Gold Gains 1%; Walgreens Narrows Earnings Forecast

U.S. stocks traded slightly higher midway through trading, with the S&P 500 gaining around 0.1% on Thursday.

The Dow traded up 0.06% to 39,785.87 while the NASDAQ rose 0.06% to 16,408.04. The S&P 500 also rose, gaining, 0.13% to 5,255.09.

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Leading and Lagging Sectors


Energy shares jumped by 0.6% on Thursday.

In trading on Thursday, communication services shares fell by 0.2%.


Top Headline


Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc WBA reported better than expected second-quarter earnings and tightened FY24 guidance.

Walgreens said second quarter fiscal year 2024 sales increased 6.3% Y/Y to $37.1 billion, up 5.7% on a constant currency basis, beating the consensus of $35.86 billion. Adjusted EPS increased 3.4% to $1.20, up 2.8% on a constant currency basis, reflecting a lower adjusted effective tax rate and improved profitability in U.S. Healthcare, beating the consensus of 82 cents, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

Walgreens Boots Alliance narrowed the fiscal year 2024 adjusted EPS guidance to $3.20-$3.35 versus prior guidance of $3.20-$3.50 and consensus of $3.24.


Equities Trading UP


Avalo Therapeutics, Inc. AVTX shares shot up 385% to $23.05 after the company announced it acquired a Phase 2-ready anti-IL-1β mAb, which it refers to as AVTX-009, through the acquisition of privately held AlmataBio. The company also announced a private placement financing of up to $185 million.

Shares of Xilio Therapeutics, Inc. XLO got a boost, surging 169% to $1.70 after the company announced an exclusive license agreement with Gilead Sciences for a tumor-activated IL-12 program. The company announced a $11.3 million private placement equity financing.

Biodexa Pharmaceuticals Plc BDRX shares were also up, gaining 108% to $1.7880. Biodexa's MTX110 showed promise in extending life expectancy against aggressive brain cancers.


Equities Trading DOWN


Primech Holdings Ltd. PMEC shares dropped 53% to $1.8317 after the company issued financial updates and corporate highlights for the six months ended Sept. 30, 2023.

Shares of urban-gro, Inc. UGRO were down 25% to $1.37 after the company reported worse-than-expected fourth-quarter financial results.

Data Storage Corporation DTST was down, falling 23% to $5.85 following fourth-quarter results.

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In commodity news, oil traded up 1.7% to $82.73 while gold traded up 1% at $2,235.10.

Silver traded up 1% to $25.01 on Thursday, while copper rose 0.3% to $4.0120.


Euro zone


European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.28%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.51% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 0.12% The German DAX rose 0.15% French CAC 40 rose 0.13% while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.10%.

Bank lending to households in the Eurozone rose by 0.3% year-over-year to €6.87 trillion in February. The manufacturing confidence index in Italy climbed to 88.6 in March versus a revised reading of 87.5 in the prio month. German jobless rate came in steady at 5.9% in March, while German retail sales fell by 1.9% month-over-month for February.

The British economy shrank by 0.2% year-over-year during the fourth quarter, while current account gap in the UK widened to £21.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 versus a revised £18.5 billion gap in the prior period. UK car production climbed 14.6% year-over-year to 79,907 units in February.


Asia Pacific Markets


Asian markets closed mostly higher on Thursday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 falling 1.46%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gaining 0.91%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.59% and India’s S&P BSE Sensex gaining 1.4%.

Singapore bank loans rose to SGD 801.5 billion in February from SGD 794.3 billion in the prior month. The Domestic Supply Price Index in Singapore fell 2.8% year-over-year for February.




The U.S. economy grew an annualized 3.4% in the fourth quarter, up from 3.2% previously reported.

U.S. initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 210,000 in the week ending March 23, compared to market estimates of 215,000.

The Chicago PMI declined to 41.4 in March from 44 in the previous month.

U.S. pending home sales climbed by 1.6% from the prior month in February versus a revised 4.7% decline in the prior month.

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment rose to 79.4 in March versus a preliminary reading of 76.5.

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