Mid-Day Market Update: Nasdaq Turns Higher; Vocera Communications Shares Surge

Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.34% to 36,284.59 while the NASDAQ rose 0.18% to 15,127.00. The S&P, however, rose 0.07% to 4,703.93.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 58,805,180 cases with around 853,610 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 35,109,280 cases and 482,870 deaths, while Brazil reported over 22,351,100 COVID-19 cases with 619,550 deaths. In total, there were at least 298,424,370 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 5,484,350 deaths.


Leading and Lagging Sectors


Energy shares climbed 1.8% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Laredo Petroleum, Inc. LPI, up 6% and Ranger Oil Corporation ROCC up 8%.


In trading on Thursday, materials shares fell 0.8%.


Top Headline


Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter on Thursday.

Walgreens reported quarterly earnings of $1.68 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.33 per share. The company’s sales came in at $33.90 billion, versus estimates of $32.74 billion.

Walgreens raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance to low-single digit growth, from flat previously.

 

Equities Trading UP


Eargo, Inc. EAR shares shot up 45% to $6.63 after the company announced the Department of Justice confirmed to it that the previously-announced criminal probe is no long active.


Shares of Vocera Communications, Inc. VCRA got a boost, shooting 27% to $79.15 after Stryker announced a definitive agreement to acquire the company.


Alterity Therapeutics Limited ATHE shares were also up, gaining 47% to $1.22 after the company announced it was granted a new US patent for "Compounds for and Methods of Treating Diseases."


Check out these big movers of the day


Equities Trading DOWN

Aligos Therapeutics, Inc. ALGS shares tumbled 50% to $5.26 after the company announced that it has halted further development of its STOPS drug candidate, ALG-010133.


Shares of Berkeley Lights, Inc. BLI were down 35% to $10.54 after the company issued weak sales forecast for FY21. The company said it sees FY21 sales of $84 million to $84.5 million, versus analysts’ estimates of $90.9 million and also projects FY22 sales growth of 30% year over year. The company’s CEO Eric D. Hobbs will transition to president of Antibody Therapeutics Line.


CNS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. CNSP was down, falling 29% to $0.75 after the company reported a $11.5 million private placement priced at-the-market under Nasdaq rules.


Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 2.4% to $79.72, while gold traded down 2% to $1,789.00.


Silver traded down 4.7% Thursday to $22.085 while copper fell 1.9% to $4.3295.


Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 1.5%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 1.04%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 0.72%. The German DAX dropped 1.57%, French CAC 40 declined 1.61% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index tumbled 1.75%.

Producer prices in the Eurozone increased 1.8% in November, while construction PMI fell to 52.9 in December from 53.3 a month ago. The IHS Markit/CIPS UK services PMI was revised higher to 53.6 in December from a preliminary estimate of 53.2, while composite PMI was revised higher to 53.6 in December from a preliminary level of 53.2. New car registrations in the UK fell 18.2% year-over-year to 108,596 units in December.

The IHS Markit Italy construction PMI declined to 64.4 in December from November's record high of 65.5, while French construction PMI fell to 50.9 in December from 51.6 in the prior month. German construction PMI rose to 48.2 in December from 47.9, while factory orders rose 3.7% in November.


Economics


The US trade deficit widened to $80.2 billion in November from a revised $67.2 billion deficit in October. Exports from the US rose by $0.4 billion from a month ago to $224.2 billion, while imports rose by $13.4 billion to a fresh record high of $304.4 billion.


US initial jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 207,000 in the week ending January 1st, versus a revised 200,000 in the prior period.


US factory orders increased by 1.6% from a month ago in November.


The ISM services PMI dropped to 62 in December from a record high level of 69.1 in November.


Check out the full economic calendar here

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