Mid-day market update: Gold drops over 4%, Midatech Pharma shares jump


Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded down 0.35% to 33,913.86 while the NASDAQ rose 0.73% to 14,142.60. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.07% to 4,226.52.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 33,498,510 cases with around 600,650 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 29,700,310 cases and 381,900 deaths, while Brazil reported over 17,628,580 COVID-19 cases with 493,690 deaths. In total, there were at least 177,069,910 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 3,833,790 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Information technology shares rose 1% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included ACM Research, Inc. ACMR 8.37%, up 8%, and Asana, Inc. ASAN 7.63%, up 7%.

In trading on Thursday, materials shares fell 2%.

Top Headline

The Kroger Co. KR 5.17% reported stronger-than-expected results for its first quarter and announced a $1 billion buyback program.

Kroger reported quarterly earnings of $1.19 per share, exceeding analysts’ estimates of $1.01 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $41.30 billion, topping expectations of $39.78 billion.

Kroger boosted its FY21 adjusted EPS guidance from $2.75-$2.95 to $2.95-$3.10.

Equities Trading UP

Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. APOP 28.29% shares shot up 35% to $4.43 after the company announced it filed a registration statement in connect with the proposed merger agreement with Quoin Pharmaceuticals.

Shares of Midatech Pharma plc MTP 34.8% got a boost, shooting 42% to $2.9017 after the company announced breakthrough data using Q-Sphera technology.

Clearside Biomedical, Inc. CLSD 13.73% shares were also up, gaining 19% to $4.8350 after Wedbush raised its price target on the stock from $6 to $18.

Equities Trading DOWN

CureVac N.V. CVAC 39.76% shares tumbled 43% to $54.08 after the company said results of the second interim analysis of CureVac's international Phase 2b/3 study of its first-generation vaccine candidate showed vaccine efficacy of 47% against COVID-19 disease of any severity. The company also said the trial did not meet prespecified statistical success criteria.

Shares of Novan, Inc. NOVN 21.01% were down 19% to $11.23 after the company priced its 3.6 million share offering at $11 per share.

Creatd, Inc. CRTD 18.4% was down, falling 16% to $3.45 after the company priced an underwritten public offering of 750,000 shares at $3.40 per share.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.3% to $71.95, while gold traded down 4.3% to $1,782.00.

Silver traded down 5.9% Thursday to $26.185 while copper fell 3% to $4.2540.

Euro zone

European shares were mixed today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 0.11%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.12% and the German DAX 30 rose 0.08%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.38%, French CAC 40 gained 0.18% and Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 0.01%.

Passenger car registrations in the European Union surged 53.4% year-over-year to 891,665 units in May. Spanish trade deficit shrank to EUR 1.30 billion in April from EUR 1.52 billion in the year-ago month, while Italy swung to a trade surplus of EUR 5.870 billion in April versus a EUR 1.117 billion gap in the year-ago period.

Economics

US initial jobless claims increased to 412 thousand last week, recording the first rise in more than one month.

The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index declined to 30.7 in June versus 31.5 in May.

The index of leading economic indicators rose 1.3% for May.

US natural-gas supplies rose 16 billion cubic feet last week, the Energy Information Administration said.

The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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