Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower; Acuity Brands Posts Upbeat Q4 Results

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded down 1.12% to 33,929.34 while the NASDAQ fell 0.69% to 14,334.78. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.90% to 4,306.41.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 43,950,080 cases with around 705,280 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 33,871,880 cases and 449,530 deaths, while Brazil reported over 21,499,070 COVID-19 cases with 598,820 deaths. In total, there were at least 235,908,850 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 4,818,980 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Communication services shares slipped by just 0.3% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included uCloudlink Group Inc. UCL, up 5% and NextPlay Technologies, Inc. NXTP up 3%.

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares dipped 2.7%.

Top Headline

Acuity Brands, Inc. AYI reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

Acuity Brands reported quarterly adjusted earnings of $3.27 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $2.85 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $992.70 million versus expectations of $963.96 million.


Equities Trading UP

Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. VYGR shares shot up 47% to $3.62 after the company announced licensing option agreement with Pfizer for capsids generated from Voyager's RNA-driven TRACER screening technology.

Shares of Grom Social Enterprises, Inc. GROM got a boost, shooting 63% to $5.40.

Rafael Holdings, Inc. RFL shares were also up, gaining 14% to $36.50. Rafael Holdings named Mary Margaret (Mimi) Huizinga, MD, MPH as Chief Development and Medical Officer, effective October 18, 2021.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings, Inc. DNA shares tumbled 23% to $9.24.

Shares of DatChat, Inc. DATS were down 17% to $7.41 after dipping around 24% on Tuesday.

Paltalk, Inc. PALT was down, falling 16% to $6.91. Paltalk’s filing showed registration for $50 million mixed securities shelf offering.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.4% to $78.60, while gold traded down 0.7% to $1,748.80.

Silver traded down 1.5% Wednesday to $22.265 while copper fell 1.6% to $4.1255.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.9%, the Spanish Ibex Index declined 2% and the German DAX 30 declined 2.3%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.8%, French CAC 40 dipped 2.2% and Italy’s FTSE MIB dipped 2.2%.

Eurozone retail sales increased 0.3% from a month ago in August, while construction PMI climbed to 50.0 in September from 49.5 a month ago.

The IHS Markit/CIPS construction PMI for the UK dropped to 52.6 in September, while German construction PMI rose to 47.1 in September from 44.6 in August. Spain's industrial production rose 1.8% year-over-year in August versus a revised 3.3% growth in the previous month. French construction PMI increased to 48.9 in September from 44.9 in the earlier month.


Private businesses hired 568,000 workers in September versus a revised 340,000 gain in August.

The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

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