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Vaccine stocks: Pfizer, Moderna rise on Omicron news, Novavax falls

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Yahoo Finance anchors discuss a rise in vaccine stocks as Pfizer and Moderna rise amid Omnicron news.

Video transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

JULIE HYMAN: Oh, just a little less than 4 minutes until the opening bell here on this Wednesday morning. After some strength that we have seen in the equity markets, it looks like that strength is set to continue this morning, although it's melting away, actually, before our eyes. So we'll see if stocks actually can hang on to gains. But we did get a lift of sentiment this morning from that research out from Pfizer and BioNTech saying that the booster regimen for their COVID-19 vaccine is showing early promise against the omicron variant.

We've been seeing some increases in some of those vaccine stocks. Pfizer on the rise this morning along with BioNTech. Moderna has also been increasing, although it has not yet come out with results as to how effective its vaccine is against that variant. But all of this seeming to really alleviate some of the concerns in the market out there.

You guys, we were just talking to Lori Calvasina a few moments ago about this, and she said COVID still a risk. She, like many of us, has been humbled over the past couple of years in trying to game out this market. But things do feel a little more sedate. Now, I'm jinxing it again, aren't I, Brian Sozzi? Things do feel a little more sedate for now.

BRIAN SOZZI: Humble? No, no way. Me, you, Brian Cheung, we've been very right on every market call or suggestion that we have made in 3-plus years, so no humbleness here. But I will say, Julie, it is a very confusing market, just echoing what Lori said right now. Do you focus on a potential hot inflation reading on Friday and then maybe a hawkish Fed meeting next week? Do you focus on the positive news, what looks to be out of Pfizer this morning here?

It's unclear. And look what George Kurtz just said over a Crowdstrike. His stock is down 30% from a November 9 high despite a very, very strong third quarter. What does the market need to see from a company like that? But again, just confusing times.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah. And you were talking about the vaccine stocks. A lot of volatility in these stocks day to day. That's not something unique to the omicron variant emergence, but that's been story throughout the entirety of 2021. But interesting to see Novavax losing about 4% in the premarket, but that's after a nearly 30% bump in the stock yesterday. I believe it was the EU-- yeah, the head of the European Medicines Agency that had mentioned the possibility of the vaccine from Novavax getting authorized in the, quote, "near future."

But again, some of the changes today that we've seen with the Pfizer vaccine maybe taking some steam out of the stock. But there's no rhyme or reason for these vaccine stocks. They're not meme stocks, per se, but obviously a lot of volatility. But look, I also want to point out the broad story we were talking about with Lori. The VIX is down. When you take a look at the CBOE VIX Index, I think it's at about 22 handle, much lower than where it was on Black Friday. So VIXes and vaxes, I guess. That's the big theme I'm looking at.

JULIE HYMAN: VIXes and vaxes. I like it. That is definitely a theme that makes sense. And it's a really good point that you bring up about the vaccine makers. Something else to point out, of course, is that when you look at-- they're not all created equal, obviously. If you look at a Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, these are enormous companies with a broad, broad suite of products, certainly not just reliant on vaccines.

If you look at a Novavax and a Moderna and a BioNTech, on the flip side, obviously, they're much more pure play, so they react differently. There is the opening bell on this Wednesday morning. And Planet ringing the opening bell in honor to celebrate its listing here on this Wednesday morning. Going to be interesting to see, again, if stocks can hang on to the gains this morning.

The NASDAQ coming off a 3% gain yesterday. You can see it hasn't opened up quite yet, still showing that from yesterday. But that was the biggest gain for that average since March. The S&P also posted its biggest gain since March yesterday. And it looks like a much more lukewarm opening for stocks here on this Wednesday morning on the back of that big gain. So the momentum losing some steam here.

I also wanted to check on large-cap tech. And in fact, the NASDAQ just going negative there before our eyes. Wanted to check on large-cap tech, because a couple of things we're watching here. Apple is nearing a $3 trillion market cap. It was at about $2.8 billion at last check. And there is a report this morning from Nikkei in Japan that Apple told suppliers to speed up iPhone output for November through January after it slowed output over the past few months.

So we'll see how that plays out into the stock today. Nvidia and Microsoft pulling back after gains yesterday. Amazon and Alphabet showing a mixed picture as well. But this was really the big engine, if you will, underneath the big stock gains yesterday. It was a broad-based rally, to be sure, but these guys doing a lot of the work as well.

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