3 Coronavirus Stocks to Go on the Defensive

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The pandemic shows no signs of slowing and many investors are interested in novel coronavirus stocks.

Global cases are now up to 21.7 million with more than 775,937 deaths. In the U.S., there are nearly 5.41 million cases.

  • Brazil is up to 3.3 million cases
  • India is up to 2.6 million cases
  • Russia is up to 925,558 cases
  • South Africa is up to nearly 587,400 cases

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned the situation could get far worse.

Granted, Russia is claiming to have the first Covid-19 vaccine in the world.

“As far as I know, a vaccine against a new coronavirus infection has been registered this morning, for the first time in the world,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also claims one of his daughters has already taken it, as noted by CNBC.

However, no one knows how safe it is. No one ever did a Phase 3 trial. We don’t know if it’s safe, or what the potential long-term effects are. We know absolutely nothing more than Russia approved it without the proper tests.

With that in mind, it’s best to use weakness in vaccine companies an opportunity. Three of the top coronavirus stocks to consider include:

  • Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX)
  • Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)
  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO)

Coronavirus Stocks: Novavax (NVAX)

Getting Into the Testing Business May Spell Disaster for XSPA Stock

Source: Cryptographer /

The very first time I weighed in on the Novavax stock, it traded at just $15 a share in February. It would explode to a high of $189.40 before pulling aback to around $137 on profit taking and the latest news out of Russia. In my opinion, I’d use that recent weakness as a reason to buy, believing the NVAX stock could run to $200.

The company just started a Phase 2b clinical trial in South Africa to evaluate the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

“Because South Africa is experiencing a winter surge of Covid-19 disease, this important Phase 2b clinical trial has the potential to provide an early indication of efficacy, along with additional safety and immunogenicity data for NVX-CoV2373,” said Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax.

In addition, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Charles Duncan is among those confident in the potential vaccine, reiterating an overweight rating with a $148 price target. He’s reportedly encouraged by the pre-clinical data released by the company.

Moderna (MRNA)

half of a double helix molecule of DNA

Source: Shutterstock

When I first weighed in on Moderna, it traded at $48.05, and exploded to $95.21 before pulling back to around $66. Again, most of the pullback was thanks to profit taking and Russia.

I’d strongly consider buying it on the pullback, as it consolidates. From here, I’d like to see the MRNA stock closer to $95 again.

Helping, the Trump administration announced it will buy 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, which is now in late-stage human trials. In addition, the U.S. government agreed to pay Moderna about $1.5 billion, including incentive payments.

There’s also an option to buy another 400 million doses.

Plus, the company announced a study of its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study showed that a two-dose vaccination created a robust immune response and protection against the virus.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO)

Source: Ascannio / I’ve also weighed in on Inovio Pharmaceuticals a few times.

The first time, INO traded at just $4.86 in late January 2020 before rocketing to $33.79. Since then, INO stock pulled back to around $14, again on profit taking and Russia. I’d use the weakness as a buy opportunity here, too. The pullback was an overreaction.

In late July 2020, the company said its INO-4800 vaccine was effective in treating nonhuman primates from live virus 13 weeks after last vaccination.

Results were submitted to a peer-reviewed journal and “demonstrate that INO-4800 reduced viral load in both the lower lungs and nasal passages in macaques that received two doses of INO-4800 (1 mg) four weeks apart and then were challenged with live virus 13 weeks after the second dose (study week 17),” according to Inovio.

Ian Cooper, an contributor, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999. As of this writing, Ian Cooper did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

The post 3 Coronavirus Stocks to Go on the Defensive appeared first on InvestorPlace.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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