Mid-Afternoon Market Update: U.S. Stocks Turn Lower; Blucora Shares Spike Higher

Toward the end of trading Tuesday, the Dow traded down 0.24 percent to 25,852.61 while the NASDAQ declined 0.04 percent to 7,711.64. The S&P also fell, dropping 0.19 percent to 2,827.37.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Tuesday afternoon, the health care shares climbed 0.9 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. SRNE 37.82% up 30 percent, and Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. AXSM 13.86% up 20 percent.

In trading on Tuesday, utilities shares fell 1.3 percent.

Top Headline

Michaels Companies Inc MIK 9.33% reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

Michaels reported quarterly earnings of $1.44 per share on sales of $1.789 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.42 per share on sales of $1.78 billion. Its same-store sales dropped 0.4 percent.

The Michaels Companies expects Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.28 to $0.33 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $0.40 per share. The company projects FY19 adjusted earnings of $2.34 to $2.46 per share on sales of $5.19 billion to $5.24 billion.

Equities Trading UP

Aytu BioScience, Inc. AYTU 20.35% shares got a boost, shooting up 25 percent to $2.15 after the company announced two recent publications highlighting summarized findings from its MY-T study.

Shares of Vaxart, Inc. VXRT 37.99% shot up 46 percent to $2.4600 after the company initiated a Phase 1b clinical trial for its bivalent norovirus vaccine. Vaxart announced $3 million registered direct offering priced at-the-market.

Blucora, Inc. BCOR 18.77% shares were also up, gaining 19 percent to $33.71 after the company reported a $100 million buyback, raised its FY19 EPS and sales guidance, and announced it will acquire 1st Global for $180 million.

Equities Trading DOWN

Urovant Sciences Ltd. UROV 20.63% shares dropped 20 percent to $11.10. Urovant Sciences announced its Vibegron met its primary endpoints in a phase 3 trial.

Shares of Aquabounty Technologies Inc AQB 20% were down 20 percent to $2.2450. AquaBounty priced its 3.35 million share common stock offering at $2.25 per share.

resTORbio, Inc. TORC 21.44% was down, falling around 19 percent to $7.35 after the company reported Q4 results and announced a $50 million common stock offering.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.1 percent to $59.07 while gold traded up 0.4 percent to $1,306.90.

Silver traded up 0.4 percent Tuesday to $15.385, while copper rose 0.5 percent to $2.923.


European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.57 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.88 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.92 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 1.13 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.24 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.34 percent.


The Federal Open Market Committee begins its two-day policy meeting.

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index fell 0.1 percent during the first two weeks of March versus February.

U.S. factory orders rose 0.1 percent for January, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.3 percent increase..

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