Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Gold Dips 3.5%; Merus Shares Surge


Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.27% to 30,956.01 while the NASDAQ rose 0.36% to 13,114.70. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.03% to 3,805.02.

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% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Future FinTech Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FTFT), up 27%, and MercadoLibre, Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI), up 7%.

In trading on Friday, materials shares fell 1.2%.

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

Merus N.V. (NASDAQ: MRUS) shares shot up 26% to $20.27 after the company said the FDA has granted fast track designation to Zenocutuzumab for the treatment of patients with metastatic solid tumors harboring NRG1 gene fusions that have progressed on standard of care therapy.

Shares of VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings (NASDAQ: VIH) got a boost, shooting 52% to $15.80 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 59% to $7.93 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 51% to $82.54 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 38% to $1.9150 after the company reported pricing of $25 million offering.

Aehr Test Systems (NASDAQ: AEHR) was down, falling 20% to $2.04 after the company reported downbeat Q2 results and lowered FY21 sales guidance.


In commodity news, oil traded up 2.8% to $52.27, while gold traded down 3.5% to $1,845.80.

Silver traded down 7.6% Friday to $25.185 while copper fell 0.6% to $3.6755.

Euro zone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.66%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.26% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.58%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.65%, London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.24% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 0.21%.

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.


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 total number of active U.S. oil rigs rose by 8 to 275 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.

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


Related Articles (AEHR + CMRX)

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