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Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Signet Jewelers Beats Q4 Estimates

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Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 3.60% to 21963.72 while the NASDAQ rose 3.18% to 7,619.10. The S&P also rose, gaining 3.68% to 2,566.64.

US reported a total of 69,100 coronavirus cases with around 1,040 deaths. Italy reported a total of at least 74,300 confirmed cases and 7,500 deaths, while Spain confirmed a total of over 49,500 coronavirus cases. Mainland China reported 67 new imported cases on Thursday. In total, there are at least 480,400 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 21,500 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares climbed 4.7% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (NYSE: AQN), up 7%, and Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), up 6%.

In trading on Thursday, energy shares rose by just 1.9%.

Top Headline

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG) reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

Signet reported quarterly earnings of $3.67 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $3.47 per share. Revenue came in at $2.153 billion, exceeding the consensus expectations of $2.12 billion.

 

Equities Trading UP

Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. (NYSE: GPMT) shares shot up 177% to $6.22. JMP Securities upgraded Granite Point Mortgage from Market Perform to Market Outperform and announced a $10 price target.

Shares of AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MITT) got a boost, shooting 69% to $4.325 after gaining 20% on Wednesday.

Redwood Trust, Inc. (NYSE: RWT) shares were also up, gaining 50% to $5.78 after climbing 49% on Wednesday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Sigma Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGLB) shares tumbled 18% to $2.35. Sigma Labs reported Q4 results on Wednesday.

Shares of Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC) were down 17% to $3.38. Astrotech shares jumped 265% on Wednesday after the company announced it is developing its BreathTest 1000 screening instrument for lung diseases including Coronavirus and Pneumonia.

HyreCar Inc. (NASDAQ: HYRE) was down, falling 16% to $1.70. HyreCar reported a loss for its fourth quarter.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 3.3% to $23.69, while gold traded down 0.2% to $1,630.70.

Silver traded down 1.7% Thursday to $14.625, while copper fell 1% to $2.1825.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.9%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 0.4%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 1.5%, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.3% while UK shares fell 1.5%.

Economics

The US economy expanded 2.1% percent in the fourth quarter, unrevised from the second estimate.

The US trade deficit on goods shrank to $59.89 billion in February, versus $65.9 billion in the previous month.

US initial jobless claims climbed to a record 3.28 million for the recent week, from a reading of 282,000 in the previous week.

US wholesale inventories fell 0.5% in February, versus a revised 0.5% decline in the prior month.

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 Kansas City Fed manufacturing index for March is scheduled for release at 11:00 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury will auction 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

 

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