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Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; UK Approves AstraZeneca's Coronavirus Vaccine For Emergency Use

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Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.39% to 30,453.07 while the NASDAQ rose 0.26% to 12,883.23. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.30% to 3,738.16.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 19,515,520 cases with around 338,650 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 10,244,850 confirmed cases and 148,430 deaths, while Brazil reported over 7,563,550 COVID-19 cases with 192,680 deaths. In total, there were at least 82,073,260 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 1,792,580 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares climbed 1.5% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CEIX), up 10%, and Matador Resources Company (NYSE: MTDR), up 5%.

In trading on Wednesday, communication services shares fell 0.2%.

Top Headline

The COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) received the UK approval for emergency supply on Wednesday.

The U.K health department accepted the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommendation to authorize AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which showed efficacy between 70% and 90%.

Equities Trading UP

Indonesia Energy Corporation Limited (NYSE: INDO) shares shot up 133% to $10.79 after jumping over 22% on Tuesday.

Shares of Conifer Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNFR) got a boost, shooting 53% to $4.0635 after gaining around 8% on Tuesday.

Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) shares were also up, gaining 39% to $15.72 after the company's merger partner, Mullen Technologies, received a letter of intent for a purchase order of 1,500 MX-05 electric vehicles.

Equities Trading DOWN

B.O.S. Better Online Solutions Ltd. (NASDAQ: BOSC) shares tumbled 20% to $2.30 after the company reported a $2 million common stock offering.

Shares of Equillium, Inc. (NASDAQ: EQ) were down 20% to $4.9750 after jumping over 41% on Tuesday. Equillium, last week, named Dolca Thomas, M.D., as its executive vice president of research and development and chief medical officer.

Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: OSMT) was down, falling 18% to $4.341 as the company said the FDA issued a complete response letter for its NDA seeking approval for the investigational agent arbaclofen extended release tablets to treat spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis. The FDA made a number of recommendations, including that the company conduct a new study in order to provide substantial evidence of efficacy of arbaclofen, Osmotica said.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.8% to $48.40, while gold traded up 0.1% to $1,883.60.

Silver traded up 1% Wednesday to $26.475 while copper rose 0.1% to $3.5605.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today after AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) disclosed that its COVID-19 vaccine has received approval in the United Kingdom for emergency use. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.2%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.2% and German DAX 30 gained 0.1%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.1%, London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.2% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.4%.

Economics

The US goods trade deficit increased to $84.82 billion in November versus $80.42 billion in the prior month, the advance estimate showed.

Wholesale inventories declined 0.1% in November versus a revised 1.2% increase in October.

The Chicago PMI rose 1.3 points to a reading of 59.5 in December.

US pending home sales fell 2.6% in November.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Data on farm prices for November will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

 

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