Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Rises 150 Points; Pluristem Therapeutics Shares Spike Higher


Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.66% to 23,670 while the NASDAQ rose 1.16% to 8,593.43. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.96% to 2,824.71.

The U.S. is the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases and deaths around the world. U.S. reported a total of 869,170 coronavirus cases with around 49,960 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 213,020 coronavirus cases with 22,150 deaths, while Italy reported a total of at least 189,970 confirmed cases and 25,540 deaths. In total, there were at least 2,721,350 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 191,230 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Information technology shares climbed 1.1% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX), up 26%, and GTT Communications, Inc. (NYSE: GTT), up 10%.

In trading on Friday, real estate shares fell 0.7%.

Top Headline

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) reported better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter, while sales missed expectations.

Verizo posted quarterly earnings of $1.26 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.23 per share. Its sales came in at $31.60 billion, versus expectations of $32.44 billion.

Verizon lowered its 2020 adjusted EPS growth forecast to -2% to +2%, versus earlier growth forecast of +2% to +4%.

Equities Trading UP

Mesoblast Limited (NASDAQ: MESO) shares shot up 117% to $13.98 after the company reported 10 out of 12 patients with ventilator-dependent coronavirus infection survived following 2 intravenous infusions of co.'s allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell product candidate Remestemcel-L.

Shares of Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PSTI) got a boost, shooting 24% to $12.79 after the company said the European Investment Bank has approved 50 million euros ($53.92 million)in non-dilutive financing for supporting its R&D in the EU to further advance its regenerative cell therapy platform, and to assist moving the products in its pipeline to market, with a special focus on clinical development of PLX cells as a treatment for complications associated with COVID-19.

Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) shares were also up, gaining 26% to $9.64. Jefferies upgraded Calix from Hold to Buy and raised the price target from $7 to $13.

Equities Trading DOWN

Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: LLNW) shares tumbled 12% to $5.14 after the company reported Q1 earnings results.

Shares of Natura &Co Holding S.A. (NYSE: NTCO) were down 13% to $10.83.

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) was down, falling 14% to $108.18. eHealth reported better-than-expected Q1 results, but lowered its FY20 earnings forecast.


In commodity news, oil traded up 2.5% to $16.91, while gold traded down 0.7% to $1,733.40.

Silver traded down 1% Friday to $15.205, while copper rose 0.9% to $2.3325.

Euro zone

European shares closed lower today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 slipped 1.1%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.97%, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index fell 0.89%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 1.69%, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.30% while UK shares fell 1.28%.


U.S. durable goods orders dipped 14.4% in March, versus a revised 1.1% rise in February.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 71.8 in April, versus a preliminary reading of 71.

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs slipped by 60 to 378 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.


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