A late-day surge allowed the major U.S. equity averages to end an otherwise lackluster trading session with respectable gains. A drop in oil prices helped give stocks a boost.
Amid the overall advance, cryptocurrency stocks performed extremely well. A general rally in the crypto complex supported stocks like Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), Riot Blockchain (RIOT), Marathon Digital (MARA), Bit Digital (BTBT), HIVE Blockchain (HIVE) and Hut 8 Mining (HUT).
Turning to the day’s standout decliners, Amylyx Pharma (AMLX) plunged on worries ahead of a regulatory advisory meeting, dropping to its lowest level since coming public. At the same time, Vir Biotechnology (VIR) slipped to a 52-week low.
Sector In Focus
A rally in the cryptocurrency market and chatter about potential M&A activity gave a boost to crypto-related stocks.
Coinbase (COIN) rose nearly 8% amid reports that the firm was in talks to purchase 2TM, the owner of Brazil’s largest digital asset exchange. Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) climbed 2%, part of an overall advance in the crypto complex.
Elsewhere in the sector, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) climbed 10%, while Marathon Digital (MARA), Bit Digital (BTBT) and HIVE Blockchain (HIVE) all posted advances of about 8%. Hut 8 Mining (HUT) climbed nearly 6%.
Under terms of the transaction, HPQ will pay $40 per share in cash for the provider of video and voice solutions. The transaction is expected to immediately add to HP’s peripherals and workforce solutions businesses.
POLY surged $13.82 to finish the day at $39.99. With the advance, the stock jumped above a trading range that has held it since September.
The stock also recorded its highest close since late June.
Amylyx Pharma (AMLX) suffered a massive sell-off after the release of documents ahead of a regulatory meeting related to the firm’s AMX0035 product, a potential therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Shares plunged nearly 36% on the news.
The documents, released ahead of an advisory committee meeting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, raised concerns about the eventual approval of the drug. The FDA noted that a recent late-stage trial met its primary endpoint but that the statistical significance “is not highly persuasive.”
AMLX closed Monday’s trading at $16.01, a decline of $8.99 on the day. Shares also reached a new post-IPO low of $10.49.
AMLX came public in January through an IPO priced at $19 per share. The stock reached a high of $33.41 in late February and has seen selling pressure since.
Notable New High
News of a contract award allowed Elbit Systems (ESLT) to continue its recent momentum, with shares of the Israel-based defense company adding 1% to reach a new 52-week high.
ESLT announced that it has won contracts worth a total of about $130M. The deals call on the firm to build a turnkey industrial complex in an unnamed country in Asia-Pacific. The production line will create artillery munitions.
ESLT climbed $3.09 to close at $236.82. During the day, shares set an intraday 52-week high of $238.97. Monday’s advance added to a longer-term upswing, with the stock recording its sixth gain in the past eight sessions.
Overall, shares have climbed nearly 64% over the past six months.
Notable New Low
Vir Biotechnology (VIR) slipped nearly 3% following a regulatory judgment that the company’s COVID antibody therapy has a weakness against a subvariant of the Omicron strain of the virus. With the slide, the stock established a new 52-week low, although it recovered some of its losses by the close.
The company, along with its partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted that the sotrovimab product “is unlikely” to be “effective against the Omicron BA.2 variant.” The firms plan to provide additional data to the FDA supporting the use of higher doses of the drug in the subvariant.
VIR dropped sharply in early trading to reach an intraday 52-week low of $20.53. The stock recovered significantly throughout the day but still finished lower by 62 cents. Shares ended the day at $21.19.
Looking longer-term, VIR has lost nearly 51% over the past six months.
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