Market Overview

Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Falls 50 Points; Chimerix Shares Spike Higher

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Midway through trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.16% to 30,990 while the NASDAQ rose 0.60% to 13,146.50. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.14% to 3,809.30.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 21,581,740 cases with around 365,320 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 10,413,410 confirmed cases and 150,570 deaths, while Brazil reported over 7,961,670 COVID-19 cases with 200,490 deaths. In total, there were at least 88,140,960 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 1,900,380 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer discretionary shares gained by 1.5% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Future FinTech Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FTFT), up 46%, and Kandi Technologies Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KNDI), up 14%.

In trading on Friday, communication services shares fell 0.8%.

Top Headline

The US economy shed 140,000 jobs in December, following a 245,000 rise in the prior month. However, analysts were expecting for a 71,000 rise. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, came in unchanged at 6.7% last month.

 

Equities Trading UP

Future FinTech Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FTFT) shares shot up 46% to $8.38 as value of Bitcoin continues to soar to record highs. Stocks with ties to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency continue to soar as a parallel trade. The company recently announced a term sheet agreement with Blocknance Financial International to acquire 60% of the company. Future FinTech will pay $960,000 for the stake in the company.

Shares of VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings (NASDAQ: VIH) got a boost, shooting 48% to $15.38 following a Bloomberg report that the company is negotiating a merger with Intercontinental Exchange-owned cryptocurrency exchange Bakkt..

Chimerix, Inc. (NASDAQ: CMRX) shares were also up, gaining 61% to $8.00 after the company said it has acquired Oncoceutics, Inc., a privately-held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing imipridones, a novel class of compounds, for $78 million, payable in cash and stock, subject to certain customary adjustments.

 

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT) shares tumbled 50% to $83.67 after the company announced topline results from Part 1 of the Phase 2/3 study of SRP-9001, its investigational gene therapy to treat DMD, showing the study didn't achieve statistical significance on the primary functional endpoint of improvement in North Star Ambulatory Assessment, or NSAA, total score compared to placebo at 48 weeks after the treatment. Various analysts, including JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Raymond James downgraded the stock.

Shares of SOS Limited (NYSE: SOS) were down 40% to $1.83 after the company reported pricing of $25 million offering.

Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ: AEHR) was down, falling 21% to $2.0050 after the company reported downbeat Q2 results and lowered FY21 sales guidance.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 1.9% to $51.78, while gold traded down 2.9% to $1,857.50.

Silver traded down 5.1% Friday to $25.885 while copper fell 0.4% to $3.6830.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.43%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.02% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.36%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.34%, London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.05% and Italy’s FTSE MIB slipped 0.12%.

The UK’s Halifax house price index increased 6% year-over-year in December, following a 7.6% rise in November. Germany’s trade surplus shrank to EUR 17.2 billion in November from EUR 18.5 billion in the year-ago period, while industrial production increased 0.9% month-over-month. French trade gap shrank to EUR 3.6 billion in November versus EUR 4.6 billion in October, while current account deficit narrowed to EUR 1.41 billion from EUR 3.79 billion. The country’s industrial production declined 0.9% in November.

Economics

The US economy shed 140,000 jobs in December, following a 245,000 rise in the prior month. However, analysts were expecting for a 71,000 rise. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, came in unchanged at 6.7% last month.

US wholesale inventories came in flat for November versus initial estimates for a 0.1% decline.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Data on consumer credit for November will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

 

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