• Chris Simpson

Pfizer’s Big Vaccine News

Pfizer and BioNTech had a big announcement this week that their jointly developed COVID-19 vaccination was more than 90% effective through trial phase #3. This could mean that “Operation Warp Speed” is poised to be a huge success.

Pfizer’s CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said, “I believe this is likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years if you count the impact this will have in public health and the global economy.”

Considering the fact that vaccines usually take years to develop, this is definitely an impressive feat. It also just might be the good news that 2020 needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest business updates from this week.

Mariott posts a surprise profit

Mariott hotels pleasantly surprised investors by posting a $100 million profit over the last quarter compared to a $230 million loss from the quarter before that. This comes as quite a shock because the hotel industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic (right up there with airlines and cruise ships). So how did they manage this?

Even though the number of booked rooms completely plunged, Mariott was able to cut its expenses even more. Marriot made 57% less than the previous quarter but spent 57.2% less. The result is a 0.2% profit!

I think it is safe to say that everyone should take a leaf out of Mariott’s budgeting planner.

One more FINAL lockdown

Joe Biden recently announced that the solution to finally getting over the COVID-19 hump might be one final complete lockdown of 4-6 weeks. They believe that shutting down businesses and paying people for lost wages could help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check and get the economy on track until a vaccine is approved and distributed.

While this news might not be well received, lots of businesses have already adapted to work-from-home regulations. Consumers may also welcome another stimulus package, which has been “in talks” for several months now.

Additionally, the idea that this should officially be the last lockdown before a return to normalcy might be the light at the end of the tunnel that Americans need.

Ulta Beauty plans to move inside Target

Ulta Beauty, who had been planning a move, decided to become roommates with Target. Target will be sectioning off 1,000 square feet in over 100 stores to make room for the makeup brand starting in 2021. This is a good move for Ulta because it will protect them from the recent threat of “non-essential” businesses.

If Ulta is at the mall, they are at risk of getting shut down. However, since Target sells food, Ulta can keep their stores open as well. A few other brands incorporate this strategy (think Starbucks inside of a grocery store) and it usually works out well for both parties!

A few other updates:

➢ Bitcoin surges past $16,000 for the first time since its initial bubble.

➢ U.S. backs out of enforcing the sale of TikTok.

➢ The economy as we know it might be over, according to Fed Chairman.

➢ Sales of the PS5 crashed Walmart’s site.

➢ Disney+ tops 73 million subscribers (about one-fifth of the U.S. population).

That’s it for this week -- Join us next week for another market update.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through NEXT Financial Group Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Sierra Ridge Wealth Management is not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group Inc.

This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security or any other financial instrument. Past performance does not guarantee future performance.

All the views expressed are those of Chris Simpson and not those of Sierra Ridge Wealth Management or NEXT Financial Group Inc.

The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks.

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