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Market Overview

Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Cal-Maine Foods Profit Tops Expectations


Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded up 0.43% to 21,730.22 while the NASDAQ rose 1.52% to 7,616.56. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.07% to 2,568.78.

Market strength is driven by news from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) that the company has a coronavirus vaccine candidate. Investors are also encouraged by reports that congress is working on a fourth coronavirus bill.

The U.S. is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases around the world. The U.S. reported a total of 143,000 coronavirus cases with almost 2,500 deaths. Italy reported a total of at least 97,600 confirmed cases and 10,700 deaths, while Spain confirmed a total of over 80,100 coronavirus cases. Mainland China reported 31 new cases on Sunday. In total, there are at least 732,100 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 34,600 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

The health care sector is leading today's rally with stocks up an average of 2.4%. Top gainers in the sector included Owens & Minor, Inc. (NYSE: OMI), which is up 46% on news the company is expanding its personal protective equipment business, and Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHX), which is up 18% after recieving a $7 million outside investment.

Driven by further selloff in crude oil after Saudi Arabia said it would increase oil production, energy stocks slipped 3.6%.

Equities Trading UP

Owens & Minor, Inc (NYSE: OMI) shares shot up 46% to $8.25. The company's CEO appeared on CNBC on Friday and indicated the company is expanding capacity to meet personal protective equipment demand.

Shares of Plus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSTV) got a boost, shooting 46% to $2.10 after the company announced it has entered into an agreement to license multiple rare cancer drug product candidates from NanoTx for an upfront payment of $400,000 in cash and $300,000 in stock.

AIM ImmunoTech Inc. (NYSE: AIM) shares were also up, gaining 35% to $2.75.

Equities Trading DOWN

Shares of several mortgage stocks are continuing lower on investor concerns that there will be increased vacancies and delinquent tenants. AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MITT) shares fell 27% to $2.87 and shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation (NYSE: WMC) were down 28% to $2.91.

Other real estate stocks, including casinos, are also trading lower on similar concerns. For example, Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERI) shares are down 22% to $11.74.


In commodity news, oil traded down 5.7% to $20.28, while gold traded up 0.2% to $1,628.00.

Silver traded down 2.3% Monday to $14.205, while copper fell 0.6% to $2.16.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.6% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.5%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 1%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.2%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.9% while UK shares fell 0.7%.


The pending sales index increased 2.4% for February.

The Dallas Fed manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.


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Posted-In: Mid-Morning Market UpdateEarnings News Eurozone Commodities Global Intraday Update Markets

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