Pfizer Covid Vaccine, Disney, Costco, Airbnb - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

Stock futures fall on fading hopes for a stimulus agreement; Pfizer's  Covid-19 vaccine candidate gets approval from a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel; Disney forecasts 260 million subscribers for Disney+ by 2024.
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, Dec. 11:

1. -- Stock Futures Fall as Hopes Fade for a Stimulus Deal

Stock futures declined Friday on fading hopes that lawmakers in Washington will reach a stimulus agreement.

Having little positive effect on sentiment was news that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Report - the first Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S.- received the backing of an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 188 points, S&P 500 futures were down 26 points and Nasdaq futures dropped 97 points.

While Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate over a relief bill of around $900 billion, disagreements over shielding companies from virus-related lawsuits have stalled the deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged lawmakers to drop aid for state and local governments and liability protections, and to proceed with a smaller bill without either, according to Bloomberg. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to reject that proposal, instead preferring to pause liability lawsuits in exchange for $160 billion in state aid floated by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Stocks finished mixed Thursday as investors weighed bogged down stimulus talks and a report that showed a surge in the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits.

The Dow declined 69 points, or 0.23%, to 29,999, the S&P 500 slipped 0.13% and the Nasdaq rose 0.54%.

The economic calendar Friday includes the Producer Price Index for November at 8:30 a.m. ET and Consumer Sentiment for December at 10 a.m.

Asian shares closed mixed Friday while stocks in Europe declined amid continued Brexit uncertainty and a setback in vaccine development.

2. -- Pfizer's Covid-19 Vaccine Gets FDA Panel Approval

The Covid-19 vaccine candidate from Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech won approval Thursday from a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee, and the full FDA likely will act quickly to roll out the vaccine.

The committee’s recommendation to approve an emergency use authorization for the vaccine passed 17 to 4, with one abstention. The FDA typically follows the advice of its advisory committees.

The FDA is expected to grant the authorization for emergency use on Saturday, The New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the agency’s planning. Distribution in the U.S. could begin within 24 hours, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. First priority for the vaccine will go to healthcare workers and nursing home residents. 

The FDA said Friday it would "rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization."

The approval from the FDA panel comes as the U.S. had more than 3,000 deaths from the virus on Wednesday and nearly 107,000 people hospitalized, both records, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

Pfizer was up 1.49% to $42.35 in premarket trading. American depositary receipts of BioNTech fell 0.6% to $128.76. 

3. -- Disney+ Sees Enormous Growth, 260 Million Subscribers Forecast by 2024

Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Report was rising sharply in premarket trading Friday after the entertainment giant said it expects its streaming services - Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ - to have a combined 350 million subscribers in four years.

Disney+, which the company announced Thursday has seen subscribers soar to 86.8 million, was forecast to grow to 260 million subscribers by 2024. 

Disney+ also will be getting a price hike, up $1 to $7.99 a month. 

“The enormous success of Disney+ inspired us to be even more ambitious,” said Executive Chairman Bob Iger at the company's investor day Thursday. “Our pipeline is much more robust than we initially anticipated."

Spending on content for its streaming services could reach $16 billion a year by 2024, Disney said.

CEO Bob Chapek said 80% of projects will be streamed, rather than played at movie theaters. However, some of Disney's biggest movies, such as “Black Widow,” a Marvel film slated for May, will debut in theaters exclusively at first. 

The stock rose 7.1% to $165.68 in premarket trading Friday. 

Disney is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells DIS? Learn more now.

4. -- Costco Earnings Beat Estimates

Costco  (COST) - Get Report shares dipped less than 1% Friday after the membership-based warehouse retailer reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts' estimates.

For the quarter ended Nov. 22, Costco reported adjusted earnings of $2.29 a share, beating Wall Street forecasts of $2.09. Revenue of $43.21 billion topped estimates of $43.08 billion.

First-quarter comparable-store sales rose 15.4%, above calls for growth of 15.3%.

E-commerce sales, Costco said, jumped 86.4% year over year as the company focused on its digital business amid the in-store disruption caused by coronavirus-related lockdowns across the country.

"Broadly speaking, Costco's ability to keep prices as low as possible, but still grow sales and expand margins is why we believe this is one of the best retailers to own in the market," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Costco in its portfolio. "It doesn't matter if it's a pandemic, a recession, or an accelerating economy. Costco's unmatched value proposition is what will drive consistently strong results."

5. -- Airbnb's Valuation Tops $100 Billion in Trading Debut

Airbnb  (ABNB) - Get Report, the home-rental platform, closed Thursday at $144.71, after kicking off trading at $146, more than double its initial public offering price of $68 a share. 

Its valuation soared to above $100 billion.

The stock traded as high as $165 on Thursday, almost two-and-a-half times the IPO price.

The stock was down 2.05% to $141.75 in premarket trading Friday.

Why Airbnb IPO Has Jim Cramer Worried About Valuation