Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Tuniu Gains After Announcing $100M Share Repurchase Program; Aradigm Shares Slide

Toward the end of trading Friday, the Dow traded up 0.72 percent to 25,757.70 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.51 percent to 7,248.81. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.49 percent to 2,780.97.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Friday afternoon, the technology sector proved to be a source of strength for the market. Leading the sector was strength from Synaptics, Incorporated SYNA 12.37% and 3D Systems Corporation DDD 9.08%.

In trading on Friday, utilities shares fell 0.06 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector includedAmerican Water Works Company Inc AWK 4.76%, down 4 percent, and Aqua America Inc WTR 3.46% down 3 percent.

Top Headline

JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM 1.22% reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.

JPMorgan said it earned $1.76 per share in the quarter on revenue of $25.45 billion which exceeded Wall Street's expectations for $1.69 per share and $25.15 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Performant Financial Corp PFMT 24.2% shares shot up 31 percent to $2.54 after the company disclosed that it has been awarded student loan recovery contract from the U. S. Department of Education. Compass Point upgraded Performant Financial from Neutral to Buy.

Shares of Liberty Oilfield Services Inc. LBRT got a boost, shooting up 28 percent to $21.7925. Liberty Oilfield Services priced its 12.7 million share IPO at $17 per share.

Tuniu Corp TOUR 11.7% shares were also up, gaining 13 percent to $8.57. Tuniu reported a $100 million share repurchase program and reported the promotion of Mr. Shihong Chen from Vice President to Chief Technology Officer, effective immediately.

Equities Trading DOWN

Aradigm Corporation ARDM 34.14% shares dropped 34 percent to $2.27 after the company disclosed that the FDA Advisory Committee panel voted 12-3 against recommendation for Linhaliq. Ladenburg Thalmann downgraded Aradigm from Buy to Neutral.

Shares of AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. AQB 37.45% were down 38 percent to $3.01 after the company reported a $12 million underwritten public offering.

Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc CNCE 28.14% was down, falling around 26 percent to $20.48 despite the earlier FDA grant of Fast Track Designation for CTP-543. Mizuho downgraded shares to Neutral citing the Patent Board decision not to grant the company a Post Grant Review in litigation with Incyte over CTP-543.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 0.49 percent to $64.11 while gold traded up 0.70 percent to $1,331.70.

Silver traded up 0.82 percent Friday to $17.105, while copper fell 0.49 percent to $3.217.

Eurozone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.31 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.26 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.53 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 0.32 percent, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.52 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.20 percent.

Economics

U.S. retail sales rose 0.4 percent for December, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.4 percent growth.

The consumer price index gained 0.1 percent in December, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.1 percent rise.

U.S. business inventories gained 0.4 percent for November, versus economists’ estimates of a 0.3 percent growth

The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is schedule for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren will speak in La Jolla, California at 4:15 p.m. ET.

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