Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Microsoft To Acquire Nuance

Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded down 0.27% to 33,708.58 while the NASDAQ fell 0.54% to 13,825.03. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.20% to 4,120.48.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 31,197,870 cases with around 562,060 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 13,527,710 cases and 170,170 deaths, while Brazil reported over 13,482,020 COVID-19 cases with 353,130 deaths. In total, there were at least 136,101,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 2,937,730 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Utilities shares rose 0.4% on Monday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Huaneng Power International, Inc. HNP, up 2%, and Black Hills Corporation BKH, up 1.5%.

In trading on Monday, information technology shares fell 0.7%.

Top Headline

Microsoft Corporation MSFT has become the final bidder for Nuance Communications Inc NUAN, the company that helped develop Apple’s Siri speech technology for $56 per share.

The deal price implies a 23% premium to NUAN's Friday closing price of $45.58, valuing the all-cash transaction at $19.7 billion, inclusive of Nuance's net debt.

Equities Trading UP

Wilhelmina International, Inc. WHLM shares shot up 41% to $7.82 after the company's 13D filing showed that Modell's Sporting Goods had reported a stake of 18.4% in the company on Friday.

Shares of Ikena Oncology, Inc. IKNA got a boost, shooting 28% to $20.56. The company, last month, priced its IPO at $16 per share.

Xtant Medical Holdings, Inc. XTNT shares were also up, gaining 14% to $2.55. Xtant Medical, last week, filed for resale of up to 16 million shares by selling stockholders.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

iRhythm Technologies, Inc.. IRTC shares tumbled 37% to $84.13 after the company said it will not be able to provide its Zio XT device to Medicare patients if reimbursement rates remain unchanged. Baird maintained iRhythm Technologies with a Neutral and lowered the price target from $170 to $80.

Shares of Greenwich LifeSciences, Inc. GLSI were down 22% to $41.75. Greenwich LifeSciences shares gained 6% on Friday after the company reported robust immune response from its Phase IIb data supporting the GP2 clinical outcome of 0% metastatic breast cancer recurrences over 5 years of follow-up.

VectivBio Holding AG VECT was down, falling 16% to $20.26. VectivBio shares gained over 42% on Friday as the company priced its IPO at $17 per share.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.5% to $59.59, while gold traded down 0.2% to $1,741.70.

Silver traded down 0.3% Monday to $25.245 while copper fell 0.4% to $4.0240.

Euro zone

European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.2%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.5% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.1%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.1%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3% and Italy’s FTSE MIB rose 0.5%.

Eurozone's retail trade increased 3.0% in February following a 5.2% decline in January.


The Treasury is set to auction 6-month bills and 3-year notes at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren is set to speak at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The Treasury will auction 3-month bills and 10-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Treasury statement for March is scheduled for release at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

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