Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Surges 400 Points; Crude Oil Down 6%

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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 1.71% to 23,834 while the NASDAQ rose 0.76% to 8,152.28. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.59% to 2,793.57.

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 Colony Credit Real Estate, Inc. (NYSE: CLNC), up 37%, and TPG RE Finance Trust, Inc. (NYSE: TRTX), up 37%.

In trading on Thursday, information technology shares rose by just 0.5%.

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 50% to $3.26 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 Independence Contract Drilling, Inc. (NYSE: ICD) got a boost, shooting 234% to $8.10.

U.S. Well Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: USWS) shares were also up, gaining 155% to $0.6975 after the company disclosed a long-term contract to provide electric hydraulic fracturing services for EQT using its next-generation Clean Fleet® technology.

Equities Trading DOWN

Canaan Inc. (NASDAQ: CAN) shares tumbled 10% to $3.1550 following Q4 results. Canaan posted adjusted net loss of $107.8 million and revenue of $66.5 million.

Shares of Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHIP) were down 23% to $0.1381 after rising around 10% on Wednesday.

BIOLASE, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOL) was down, falling 26% to $0.5919. BIOLASE shares jumped around 250% on Wednesday after the company announced plans to partner with MEKICS to manufacture ventilators in response to coronavirus.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 6% to $23.59, while gold traded up 3.4% to $1,740.70.

Silver traded up 4.4% Thursday to $15.87, while copper fell 0.1% to $2.2585.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 1.57%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.71%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 1.39%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 2.24%, and the French CAC 40 climbed 1.44% while UK shares rose 2.9%.

Economics

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.

Domestic supplies of natural gas climbed 38 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 3, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a gain 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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