Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Plunges Over 1300 Points As WHO Declares COVID-19 A Pandemic

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Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 5.44% to 23,656.01 while the NASDAQ fell 4.91% to 7,934.22. The S&P also fell, dropping 5.07% to 2,736.13. South Korea confirmed a total of 7,755 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 10,000 confirmed cases and 631 deaths. Mainland China reported 24 additional confirmed cases with 22 new deaths. In total, there are at least 121,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 4,300 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares slipped by just 3.7% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX), up 92%, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO), up 42%.

In trading on Wednesday, real estate shares tumbled 5.6%.

Top Headline

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus as a pandemic.

The organization defines a pandemic as a disease that has become widespread around the world.

The WHO is "deeply concerned" by the "spread and severity" of the virus, said director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom.

Equities Trading UP

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ: TLSA) shares shot up 111% to $4.33 after the company announced plans to expedite development of fully human anti-Interleukin-6-Receptor monoclonal antibody, a 'potential treatment of certain patients infected with coronavirus COVID-19.'

Shares of Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX) got a boost, shooting 92% to $13.25 as the coronavirus continues to spread globally. Co-Diagnostics shares dropped around 30% on Tuesday.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) shares were also up, gaining 40% to $7.97 amid the continued global spread of the coronavirus, as the company is working on developing a vaccine candidate.

Equities Trading DOWN

Avid Bioservices, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDMO) shares tumbled 31% to $4.1350 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q3 EPS and sales results. The company cut FY20 sales guidance.

Shares of Sophiris Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPHS) were down 51% to $0.2820. Sophiris Bio said the Nasdaq Officer of General Counsel informed the company that the Nasdaq Hearing Panel has determined to delist its shares from the Nasdaq. Trading in the company's shares are to be suspended, effective at the open of business March 12.

Fulgent Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLGT) was down, falling 32% to $10.34 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 sales.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 3.3% to $33.23, while gold traded down 0.9% to $1,645.30.

Silver traded down 1% Wednesday to $16.785, while copper fell 0.7% to $2.503.

Euro zone

European shares closed lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 slipped 0.74% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.34%, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index rose 0.33% Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.35%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.57% while UK shares fell 1.4%.

Economics

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% for February, versus economists' expectations for a 0.2% increase.

U.S. crude supplies gained 7.7 million barrels for the week ended March 6, the Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a gain of 2.5 million barrels. Gasoline supplies fell 5 million barrels for the week, while distillate supplies slipped 6.4 million barrels.

 

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