Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Kroger Earnings Beat Estimates


Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 2.51% to 26,410.23 while the NASDAQ fell 1.97% to 8,840.56. The S&P also fell, dropping 2.33% to 3,057.18. Coronavirus cases continued to rise outside China. South Korea confirmed 438 new coronavirus cases, while mainland China reported 139 new confirmed cases on March 4.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares rose by just 1.5% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Sunnova Energy International Inc. (NYSE: NOVA), up 1%, and PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), up 0.5%.

In trading on Thursday, financial shares tumbled 4.2%.

Top Headline

Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter.

Kroger reported fourth-quarter earnings of $0.57 per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $0.55 per share. The company reported quarterly sales of $28.893, which slightly exceeded the analyst consensus estimate of $28.83 billion.

Kroger expects FY20 adjusted earnings of $2.30 to $2.40 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Cohen & Company Inc. (NYSE: COHN) shares shot up 52% to $6.09. The Israeli company posted a Q4 profit of $0.56 per share, versus a year-ago loss of $0.37 per share.

Shares of Allied Healthcare Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: AHPI) got a boost, shooting 34% to $21.58 after falling over 19% on Wednesday.

Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX) shares were also up, gaining 23% to $14.73. Co-Diagnostics said demand, both domestic and international, surged for its COVID-19 detection kits in recent weeks, leading to increased product shipments. The increase comes after the FDA changed its policy Feb. 20 and the number of cases testing positive for the disease burgeoned worldwide.

Equities Trading DOWN

Amplify Energy Corp. (NYSE: AMPY) shares tumbled 26% to $3.08 after the company reported Q4 results.

Shares of WideOpenWest, Inc. (NYSE: WOW) were down 20% to $5.04 after the company reported downbeat Q4 results.

Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE: CMD) was down, falling 16% to $53.10 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q2 results.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.2% to $46.89, while gold traded up 0.3% to $1,647.60.

Silver traded down 0.3% Thursday to $17.20, while copper fell 0.1% to $2.586.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.5% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 2.2%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dipped 1.6% Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 1.6%, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.8% while UK shares fell 1.9%.


U.S. initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to 216,000 in the week ended February 29, versus analysts’ estimates for a reading of 215,000.

Non-farm labor productivity rose by an annualized 1.2% in the fourth quarter, versus a revised 0.3% decline in the prior three-month period. Unit labor costs rose an annualized 0.9% in the quarter.

U.S. factory orders fell 0.5% for January.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled 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.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is set to speak at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari will speak at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams is set to speak at 8:45 p.m. ET.


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