Mid-Day Market Update: Superconductor Technologies Rises After Q4 Results; Staffing 360 Solutions Shares Slide

Midway through trading Thursday, the Dow traded up 0.34 percent to 25,831.79 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.69 percent to 7,782.35. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.44 percent to 2,836.77.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

On Thursday, the information technology shares climbed 1.6 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included StoneCo Ltd STNE 12.62% up 13 percent, and Micron Technology, Inc. MU 7.97% up 9 percent.

In trading on Thursday, financial shares fell 0.8 percent.

Top Headline

Conagra Brands Inc CAG 11.24% reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its third quarter.

Conagra reported quarterly earnings of $0.51 per share on sales of $2.707 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.49 per share on sales of $2.78 billion.

Conagra said it expects 2019 EPS of $2.03 to $2.08 versus the $2.05 analyst estimate..

Equities Trading UP

Spi Energy Co Ltd SPI 67.82% shares got a boost, shooting up 94 percent to $5.07 after the company announced an amendment to its 2017 merger agreement with Thermi Sun which will delay the acquisition no later than May 20th.

Shares of Sorrento Therapeutics Inc SRNE 33.38% shot up 23 percent to $4.30 after the company presented at Oppenheimer's healthcare conference in New York on Wednesday.

Superconductor Technologies Inc. SCON 12.12% shares were also up, gaining 35 percent to $2.25 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 EPS and sales.

Equities Trading DOWN

Staffing 360 Solutions Inc. STAF 22.69% shares dropped 22 percent to $1.69 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 revenue results.

Shares of Oragenics Inc OGEN 24.3% were down 23 percent to $0.67 after the company priced an offering consisting of 1 share of stock and warrants to purchase 2 shares of stock at $0.75 per unit.

Biogen Inc BIIB 28.49% was down, falling around 29 percent to $227.27 after the company said it will discontinue an ongoing Alzheimer's drug study. Biogen and its partner Japan-based Eisai said they will discontinue an ongoing global Phase 3 trial of its therapy aducanumab. The investigational compound was meant to slow the progression of Alzheimer's by reducing amyloid plaques present in the brain.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.2 percent to $60.12 while gold traded up 0.7 percent to $1,311.30.

Silver traded up 1 percent Thursday to $15.47, while copper rose 0.2 percent to $2.9265.

Eurozone

European shares were mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 dropped 0.2 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.6 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.1 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX dropped 0.8 percent, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.6 percent.

Economics

Initial jobless claims dropped 9,000 to 221,000 in the latest week. However, economists were projecting claims to reach 226,000.

The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index rose to 13.7 in March, versus a reading of - 4.1 in February.

The index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent for February.

Domestic supplies of natural gas dropped 47 billion cubic feet for the week ended March 15, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a fall of 48 billion cubic feet.

Data on money supply for the recent week will be released at 4:30 p.m. ET.

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