Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded down 0.87% to 35,585.26 while the NASDAQ rose 0.43% to 15,245.07. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.32% to 4,653.92.
The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 51,435,650 cases with around 824,520 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 34,726,040 cases and 476,860 deaths, while Brazil reported over 22,204,940 COVID-19 cases with 617,520 deaths. In total, there were at least 273,330,020 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 5,355,740 deaths.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Real estate shares climbed 0.8% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included InvenTrust Properties Corp. IVT, up 7% and Offerpad Solutions Inc. OPAD up 6%.
In trading on Friday, financial shares fell 1.6%.
Darden Restaurants, Inc. DRI reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter and raised its FY22 sales guidance.
Darden reported quarterly earnings of $1.48 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.43 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $2.27 billion, versus expectations of $2.23 billion.
Darden raised its FY22 sales guidance from $9.4 billion-$9.6 billion to $9.55 billion-$9.7 billion. The company said Chairman and CEO Gene Lee will retire in May 2022 and named President and CFO Rick Cardenas as his replacement.
Equities Trading UP
Genfit SA GNFT shares shot up 56% to $5.14 after the company, and Ipsen, announced an exclusive licensing agreement for elafibranor.
Shares of Bellerophon Therapeutics, Inc. BLPH got a boost, shooting 28% to $3.04 after topline data from Phase 2 study (PULSE-PHPF-002) evaluating the acute hemodynamic benefit of INOpulse via right heart catheterization for pulmonary hypertension associated with sarcoidosis (PH-Sarc).
Bottomline Technologies, Inc. EPAY shares were also up, gaining 15% to $56.18 after the company announced it entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $2.6 billion.
Equities Trading DOWN
BlackSky Technology Inc. BKSY shares tumbled 16% to $5.93.
Shares of Rivian Automotive, Inc. RIVN were down 10% to $97.89 after the company reported Q3 earnings results and said it expects to be a few hundred vehicles short of its 2021 production target of 1,200 vehicles.
Abeona Therapeutics Inc. ABEO was down, falling 40% to $0.2952 after the company reported pricing of public offering of common stock and warrants.
In commodity news, oil traded down 2.4% to $70.68, while gold traded up 0.2% to $1,801.20.
Silver traded up 0.1% Friday to $22.49 while copper fell 0.2% to $4.2960.
European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.56%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.82% and the German DAX 30 dropped 0.67%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.13%, French CAC 40 fell 1.12% and Italy’s FTSE MIB dipped 0.64%.
The annual inflation rate in the Eurozone accelerated to 4.9% in November from 4.1% in the previous month, while construction output increased 4.4% year-over-year in October. Spain's trade deficit widened to EUR 3.4 billion in October from EUR 0.7 billion in the year-ago month.
The Ifo Business Climate indicator for Germany dropped to 94.7 in December, while German producer prices surged 19.2% year-over-year in November, following an 18.4% growth in the prior month. Retail sales in the UK increased 1.4% in November. Passenger car registrations in the European Union dipped 20.5% year-over-year to 713,346 units in November.
The total number of active U.S. oil rigs gained by 4 to 475 rigs this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.
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