Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Edge Higher; Big Lots Profit Beats Expectations

Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded up 0.12% to 28525.81 while the NASDAQ rose 0.49% to 11682.00. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.11% to 3,488.31.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 5,869,690 cases with around 180,850 deaths. Brazil confirmed a total of over 3,761,390 COVID-19 cases with 118,640 deaths, while India reported a total of at least 3,387,500 confirmed cases and 61,520 deaths. In total, there were at least 24,487,560 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 832,370 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Information technology shares gained 0.7% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Nutanix, Inc. NTNX, up 21%, and Workday, Inc. WDAY, up 11%.

In trading on Friday, utilities shares fell by 0.6%.

Top Headline

Big Lots, Inc. BIG reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter.

Big Lots reported quarterly earnings of $2.75 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $2.70 per share. The company reported sales of $1.64 billion, also surpassing expectations of $1.61 billion.


Equities Trading UP

Nortech Systems Incorporated NSYS shares shot up 28% to $5.25 as the company announced the completion of sale and leaseback transactions for its manufacturing facilities.

Shares of China Liberal Education Holdings Limited CLEU got a boost, shooting 42% to $8.94 after surging 16% on Thursday.

Orchard Therapeutics plc ORTX shares were also up, gaining 17% to $6.38.

Equities Trading DOWN

PEDEVCO Corp. PED shares tumbled 31% to $1.4550. PEDEVCO issued a second status update regarding open letter delivered to Avalon Energy, LLC.

Shares of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. ONCT were down 16% to $2.07 after the company priced its offering on a firm commitment basis of 2.143 million shares at $2.10 per share.The closing of the offering is expected to occur on or about Sept. 10.

Plantronics, Inc. PLT was down, falling 16% to $12.41.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.1% to $43.06, while gold traded up 1.7% to $1,966.00.

Silver traded up 2.5% Friday to $27.695, while copper rose 1.4% to $3.008.

Euro zone

European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.7%, the Spanish Ibex Index dropped 0.3%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.2%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 declined 0.3%, French CAC 40 fell 0.1% and UK shares rose 0.1%.


The US trade deficit on goods increased to $79.32 billion in July versus a revised $70.99 billion in the earlier month.

Wholesale inventories declined 0.1% in July.

The personal consumption expenditure price index increased 0.3% in July, versus a 0.5% rise in June.

The Chicago PMI declined fell to 51.2 in August versus 52 in July.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 74.1 in August versus a preliminary reading of 72.8.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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

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