Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Dollar Tree Posts Mixed Q4 Results

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Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 2.24% to 26499.17 while the NASDAQ rose 1.78% to 8,837.91. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.95% to 3,061.98. Coronavirus cases continued to rise outside China. South Korea confirmed 516 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, while Iran reported 586 new infections of coronavirus since Tuesday. Mainland China reported 119 new confirmed cases on March 3, down from 125 cases on March 2.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares climbed 3% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO), up 18%, and Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ARCT), up 25%.

In trading on Wednesday, financial shares fell 0.1%.

Top Headline

Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter, while sales missed estimates. The company also issued weak forecast for the first quarter.

Dollar Tree reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.79 per share on Wednesday, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $1.75. The company reported quarterly sales of $6.32 billion, which missed the analyst consensus estimate of $6.39 billion.

Dollar Tree sees first-quarter EPS of $1-$1.09 versus the $1.20 estimate and sales of $5.89-$5.99 billion versus the $6.03 billion estimate. The company sees fiscal year 2020 EPS of $4.80-$5.15 versus the $4.72 estimate and sales of $24.21-$24.66 billion versus the $23.68 million estimate.

Equities Trading UP

Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: APOP) shares shot up 43% to $2.983. Cellect Biotechnology and Canndoc Ltd. agreed to enter into strategic pharma grade cannabis commercial deal for reduction in opioid usage.

Shares of Euroseas Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESEA) got a boost, shooting 41% to $3.95.

Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ARCT) shares were also up, gaining 25% to $18.05 after the company disclosed a partnership with Duke-NUS Medical School to develop coronavirus vaccine using STARR technology. The company won $14.039 million grant from Singapore Economic Development Board to support co-development of coronavirus vaccine.

Equities Trading DOWN

Cardlytics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDLX) shares tumbled 35% to $56.39 after the company reported Q4 earnings results. Craig-Hallum also downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.

Shares of Recro Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: REPH) were down 25% to $10.74 after the company reported results for the year ended 2019.

Owens & Minor, Inc. (NYSE: OMI) was down, falling 20% to $5.41 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 sales. The company also issued FY20 EPS guidance below analyst estimates.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 1.4% to $47.82, while gold traded down 0.1% to $1,644.10.

Silver traded up 0.3% Wednesday to $17.235, while copper rose 0.9% to $2.5955.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 1.5% the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.2%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 1.4% Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 1.4%, and the French CAC 40 rose 1.4% while UK shares rose 1.8%.

Economics

Private businesses hired 183,000 workers in February, versus a revised 209,000 gain in the earlier month.

The IHS Markit services PMI came in at 49.4 for February, versus a reading of 53.4 in the previous month.

The ISM non-manufacturing PMI climbed to 57.3 in February, compared to 55.5 in the prior month.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Federal Open Market Committee will release its Beige Book report at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard is set to speak at 6:30 p.m. ET.

 

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