Headed into a three-day holiday weekend, stocks lost ground on Thursday, reversing an attempted recovery posted in the previous session. Tech stocks led the retreat, contributing to a 2.1% slide in the Nasdaq.
Drug development news provided a significant catalyst during the session. Valneva (VALN) posted a double-digit percentage gain on news that UK regulators have approved its COVID vaccine. Meanwhile, a US regulatory reversal sparked selling in Protagonist Therapeutics (PTGX).
In other news, CoreCivic (NYSE:CXW) rallied on a bullish analyst comment, climbing to a new 52-week high. At the same time, Cambium Networks (CMBM) dropped to a new low on a disappointing forecast and a major C-Suite change.
Valneva (VALN) soared after receiving UK regulatory approval for its COVID vaccine. Bolstered by the news, VALN climbed more than 12%.
The company said the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency granted conditional marketing authorization, the first drug regulator to authorize the company’s COVID vaccine. VALN becomes the sixth vaccine for the virus to receive MHRA approval.
VALN posted a gain on the session of $4.14, closing the day at $37.57. Even with the advance, the stock remains in a trading range that has held it since mid-March.
A major regulatory setback sparked an investor exodus out of Protagonist Therapeutics (PTGX), with the stock plunging 22%.
In a regulatory filing, PTGX revealed that the US Food and Drug Administration plans to remove its Breakthrough Therapy designation for the firm’s rusfertide product for polycythemia vera, a rare blood disorder.
In making its decision, the FDA pointed to observed malignancies in some patients in clinical trials. PTGX said it has requested a meeting with FDA officials to discuss the matter.
PTGX plunged $5.57 to finish the session at $19.95. With the drop, the stock has fallen below a recent trading range to reach its lowest level since October.
Notable New High
A positive analyst comment sparked buying in shares of CoreCivic (CXW). The stock jumped almost 15% to reach a fresh 52-week high.
The gains came after Wedbush analyst Jay McCanless added CXW to its Best Ideas List. He also upgraded his rating on the prison management provider to Outperform from Neutral, citing the firm’s “improving financial profile.”
CXW finished Thursday’s trading at $13.45, an advance of $1.75 on the session. Shares also reached an intraday 52-week high of $13.74.
The advance extended gains the stock has posted since the first half of March, when shares traded below $8.50. CXW has climbed about 60% since then.
Notable New Low
Cambium Networks (CMBM) experienced substantial selling pressure after the company cut its outlook and announced a major leadership change. Shares of the wireless infrastructure provider dropped almost 17% to reach a new low.
CMBM revealed preliminary GAAP revenues of $61M-$63 for Q1. This was below its previous forecast of $77.5M-$81.5M. Analysts were looking for a figure of $80M.
Commenting on the disappointing results, the company pointed to supply and distribution constraints, including a COVID-related shutdown in China during March.
At the same time, CMBM said that its CFO, Stephen Cumming, has left the firm. Outside executive Andrew Bronstein has been brought in to take over the role of chief financial officer.
CMBM dropped $3.37 to close at $16.95. During the session, the stock reached an intraday 52-week low.
With the retreat, the stock dropped below recent support, extending weakness seen throughout much of 2021. The stock, which is coming off a 52-week high of $66.40 set last April, has fallen 71% over the past year.
For more on the day’s biggest movers, turn to Seeking Alpha’s On The Move section.