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Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Falls 50 Points; Sio Gene Therapies Shares Surge

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Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 0.17% to 30,148.04 while the NASDAQ rose 0.34% to 12,637.76. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.11% to 3,698.55.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 16,725,040 cases with around 303,860 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 9,932,540 confirmed cases and 144,090 deaths, while Brazil reported over 6,970,030 COVID-19 cases with 182,790 deaths. In total, there were at least 73,603,540 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 1,638,330 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Consumer discretionary shares climbed 0.7% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE: DS), up 19%, and GrowGeneration Corp. (NASDAQ: GRWG), up 10%.

In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares fell 0.9%.

Top Headline

News broke late Tuesday that Canadian cannabis growers Aphria Inc. (NASDAQ: APHA) and Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) are in merger talks and the companies confirmed the merger Wednesday morning.

Under the terms of the arrangement, shareholders of Aphria will receive 0.8381 shares of Tilray for each Aphria common share.

 

Equities Trading UP

Sio Gene Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIOX) shares shot up 15% to $3.2597 after the company reported positive six-month follow-up data from the low-dose cohort of the dose escalation study of AXO-AAV-GM1, its AAV9-based gene therapy candidate for the treatment of GM1 gangliosidosis.

Shares of Scopus Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: SCPS) got a boost, shooting 21% to $6.68 after the company priced its IPO at $5.5 per share.

Tilray, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) shares were also up, gaining 26% to $9.91 after the company announced it will combine with Aphria to create the largest cannabis company.

Equities Trading DOWN

Galapagos NV (NASDAQ: GLPG) shares tumbled 19% to $96.95. Gilead Sciences and Galapagos announced that the companies have agreed to amend their existing arrangement for the commercialization and development of filgotinib. Based on the feedback received from the FDA during the NDA review process and in the Type A meeting, Gilead said it will not pursue FDA approval of filgotinib for rheumatoid arthritis.

Shares of vTv Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTVT) were down 22% to $2.3050 after the company announced its Phase 2 study of azeliragon in Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes did not meet its primary objective.

BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ: BLRX) was down, falling 28% to $2.62. BioLineRx announced positive results from the triple combination arm of the its Phase 2a COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 clinical study evaluating motixafortide in combination with Merck’s Keytruda and chemotherapy in patients with second-line stage IV pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.4% to $47.80, while gold traded up 0.1% to $1,856.90.

Silver traded up 1.7% Wednesday to $25.07 while copper rose 0.4% to $3.56.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.82%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.16%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.23%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 gained 1.52%, French CAC 40 gained 0.31% and London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.88%.

Eurozone services PMI climbed to 47.3 in December versus 41.7 in the prior month, while manufacturing PMI gained to 55.5 from 53.8. Consumer prices in the UK rose 0.3% year-over-year in November, while producer prices declined 0.8% year-over-year in November.

Economics

US retail sales fell 1.1% for November.

The IHS Markit composite PMI declined to 55.7 in December versus November’s reading of 58.6.

US business inventories increased 0.7% for October.

The NAHB housing market index declined to 86 in December versus 90 in November.

US crude supplies dropped 3.135 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said.

The Federal Reserve will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

 

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Posted-In: Earnings M&A News Penny Stocks Eurozone Commodities Small Cap Global

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