson lowered his rating on shares of red-hot TSLA to “sell,” maintaining a $1,100 price target.

In one of 2020’s starkest surprises, shares of TSLA have rallied nearly 250% year to date, and Nelson noted the stock, at current levels, might be priced a tad optimistically with shares around $1,500.

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