Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Turns Higher; Crude Oil Surges 9%

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Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.30% to 23317.97 while the NASDAQ fell 0.51% to 8,818.20. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.14% to 2,816.07.

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 1,390,760 coronavirus cases with around 84,130 deaths. Britain confirmed a total of over 230,980 coronavirus cases with 33,260 deaths, while Russia reported a total of at least 252,240 confirmed cases and 2,300 deaths. In total, there were at least 4,362,990 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 297,460 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Financial shares climbed by 1.6% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included BRP Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRP), up 11%, and Ellington Financial Inc. (NYSE: EFC), up 10%.

In trading on Thursday, real estate shares fell 1%.

Top Headline

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported better-than-expected earnings and sales for its third quarter and issued strong earnings outlook for the current quarter on Wednesday.

Cisco reported third-quarter earnings of 79 cents per share, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of 71 cents. The company reported quarterly sales of $12 billion, which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $11.88 billion.

Cisco said it sees Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.72 to $0.74 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $0.71 per share. The company projects sales to decline 8.5%-11.5% year over year.

Equities Trading UP

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) shares shot up 64% to $14.56 after the company announced it has received FDA emergency use authorization for its coronavirus diagnostic assay kit.

Shares of BioPharmX Corporation (NASDAQ: BPMX) got a boost, shooting 30% to $0.62 after the company reported shareholders approval of merger with Timber Pharma.

Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALLO) shares were also up, gaining 30% to $40.36 after the company announced the release of an abstract for its upcoming ASCO meeting presentation, showing data from its Phase 1 dose escalation study of ALLO-501 in relapsed/refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Equities Trading DOWN

Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKDA) shares tumbled 14% to $4.1301 after reporting Q1 results.

Shares of Comstock Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CRK) were down 30% to $4.5413 after the company reported the commencement of a 40 million share common stock offering.

Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ: VRTU) was down, falling 25% to $23.84 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 results. William Blair downgraded Virtusa from Outperform to Market Perform.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 9% to $27.56, while gold traded up 1.3% to $1,739.10.

Silver traded up 3.1% Thursday to $16.15, while copper rose 0.1% to $2.347.

Euro zone

European shares closed lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 slipped 2.17%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.29%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 1.84%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 1.95%, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.65% while UK shares fell 2.75%.

Economics

U.S. initial jobless claims fell to 2.98 million last week, from 3.17 million in the last week of April. Economists had forecasted 2.5 million. Continuing jobless claims for the week of May 3 struck 22.83 million compared to the 25.1 million forecasted and the previous week’s 22.38 million.

U.S. import prices declined 2.6% in April, versus a revised 2.4% drop in March. Export prices in the US fell 3.3% in April versus a revised 1.7% decline in the prior month.

Domestic supplies of natural gas gained 103 billion cubic feet for the week ended May 8, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts expected a rise of 101 billion cubic feet.

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

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan will speak at 6:00 p.m. ET.

 

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