Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Achaogen Surges On Positive Phase 3 Results; Alexion Shares Slide


Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded up 0.07 percent to 19,771.48 while the NASDAQ declined 0.81 percent to 5,400.34. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.22 percent to 2,254.52.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday afternoon, energy shares gained by 0.84 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included W&T Offshore, Inc. (NYSE: WTI), and Baytex Energy Corp (USA) (NYSE: BTE).

In trading on Monday, financial shares fell by 0.71 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included EZCORP Inc (NASDAQ: EZPW), down 6 percent, and Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: CPSS), down 6 percent.

Top Headline

The price of oil soared over the weekend and hit a 17-month high after OPEC and non-OPEC members struck an agreement to support oil prices.

The agreement marks the first of its kind since 2001 and will see both OPEC and non-OPEC members collectively scaling back their oil output. Initial talks date back to the end of November when OPEC members agreed to slash their collective output by 1.2 million barrels of oil per day for six months as of January 1.

Equities Trading UP

Achaogen Inc (NASDAQ: AKAO) shares shot up 118 percent to $11.45 after the company disclosed positive results in Phase 3 cUTI and CRE clinical trials of plazomicin.

Shares of Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (NASDAQ: ORIG) got a boost, shooting up 17 percent to $2.60. Oil Stocks surged after OPEC and non-OPEC members struck an agreement to support oil prices.

Alliance HealthCare Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AIQ) shares were also up, gaining 14 percent to $9.02 as Tahoe Investment Group offered to acquire the company shares for $9.60 per share in cash.

Equities Trading DOWN

Ophthotech Corp (NASDAQ: OPHT) shares dropped 85 percent to $5.71 after the company reported negative results in its Phase III OPH1002 and OPH1003 trials of Fovista. The two combination trials in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) failed to meet primary endpoints.

Shares of Johnson Outdoors Inc. (NASDAQ: JOUT) were down 15 percent to $38.32. Johnson Outdoors reported a FQ4 loss of $2.1 million on revenue of $74.9 million.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) was down, falling around 15 percent to $112.23 after the company dropped a bombshell that CEO David Hallal and board member Vikas Sinha are leaving the company amid an ongoing audit and finance committee investigation. The news of the departures seems to have overshadowed a positive update on the progress of the audit. “At this point in time, the Audit and Finance Committee’s investigation has not identified any facts that require the Company to update its previously reported historical results,” the Alexion press release read. In addition, the company reports that the investigation is “nearing completion.”



In commodity news, oil traded up 3.22 percent to $53.16 while gold traded up 0.35 percent to $1,166.00.

Silver traded up 1.37 percent Monday to $17.20, while copper fell 1.13 percent to $2.62.


European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 0.46 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.18 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.42 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.12 percent, and the French CAC 40 declined 0.07 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.92 percent.


The U.S. government posted a budget deficit of $137 billion in November, the Treasury Department reported.


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