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%.
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.
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.
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.
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