Gold Prices Settle Lower; Vascular Biogenics Shares Plummet

U.S. stocks traded mostly higher toward the end of trading, with the S&P index gaining around 0.5% on Wednesday.

The Dow traded up 0.01% to 31,830.59 while the NASDAQ rose 1.42% to 11,879.02. The S&P also rose, gaining, 0.52% to 3,957.13.

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Leading and Lagging Sectors

Information technology shares rose 1.1% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Pagaya Technologies Ltd. PGY, up 96% and Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc. SDIG up 44%.

In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares fell 1.4%.

Top Headline

Abbott Laboratories ABT reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter and raised its forecast.

The company reported Q2 FY22 adjusted EPS of $1.43, up 22.2% Y/Y, better than the consensus of $1.12. Q2 sales of $11.3 billion increased 10.1% on a reported basis and 14.3% on an organic basis, beating the consensus of $10.29 billion.

Abbott has increased FY22 adjusted EPS guidance to $4.90 from the earlier guidance of $4.70, compared to the consensus of $4.88.


Equities Trading UP

Pagaya Technologies Ltd. PGY shares shot up 96% to $5.29 on continued volatility after the company completed its SPAC merger agreement last month.

Shares of Stronghold Digital Mining, Inc. SDIG got a boost, shooting 44% to $3.09 amid strength in cryptocurrency, which has lifted crypto mining stocks.

Direct Digital Holdings, Inc. DRCT shares were also up, gaining 67% to $2.4550 after the company reported 540% revenue growth in its Solossus SSP platform in Q1.

Equities Trading DOWN

Vascular Biogenics Ltd. VBLT shares tumbled 79% to $0.4250 after the company announced the data from its Phase 3 OVAL trial of ofra-vec did not meet the primary endpoints of achieving a statistically significant improvement.

Shares of FaZe Holdings Inc. FAZE were down 30% to $9.06. A SPAC merger announced between FaZe Clan and B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp in October has been completed.

Inozyme Pharma, Inc. INZY was down, falling 22% to $4.25. Inozyme Pharma announced preliminary biomarker, safety, and pharmacokinetic (PK) data from the first three subjects in the Phase 1 portion of its ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of INZ-701 in ABCC6 Deficiency, which presents as pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) in older individuals.

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In commodity news, oil traded down 1.6% to $102.57, while gold traded down 0.6% to $1,700.20.

Silver traded down 0.5% to $18.625 on Wednesday while copper rose 0.4% to $3.3040.

Euro zone

European shares closed lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.21%, London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.44% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 1.18%. The German DAX fell 0.20%, French CAC 40 fell 0.27% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 1.60%.

Annual inflation rate in the UK climbed to 9.4% in June, recording the highest rate since 1982, while producer prices climbed 16.5% year-over-year in from a revised 15.8% in May. Annual producer inflation in Germany fell to a three-month low level of 32.7% in June from May’s record level of 33.6%.


Existing home sales in the US dipped 5.4% to an annual rate of 5.12 million in June, hitting a fresh low since June 2020 and well below analysts’ estimates of 5.38 million.

US crude oil inventories dropped by 0.446 million barrels in the week ended July 15th, following an increase of 3.254 million barrels in the prior period, the Energy Information Administration said.

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COVID-19 Update

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 91,529,860 cases with around 1,049,680 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 43,803,610 cases and 525,820 deaths, while Brazil reported over 33,398,040 COVID-19 cases with 675,920 deaths. In total, there were at least 569,898,910 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 6,392,170 deaths.

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