Toward the end of trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.23% to 32,495 while the NASDAQ fell 0.37% to 12,913.99. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.13% to 3,894.05.
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
Financial shares rose 0.8% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Upstart Holdings, Inc. UPST, up 7%, and Unity Bancorp, Inc. UNTY, up 7%.
In trading on Thursday, communication services shares fell 0.9%.
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 61% to $5.63 after the company and Quoin Pharmaceuticals announced a strategic merger.
Shares of Houston Wire & Cable Company HWCC got a boost, shooting 38% to $5.24 after the company announced it will be acquired by OmniCable for $91 million.
Movado Group, Inc. MOV shares were also up, gaining 18% to $25.39 after the company reported Q4 results and announced a new $25 million buyback program.
Equities Trading DOWN
Evolus, Inc. EOLS shares tumbled 26% to $12.26 after the company posted a wider quarterly loss.
Shares of Evofem Biosciences, Inc. EVFM were down 24% to $1.77 after the company reported pricing of $30 million public offering of common stock.
Rite Aid Corporation RAD was down, falling 21% to $18.52 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 5.1% to $58.04, while gold traded down 0.5% to $1,725.00.
Silver traded down 0.7% Thursday to $25.065 while copper fell 2% to $3.9820.
European shares closed mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.07%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.41% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.08%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.09%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.57% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 0.04%.
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.
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly will speak at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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