Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Acuity Brands Gains On Earnings Beat; Advaxis Shares Plunge

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.05 percent to 26193.12 while the NASDAQ gained 0.68 percent to 7,902.08. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.45 percent to 2,880.13.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday afternoon, the materials shares rose 1.6 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (NYSE: ACH) up 8 percent, and Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (NYSE: HMY) up 7 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares fell 0.8 percent.

Top Headline

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG) reported upbeat results for its fourth quarter on Wednesday.

Signet reported quarterly earnings of $3.96 per share on sales of $2.155 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $3.82 per share on sales of $2.14 billion. Its same-store sales fell 2 percent during the quarter.

Signet Jewelers said it expects FY20 adjusted earnings of $2.87 to $3.45 per share, on sales of $6.0 billion to $6.1 billion.


Equities Trading UP

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPTT) shares got a boost, shooting up 123 percent to $11.14 after the company announced it won a contract with a leading oil and gas operator for a 12-week paid feasibility study. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Shares of DMC Global Inc. (NASDAQ: BOOM) shot up 17 percent to $59.35 after the company raised Q1 sales outlook.

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) shares were also up, gaining 10 percent to $136.70 after the company reported upbeat earnings for its second quarter.

Equities Trading DOWN

Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADXS) shares dropped 30 percent to $4.15 after the company reported a 2.5 million common shares offering at $4 per share.

Shares of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: BW) were down 34 percent to $0.3105 after the company reported worse-than-expected Q4 sales and Q4 EPS of $(1.35).

Obalon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OBLN) was down, falling around 49 percent to $0.7450 after the company announced an organizational restructuring that will reduce its workforce by 50 percent.


In commodity news, oil traded down 0.4 percent to $62.36 while gold traded down 0.1 percent to $1,294.90.

Silver traded up 0.2 percent Wednesday to $15.085, while copper rose 1.3 percent to $2.944.



European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 climbed 1.01 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.33 percent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 1.08 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 1.7 percent, and the French CAC 40 climbed 0.84 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.37 percent.


Private-sector employers added 129,000 jobs in March, the ADP reported. However, economists were expecting a gain of 184,000 jobs.

The final reading of services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 55.3 in March, versus a preliminary reading of 54.8.

The ISM's non-manufacturing index declined to 56.1 in March, compared to 59.7 in February.

U.S. crude stocks increased 7.238 million barrels in the week ended March 29, the Energy Information Administration said. However, analysts projected a fall of 100,000 barrels. Gasoline inventories dropped 1.781 million barrels last week, while distillates slipped 1.998 million barrels.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari will speak in Fargo, North Dakota at 5:00 p.m. ET.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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