Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Jobless Claims Drop To 265,000


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.03 percent to 19,840.12 while the NASDAQ declined 0.05 percent to 5,435.60. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.04 percent to 2,250.90.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Non-cyclical consumer goods & services shares gained around 0.67 percent in trading on Thursday.

In trading on Thursday, technology shares slipped by 0.14 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), down 5 percent, and NeoPhotonics Corp (NYSE: NPTN), down 2 percent.

Top Headline

U.S. initial jobless claims declined 10,000 to 265,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to total 270,000 in the week.

Continuing jobless claims increased 63,000 to 2.1 million in the week ended December 17.

Equities Trading UP

Fortress Biotech Inc (NASDAQ: FBIO) shares shot up 28 percent to $2.92 after the company disclosed that a patient case study from the Phase 1 clinical trial of MB-101 for the treatment of glioblastoma will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Shares of Remark Media Inc (NASDAQ: MARK) got a boost, shooting up 10 percent to $4.14 after the company disclosed that it has been chosen by Alibaba Cloud to introduce artificial intelligence-based technologies to the Chinese Market.

Prima BioMed Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: PBMD) shares were also up, gaining 28 percent to $2.99 following positive interim data from combination of IMP321 with anti-PD1.

Equities Trading DOWN

Cempra Inc (NASDAQ: CEMP) shares dropped 53 percent to $2.88 after the company disclosed that it has received a Complete Response Letter from the FDA stating that solithromycin NDAs cannot be approved until safety information and manufacturing facility deficiencies are resolved.

Shares of Interpace Diagnostics Group Inc (NASDAQ: IDXG) were down around 15 percent to $6.37. Interpace Diagnostics reported a 1-for-10 reverse split.

Aptose Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: APTO) was down, falling around 4 percent to $1.35 after the company issued an update on APTO-253 development. The company said it found a correctable engineering design incompatibility during the filling process of a fourth 40L batch.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.06 percent to $54.03 while gold traded up 0.43 percent to $1,145.80.

Silver traded up 0.23 percent Thursday to $16.08, while copper rose 0.16 percent to $2.50.


European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.26 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index dropped 0.34 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 0.01 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX slipped 0.23 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 0.14 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.08 percent.


U.S. trade deficit rose 5.5 percent to $65.3 billion in November. Economists projected a deficit of $62.5 billion. Exports gained 1.0 percent to $121.7 billion, while imports rose 1.2 percent to $187.0 billion. Wholesale inventories rose 0.9 percent $594.5 billion.

U.S. initial jobless claims declined 10,000 to 265,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to total 270,000 in the week.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The EIA’s weekly report on petroleum inventories is schedule for release at 11:00 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Data on farm prices for December will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.


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