Mid-Afternoon Market Update: Federal Reserve Maintains Interest Rates; Accuray Shares Jump On Earnings Beat

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.57% to 28885.44 while the NASDAQ rose 0.52% to 9,317.56. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.43% to 3,290.28.

Benzinga · 01/29/2020 19:25

Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded up 0.57% to 28885.44 while the NASDAQ rose 0.52% to 9,317.56. The S&P also rose, gaining 0.43% to 3,290.28.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Industrial shares climbed 0.9% on Wednesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc (NYSE: RRTS), up 42%, and General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), up 10%.

In trading on Wednesday, energy shares fell 0.5%.

Top Headline

In a move that was widely expected, the Federal Reserve maintained its target fed funds rate range of between 1.5% and 1.75% on Wednesday.

The Fed also reassured investors the U.S. economy is strong and the labor market remains solid.

Equities Trading UP

Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRTS) shares shot up 38% to $8.84 following its agreement to sell its Prime Distribution Services business to C.H. Robinson Worldwide. The sale of Prime Distribution, which is part of Roadrunner's Ascent division, will be for $225 million in cash.

Shares of Hepion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: HEPA) got a boost, shooting up 23% to $6.11 after the company announced positive finding from an expanded study of its non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, drug candidate CRV 431 with human precision cut liver slices. The company noted that CRV431 prevented experimentally induced liver fibrosis to a greater extent than other four leading NASH candidates Intercept's obeticholic acid, GENFIT's elafibranor, Madrigal's resmetirom and Galmed's Aramchol.

Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ: ARAY) shares were also up, gaining 15% to $4.35 following upbeat quarterly results.

Equities Trading DOWN

Avinger, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGR) shares tumbled 26% to $0.6405. Avinger priced its 6.4 million share underwritten public offering of common stock at $0.70 per share.

Shares of Martin Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: MMLP) were down 24% to $2.75 after the company reported Q4 results and issued 2020 forecast.

BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE: BPMX) was down, falling 28% to $0.5575 after the company and Timber Pharmaceuticals announced entry into a merger agreement. Upon completion of the merger, BioPharmX will change its name to Timber Pharma.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 0.4% to $53.25, while gold traded u 0.1% to $1,570.40.

Silver traded up 0.1% Wednesday to $17.46, while copper fell 0.9% to $2.5565.

Euro zone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.44%, the Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.66%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 0.57% Meanwhile, the German DAX gained 0.16%, and the French CAC 40 rose 0.49% while UK shares rose 0.04%.

Economics

U.S. trade deficit in goods climbed 8.5% in December to $68.3 billion.

US wholesale inventories declined 0.1% in December, versus a revised 0.1% gain in the previous month.

The pending home sales index rose 4.6% year-over-year in December.

U.S. crude supplies climbed 3.5 million barrels for the week ended January 24, the Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a gain of 1.4 million barrels. Gasoline supplies rose 1.2 million barrels, while distillate stocks slipped 1.3 million barrels for the week.

The Federal Reserve maintained its target fed funds rate range of between 1.5% and 1.75% on Wednesday.