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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Surges 170 Points; Mer Telemanagement Solutions Shares Spike Higher

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Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.50% to 34,206 while the NASDAQ rose 0.06% to 14,046.61. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.35% to 4,185.15.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 31,496,430 cases with around 565,290 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 14,291,910 cases and 174,300 deaths, while Brazil reported over 13,746,680 COVID-19 cases with 365,440 deaths. In total, there were at least 139,214,610 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 2,988,960 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Materials shares rose 1.3% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP), up 16%, and PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE: PPG), up 10%.

In trading on Friday, energy shares fell 0.7%.

Top Headline

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) reported stronger-than-expected results for its first quarter.

Morgan Stanley reported quarterly earnings of $2.22 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.70 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $15.70 billion, versus expectations of $14.09 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Mer Telemanagement Solutions Ltd. (NASDAQ: MTSL) shares shot up 39% to $3.9817 after the company announced it signed a definitive merger agreement with SharpLink.

Shares of General Finance Corporation (NASDAQ: GFN) got a boost, shooting 56% to $18.96 after United Rental said it would acquire the company for $19 per share in cash.

Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RXRX) shares were also up, gaining 55% to $27.88 after the company priced its IPO at $18 per share.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Sequential Brands Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQBG) shares tumbled 36% to $17.76 after the company reported a wider Q4 loss.

Shares of SG Blocks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGBX) were down 16% to $3.80 following downbeat quarterly earnings..

PHX Minerals Inc. (NYSE: PHX) was down, falling 23% to $2.0450 after the company priced an underwritten public offering of 5,500,000 shares at $2.00 per share.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.5% to $63.13, while gold traded up 0.7% to $1,779.00.

Silver traded up 0.5% Friday to $26.08 while copper fell 1.2% to $4.1670.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.9%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.49% and the German DAX 30 gained 1.34%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.85% London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.52% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 0.88%.

The consumer price inflation rate in the Eurozone was confirmed at 1.3% year-over-year in March, while trade surplus shrank to EUR 17.7 billion in February from EUR 23.4 billion in the year-ago month. Italy's trade surplus narrowed to EUR 4.75 billion for February from EUR 5.98 billion.

Economics

US housing starts jumped 19.4% to an annualized rate of 1.739 million in March, while building permits increased 2.7% to an annual rate of 1.766 million.

The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 86.5 in April from previous reading of 84.9.

The total number of active U.S. oil rigs rose by 7 to 344 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.

Check out the full economic calendar here

 

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