Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Rises 300 Points; Apricus Biosciences Shares Plummet

Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded up 1.25 percent to 24,665.21 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.91 percent to 7,171.56 The S&P also rose, gaining 1.03 percent to 2,683.67.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Monday afternoon, the utilities shares climbed 1.39 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Ormat Technologies, Inc. ORA 3.79%, up 4 percent, and Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. FGP 2.2%, up 3 percent.

In trading on Monday, financial shares rose by just 0.2 percent.

Top Headline

Bank of America Corporation BAC 0.82% reported better-than-expected profit for its first quarter.

The bank said it earned $0.62 per share in the first quarter on revenue of $23.1 billion versus expectations of $0.59 per share on revenue of $23.06 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Eldorado Resorts, Inc. ERI 16.11% shares shot up 17 percent to $41.80 after the company announced plans to buy Tropicana Entertainment for $1.85 billion in cash. MGM Resorts International MGM 1.28% reported the sale of Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois to Eldorado Resorts for $327.5 million in cash.

Shares of BlueLinx Holdings Inc. BXC 8.38% got a boost, shooting up 11 percent to $39.53. BlueLinx disclosed that it has completed its announced acquisition of Cedar Creek.

Partner Communications Company Ltd. PTNR 8.06% shares were also up, gaining 9 percent to $4.55 after the company reported a collaboration deal with Amazon Video in Israel.

Equities Trading DOWN

Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. CLDX 64.18% shares dropped 64 percent to $0.77 after the company disclosed that its METRIC study in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer did not meet primary endpoint.

Shares of Acacia Communications, Inc. ACIA 35.1% were down 36 percent to $25.5699. Optical stocks were trading under notable selling pressure Monday morning in reaction to the U.S. government's move to ban American companies from selling their equipment to China's ZTE Corp. The company said in a 10-K filing dated Feb. 22 it generates most of its revenue from a limited number of customers. Among its biggest customers is ZTE, which accounted for 30 percent of its entire revenue in 2017.

Apricus Biosciences, Inc. APRI 34.52% was down, falling around 30 percent to $0.2948. The urology and rheumatology focused biopharmaceutical company said the FDA recommended the company reformulates its Vitaros therapy. Specifically, the FDA is recommending the company "develop a new Vitaros formulation that reduces the concentration of DDAIP.HCl from 2.5% to 0.5% in order to address the tumor promotion and partner transference safety concerns."

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 1.41 percent to $66.44 while gold traded up 0.28 percent to $1,351.70.

Silver traded up 0.37 percent Monday to $16.72, while copper rose 0.99 percent to $3.1015.

Eurozone

European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.39 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.01 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 0.01 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.41 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.07 percent while U.K. shares fell 0.91 percent.

Economics

U.S. retail sales rose 0.6 percent for March, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.4 percent gain.

The Empire State manufacturing index declined to 15.80 for April, versus prior reading of 22.50. Economists expected a reading of 18.80.

U.S. business inventories rose 0.6 percent for February.

The housing market index slipped 1 point to a reading of 69 for April.

The Treasury International Capital report for February will be released at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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