Mid-Day Market Update: Benefytt Technologies Surges Following Acquisition News; NextCure Shares Slide

Midway through trading Monday, the Dow traded up 1.64% to 26503.64 while the NASDAQ rose 1.92% to 10,821.08. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.42% to 3,230.31.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 3,304,940 cases with around 135,200 deaths. Brazil confirmed a total of over 1,864,680 COVID-19 cases with 72,100 deaths, while India reported a total of at least 878,250 confirmed cases and 23,170 deaths. In total, there were at least 12,910,350 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 569,120 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer discretionary shares rose 2.5% on Monday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Vuzix Corporation VUZI, up 15%, and Tesla, Inc. TSLA, up 14%.

In trading on Monday, energy shares fell 0.2%.

Top Headline

PepsiCo, Inc. PEP reported better-than-expected results for its second quarter.

Pepsico reported quarterly earnings of $1.32 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.25 per share. The company reported sales of $15.95 billion, exceeding expectations of $15.38 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Equillium, Inc. EQ shares shot up 156% to $8.17 after the company disclosed that Itolizumab significantly reduced mortality in coronavirus patients, according to a clinical trial conducted in India by its partner Biocon.

Shares of electroCore, Inc. ECOR got a boost, shooting 175% to $2.3399 after the company announced it has received FDA emergency use authorization for the use of gammaCore Sapphire CV for acute treatment of asthma exacerbations in COVID-19 patients.

Benefytt Technologies, Inc. BFYT shares were also up, gaining 38% to $30.77 after the company agreed to be acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners for $31 per share.

Equities Trading DOWN

Celsion Corporation CLSN shares tumbled 63% to $1.31 after the company received a recommendation from its independent data monitoring committee to consider stopping its Phase 3 OPTIMA study due to efficacy concerns.

Shares of NextCure, Inc. NXTC were down 46% to $9.69 after the company said it would not advance its non-small cell lung cancer and ovarian cancer studies. The company's chief medical officer also departed the company. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded NextCure from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $78 to $13.

Gritstone Oncology, Inc. GRTS was down, falling 47% to $4.25 after the company gave an update on its immunotherapty product candidates.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.1% to $40.53, while gold traded up 0.4% to $1,809.40.

Silver traded up 3.1% Monday to $19.635, while copper rose 2.3% to $2.9645.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.83%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.32%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.95%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 gained 1.08%, French CAC 40 gained 1.41% and UK shares rose 1.3%.


Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan will speak at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Treasury budget report for June is scheduled for release at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Posted In: Integrated Telecommunication ServicesMid-Day Market UpdateTelecommunication ServicesEarningsNewsPenny StocksEurozoneCommoditiesGlobalIntraday UpdateMarkets