New African Virus Variant Puts These Penny Stocks In The Spotlight Today
What’s going on in the stock market today? Earlier this week, we were heading into the holiday nearing record-high levels. Countless penny stocks were red hot, and retail traders were reaping the rewards before Black Friday. Now, on the actual day of discounts, stocks have given the market lower prices too. Why is the stock market down today?
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, news emerged on a new virus variant. I don’t have to explain the magnitude of the 2020 pandemic for you to understand exactly why some are afraid of what’s to come.
New Variant Shakes Markets
So what happened and why the knee-jerk reaction in markets? A new, heavily mutated virus of the one we’ve come to know over the last year has emerged with confirmed cases primarily concentrated in one area of South Africa. This new variant called B.1.1.529 is expected to be given a Greek code-name like other variants. According to reports from the BBC, Prof Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, explained that there was an “unusual constellation of mutations.” Professor de Oliveira also said that it is “very different” from other variants that have circulated.
“This variant did surprise us, it has a big jump on evolution [and] many more mutations that we expected.”
Keep in mind that more mutation doesn’t particularly mean that this is a “worse” form of the virus. But it is essential to know what the mutations are and what it’s doing to the virus. Beta was a considerable concern early on, but that took a back seat to the faster-spreading Delta. As far as what’s to come, however, it’s still too early to tell. We know right now that over 80 cases have been fully confirmed, including in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, and Israel.
Meanwhile, The World Health Organization (WHO) said it might be a few weeks until it can understand the real impact of the new variant, including how transmissible it is.
Keep in mind that areas worldwide have already begun engaging in new restriction measures, including Austria going back into lockdown amid a surge of virus cases in Europe. Meanwhile, Germany’s report of thousands of new cases prompted government officials to bring the idea of lockdowns back into the conversation. Recent travel bans have also been initiated. The European Union, Singapore, and other countries have begun pausing travel to or from the South African region.
All of this has shaken the stock market today. But that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom. In fact, some of the companies that flourished during the pandemic are now back in the spotlight. This includes a slew of penny stocks to watch right now.
Penny Stocks To Watch
XpresSpa Group Inc. (NASDAQ:XSPA)Geovax Labs Inc. (NASDAQ:GOVX)iBio Inc. (NASDAQ:IBIO)Oragenics Inc. (NYSE:OGEN)NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:NBY)SiNtx Technologies (NASDAQ:SINT)Chembio Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:CEMI)
Penny Stocks To Watch 1. XpresSpa Group Inc. (NASDAQ:XSPA)
Those who’ve traded penny stocks for a while have probably become familiar with XpresSpa Group Inc. (NASDAQ:XSPA). It was best-known for its retail outlets in airports offering light spa services. With the onset of the pandemic, it focused on using its unique positioning to provide an outlet for virus testing. Though the last year has been volatile, the latest surge in uncertainty has boosted sentiment surrounding XSPA stock. Analysts at HC Wainwright recently lifted their target from $3.50 to $4 on the penny stock.
In its latest quarterly update, CEO Doug Satzman explained, “Having already launched our Treat website and mobile app, we are now focused on opening our first Treat In-Airport Wellness Centers. Treat at JFK Terminal 4 is scheduled to open next month, while Treat at Phoenix Sky Harbor is now scheduled during the first quarter of next year. Additional location openings are planned for 2022 and 2023.”
With the chances of more testing becoming a core focus in preventing the spread of any new variants, XSPA could be one of the penny stocks to watch.
2. Geovax Labs Inc. (NASDAQ:GOVX)
Similar to XSPA, shares of GOVX stock have also experienced a volatile year in 2021. The stock has bounced around most of the year after kicking things off with a rally to highs of over $8.70 in the first quarter. Geovax Labs Inc. (NASDAQ:GOVX) factors into this whole virus niche thanks to the development and ongoing studies of a preventative vaccine. In its latest presentation at the Vaccine World Asia Congress, the company highlighted its platform and the ability to induce broader immunity.
Earlier this month, the company entered into a license agreement with City of Hope. The deal grants GeoVax exclusive rights to develop and commercialize its COH0451 platform targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There’s currently a trial comparing COH0451 to Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) mRNA vaccine.
