Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Federal Reserve Maintains Interest Rates; United Natural Foods Shares Fall On Downbeat Earnings


Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.02% to 27875.53 while the NASDAQ rose 0.30% to 8,641.85. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.19% to 3,138.44.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Materials shares climbed 0.5% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Ranpak Holdings Corp (NYSE: PACK), up 18%, and Sibanye Gold Ltd (NYSE: SBGL), up 8%.

In trading on Wednesday, real estate shares fell 0.9%.

Top Headline

In a move that was widely expected, the Federal Reserve maintained its target fed funds rate range of between 1.5% and 1.75% on Wednesday. The Fed also reassured investors the U.S. economy is strong and the labor market remains solid.

Equities Trading UP

Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAB) shares shot up 22% to $15.31 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 sales results. The company also issued Q1 EPS and sales guidance above analyst estimates.

Shares of Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: OLLI) got a boost, shooting up 15% to $69.25 after the company reported better-than-expected Q3 EPS and sales results.

Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNS) shares were also up, gaining 31% to $1.69 despite pricing its common stock offering of 28 million shares at $1.25 per share.

Equities Trading DOWN

Iterum Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: ITRM) shares tumbled 38% to $3.0205. Iterum Therapeutics said its SURE 3 clinical trial that evaluated its sulopenem compared to ertapenem in complicated intra-abdominal infections did not meet the primary end point of clinical response on Day 28 in the micro-NITT population. SVB Leerink downgraded the stock from Outperform to Market Perform and it lowered the price target from $14 to $4 per share.

Shares of United Natural Foods Inc (NYSE: UNFI) were down 28% to $7.13 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q1 EPS results. The company also issued FY20 EPS guidance below analyst estimates.

Correvio Pharma Corp. (NASDAQ: CORV) was down, falling 66% to $0.4715. Correvio Pharma announced plans to explore strategic alternatives. Correvio Pharma said FDA's Cardiovascular and Renal Advisory Committee, which reviewed its Brinavess, voted that the benefit-risk profile was not adequate to support approval, with two staffers voting for the drug and 11 against.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.9% to $58.69, while gold traded up 0.5% to $1,475.10.

Silver traded up 1% Wednesday to $16.865, while copper rose 0.9% to $2.79.

Euro zone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.22%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.77%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.14%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.58%, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.22% while UK shares rose 0.03%.


The Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% for November, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.2% rise.

U.S. crude supplies rose 800,000 barrels for the week ended December 6, the Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts expected a drop of 2.8 million barrels. Gasoline supplies rose 5.4 million barrels for the week, while distillate supplies gained 4.1 million barrels.

The Federal Reserve maintained its target fed funds rate range of between 1.5% and 1.75% on Wednesday.


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