Market Overview

Mid-Day Market Update: Crude Oil Surges 20%; Chesapeake Energy Shares Plunge

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Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 1.02% to 24,384.04 while the NASDAQ fell 0.14% to 8,901.91. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.74% to 2,917.83.

The U.S. is the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of cases and deaths around the world. U.S. reported a total of 1,040,480 coronavirus cases with around 60,990 deaths. Spain confirmed a total of over 236,890 coronavirus cases with 24,270 deaths, while Italy reported a total of at least 203,590 confirmed cases and 27,680 deaths. In total, there were at least 3,207,240 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 227,970 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares rose 0.1% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Marker Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRKR), up 30%, and Galectin Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: GALT), up 15%.

In trading on Thursday, utilities shares fell 2.4%.

Top Headline

Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) reported stronger-than-expected results for its first quarter.

Twitter reported quarterly earnings of $0.11 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.10 per share. The company’s sales came in at $807.64 million, exceeding the consensus view of $775.96 million.

Twitter’s average monetizable daily active users climbed to 166 million during the first quarter, up from 134 million in the year-ago period.

Equities Trading UP

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO) shares shot up 46% to $7.58 following Q1 results. AVEO Pharmaceuticals posted a Q1 loss of $0.52 per share.

Shares of Kraton Corporation (NYSE: KRA) got a boost, shooting 31% to $17.42 after the company reported better-than-expected Q1 results.

QEP Resources, Inc. (NYSE: QEP) shares were also up, gaining 39% to $1.00 after the company reported strong Q1 earnings.

Equities Trading DOWN

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) shares tumbled 33% to $18.11 after a report emerged that the company is preparing a bankruptcy filing, citing people familiar with the matter. Chesapeake Energy has held discussions with creditors about a possible loan that would aid operations while it goes through bankruptcy proceedings, Reuters reported on Wednesday afternoon.

Shares of Verona Pharma plc (NASDAQ: VRNA) were down 23% to $4.5450 after the company reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2020, and issued a corporate update.

Zovio Inc (NASDAQ: ZVO) was down, falling 19% to $1.6701 after the company reported Q1 results.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 20.3% to $18.12, while gold traded up 0.3% to $1,717.60.

Silver traded up 0.1% Thursday to $15.335, while copper fell 1.1% to $2.3455.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 slipped 1.71%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.55%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 1.57%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 2.02%, and the French CAC 40 slipped 1.96% while UK shares fell 3.33%.

Economics

U.S. jobless claims climbed 3.8 million for the latest week, versus 4.442 million in the earlier week. However, analysts were expecting a reading of 3.5 million.

The employment cost index rose 0.8% for the first quarter.

U.S. consumer spending dropped 7.5% for March, versus analysts’ expectations for a 5% decline. Personal income declined 2.0% in March.

The Chicago PMI fell by 12.4 points to a reading of 35.4 in April.

Domestic supplies of natural gas climbed 70 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 24, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts expected a gain of 69 billion cubic feet.

Data on farm prices for March will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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

 

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