Mid-Day Market Update: Gold Rises 2.5%; Just Energy Shares Spike Higher

Midway through trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.44% to 28616.59 while the NASDAQ rose 0.52% to 11,685.93. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.32% to 3,495.85.

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

Energy shares gained 0.9% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included PBF Energy Inc. PBF, up 9%, and Ultrapar Participações S.A. UGP, up 7%.

In trading on Friday, real estate shares fell by 0.5%.

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 33% to $5.25 as the company announced the completion of sale and leaseback transactions for its manufacturing facilities.

Shares of Just Energy Group Inc. JE got a boost, shooting 36% to $0.4189 after the company announced stakeholder approval of its recapitalization plan. The company also posted upbeat quarterly earnings.

Nutanix, Inc. NTNX shares were also up, gaining 28% to $27.85 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 results. The company’s current CEO Dheeraj Pandey also announced plans to retire upon the selection and appointment of the next CEO. Nutanix also reported a $750 million investment from Bain Capital Private Equity.

Equities Trading DOWN

PEDEVCO Corp. PED shares tumbled 42% to $1.23. PEDEVCO issued a second status update regarding open letter delivered to Avalon Energy, LLC. PEDEVCO shares climbed 169% on Thursday after the company delivered an open letter to the SandRidge Permian Trust, its unit holders, and the operator of its assets regarding an indication of interest to acquire the SandRidge Permian Trust and underlying assets.

Shares of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. ONCT were down 12% to $2.1752 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.

Destination XL Group, Inc. DXLG was down, falling 23% to $0.345. Destination XL Group shares jumped around 56% on Thursday after reporting Q2 results.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.1% to $43.03, while gold traded up 2.5% to $1,980.10.

Silver traded up 2.5% Friday to $27.71, while copper rose 1% to $3.0195.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.52%, the Spanish Ibex Index gained 0.6%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 0.03%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 declined 0.48%, French CAC 40 fell 0.26% and UK shares fell 0.61%.


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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