Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Higher; Conagra Brands Profit Beats Views

Following the market opening Thursday, the Dow traded up 1.51% to 34,936.37 while the NASDAQ rose 1.56% to 14,728.21. The S&P also rose, gaining 1.45% to 4,426.68.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 44,059,040 cases with around 707,780 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 33,894,310 cases and 449,850 deaths, while Brazil reported over 21,516,960 COVID-19 cases with 599,350 deaths. In total, there were at least 236,571,580 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 4,829,760 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Materials shares gained by 2.1% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Loop Industries, Inc. LOOP, up 8% and Nexa Resources S.A. NEXA up 8%.

In trading on Thursday, energy shares fell 0.1%.

Top Headline

Conagra Brands, Inc. CAG reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter.

Conagra Brands reported quarterly adjusted earnings of $0.50 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.49 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $2.65 billion versus expectations of $2.54 billion.

Conagra Brands reaffirmed FY22 earnings guidance of $2.50 per share.


Equities Trading UP

Paltalk, Inc. PALT shares shot up 38% to $9.56 after dropping over 15% on Wednesday. Paltalk’s recent filing showed registration for $50 million mixed securities shelf offering.

Shares of Merus N.V. MRUS got a boost, shooting 27% to $25.34 as the company presented early clinical data on MCLA-158 and preclinical data on zenocutuzumab at AACR-NCI-EORTC Virtual International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics.

New Fortress Energy Inc. NFE shares were also up, gaining 21% to $31.98 after the company issued gas supply and economic guidance.

Check out these big movers of the day

Equities Trading DOWN

Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc OSMT shares tumbled 40% to $1.85 as the company priced its secondary public offering of 14 million shares and warrants to purchase up to 14 million shares at $2.5/piece.

Shares of ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ORIC were down 23% to $14.73 after the company presented initial clinical data from Phase 1b trial of ORIC-101 in combination with enzalutamide and preclinical data on ORIC-114 at AACR-NCI-EORTC.

Prelude Therapeutics Incorporated PRLD was down, falling 25% to $21.72. Prelude Therapeutics announced presentation of data from multiple programs at AACR-NCI-EORTC Virtual International Conference.


In commodity news, oil traded down 1.4% to $76.38, while gold traded down 0.1% to $1,760.70.

Silver traded up 0.8% Thursday to $22.71 while copper rose 0.9% to $4.1850.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 1.2%, the Spanish Ibex Index jumped 1.9% and the German DAX 30 climbed 1.3%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 gained 1%, French CAC 40 jumped 1.4% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 1.2%.

Retail sales in Italy rose 0.4% over a month during August, while industrial production in Germany dropped 4% in August. French current account deficit shrank to EUR 1.3 billion in August from a revised gap of EUR 3.4 billion a month ago, while trade deficit narrowed to EUR 6.67 billion from a revised EUR 7.08 billion. The Halifax House Price Index in the UK surged 7.4% year-over-year in September.


US-based employers reported 17,895 job cuts during the month of September, according to the Challenger job-cut report.

US initial jobless claims dropped to 326,000 in the week ending October 2nd, compared to a seven-week high level of 364,000 in the prior period.

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

The Treasury will auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Data on consumer credit for August will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Check out the full economic calendar here

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