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FDA backs adjusting COVID booster to new variants, RH and TSM stocks down

Yahoo Finance Live looks at several of the day's trending stocks, including volatility in the semiconductor industry and Pfizer and Moderna opting to enhance COVID-19 booster shots to provide protection against new subvariants.

Video transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: --back, everyone. It is time for Triple Play, and my pick is chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It's a mouthful, but it's just shortened down to TSM as the ticker. Now the shares are down today by about 2%. And this is just as Samsung beat it to be the first to commercialize 3 nanometer chips. Now, the smaller the nanometer number, the more advanced the chips are. Now, Samsung's new chips are expected to reduce power consumption by up to 45% and improve performance by 23%.

Now, TSM is still by far the most dominant and advanced player in the semiconductor chip game, controlling about 54% of the global market share versus Samsung at 16%. Obviously, Apple also keeping a close eye when it comes to chip production.

Now, of course, it's best known for being Apple's principal chip supplier. TSM will come out with its own 3 nanometer chips later this year. And its even faster 2 nanometer chip is planned for mass production in 2025. But of course, all chipmakers' stocks still under pressure this year, as a result of supply chain bottlenecks, as well as COVID-related production stoppages. And TSM specifically down more than 25% year to date.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, Rachelle, we were talking earlier this week. You brought up another chip player and the fact that this space is still waiting for funding. They were promised $52 billion. A lot of the bigger players in this space saying that they're not going to expand production here in the US, unless they get that funding.

We talk about the direct impact that this is having on the economy, the big player-- or the big factor here being the supply chain issues that are touching a number of industries. So it'd be an interesting story to continue to watch and see how some of those chipmakers do respond, as, hopefully, we get some developments out of Capitol Hill.

All right, well, my play is today Moderna and Pfizer, the FDA backing changing COVID booster shots to target the most recent Omicron subvariants. Now Dr. Peter Marks, he is the head of the FDA's vaccine division, saying that the two companies should update their shots to target Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 and ask them to start trials on those. Now the FDA is looking to update booster shots to give people better protection as another wave looms.

You've heard a number of medical experts over the last several days, several weeks, talking about the fact that we are at risk for a sixth wave. Now the CDC estimates that two subvariants make up more than half, that those two subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, make up more than half of the new cases here in the US. Dave, once we thought we might be beyond the worst of COVID, the warnings that we're getting from some of the medical professionals about this latest variant when it comes to Omicron are pretty worrisome.

DAVE BRIGGS: It's stunning right now, Seana. And you look at the two cities being impacted the most, New York City, where we are, and San Francisco on the opposite coast, people aren't testing right now. They're not. You talk to your friends and your family. They're just not testing. And yet, "The New York Times" shows 112,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, 388 deaths. You get this-- you're lulled to this sense of comfort. It is coming back and it is coming back with a vengeance. And people are just kind of over it and past it. And another wave is certainly coming. By the way, I think they're also asking for full approval of Paxlovid, the Pfizer COVID pill.

My play is RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware. RH tampering expectations for the year, saying demand has slowed because of a, quote, "deteriorating economy." RH says it expects a revenue decline of between 2% and 5% in fiscal 2022. CEO Gary Friedman saying due to mortgage rates spiking, luxury home sales slowing, and of course, Fed hiking rates, quote, "Our expectation is that demand will continue to slow throughout the year." And shares have been hammered. Not just after hours yesterday, but today down more than 10% and down more than 60% year to date in a very tough environment, Rachelle.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, when it comes to housing, as you mentioned, a tough market, indeed. If homes aren't being built as much, you're not having as many of these inputs, these industrial inputs that people would need from a company like RH, we might actually start seeing more new inventory coming onto the market. We are seeing some mortgage rates cooling a little bit. We'll be discussing more of that with our housing guest. But a tough time. This has been one of our top trending tickers for the last couple of days. So it's definitely a rough patch there for RH.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, it certainly is. And we've also heard from a number of analysts over the last 24 hours since we got RH's results. JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Jefferies, Dave, among some of those big players that have lowered their price targets, because of the results that we got.

DAVE BRIGGS: Radically, yeah, big time. And other stocks dragged down as well, Wayfair included, in the wake of this news.