Penny Stocks To Watch 3. iBio Inc. (NASDAQ:IBIO)
Shares of iBio Inc. (NASDAQ:IBIO) have also spiked early on Black Friday. With vaccine stocks in a bright spotlight, certain stocks that have been quiet are waking up a bit. IBIO is one of these and maybe a warm welcome to those who’ve endured a rough year so far. Year-to-date, shares are down over 30%, but the latest surge of interest in vaccine stocks has triggered a rebound (for now).
iBio is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on its FastPharming Manufacturing System. Among the therapeutics the company has developed, its IBIO-202 targets the COVID-19 virus. iBio has already submitted a pre-IND package to the FDA and anticipates a response “in the coming months.”
4. Oragenics Inc. (NYSE:OGEN)
Like iBio, Oragenics Inc. (NYSE:OGEN) has been very quiet over the last few weeks. However, the uptick in virus anxiety has brought some new interest to the penny stock this week. Black Friday saw shares of OGEN stock perk up early, thanks to this.
Oragenics falls into the vaccine niche of this list of virus stocks. The company has worked on the development of its Terra CoV-2 platform. This is a candidate to prevent variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Late last quarter, the company began a Challenge study to evaluate multiple formulations of its vaccine candidate. What’s more, results are expected this month. So, with the clock ticking down in November and new pressure coming from this latest variant, OGEN stock could be one to watch.
5. NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:NBY)
Though vaccine stocks are in a very bright light right now, you can’t forget about the rest of the virus ecosystem. Early on in 2020, companies providing personal protective equipment flourished. This included companies like NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:NBY). Shares of NBY stock surged to highs of nearly $2 last year, and in 2021, virus concerns during the first quarter helped give the penny stock a boost back to highs of almost $1.80.
Since then, NovaBay has gradually slid back below $1. But this latest interest in the African variant has reignited attention on PPE stocks. Shares of NovaBay have been on the move this week, jumping from around 45 cents on Wednesday to highs of $0.55 so far. The company’s main business focuses on consumer products for eye care. However, it’s currently benefiting in the stock market today thanks to its offering of KN95 masks during the pandemic. With the first line of defense, so to speak, being addressed by PPE, NBY stock could be one to watch as virus concerns reemerge.
6. SiNtx Technologies (NASDAQ:SINT)
Similar to NovaBay, SiNtx Technologies (NASDAQ:SINT) is another one of the potential PPE stocks to watch right now. The company specializes in ceramics for medical and non-medical applications. Where does it fall into the virus niche right now?
Its silicon nitride powder and antimicrobial fabrics platform has been applied to PPE. In particular, SiNtx’s Flex SN-AP masks have shown antipathogenic activity against viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. With an uptick in new variants and global cases, SINT could be one of the penny stocks to watch right now.
7. Chembio Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:CEMI)
Then you’ve got other companies in the virus ecosystem that don’t focus on vaccines or PPE. These are companies like Chembio Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:CEMI) that develop diagnostic tests. It develops point-of-care tests used in the rapid detection of infectious diseases. These diseases include things like STDs, insect diseases, tropical diseases, and, yes, COVID-19.
Earlier this month, Chembio announced the submission of an emergency use authorization application to the FDA for its new dual path antigen test. The minimally invasive nasal swab was designed to detect antigens in 20 minutes. Richard Eberly, Chembio’s President and Chief Executive Officer, also said, “We are pleased to have completed the submission, which we view as a testament to our team’s dedication and technical expertise. Again, we would like to extend our gratitude to BARDA for their continued guidance and support throughout this process. We look forward to working closely with BARDA and the FDA to bring patients and health care workers the benefits of the DPP SARS-CoV-2 Antigen test system.”
Are Virus Stocks On Your List Right Now?
With new variants and spreading cases globally, virus stocks are in the mainstream conversation right now. Considering what we learned from the last few bouts of speculative trading, it will be interesting to see how long this latest trend lasts in the stock market. Regardless, it has become prevalent on Black Friday and could be a trend to follow heading into the weekend.