Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Falls 500 Points; electroCore Shares Spike Higher

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Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 2.34% to 20913.26 while the NASDAQ fell 2.48% to 7301.42. The S&P also fell, dropping 2.53% to 2,462.91.

The U.S. is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases around the world. U.S. reported a total of 245,500 coronavirus cases with around 6,000 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 117,700 coronavirus cases with 10,900 deaths, while Italy reported a total of at least 115,200 confirmed cases and 13,900 deaths. In total, there are at least 1,026,900 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 53,900 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer staples shares slipped by just 0.5% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS), up 7%, and Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp. (NYSE: BIOX), up 5%.

In trading on Friday, utilities shares fell 3.8%.

Top Headline

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released employment data for the month of March, and the numbers were staggering.

The nonfarm payroll number came in at -701,000, well worse than consensus economist expectations of -100,000. The unemployment rate increased 0.9% to 4.4%.

Equities Trading UP

Fate Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FATE) shares shot up 9% to $22.99 after the company announced the first patient has been treated in its first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating FT596. The company also announced collaboration with Janssen. The company will receive $50 million upfront, $50 million in equity investment and is eligible to receive up to $1.8 billion.

Shares of Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Ltd. (NYSE: XIN) got a boost, shooting 9% to $2.2679 after the company reported Q4 results. The company’s earnings came in at $0.62 per share on revenue of $906.7 million.

electroCore, Inc. (NASDAQ: ECOR) shares were also up, gaining 37% to $1.02 after the company announced it has submitted an Emergency Use Authorization application to the FDA to allow the study and use of gammaCore nvVNS therapy to treat respiratory symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

Equities Trading DOWN

Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation (NYSE: MIC) shares tumbled 26% to $17.73 after the company announced it will suspend its quarterly dividend and withdraw its guidance. RBC Capital also downgraded the company's stock from Outperform to Sector Perform and lowered its price target from $34 to $26.

Shares of Ladder Capital Corp (NASDAQ: LADR) were down 31% to $3.17 after B. Riley downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral and lowered its price target from $19 to $7.50 per share.

Sigma Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGLB) was down, falling 26% to $2.13. Sigma Labs reported pricing of $1.5 million offering of common stock and warrants.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 9.1% to $27.63, while gold traded up 0.4% to $1,644.10.

Silver traded down 1.2% Friday to $14.485, while copper fell 1.4% to $2.188.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.97% the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.11%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dropped 2.67%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.47%, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.57% while UK shares fell 1.18%.

Economics

The US economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, while unemployment rate surged to 4.4%.

US Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 39.8 in March, versus February’s reading of 49.4.

The ISM non-manufacturing PMI declined to 52.5 in March, versus 57.3 in the prior month.

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs slipped by 62 to 562 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.

 

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