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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Gains 80 Points; Osmotica Pharmaceuticals Shares Plummet

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Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.27% to 30,416.16 while the NASDAQ rose 0.29% to 12,886.98. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.17% to 3,733.30.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 19,515,520 cases with around 338,650 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 10,244,850 confirmed cases and 148,430 deaths, while Brazil reported over 7,563,550 COVID-19 cases with 192,680 deaths. In total, there were at least 82,073,260 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 1,792,580 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares climbed 1.4% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included California Resources Corporation (NYSE: CRC), up 11%, and Earthstone Energy, Inc. (NYSE: ESTE), up 9%.

In trading on Wednesday, communication services shares fell 0.7%.

Top Headline

The COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) received the UK approval for emergency supply on Wednesday.

The U.K health department accepted the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommendation to authorize AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which showed efficacy between 70% and 90%.

Equities Trading UP

Bionano Genomics, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNGO) shares shot up 72% to $2.29. Bionano Genomics was granted a 180-day extension by the Nasdaq to regain compliance with bid price rule. The company’s stock added over 50% on Tuesday. Bionano, on Monday, announced its customer, Praxis Genomics, was accredited by College Of American Pathologists.

Shares of Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPA) got a boost, shooting 15% to $2.3899 after the company announced topline data from the low-dose cohort in the Phase 2a AMBITION clinical trial of CRV431 in NASH patients with evidence of moderate-to-severe fibrosis, showing CRV431 was generally safe and well-tolerated.

Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) shares were also up, gaining 60% to $18.03 after the company's merger partner, Mullen Technologies, received a letter of intent for a purchase order of 1,500 MX-05 electric vehicles.

Equities Trading DOWN

B.O.S. Better Online Solutions Ltd. (NASDAQ: BOSC) shares tumbled 20% to $2.28 after the company reported a $2 million common stock offering.

Shares of China Finance Online Co. Limited (NASDAQ: JRJC) were down 22% to $8.53 following Q3 results. China Finance Online reported a Q3 loss of $0.66 per share, versus a year-ago loss of $0.91 per share. Its net revenue climbed to $10.7 million from $8.1 million.

Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ: OSMT) was down, falling 20% to $4.2350 as the company said the FDA issued a complete response letter for its NDA seeking approval for the investigational agent arbaclofen extended release tablets to treat spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis. The FDA made a number of recommendations, including that the company conduct a new study in order to provide substantial evidence of efficacy of arbaclofen, Osmotica said.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.7% to $48.35, while gold traded up 0.6% to $1,894.90.

Silver traded up 1.6% Wednesday to $26.645 while copper fell 0.1% to $3.551.

Euro zone

European shares closed lower today. AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) disclosed that its COVID-19 vaccine has received approval in the United Kingdom for emergency use. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.34%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.25% and German DAX 30 declined 0.31%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 slipped 0.22%, London’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.71% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 0.12%.

Economics

The US goods trade deficit increased to $84.82 billion in November versus $80.42 billion in the prior month, the advance estimate showed.

Wholesale inventories declined 0.1% in November versus a revised 1.2% increase in October.

The Chicago PMI rose 1.3 points to a reading of 59.5 in December.

US pending home sales fell 2.6% in November.

US crude oil inventories dropped 6.1 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said.

Data on farm prices for November will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

 

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