Mid-Day Market Update: Pivotal Software Gains Following Q1 Results; Flex Pharma Shares Slide

Midway through trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.08 percent to 25,340.76 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.41 percent to 7,735.18. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.12 percent to 2,790.15.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Wednesday, the health care shares surged 0.60 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Galectin Therapeutics, Inc. GALT 14.69% up 7 percent, and IntriCon Corporation IIN 6.18% up 9 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, telecommunication services shares fell 3.82 percent.

Top Headline

Korn/Ferry International KFY 13.07% reported upbeat results for its fourth quarter on Wednesday.

Korn/Ferry posted quarterly earnings of $0.80 per share on revenue of $488.364 million. However, analysts were expecting a loss of $0.70 per share on revenue of $458.38 million.

Korn/Ferry expects Q1 earnings of $0.67 to $0.75 per share on fee sales of $450 million to $470 million. Analysts project earnings of $0.66 per share on sales of $435.10 million.

Equities Trading UP

Enphase Energy, Inc. ENPH 32.89% shares shot up 35 percent to $6.075 n reaction to an acquisition announcement. The global energy technology company agreed to acquire SunPower Corporation SPWR 2.18%'s microinverter business for $25 million in cash and 7.5 million shares of Enphase common stock. The transaction also adds 140 new patents to Enphase's IP portfolio.

Shares of Pivotal Software, Inc. PVTL 25.96% got a boost, shooting up 25 percent to $26.43 trading after reporting strong Q1 results. Pivotal Software posted Q1 adjusted loss of $0.10 per share on sales of $155.7 million.

Sharing Economy International Inc. SEII 19.44% shares were also up, gaining 31 percent to $4.64. The China-based company that targets the global sharing economy markets said one of its wholly-owned subsidiary entered into a licensing agreement with Ecrent Capital to establish a website platform in North Korea.


Equities Trading DOWN

Flex Pharma, Inc. FLKS 67.7% shares dropped 68 percent to $1.35 following a release from the company announcing the scrapping of two clinical trials and the exploration of strategic options. Flex Pharma is ending the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials of its lead product candidate FLX-787, which was being investigated for both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder, or CMT. Flex Pharma's board has constituted a strategic committee to evaluate strategic options, including a potential sale or merger of the company. The biotech is eliminating 60 percent of its workforce by June 30; while the restructuring will cost the company $800,000 to $1.11 million in one-time costs, it expects to reap annualized cost savings beginning in the third quarter.

Shares of scPharmaceuticals Inc. SCPH 21.62% were down 24 percent to $5.7752 after the company received a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the FDA for FUROSCIX.

H&R Block, Inc. HRB 18.09% was down, falling around 19 percent to $23.9476. H & R Block reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter and raised its quarterly dividend from $0.24 per share to $0.25 per share.


In commodity news, oil traded up 0.21 percent to $66.50 while gold traded up 0.08 percent to $1,300.40.

Silver traded up 0.56 percent Wednesday to $16.985, while copper rose 0.29 to $3.259.


European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.15 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.30 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index climbed 0.43 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX climbed 0.24 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.05 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.05 percent.


The Producer Price Index rose 0.5 percent for May, versus economists’ expectations for a 0.3 percent increase.

Crude supplies declined 4.1 million barrels for the week ended June 8, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts were expecting a drop of 2.6 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles fell 2.3 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles dropped 2.1 million barrels for the week.

The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET..

The Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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