Stocks were more or less unchanged on Friday, as some encouraging news on the vaccine front hit the wires. The Pfizer (ticker: PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) vaccine was shown to be highly effective after one dose, an important development that should help accelerate the vaccine rollout.
In addition to that, the Pfizer vaccine can also be stored effectively at normal freezer temperatures, another barrier to scaling up and distribution that can be lifted.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose one point, finishing at 31,494.
Fresh highs for Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s torrid rally continued on Friday, as the blue-chip cryptocurrency hit new all-time highs around $56,200. At those levels, Bitcoin’s year-to-date gains exceeded 90%. The market capitalization of all outstanding Bitcoin exceeded $1 trillion for the first time ever.
Palantir shines. Riding a wave that came from a vote of confidence from a widely watched investor, shares of Big Data company Palantir (PLTR) jumped more than 15% on Friday. Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest boosted her company’s holdings in the company, causing markets to scramble to snatch up the shares.
Palantir is also coming off an impressive fourth-quarter earnings report that sparked some analyst upgrades, and the lock-up period, which bans insiders from selling their shares for a certain period of time, expired without a flood of “sell” orders hitting the market as well.
Deere & Co. jumps. Shares of John Deere manufacturer Deere & Co. (DE) surged 9.9% on Friday following a blowout fiscal first-quarter earnings report. Earnings per share jumped from $1.63 in the same period a year prior to $3.87 last quarter. Revenue also clobbered expectations as a recovery in farm demand drove revenue of around $9.1 billion against expectations for about $7.2 billion.
XNYS: DE | 4:00:00 PM
Data as of 4:00:00 PM on 2/19/2021