Market Overview

Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Falls 50 Points; IDT Shares Climb After Q4 Results

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Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.19% to 27,767 while the NASDAQ fell 1.92% to 11,108.78. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.63% to 3,359.64.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 7,279,060 cases with around 207,810 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 6,394,060 confirmed cases and 99,770 deaths, while Brazil reported over 4,847,090 COVID-19 cases with 144,680 deaths. In total, there were at least 34,324,200 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 1,023,450 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares jumped 1.4% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included VivoPower International PLC (NASDAQ: VVPR), up 17%, and South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI), up 4%.

In trading on Friday, information technology shares fell by 2.1%.

Top Headline

The nonfarm payroll number came in at +661,000, worse than consensus expectations of +800,000.

The unemployment rate decreased 0.5% to 7.9%. Average hourly earnings were up less than 0.1% in the month to $29.47. The leisure and hospitality industry led the gains in September by adding 318,000 jobs, more than any other industry.

 

Equities Trading UP

American Renal Associates Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ARA) shares shot up 68% to $11.60 after the company reported an $11.50 per share cash offer from Nautic Partners.

Shares of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT) got a boost, shooting 38% to $9.52 after reporting higher earnings and sales for the fourth quarter.

Xtant Medical Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: XTNT) shares were also up, gaining 75% to $1.4310 after the company announced the closing of debt restructuring.

Equities Trading DOWN

Benitec Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: BNTC) shares tumbled 39% to $2.9710 as the company priced 3.23 million shares at $3.10 per share.

Shares of Mesoblast Limited (NASDAQ: MESO) were down 34% to $12.34 after the company said the FDA issued a complete response letter to its BLA for remestemcel-L for the treatment of pediatric steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease. The FDA has sought the company conduct at least one additional study in adults and/or children to provide further evidence of the effectiveness of remestemcel-L for SR-aGVHD.

Hycroft Mining Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: HYMC) was down, falling 16% to $7.59 as the company priced its 8.33 million unit offering at $9 per unit.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 4.6% to $36.95, while gold traded down 0.4% to $1,908.90.

Silver traded down 1.2% Friday to $23.975 while copper rose 3.6% to $2.9685.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.25%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.35%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.01%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 declined 0.33%, French CAC 40 rose 0.02% and London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.39%.

 

Economics

The economy added 661,000 jobs in September, while the unemployment rate declined to 7.9%. Economists were expecting a gain of 800,000 jobs last month.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index increased to 80.4 in September versus a preliminary reading of 78.9.

U.S. factory orders increased 0.7% for August.

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs rose by 6 to 189 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.

 

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