Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; AstraZeneca Halts Coronavirus Vaccine Study

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.65% to 27955.71 while the NASDAQ rose 1.92% to 11055.64. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.81% to 3,392.02.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 6,328,00 cases with around 189,690 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 4,370,120 confirmed cases and 73,890 deaths, while Brazil reported over 4,162,070 COVID-19 cases with 127,460 deaths. In total, there were at least 27,605,560 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 898,260 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Materials shares climbed 2.7% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Element Solutions Inc ESI, up 9%, and Pretium Resources Inc. PVG, up 5%.

In trading on Wednesday, communication services shares rose by just 0.5%.

Top Headline

AstraZeneca plc AZN said it has voluntarily paused the study of the coronavirus vaccine candidate it is jointly developing with the Oxford University in order to allow review of safety data by an independent committee.

The decision to pause came after there was a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.

Equities Trading UP

Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc. ITCI shares shot up 67% to $30.86 after the company announced the results from its study 402 evaluating Lumateperone 42mg achieved statistically significant results in primary and key secondary endpoints.

Shares of Watford Holdings Ltd. WTRE got a boost, shooting 43% to $25.52 after Reuters reported that Arch Capital is in a $26 per share bid for the company.

Trillium Therapeutics Inc. TRIL shares were also up, gaining 37% to $12.93 after the company said it has agreed to sell 2.298 million shares of its common shares in a registered direct offering to Pfizer at a price of $10.88 per share, for raising gross proceeds of $25 million. Separately, Trillium announced updated data from its ongoing TTI-622 and TTI-621 dose escalation studies in relapsed and refractory lymphomas, showing the former demonstrated substantial monotherapy activity in highly pre-treated patients, with a broad therapeutic window, a rapid onset of action, and across a range of lymphoma indications. Since no safety signal was observed, the company said it is further escalating the dose.

Equities Trading DOWN

NextDecade Corporation NEXT shares tumbled 21% to $1.83 after jumping over 75% on Tuesday.

Shares of MasterCraft Boat Holdings, Inc. MCFT were down 18% to $18.39 after the company reported quarterly results.

Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. AHT was down, falling 15% to $2.48.



In commodity news, oil traded up 1.6% to $37.36, while gold traded down 0.7% to $1,929.10.

Silver traded down 1.1% Wednesday to $26.69, while copper fell 0.2% to $3.0205.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today as investors are awaiting the ECB’s monetary policy decision tomorrow for clues regarding further stimulus. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.6%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.1%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.5%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 gained 0.9%, French CAC 40 rose 0.5% and London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8%.


The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index fell 1% during the first week of September versus August.

The number of job openings rose by 617,000 to 6.618 million in July.

The Treasury is set to auction 10-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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