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MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 15, 2021
Merck scraps two treatments for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, will focus on antiviral for non-hospitalized patients
Shares of Merck & Co. were up 0.1% in premarket trading on Thursday after the drug company said the oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment it is developing with Ridgeback Therapeutics did not help hospitalized patients in a mid-stage clinical trial. The companies now plan to test molnupiravir in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients in a Phase 3 trial, with plans to file for emergency authorization in the second half of the year. They are also planning to see if the experimental therapy works for post-exposure prophylaxis. In a separate news release, Merck said it is discontinuing MK-7110 as a treatment for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, saying that the Food and Drug Administration's request for additional clinical information would push the launch into 2022. "Merck is now focusing its efforts on advancing molnupiravir, which, as an oral medicine for outpatient use, represents a promising potential new approach, and on accelerating production of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine," Dr. Roy Baynes, chief medical officer for Merck Research Laboratories, said in the release. Merck's stock has gained 6.6% since the start of the year, while the broader S&P 500 is up 9.8%.

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Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top138 million and UI.S. death toll above 564,000 (MarketWatch MarketPulse)
Many Evangelicals say they won't be vaccinated against Covid-19. Some experts say distrust and misinformation have played a role - CNN (Google Business News)

Google Business NewsApr 15, 2021
Study shows vaccines carry much lower risk of blood clots than COVID-19 - CBS News
Study shows vaccines carry much lower risk of blood clots than COVID-19  CBS NewsIn world first, Denmark ditches AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot  Yahoo NewsToronto medical officer of health says the risk of vaccine-related blood clots is still 'very rare'  Toronto StarEditorial: All drugs come with risk. The COVID vaccines are no different  Los Angeles TimesOpinion | Should Rare Side Effects Halt Use of a Vaccine?  The New Yo

MarketWatchApr 15, 2021
Dispatches from a Pandemic: Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca sagas illustrate strength of COVID-19 strategy: ‘It was a wise decision to spread the risk'
‘Factories can be hit by a hurricane, run out of a supply, or be hit by contamination that forces them to shut down.'

Yahoo BusinessApr 15, 2021
CureVac says it is on track with COVID-19 vaccine as it posts earnings update

CDC identifies 5,800 people who were fully vaccinated against COVID but still got infected: CNN (MarketWatch MarketPulse)

MarketWatch MarketPulseApr 15, 2021
UnitedHealth stock rises toward a record after profit and revenue beats, raised outlook
Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. jumped 1.7% into record territory in premarket trading Thursday, after the health care services company reported first-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations and raised its full-year outlook. "COVID-19 treatment and testing during the quarter was higher than expected, paired with higher elective care deferral patterns," the company said in a statement. Net income rose to $4.86 billion, or $5.08 a share, from $3.38 billion, or $3.52 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share grew to $5.31 from $3.72, beating the FactSet consensus of $4.39. Total revenue increased 9.0% to $70.20 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $69.02 billion, as premiums rose 9.6% to $55.49 billion to beat expectations of $54.57 billion. Revenue for the Optum business grew 10.8% to $36.4 billion. The company raised its 2021 adjusted EPS guidance range to $18.10 to $18.60 from $17.75 to $18.25. The stock, which is on track to open above the March 29 record close of $379.06, has advanced 7.1% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 9.8%.

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USA Today MoneyApr 14, 2021
Bubble tea shortage 2021: Shipping backlog making it harder to find boba. How long will the COVID-19 shortage last?
Bubble tea products, aka Boba, are becoming harder to find as another COVID-19-related shortage takes hold.      

USA Today MoneyApr 14, 2021
Fed Chair Powell: The biggest risk to the Fed's forecast for a roaring economy this year is another COVID-19 surge
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said another COVID-19 surge is the biggest risk to the central bank's rosy forecast. Interest rates will remain near zero      
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