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Gaming Resort, Hospitality Stocks Jump on Merck Covid Drug Trial

Merck says its oral Covid-19 treatment has shown positive results as the company prepares to apply for emergency use authorization.

Gaming stocks like Penn National Gaming  (PENN) - Get Penn National Gaming, Inc. Report, MGM Resorts MGM, Ceasars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Corporation Report, were rising Friday along with hospitality stocks like Hilton  (HLT) - Get Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT) Report, Marriott International  (MAR) - Get Marriott International, Inc. (MAR) Report, and Hyatt  (H) - Get Hyatt Hotels Corporation Class A Report after Merck  (MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Report announced a new Covid-19 treatment. 

Those industries could benefit the most from the drug maker's collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics for a new antiviral drug, Molnupiravir that how show promise to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization or death of non-hospitalized adult patients.

Penn National shares were 8.6% to $78.70 per share, MGM Resorts was rising 4% to $44.89, Caesars climbed to 5.8% to $118.80, Hilton gained 4.5% to $138.10, Marriott gained 5.4% and Hyatt rose 5.3%. 

Merck plans to submit an application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. FDA as soon as possible based on the findings.

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"With the virus continuing to circulate widely, and because therapeutic options currently available are infused and/or require access to a healthcare facility, antiviral treatments that can be taken at home to keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital are critically needed,” said Wendy Holman, chief executive officer of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, in a press release. 

The Biden Administration, in fact, has already committed to buying 1.7 million doses -- worth around $1.2 billion, if the drug is approved.

Shares of Merck were rising 9.5% to $82.24 per share.