Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Crude Oil Up 2%; Biocept Shares Surge

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Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded down 1.84% to 23283.06 while the NASDAQ fell 0.34% to 8,126.05. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.49% to 2,748.23.

The U.S. is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases and deaths around the world. U.S. reported a total of 557,500 coronavirus cases with around 22,100 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 169,400 coronavirus cases with 17,400 deaths, while Italy reported a total of at least 156,300 confirmed cases and 19,800 deaths. In total, there were at least 1,859,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 114,900 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer discretionary shares climbed 0.4% on Monday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Kandi Technologies Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KNDI), up 30%, and Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE: NLS), up 28%.

In trading on Monday, real estate shares fell 4.3%.

Top Headline

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies agreed to long-awaited production cuts in a Sunday meeting.

The 9.7 million barrels per day cut (mb/d) fell below the market expectations. The meeting effectively ended a price war between oil powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Russia started in March. OPEC+ proposed a 10 mb/d in its last meeting on Thursday, but Mexico disagreed with the 400,000 mb/d it was asked to cut. Under the latest deal, the country is only required to cut 100,000 mb/d.

Equities Trading UP

SCWorx Corp. (NASDAQ: WORX) shares shot up 454% to $12.68. SCWorks said it has received a committed purchase order from Rethink My Healthcare —a virtual healthcare network —for 2 million COVID-19 rapid testing units. The order also carries the provision for additional weekly orders of 2 million units for 23 weeks. The order is valued at $35 million per week, accoridng to SCWorks.

Shares of Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. (NYSE: CANF) got a boost, shooting 36% to $1.97 after the company announced it has received approval to initiate a pilot clinical study of its drug candidate, Piclidenoson, for the treatment of moderate-to-severe symptoms in coronavirus infected patients.

Biocept, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOC) shares were also up, gaining 77% to $0.6301 after the company said in a Thursday press release that it intends to begin accepting physician-ordered COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing requests for processing beginning April 15.

Equities Trading DOWN

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) shares tumbled 19% to $5.65 after the company reported offerings of senior secured notes and senior exchangeable notes.

Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AMC) were down 20% to $2.0739. AMC is in talks to hire bankruptcy law firm Weil Gotshal as theaters shutdown since mid-March due to coronavirus, the NY Post reported.

Qualstar Corporation (NASDAQ: QBAK) was down, falling 19% to $1.99 after the company reported plans to delist from the NASDAQ and deregister its common stock.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 2% to $23.22, while gold traded up 0.6% to $1,763.00.

Silver traded down 3.1% Monday to $15.56, while copper rose 2.1% to $2.3065.

Euro zone

European markets were closed today for the Easter Monday holiday.

Economics

On the economics calendar Monday, there is no important data due out.

 

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