The Dow (DJI) hit five straight record highs; the S&P 500 (GSPC) and the Nasdaq (IXIC) witnessed biggest weekly rises since early-February. Why? U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill was approved last week. It is dubbed to be one of the largest economic stimulus in American history.
That pushed investors to mop up growth-oriented shares, helping the Dow add 4.1% for the week. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 2.6% and 3.1%, each. The rotation into cyclicals and firming bond yields, however, forced some investors to trim positions in tech shares. That dented the Nasdaq’s strong momentum and pushed it into a correction zone at the start of the week. But, it pulled back in the second half of the week and ended higher.
Sweet 16: Disney+ tops 100 million subscribers
Binge-watched The Mandalorian or WandaVision on Disney+? You are a part of the 100-million-subscribers club of this 16-month old service. These two shows are responsible for subscribers making a beeline to sign up.
Disney’s (DIS) milestone underscores its efforts around high-quality content. Its big-bang plan involves about 100 film and television projects, and about 80% of those are set to be streamed directly on Disney+. An added bonus — about a dozen Marvel series and over 10 Star Wars shows. All these make a case for more subscribers to come on board later.
It’s a century for the Oracle of Omaha
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) shares soared to record highs after its results. That increased the value of its CEO’s 38% stake to $101.5 billion last week. Considering other holdings by the ‘Oracle of Omaha’, the surge in shares has made him the sixth-richest person in the world.
The company has reported a better-than-feared performance for 2020, when it also bought back shares worth $24.7 billion. Analysts also believe the company can benefit from the historic reopening of the U.S. economy. This will benefit its large businesses that include insurance, transportation, utility, retail and manufacturing.
J&J is jab-ready: EU OKs its COVID-19 vaccine
The European Union has authorised the use of one-dose coronavirus vaccine by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The bloc had already ordered 200 million doses of the shot, and its one-jab nature and feasible storage systems make it easier and cheaper to transport and store.
J&J has received orders for millions of its doses from many countries. Over and above the 200-million doses order from the EU, there’s a provision for 200 million more units, J&J had said in October. The U.S. already has a 100-million doses order to be delivered by the end of June. Ballooning contract wins from developed nations and its transport and storage-convenient nature is a major draw for developing nations as well, bringing in big sources of revenue for the company in the future.
General Motors powers up e-vehicles runway
General Motors (GM) has inked a deal with a lithium metal battery startup to add throttle to its efficient electric vehicle goals. Its agreement with SolidEnergy Solutions will help in reducing weight from its vehicles — an advantage of using lithium metals instead of conventional graphite in batteries.
The tie-up will also pave the way for it to reduce costs in the future. That means more money earned for the company for every unit they sell. And, with the company projecting Ultium battery packs to cost 60% less by mid-decade and have twice the energy density, it’s a major win-win situation for GM.
In Other News:
- Boeing (BA) A first since 2019 – more aircraft orders than cancellations
- British American Tobacco (BTI): To buy nearly 20% in Canadian cannabis producer
- Tesla (TSLA): Hikes prices of Model Y, Model 3, & Model S variants
- AT&T (T): Bets big on HBO Max by raising subscriber forecast
- Funko (FNKO): Shares skyrocket after sales of ‘The Mandalorian’ merch & handbags soar