Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Acasti Pharma Falls On Failed Late-Stage Trial; Verona Pharma Shares Gain

Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded up 0.17% to 28872.00 while the NASDAQ rose 0.88% to 9,259.66. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.56% to 3,283.62.

Benzinga · 01/13/2020 20:40

Toward the end of trading Monday, the Dow traded up 0.17% to 28872.00 while the NASDAQ rose 0.88% to 9,259.66. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.56% to 3,283.62.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Materials shares climbed 1.2% on Monday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Venator Materials PLC (NYSE: VNTR), up 9%, and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM), up 8%.

In trading on Monday, health care shares fell 0.4%.

Top Headline

Primo Water Corporation (NASDAQ: PRMW) announced it will be acquired by Cott Corp (NYSE: COT) for $14 per share in cash and stock.

Equities Trading UP

Dare Bioscience Inc (NASDAQ: DARE) shares shot up 104% to $1.70 after the company announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Bayer for US commercial rights to Ovaprene. Dare will receive an upfront payment of $20 million and up to $310 million in milestones.

Shares of Primo Water Corporation (NASDAQ: PRMW) got a boost, shooting up 25% to $13.85 after the company agreed to be acquired by Cott Corp (NYSE: COT) for $14 per share.

Verona Pharma plc (NASDAQ: VRNA) shares were also up, gaining 23% to $7.35 after the company reported that its Phase 2 study of COPD with Nebulized Ensifentrine met its primary endpoint.

Equities Trading DOWN

Acasti Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ACST) shares tumbled 65% to $0.7534. Acasti released topline results Monday from a Phase 3 study dubbed TRILOGY 1 that evaluated its lead candidate CaPre, or omega-3 phospholipid, for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. The experimental drug did not achieve statistical significance in meeting the primary endpoint. This was due to unusually large placebo effect, according to the company.

Shares of Stage Stores Inc (NYSE: SSI) were down 58% to $3.0750 after the company reported a 1.4% year-over-year rise in its holiday same-store sales. The company announced it expects full-year 2019 earnings to be $25 million to $30 million below the low end of the previously announced guidance range.

Ameri Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: AMRH) was down, falling 25% to $1.825 after the company announced it plans to merge with Jay Pharma..

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 1.7% to $58.06, while gold traded down 0.6% to $1,551.00.

Silver traded down 0.5% Monday to $18.015, while copper rose 1.5% to $2.856.

Euro zone

European shares closed mostly lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 declined 0.18%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.31%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index dropped 0.52%. Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 0.24%, and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.02% while UK shares rose 0.39%.

Economics

The U.S. federal government posted a budget deficit of $13.3 billion in December, versus a $13.5 billion deficit in the year-ago period, the Treasury Department reported.