Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Up 180 Points; Nektar Therapeutics Shares Plummet


Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded up 0.73 percent to 24,815.46 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.62 percent to 7,600.82. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.44 percent to 2,746.64.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday afternoon, the consumer staples shares surged 0.89 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included CV Sciences, Inc. (OTC: CVSI) up 25 percent, and Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE: WMK) up 4 percent.

In trading on Monday, energy shares fell 0.71 percent.

Top Headline

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (NYSE: PANW) posted stronger-than-expected results for its fiscal third quarter.

Palo Alto posted adjusted earnings of $0.99 per share on revenue of $567.1 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.96 per share on revenue of $545.72 million.

Palo Alto Networks expects Q4 sales of $625 million to $635 million and earnings of $1.15 to $1.17 per share. Analysts projected sales of $618 million and earnings of $1.21 per share. The company expects FY18 sales of $2.24 billion to $2.25 billion and EPS of $3.86 to $3.89.

Equities Trading UP

American Electric Technologies, Inc (NASDAQ: AETI) shares shot up 230 percent to $2.4450 after the company’s M&I Electric business announced a $14 million project with a leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction firm.

Shares of BIO-key International, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKYI) got a boost, shooting up 21 percent to $2.6899. BIO-key International disclosed that it has completed conversion of all outstanding preferred stock into common stock at a conversion price of $3.60 per share.

Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: DCPH) shares were also up, gaining 35 percent to $35.0899 after it presented updated interim data Phase 1 data for its DCC-2618, which is being tested for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GIST.

Equities Trading DOWN

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) shares dropped 41 percent to $53.48 after updated data from a Phase 1/2 study it presented at the ASCO meeting showed that its NKTR-214 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE: BMY)'s Opdivo showed a reduction in overall response rate for three cancer types — melanoma, renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cancer — from earlier released data.

Shares of Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNCE) were down 37 percent to $7.06. Preliminary data from a Phase 1/2 study dubbed ICONIC that evaluated its JTX-2011 as a monotherapy as well as in combination with Opdivo for treating solid tumors showed lackadaisical results.

Vaxart, Inc. (NASDAQ: VXRT) was down, falling around 18 percent to $4.28 as the company disclosed that its Phase 2 trial of teslexivir did not meet its primary endpoint.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.47 percent to $64.84 while gold traded down 0.15 percent to $1,297.30.

Silver traded down 0.01 percent Monday to $16.44, while copper rose 1.18 to $3.135.


European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbed 0.31 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.22 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 0.45 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 0.37 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.14 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.51 percent.


U.S. factory orders fell 0.8 percent for April, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.5 percent drop.


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