Toward the end of trading, the Dow traded up 0.01% to 33,448.88 while the NASDAQ rose 0.95% to 13,819. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.36% to 4,094.71.
The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 30,923,840 cases with around 559,110 deaths. Brazil reported over 13,193,200 COVID-19 cases with 340,770 deaths, while India confirmed a total of at least 12,928,570 cases and 166,860 deaths. In total, there were at least 133,279,950 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 2,891,010 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Leading and Lagging Sectors
Information technology shares rose 1.3% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included American Virtual Cloud Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVCT), up 22%, and PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR), up 25%.
In trading on Thursday, energy shares fell 1.7%.
Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter.
Conagra reported quarterly earnings of $0.59 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $0.58 per share. The company’s quarterly sales came in at $2.77 billion, versus expectations of $2.72 billion.
Conagra Brands said it sees Q4 EPS of $0.49-$0.55, versus analysts’ estimates of $0.51 per share.
Equities Trading UP
Century Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNBKA) shares shot up 25% to $114.23. Eastern Bankshares, Inc. and Century Bancorp, announced they have entered into a definitive all-cash merger agreement.
Shares of ORBCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ: ORBC) got a boost, shooting 52% to $11.49. GI Partners has agreed to acquire Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider ORBCOMM for $1.1 billion, including net debt.
Rice Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: RICE) shares were also up, gaining 39% to $14.07 after the company announced a merger agreement to combine Aria Energy and Archaea Energy into the industry-leading renewable natural gas platform.
Equities Trading DOWN
United Time Technology Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: UTME) shares tumbled 43% to $47.00 after jumping 110% on Wednesday. The company recently priced its IPO at $4 per share.
Shares of Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC) were down 29% to $1.58 after the company reported a $10 million direct offering of its common stock.
Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG) was down, falling 10% to $35.70 after the company reported downbeat Q4 sales and issued weak FY22 earnings forecast.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.4% to $4.0885, while gold traded up 0.8% to $1,756.00.
Silver traded up 1.2% Thursday to $25.545 while copper rose 0.8% to $4.0885.
European shares closed mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.58%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.47% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.17%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.57%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.83% and Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 0.66%.
The IHS Markit Eurozone construction PMI rose to 50.1 in March from 45 in February. Germany construction PMI climbed to 47.5 in March from 41 in February, while factory orders rose 1.2% in February.
French construction PMI surged to 49.7 from 44, while current account deficit widened to EUR 2.6 billion in February from a revised EUR 2 billion gap in the prior month. French trade deficit increased to EUR 5.25 billion in February from a revised EUR 4.2 billion gap in January.
US initial jobless claims climbed to 744,000 in the April 3rd week, from a revised reading of 728,000 last week.
US natural-gas supplies gained 20 billion cubic feet last week, the Energy Information Administration said.
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