Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: US Stocks Turn Lower; Neptune Wellness Solutions Shares Spike Higher

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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.22% to 20,896.87 while the NASDAQ fell 0.44% to 7,328.27. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.01% to 2,470.27.

The U.S. is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases around the world. U.S. reported a total of 216,700 coronavirus cases with around 5,100 deaths. Italy reported a total of at least 110,500 confirmed cases and 13,100 deaths, while Spain confirmed a total of over 104,100 coronavirus cases. In total, there are at least 941,900 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 48,200 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares climbed 5% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included WPX Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WPX), up 23%, and ProPetro Holding Corp. (NYSE: PUMP), up 24%.

In trading on Thursday, consumer discretionary shares fell 1.5%.

Top Headline

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) reported upbeat results for its second quarter.

Walgreens reported quarterly earnings of $1.52 per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $1.46 per share. The company reported quarterly sales of $35.8 billion, which exceeded the analyst consensus estimate of $35.27 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: NEPT) shares shot up 19% to $1.21 after the company confirmed Thursday it has obtained approval from Health Canada to commence with the commercialization of its plant-based hand sanitizer products.

Shares of ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO) got a boost, shooting 84% to $2.13 after the company reported announced preliminary Q1 revenue in the range of $56 million to 57 million.

ProPetro Holding Corp. (NYSE: PUMP) shares were also up, gaining 24% to $2.77. President Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to end their oil price war within a few days. Raymond James maintained ProPetro with an Outperform and lowered the price target from $7 to $5.

 

Equities Trading DOWN

Luckin Coffee Inc. (NASDAQ: LK) shares tumbled 76% to $6.24 after the company withdrew previous financial statements and said its COO has been involved in fabricating transactions over the past year.

Shares of Golar LNG Partners LP (NASDAQ: GMLP) were down 54% to $1.48 after the company announced a reduction in its quarterly common unit distribution and issued an operational update.

Safe-T Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SFET) was down, falling 34% to $1.43. Safe-T priced its 450,000 ADS offering at $1.60 per ADS.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 16.2% to $23.60, while gold traded up 3% to $1,638.60.

Silver traded up 4.1% Thursday to $14.56, while copper rose 1.2% to $2.20.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.42% the Spanish Ibex Index slipped 0.08%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 1.75%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.27%, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.33% while UK shares rose 0.47%.

Economics

U.S. trade deficit shrank 12.2% to $39.9 billion in February, versus revised $45.5 billion in January. Exports declined 0.4% to $207.5 billion, while imports slipped 2.5% to $247.5 billion.

Initial jobless claims surged by 6.65 million in the latest week, versus revised 3.34 million in the previous week.

U.S. factory orders were unchanged for February, versus a 0.5% drop in January.

Domestic supplies of natural gas dropped 19 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 27, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were projecting a drop of 25 billion cubic feet.

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

 

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