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🚨 Situational awareness: The ZEW survey measuring German investor expectations for the next six months climbed to the highest level in five years. (Bloomberg)
🎙 “When I was 17 years old and just starting the business my mother said to me, ‘Don’t chase the money. It runs really fast. Do the right thing and it will follow you.'” - See who said it and why it matters at the bottom.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Biotech company Moderna had a day for the ages on Monday and finished by announcing the issue of $1.34 billion of new stock at a hefty price.
What happened: A small number of healthy patients given the first doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine appeared to have generated antibody responses to the virus, according to early phase one trial data released by the company Monday.
By the numbers: The company announced late Monday it would price an offering of 17.6 million new shares at $76 each.
Yes, but: The initial data is based on eight healthy volunteers so far.
Origin story: Moderna is a VC-created startup that began inside an incubator program run by Flagship Pioneering that became the first biotech unicorn, valued by venture capitalists at $3 billion in early 2015.
Watch this space: Short sellers also have lined up to bet against the stock, data from S3 Partners shows. Moderna is the fifth largest short in the company's domestic biotech sector with 24.5 million shares shorted.
Where it stands: Moderna isn't just another biotech company. "Moderna’s core technology is designed to help people make medicines within their own cells, rather than create something in a lab which patients need to ingest or inject," Primack wrote in 2015 for Fortune.
Moderna's stock has taken flight since April when CEO Stéphane Bancel said the company had received as much as $483 million in taxpayer funds to accelerate development of a coronavirus vaccine, but controversy already is swirling about recently departed executive Moncef Slaoui.
What's happening: Slaoui was appointed to co-chair the White House coronavirus vaccine project and said he would divest approximately $12.4 million worth of stock options.
Of note: A follow-up email seeking details on when and how Slaoui would divest his options was not returned.
Nasdaq is set to unveil new restrictions on IPOs, a move that will make it more difficult for some Chinese companies to debut on its stock exchange. (Reuters)
Uber will eliminate about 3,000 more jobs in a second wave of layoffs, as it cuts 23% of its workforce to deal with coronavirus restrictions. (Reuters)
One in four Hong Kong retailers could disappear by December unless landlords offer more relief and sales improve, a retail association warns. (Bloomberg)
The investment firm behind Peet’s Coffee, Pret A Manger and Panera Bread, is moving forward with an IPO of its coffee business, looking to raise up to $2.2 billion. (WSJ)
The governors of California, New York and Texas said professional sports can begin to move forward without crowds if coronavirus cases continue to decline. (N.Y. Times)
Axios' Margaret Talev writes: Americans are increasingly stepping out for social calls amid the pandemic — making playdates for their kids, restarting visits with elderly relatives, even grabbing a haircut, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
Why it matters: They're enabled and emboldened by states that have begun reopening, even as infections in the U.S. near 1.5 million and office closures and work-from-home arrangements remain in effect.
What they're saying: "There's still this high level of perceived risk about the COVID-19 world, but people are poking their heads out now," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs. "The overall trend is, everything's jumping up."
By the numbers: Southerners lead the push for haircuts, meals out and playdates, and that's in keeping with the pace of where restrictions are being lifted. Visits with the elderly are less about where you live than whether you're old enough to have elderly parents.
Retail has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic as bankruptcies and store closures have accelerated, but that is creating opportunities for the companies that survive, especially as a period of surging traffic could be on the way, data firm Placer.ai says.
What they're saying: The much ballyhooed retail apocalypse is poised to benefit budget retail names like Ross and Kohl's that have gained market share in recent years.
By the numbers: Placer.ai data shows that Ross saw a visit increase of 8.8% in January and 12.2% in February prior to visits plummeting as stores shuttered.
The intrigue: "With potential store closings on the horizon on the back of bankruptcy announcements, much of these visits could be up for grabs."
The big picture: "The combination of very strong performance heading into the crisis, effective positioning for the coming period of economic uncertainty and a weakened competitive landscape may actually set these brands up to thrive in the coming months and years," per Placer.ai.
Thanks for reading!
Quote: “When I was 17 years old and just starting the business my mother said to me, ‘Don’t chase the money. It runs really fast. Do the right thing and it will follow you.'”
Why it matters: Tariq Farid is a U.S. immigrant from Pakistan who is the co-founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements. In 2009, he was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by the International Franchise Association and in 2017 he was inducted into its Hall of Fame.