Mid-Day market update: Crude oil rises 1%; Esperion therapeutics shares drop following Q1 results

Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.09% to 34,162.34 while the NASDAQ rose 0.53% to 13,705.72. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.30% to 4,177.13.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 32,513,400 cases with around 578,500 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 20,664,970 cases and 226,180 deaths, while Brazil reported over 14,856,880 COVID-19 cases with 411,580 deaths. In total, there were at least 154,404,850 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 3,229,350 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Energy shares rose 3.2% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Gran Tierra Energy Inc. GTE 10.62%, up 21%, and Oceaneering International, Inc. OII 18.1%, up 16%.

In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares fell 2.1%.

Top Headline

General Motors Company PFE reported better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter.

General Motors reported quarterly earnings of $2.25 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.04 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $32.50 billion, versus expectations of $32.67 billion.

General Motors said it sees FY21 adjusted earnings of $4.50-$5.25 per share, versus analysts’ estimates of $5.29 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Nemaura Medical Inc. NMRD 135.32% shares shot up 39% to $6.53 after the company reported an order for 200,000 sugarBEAT sensors.

Shares of Chiasma, Inc. CHMA 40.14% got a boost, shooting 45% to $4.11 after Amryt Pharma agreed to acquire the company in an all-stock combination.

Athenex, Inc. ATNX 22.64% shares were also up, gaining 41% to $5.24 after the company reported its acquired Kuur Therapeutics Inc, a portfolio company of IP Group plc, for $70 million upfront.

Equities Trading DOWN

Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. COCP 31.31% shares tumbled 32% to $1.45 after the company announced a $40 million bought deal offering of common stock.

Shares of Intrusion Inc. INTZ 28.82% were down 29% to $10.19 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q1 results. B. Riley FBR downgraded Intrusion from Buy to Neutral and lowered the price target from $30 to $13.5.

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. ESPR 21.81% was down, falling 25% to $19.20 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q1 results. Stifel downgraded Esperion Therapeutics from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $37 to $20.


In commodity news, oil traded up 1% to $66.34, while gold traded up 0.4% to $1,783.30.

Silver traded down 0.1% Wednesday to $26.545 while copper rose 0.1% to $4.5240.

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbed 1.59%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.28% and the German DAX 30 gained 1.79%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 gained 1.45%, French CAC 40 rose 1.17% and Italy’s FTSE MIB surged 1.81%.

Producer prices in the Eurozone increased 1.1% in March, following a 0.5% rise in the earlier month. The IHS Markit Eurozone composite PMI edged higher to 53.8 in April from a preliminary reading of 53.7.

French composite PMI was revised lower to 51.6 in April from a preliminary reading of 51.7, while German composite PMI slipped to 55.8 in April from a preliminary level of 56.


Private businesses in the US hired 742,000 workers in April versus a revised 565,000 increase in March.

The IHS Markit services PMI increased to 64.7 in April versus a preliminary estimate of 63.1.

The ISM non-manufacturing PMI fell to 62.7 in April from 63.7 in the previous month.

US crude-oil inventories fell 8 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans will speak at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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