Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Cancer Genetics Gains After Q4 Results; Heat Biologics Shares Slide


Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.29 percent to 20,721.07 while the NASDAQ rose 0.17 percent to 5,831.32. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.22 percent to 2,353.52.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Thursday afternoon, the financial sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from New England Realty Associates LP (NYSE: NEN) and Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services (NYSE: LTS).

In trading on Thursday, telecommunications services shares fell 0.12 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: CHL), down 3 percent, and Partner Communications Company Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: PTNR), down 1.5 percent.

Top Headline

Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its third quarter.

Conagra reported Q3 earnings of $0.48 per share on revenue of $1.98 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $0.44 per share on revenue of $1.98 billion.

Equities Trading UP

HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: HTGM) shares shot up 106 percent to $4.40 after the molecular profiling company confirmed regulatory approval for its products in Europe. HTG Molecular announced that it has obtained CE marking in the European Union for its HTG EdgeSeqALKPlus Assay EU, an in vitro diagnostic assay which is intended to measure and analyze mRNA ALK gene rearrangements in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lung tumor specimens from patients previously diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.

Shares of Cancer Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: CGIX) got a boost, shooting up 17 percent to $3.39 after the company posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss.

Flexion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: FLXN) shares were also up, gaining 36 percent to $26.75. Fierce Pharma reported that Sanofi is on verge of $1 billion-plus deal for Flexion, according to sources.

Equities Trading DOWN

Tandem Diabetes Care Inc (NASDAQ: TNDM) shares dropped 19 percent to $1.25. Tandem Diabetes Care priced its 18 million share offering at $1.25 per share.

Shares of Alphatec Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: ATEC) were down around 25 percent to $2.00 as the company reported an $18.9 million private placement.

Heat Biologics Inc (NASDAQ: HTBX) was down, falling around 15 percent to $0.872. Heat Biologics priced its 5 million share offering at $0.80 per share.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.54 percent to $47.78 while gold traded down 0.31 percent to $1,248.90.

Silver traded up 0.18 percent Thursday to $17.61, while copper rose 0.82 percent to $2.65.


European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.85 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.93 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 1.07 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 1.14 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.75 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.22 percent.


Initial jobless claims rose 15,000 to 258,000 in the latest week. Economists projected jobless claims to reach 240,000 in the week.

New-home sales rose 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 592,000 in February. Economists were expecting a 571,000 annual pace.

Supplies of natural gas dropped 150 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 17, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts projected a fall of 153 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan will speak in Chicago at 7:00 p.m. ET.


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