Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Jobless Claims Decline to 860,000

Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.45% to 27906.33 while the NASDAQ fell 1.35% to 10,900.74. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.81% to 3,357.96.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 6,631,560 cases with around 196,830 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 5,118,250 confirmed cases and 83,190 deaths, while Brazil reported over 4,419,080 COVID-19 cases with 134,100 deaths. In total, there were at least 29,893,290 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 941,340 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Industrial shares slipped by just 0.2% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Herman Miller, Inc. MLHR, up 24%, and 51job, Inc. JOBS, up 17%.

In trading on Thursday, consumer discretionary shares tumbled 1.3%.

Top Headline

Initial jobless claims dropped to 860,000 in the latest week, versus a revised reading of 893,000 in the previous week.

However, economists were expecting claims to decline to 850,000.

Equities Trading UP

Just Energy Group Inc. JE shares shot up 31% to $0.2801 as the company issued an update for closing of plan of arrangement.

Shares of Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. SRNE got a boost, shooting 24% to $10.38. TheSan Diego, California-based biopharma said the FDA has given its nod for initiating a Phase 1 trial for COVI-GUARD, its stand-alone antibody therapy aimed at blocking viral entry into host cells, in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Herman Miller, Inc. MLHR shares were also up, gaining 22% to $31.67 after the company reported a strong rise in its earnings for its fiscal first quarter. The company’s sales also exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Equities Trading DOWN

The Marcus Corporation MCS shares tumbled 30% to $9.51 after the company reported the launch of $87 million convertible senior notes offering.

Shares of Strongbridge Biopharma plc SBBP were down 20% to $2.25 after the company said that it intends to offer ordinary shares in an underwritten public offering.

Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. PLAY was down, falling 16% to $16.07 on a report that noted the company may need to file for bankruptcy if it can't reach a deal with its lenders.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.2% to $40.23, while gold traded down 1.1% to $1,948.30.

Silver traded down 1.8% Thursday to $26.975, while copper fell 0.6% to $3.042.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.5%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.5%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dropped 1%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 declined 0.4%, French CAC 40 dropped 0.6% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.7%.

The Eurozone consumer price index dropped for the first time in more than four years, with consumer prices falling 0.2% year-over-year in August. Construction output in the Eurozone declined for the sixth consecutive month, falling 3.8% year-on-year in July.


Initial jobless claims dropped to 860,000 in the latest week. However, economists were expecting claims to decline to 870,000.

U.S. housing starts fell 5.1% at an annual rate of 1.42 million in August, while building permits slipped 0.9% at an annual rate of 1.47 million.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index dropped to 15 in September versus 17.2 in August.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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

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