Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Surges 250 Points; Regional Health Properties Shares Spike Higher


Toward the end of trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 1.06 percent to 23,781.58 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.96 percent to 6,889.00. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.82 percent to 2,570.57.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Tuesday afternoon, the communication services shares climbed 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT) up 7 percent, and Travelzoo (NASDAQ: TZOO) up 12 percent.

In trading on Tuesday, financial shares fell 0.3 percent.

Top Headline

Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ: HELE) reported better-than-expected results for its third quarter, but lowered its full-year sales forecast.

Helen of Troy posted Q3 earnings of $2.40 per share on sales of $431.08 million. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $2.38 per share on sales of $425.76 million.

Helen of Troy now expects FY19 sales of $1.535 billion to $1.550 billion, versus prior forecast of $1.535 billion to $1.560 billion. However, the company raised its adjusted earnings forecast to $7.70 to $7.95 per share, versus previous outlook of $7.60 to $7.90.

Equities Trading UP

HopFed Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: HFBC) shares got a boost, shooting up 25 percent to $18.67. First Financial Corp (NASDAQ: THFF) and HopFed Bancorp signed a merger agreement.

Shares of Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AXSM) shot up 32 percent to $9.06 on continued strength after the company on Monday announced its Phase 2 trial of AXS-05 in major depressive order met its primary endpoint. Axsome Therapeutics raised $23.3 million under existing at-the-market facility.

Regional Health Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHE) shares were also up, gaining 60 percent to $2.05 after the company entered a new forbearance agreement with Pinecone Realty Partners.

Equities Trading DOWN

Maxar Technologies Ltd. (NYSE: MAXR) shares dropped 31 percent to $5.51 after several analysts downgraded the stock following failure of its WorldView-4 imaging satellite.

Shares of Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ: HELE) were down 14 percent to $114.27. Helen of Troy reported better-than-expected results for its third quarter, but lowered its full-year sales forecast.

PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) was down, falling around 11 percent to $16.81 after S&P Global lowered the rating on PG&E and its Pacific Power & Gas Co unit to "B" from "BBB-" on announced board review.



In commodity news, oil traded up 2.21 percent to $49.59 while gold traded down 0.18 percent to $1,287.60.

Silver traded down 0.32 percent Tuesday to $15.705, while copper rose 0.61 percent to $2.653.



European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 surged 0.87 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.81 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.25 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 0.52 percent, and the French CAC 40 jumped 1.15 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.74 percent.


The NFIB small business optimism index declined 0.4 point to a reading of 104.4 in December.

U.S. job openings dropped to 6.89 million in November from 7.13 million, according to the Labor Department's JOLTS report.

Data on consumer credit for November will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.


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