Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; U.S. Jobless Claims Surpass 6 Million


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 1.75% to 23842.68 while the NASDAQ rose 0.80% to 8155.91. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.68% to 2796.12.

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 432,400 coronavirus cases with around 14,800 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 148,200 coronavirus cases with 14,700 deaths, while Italy reported a total of at least 139,400 confirmed cases and 17,600 deaths. In total, there were at least 1,490,700 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 88,900 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Financial shares climbed 5.4% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. (NYSE: GPMT), up 41%, and Ladder Capital Corp (NYSE: LADR), up 36%.

In trading on Thursday, health care shares rose by just 0.3%.

Top Headline

U.S. unemployment claims continued to rise in the first week of April as more than 95% of Americans honor shelter-in-place orders and business activity grounds to a halt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Americans made about 6,606,000 new jobless claims in the week ended April 4, according to Labor Department statistics released Thursday. The prior week's number was revised higher to 6.87 million new claims. Continuing jobless claims rose from 3,029,000 to about 7,455,000. These figures lifted the four-week average of jobless claims from 2,666,750 to 4,265,500.

Equities Trading UP

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ: TLSA) shares shot up 59% to $3.45 after the company said it has developed an investigational new technology to treat COVID-19 infections that consists of direct delivery of anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibodies into the lungs using a handheld inhaler or nebulizer.

Shares of CNS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) got a boost, shooting 59% to $4.38.

Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. (NYSE: GPMT) shares were also up, gaining 47% to $6.61 after surging 27% on Wednesday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Mid-Con Energy Partners, LP (NASDAQ: MCEP) shares tumbled 28% to $0.1860.

Shares of Research Frontiers Incorporated (NASDAQ: REFR) were down 10% to $1.88.

Alpha Pro Tech, Ltd. (NYSE: APT) was down, falling 7% to $12.06.


In commodity news, oil traded up 7.5% to $26.96, while gold traded up 1.3% to $1,705.90.

Silver traded up 1.9% Thursday to $15.49, while copper fell 0.2% to $2.2565.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.4%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.7%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.9%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.5%, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.2% while UK shares rose 1.4%.


U.S. initial jobless claim surged by 6.6 million for the latest week. However, analysts were expecting a rise of 5.25 million.

U.S. producer prices declined 0.2% in March, versus a 0.6% drop in February.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index dropped to 71 in April, versus 89.1 in March.

U.S. wholesale inventories declined 0.7% in February, versus a revised decline of 0.6% in January.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly will speak at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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


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