Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 4.69% to 22,195.63 while the NASDAQ rose 3.68% to 7656.37. The S&P also rose, gaining 4.22% to 2580.02.
US reported a total of 69,100 coronavirus cases with around 1,040 deaths. Italy reported a total of at least 74,300 confirmed cases and 7,500 deaths, while Spain confirmed a total of over 49,500 coronavirus cases. Mainland China reported 67 new imported cases on Thursday. In total, there are at least 480,400 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 21,500 deaths.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Utilities shares climbed 4.9% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Companhia Paranaense de Energia ELP 18.54%, up 21%, and Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais CIG 14%, up 14%.
In trading on Thursday, consumer staples shares rose by just 2.9%.
Signet Jewelers Ltd. SIG 38.61% reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.
Signet reported quarterly earnings of $3.67 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $3.47 per share. Revenue came in at $2.153 billion, exceeding the consensus expectations of $2.12 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. GPMT 253.57% shares shot up 213% to $7.05. JMP Securities upgraded Granite Point Mortgage from Market Perform to Market Outperform and announced a $10 price target.
Shares of AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc. MITT 118.61% got a boost, shooting 112% to $5.43 after gaining 20% on Wednesday.
MFA Financial, Inc. MFA 110.68% shares were also up, gaining 92% to $2.19 after surging around 217% on Wednesday.
Equities Trading DOWN
XpresSpa Group, Inc. XSPA 22.66% shares tumbled 20% to $0.25. XpresSpa Group priced its 8.75 million common stock offering for gross proceeds of $1.79 million.
Shares of Astrotech Corporation ASTC 19.5% were down 24% to $3.09. Astrotech shares jumped 265% on Wednesday after the company announced it is developing its BreathTest 1000 screening instrument for lung diseases including Coronavirus and Pneumonia.
HyreCar Inc. HYRE 16.34% was down, falling 11% to $1.80. HyreCar reported a loss for its fourth quarter.
In commodity news, oil traded down 4.4% to $23.42, while gold traded up 1.1% to $1,651.20.
Silver traded down 0.6% Thursday to $14.79, while copper fell 0.8% to $2.187.
European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.1% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.7%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped 1.1%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 1.1%, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.7% while UK shares rose 0.2%.
The US economy expanded 2.1% percent in the fourth quarter, unrevised from the second estimate.
The US trade deficit on goods shrank to $59.89 billion in February, versus $65.9 billion in the previous month.
US initial jobless claims climbed to a record 3.28 million for the recent week, from a reading of 282,000 in the previous week.
US wholesale inventories fell 0.5% in February, versus a revised 0.5% decline in the prior month.
Domestic supplies of natural gas dropped 29 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 20, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a fall of 27 billion cubic feet.
The Treasury will auction 7-year notes at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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