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A roundup of some of the North American equities making moves in both directions today

On the rise

Boeing Co. (BA-N) rose on Friday after Europe’s chief aviation safety regulator said the planemaker’s grounded 737 MAX could receive regulatory approval to resume flying in November and enter service by the end of the year.

“For the first time in a year and a half I can say there’s an end in sight to work on the MAX,” said Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

EASA expects to lift its technical ban “not long” after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), probably in November, but national operational clearances needed for individual airlines to resume flying in Europe could take longer, he said.

“We are looking at November,” he said when asked when the technical ban would be lifted. China is expected to take longer to give its own approval, he said, without elaborating.

Cologne-based EASA, which regulates air safety in 32 mainly European Union countries, has locked horns with the FAA and Boeing over the scope of an international review into 737 MAX systems following two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019.

Maryland-based generic drugmaker Novavax Inc. (NVAX-Q) jumped after signing an agreement with Endo International for manufacturing its experimental COVID-19 vaccine

The news comes a day after Novavax launched a late-stage trial of the vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, in the United Kingdom.

Endo said it has signed a deal with Novavax and its unit Par Sterile has begun production of the final drug product, with initial batches to be used in Novavax’s phase-3 clinical trial in the United States.

Financials and other terms of the non-exclusive agreement were not disclosed.

NVX-CoV2373 is currently also being tested in two ongoing mid-stage trials that began in August.

Shares of Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR-Q) and U.S. buyout firm Apollo Global Management (APO-N) rose after British betting firm William Hill said on Friday it had received separate cash proposals about a possible takeover, giving no indications of the offer values but sending shares in the company soaring 34 per cent in London.

“Following an initial written proposal from Apollo on 27 August 2020, William Hill received a further proposal from Apollo and proposals from Caesars,” the company said, adding that the talks were ongoing.

Apollo and Caesars have until Oct. 23 to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for William Hill or walk away.

Bloomberg had earlier reported that Apollo had approached the company regarding a potential deal.

Hydro One Ltd. (H-T) rose after a post-market announcement Thursday that it has priced a public offering of $425-million principal amount of 1.41-per-cent notes due Oct. 15, 2027.

The net proceeds from the issuance will be approximately $423.3-million, which the Toronto-based utility intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to fund the previously announced redemption on Nov. 20 of all of its outstanding Series 1 Preferred Shares and for general corporate purposes.

On the decline

TMX Group Ltd. (X-T) fell after announcing before the bell the $165-million acquisition of AST Investor Services Inc. and its subsidiary AST Trust Co.

The Toronto-based company, , which runs the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Montreal Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange, among other marketplaces, expects the transaction to have a positive impact on its adjusted earnings per share in the first full year of ownership, before expected synergies.

“The acquisition of AST Trust Company (Canada) will significantly strengthen TMX’s ability to serve the needs of companies across the marketplace by bringing to our TSX Trust business a proven team of industry professionals, and a wider range of products and technology capabilities,” said TMX CEO John McKenzie. “From a strategic perspective, this transaction will help to accelerate TSX Trust’s growth and enhance its competitive position, deepening relationships with existing clients and broadening the scope and scale of its service offerings.”

See also: TMX Group taps company veteran John McKenzie as new CEO

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST-Q) lost ground despite beating estimates for quarterly profit and revenue on Thursday, as consumers staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic bought more fresh produce, appliances and gardening and sporting goods.

The warehouse chain recorded high coronavirus-related costs for the second straight quarter, overshadowing its better-than-expected results.

Walmart Inc, Target Corp and other U.S. retailers have seen a surge in demand for video games and home decor as some Americans use their stimulus checks to buy non-essential items.

Traffic at Costco stores also ticked up in the fourth quarter ended Aug. 30, after declining as much as about 20 per cent in April, as government-imposed coronavirus restrictions eased and it brought back food samples.

Revenue from memberships, which range between US$60 and US$120 per year and account for most of Costco’s gross margin, rose to US$1.11-billion from US$1.05-billion.

Total revenue rose 12.4 per cent to US$53.38-billion, exceeding the average expectation of US$52.08-billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Costco earned US$3.04 per share, beating estimates of US$2.84 per share.

With files from staff and wires

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