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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.02 percent to 19,836.84 while the NASDAQ declined 0.22 percent to 5,426.40. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.02 percent to 2,250.41.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares gained around 1.01 percent in trading on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais CEMIG-ADR (NYSE: CIG), and Huaneng Power International Inc (ADR) (NYSE: HNP).

In trading on Thursday, financial shares slipped by 0.32 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Pacific Mercantile Bancorp (NASDAQ: PMBC), down 4 percent, and First Bancorp (NYSE: FBP), down 4 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 23 percent to $2.81 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 Cesca Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: KOOL) got a boost, shooting up 37 percent to $3.77 after a large insider buying was reported after the close on Wednesday.

Endologix, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELGX) shares were also up, gaining 11 percent to $5.92 on the announcement the company has resumed shipments and procedures with its AFX and some sizes of its AFX2 products. Those products are used for the treatment of aortic disorders.

Equities Trading DOWN

Cempra Inc (NASDAQ: CEMP) shares dropped 57 percent to $2.60 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. Ladenburg Thalmann downgraded Cempra from Buy to Neutral.

Shares of Interpace Diagnostics Group Inc (NASDAQ: IDXG) were down around 26 percent to $5.58. Interpace Diagnostics reported a 1-for-10 reverse split.

Aptose Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: APTO) was down, falling around 9 percent to $1.28 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 0.46 percent to $53.81 while gold traded up 1.51 percent to $1,158.10.

Silver traded up 1.01 percent Thursday to $16.20, while copper fell 0.48 percent to $2.49.


European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.35 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index dropped 0.19 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 0.18 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX slipped 0.21 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 0.20 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.20 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.

U.S. crude oil inventories rose 614,000 barrels for the latest week, the Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts were projecting a drop of 1.4 million barrels.

U.S. natural gas inventories declined 237 billion cubic feet for the week ended December 23, the Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts estimated a drop of 222.00 billion cubic feet.

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.

Posted-In: Mid-Afternoon Market UpdateNews Eurozone Commodities Global Intraday Update Markets Movers


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