Friday’s Pre-Market: Here’s What You Need to Know Before the Market Opens

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U.S. stock futures were trending lower on Friday amid growing concerns that a new COVID-19 variant will prompt a new round of mobility restrictions, consequently hindering the economic growth. The discovery of a vaccine-resistant variant has sent investors scampering for safety in bonds, shunning stocks.

Dow futures (DJIA) were down 2.08%, S&P futures (SPX) down 1.70% and Nasdaq futures (NDX) down 1.08% at the time of writing.

Upcoming earnings

While BlueCity Holdings (BLCT), Pinduoduo, Inc. (PDD) and SemiLEDs Corp. (LEDS) will report their quarterly results before the market opens, Natuzzi S.p.a. (NTZ) and Thai Beverage Public Co. Ltd. (TBVPF) will report after the market closes. Osino Resources (OSIIF) is also scheduled to report its quarterly results.

Pre-market movers

DiDi Global (DIDI) was the most active stock in the pre-market session, with 1.47M shares changing hands at the time of writing. The stock is the subject of increased market activity, following reports that Chinese regulators asked the company to formulate a plan to delist from the U.S. exchange. Bloomberg reports that the regulators are pushing for delisting the ride-hailing service concerned by leakage of sensitive data.

ISpecimen (ISPC) was the biggest gainer in the pre-market session, jumping 61.7% at the time of writing. The jump comes after the U.S. government and private researchers selected the company to supply critical human biospecimens for an advanced phase of COVID-19 research.

Longeveron (LGVN) was the biggest loser in the pre-market session, falling 16.10% at the time of writing. It is still unclear what is causing the stock to fall as no fundamental news has been released to justify the drop.

Market News

Lithium Americas Corp. (LAC) has moved to strengthen its stakes in Argentina-based Arena Minerals with the purchase of 23,369,003 shares valued at about $10 million. Prior to the acquisition, the company owned 42,857,143 shares, representing 11.6% of all Arena Mineral issued shares. Following the purchase, the company now owns an 18% stake in Arena Minerals.

Pfizer, Inc. (PFE) and BioNTech SE (BNTX) have secured regulatory approval for the use of their COVID-19 vaccine in children between the ages of 5 and 11 from the European Medicines Agency. The approval comes at a time when Europe is struggling with a spike in COVID-19 cases. The approval follows trials between the ages of 5 and 11 where the vaccine demonstrated 90.7% efficacy.

Seelos Therapeutics (SEEL) has inked an exclusive license agreement with specialty pharmaceutical company iX Biopharma. With the acquisition, the company will own a worldwide license, excluding some jurisdiction, for the sublingual racemic ketamine wafer Wafermine. Wafermine has already received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Shares of Aura Biosciences, Inc. (AURA) rose 3.8% in the extended trading session on Wednesday after the clinical-stage biotechnology company delivered Q3 2021 results. The company posted a loss of $28.33 a share, wider than a loss of $14.81 a share delivered the same quarter last year.

Paysafe Limited (PSFE) has inked a strategic partnership with communication infrastructure company Huawei. The partnership paves the way for the integration of PaySafe’s online cash payment solution, Paysafecard, in Huawei App Gallery. The alternative payment system is designed to enable cash-based online purchases to millions of customers.

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