The Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) remained under pressure on Thursday morning, responding negatively to new worries about the sustainability of the economic recovery. As of 11:15 a.m. EDT, the Nasdaq was down 1.3%, giving up its gains for the month.
Yet even as many investors seemed fearful about the Nasdaq's future prospects, a couple of stocks listed on the exchange did reasonably well. Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) has been in the spotlight recently thanks to a promising drug candidate for treating a terrible disease, while Golden Nugget Online Gaming (NASDAQ:GNOG) has largely remained under the radar in the gambling industry. Below, we'll look more closely at both companies to see what's moving their shares today.
Biogen sees a half-full glass
Shares of Biogen were up nearly 3% on Thursday morning. The move came despite what some might have thought was bad news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Last month, the FDA granted approval to Biogen's Aduhelm treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The approval came as a shock to many industry watchers, who have been skeptical of Aduhelm's ability to go beyond its demonstrated reduction in amyloid plaque buildup and actually provide favorable cognitive outcomes for Alzheimer's patients.
Today's move from the FDA seems to recognize that skepticism. Initially, the FDA's approval hadn't put any significant limits on which patients could use the drug. Now, though, the regulatory agency is adding language to Aduhelm's label to indicate that treatment should focus on patients with mild levels of cognitive impairment or dementia. Specifically, the new label states that there's no data on safety or efficacy using the drug for Alzheimer's patients at other stages of the disease, whether earlier or later.
The fact that Biogen's stock is up despite the move seems to indicate some relief that the FDA didn't do a more complete reversal of its prior position. Nevertheless, many see alternative candidate treatments from Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) and others as potentially having better prospects for lasting improvement for Alzheimer's patients in the long run.
A good bet?
Elsewhere, shares of Golden Nugget Online Gaming rose more than 7%. The newly public company got a vote of confidence from Wall Street.
Analysts at B. Riley started their coverage of Golden Nugget Online with a buy rating, and they set a price target of $27 per share on the stock. The analysts believe that Golden Nugget Online's prospects for taking a leadership position in the quickly evolving online gambling industry are strong, especially given the company's existing market share in the New Jersey gambling market. Moreover, B. Riley likes the fact that Golden Nugget Online offers an alternative to other companies that are focusing largely on the more competitive online sports betting market.
Golden Nugget Online just came public in late December, following its merger with special-purpose acquisition company Landcadia Holdings II. Since then, though, shares have fallen sharply, as investors have had to deal with a loss of confidence in the fundamental potential for the industry overall.
With regular casinos opening their doors once again, the prospects for online gambling are somewhat cloudy. Nevertheless, at least one expert on Wall Street sees Golden Nugget Online finishing up on top even if a recovery sends more gamblers back to brick-and-mortar establishments.