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15 Best Stocks in the Past Week: Novavax, Moderna Surge Higher

The best-performing stocks in the past week include Novavax, BioNTech, Moderna, Nuance, Nvidia, Wells Fargo, Tesla, Dell, and more.

Stocks rose Friday as soaring growth in China provided investors with further reasons to believe in a surging post-pandemic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 116 points, or 0.34%, to 34,152, and the S&P 500 gained 0.24%. The Nasdaq declined 0.05%. The Dow and S&P 500 set intraday all-time highs on Friday.

Bitcoin fell Friday after Turkey's central bank issued a ban against the use of cryptocurrencies for payments in the country starting from the end of the month.

The benchmark cryptocurrency declined 1.45% to $61,589 after reaching all-time highs above $64,000 earlier this week ahead of crypto exchange platform Coinbase Global's  (COIN) - Get Coinbase Global Inc Report initial public offering.

Coinbase, meanwhile, rose 3.91% to $335.38. The funds of star manager Cathie Wood have purchased about $352 million worth of shares in Coinbase over two days.

Here are some of the best stocks in the past week by their performance in percentage change at the close of trading on Apr. 16. These include stocks over a $10 share price at the time of publishing.

1. Novavax | +24.81%

Shares of vaccine maker Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Novavax Inc. Report were climbing after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were suspending the use of Johnson & Johnson's  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report coronavirus vaccine due to concerns about blood clotting. J&J shares were falling.

Novavax previously suffered a setback late last month after a report said the drugmaker was delaying signing a contract to supply its COVID-19 vaccine to the EU due to production issues.

2. BioNTech | +23.63%

Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report CEO Albert Bourla says the company has ramped up production of its COVID-19 vaccine and can deliver 10% more doses to the U.S. than it previously expected.

Bourla said in a tweet that the company now expects to deliver 220 million doses of the vaccine it developed jointly with BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report by the end of next month, and all 300 million doses agreed on two weeks early, in July. 

People taking the drug giant’s COVID vaccine will “likely” need a third dose of it within a year after the second one, Boula told CNBC.

Pfizer and Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report reportedly declined to form an alliance with Johnson & Johnson to address concerns about a rare blood-clotting disorder among recipients of coronavirus vaccines, according to a media report.

3. Moderna | +21.24%

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report says it will reduce the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses it delivers to the U.K. and Canada, starting in April. “The trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses,” Moderna said in a statement Friday, according to Bloomberg. 

However, shares of Moderna were climbing this past week after the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a follow-up study including a sample size of 33 people who received the drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine in early trials show the antibodies it induced are still present six months after the second dose.

At last check, Moderna shares were up 6.5% at $170.23.

4. Ppd Inc | +20.52%

Shares of PPD  (PPD)  advanced in premarket trading this past week after Thermo Fischer Scientific  (TMO) - Get Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc Report agreed to acquire the healthcare testing company for $17.4 billion in cash, creating one of the biggest drug-testing companies in the U.S.

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5. Nuance | +17.12%

Nuance Communications  (NUAN) - Get Nuance Communications Incorporated Report surged after the speech technology company agreed to a $20 billion takeover from Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report. Mark Benjamin will remain CEO, both companies said, and the deal is expected to close in 2021.

Microsoft will pay $56 a share for Nuance, a 23% premium to its Friday closing price, in an all-cash deal that values the Burlington, Mass.-based innovator of AI-powered voice technology at around $19.7 billion, including around $1 billion in Nuance debt.

6. Lattice Semiconductor | +14.87%

Shares of Lattice Semiconductor  (LSCC) - Get Lattice Semiconductor Corporation Report climbed after the S&P Dow Jones Indices said the company would replace PTC  (PTC) - Get PTC Inc. Report in the S&P MidCap 400. 

The company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 4. 

7. Alcoa Corp | +13.06%

Shares of Alcoa  (AA) - Get Alcoa Corporation Report have been higher after the aluminum products giant was upgraded by Morgan Stanley analyst Carlos De Alba to overweight from equal weight with a $43 price target this past month

Chief Executive Roy Harvey said China's reining in of aluminum production will be a "game-changer," Bloomberg reported.

