Market Overview

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

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Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded down 3.38% to 21790.85 while the NASDAQ fell 2.93% to 7568.78. The S&P also fell, dropping 2.95% to 2552.51.

The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed those in China and Italy. U.S. reported a total of 85,900 coronavirus cases with around 1,290 deaths. Italy reported a total of at least 80,500 confirmed cases and 8,200 deaths, while Spain confirmed a total of over 57,700 coronavirus cases. Mainland China reported 55 new cases on Thursday. In total, there are at least 542,700 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 24,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer staples shares slipped by 0.8% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD), up 6%, and Coca-Cola European Partners plc (NYSE: CCEP), up 3%.

In trading on Friday, energy shares dipped 6.8%.

Top Headline

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) reported upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter, while sales missed views. The company also suspended its annual guidance on Thursday.

GameStop reported quarterly earnings of $1.27 per share on Thursday, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of 79 cents. The company reported quarterly sales of $2.194 billion, which missed the analyst consensus estimate of $2.24 billion.

Fourth-quarter comparable store sales were down 26.1% year over year.

Equities Trading UP

Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC) shares shot up 55% to $5.38 after the company said its BreathTest-1000 lung disease screening device has been 'confirmed to detect lung disease metabolites at parts per billion.'

Shares of BBQ Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BBQ) got a boost, shooting 32% to $2.75.

Battalion Oil Corporation (NYSE: BATL) shares were also up, gaining 34% to $7.50 after surging around 116% on Thursday.

Equities Trading DOWN

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ: ABUS) shares tumbled 43% to $1.29. Arbutus Biopharma announced positive preliminary results from a Phase 1a/1b clinical study of its RNAi therapy AB-729 in healthy subjects and two cohorts of chronic hepatitis B subjects on nucleos(t)ide antiviral therapy. The study was meant to determine the most effective dose and dosing interval for use in future Phase 2 combination clinical trials.

Shares of Golden Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: GDEN) were down 25% to $6.07. Moody’s downgraded Golden Entertainment’s Corporate Family Ratings from B2 to B3.

BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP) was down, falling 22% to $2.535 after Raymond James downgraded the stock from Strong Buy to Market Perform.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.3% to $22.54, while gold traded down 1.8% to $1,622.20.

Silver traded down 0.1% Friday to $14.67, while copper rose 0.3% to $2.1855.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 3% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 3.7%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 2.9%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 2.8%, and the French CAC 40 fell 3.8% while UK shares fell 4.4%.

Economics

U.S. personal spending increased 0.2% month-over-month in February, while personal income rose by 0.6%.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment fell to 89.1 in March, versus a reading of 101.0 in February.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week will be released at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic is set to speak at 2:00 p.m. ET.

 

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