Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Tumbles 400 Points; Milestone Pharmaceuticals Shares Gain

Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 1.49% to 26604.41 while the NASDAQ fell 2.37% to 10,452.62. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.33% to 3,232.34.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 3,971,340 cases with around 143,190 deaths. Brazil confirmed a total of over 2,227,510 COVID-19 cases with 82,770 deaths, while India reported a total of at least 1,238,790 confirmed cases and 29,860 deaths. In total, there were at least 15,255,090 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 624,130 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer staples shares rose 0.1% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included The Unilever Group UL, up 7%, and SunOpta Inc. STKL, up 7%.

In trading on Thursday, information technology shares fell 2.8%.

Top Headline

AT&T Inc. T reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter, while sales missed views.

AT&T posted quarterly earnings of $0.83 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.79 per share. The company reported sales of $40.95 billion, missing expectations of $41.02 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc. MIST shares shot up 147% to $8.25 after the company reported its NODE-301 and NODE-301B studies can be used as 2 efficacy studies that support future new drug application submissions.

Shares of Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. HLX got a boost, shooting 24% to $4.75 after the company reported better-than-expected Q2 results. Piper Sandler also upgraded the stock from Neutral to Overweight and raised the price target from $3.50 to $6 per share.

Brightcove Inc. BCOV shares were also up, gaining 38% to $11.12 after the company reported stronger-than-expected Q2 results.

Equities Trading DOWN

Bright Scholar Education Holdings Limited BEDU shares tumbled 9% to $7.76 after the company reported Q3 results.

Shares of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. ASNA were down 27% to $0.5793 after the company voluntarily filed chapter 11 petitions.

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. AUPH was down, falling 15% to $14.09 after the company priced its US$200 million public offering of common shares. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals shares climbed over 15% on Wednesday after the company's new drug application for Voclosporin was accepted by the FDA for priority review.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.7% to $41.18, while gold traded up 1.1% to $1,885.80.

Silver traded down 1.3% Thursday to $22.845, while copper fell 0.1% to $2.9235.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.06%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.07%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index declined 0.7%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 slipped 0.01%, French CAC 40 declined 0.07% and UK shares rose 0.07%.


U.S. initial jobless claims rose 1.42 million in the week ended July 18, versus analysts’ expectations of 1.30 million.

The index of leading economic indicators increased 2% for June.

Domestic supplies of natural gas gained 37 billion cubic feet for the week ended July 17, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts expected a rise of 33 billion cubic feet.

The Kansas City manufacturing index increased to +7 in July versus a reading of +2 in the prior month.

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

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