Following the market opening, the Dow traded down 0.21% to 33,377.07 while the NASDAQ rose 0.55% to 13,763.81. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.13% to 4,085.32.
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% on Thursday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included American Virtual Cloud Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVCT), up 20%, and PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR), up 20%.
In trading on Thursday, energy shares fell 1.9%.
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
Vericity, Inc. (NASDAQ: VERY) shares shot up 87% to $18.83.
Shares of ORBCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ: ORBC) got a boost, shooting 52% to $11.50. 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 34% to $13.54 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 31% to $57.00 after jumping 110% on Wednesday. The company recently priced its IPO at $4 per share.
Shares of Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC) were down 30% to $1.54 after the company reported a $10 million direct offering of its common stock.
AeroCentury Corp. (NYSE: ACY) was down, falling 15% to $10.79.
In commodity news, oil traded down 0.6% to $59.40, while gold traded up 0.8% to $1,755.90.
Silver traded up 1.3% Thursday to $25.585 while copper rose 0.5% to $4.0755.
European shares were mostly higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.4%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.1% and the German DAX 30 gained 0.1%. Meanwhile, the French CAC 40 rose 0.4%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4% and Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 0.6%.
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.
The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard is set to speak at 11:00 a.m. ET.
The Treasury is set to auction 4-and 8-week bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is set to speak at 2:00 p.m. ET.
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