Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Dow Rises Over 1%; Medivation Shares Gain On Reported Pushback Of Sanofi Takeover Effort
Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 1.07 percent to 17,910.64 while the NASDAQ climbed 1.59 percent to 4,949.41. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.98 percent to 2,081.96.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
On Wednesday, basic materials shares gained by 2.27 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (ADR) (NYSE: SID ), up 19 percent, and Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY ), up 17 percent.
In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares fell by 0.42 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE: OKE ), down 2 percent, and Edison International (NYSE: EIX ), down 2 percent.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM ) reported better-than-expected earnings for its first quarter on Wednesday.
The U.S. bank reported a quarterly profit of $5.52 billion, or $1.35 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $5.91 billion, or $1.45 per share.
Its revenue declined 3 percent to $24.08 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.26 per share on revenue of $23.4 billion.
Equities Trading UP
Repros Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RPRX ) shares shot up 122 percent to $1.81. Repros Therapeutics reported after Tuesday's close that patients receiving 6 and 12 mg doses of Proellex achieved significant reduction in excessive menstrual bleeding, the key symptom of uterine fibroids. The findings were part of a small Phase 2b study.
Shares of Fitbit Inc (NYSE: FIT ) got a boost, shooting up 12 percent to $16.97. Pacific Crest Securities raised its first-quarter, second-quarter and full-year earnings, and sales view of Fitbit above Street estimates on strong demand for the Alta and Blaze units, the company's two newest products. However, Pacific Crest maintained his Sector Weight rating on the stock. Citi reiterated a Buy rating on Fitbit, with a price target of $30.
Medivation Inc (NASDAQ: MDVN ) shares were also up, gaining 8 percent to $49.17 driven by a report about a "rebuffed takeover approach" from Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE: SNY ). Bloomberg reported shortly after the closing bell that Medivation, which focuses on treatments for hard-to-cure cancers, is seeking a higher price than initial proposals have indicated. Other suitors are also considering making an offer, people familiar with the matter said. .
Equities Trading DOWN
Clovis Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: CLVS ) shares dropped 5 percent to $13.59. JP Morgan downgraded Clovis Oncology from Overweight to Neutral and lowered the price target from $42.00 to $15.00.
Shares of Rice Energy Inc (NYSE: RICE ) were down 4 percent to $15.96 after the company announced the pricing of an up-sized public offering of its common stock. Rice Energy announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 29.86 million shares of its stock at a price of $16.35.
Sprint Corp (NYSE: S ) was down, falling around 3 percent to $3.39. Pacific Crest downgraded Sprint from Sector Weight to Underweight.
In commodity news, oil traded down 1.28 percent to $41.63 while gold traded down 1.38 percent to $1,243.50.
Silver traded up 0.05 percent Wednesday to $16.23, while copper rose 1.02 percent to $2.17.
European shares closed higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 2.52 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 3.21 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index fell 4.13 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX climbed 2.71 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 3.32 percent, while U.K. shares rose 1.93 percent.
U.S. retail sales declined 0.30 percent for March, versus economists' expectations for a 0.10 percent growth.
U.S. producer prices dropped 0.10 percent for March, versus economists' expectations for a 0.20 percent gain.
U.S. business inventories dropped 0.10 percent for February, versus economists' estimates for a 0.10 percent decline.
Crude oil supplies increased 6.6 million barrels for the week ended April 8, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts were expecting a gain of 1 million barrels. Gasoline supplies slipped 4.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased 500,000 barrels last week.
The Federal Open Market Committee released its latest Beige Book report.
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