8. Freeport-Mcmoran Inc | +12.44%

Freeport-McMoRan  (FCX) - Get Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Report has been rising with copper hitting new highs. The top copper-producing mining company has recently been rated a buy at J.P. Morgan.

9. PPG Industries | +11.77%

Shares of PPG Industries  (PPG) - Get PPG Industries Inc. Report touched a 52-week high on Friday after the paints, coatings, and specialty materials company more than doubled first-quarter earnings and received positive reviews from a number of Wall Street analysts. Both earnings and revenue exceeded analysts' expectations.

Shares of the Pittsburgh company at the last check jumped 11% to $170.30. They've traded up as much as 12% at $172.67. Net income rose 56% to $378 million, or $1.58 a share, from $243 million, or $1.02 a share, in the year-earlier period. The latest adjusted earnings were $1.88 a share.

10. Nvidia Corp | +10.46%

Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get NVIDIA Corporation Report was down almost 1% Friday but lately, the stock has been on fire. It's still up more than 1% for the week and will finish higher for the third consecutive week.

Helping drive the stock's current rally was the company’s GTC event, where a keynote presentation from CEO Jensen Huang helped unleash a flood of buying among investors and drove the stock to new all-time highs.

Nvidia was upgraded to strong buy from outperform by Raymond James analyst Chris Caso, who raised his price target to $750 from $700.

11. Okta | +9.72%

Shares of Okta  (OKTA) - Get Okta Inc. Report rose this past week after the maker of identity-management software reiterated its guidance for the year and introduced two new products that could expand its addressable market.

The surge was also attributed to Okta's projected sales growth of 30% over the next three years, fueled by the shift to remote work.

The company expects revenue at the end of fiscal 2024 will be close to an annualized $2 billion, or about $500 million for the fourth quarter, Chief Executive Todd McKinnon said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

12. Docusign | +8.94%

DocuSign  (DOCU) - Get DocuSign Inc. Report this past month introduced DocuSign Notary, its remote online notarization (RON) solution designed to enable organizations to notarize agreements virtually. This release was part of the company's drive to continue connecting and automating the agreement process.

"This is a work-from-home stock that's down big from its highs. This is an ugly market," said Jim Cramer, founder of TheStreet.

13. Tesla | +8.92%

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report shares jumped higher in premarket trading this past week after analysts at Canaccord Genuity lifted their rating on the clean-energy carmaker as it moves toward an "Apple-esque ecosystem" of energy products. 

Tesla was upgraded to buy from hold Friday by Canaccord analyst Jed Dorsheimer, who raised his price target by 155%, to $1,071 a share.

ARK Innovation ETF's  (ARKK) - Get ARK Innovation ETF Report Cathie Wood sold around $178 million in Tesla shares to invest in Coinbase.

Last month, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company would accept bitcoin as payment for its electric vehicles. 

14. Wells Fargo & Company | +8.68%

Wells Fargo  (WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report, among other banks, reported their quarterly results and shares of Wells Fargo advanced after the bank beat Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations, releasing $1.6 billion of reserves for bad loans.

Earnings totaled $4.74 billion, or $1.05 a share, compared with $653 million, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier.

The company announced this past week that David Galloreese, head of Human Resources, will leave Wells Fargo on April 23, 2021, to take a role outside the company.

15. Dell Technologies | +8.07%

Shares of Dell Technologies  (DELL) - Get Dell Technologies Inc. Class C Report rose close to 8% this past week after the computer maker received price target upgrades from Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan.

Deutsche Bank raised its price target on the stock to $120 from $100. J.P. Morgan also raised Dell's price target to $120 from $103.

Dell said it plans to spin off its stake in cloud-software firm VMware  (VMW) - Get VMware, Inc. Report, which will result in a special cash dividend for shareholders of up to $12 billion.

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