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GameStop Rallied 400% Last Week, and Two More Numbers to Know

Three numbers to start your day:

Market Reacts to Vaccine News from Noravax and Johnson & Johnson

Shares of Novavax climbed 65% on Friday, following news of a trial where the company’s vaccine was 89% effective at preventing Covid-19.

That figure encouraged investors, especially after news that a Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine was just 66% effective at preventing moderate cases of the virus. J&J shares fell 3.6% in Friday’s session.

And investors have other reasons to be concerned — they have been focusing more on a variant of the virus detected in South Africa that could be resistant to vaccines. Novavax said that its vaccine was only 60% effective in a trial in that country, where most cases are now from the new variant.

Those worries weighed down stocks on Friday, and the S&P 500 fell 1.9%.

GameStop Rallied 400% Last Week

The videogame retailer was in the headlines all week, as individual investors organized on Reddit message boards to buy the stock, sending shares sharply higher. Some market technicalities drove the stock up as well — options trading boosted prices, as did the fact that hedge funds had to buy shares to cover short positions, or bets that the stock would go down.

The short squeeze happened with a series of so-called meme stocks, including Nokia, Bed Bath & Beyond, and even Tootsie Roll Industries.

But GameStop seemed to be the center of this market fight, and its stock has benefited — for now, at least.

American Airlines Plans to Sell $1.1 Billion in New Stock

That was according to a Friday filing.

The airline is one of the stocks that has been unloved by Wall Street, but it has begun to rally as individual investors crowd into names that hedge funds have been betting against. And it is one of the biggest names so far to take advantage by selling stock. AMC Entertainment also raised $300 million last week.

But unlike the other meme stocks, American Airlines’ rally lost steam on Friday, and the stock closed 5.1% lower.

That is even after trading platforms like Robinhood and TD Securities allowed individual investors to trade the week’s most volatile stocks. It could be because $1 billion is a lot of new shares, and individuals are less excited about these companies when their stakes get diluted.

Numbers by Barron’s is our daily podcast. Find out more here.

Write to Alexandra Scaggs at [email protected]

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