Stocks Edge Higher; US Trade Deficit Widens In January

U.S. stocks traded slightly higher this morning, after recording sharp losses in the previous session.

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.05% to 32,873.60 while the NASDAQ rose 0.10% to 11,541.73. The S&P 500 also rose, gaining, 0.14% to 3,992.14.


Leading and Lagging Sectors

  • Energy shares rose by 0.7% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Ultrapar Participações S.A. UGP, up 4%, and Frontline plc FRO, up 4%.
  • In trading on Wednesday, consumer discretionary shares dipped by 0.7%.


Top Headline

The US trade deficit rose to a three-month high of $68.3 billion in January versus a revised $67.2 billion gap in December.


Equities Trading UP

  • Kimball International, Inc. KBAL shares shot up 84% to $12.32 after HNI Corporation announced it will acquire the company for $485 million.
  • Shares of Diversey Holdings, Ltd. DSEY got a boost, shooting 37% to $8.18 after the company announced it will be acquired by Solenis for $4.6 billion.
  • Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. MAXN shares were also up, gaining 36% to $25.50 after the company reported mixed Q4 financial results and issued guidance.


Equities Trading DOWN

  • Intelligent Bio Solutions Inc. INBS shares tumbled 47% to $3.20 after the company announced pricing of a $2.2 million public offering.
  • Shares of Miromatrix Medical Inc. MIRO were down 42% to $1.4279 after the company announced pricing of a $10 million public offering of common stock.
  • United Natural Foods, Inc. UNFI was down, falling 30% to $28.50 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q2 EPS and cut FY23 EPS guidance.

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In commodity news, oil traded down 1.2% to $76.66 while gold traded up 0.2% at $1,823.30.

Silver traded down 0.1% to $20.195 on Wednesday while copper rose 1.5% to $4.0345.


Euro zone

European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.1%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index rose 0.3%. The German DAX gained 0.3% French CAC 40 fell 0.1% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.2%.

The Eurozone economy stalled in the final quarter of 2022, versus preliminary reading of a 0.1% growth. Retail sales in Italy rose by 1.7% from a month ago in January. Industrial production in Germany rose 3.5% month-over-month for January, while retail sales in the country slipped 0.3% month-over-month in January.


Asia Pacific Markets

Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 gaining 0.48%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropping 2.35% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index falling 0.06%. India’s S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.21%.

The gauge for Japan's service sector sentiment rose by 3.5 points from the previous month to a reading of 52.0 in February, while the country posted a deficit of JPY 1,976.6 billion in January compared to a surplus of JPY 33.4 billion a month ago.



  • The US trade deficit rose to a three-month high of $68.3 billion in January versus a revised $67.2 billion gap in December.
  • Private businesses in the US added 242,000 jobs in February versus a revised 119,000 gain in January and above market expectations of 200,000.
  • Mortgage applications in the US climbed 7.4% in the week ended March 3, 2023.

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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 105,441,940 cases with around 1,147,210 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 44,688,690 cases and 530,770 deaths, while France reported over 39,639,110 COVID-19 cases with 165,070 deaths. In total, there were at least 680,893,430 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 6,806,850 deaths.

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