Two days late for the one-day NFT convention [bymuratdeniz/E+ via Getty Images]
If your sauvignon tastes like Grey Poupon, it probably is: The mustard icon just debuted a condiment-infused wine called “La Moutarde Vin” — and it’s already sold out.
Stocks edged down to close the day, as investors stressed about inflation. Now all eyes are on earnings season, which kicks off this week with banks like Chase, Citi, and Morgan Stanley. Investors want to see if rising prices hit companies’ profits.
Hard to swallow... because “molnupiravir” is a mouthful. American pharma giant Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics just filed for FDA approval of molnupiravir — aka the Covid pill. If approved, it would be the first swallowable antiviral Covid drug. So far, Gilead’s remdesivir is the only FDA-approved antiviral, but it's just for hospital patients and has to be injected. Merck said its pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in high-risk people with Covid.
Winter is coming... and it could be chilly. Sheltering indoors could lead to another Covid surge. Merck is pushing to get this pill out: It's already started production and plans to manufacture 10M treatment courses this year. Oh, and it has a $1.2B contract to provide 1.7M courses to the US gov't, at $712 for each five-day course — or 40X what it reportedly costs to produce.
Pharma’s Covid story is far from over... And pills could play a big role, both for those who aren’t vaxxed, and for those who can't. While 80% of US adults are vaccinated, more than half of the world's population hasn't gotten a shot, and only 35% is fully vaxxed. Since unvaccinated people are 11X more likely to die from Covid, the pill could lower death rates in countries with poor vaccine access — if Merck makes it affordable. Merck says it plans to price its pill based on the wealth of the country buying it.
Scratch the fuzzy pink neck pillow... and forget the Biscoff cookies. Southwest Airlines cancelled 2K+ flights between Saturday and Monday, causing headaches from Miami to Denver. SW blamed the cancellation-palooza on air-traffic issues and bad weather. Awkward, since the FAA reported no air-traffic-control issues, and angry customers posted pics of baby-blue skies. SW shares sank as much as 3% yesterday.
The rumors were flying… unlike Southwest’s planes. Critics speculated that the cancellations stemmed from pilots’ massive “sick-in” protest of SW’s vaccine mandate. But SW — and the pilots’ union — said the cancellations weren’t part of a protest. Instead, they may have stemmed from Southwest’s opportunistic pandemic strategy:
It’s hard to refund a canceled rep… The financial cost of cancellations is bad for airlines, but the reputation cost is worse. Southwest soared to success with low prices and an aggressive expansion strategy. But after this PR nightmare, thousands of travelers may avoid it at a time when travel is rebounding. Domestic travel is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, and is expected to keep growing. But Southwest could miss out.
Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Apple, Netflix, Delta, and Moderna