Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Mostly Flat; Morgan Stanley Beats Q1 Expectations


Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.04 percent to 26442.83 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.1 percent to 8,010.08. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.02 percent to 2,906.51.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday morning, the energy shares rose 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Nuverra Environmental Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: NES) up 4 percent, and Quintana Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: QES) up 5 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, health care shares fell 1.6 percent.

Top Headline

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter on Wednesday.

Morgan Stanley said it earned $1.39 per share in the first quarter on revenue of $10.29 billion versus expectations of $1.16 per share and $10 billion.


Equities Trading UP

Smart & Final Stores, Inc. (NYSE: SFS) shares got a boost, shooting up 20 percent to $6.48 after the company announced it will be acquired by Apollo funds for $6.50 per share in cash.

Shares of QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) shot up 13 percent to $79.86 after the company settled its royalty dispute with Apple. Several analysts upgraded Qualcomm shares following the settlement.

Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBRX) shares were also up, gaining 12 percent to $1.02 after the company announced its research has demonstrated that Annamycin is able to 'significantly improve' survival in aggressive forms of triple negative breast cancer.


Equities Trading DOWN

CEVA, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEVA) shares dropped 17 percent to $23.00 after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the company's stock from Outperform to Neutral.

Shares of Hooker Furniture Corporation (NASDAQ: HOFT) were down 9 percent to $27.60 after the company said it has seen a softening of demand and retail activity in the first two months of FY2020.

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK) was down, falling around 8 percent to $49.17 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q1 EPS and sales.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.1 percent to $64.03 while gold traded up 0.1 percent to $1,278.00.

Silver traded up 0.3 percent Wednesday to $14.96, while copper rose 1.6 percent to $2.9775.



European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.1 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.7 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.4 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 0.5 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.6 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.02 percent.


The U.S. trade deficit shrank 3.4 percent to $49.4 billion in February, versus a revised $51.1 billion deficit in January. However, economists projected a $53.4 billion gap. Exports rose 1.1 percent to $209.7 billion, while imports climbed 0.2 percent to $259.1 billion in February.

U.S wholesale inventories increased 0.2 percent for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.4 percent rise.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is set to speak in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker will speak in Vineland, NJ at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve will release its latest Beige Book report at 2:00 p.m. ET.


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