Mid-Day Market Update: Crude Oil Down Over 4%; Cellect Biotechnology Shares Surge

Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 1% to 32,096.94 while the NASDAQ fell 1.28% to 12,796.15. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.89% to 3,854.71.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 30,011,550 cases with around 545,280 deaths. Brazil reported over 12,220,010 COVID-19 cases with 300,680 deaths, while India confirmed a total of at least 11,787,530 cases and 160,690 deaths. In total, there were at least 124,894,100 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 2,745,700 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares rose 0.9% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included PG&E Corporation PCG, up 2%, and Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A. - Eletrobrás EBR, up 2%.

In trading on Thursday, energy shares fell 2.9%.

Top Headline

Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI reported better-than-expected results for its third quarter and issued strong guidance for the current quarter.

Darden posted quarterly earnings of $0.98 per share, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $0.69 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $1.73 billion, versus expectations of $1.63 billion.

Darden Restaurants said it sees Q4 earnings of $1.60 to $1.70 per share, on sales of $2.1 billion. Analysts had expected EPS of $1.24 per share on sales of $1.95 billion.


Equities Trading UP

Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. APOP shares shot up 46% to $5.10 after the company and Quoin Pharmaceuticals announced a strategic merger.

Shares of Houston Wire & Cable Company HWCC got a boost, shooting 40% to $5.32 after the company announced it will be acquired by OmniCable for $91 million.

Cancer Genetics, Inc. CGIX shares were also up, gaining 15% to $5.90 after the company announced shareholder approval of all proposals in connection with the proposed merger with StemoniX.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Evolus, Inc. EOLS shares tumbled 25% to $12.33 after the company posted a wider quarterly loss.

Shares of Evofem Biosciences, Inc. EVFM were down 23% to $1.7843 after the company reported pricing of $30 million public offering of common stock.

Rite Aid Corporation RAD was down, falling 23% to $17.89 after the company issued an update on FY2021 guidance. The company said it expects to report a FY21 net loss of $90 million to $100 million on sales of $23.98 billion to $24.00 billion.


In commodity news, oil traded down 4.2% to $58.64, while gold traded up 0.1% to $1,733.30.

Silver traded down 0.7% Thursday to $25.06 while copper fell 2.4% to $3.9685.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.61%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 1.18% and the German DAX 30 dropped 0.62%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 fell 0.5%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.94% and Italy’s FTSE MIB slipped 0.49%.

German GfK Consumer Climate Indicator rose to -6.2 heading into April versus a revised reading of -12.7 in the previous month, while French manufacturing climate indicator came in unchanged at 98 in March.

Loans to households in the Eurozone increased 3% to EUR 6.42 trillion for February.


The US economy expanded by an annualized rate of 4.3% on quarter during the fourth quarter.

US initial jobless claims dropped to 684,000 in the week ended March 20th, below analysts’ expectations of 730,000.

US natural-gas supplies dropped 36 billion cubic feet last week, the Energy Information Administration said.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans is set to speak at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The Treasury will auction 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly will speak at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

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