Market Overview

Mid-Day Market Update: NASDAQ Down Over 100 Points; ProQR Therapeutics Shares Surge


Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.02 percent to 25,946.18 while the NASDAQ declined 1.31 percent to 7,985.33. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.46 percent to 2,883.28.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Wednesday, the utilities shares rose 0.75 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included RGC Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ: RGCO) up 10 percent, and Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (NYSE: CIG) up 3 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, information technology shares fell 1.52 percent.

Top Headline

HD Supply Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: HDS) reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter.

HD Supply posted quarterly earnings of $0.99 per share on revenue of $1.6 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.96 per share on revenue of $1.58 billion.

HD Supply expects Q3 sales of $1.56 billion to $1.61 billion and earnings of $0.95 to $1.00 per share. The company projects FY18 sales of $5.9 billion to $6.0 billion and EPS of $3.22 to $3.35.

Equities Trading UP

ProQR Therapeutics N.V. (NASDAQ: PRQR) shares shot up 60 percent to $12.726 after the developer of RNA medicines for the treatment of severe genetic rare diseases announced an update to a clinical trial. The company said interim results from a phase 1/2 trial of its QR-110 therapy for patients with Leber's congenital amaurosis showed a "meaningful improvement in vision in the treated eye as measured by both mechanistic and potential registration endpoints."

Shares of Nevsun Resources Ltd. (NYSE: NSU) got a boost, shooting up 17 percent to $4.39 after the company agreed to be acquired by China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. for C$1.86 billion (US$1.41 billion).

Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRA) shares were also up, gaining 14 percent to $16.35 after the company reported upbeat Q2 results and raised its FY19 guidance. The company also partnered with Disney Theme Park Merchandise to create a custom limited-edition pattern.

Equities Trading DOWN

Histogenics Corporation (NASDAQ: HSGX) shares dropped 65 percent to $0.98 after the developer of restorative cell therapies announced a disappointing update to a clinical trial. The company said a phase 3 trial of its NeoCart therapy failed to achieve the primary endpoint of showing a statistically significant improvement in pain and function among patients one year after treatment.

Shares of Sangamo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SGMO) were down 22 percent to $14.80 following the release of clinical trial data for its pipeline candidate SB-913. SB-913 is a zinc finger nuclease in vivo genome editing product candidate being tested for mucopolysaccharidosis type II, or Hunter syndrome. MPS II is caused by the deficiency of the iduronate-2-sulfatase — or IDS — enzyme, which is needed to break down or recycle glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs, dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate.

Novus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVUS) was down, falling around 13 percent to $4.006 after the company announced a 6 million share common stock offering.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.36 percent to $68.92 while gold traded up 0.22 percent to $1,201.70.

Silver traded up 0.39 percent Wednesday to $14.235, while copper rose 0.42 to $2.613.


European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.96 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.47 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.41 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX declined 1.27 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 1.38 percent while U.K. shares fell 1.17 percent.


The U.S. trade deficit climbed around 10 percent to $50.1 billion, compared to a revised $45.7 billion deficit in June. However, economists were expecting a gap of $50.3 billion. Imports increased 0.9 percent to $261.2 billion, while exports declined 1 percent to $211.1 billion in July.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index rose 0.8 percent during the first four weeks of August versus July.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams will speak in Niagara Falls, New York at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari is set to speak in Bozeman, Montana at 4:00 p.m. ET.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams will speak in Buffalo, New York at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic is set to speak at 6:30 p.m. ET.


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