Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Dollar General Earnings Top Expectations


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.27% to 27,572.44 while the NASDAQ fell 0.22% to 8,547.41. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.25% to 3,104.90.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Information technology shares climbed 0.3% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included SeaChange International (NASDAQ: SEAC), up 11%, and Verint Systems Inc (NASDAQ: VRNT), up 12%.

In trading on Thursday, health care shares fell 0.5%.

Top Headline

Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter and raised FY19 forecast.

Dollar General posted quarterly earnings of $1.42 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.38 ps. Its sales came in at $6.991 billion, missing estimates of $6.92 billion.

Dollar General raised its FY19 adjusted EPS guidance from $6.45-$6.60 to $6.55-$6.65 and added $1 billion to its buyback program.

Equities Trading UP

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AUPH) shares shot up 94% to $16.26 after the company reported positive clinical readout for its lead asset voclosporin in treating lupus nephritis, an autoimmune disorder.

Aurinia has a single-product pipeline. Voclosporin is being evaluated for multiple indications. The investigational asset is in the most advanced stage of clinical development for lupus nephritis. The company announced positive safety and efficacy data from its pivotal Phase 3 study of voclosporin, in combination with mycophenolate, the current standard of care, and low-dose corticosteroids in the treatment of lupus nephritis.

Shares of Duluth Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTH) got a boost, shooting up 21% to $9.45 after the company reported better-than-expected Q3 results.

Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) shares were also up, gaining 19% to $4.67 after the company reported better-than-expected Q3 EPS and sales results. The company also issued Q4 EPS guidance above analyst estimates.

Equities Trading DOWN

Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE) shares tumbled 52% to $71.32 following news topline results from a Phase 3 study of SAGE-217 did not meet a primary endpoint at day 15 of the trial.

Shares of Akers Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKER) were down 42% to $3.21. Akers Biosciences priced its 1.99 million unit offering at $4 per unit. The company disclosed that it will continue its strategic review and explore entering the hemp and minor cannabinoid processing industry.

BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) was down, falling 38% to $1.71 after the company reported preliminary Phase 2a data from triple combo arm of COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 study in second-line patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.4% to $58.68, while gold traded up 0.1% to $1,480.70.

Silver traded up 0.1% Thursday to $16.935, while copper rose 0.3% to $2.666.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.4%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.5%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.4%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.2%, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.7% while UK shares fell 0.2%.


The US trade deficit shrank 7.6% to $47.2 billion in October, versus revised $51.1 billion in the prior month. Imports fell 1.7% to $254.3 billion, while exports declined 0.2% to $207.1 billion in October.

Initial jobless claims declined 10,000 to 203,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting a reading of 215,000.

U.S. factory orders rose 0.3% for November, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.3% increase.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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


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