Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Monsanto Earnings Miss Expectations


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.81 percent to 24,460.35 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.63 percent to 7,086.81. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.55 percent to 2,659.23.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday morning, the energy shares gained 1.29 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRZO), up 8 percent, and Tellurian Inc. (NASDAQ: TELL), up 8 percent.

In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell 0.67 percent.

Top Headline

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) reported weaker-than-expected profit for its second quarter.

Monsanto reported adjusted earnings of $3.22 per share on revenue of $5.019 billion. However, analysts expected earnings of $3.31 per share on revenue of $5.34 billion

Equities Trading UP

Dolphin Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLPN) shares shot up 31 percent to $4.59. Dolphin Entertainment posted a FY17 loss of $0.20 per share on revenue of $22.413 million.

Shares of Sonoma Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNOA) got a boost, shooting up 18 percent to $4.27. The specialty pharmaceutical company that develops therapies for dermatological conditions and advanced tissue care announced it has received a new 510(k) clearance from the FDA for an antimicrobial post-therapy gel.

CHF Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHFS) shares were also up, gaining 10 percent to $2.93 after the company reported a new distribution agreement with Dimedix Surgical to distribute the company’s Aquadex FelxFlow System in Spain.

Equities Trading DOWN

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNAT) shares dropped 28 percent to $4.34 after the company disclosed that top-line results from Phase 2b POLT-HCV-SVR trial did not meet its primary endpoint.

Shares of Conn's, Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) were down 15 percent to $30.50. Conn's reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter, while sales missed estimates.

Check-Cap Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHEK) was down, falling around 21 percent to $4.31. Check-Cap filed its annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.05 percent to $63.34 while gold traded down 0.85 percent to $1,328.80.

Silver traded down 0.39 percent Thursday to $16.19, while copper rose 1.44 percent to $3.054.


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 1.85 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index jumped 2.02 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index surged 1.88 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX rose 2.32 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 2.01 percent while U.K. shares rose 1.67 percent.


Initial jobless claims rose 24,000 to 242,000 in the latest week. Economists projected claims to reach 225,000 last week.

The U.S. trade deficit widened 1.6 percent to 57.6 billion in February, versus $56.7 billion in the previous month. Economists were expecting a $57.4 billion deficit.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic is set to speak in Sarasota, Florida at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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


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