Mid-Day Market Update: Dow Drops Over 500 Points; Crude Oil Surges 6%

U.S. stocks remained lower midway through trading on Thursday after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced that the country’s armed forces would carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

The Dow traded down 1.57% to 32,610.36 while the NASDAQ fell 0.14% to 13,019.77. The S&P also fell, dropping, 0.81% to 4,191.15.

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Leading and Lagging Sectors


Communication services shares slipped by just 0.1% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Globalstar, Inc. GSAT, up 13% and Tremor International Ltd TRMR up 10%.


In trading on Thursday, financials shares dipped 3%.


Top Headline


Moderna, Inc. MRNA reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter and announces a new $3 billion buyback program.

Moderna posted quarterly earnings of $11.29 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $9.90 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $7.20 billion, versus expectations of $6.79 billion.

Moderna also raised its 2022 signed advance purchase agreements to around $19 billion, with additional signed options of about $3 billion.


Equities Trading UP


TransMedics Group, Inc. TMDX shares shot up 20% to $15.10 following strong quarterly sales.


Shares of South Jersey Industries, Inc. SJI got a boost, shooting 41% to $33.07 after the company announced it will be acquired by the Infrastructure Investments Fund. South Jersey Industries also reported upbeat quarterly earnings.


Lantheus Holdings, Inc. LNTH shares were also up, gaining 37% to $39.40 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 EPS and sales results and issued Q1 adjusted EPS and sales guidance and FY22 sales guidance above estimates.


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Equities Trading DOWN

Orphazyme A/S ORPH shares tumbled 30% to $1.4150 as the company said it has been notified by the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of a negative trend vote on marketing authorization application for its investigational product candidate, arimoclomol, for the treatment of Niemann-Pick disease type C.


Shares of Skillz Inc. SKLZ were down 32% to $2.4450 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 sales results and issued FY22 sales guidance below estimates.


Versus Systems Inc. VS was down, falling 35% to $1.3399 as the company reported the pricing of its public offering

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Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 6.4% to $98.03, while gold traded up 0.9% to $1,927.80.


Silver traded up 1% Thursday to $24.795 while copper rose 0.2% to $4.4930.



Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 3.43%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 3.8%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 2.99%. The German DAX tumbled 4.07%, French CAC 40 fell 3.96% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dipped 4.3%.

The consumer confidence index in France declined by 1 point to 98 in February, while the CBI distributive trades survey’s retail sales balance in the UK declined to 14 in February from 28 in the previous month.


Economics

 

The US economy expanded an annualized 7% on quarter during the fourth quarter, up from 6.9% in the advance estimate.


US initial jobless claims fell by 17,000 to 232,000 in the week ended February 19th.


The Chicago Fed National Activity Index in rose to +0.69 in January from a revised level of 0.07 in the prior month.


New home sales dropped 4.5% to an annual rate of 801,000 in January.


US natural-gas stocks dropped 129 billion cubic feet last week, the Energy Information Administration said.


The Treasury will auction 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.


Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller will speak at 8:00 p.m. ET.


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Check out the full economic calendar here


COVID-19 Update

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 80,372,400 cases with around 966,530 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 42,881,170 cases and 512,950 deaths, while Brazil reported over 28,485,500 COVID-19 cases with 646,490 deaths. In total, there were at least 430,661,700 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 5,939,600 deaths.

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