Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Crude Oil Down 5.5%; BioNTech Shares Spike Higher

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Toward the end of trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 3.58% to 20,911.21 while the NASDAQ rose 4.83% to 7,237.85. The S&P also rose, gaining 4.67% to 2,497.48. South Korea confirmed a total of over 8,300 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 27,000 confirmed cases and 2,000 deaths. Total cases in the US exceeded 4,500 with around 90 deaths. Mainland China reported 21 additional confirmed cases. In total, there are at least 185,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 7,300 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares climbed 13.8% on Tuesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO), up 26%, and The York Water Company (NASDAQ: YORW), up 24%.

In trading on Tuesday, energy shares rose by just 1.3%.

Top Headline

US retail sales fell 0.5% for February, versus a revised 0.6% growth in January. Economists were expecting for a 0.2% increase in retail sales.

Equities Trading UP

Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX) shares shot up 20% to $10.93 after the company said a new policy the FDA released Monday regarding expediting the availability of COVID-19 diagnostics will allow the company to aggressively expand its presence in the U.S. Due to the change in the policy, the company's test kit will soon be available for use by and marketed to a wide array of U.S. laboratories without first requiring Emergency Use Authorization, according to Co-Diagnostics.

Shares of Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: APRN) got a boost, shooting 63% to $6.21 after surging over 67% on Monday.

BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) shares were also up, gaining 68% to $67.00. Pfizer and BioNTech confirmed they have agreed to a letter of intent regarding co-development and distribution of a potential mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine, BNT162, to prevent COVID-19 infection.

Equities Trading DOWN

DBV Technologies S.A. (NASDAQ: DBVT) shares tumbled 58% to $2.20 after the company said the FDA has identified questions regarding efficacy, including the impact of patch-site adhesion, with respect to its investigational peanut allergy skin patch Viaskin Peanut. The FDA has decided not to hold anAllergenic Products Advisory Committee meeting May 15 to discuss the BLA as per the original schedule. Stifel downgraded DBV Technologies from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $18 to $6.

Shares of Micron Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MICR) were down 43% to $1.43. Micron Solutions announced its intention to voluntarily delist and deregister its common stock.

Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE: TPC) was down, falling 40% to $3.2246. B. Riley FBR lowered the price target on Tutor Perini from $19 to $17.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 5.5% to $27.12, while gold traded up 3.2% to $1,534.20.

Silver traded down 0.4% Tuesday to $12.765, while copper fell 3% to $2.3215.

Euro zone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 2.26% the Spanish Ibex Index rose 6.41%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 2.23%. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 2.25%, and the French CAC 40 rose 2.84% while UK shares rose 2.79%.

Economics

U.S. retail sales fell 0.5% for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.2% increase.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index rose 1.1% during the first two weeks of March versus February.

U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in February, versus a revised 0.5% decline in January.

The NAHB housing market index declined to 72 in March versus a prior reading of 74.

U.S. business inventories dropped 0.1% in January, versus a revised flat reading for December.

The number of job openings climbed by 411,000 to 6.963 million in January, versus a revised 6.552 million in the earlier month.

 

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