Skip to main content

Disney, Pfizer, Moderna, COVID and Airbnb - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Stock futures rise modestly following a third straight closing record high for the S&P 500; Pfizer and Moderna rise after FDA clears third COVID shot; Disney posts subscribers surge; Airbnb sees delta variant depressing bookings.

Here are five things you must know for Friday, Aug. 13:

1. -- Stock Futures Point Higher After S&P 500's Record Close

Stock futures rose modestly Friday following a third straight closing record high for the S&P 500 as investors weighed an improving employment picture against ongoing inflationary pressures in the recovering U.S. economy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48 points, S&P 500 futures were up 3 points and Nasdaq futures gained 3 points.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury dipped Friday to 1.347%.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs Thursday after the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell for a third straight week, an indication the jobs market was bouncing back from last year's pandemic-induced recession

At the same time, however, prices paid to producers rose 7.8% year over year in July, coming in above economists' forecasts and marking the largest annual increase in more than a decade.

“While inflation has been the overarching theme this week, U.S. jobless data from (Thursday) highlighted the improving
employment backdrop as well,” Jim Reid, a strategist at
Deutsche Bank in London, told Bloomberg. “U.S. producer prices
surprised to the upside, highlighting the ongoing inflationary
pressures from ever-rising commodity costs and supply chain

2. -- Friday's Calendar:  Consumer Sentiment, Microvast Earnings

The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes Import and Export Prices for July at 8:30 a.m. ET and Consumer Sentiment for August at 10 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected Friday from Microvast Holdings  (MVST) , Marathon Digital  (MARA)  and Honest Co.  (HNST) .

3. -- Pfizer and Moderna Rise After FDA Clears Third COVID Shot

Shares of Pfizer  (PFE)  and Moderna  (MRNA)  were rising in premarket trading Friday after the Food and Drug Administration authorized third doses of the companies' vaccines for some people with compromised immune systems.

“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock  in a statement. “After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

“Today’s action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19. As we’ve previously stated, other individuals who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time,” Woodcock said.

Pfizer was rising 0.13% in premarket trading, while U.S.-listed shares of BioNTech, its German partner, rose 2.56%. Moderna gained 2.08% to $399.57.

The FDA's action expands the use of the vaccines for organ transplant recipients, patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy and those tasking medications for chronic illnesses. 

The U.S. has seen infections surge mostly from the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. More than 117,000 new cases were diagnosed Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

4. -- Disney Posts Surge in Streaming Subscribers

Shares of Walt Disney  (DIS)  were rising 5% early Friday after the media and entertainment giant posted much stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings after subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service topped 100 million less than two years after its initial launch.

Subscriber totals for the Disney+ streaming service hit 116 million, well ahead of analysts' estimates. Adjusted earnings of 80 cents a share in the quarter also beat estimates, while revenue jumped of 44.2% to $17.02 billion.

Revenue from theme parks surged more than three-fold to $4.34 billion from last year when COVID-19 restricted attendance.

“We ended the third quarter in a strong position, and are pleased with the company’s trajectory as we grow our businesses amidst the ongoing challenges of the pandemic,” said CEO Bob Chapek. “We continue to introduce exciting new experiences at our parks and resorts worldwide, along with new guest-centric services, and our direct-to-consumer business is performing very well, with a total of nearly 174 million subscriptions across Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu at the end of the quarter, and a host of new content coming to the platforms.”

Walt Disney shares rose 5.01% to $188.27 in premarket trading. The stock has fallen about 1% so far in 2021.

5. -- Airbnb Falls After Saying It Expects Bookings Decline

Shares of Airbnb  (ABNB)  tumbled almost 4% in premarket trading after the home-rental company said it expects the spread of the delta variant to depress quarterly bookings.

Airbnb said in a statement Thursday that while it expects third-quarter bookings to grow year over year, it also expects them to decline from the second quarter and from the pre-pandemic third quarter of 2019.

"In the near term, we anticipate that the impact of COVID-19 and the introduction and spread of new variants of the virus, including the delta variant, will continue to affect overall travel behavior, including how often and when guests book and cancel," the company said in a statement. "As a result, year-over-year comparisons for Nights and Experiences Booked and (gross booking value) will continue to be more volatile and non-linear."

For the second quarter, Airbnb reported revenue of $1.3 billion, up 299% from $335 million  a year earlier and ahead of analysts’ expectations of $1.26 billion. Revenue rose 10% from the second quarter of 2019.

Gross booking value in the second quarter was $13.4 billion, up 320% from a year earlier and up 37% from the second quarter of 2019.