Markets Mixed; US Trade Deficit Widens In February

U.S. stocks traded mixed this morning, with the Nasdaq Composite dropping more than 50 points on Wednesday.

Following the market opening Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.13% to 33,446.10 while the NASDAQ fell 0.55% to 12,059.75. The S&P 500, also fell, dropping, 0.20% to 4,092.45.

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Leading and Lagging Sectors

  • Utilities shares rose by 1.7% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Cadiz Inc. CDZI, up 2%, and National Grid plc NGG, up 2%.
  • In trading on Wednesday, consumer discretionary fell by 0.8%.


Top Headline

Imports to the U.S. dropped by $5.0 billion from a month ago to $321.7 billion in February, while exports fell by $6.9 billion to $251.2 billion. The trade deficit in the U.S. rose to $70.5 billion in February.


Equities Trading UP

  • Nuburu, Inc. BURU shares shot up 90% to $5.17 after the company announced it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense for a position on the multiple award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract for high energy laser beams.
  • Shares of Liminal BioSciences Inc. LMNL got a boost, shooting 80% to $6.80 after Thomvest submitted an unsolicited non-binding transaction proposal to acquire Liminal on an all cash basis.
  • InflaRx N.V. IFRX shares were also up, gaining 55% to $5.85 on continued upward momentum after the company yesterday announced it received FDA EUA for Gohibic for the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Today, LifeSci Capital upgraded the stock from Market Perform to Outperform.


Equities Trading DOWN

  • Millennium Group International Holdings Limited MGIH shares dropped 14% to $2.76 after dipping around 20% on Tuesday.
  • Shares of Bullfrog AI Holdings, Inc. BFRG were down 13% to $5.21. Bullfrog AI shares jumped around 28% on Tuesday after the company announced a worldwide license agreement with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for use of patented technology powering the company's bfLEAP platform.
  • DLocal Limited DLO was down, falling 12% to $14.95 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 financial results.

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In commodity news, oil traded down 0.1% to $80.64 while gold traded up 0.2% at $2,042.50.

Silver traded down 0.5% to $24.97 on Wednesday while copper fell 0.3% to $3.9610.

Stocks of crude oil in the US fell by 4.3 million barrels in the week ended March 31, 2023, the API said Tuesday.


Euro zone

European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.2%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.50% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index rose 0.6%. The German DAX fell 0.5%, French CAC 40 fell 0.3% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 0.4%.

The S&P Global Eurozone composite PMI rose to 53.7 in March from February's final reading of 52.0, while services PMI was revised lower to 55 for March versus a preliminary reading of 55.6.

French services PMI was revised lower to 53.9 in March versus a preliminary estimate of 55.5, while German services PMI was revised lower to 53.7 from a preliminary level of 53.9. Retail sales in Italy declined by 0.1% from a month ago in February. The S&P Global/CIPS UK services PMI slipped to 52.9 in March versus February's final level of 53.5.


Asia Pacific Markets

Asian markets closed mixed on Wednesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropping 1.68% and India’s S&P BSE Sensex jumping 1.2%.

The S&P Global India services PMI fell to 57.8 in March versus February’s 12-year high level of 59.4, while Japanese services PMI was revised higher to 55.0 versus a preliminary level of 54.2. The Judo Bank Australian services PMI fell to 48.6 in March from 50.7 in February.



  • Mortgage applications in the U.S. dropped 4.1% in the week ending March 31, 2023.
  • Private businesses in the U.S. added 145,000 jobs in March versus a revised 261,000 in February and compared to expectations of 200,000.
  • Imports to the U.S. dropped by $5.0 billion from a month ago to $321.7 billion in February, while exports fell by $6.9 billion to $251.2 billion. The trade deficit in the U.S. rose to $70.5 billion in February.
  • The S&P Global services PMI was revised lower to 52.6 in March versus a preliminary reading of 53.8, and versus 50.6 in the prior month.

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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 106,273,690 cases with around 1,155,660 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 44,733,710 cases and 530,910 deaths, while France reported over 39,807,730 COVID-19 cases with 165,730 deaths. In total, there were at least 684,289,330 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 6,833,790 deaths.

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