Market Overview

Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Jumps Over 400 Points; Menlo Therapeutics Shares Plunge

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Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.51% to 27489.15 while the NASDAQ rose 1.80% to 9126.76. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.49% to 3174.67.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Information technology shares climbed 2.2% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Opera Limited (NASDAQ: OPRA), up 15%, and Digital Turbine, Inc (NASDAQ: APPS), up 7%.

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares fell 0.1%.

Top Headline

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter, while sales missed views. The company also issued weak earnings outlook for FY20.

Lowe's reported quarterly earnings of $0.94 per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $0.91. The company reported quarterly sales of $16.03 billion, which missed the analyst consensus estimate of $16.17 billion.

Lowe's said it expects FY20 adjusted earnings of $6.45 to $6.65 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $6.67 per share.

 

Equities Trading UP

SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLS) shares shot up 42% to $2.93 after the company reported follow-up Phase 1/2 clinical data for Galinpepimut-S in acute myeloid leukemia.

Shares of Alpha Pro Tech, Ltd (NYSE: APT) got a boost, shooting 23% to $12.25 after surging 40% on Tuesday. Alpha Pro Tech expects 'higher than normal' gross margin in Q1 as a result of the Coronavirus.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: TNXP) shares were also up, gaining 189% to $1.17 after the company announced a strategic collaboration with Southern Research to support development of a vaccine, codenamed TNX-1800, a live modified horsepox virus vaccine for percutaneous administration, to protect against COVID-19.

Equities Trading DOWN

Aptorum Group Limited (NYSE: APM) shares tumbled 54% to $6.63 after the company reported the pricing of $10 million registered direct offering.

Shares of SmileDirectClub, Inc. (NASDAQ: SDC) were down 26% to $8.39 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 results. Jefferies downgraded SmileDirectClub from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $22 to $10.

Menlo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: MNLO) was down, falling 25% to $3.2901. Menlo Therapeutics said its Phase 2 study of serlopitant for the treatment of chronic pruritus of unknown origin did not meet the primary endpoint of showing a statistically significant reduction in pruritus in patients treated with serlopitant compared to placebo based upon a 4-point improvement responder analysis.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.1% to $49.92, while gold traded down 0.5% to $1,641.10.

Silver traded down 1.9% Wednesday to $17.855, while copper fell 0.3% to $2.571.

Euro zone

European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 0.21% the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.49%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 1.18% Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.39%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.17% while UK shares rose 0.18%.

Economics

New home sales rose 7.9% to an annual rate of 764,000 in January.

U.S. crude supplies rose 500,000 barrels for the week ended February 21, the Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts expected a gain of 2.8 million barrels. Gasoline supplies fell 2.7 million barrels, while distillate supplies declined 2.1 million barrels for the week.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari will speak at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 5-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

 

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