Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Surges 1100 Points; Astrotech Shares Spike Higher

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Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 5.36% to 21,814.55 while the NASDAQ rose 2.17% to 7,578.94. The S&P also rose, gaining 3.84% to 2,541.34.

US reported a total of 55,200 coronavirus cases with around 800 deaths. Italy reported a total of at least 69,100 confirmed cases and 6,800 deaths, while Spain confirmed a total of over 42,000 coronavirus cases. Mainland China reported 47 new cases on Tuesday. In total, there are at least 428,400 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 19,100 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Real estate shares climbed 8.6% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG), up 50%, and EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR), up 37%.

In trading on Wednesday, communication services shares rose 1.4%.

Top Headline

Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter, while sales missed views.

Paychex reported quarterly earnings of $0.97 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.96 per share. Revenue came in at $1.12 billion, slightly missing the consensus expectations of $1.14 billion.

 

Equities Trading UP

Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC) shares shot up 345% to $4.94 after the company announced it is developing its BreathTest 1000 screening instrument for lung diseases including Coronavirus and Pneumonia.

Shares of T2 Biosystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO) got a boost, shooting 87% to $0.7270 after the company announced a worldwide licensing agreement to support the development of a rapid COVID-19 test developed by Hackensack Meridian Health.

Cytosorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: CTSO) shares were also up, gaining 25% to $5.75 after the company said CytoSorb has been used in more than 70 coronavirus patients to 'help treat cytokine storm and life-threatening complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome.'

Equities Trading DOWN

Titan Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: TMDI) shares tumbled 26% to $0.1561 after the company reported a $1.2 million registered direct offering.

Shares of Immutep Limited (NASDAQ: IMMP) were down 50% to $0.9254 after the company announced data from the Phase 2b AIPAC study that evaluated its lead product candidate eftilagimod alpha in combination with paclitaxel, a taxane standard-of-care chemotherapy, in HER2-negative/HR+ metastatic breast cancer, which showed 63% of patients treated with the combo were progression-free at the 6-month landmark.

ThermoGenesis Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: THMO) was down, falling 38% to $3.0957. ThermoGenesis reported pricing of 1 million share common stock offering at $3.50 per share.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 2.6% to $24.64, while gold traded down 1.7% to $1,633.00.

Silver traded up 3.3% Wednesday to $14.73, while copper rose 1.4% to $2.21.

Euro zone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 3.09% the Spanish Ibex Index rose 3.35%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 1.74%. Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 1.79%, and the French CAC 40 rose 4.47% while UK shares rose 4.45%.

Economics

US durable goods orders rose 1.2% for February, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.8% decline.

The FHFA house price index rose 0.3% for January, versus a revised 0.7% gain in December.

U.S. crude supplies climbed 1.6 million barrels for the week ended March 20, the Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were projecting a gain of 2.5 million barrels. Gasoline supplies fell 1.5 million barrels, while distillate supplies slipped 700,000 barrels last week.

 

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