Mid-Afternoon Market Update: US Stocks Turn Positive; Hovnanian Enterprises Shares Slide

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.08% to 34,342.65 while the NASDAQ rose 0.38% to 14,489.14. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.19% to 4,353.99.

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

Utilities shares gained by 0.7% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte Sociedad Anónima EDN, up 3% and Sunnova Energy International Inc. NOVA up 2.5%.

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares dipped 1%.

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 57% to $3.8901 after the company announced licensing option agreement with Pfizer for capsids generated from Voyager's RNA-driven TRACER screening technology.

Shares of Acer Therapeutics Inc. ACER got a boost, shooting 15% to $2.8650. The FDA has accepted for review Acer Therapeutics and its partner, Relief Therapeutics Holding’s marketing application for ACER-001 (sodium phenylbutyrate) for Urea Cycle Disorders (UCDs).

Acuity Brands, Inc. AYI shares were also up, gaining 11% to $196.57 after reporting better-than-expected Q4 results.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Manchester United plc MANU shares tumbled 15% to $16.63. Manchester United reported an offering of 9.5 million shares by selling shareholders Kevin Glazer Irrevocable Exempt Family Trust and Edward S. Glazer Irrevocable Exempt Trust in a secondary equity offering.

Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. HOV were down 13% to $83.11 after the company announced revised Q4 and FY21 guidance due to supply chain delays and uncertainties.

Paltalk, Inc. PALT was down, falling 14% to $7.09. Paltalk’s filing showed registration for $50 million mixed securities shelf offering.


In commodity news, oil traded down 2.3% to $77.11, while gold traded up 0.1% to $1,763.40.

Silver traded up 0.1% Wednesday to $22.62 while copper fell 0.7% to $4.1640.

Euro zone

European shares closed lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 1.03%, the Spanish Ibex Index declined 1.71% and the German DAX 30 declined 1.46%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.15%, French CAC 40 dipped 1.26% and Italy’s FTSE MIB dipped 1.35%.

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.

US crude oil inventories climbed 2.346 million barrels in the week ending October 1, the Energy Information Administration said.

Check out the full economic calendar here

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