Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.93 percent to 25,029.84 while the NASDAQ climbed 0.20 percent to 7,652.93. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.42 percent to 2,760.46.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Wednesday afternoon, the financial shares surged 1.64 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Senmiao Technology Limited (NASDAQ: AIHS ) up 9 percent, and Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW ) up 9 percent.
In trading on Wednesday, utilities shares fell 1.35 percent.
Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG ) reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter.
Signet posted adjusted earnings of $0.10 per share on revenue of $1.5 billion. However, analysts were expecting a loss of $0.05 per share on revenue of $1.4 billion. The company reiterated its FY19 adjusted earnings outlook.
Equities Trading UP
Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (NASDAQ: VBLT ) shares shot up 22 percent to $2.6214 after announcing the company will present data on Novel MOSPD2 program in oncology and inflammation at BIO convention.
Shares of Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NASDAQ: AXON ) got a boost, shooting up 119 percent to $3.825 in reaction to a new licensing agreement. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on neurologic conditions said it entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Oxford BioMedica. As part of the agreement, Axovant will develop and commercialize Oxford's OXB-102 gene therapy for the treatment of Parkinson's utilizing the LentiVector platform.
MEI Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: MEIP ) shares were also up, gaining 18 percent to $4.9099. Wells Fargo upgraded MEI Pharma from Market Perform to Outperform.
Equities Trading DOWN
Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA ) shares dropped 14 percent to $42.61. Ambarella reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter, but issued weak sales forecast for the current quarter.
Shares of YY Inc. (NASDAQ: YY ) were down 8 percent to $111.165 after reporting Q1 results following Q1 results.
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR ) was down, falling around 8 percent to $53.37. JMP Securities downgraded First Solar from Market Outperform to Market Underperform and lowered the price target from $87 to $46.
In commodity news, oil traded down 1.33 percent to $64.65 while gold traded up 0.10 percent to $1,303.50.
Silver traded up 1.16 percent Wednesday to $16.735, while copper rose 1.97 to $3.2615.
European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 fell 0.01 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 1.09 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index gained 0.26 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.34 percent, and the French CAC 40 fell 0.06 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.33 percent.
U.S. nonfarm productivity rose 0.40 percent for the first quarter, versus economists' expectations for 0.70 percent gain.
U.S. trade deficit declined 2.1 percent to $46.2 billion in April. Exports increased 0.3 percent to $211.2 billion, while imports dropped 0.2 percent to $257.4 billion.
Crude supplies rose 2.1 million barrels for the week ended June 1, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts expected a drop of 1.3 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles gained 4.6 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles gained 2.2 million barrels for the week.
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