Some investors returning from a long weekend will be shocked to have seen that the stock market suffered a big drop on Friday. However, based on premarket trading, it appears that they'll see at least a modest rebound from those losses Monday morning. As of 8:30 a.m. ET, futures on the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) were up 151 points, or nearly 1%, to 16,202.
A couple of stocks will be in the spotlight to start the new trading week. Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) issued its latest financial report, showing how the booming electric vehicle market in China is faring. Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) sought to build on strong gains on Friday with even more positive news about how it hopes to counter an increasingly dangerous situation. Below, we'll look at both companies and what's sending their shares sharply higher.
Li is in the driver's seat
Li Auto saw its shares rise more than 8% in premarket trading on Monday. The Chinese EV maker's latest financial results painted a rosy picture of how the key player is doing in capturing market share.
Investors already knew from monthly reports that Li had seen a big upsurge in the number of vehicles it delivered during the third quarter of 2021. With the Li One seeing deliveries rise above 25,100 for the period, Li managed to boost its volume by 190% year over year.
What was new for those watching Li, however, was how those delivery counts translated into sales. Revenue jumped almost 210% to $1.21 billion, with vehicle sales representing all but 5% of total revenue. Gross margin on vehicles improved by more than a full percentage point from year-earlier levels. That not only narrowed net losses according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), but also boosted adjusted net income substantially, to $52.1 million for the quarter.
Moreover, things are only getting started for Li. The company just started construction of a manufacturing facility in Beijing that should help it meet strong demand even more effectively, especially as it expands to offer multiple vehicles. As China continues to shift toward EVs from gas-powered vehicles, Li is positioned as an early leader in the high-growth space.
A solution for omicron?
Meanwhile, shares of Moderna climbed another 9% in premarket trading Monday morning, adding to its better-than-20% advance on Friday. The vaccine stock gained ground as the company made an announcement that was exactly what panicked health officials across the globe wanted to hear.
Over the weekend, Moderna set out its game plan for dealing with the new omicron variant of COVID-19. Late Friday, CEO Stéphane Bancel explained that Moderna has three lines of defense it's pursuing, which include potentially using a higher-dose booster of its current mRNA-1273 vaccine, two candidates designed to anticipate mutations like omicron, and a newly developed omicron-specific booster candidate dubbed mRNA-1273.529.
A subsequent BBC interview of Moderna Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton noted that if a brand new vaccine proves necessary, large quantities wouldn't be immediately available. However, Burton said it could be ready by early 2022, and that seemed to be enough to give investors comfort about a quick response.
Investors can expect the omicron variant to remain a market mover for the foreseeable future. If Moderna and other vaccine makers can fight it quickly, though, that'd be great news for the world -- and potentially for shareholders as well.