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Stocks Rise On New COVID Testing Tech

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The markets were in climbing mood Friday morning, partly on news of FDA approval for a 15-minute COVID-19 test from Abbott Laboratories, with whom Trump has just announced a $750-million deal

By 11:45am EST Friday, the Dow had gained some 85 points, the S&P 500 was up some 10 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up over 65 points.

The deal is a bit of a campaign coup for Trump, who announced the $750-million spend for 150 million tests on the campaign trail at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night.  

Abbott Lab stocks are now soaring ...

The stock has gained over $7 in a day, so there will be a lot of FOMO running around this one as retail investors try to pinpoint where the next big win on the COVID playing field will be. 

On Wednesday, the FDA granted emergency use authorities to Abbott for its COVID test, BinaxNOW, which returns results in 15 minutes. That’s important because there are no other approved tests that can be conducted like this without additional computer analysis equipment and capabilities. It’s been compared to a pregnancy test.  

But while Abbott is the direct beneficiary, there are plenty of other stocks riding its tailwinds. 

Airlines and cruise companies, for instance, are getting a nice boost, too, because it opens the door for a potential uptick in travel beyond the localized RV scenario. If a 15-minute COVID test can be undertaken, it could mean back to real business for the travel and tourism industry. 

United Airlines has gained about $3 since the FDA’s Wednesday announcement, while Delta is trading up more cautiously, along with American Airlines. Carnival Cruises has gained ~$2 since Wednesday. 

So this is where retail investors can ease their FOMO. If the test logically could benefit airlines and cruises, then it could also benefit things such as amusement parks (think: Disney), concerts, and a host of other big public events and venues. Perhaps even major league sports.

Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV), the parent company of TicketMaster,  is a good one to watch. It’s gained some $6 since Wednesday. 

Did you miss the recovery boat on this one? This was one of the worst performers of the year, with Q2 revenues a whopping 98% below the same quarter a year ago. They also reported a net loss of $2.67 per share. 

But Live Nation has a particular advantage over airlines and cruises when it comes to the bottom line. Even though Live Nation was basically closed down over the pandemic, it’s not going to lose as much money because only a small fraction of its customers have asked for their money back. That’s because the price of a lost concert ticket is a lot easier to swallow than the cost of a lost plane ticket or entire vacation. 

And then we have Disney, which is one of those stocks that many are just holding because they don’t want to accept the loss of selling, even though they’d rather buy something else. 

Disney’s gained about $4 since the FDA’s approval of Abbott Lab’s 15-minute test because this could mean that it’s theme parks could start operating like they used to, or much closer to the old norm. But Disney’s boost also comes after the Florida governor said Wednesday that Disney’s parks would be operating at higher capacity, soon. Parks in Florida have reopened, but not in California. On Wednesday, however, during a roundtable in Orlando, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld all said California parks were ready to reopen after five months of shutdown.

And hedge funds seem to think that Disney is a good bet. They were piling in even before the FDA announcement. 

By Michael Kern for Safehaven.com

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