Mid-afternoon market update: Dow surges over 100 points, Harmony Biosciences shares spike higher

Toward the end of trading Tuesday, the Dow traded up 0.33% to 35,374.03 while the NASDAQ rose 0.54% to 15,103.67. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.55% to 4,511.35.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 45,908,210 cases with around 746,500 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 34,094,370 cases and 452,480 deaths, while Brazil reported over 21,651,910 COVID-19 cases with 603,520 deaths. In total, there were at least 242,021,450 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 4,923,690 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares gained by 1.3% on Tuesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included HCW Biologics Inc. HCWB +13.78% (Get Free Alerts for HCWB), up 16% and Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings, Inc. DNA +20.21% (Get Free Alerts for DNA) up 15%.

In trading on Tuesday, consumer staples shares fell 0.2%.

Top Headline

Johnson & Johnson JNJ +2.4% reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter and raised its FY21 forecast.

Johnson & Johnson reported quarterly earnings of $2.60 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $2.36 per share. The company reported quarterly revenue of $23.34 billion, versus analysts’ estimates of $23.74 billion.

Johnson & Johnson raised FY21 guidance to overall sales of $94.1 billion - $94.6 billion ($93.8 billion - $94.6 billion previously), including $2.5 billion from COVID-19 vaccine sales. It expects adjusted EPS of $9.77-$9.82, as against the earlier outlook of $9.60 - $9.70, higher than the consensus of $9.66.

Equities Trading UP

HCW Biologics Inc. HCWB +13.78% (Get Free Alerts for HCWB) shares shot up 16% to $3.30.

Shares of Harmony Biosciences Holdings, Inc. HRMY +10.18% got a boost, shooting 12% to $42.72 after it was announced the company will replace Retail Properties of America in the S&P SmallCap 600.

InflaRx N.V. IFRX +14.46% shares were also up, gaining 11% to $2.6750 after the company announced it was awarded an up to roughly $50.7 million grant by the German government to advance the development of vilobelimab for the treatment of severe COVID-19.

Equities Trading DOWN

Galera Therapeutics, Inc. GRTX -69.59% shares tumbled 70% to $2.1915 in reaction to disappointing data from the Phase 3 ROMAN trial of avasopasem manganese in severe oral mucositis (SOM) patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer (HNC) undergoing standard-of-care radiotherapy.

Shares of Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AVIR -65.96% were down 63% to $15.09 after the company reported data from the Phase 2 MOONSONG trial of AT-527 in the outpatient setting in patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. The trial did not meet the primary endpoint of clear reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load in the overall population compared to placebo.

EverQuote, Inc. EVER -13.44% was down, falling 13% to $15.00 after the company cut third-quarter sales guidance below estimates.


In commodity news, oil traded up 1% to $83.28, while gold traded up 0.3% to $1,770.20.

Silver traded up 2.3% Tuesday to $23.79 while copper fell 0.5% to $4.7020.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.33%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.67% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.27%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.19%, French CAC 40 slipped 0.05% and Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 0.25%.

Spanish trade deficit widened to EUR 3.87 billion in August from a EUR 1.73 billion gap in the year-ago month.


Housing starts dropped by 1.6% to an annual rate of 1.555 million in September, while building permits fell 7.7% to an annual rate of 1.589 million.

Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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