Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Darden Restaurants Reports Upbeat Profit

Following the market opening Friday, the Dow traded down 0.31% to 30,208.50 while the NASDAQ fell 0.05% to 12,757.87. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.38% to 3,708.46.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 17,213,880 cases with around 310,790 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 9,979,440 confirmed cases and 144,780 deaths, while Brazil reported over 7,110,430 COVID-19 cases with 184,820 deaths. In total, there were at least 75,075,060 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 1,664,760 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Industrials shares slipped by just 0.1% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Ageagle Aerial Systems Inc UAVS, up 11%, and BEST Inc BEST, up 10%.

In trading on Friday, real estate shares dipped 1%.

Top Headline

Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its second quarter.

Darden posted quarterly earnings of $0.74 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.71 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $1.66 billion, versus expectations of $1.68 billion.


Equities Trading UP

Presidio Property Trust, Inc. SQFT shares shot up 123% to $8.25 after jumping over 26%on Thursday.

Shares of CURO Group Holdings Corp CURO got a boost, shooting 55% to $13.66. Katapult will go public through merger with FinServ Acquisition Corp. Katapult is 40% owned by CURO Group.

Mereo BioPharma Group plc MREO shares were also up, gaining 50% to $3.315. Mereo BioPharma and Ultragenyx announced a license and collaboration agreement for setrusumab, a monoclonal antibody in clinical development for osteogenesis imperfecta.

Equities Trading DOWN

Mesoblast Limited MESO shares tumbled 29% to $9.63. Mesoblast said Data Safety Monitoring Board that performed a third interim analysis of data from a study of remestemcel-L in ventilator-dependent patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome due to COVID-19 infection said the trial is not likely to meet the 30-day mortality reduction endpoint at the planned 300 patient enrolment.

Shares of Scopus BioPharma Inc. SCPS were down 30% to $23.74 after climbing 474% on Thursday. Scopus BioPharma’s filing showed registration for 500,000 share common stock offering. Scopus Biopharma priced its IPO at $5.5 per share.

MingZhu Logistics Holdings Limited YGMZ was down, falling 27% to $12.69 after jumping 336% on Thursday.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.1% to $48.29, while gold traded down 0.1% to $1,889.20.

Silver traded down 0.6% Friday to $26.025 while copper rose 0.7% to $3.6255.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.1%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.6%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.2%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 gained 0.1%, French CAC 40 gained 0.1% and London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%.

German producer prices dropped 0.5% year-over-year in November following a 0.7% decline in the previous month, while retail sales in the UK dropped 3.8% in November.


The current account gap increased by 10.6% to $178.5 billion in the third quarter.

The index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6% for November.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans is set to speak at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard will speak at 11:10 a.m. ET.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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