Market Overview

Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Rises Over 100 Points; Geron Shares Plunge


Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.44 percent to 26,502.30 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.71 percent to 8,064.38. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.58 percent to 2,922.88.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Thursday, the communication services shares rose 1.27 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Telecom Argentina SA (NYSE: TEO) up 4 percent, and Telefonica Brasil SA (NYSE: VIV) up 4 percent.

In trading on Thursday, materials shares fell 0.4 percent.

Top Headline

Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG) posted downbeat results for its first quarter and issued weak forecast for the current quarter.

Conagra posted quarterly adjusted earnings of $0.47 per share on sales of $1.834 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.49 per share on sales of $1.85 billion.

ConAgra expects Q2 adjusted earnings of $0.57 to $0.60 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $0.65 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Achieve Life Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHV) shares shot up 65 percent to $4.50 after reporting results from study evaluating effect of food on bioavailability of new formulation of cytisine.

Shares of Cameco Corporation (NYSE: CCJ) got a boost, shooting up 14 percent to $11.24 after receiving favorable Tax Court of Canada ruling.

Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTGX) shares were also up, gaining 24 percent to $10.98 after the company reported Fast Track designation for PTG-300.

Equities Trading DOWN

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) shares dropped 64 percent to $2.2689. Geron announced ahead of the market open that Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit has decided to terminate a collaboration and licensing agreement it had with Geron since 2014 for its myelofibrosis treatment candidate Imetelstat, effective Sept. 28. Consequently, Geron now regains the rights to develop and commercialize the telomerase inhibitor.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) were down 23 percent to $14.535 after the company reported weaker-than-expected results for its second quarter. The company sees FY18 EPS at the low end of its previously guided range. Second-quarter comps were down 0.6 percent.

Veru Inc. (NASDAQ: VERU) was down, falling around 19 percent to $1.37. Veru priced its 7.14 million share common stock offering at $1.40 per share.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.64 percent to $72.03 while gold traded down 0.90 percent to $1,188.30.

Silver traded down 0.98 percent Thursday to $14.26, while copper fell 1.84 to $2.776.


European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.38 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.06 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 0.64 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.41 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.52 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.43 percent.


U.S. durable goods orders rose 4.5 percent for August, versus economists’ expectations for a 1.9 percent gain.

U.S. gross domestic product increased at an annualized rate of 4.2 percent for the second quarter. Economists expected a growth rate of 4.2 percent.

U.S. jobless claims increased 12,000 to 214,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting a reading of 208.000.

U.S. trade deficit in goods increased 5.3 percent to $75.8 billion during August.

U.S. wholesale inventories rose 0.8 percent for August.

The pending home sales index declined 1.8 percent for August.

Domestic supplies of natural gas increased 46 billion cubic feet for the week ended September 21, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts projected a gain of 63 billion cubic feet.

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

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan is set to speak in Charlotte, North Carolina at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak at 4:30 p.m. ET.

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


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