Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; PhaseBio Gets Breakthrough Therapy Designation For PB2452


Following the market opening Tuesday, the Dow traded down 0.7 percent to 26156.96 while the NASDAQ declined 0.2 percent to 7938.18. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.5 percent to 2,881.67.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Tuesday morning, the utilities shares slipped by just 0.05 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Huaneng Power International, Inc. (NYSE: HNP) up 1.5 percent, and Azure Power Global Limited (NYSE: AZRE) up 1.5 percent.

In trading on Tuesday, industrial shares fell 1.2 percent.

Top Headline

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: PHAS) said the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for its PB2452, a novel reversal agent for AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN)'s antiplatelet drug ticagrelor.

The BTD was accorded based on the Phase 1 data, which showed PB2452 achieved immediate and sustained reversal of ticagrelor's antiplatelet effects.

Equities Trading UP

Command Center, Inc. (NASDAQ: CCNI) shares got a boost, shooting up 32 percent to $5.18 following news the company will merger in an all-stock deal with Hire Quest.

Shares of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PHAS) shot up 24 percent to $15.60 after the company received FDA breakthrough therapy designation for PB2452 for the reversal of antiplatelet activity of ticagrelor.

Chimerix, Inc. (NASDAQ: CMRX) shares were also up, gaining 15 percent to $2.41. Chimerix announced the appointment of former Endocyte CEO Michael Sherman as its CEO, effective immediately. Additionally, the company announced the appointment of Michael Andriole, also a former Endocyte executive, to the newly created position of Chief Business Officer.

Equities Trading DOWN

Zogenix, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGNX) shares dropped 25 percent to $38.97 after the FDA sent a 'refusal to file letter' to the company for its new drug application for FINTEPLA. Guggenheim downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral.

Shares of Vaxart, Inc. (NASDAQ: VXRT) were down 36 percent to $0.9600 after the company announced pricing of its public offering of common stock at $1.10 per share.

Zosano Pharma Corporation (NASDAQ: ZSAN) was down, falling around 26 percent to $3.6950 after the company announced and priced a $17.5 million common stock offering.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.2 percent to $64.31 while gold traded up 0.5 percent to $1,308.90.

Silver traded up 0.5 percent Tuesday to $15.29, while copper rose 0.8 percent to $2.954.



European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.1 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.2 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.2 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.3 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.3 percent.


The NFIB small business optimism index rose 0.1 points to a seasonally adjusted 101.8 for March.

U.S. job openings declined to 7.09 million in February, versus prior reading of 7.62 million, according to the Labor Department's JOLTS report.

The Treasury is set to auction 3-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.


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