Mid-day market update: Nasdaq rises over 100 points; Verrica Pharmaceuticals shares plummet


Midway through trading Tuesday, the Dow traded down 0.01% to 25595.02 while the NASDAQ rose 1.17% to 9,989.73. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.69% to 3,074.27.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 2,590,580 cases with around 126,140 deaths. Brazil confirmed a total of over 1,368,190 COVID-19 cases with 58,310 deaths, while Russia reported a total of at least 640,240 confirmed cases and 9,150 deaths. In total, there were at least 10,302,860 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 505,510 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Real estate shares climbed 1.3% on Tuesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Redfin Corporation RDFN 5.79%, up 6%, and Stratus Properties Inc. STRS 7.04%, up 5%.

In trading on Tuesday, industrial shares fell 0.2%.

Top Headline

Conagra Brands Inc CAG 4.75% reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter.

Conagra Brands posted quarterly earnings of $0.75 per share, surpassing analysts’ estimates of $0.66 per share. The company reported sales of $3.29 billion, exceeding expectations of $3.11 billion.

Conagra said it projects Q1 earnings of $0.54 to $0.59 per share.

Equities Trading UP

Qumu Corporation QUMU 34.23% shares shot up 33% to $3.1895. Synacor and Qumu reported mutual termination of merger deal.

Shares of Workhorse Group Inc. WKHS 37.7% got a boost, shooting 30% to $18.81 after the company secured $70 million in financing from institutional investors.

Alterity Therapeutics Limited ATHE 100.38% shares were also up, gaining 111% to $1.235 after the company said that following a pre-IND meeting regarding its lead drug candidate ATH434 for the treatment of multiple system atrophy, a Parkinsonian disorder, it has reached an agreement with the FDA on the non-clinical investigations required to support the Phase 2 study..

Equities Trading DOWN

OncoCyte Corporation OCX 44.58% shares tumbled 42% to $1.86 after the company said following the completion of the Clinical Validation study of DetermaDx, its liquid biopsy test intended to clarify whether a lung nodule is suspicious or likely benign, demonstrated that the performance of DetermaDx did not meet the predetermined endpoints for the study. Chardan Capital downgraded OncoCyte from Buy to Neutral and lowered the price target from $7.75 to $2.

Shares of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ZYNE 49.31% were down 48% to $3.3890. Announcing top line results from the 14-week pivotal CONNECT-FX study that is evaluating its Zygel in Fragile X syndrome patients, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals said Zygel did not achieve statistical significance versus placebo in the primary endpoint as well as the three key secondary endpoints.

Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc. VRCA 25.55% was down, falling 26% to $10.48 after the company said it has received a letter from the FDA regarding the NDA for VP-102, its lead drug candidate for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum, stating there are deficiencies in the application that ruled out discussion of labeling and post-marketing requirements/commitments at this time.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.2% to $39.64, while gold traded up 1.3% to $1,803.40.

Silver traded up 2.9% Tuesday to $18.595, while copper rose 1.1% to $2.7215.

Euro zone

European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.13%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.59%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 0.33%. Meanwhile, the German DAX 30 gained 0.64%, French CAC 40 fell 0.16% and UK shares fell 0.72%.

Economics

The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index fell 0.7% during the first four weeks of June versus May.

The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller home price index increased 4% year-over-year in April.

The Chicago PMI rose to 36.6 for June, versus prior reading of 32.3.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index climbed to 98.1 for June, versus a reading of 85.9 in May.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is set to speak at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic will speak at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is set to speak at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Data on farm prices for May will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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